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Old August 30th, 2008, 05:58 PM   #1
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FCP keeps crashing

I'm trying to work on a show because of deadlines, of course. FCP keeps crashing. I edited a show on it with few filters and effects and it was fine. On one with a lot of soft wipes and cc and other effects, it crashed repeatedly. (And today when I tried to use QT to output a finished version of that one it crashed without finishing it - I finally gave up.)

Now I'm cutting another show. This one has one layer of video. The opening montage has (on most clips) a motion effect (a move or slomo), color correction and a magic bullet look. I tried to have it render the open, which is about a minute or so long, and it it has crashed repeatedly. I know the clips are on the Fusion drive, and the render is going back to the fusion drive. Right now it's finally rendering because I'm selecting one clip at a time and rendering that, and it's working.

The system was put together for me by a local vendor. The RAID is a Fusion D800 8TB. The computer is a dual 3.0 Quad-Core Xeon with 8 gig of ram. Video card is NVIDIA GeForce 880 GT 512MB. And I have a Kona 3 card.

Now, on my Liquid Chrome system that this is eventually supposed to supplant, the RAIDs have always been set as RAID 0. The dealer has this this FUSION one set up as RAID 5, and assured me that it would handle the xdcam footage just fine. I'm mentioning that as a place to start.

I'll concede that it may be something I'm doing, since I'm still learning the system. I crashed it a few times by clicking on a clip in a bin before all the other visible clips loaded, for example..

I've looked at the crash reports the system generates to send to apple, and one of the first items seems to always be an access error.

Given the number of FCP users I have trouble imagining this is normal behavior for a system. If I'm doing something wrong I seriously need to know what it is, and if it's something with this particular system I really need to get it resolved.

So I appreciate any help anyone can give. I'm quiting for the day, but there's always tomorrow ...


Thanks,
John
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Old August 31st, 2008, 05:28 AM   #2
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John, did the local vendor act as a system integrator for you? if so I would have them come in a and take a look as it sounds like you have a bad install or something. FCP should be having no problem accessing clips in the bin regardless of other queued for import via XDCAM Transfer. This is in fact one of the beauties of the whole XDCAM workflow, accessing and working on clips and edits whilst other operations can continue as a background tasks. Your gut feeling is correct ... that your system is crashing if and when you do the simplest of these operations clearly indicates that it is not set up right.
As your vendor has likely warrantied the system then I would have them come in and troubleshoot it if that is at all practicable. Failing that you should be looking at isolating the cause of the issue by a process of elimination. For example:
Are you able to trigger a crash at will or is it happening entirely (or seemingly) at random? Does it happen only within FCP or within any and all of the Final Cut Studio suite of apps ... or is it even more general ie any app at all?
If at will, what are the exact steps to trigger it? Is there any perceivable pattern to this? Is it a perhaps specific filter of combination of filters, or perhaps only with a specific type of filter eg Fxlug? (Could it be an issue with the GPU)
If you have an alternative Scratch Disk available (a secondary internal for example) then copy some test files to this secondary location, relocate your Scratch Disk / Renders and XDCAM Transfer Import loaction / cache location there, then see if you can still replicate the issues.

Post back.

Andy
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Old August 31st, 2008, 07:09 AM   #3
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Andy,

Thanks for the reply. Yes, this was done by a systems integrator. I hope they will respond promptly and effectively. They haven't seemed eager to come back after the initial install and I want to have my ducks in a row when I talk with them Monday or Tuesday.

To clarify a couple of things, when I said it would crash when clip are loading I mean that I would open a bin, and if I don't wait for all the picons to load before clicking on a clip or moving a clip it will sometimes crash.

The filters are:
1. the FCP motion tab (a slight zoom on a couple of clips)
2. FCP basic color correction
3. a Magic Bullet look
in that order. They finally did render when I selected a clip or so and a dissolve and rendered just that, and worked my way through the section that way, but every time I tried a general render the app crashed.

