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Old January 23rd, 2007, 03:20 AM   #1
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dropped frame message when printing to video

I am having a real problem with getting my now edited sequence to print to video. I have read several of the other posts here and followed the advise of other but I still cant get this worked out. Every time I go to print to video it will start to record and after a few seconds I get a window that pops up telling me that is was aborted. I occasionally get a similar message when I am playing back my sequence in the timeline and typically when I hit an area with either a filter, transition or title. I am on an IMAC G5 and have an external HD for my media files.

I changed my a/v settings to firewire basic which helped but now as I watch the screen on the Canon Elura (my deck) it will go from moments of video to blue screen while recording. This is the only way I can get FCP to transfer to tape but once I play it back the video is choppy, stuttery and seems there are dropped frames ever few seconds. I have been at this for 6 hours now and have given up at this point. Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

I have attached a grab of the message box also.


Thanks,
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dropped frame message when printing to video-droppedframemsg.jpg  
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 08:26 AM   #2
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Print to video is a really finicky thing in FCP. A firewire drive that works fine for capture may not allow you to print to video. Tell us some more about the external drive. Is it a relatively new 7200 RPM drive? Drives slower than 7200 are not likely to work well. Older drives sometimes have slow chipsets in them which are a problem. How was the drive formatted? I've found that you must format your drive as MacOS extended and turn journalling off. For me, this was the "magic bullet" that solved my print to video problems.

How full is the drive? Does it have a lot of small files on it? Ideally you want a drive with a fair amount a free space and relatively low file count to insure that it isn't fragmened. If possible, copy all your files to another drive, then reformat it with journalling disabled and copy the files back onto it. Also, close all uneeded projects and sequences before printing to video.

But you may still have problems. You might need to export your sequence to a Quicktime file, then create a new project and drop that file into a sequence. This might give you just enough more performance to make it work. OTOH, your computer and drive just might not be fast enough. Print to video is very particular, and lots of people seem to have problems with it.

BTW, you can uncheck that box in the error message and the video printing will continue even if frames are dropped. Depending on how bad the problem is and what your expectations are, this might still give acceptable results.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 11:07 AM   #3
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try mixing down your audio before you do the PTV.
select everything in the timeline (cmd-a) then choose Sequence > Render Only > Mixdown (cmd-opt-r)
now try again and see if its any better

cheers
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 11:32 AM   #4
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A way that I have dealt with this problem in the past is to make the movie self contained on the desk top, then open it up in FCP & copy to tape that way.
It is then running straight from your hard drive & it is only reading a single audio/video file instead of multiple stacked files in the project.
Hope this helps
Peace, Chris
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 01:08 PM   #5
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Boyd,

I had read your post on journaling and also thought it would be my salvation. I went ahead and turned journaling off and formated the drive. I was sure that would do it but it only helped a little. Its not the greatest hard drive as it is Western Digital I had to buy on the fly a while back. I am looking at replacing it soon though. I did also do my audio mix and render before I tried this. All these things seemed to help but not enough so far.

The hard drive size is 180 gigs and there is only 30 gigs being used. I guess it might be a combination of a lackluster hard drive and a computer that can't handle the load. Also I have never used the installation software that came with it because it wasn't multi platform compatible. I will just keep at it for the mean time. I am gonna try the quicktime file and see if I can get it to work. Thanks again for your help.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 01:32 PM   #6
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Printing to tape can be touch and go in FCP due to so many different factors of control or settings to make sure are correctly set. The following may not be a solution to your problem, nor seem practical, but it might help to narrow down where the problem lies since there are so many things that can go wrong with the FCP print to tape.

Try using iMovie. (I know, I know, iMovie doesn't compare to FCP nor use the same codec system, but with a regular dv tape print, I don't think it should make any difference)

Export your full movie as a Quicktime Movie. Create a new iMovie project and drop your exported Quicktime Movie into the timeline. Select 'share' from the drop down file menu and select the video camera option. iMovie should detect your connected Elura camera and walk you through the export to dv camera process.

