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Old September 28th, 2004, 06:05 PM   #1
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G4 Powerbook FCP4 Editing

Hey all.

Im trying to do much of the tedious clip separating and labeling on my powerbook. its got only 512 ram, and im using a lacie big disk for the video data. when i use this workflow i get choppy video with digital distortion throughout.
i use my G5 for any rendering or sequencing.

My question is...

if i was to get this 1.5 g 512 ram powerbook up to 2g ram, would i then see smoother video in fcp4?

also, which port is recommended for the lacie when doing video? fw 400 or 800?

Lastly, when im capturing this video, is it being adversely affected by the aforementioned lack of processing power? i assume not, seeing as its all 1's and 0's, but then again, im often baffled by many assumptions.

any help ?

thanks everyone.

heath
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Old September 28th, 2004, 07:14 PM   #2
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More RAM would definitely help for editing but I'm not sure what you mean when you say you get choppy video with distortion... is that when you are editing? Or is that what you get even during capture? Are you just capturing clips and nothing else?

If you are capturing from a deck via the 400 and put the firewire drive on the 800 they are both using the same data bus so that might cause some slow down in terms of data transfer. You could get a PCMCIA FireWire card so that your deck and hard drive are using different busses or you could just caputre to your internal HD and when done, copy it all over to your FW drive at the end.

I don't think you should be having these issues though, many people post that they can do this setup just fine.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 07:16 PM   #3
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This is odd, because I use my 15" aluminum 1ghz Powerbook with external firewire drives and FCP3 and I don't experience "choppy video wiht digital distortion." I also have 512MB RAM. Maybe FCP4 requires more resources? But it sounds more like a disk issue. I don't have any experience with the LaCie "big disk." Is it fast enough for video? Before getting my present system I used a Titanium 667mhz powerbook with 512MB and FCP3 and didn't have any problems there either. Maybe you can try a test with another drive to see if that makes a difference?
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Old September 28th, 2004, 07:30 PM   #4
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ok, so to clear up some things that i left open...

when capturing, i put my fw deck 400 out to the 400 in on my powerbook, then i connect the fw drive via 800. i make the fw my scratch and then i capture.


one capture video in the VIEWER plays the same as it does when it captures... choppy.


the other plays smoothly, but has a horizontal distortion that starts at the bottom and moves up the picture. im home now, so im going to do some tests, ill post what i find out. any other advice based on this new info could help. thanks guys!
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Old September 28th, 2004, 08:10 PM   #5
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Heath, I would love to lend my expertise, as I have a number of students editing on Powerbooks with FCP 4 etc. However, your post lacks clarity. What is a "fw deck 400?" What type of drive is it you're connecting to your FireWire 800 port? Which FireWire is your scratch disk, your FW 400 or FW 800? I really have no clue what this sentence means "one capture video in the VIEWER plays the same as it does when it captures... choppy. " What "other" plays smoothly?
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Old September 28th, 2004, 09:27 PM   #6
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i have a lacie firewire big disk. 500g. i sent it into the laptop via 800. i ran the xl1s in through the typical 400 port. i set the scratch to the lacie. i captured two seperate clips. when i double click on the first in fcp4 it plays in the VIEWER. this video runs smoothly, however, there are horizontal discrepancies sparatically. that is a major issue. i havent exported it to see if it plays fine as a final product... so it could be a non-issue.

the second clip captured, when double clicked and played in the VIEWER plays choppy, similar to the way it looks when you are capturing video via firewire. I think i have figured that out. that particular tape had some 12 bit 32k stuff on it earlier, and im sure that you shouldnt switch sampling rates mid tape.

my only problem now is the horizontal line of distortion.

it is the same when the lacie is plugged in through 400 to the G5 dual, as well as when copied to the data drive of the g5. this is what leads me to believe that it captured bad. im going to recapture straight to the hard drive of the g5 and see what happens.

heath
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Old September 28th, 2004, 10:52 PM   #7
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I have a 17" 1.33 GHz G4 PowerBook, and I just want to point out a helpful link to you: Final Cut Pro 4.0 Shootout.
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Old September 29th, 2004, 12:15 AM   #8
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Complicated projects will take up more RAM. When you run out, FCP performance will drop drastically.

What you can do:
1- Get more RAM. (may not be best option) I would consider 512MB to be minimum based on experience with Final Cut choking on a multicam project.
2- Reduce project complexity.
a- avoid excessive nesting. Nests take a lot of resources!
b- split your project into sequences and nest the sequences for the final product.
c- delete clips on your timeline.

a, b, and c I have tried and they do work.

512MB and 1GB are good bets for RAM. You will likely save money by getting 3rd party RAM from a vendor such as crucial.com (crucial.com is probably the easiest path to take; of course you can get cheaper RAM if you shop around).
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Old September 29th, 2004, 02:20 PM   #9
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Just brainstorming... be sure to close the log and capture window when not in use. I find that if I leave it open then lots of bad stuff happens. The "horizontal discrepancies" sound like either (1) tape dropouts caused by dirty heads or other camera/deck problems or (2) issues with a firewire drive that isn't fast enough. I think the first step would be connecting the drive to another computer (as you mention) to see if the same problems show up. Are you sure that your disk is properly MacOS formatted? Many firewire drives come pre-formatted for Windows. They will work on the Mac, but performance is severely impacted.

When I got my 15" aluminum powerbook last year I wanted to go beyond 512MB but nobody had memory chips larger than 256MB available since it was a new model. Hopefully this has changed in the meantime. More RAM is never a bad idea, but my guess would be that your problem is related to either the camera, deck or firewire disk.
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Old September 29th, 2004, 03:35 PM   #10
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Try capturing those 2 clips to your PowerBook hard drive to see if it is a FW Hard Drive issue or a tape issue. That could help narrow it down.
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Old September 30th, 2004, 04:20 PM   #11
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this is looking bad

so, i recaptured the video directly to a non-system internal drive on my G5. these lines of distortion still appear. id give a screenshot, but the distortion is only apparent during motion. i havent got any webspace or id upload a quicktime. if anyone wants to help out by viewing it or placing it online so posters can see what the hell im going through, thatd be great. i have AIM (simplesyrupguru) and Yahoo (tallozarka) for a live transfer.

now, before you all go nuts about head cleaning or factory repair, please note that this camera was received BACK from the NJ canon repair center not 2 weeks ago. I cleaned the head as a troubleshooting step before sending it to them and this is the first footage since.

i exported the clip as a quicktime and still it has these lines. what to do?
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Old September 30th, 2004, 04:58 PM   #12
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What did you send it in for? I've heard too many horror stories of cams coming back from repair worse than when they left, especially for lens problems (which you obviously don't have).
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Old September 30th, 2004, 05:01 PM   #13
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what are my other options?
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Old September 30th, 2004, 10:27 PM   #14
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Quick side question. Heath, can you capture by connecting the camera to the FW HD, and then the drive to the PB? I tried this and FCP HD won't control the camera. I think it knows a camera is connected because it doesn't ask when I start FCP, but then when I go to import, I can't use the VTR controls to operate the camera. And the FW400 HD mounts and all...
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Old September 30th, 2004, 10:55 PM   #15
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Have you recorded any other tapes and do they exhibit the same abnormalities? If so, it sounds like it needs a revisit to Canon. Be sure to send a tape stopped at a point that shows the problem. Be sure to reference the previous repair in all your paperwork.
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