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Old March 17th, 2006, 01:32 AM   #1
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Problems with FCP5/HDV

Hello! Recently we shot a little music video with the Sony FX1 and we're in the post phase with it. This isn't a client job or anything, just a fun little practice vid, so no super pressure to get it done, but I have a few questions. I'm having a bit of trouble with the system and I thought I'd come up here for hints, and possibly advice.

First off, when I'm digitizing I'm getting all kinds of dropped frames... I've got the settings turned off for abort capture on dropped and make new clip on tc break, but I end up with about 5-10 subclips for each logged clip in my bin regardless. The clips are between 5 and 10 minutes in length. Could this be due to the drive I'm capturing to (a non-indexed usb2.0 7200 rpm seagate)?

So, just for fun I let it roll the footage in to fcp regardless of all the little subclips just to play around with the footage. First off, I'm getting a sort of weird motion pixelizing as I'm playing back the clips. Some of the clips pop up indicating that they need to be rendered before I do any edits, even. I've got my session configured with the "easy hdv" setup option, but something seems to be off. Any advice here would be welcomed.

Another issue I'm having is with the workflow... I know every time I take a razor to a clip I'm going to have to essentially re-render it. This is, from what I understand, due to the long GOP structure which allows for the smaller file size... I'm operating under the assumption that using the Apple Intermediate Codec when digitizing will make my workflow a little easier (more like DV workflow? please?) - if that isn't the case, is there any other way to get things to run a little more smoothly? I really want my timeline to flow like my old DV timelines did......

Thanks so much guys and gals, and sorry if these questions are ignorant... I looked around on the forum, and a bit through the manual for fcp and was unable to find specific answers. I'm a serious newbie to HDV, so I feel like I'm relearning video production from the beginning here.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 06:32 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared Silvia
Could this be due to the drive I'm capturing to (a non-indexed usb2.0 7200 rpm seagate)?
I bet. USB isn't as stable as Firewire for sustained throughput, and even worse , if you connect it to a non USB 2.0 hub it will work at USB 1.0 speeds (11 mpbs, not fast enough for HDV). I think your internal disk will be faster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared Silvia
Another issue I'm having is with the workflow...
There's a good explanation in the Help section under HD and Broadcast formats. Anyway, you don't have to render native HDV clips just because you cut them.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 07:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared Silvia
Could this be due to the drive I'm capturing to (a non-indexed usb2.0 7200 rpm seagate)?
I have never used a USB drive with FCP, but have read numerous times that it's a bad idea. Even though the throughput is theoretically higher I don't think that matches reality when it comes to sustained data transfers. For one thing, you're sharing the same bus as your mouse, keyboard and possibly other perhipherals. Try capturing regular DV to the same drive and see if you have problems with that.

Another thing - make sure that your capture drive is formatted with disk journaling turned off because that also slows performance. And if the disk is fragmented with lots of small files that can further slow things down. You might re-format the drive without journaling to clear out any fragmentation and see if that helps. Otherwise, try a firewire drive (again, without journaling) or a second internal drive if you computer has a slot for one.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 08:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben De Rydt
There's a good explanation in the Help section under HD and Broadcast formats. Anyway, you don't have to render native HDV clips just because you cut them.
Thanks for your advice. I must've done something wrong when I digitized my footage, then, because each time I make any edits on the timeline, the clip shows up as "unrendered". I'm going to try to recapture it tonight. Thanks for pointing me to the help menu item I needed... I re-read it, and it made a bit more sense this time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Another thing - make sure that your capture drive is formatted with disk journaling turned off because that also slows performance. And if the disk is fragmented with lots of small files that can further slow things down. You might re-format the drive without journaling to clear out any fragmentation and see if that helps. Otherwise, try a firewire drive (again, without journaling) or a second internal drive if you computer has a slot for one.
I'll try transferring everything over to my firewire drive, but I think the problem is that, apparently you can't turn off the option for "make new clip" on scene/timecode break (basically wherever the cam was stopped) - the manual says it has to do with avoiding capturing over breaks in the GOP structure. Seems to make sense, I just don't know how much I like trusting the program to split out new clips for me every time (like, sort of makes the batch list items that cross a boundary obsolete, huh?)
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Old March 17th, 2006, 08:58 AM   #5
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That's indeed the big problem with HDV and FCP (don't know if other NLE systems have the same 'problem'); The breaks on camera stops. But as you already found out, it's a limitation of the format.