A difference here is that iMovie is not necessarily sensitive to things like dropped frames, so it won't necessarily produce error messages if dropped frames are present. On the other hand, it is also less demanding on the system to export a fully rendered video clip rather than a project sequence that pulls data from multiple sources (ie :source video, rendered audio, and filtered or edited sequencing.) The iMovie process will see it as a simple straitforward process.

Some things to consider: Before your export, reboot your system do be sure your RAM caches are cleared. (Assuming you are running Tiger, do not activate your widgets before export - once activated, widgets run in the background and the reboot alleviates their system drain.) If you have multiple external firwire drives and devices hooked up to the same port, disable any that are not necessary for the print to tape process. The idea is to allow as much of your system, RAM, and data path to be dedicated to your print to tape process as possible.

Monitor the export on your Elura screen during the print to determine its smoothness. If is choppy, then discontinue and seek another source for your problem (ie: low RAM or inadequte processor speed), port conflicts on either the system the Elura, or system corruption and filepath errors in your OS. As DV is very demanding, it is imperitive to be sure your system is in top running order.

--------

If everything in the iMovie export process works properly and your are satisfied with the result, than that is a good thing. Your next step would be to find where in your FCP print to tape settings system there is a conflict that prevents a smooth export to tape directly from FCP.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.
-Jon
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 02:21 PM   #7
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Try deleting your "prefs" and restarting. This has worked for me countless times.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 03:48 PM   #8
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I hadn't thought of that one.....it just might do the trick....the preferences do have the rare tendency to become corrupted....however, if it has worked 'countless times' I would tend to think that they are corrupting too often and would speculate that something is amiss.
-Jon
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 03:59 PM   #9
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Sometimes just shutting down and restarting everything works without dumping your prefs. Also closing programs your not using and only have 1 timeline open works. But I've found that dumping the prefs and restarting your computer usually combats this problem.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 01:15 AM   #10
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Thanks alot guys. After trying just about everything on here I finally got a print out. I had to make a self contained movie and printed off of the timeline. It was real messy because I got it to work 10 minutes before the client got here. I didnt seem to loose any quality doing this but does anyone know if there are any disadvantages of using this method? Alteast till I can figure out how to do it with the straight forward print to video command. I usually always go to dvd or to the web so I had never really attemped to do this.


Thanks again everyone,
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Old January 24th, 2007, 09:14 AM   #11
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This is what all finished projects become, just 2 streams of info, one of image & one of audio. just like a piece of music can have 100 tracks, but the final is just one. On the tape there are just 2 tracks, you are just bypassing the step of your computer having to quickly put them together & mix it on the fly. so as long as your self contained movie is the same resolution there should be no difference.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 09:36 AM   #12
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Yes, if you use all the same settings as the original there is no quality loss... it's all digital. The only downside is that you will use twice as much disk space since the exported movie will be the same size as the original files on the disk.

I don't think you answered my question about the speed of your firewire drive though. See if you can find that out - if it's less than 7200 RPM I'll be that's the problem...
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Old January 24th, 2007, 10:32 AM   #13
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Boyd,

I had to dig for the manual but yes it is 7200 rpm. I would have sworn it was less with the way its been performing lately. Also what are some good, reasonable priced hard drives that work well for this application? Or something that has little problems working with a MAC. Would a raid setup be the best way to go to help optimize the IMAC?
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Old January 24th, 2007, 11:02 AM   #14
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Unless it's a relatively old model, I don't think you're going to do much better than a 7200 RPM drive. I have a whole bunch of them... 4 Maxtors, 4 LaCie, a Seagate and a couple no-names. Never had problems with any of them using my Dual G5, slow G4 Powerbook or slow single G4 Power Mac.

Don't know why you're having so many problems. But like we've all said, print to video is just very dicey. On my laptop I have a firewire PC card which gives me an independent firewire bus, but that isn't an option on the iMac unfortunatley.

What kind of iMac is it and how much memory?
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Old January 24th, 2007, 08:51 PM   #15
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Its an IMAC G5 first gen, 1.6 ghz g5 processor with 1.25 gb sdram. I've been wanting to update the ram on it atleast until I can afford a power mac. When I first installed FCP it ran fine. Unitl recently I had never had any issues with final cut pro. I rarely do heavy edits that require more than transitions, titles and basic cc.
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