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Old August 7th, 2004, 09:28 AM   #1
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Hardware de-interlace

Hi there,

I might be completely off the mark here, but is there a ‘hardware’ de-interlace device for FCP3, maybe a video capture card?

The ‘soft’ de-interlace in FCP which results in a notable loss of resolution, was something I could live with for a while but now I want better.

I decided to download a 3rd party demo plugin which claimed to give the 'best' results and I have to say the result was pretty good. However, there is a huge and for me unacceptable downside, rendering times have gone through the roof! A 5-min de-interlaced sequence took more than 2 hours to run out.

Cheers,

Simon.
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Old August 7th, 2004, 10:44 AM   #2
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What version of FCP are you using and what sort of computer? Those render times are way off base. For some reason "Joe's Deinterlacer" renders very slowly on FCP3, but is reported to be much faster on newer versions. I use DVFilm Maker on a G6/1.25 and it isn't exactly speedy, but nowhere near this slow. It's a little standalone program that you feed Quicktime files. You can queue up batches of files to render, and it also runs in the background.

I don't think there's a hardware card that will do this, but maybe someone else has seen one.
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Old August 7th, 2004, 11:07 AM   #3
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FCP 3, G4, OS X .. ..

I downloaded a demo of DV Filmaker and will give it a go. Don't you find the fact that you must first output quicktime files a bit of a distraction in your workflow?
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Old August 7th, 2004, 05:10 PM   #4
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Yes, and it prefers shorter clips, like 20 minutes. Am just debating whether I want to run about 4 hours of footage through it before I edit (will be easier than trying to break it into sections after editing). However to do this would require putting the processed footage on an external drive due to space limitations. OTOH, it wouldn't be hard to just queue everything up and let it run overnight, which is what I did the last time I wanted to deinterlace a big project.

Ha ha - just noticed my typo where I said I had a G6 - don't get excited anyone, it's just a lowly G4 ;-)
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Old August 8th, 2004, 05:20 AM   #5
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I had wondered about that G6 :)

Last night I outputted my 5 minute sequence as a self-contained FCP movie file and then dropped it in to the demo copy of DVFilm maker. Without making any alterations to DVFilm makers standard settings I just let the process run.

The process was started around 8:30pm and was still running close to midnight! I just can't figure that one out. As I live in London, the only difference I can see is that I am recording PAL and not NTSC. This shouldn't matter should it?

I don't think it's my G4, that seems to be quite happy doing everything else that's required of it.
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Old August 8th, 2004, 07:35 AM   #6
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How much ram do you have, how full is the drive you're rendering to and what version of FCP (3.x.x) and OS X (10.x.x)?
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Old August 8th, 2004, 09:49 AM   #7
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I can only provide the following data point from a test I did nearly a year ago. I know that DVFilm Maker has been updated since then and I haven't tested the new version. My tests did not involve letterboxing, just deinterlacing using the default settings:

System: Power Mac G4/1.25 Ghz SINGLE processor
RAM: 1.25 GB
MacOS 10.2.8
FCP 3.0.4 (this shouldn't matter since DVFilm is a standalone application)
Disk: Maxtor 160 GB Internal 7200 rpm ATA 100
Deinterlace time: 256 seconds per minute of video

So in other words I would expect my machine to take less than 22 minutes to deinterlace a 5 minute clip. What does Marcus say about PAL footage on his site? Are you sure it's compatible? You could try e-mailing him.
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Old August 8th, 2004, 04:05 PM   #8
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Also, FCP4, and FCPHD are significantly faster than FCP3.

I know of no hardware de-interlacers for FCP, but the built in one is pretty poor and should be avoided.

If you've not looked at my products, you can check out Film Effects, and also the de-interlacer that comes with it - will run a bit faster than the "big" plugin.

