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Old February 5th, 2009, 02:03 PM   #1
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My Mac Pro is too slow for animation?

I creating an intro to a video I'm working on and this is my first time using animations. The animation was created with Juicer 3 to a .mov file that I imported into my project. After rendering all I try to preview it and it halts with displaying the "Warnings - Dropped Frames" window.

My Mac Pro is a 2.8 dual core, dual processor. I have 26GB of ram. My hard Drives are 2 Segate SATA 500gb and 2 SATA 1TB drives.

What do I need to do to be able to preview these? For now I have been exporting to a .mov file but that is taking me lots of extra time.

Suggestions?
External eSATA raid 0 setup?
Different graphics card?
Ram, I got plenty!
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Old February 5th, 2009, 05:13 PM   #2
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What is the codec? If it's uncompressed for example you'd need a very powerful raid. Render to a more playable codec and you'll be fine.

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Old February 5th, 2009, 05:34 PM   #3
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What codec would you recomend?
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Old February 5th, 2009, 06:08 PM   #4
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What are the dimensions of the animation you made? Most TV ratio animations should play fine unless you rendered them in an HD uncompressed format.

Animation codec should work. I do HD format animations and play them back on my 3 year old laptop without dropped frames in QuickTime. You could even try h.264 just for viewing.

Don't run the animation off the main drive although with the computer you have it shouldn't be a problem.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 08:00 PM   #5
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I did a big project last fall where the files were created in After Effects at 1024x768 using the animation codec. It played surprisingly smoothly in Quicktime on a 3ghz iMac although the frame rate would drop a bit sometimes.

I recompressed these as Photo JPEG at 1024x768 and got completely smooth playback at 30 fps. The files were then used with the Catalyst Pro HD media server to drive some "big iron" DLP projectors on 3 large screens as part of an opera. The Catalyst software was running on ~3ghz MacPro machines and could handle two simultaneous layers of 1024x768 Photo JPEG playback with very few (if any) dropped frames.

Photo JPEG is a variable data rate codec, and depending on the image type you will see some significant variation. But the files were (IIRC) about 1/10 the size of those with the original animation code yet the quality was almost indistinguishable, even on a 48 foot wide screen.

FWIW, the iMac was using an external firewire 800 drive. The MacPro's had internal solid state disks (SSD's) which screamed, although I don't think it really would have been necessary.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 09:59 PM   #6
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Seagate Hard Drive Jumpers removed??

Some 3.0 Gb/s Seagate drives have a jumper installed that throttles the output to 1.5 Gb/s. Might help to remove them if their still on the drives. They were on all of my 750 GB and 1 TB Seagate drives, took two seconds to remove it.

Also in User Preferences > General Tab > Uncheck "Report dropped frames during playback" and as mentioned make sure the footage isn't on your system hard drive. For good measure I send all renders to a different HD from my footage, just to split up the work a bit more.

Most SD codecs should play smoothly when rendered, Animation and ProRes included. 10-bit uncompressed HD will choke most sngle, non RAIDed hard drives.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 12:46 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies. the "User Preferences > General Tab > Uncheck "Report dropped frames during playback" reply got me to be able to preview.

As for the compression coming out of Juicer, I have no option to select 264 so I'm guessing that it is uncompressed. I am outputting it 1440 x 1080 30P to a Quick Time Movie.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 07:39 PM   #8
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I nothing of substance to add, but 26GB's of RAM, you crazy Beast! :)
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Old February 6th, 2009, 08:44 PM   #9
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I heard that FCP was a memory whore and that it was best to have as much memory as you could afford. So I got a deal of $110 each for 6 - 4 Gig sticks of ram so that is why I have so much.

After I got it, I find out that OSX doesn't use anything above 4 gig so even though it was a good deal, it was a waist of money.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 05:50 AM   #10
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Maybe with Final Cut Studio 3, it will be able to access all that RAM...
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Old February 7th, 2009, 10:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere View Post
Maybe with Final Cut Studio 3, it will be able to access all that RAM...
Now we are going to have to move this thread to Area 51? :) Oh and I misstated my ram, it is 28 Gig not 26 Gig so it is even a bigger waist.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 11:43 PM   #12
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Try other codecs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Fargo View Post
Thanks for all the replies. the "User Preferences > General Tab > Uncheck "Report dropped frames during playback" reply got me to be able to preview.

As for the compression coming out of Juicer, I have no option to select 264 so I'm guessing that it is uncompressed. I am outputting it 1440 x 1080 30P to a Quick Time Movie.
If you're using the animation in another sequence or editing project, you should avoid delivery codecs such as H.264 anyway. I don't use Juicer to know what codecs it allows you to output to, but try ProRes HQ, DVCPro HD, Apple Intermediate and see how you feel about the quality and playback. Some highly compressed codecs can stutter more than a good ole' "none" for compression when outputting, because the computer has less to think about when trying to playback a complex compression algorithm.

Also filters and multi-layer compositing adds to playback difficulty. For some of my more complex pieces, I output a quick movie to see what its going to look like.
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Old February 8th, 2009, 01:00 PM   #13
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In FCP, when I look at the properties of the quicktime movie that Juicer creates, it lists the compressor as "Animation". In Juicer I have no options for compression when rendering. Since the 15 second clip is 1.3 GB in size, I'm guessing there truly is no compression.

Here is a link to the print screens of the options for exporting and the properties as shown in FCP. Juicer 3 Animation In FCP 6

I have found that I really didn't have many things set right for making FCP run smoothly. With the help from you here, I was able to start previewing my timeline. I have since gone back and started doing the Lynda courses again and even redoing some that I have already done. Since I'm now knee deep in actually using FCP the training is making more sense and reviewing it even makes a lot more sense and sinks in.

I want to truly thank everyone here that has helped to get me going in the right direction. Books and training videos our great but I can't ask them any questions, OK I can ask but they won't answer. I'm moving forward again. :)
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Old February 8th, 2009, 08:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Fargo View Post
I heard that FCP was a memory whore and that it was best to have as much memory as you could afford. So I got a deal of $110 each for 6 - 4 Gig sticks of ram so that is why I have so much.

After I got it, I find out that OSX doesn't use anything above 4 gig so even though it was a good deal, it was a waist of money.
FCP doesn't use more then 2.5 G of ram... sorry who ever told you that was wrong. OS X will use all that ram, but its not really there for the OS, its there for apps. AE CS4 can use all the RAM you have, and has a setting. 2G per proc X 8 CPU = 16G + whatever the OS wants which is typically a gig or two.

as for your timeline settings the best codec to use is ProRes. more or less lossless compression.

H 264 is intended for DELIVERY, not daily editing. its very processor intense. yes AVC uses it, but there's not a whole lot of AVC shot material around . even still, you could shoot it, use prores as your TL codec, then output to whatever.
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Old February 8th, 2009, 11:41 PM   #15
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I have switched my timeline to prores 422 and now convert my hdv video to prores when capturing with FCP. I just learned to do this from the course I'm doing on Lynda.com I'm sure glad I'm doing all this testing and setup BEFORE I do the real thing. As there is a lot to learn.

Thanks for helping me go down the right road.
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