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TOPIC: BeachBall on long project Help !

BeachBall on long project Help ! 03 Jul 2017 09:27 #89186

  • Ponponpostprod
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Hi,
I'm editing in french TV a 52' documentary on FCPX.
MacPro (mi-2012) 2x2,66GHz - 32Go Ram - ATI HD 5770 1024 Mo
OSX El Captain

From last week we've reached 40' and most of time when i make some editing (sound level - copy/paste - trimming ) i've to wait some very long seconds before the "beachball"stop. Medias are managed on external folders which are on a media server (SMB - 10GB ethernet).
I've one event, with around 30 hours of clip from Canon 5D.
What can I try to work normally, as it was in the 2 first weeks ?

Thanks
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BeachBall on long project Help ! 03 Jul 2017 13:37 #89187

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This is a very old "trick", actually the only sensible workflow & absolutely fail-safe and fool-proof:

Every feature needs some kind of narrational structure, content-related. In a video, these are sequences of clips (f.k.a . scenes) that form a unit, like, for instance, intro. Some of those chunks, chapters may be ten minutes long, but usually they are shorter. You could copy and past your completed 40 minutes -(in-out-ranges or use the timeline index) to new projects. If you can split the thing up into four projects (probably more), you won't have any problems.

Before stitching them together again in the final cut, the master project, you should individually render all, and there still will be no beachballs.

ponponpostprod wrote:
...most of time when i make some editing (sound level - copy/paste - trimming )...


Also, shut down windows you don't need at the time. If you don't need the browser, close it. If you just work with audio right now, at least click smart collection audio only. Focus on the audio role you make changes to. It may be a minor speed improvement, but not having to generate waveforms for all audio lanes all the time affects CPU, GPU and RAM. And so forth. Many small things add up. Concentrate on the task at hand, this will really help.
Last Edit: 03 Jul 2017 14:04 by Axel.
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BeachBall on long project Help ! 03 Jul 2017 14:00 #89188

… for a start. I would do some 'housekeeping'
File/Delete Generated Event Files… Delete Render files.

Aside, what Axel told you, your project's complexity is growing, so do all sort of 'interim' files...–
Maybe FC gets a bit lost in all what's created in the last to weeks …
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BeachBall on long project Help ! 03 Jul 2017 14:11 #89189

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Spliting my 52' in sequences ok, it's a momentary trick. But i also need to work on the whole film. It's easier for me and for the director to know how many time we've editing, to go at every moment of the film, to test if one seq is better before or after an other (wich often append in documentary), etc.
I'm totally fan of FCPX and i win a lot of time with it, but it's difficult to say to the Avid formated technicians that it's the best NLE for me and seeing a ball turning nearly at every editing point.
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BeachBall on long project Help ! 03 Jul 2017 14:44 #89190

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It's not the first documentary i edit with FCPX but it's the first time i've this behaviour.
As I have an old MacPro on this production, I've nearly nothing rendered but not need to render a lot.
I just try something that seems to work : i remembered that fcp was slower on a seq. where they hadn't the same DSLR (5D 25p on all but a C100 canon 25i on another) I've decided to make Optimized Medias on the C100 clips and it seems that FCP is working fast as usual.
Wait and see...
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BeachBall on long project Help ! 03 Jul 2017 14:56 #89191

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Ponponpostprod wrote:
Spliting my 52' in sequences ok, it's a momentary trick. But i also need to work on the whole film. It's easier for me and for the director to know how many time we've editing, to go at every moment of the film, to test if one seq is better before or after an other (wich often append in documentary), etc.


That's entirely possible and even easier and more logical with nested sequences. It just looks like a complication and a improvised workaround to you in this particular situation, because you didn't think non-linearly from the start. You could have started with, say, ten empty projects, throw some talking heads or off-comments there, some eye-candy there, some animation-drafts there and then nest them all in the master sequence early on. You could have swapped them easily, see and feel what's missing (or irrelevant) and what parts need more emphasis. Particularly the latter is more difficult, close to impossible with a linear mile-long timeline. If a film is a chain, the scenes are it's links, and you'll only realize how weak or strong the whole thing is with this very basic principle. Even the analog editors had to think like that or they would never have been able to cut a comprehensible feature.


