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TOPIC: Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc

Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc 12 Oct 2018 11:35 #97359

I always used to import video, transcode to optimized and work with that. Then I began using 4K and had to transcode with proxy files, then optimize before rendering out.

Recently, I've been unchecking both transcode options, and just bringing the footage in to my system. It's quicker to import, it edits fine, and I can just click "optimize" when I render out.

My question is then... What's the point of transcoding the media at all?

Is this the reason why:

1) You transcode proxy when you want the files to be as small as possible for a weaker system.
2) You transcode optimized when you want to edit with the best possible looking footage?

Is there anything inherently wrong with not transcoding footage when you import it into FCPX?

Phil
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Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc 12 Oct 2018 12:39 #97362

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I use proxies for multicam, almost never optimize. Switch off background rendering, switch off auto optimize for multicam.
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Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc 12 Oct 2018 16:41 #97367

Tom Wolsky wrote:
I use proxies for multicam, almost never optimize. Switch off background rendering, switch off auto optimize for multicam.
Always amazes me... I think I can use FCPX with my eyes closed and then I realise I am still a novice!!

Thank you for this. Very interesting.

Cheeky one - Do you have any good multicam tutorials that you would recommend?

Phil
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Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc 12 Oct 2018 16:42 #97368

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To add to what Tom said, optimizing your footage has absolutely no effect on the quality of your final export. It's purpose is to improve playback performance only if needed.
Creating history....one edit at a time !
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Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc 12 Oct 2018 17:13 #97370

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phil@circuitfactory.ae wrote:
... I began using 4K and had to transcode with proxy files, then optimize before rendering out....Recently, I've been unchecking both transcode options, and just bringing the footage in to my system. It's quicker to import, it edits fine, and I can just click "optimize" when I render out...

As already stated, there's seldom a reason to create optimized media. With 4k (which often means H264), it is frequently necessary to create proxies for smooth editing performance -- even on a fairly high-end machine.

One of the few reasons for using optimized media is if you're editing mixed 720p or 1080p and 4k H264 material. That often forces you to use proxies for performance but that cuts the viewer resolution of 1080p to 960x540. For 720 that is only 640x360, which can lead to frequently toggling in/out of proxy mode to get enough resolution for full-screen editing on the sub-4k clips. Optimized media retains the original source material resolution for playback without switching in/out of proxy mode. For the final render it makes no difference -- whether proxy, optimized or camera-native, the same quality is produced.

On my 10-core Vega 64 iMac Pro, I usually create proxies for 4k H264 material. My top-spec 2017 iMac 27 has somewhat faster playback performance on 4k H264, likely due to Quick Sync vs AMD's VCE engine used in the iMP. The 2017 iMac is about 2x faster than the 2015 iMac on this codec, possibly due to improvements in the Intel's Kaby Lake version of Quick Sync. The 2017 iMac can edit a single stream of 4k H264 fairly smoothly without proxies, although they are generally needed for multicam.

Hopefully the next FCPX update for Mojave will improve the iMac Pro's H264 performance.
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Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc 12 Oct 2018 17:44 #97374

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Probably Ripple Training unless you want to buy a book.
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Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc 15 Oct 2018 13:49 #97392

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This is the one aspect of FCPX that is totally wrong, I have never understood the reason for it, and the settings make no sense at all, it is as if the DEV team had an idea about solving a problem, forgot what the problem was, and well seeing as well nothing bad happened, left this as we have it in 2018.

The proxy file generated is 1/4 of the original, so for 8K this is a 2K file, way too much for even a decent laptop to really find useful, so you have to convert down to something more like 1/16th of the original file, the Baez method as example, compress the FCPX generated proxy into a new compressor derived proxy with/without watermarks/timecode etc.

So if compressor has this ability to generate a compliant proxy file 1/16th the size of the original and it is effective, so where is this functionality in FCPX? Why the 1 size proxy file??

That is one option, and I am not sure optimised is anything, this has bugged me from day 1, the interface refers to optimised/original and proxy, not 3 separate versions, which logically it should be...1-original, 2-proxy, and 3-optimised, which 2 and 3 having a variety of options for compressing, etc.

I have sent so many feedbacks on this point, and had wars here over this, and I am not going to back down on this point, FCPX needs to grow up and become something other than a fisher price my first edit toy it is right now...