And, as I said, in a different show/project, trying to export the entire show crashes FCP. I'm not using any of the other apps yet, so I only know what's happening with FCP. However, since I'm seeing similar crashing in different shows working with different material and different filters, I have to first suspect it's a system problem.

All material is on the Sonnet Fusion RAID, which *should* be able to handle the load. I don't have a secondary internal drive. I do have a couple of FW 800 g-raids.

Right now I'm copying all the material for this current program to a g-raid, and I'm going to see if it renders properly on the macbook pro/FCP combo. If so that should clarify the situation.

All this is working with xdcam ex material. When I first emailed the systems integrator to get help, one of the things they replied was this:

"MPEG-Long-GOP codecs are a beast to deal with, and is one of the drawbacks with XDCAM and HDV cameras. It has to decode and encode playback on the fly. DVCPro HD from Panasonic doesn't behave like this. Just 3-4 years ago, an equivalent Mac desktop would barely be able to play a dissolve between XDCAM HD or an HDV clip. You actually had people converting those codecs to DVCPro HD just so they could edit better with them. This is also another reason a lot of people will transcode their XDCAM HD or HDV material to ProRes or DVCPro HD for editing and composting."

And they are sort of indicating that part of the problem is dealing with the xdcam format. That may have been true a few years ago, but I don't hear of people having these problems now. My B.S. detector is going off, but I do know I'm such a novice at FCP that I need to have my facts straight.

Thanks for the help.

John

Edit: I copied all the material to the g-raid and it rendered just fine on my macbook pro. Just put the same drive on the big system and it started rendering, then crashed FCP. So the problem is obviously with the big system.

Last edited by John Godwin; August 31st, 2008 at 08:17 AM. Reason: more information
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Old August 31st, 2008, 08:55 AM   #4
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xdcam ex footage and FCP

I'm posting this here in addition to the Mac editing forum because I'd like to know if anyone is having similar problems using xdcam ex material (I suspect not):

I'm trying to work on a show because of deadlines, of course. FCP keeps crashing. I edited a show on it with few filters and effects and it was fine. On one with a lot of soft wipes and cc and other effects, it crashed repeatedly. (And today when I tried to use QT to output a finished version of that one it crashed without finishing it - I finally gave up.)

Now I'm cutting another show. This one has one layer of video. The opening montage has (on most clips) a motion effect (a move or slomo), color correction and a magic bullet look. I tried to have it render the open, which is about a minute or so long, and it it has crashed repeatedly. I know the clips are on the Fusion drive, and the render is going back to the fusion drive. Right now it's finally rendering because I'm selecting one clip at a time and rendering that, and it's working.

The system was put together for me by a local vendor. The RAID is a Fusion D800 8TB. The computer is a dual 3.0 Quad-Core Xeon with 8 gig of ram. Video card is NVIDIA GeForce 880 GT 512MB. And I have a Kona 3 card.

Now, on my Liquid Chrome system that this is eventually supposed to supplant, the RAIDs have always been set as RAID 0. The dealer has this this FUSION one set up as RAID 5, and assured me that it would handle the xdcam footage just fine. I'm mentioning that as a place to start.

I'll concede that it may be something I'm doing, since I'm still learning the system. I crashed it a few times by clicking on a clip in a bin before all the other visible clips loaded, for example..

I've looked at the crash reports the system generates to send to apple, and one of the first items seems to always be an access error.

Given the number of FCP users I have trouble imagining this is normal behavior for a system. If I'm doing something wrong I seriously need to know what it is, and if it's something with this particular system I really need to get it resolved.

To clarify a couple of things, when I said it would crash when clip are loading I mean that I would open a bin, and if I don't wait for all the picons to load before clicking on a clip or moving a clip it will sometimes crash.