Ponponpostprod wrote:
I'm totally fan of FCPX and i win a lot of time with it, but it's difficult to say to the Avid formated technicians that it's the best NLE for me and seeing a ball turning nearly at every editing point.


Avid is not different in this respect.
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BeachBall on long project Help ! 03 Jul 2017 15:13 #89193

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I'm totally agree with you, i edit from 25 years and sometime i use a non linear process and sometimes a linear one. Some directors and editors need to have the first sequence to built the second one, question of rythm. But this is a theorical point of view which can vary from one project to another. The subjet here is that the NLE should not dictate how we operate. But as i said previously, making optimzed of the C100 medias of this project seems to have fixed the problem.
Last Edit: 03 Jul 2017 15:13 by Ponponpostprod.
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BeachBall on long project Help ! 03 Jul 2017 15:55 #89194

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Ponponpostprod wrote:
The subjet here is that the NLE should not dictate how we operate.

You're right. It's just that I never met someone who stated he could make his timelines as long as he wished and could also prove it in the end. You may have relatively long linear timelines with a lot of RAM and fastest in/out, these things seem to be the main bottlenecks.

Don't know much about Avid, you think people are honest about these things? Sooner or later people give. There is a handicap, always, no matter how powerful your workstation is or how smart your software.

BTW: FCP X version history says that 10.3.2 "improved responsiveness on very long projects" - what version do you use?

EDIT: Just googled for "AVID long timeline". One of the first hits was AVID Community and this advice:
On extremely complex and long timelines, map "Play Length Toggle" from the play tab of the command palette. This will restrict the amount of the timeline that gets loaded into RAM memory to one minute before and after the current location of the blue position bar, which will load faster. Don't forget to disable Play Length Toggle when you're done with it.


In the same thread, others brag about "four hours of multicam". With what? Scratching with the "blue position bar"? Or, like Ice Age's Scrat, cowering in fear and not daring to breathe?
Last Edit: 03 Jul 2017 17:32 by Axel.
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BeachBall on long project Help ! 03 Jul 2017 23:28 #89197

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Ponponpostprod wrote:
I've one event, with around 30 hours of clip from Canon 5D...it's difficult to say to the Avid formated technicians that it's the best NLE for me and seeing a ball turning nearly at every editing point.

You have an event with 30 hr of H264 1080p material and are editing camera-native H264 material on a 40 minute timeline. Aside from effects, that can usually be easily be handled by FCPX on most newer machines. However your old Xeon-based Mac Pro does not have Quick Sync so this could be a problem.

Are you saying Avid can smoothly edit large quantities of camera-native H264 material on a five-year old machine? That is what you're trying to do with FCPX. My limited knowledge of Avid indicates most users would transcode this to DNxHD.

I'd be interested if anyone has ever edited many terabytes of native H264 using Avid without transcoding, and if so on what hardware.

On my 2015 iMac I've used a single event containing 7,000 clips (160 hours) of mixed 1080p and 4k H264 material, totaling 5 terabytes. The 1080p content can be edited smoothly using camera-native H264. However the 4k material requires transcoding to proxy for smooth performance.

I'm currently working on a documentary that's projected to have about 20 terabytes (about 200 hours) of H264 4k material in a single library. This will require using proxies for most content but thus far performance seems OK on a 2015 iMac.
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BeachBall on long project Help ! 04 Jul 2017 09:18 #89200

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Good morning everybody,
I'm working on a 10.3.4, and the editing today is really responsive. The operation of transcoding the interlace media of the C100 Canon was the good solution.
Joema, I don't say that it will be possible with avid and i know how many time it takes to import and transcode H264 media in DNxHD because AMA link don't work in avid like it is in FCP.
I've five weeks to edit and i demonstrate everytime that i win a week with our favorite tool !
I just said that it's really difficult in France national TV to make change spirit. It's for me a sort of permanent lobying to demonstrate how powerfull is this NLE .I think I'm one of the few to be able to use FCPX inside France Televisions because they totally trust me. But each problem can be an opportunity for them to say that FCPX is not yet ready to use even if they know that i've win one week compared to the same work done on avid.
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BeachBall on long project Help ! 04 Jul 2017 14:32 #89203

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All NLE's, all software applications of this magnitude have issues. FCPX doesn't have any more issues than anything else. But yes, some folks want to twist things around.