We are way past the lifetime for FCP classic, and yet we have 1 optimised file option and 1 proxy file option in the umpteenth version of X...

H264. H265, HEVC, Apple is slipping behind, which RAW is the correct RAW, this all plays into how we make money as editors, this is a very important topic, and I love X, I believe it to be the best out there, it just needs to stop running around in diapers and become mature...
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Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc 16 Oct 2018 06:12 #97399

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Good thing if you no longer have to transcode, but why take away the option? Or introduce TOO MANY alternatives?
If I needed 1/16 resolution to be able to handle 8k or whatever, it was clear I needed „a bigger boat“. And then there‘s still BETTER PERFORMANCE....
Last Edit: 16 Oct 2018 09:27 by Axel.
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Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc 16 Oct 2018 09:52 #97401

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I edit 4K H.264 on a 2013 15" rMBP, with very fast turnarounds for a TV station, no proxies, no optimized, works just fine.
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Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc 16 Oct 2018 12:03 #97403

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My experience with Final Cut Pro X is, the more different formats and resolution you have it is better to transcode ether Proxy or Optimized. Escepcillay for large feature projects.
Actually, I would suggest this in any NLE for better performance
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Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc 16 Oct 2018 13:01 #97405

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Axel wrote:
...
If I needed 1/16 resolution to be able to handle 8k or whatever, it was clear I needed „a bigger boat“...

That is the key point. 8k is currently an esoteric niche. Earlier this year, F-Stoppers calculated the least expensive 8k package using the cheapest available 8k camera (a RED), which was about $44,000. They spec'd a lower-end iMac Pro which was $5k. So if it takes $44k to just get into the 8k game, whether the computer is $5k or $3k or you can use your current laptop doesn't make much difference: fstoppers.com/originals/cheapest-package...its-not-cheap-210601

When we need so many other things in FCPX, it doesn't make sense to pull resources from those efforts to implement 1/16th proxies just so somebody can edit 8k on a six-year-old laptop. Generally anybody who has an 8k camera can afford a commensurate editing machine.

Small proxies also don't fix the whole problem. The major projects I've worked on usually have 30-40 "final" rendered versions which are evaluated. Those must be done at full res, else you risk some anomaly. So while I edit H264 4k in proxy early on, once we shift to the later phases of editing, all the candidate versions are 4k. That means the machine must be able to (fairly rapidly) crank out many full-res versions for evaluation and possible release. It would take a slow machine many hours to produce one 8k version, for even a small timeline with limited effects.

Proxy of 8k is 1/2 the linear resolution and 1/4 the pixel resolution -- encoded as ProRes 422. So FCPX proxies for UHD 8k (7680x4320) are 3840x2160 -- in ProRes 422. Almost any Mac can play and edit 4k ProRes 422. Anybody who doubts this, just take any 4k H264, import to FCPX and create optimized media -- that is identical to proxies for 8k. So FCPX's current proxy mode already effectively supports 8k on fairly modest machines -- for the early editing phase. Once you start exporting 8k release candidates with effects, that will be super slow on anything but a high end machine.

Of course some people will say "Apple is rich, just implement everything". Anyone who has worked professionally in large-scale software development and testing can corroborate you can't just throw people at a task.

There is a valid reason to improve FCPX proxy handling -- including but not limited to smaller resolution proxies. But it's not to enable 8k editing on a six-year-old laptop. Rather it's to facilitate geographically distributed cloud-based collaborative editing. Both Premiere and Resolve 15 have this right now. They push small compressed proxies up to the cloud, then multiple editors can (after a fashion) work collaboratively on the same project. I don't know how well that works, but from prior experience any type of distributed database (which that would be) is tricky to implement and test properly.

The simpler and coarser the locking system, the easier to implement and test, but the less benefit to the end user. E.g, in Resolve the 1st editor to touch a bin timeline locks the entire bin or timeline.

So I think there's a valid argument for a more flexible proxy system as part of a larger initiative for distributed collaborative workflow. Whether that is a development priority for FCPX, I don't know.
Last Edit: 16 Oct 2018 13:04 by joema.
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Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc 16 Oct 2018 14:16 #97406

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I know it is hard for some folks that use the United States currency to understand that there is a large land mass east of South America and west of fortress Australia... There is trust me, it is home to 4th level so called resellers of things Apple..and many other things, and by gosh are things expensive here...