The filters are:
1. the FCP motion tab (a slight zoom on a couple of clips)
2. FCP basic color correction
3. a Magic Bullet look
in that order. They finally did render when I selected a clip or so and a dissolve and rendered just that, and worked my way through the section that way, but every time I tried a general render the app crashed. (NOTE: I have recently

And, as I said, in a different show/project, trying to export the entire show crashes FCP. I'm not using any of the other apps yet, so I only know what's happening with FCP. However, since I'm seeing similar crashing in different shows working with different material and different filters, I have to first suspect it's a system problem.

All this is working with xdcam ex material. When I first emailed the systems integrator to get help, one of the things they replied was this:

"MPEG-Long-GOP codecs are a beast to deal with, and is one of the drawbacks with XDCAM and HDV cameras. It has to decode and encode playback on the fly. DVCPro HD from Panasonic doesn't behave like this. Just 3-4 years ago, an equivalent Mac desktop would barely be able to play a dissolve between XDCAM HD or an HDV clip. You actually had people converting those codecs to DVCPro HD just so they could edit better with them. This is also another reason a lot of people will transcode their XDCAM HD or HDV material to ProRes or DVCPro HD for editing and composting."

And they are sort of indicating that part of the problem is dealing with the xdcam format. That may have been true a few years ago, but I don't hear of people having these problems now. My B.S. detector is going off, but I do know I'm such a novice at FCP that I need to have my facts straight.

NOTE: I copied all the material to a FW800 g-raid and it rendered just fine on my macbook pro. Just put the same drive on the big system and it started rendering, then crashed FCP. So the problem is obviously with the big system. But I would still like to know if anyone has any remotely similar problems with xdcam ex footage.

Thanks very much

John
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Old August 31st, 2008, 09:48 AM   #5
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The problem is not the codec nor FCP or your Mac's ability to deal with the processing. This is an extremely widely used format and should such issues exist they would be equally widely reported. Your systems integrator should be ready willing and able to come in and support you ... depending of course on the support contract you have in place.
The immediate thing they could do would be to run a full hardware test ... especially to check that all the RAM is good. Also it would be wise to install a new system drive and do a fresh OS and applications install. If and when the installation is proved stable then it should be cloned to the old system disk (which can then be kept as an emergency backup system disk). If the issue is with the hardware rather than the OS/app install then the original disk can be retained as a emergency backup system disk as is.

Regarding the picon crash .. as an immediate workaround you might want to consider changing the bin display to a list view rather than icon view. Meanwhile I've been trying to reproduce the picon crash here with XDCAM HD clips in a project on my lowly MBP (1GB RAM) but its not crashing for me.


Regarding the flters, try creating a duplicate sequence and the remove the Magic Bullet filers from that sequence ... see if the big render will still cause a crash. (Basically, as MB is the only 3rd party filter involved then it would be good to eliminate that as a possible cause)
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Old August 31st, 2008, 10:44 AM   #6
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Andy,

I did as you suggested with the Magic Bullet filters and it still crashed, plus the project, again, rendered with those same filters on the macbook pro system. The only other factor I haven't mentioned is that I have some Conoa plug-ins installed and Delerium plugins installed. None of those are in use on any project, they're just installed. I wouldn't think thoise would be an issue, especially since they aren't even being used.

I really appreciate your help. I'm gone for a couple of hours and will be back later today. I suspect in your part of the world is may be getting toward sleep time.

Best,
John
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Old August 31st, 2008, 11:16 AM   #7
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Sounds like your systems integrator is coping out. A system like yours should handle Long GOP no problem.

There are far too many reasons for crashes to occur to be able to tell what's what.

I'd set your sequence to render in ProRes although keep the editing codec as XDCAM EX. It's just a slight modification of the sequence preset and you avoid the long gop conform and your FX are done in 4:2:2 color space, no GOP. That probably has nothing to do with your crashes though.

It could be a RAM issue or a corrupted render file. Try rendering the FX section in question in two parts using in and out points. It can cure or, at least, target the issue (to a given section or file).