About the render thing, it seems that your clip-capture settings and the timeline settings are not the same. If you recorded your footage in 60i, your easy setup has to be 'HDV 1080 60i'.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 09:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared Silvia
Thanks for your advice. I must've done something wrong when I digitized my footage, then, because each time I make any edits on the timeline, the clip shows up as "unrendered".
Try closing all open projects in FCP. Then go to the easy setup command under the FCP menu. Choose the 1080i60 (or 1080i50 for PAL). You may need to check the "show all" box to see these settings. Now create a new project; this will insure that all your clip/capture/sequence settings match. Try capturing some video in this new project and everything should be fine.

There's probably a settings mis-match in your old project, but these can be hard to troubleshoot sometimes so it's easiest to start a new project as a test to make sure everything is OK. If the new project is OK, then carefully compare all the settings with the old project. Also note that changing the easy setup will only affect new clips/sequences and will not change any existing ones, which is another reason it's best to start with a new project.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 11:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
There's probably a settings mis-match in your old project, but these can be hard to troubleshoot sometimes so it's easiest to start a new project as a test to make sure everything is OK. If the new project is OK, then carefully compare all the settings with the old project. Also note that changing the easy setup will only affect new clips/sequences and will not change any existing ones, which is another reason it's best to start with a new project.
Yeah, I think I set it up by hand to get familiar with the settings... I'm sure I did something wacky like used the wrong pixel aspect or something. I'm going to try to redig tonight. No biggie. It's a learning experience!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent Rozenberg
That's indeed the big problem with HDV and FCP (don't know if other NLE systems have the same 'problem'); The breaks on camera stops. But as you already found out, it's a limitation of the format.

About the render thing, it seems that your clip-capture settings and the timeline settings are not the same. If you recorded your footage in 60i, your easy setup has to be 'HDV 1080 60i'.
It's good that we found out about the tc/scene clip cuts with something that wasn't a big deal... it's definitely going to change the way we shoot (ie - more pre-roll and post-roll on every shot) and create our batches in fcp.

Like I said, I'm sure I jacked up something on the initial setup... we're going to redig tonight. If it's still misbehaving I'll stop back in later with more details.

Thanks again everyone! This is super helpful advice!
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Old March 17th, 2006, 12:21 PM   #8
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no usb with fcp was the accepted norm however check this out using usb with avid

http://www.studiodaily.com/studiomon...dies/6146.html

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Old March 23rd, 2006, 08:27 PM   #9
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UPDATE:

Hey, so I went back into the footage - this time on a different computer (G4 Powerbook 1.5GHz/512MB RAM) with a fresh install of FCP5 - I did the easy HDV Setup, I rebatched the entire project keeping a pretty tight eye on scene cuts so as to avoid capturing over GOP breaks (40 shots, total, I think). Then I digitized it all into the internal drive of the laptop. It was squeaky clean, no problems. The footage works perfectly.

Buuuuuut, then, when I pulled the footage over to the original computer I attemped this all on (My own laptop, a G4 iBook 1.2 Ghz/1.25GB RAM), the footage was giving me the same issues when imported into an Easy Setup HDV project... so then I brought the same project over to that computer, relinked all the media, and, again, same problems. What problems? Video comes down to the timeline with the dreaded "Uh oh, you gotta render your workspace, buddy" red line over it, or, if it doesn't immediately, it does as soon as a take the blade to the footage, and start assembling.

At this point I'm going to reinstall my fcp on the iBook and not perform any updates, at least not until this project is over. My question, cleverly hidden in this update is, could this problem be directly related to my computer?

I wouldn't think that it would be a problem, but there could be some detail I missed that said that iBook G4s are absolutely NOT allowed on the HDV scene. Hehe.

Let me know if any of you have any ideas. At this point the project will be workable, I just really want to know what the hell is up with this stuff. Thanks!
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 08:35 PM   #10
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That's pretty strange. I'd agree that reinstalling would be the first step. Are the FCP, Quicktime and operating system versions the same on both machines? Of course, your iBook is right on the edge of FCP's HDV spec, so maybe that has something to do with it (requires 1 ghz G4 minimum).
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Old March 24th, 2006, 09:05 AM   #11
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FCP, OS and Qt are completely different on both machines, actually... I'm sure that's the problem (thus why I'm reinstalling fcp)... it's a bit frustrating that it could be the issue since, aside from basic operational updates, I wouldn't think they'd be changing the program so drastically that maybe 2 updates later the systems are completely unable to work on the same footage.

Now this begs the question - if I update the systems so that they are identical, redigitize the footage on the powerbook, and then bring it over to the ibook... hehe, maybe then it will work.
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