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Old December 9th, 2008, 04:46 PM   #1
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When Rendering Holds You Back

I've been editing through my backlog and even with a dedicated render system and an edit system, I find that I often have to plan on rendering overnight while I nap (as opposed to sleep which implies periods longer than ~5hrs).

It seems like my pace of editing is faster than my render machine, and in addition to that being frustrating, I think my work quality is suffering because I add artificial "its good enough" time deadlines because I know I can't edit tomorrow unless I completely drop the project for 1/2 day while I wait for the render.

Has anyone else run into a similar situation? If so, what is your delay tolerance before you decided to change hardware or work flow? And what did you change?
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Old December 9th, 2008, 05:51 PM   #2
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I felt the same here. I always plan ahead when I need to render something.

I am using FCP2 with Mac Pro and it's still slow. If I need to render for playback within FCP, normally I will do the audio, design DVD cover and menu during that period. If I render using Compressor as output, first I will output a master file in FCP, than use that file to compress. This way I will have the FCP free for other project.

The other thing I did is I will have a macbook with me. I will use macbook for offline edit. For example, I finish project A offline edit on my macbook and move to Mac Pro for Color grading, effect, sound...etc. While Mac Pro is rendering project A, I will turn to my Macbook for Project B offline edit. This way you can speed up the process as well~~
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Old December 9th, 2008, 06:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jason Robinson View Post
Has anyone else run into a similar situation? If so, what is your delay tolerance before you decided to change hardware or work flow? And what did you change?
As the other commenter mentioned, it's helpful to have another machine handy. Whilst rendering on the edit box, I'll use the other system to compose graphics and animations, put together disk packaging, work with audio and other things. It's not worth the time it takes to move projects from one machine to another.

The only thing that will cause me to finish before I really believe it's ready is a deadline. I'll work up to the last minute on a project, allowing enough time for one render and the rest of the end game and only been burnt once. But I'll work late or early... whatever it takes to get it done right.

Yeah... I'm a perfectionist.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 06:56 PM   #4
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I'll work up to the last minute on a project, allowing enough time for one render and the rest of the end game and only been burnt once. But I'll work late or early... whatever it takes to get it done right.
Yeah... I'm a perfectionist.
This is the part I'm having problems with. It is becoming harder and harder for me to estimate render times. I am continually layering more post-production effects (CC, color grading, etc) and I think my expected render times are much shorter than I am achieving.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 10:18 PM   #5
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I'm having a hard time digesting 5 hour plus render times. How long are your products?

Perhaps a different workflow is in order. While I don't do all that many long form weddings I do shoot for a couple of guys that want that so it does take longer to render but the workflow is the same and it doesn't take that long to render out a 2 hour piece. Even when I do corporate stuff and have to put all of the footage on to DVD for the clients edit decisions (today-2 cameras at a focus group-4 hours total tape-PiP side by side with a TC over the PiP for edit list) it doesn't seem to take that long?
Maybe it my sense of time but 5 hours seem awfully long to me.

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Old December 10th, 2008, 02:36 AM   #6
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I render a project in small chunks while I'm still editing it. I'll edit for a bit then render while I have lunch or walk the dogs etc. Then I do a final render of all the different bits together which is very fast because all the filters are already rendered.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 03:25 AM   #7
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Rendering time got so tight for me during my last project that I was literally burning the disk in the car on the way to deliver to the client.

I find that like SiuChung said before, rendering out a master file from FCP first saves time. Not sure if it's just me, but rendering seems faster when using compressor independently from Final Cut. And if it doesn't, I'm still able to work on another piece of editing while the render goes.

Right now it takes over 3.5 hours to compress a 56-minute HDV wedding to DVD on my 2.16Ghz CoreDuo MacBookPro. Over 9 on the 2-pass setting in compressor.

Time for a "nap" as you call it.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 07:14 AM   #8
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Maybe it my sense of time but 5 hours seem awfully long to me.
I just rendered a one hour wedding out to BD in CS3. Lots of color grading. Some Dynamic Link clips from AE. PP said it was going to be busy for over four hours, so I went off for a good kip.

Depending upon how much is going on in the timeline and the hardware used, five hours doesn't seem out of bounds to me. BTW, I'm using a Quad Core 2.3GHz machine that's reasonably beefy.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 08:45 AM   #9
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Depending upon how much is going on in the timeline and the hardware used, five hours doesn't seem out of bounds to me. BTW, I'm using a Quad Core 2.3GHz machine that's reasonably beefy.

And that is a quad core! I'm rendering on a Core 2 Duo (1.8GHz) with 2GB ram using only a single disc for OS & data (with a second render files USB disc). I'm using Vegas, so no amount of rendering before hand will assist in later renders. When I render, I use the DVDA template (no tweaks) for a two pass render. The project time line was ~45 minutes long. 46 tracks. CC, levels, saturation, etc changes on every clip.