I'd toss the preference files and and renders and test again. It can be the project file too. Try creating a new project file and move the sequence to it. Try creating a new user with Admin status and try from that. Try doing a RAM check or pulling new RAM sticks (tedious I know).
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Old August 31st, 2008, 11:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Godwin View Post
I'm posting this here in addition to the Mac editing forum because I'd like to know if anyone is having similar problems using xdcam ex material...
Threads merged.

One thread per topic, please... and the appropriate forum is NLE-Mac. There's nothing wrong with soliciting responses from fellow XDCAM EX camera owners, but we expect our members to use the *entire* community. Therefore this forum is the right one for this particular topic. Thanks for understanding,
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Old August 31st, 2008, 12:27 PM   #9
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Have you tried trashing your preferences. Many unexplained FCP crashes can be cured by simply getting rid of your old preferences and creating a new set. You could also try FCP rescue.
FCP Rescue Download site
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Old August 31st, 2008, 01:19 PM   #10
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Chris,
Point taken, thanks.

Craig,
I expect my systems integrator to come in early this coming week and deal with this. The exact same project and video did render and work correctly on my macbook pro.

Alister (and Craig),
As I said, I'm very new to FCP. Where do I find the preferences to trash them? And what should I expect from FCP rescue? And, being new to macs in general, if I should uninstall the Conoa and Delerium plug-ins, just to elimenate them as variables, how do you uninstall on a Mac?

Frankly, I like the idea that this is a hardware issue and the systems guy will be able to deal with it. That support is why I went with a local dealer.

Thanks all.

John
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Old August 31st, 2008, 03:58 PM   #11
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Install FCP rescue, run it and press the "trash" button. It will remove your old preferences. When you re-start FCP you will need to set up your scratch disc's etc.
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Old August 31st, 2008, 03:58 PM   #12
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Hi John,
I also am a Mac rookie and have a Mac Pro and MBP, and the Mac Pro crashes more. I capture all the HDV footage shot with a V1U or HV20 into ProRes... still crashes occasionally.

From what I've been reading, step one after a crash is to use Disk Utility to Repair Permissions (and also Verify the Disk...in this case the Fusion drive).

I'm hoping to find stability by reformatting the system drive and doing a clean install of Leopard and FCS2.

I'll be curious to see what turns up when the systems integrator steps to the plate.
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Old August 31st, 2008, 06:00 PM   #13
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So I'm happy to report that the systems guy actually replied to my email today, on a holiday Sunday. His main recommendation is also to trash preferences. I *think* I successfully did that, both manually and using FCP Rescue (thanks again), but FCP just crashed again, on the timeline with the Magic Bullet looks applied, and now on the timeline with the MB look removed, also. It did, however, render the whole other show (in another project) that has no MB looks at all.
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Old August 31st, 2008, 07:03 PM   #14
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I have the same crashing problems on my Mac Octo setup. Over the last year I have done absolutely everything possible to fix this: trashing prefs, reinstalling FCP, reinstalling system, doing complete installation onto a new internal drive, different RAM, replaced main logic board, and other suggestions.

I still get crashes during renders.

One thing I have noticed is that if I leave it to autorender itself it hardly ever crashes. So I set my autorender to kick in after 10 minutes.

It's either that or rendering in little chunks.

There is, in my opinion, no cure.

If you find one I will award you a small prize and put you in my will.

I have given up trying to cure this problem.

You are not alone.

Best wishes

Harry
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Old August 31st, 2008, 08:00 PM   #15
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Harry,
Holy Frijoles, that's super heinously BAD, like manure for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a dollop of sour cream for dessert. Wow \*/__]-C-{},J,^|>L<| (that spells pizzlesprung BTW)

So

I guess your workflow and operation are not completely paralyZed? Why keep the Octo? Why not invest less in a straight quad or mbp? Or does letting it autorender get the job done and still leverage the 8 cores?

did you consider vidcard as an incompatibility?
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