Graeme
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Old August 8th, 2004, 11:15 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Graeme Nattress : Also, FCP4, and FCPHD are significantly faster than FCP3 -->>>

Sure, but something else must be wrong with Simon's setup. A render that takes twenty some minutes on my G4 is taking him over 3.5 hours...
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Old August 9th, 2004, 04:36 AM   #10
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But which 3rd party demo plugin did he use??

Graeme
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Old August 9th, 2004, 07:34 AM   #11
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Graeme, he didn't identify the plug-in he first tried, but in a post above he says he downloaded DVFilm Maker (a standalone program, not a plugin) and used it on a 5 minute clip, then finally bailed out after it spent over 3.5 hours rendering. So something is definitely wrong there...
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Old August 15th, 2004, 05:38 PM   #12
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Hi there,

Sorry for the delay in writing back, I’ve been out of the country for a few days.

In answer to your question, here are the specifics of my system:

Dual 1 GHz PowerPC G4
512mb Memory

OSX 10.2

FCP 3.0.2

120GB firewire HDD with plenty of free space.

---------------------------------------------

Regardless of the software used, it seems a little strange that my system should take so long to crunch a 5-minute sequence. I recently cut a 1-hour documentary with it and gave it a pretty brutal run for its money, without any untoward time penalties.

Here’s a thought; I have a friend who owns a G5 and similar video system to myself. Perhaps I’ll ask him to download a couple of de-interlace plugins, run a 5 minute sequence through each of them and monitor the results.
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Old August 15th, 2004, 06:26 PM   #13
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Upgrade to FCP 3.0.4, it is more stable than 3.0.2 Also 512MB is just barely enough to run FCP. You should upgrade ram to at least 1GB. How full is your HD your rendering to? Do you have FCP in the Applications folder and is the Applications folder on the same drive and partitions as the OS?
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Old August 15th, 2004, 06:48 PM   #14
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Jeff, the program he's having problems with is DVFilm Maker. It is a separate application that runs completely independent of FCP. I agree with the recommendations wrt FCP, however he doesn't seem to be having a problem there. Something else strange must be happening.

Simon, maybe you should try the test again and make certain that no other programs are running in the background. 512MB RAM does sound a little low, although it ran fine on my G4/733 with 768MB RAM.
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Old August 16th, 2004, 05:55 AM   #15
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Hi there,

I do hear what you say about the 512mb RAM issue, yet as I wrote previously I have cut a 1 hour documentary on my set-up, colour corrected it, composited effects etc etc and never really experienced any significant loss in render times. Actually I have consistently achieved render times of around 20-mins per 5-min of sequence, which I think is the norm.

In reference to Jeff’s other point, my internal HDD is a single partition with everything located in the place where the original installer suggested. I do remember reading a post that suggested the OS and FCP should sit on exclusive partitions however, as I’ve mentioned, I haven’t noticed any real problems before. There is GB’s of spare space on the Firewire drive where the render files are stored.

I downloaded the Film Effects demo last night and gave it a go at de-interlacing. It took 3 hours to render out a 5-min sequence. As far as the quality of the final result goes, and I am only reporting on what I have seen so far, the sequence is at this point unusable. During fade in.’s there is what I can only describe as ‘solarisation’. Errant frames seem to be left behind which in effect turn straight cut’s into very short dissolves and any action (the piece was shot in an ice-rink, so there’s lots) results in excessive ghosting and blurring around the subject.

I did read the instructions to Film Effects and can say that I did not shoot my original footage like film, i.e. shutter speed of 1/60th. Apart from this though, everything else was per the instructions and I can’t see where my mistakes might lie. I will shoot some material at 1/60th and see if the results are better, which I am sure they will be.

I am no expert and would therefore concede that 3rd party plugin's or standalone programs may require, in their design, more render times. I would also concede that another 512mb RAM would help things. However, if that were the case, I would find it surprising that a system which chugs along quite nicely, falls to its knees when asked to complete a task by a 3rd party program or plugin, that it itself has proven to be capable of doing quickly, if not to a lesser standard of course.
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