FYI, we've edited 12+ terabytes of H.264 from GoPros and DJI drones, plus C300 clips for a reality TV show, and it all ran just fine on a 2013 Mac Pro (max config) and a 16 TB T'bolt RAID.
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BeachBall on long project Help ! 04 Jul 2017 15:05 #89205

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FCPX.guru wrote:
All NLE's, all software applications of this magnitude have issues. FCPX doesn't have any more issues than anything else. But yes, some folks want to twist things around....

To underscore this, Walter Murch is often seen as a brave, daring editor for taking the great risk of editing the first big budget Hollywood film (Cold Mountain) on Final Cut Pro. Relative to Avid, it was viewed as an unreliable consumer toy.

However a detailed book was written about this effort, "Behind the Seen" by Charles Koppelman: a.co/iD4V7xr

In this book Murch and his assistant editor said that Avid had been so unreliable they didn't see FCP as that great a risk. They said Avid crashed frequently, and major data corruption was not unknown. Due to the proprietary nature only an Avid-certified technician could work on it, yet their response time was poor.

Due to the high cost of an Avid workstation, they could only afford two on The English Patient, and sometimes both Avids were in a crashed state for extended periods, bringing the entire post production to a halt for days, not hours.

Murch figured no matter how bad FCP was it couldn't be any worse than Avid, plus they could afford 4-5 FCP workstations which improved redundancy and editing throughput. He also guessed he could more easily find Mac-savy computer technicians who could fix those problems if they happened. He was right and they had fewer problems than they expected, despite that early state of the product (FCP 3). So the real life situation seen by those doing the work is often different from the perception of uninformed commentators.

Compared to FCP 3, FCPX 10.3.x is like science fiction it's so advanced and reliable.
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BeachBall on long project Help ! 05 Jul 2017 05:53 #89218

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joema wrote:
Due to the high cost of an Avid workstation, they could only afford two on The English Patient, and sometimes both Avids were in a crashed state for extended periods, bringing the entire post production to a halt for days, not hours.

I have seen The English Patient around 20 times, completely, without sound. Had been a projectionist then, the film was one of he first polyester copies. Problem was electrostatic charging, the layers sticked together and caused film jam. Until they came up with antistatic brushes, one projectionist always had to sit by and occasionally help the film unwind. I really loved this film, the imagery, the pacing, the editing. Never saw it with sound, perhaps I would be disappointed.

Afaik Murch never used FCP X but rather Premiere lately. His comments about AVID (compared to the Moviola) let me assume he wouldn't use the skimmer. But apart from that his writings on editing are brilliant. He is not an 'old hand', knowing one system and then looking down on the rest. My comment above about how analog editors had to think nonlinearly to structure their composure is also treated in Murchs In The Blink Of An Eye. Interesting theory: once one has taken in all relevant information of his latest object of interest, he blinks (=cuts, editors should think about this). One also blinks if he has understood something another person tells him (actors and editors should know this).
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BeachBall on long project Help ! 05 Jul 2017 05:58 #89219

Axel wrote:
joema wrote:
… Never saw it with sound, perhaps I would be disappointed.…

listen to its OST without the pics - awesome, highly recommended ;)
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BeachBall on long project Help ! 05 Jul 2017 08:29 #89224

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Salut Benoît,

Could you send me an e-mail so we can have a private chat? Thank you!

ronnycourtens(at)mac(dot)com


- Ronny
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BeachBall on long project Help ! 05 Jul 2017 10:40 #89228

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Karsten Schlüter wrote:
Axel wrote:
… Never saw it with sound, perhaps I would be disappointed.…

listen to its OST without the pics - awesome, highly recommended ;)


Thanks, but I prefer not to do this in this special case. I know a couple of films without sound (because the cheap little control monitors in the projection rooms were just enough to check that there was sound). Some films are actually much stronger with images alone, particularly without music, no matter how great the music is by itself. Saw Kaurismäkis Le Havre recently on TV, and the batteries of the remote failed just when I wanted o unmute the film. Watched it anyway and was again very excited how well I could follow and was captured by the film. Two days later I began watching it again with sound, but didn't like it anymore.
Last Edit: 05 Jul 2017 16:40 by Karsten Schlüter.
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