I must admit that the system I'm rendering on was not meant for heavy process loads like this (it is a Shuttle based system) so I suspect the northbridge / southbridge is not tuned for heavy hard drive access (but that is just a suspicion).
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Old December 10th, 2008, 08:48 AM   #10
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Perhaps a different workflow is in order. ...... Maybe it my sense of time but 5 hours seem awfully long to me.
Oh I agree that it seems too long. But given that if I were rendering on my P43Ghz system it would be even be longer, I'm thankful I have an alternative!

I am trying to figure out what I can change about my work flow. Work flow is hard to change because that is essentially the "habit" part of work, and changing that is like digging into my brain... a lot of work!
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Old December 10th, 2008, 10:16 AM   #11
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Hi Nate,

One of my systems is based on the same computer you have. Are you editing with HDV as the rendering codec? By setting both the Sequence Setting's Compressor and the rendering codec to ProRes I've found that renders, exports and encoding to MPEG2 for DVD's is much faster and there is never any conforming. It uses more space, but that is getting cheaper every day. If you have the space capturing directly to ProRes would save even more time. The compression of HDV is much more taxing on the processors than ProRes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Haustein View Post
Rendering time got so tight for me during my last project that I was literally burning the disk in the car on the way to deliver to the client.

I find that like SiuChung said before, rendering out a master file from FCP first saves time. Not sure if it's just me, but rendering seems faster when using compressor independently from Final Cut. And if it doesn't, I'm still able to work on another piece of editing while the render goes.

Right now it takes over 3.5 hours to compress a 56-minute HDV wedding to DVD on my 2.16Ghz CoreDuo MacBookPro. Over 9 on the 2-pass setting in compressor.

Time for a "nap" as you call it.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 05:50 PM   #12
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Joel,

Yes I do use the ProRes timeline setting, and it works very well. I usually render out to ProRes then dump that file into compressor, but overall it still takes a large amount of time. 2 hours plus to render out the ProRes copy, and then 3 hours to burn. Pretty close to just encoding from within FCP off the HDV timeline. Plus then I can go to bed right away, compared to rendering 2 hours, then having to drop the file into compressor. Perhaps I can make a script to do this automatically? Intriguing after this: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/non-linea...-complete.html

Do you think that capturing and editing completely with ProRes would speed up the process significantly? Enough to justify the 300GB+ space commitment? I 'spose hard drive space is cheap though...

Thanks,
Nate
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Old December 10th, 2008, 10:19 PM   #13
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WOW!

I use Premiere Pro and my computer is a Quad core and I have 8G of Ram ( which I LOVE!!!) and I can render an hour long video in about 25 minutes. I would hang myself if it took HOURS!!
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Old December 11th, 2008, 12:36 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Nate Haustein View Post
Joel,

Yes I do use the ProRes timeline setting, and it works very well. I usually render out to ProRes then dump that file into compressor, but overall it still takes a large amount of time. 2 hours plus to render out the ProRes copy, and then 3 hours to burn. Pretty close to just encoding from within FCP off the HDV timeline. Plus then I can go to bed right away, compared to rendering 2 hours, then having to drop the file into compressor. Perhaps I can make a script to do this automatically? Intriguing after this: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/non-linea...-complete.html
Your logic is perfect about being able to set it to output right out of FCP. To be honest I'm only four months into HD editing so comparing the time savings is something I can't really do. The adjustment to hd was no big deal except for the times involved in output. That scripting is fantastic. How about one that tells me to go to bed...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Haustein View Post
Do you think that capturing and editing completely with ProRes would speed up the process significantly? Enough to justify the 300GB+ space commitment? I 'spose hard drive space is cheap though...
I will let you know in a few days. I have a wedding that I have to turn into unedited DVD's tomorrow. I'll capture it with ProRes and see if I notice a difference. I don't think I will, because everything on my timelines needs some kind of rendering, and the render files are all ProRes, so I assume that Compressor accesses the render files rather than the source media when its chewing on a reference movie. If thats the case whether I captured in HDV or ProRes shouldn't matter.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 09:39 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Kelsey Emuss View Post
WOW!

I use Premiere Pro and my computer is a Quad core and I have 8G of Ram ( which I LOVE!!!) and I can render an hour long video in about 25 minutes. I would hang myself if it took HOURS!!

Is this conforming HDV, rendering an intermediate format or output for DVD? Do use filters or when you say 'rendering' are you conforming HDV with transitions only? When you output for DVD from your editing app can you still edit? For DVD's are you using CBR, VBR, two-pass, one pass? There must be some reason others are experiencing longer output times...
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