That $50k package mentioned by f-stoppers, more like 6 times that locally, so when folks are using 5-8 year old laptops to edit in 8K, they have to, pure economics, I am sure Tim and the top 2000 salaries at the mothership could not find Africa on a map...

That is all beside the point, right now FCPX is a basic fisher price my first editor system, and I am not going to back off on that point, right now before the introduction of 360 and subtitles/closed captions, the optimise/proxy 1 option each should have been resolved maybe even before the introduction of 3D text...No Apple went completely down a different path, and for many this is a good thing.

If Compressor allows for compliant proxy files, then why not copy paste this into FCPX, it surely is not that hard...or maybe Apple simply lack the talent to do this, or the will to do so...I feel the later, which would be a shame really.

It makes no sense to leave it out, if you don't need a 1/16th compression of a file, stick to 1/2 or make it an option in preferences, set and forget sort of thing, no harm, after all we have 360 video and not sure when I will need it, nice that it is there, that sort of thing.

Again I ask and really cannot see the point to optimised media..what is that other than more data to manage? It almost seems to me that there is a new "arms" race in the video capture market, who is the first with the new big thing, 10K, super HEVC, rec 4400?? What is happening is the camera companies have shown the middle finger to the A companies [could call then asshat companies-all are for one or another reason...], but the A companies in this case, Avid,Adobe,Apple/Blackmagic-[asshat for making a non replaceable egpu].. The NLE companies cannot keep up, and are involved in their own race to the market...ProRES RAW v BMD RAW, bloody hell my head hurts...

When is this insanity going to end?

The question why transcode? My question transcode to what exactly???
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Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc 16 Oct 2018 17:16 #97409

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At my TV station, I edit 4K H.264 video daily on a 2013 rMBP 15" with no problems. Rare you should have to transcode to anything.
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Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc 16 Oct 2018 20:41 #97410

That $50k package mentioned by f-stoppers, more like 6 times that locally, so when folks are using 5-8 year old laptops to edit in 8K, they have to, pure economics, I am sure Tim and the top 2000 salaries at the mothership could not find Africa on a map...
I am sorry, but if you shoot 8K and your pipeline does not support it, then you are just wasting the production's budget. And if you can't afford a system to edit on, then surely you can't afford all the other peripherals that are needed (Drives, Cards, Monitors, GLASS ).It's like renting the Space Shuttle for your daily commute.
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Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc 16 Oct 2018 22:22 #97412

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Very well put, thank you!
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Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc 17 Oct 2018 07:45 #97415

phil@circuitfactory.ae wrote:
…My question is then... What's the point of transcoding the media at all?…

It allows a 'smoother' User Experience under some circumstances.
But there are millions of variations of those circumstances (2k - 8k, 24 Multicam, excessive use of effects, TB/Usb3, speed of ext. drives, solo/team, …) => test for yourself, what YOUR needs are.

… sorry, but calling FCPX a FisherPrice toy and then - fully academically - create a '8k on 6y old laptops' situation to proof the incompetence of Cupertino … <yawn> .....

If you need a bigger boat, get a bigger boat.
If you want a bigger boat, get a bigger piggy bank.-
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Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc 17 Oct 2018 19:50 #97423

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And the crowd erupts in deafening cheers as Kasten drops the mic!
Yes, thank you, again, very well put.
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Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc 18 Oct 2018 04:43 #97426

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Firstly I am not saying Apple Dev is incompetent, careless yes, uncaring yes, incompetent NO...Asshat Adobe is very much incompetent, Apple no...

Question....
If you are fishing for the same catch, why do you need a bigger boat? Is the motor ineffective, the fuel?
If you need a bigger boat, maybe you should invest in a bigger engine or better fuel rather than a bigger boat....

With a bigger boat you have issues with..does it fit my trailer, does it have to be left in a harbour, can I use this bigger boat on the river as I could with the smaller boat...You see a bigger boat has many issues, issues that might not arise if you could change the motor or fuel..for example could you use a di-electric system instead of diesel only? Do you need an internal engine or a evinrude/yamaha/honda external motor???

Apple dictate the size of the boat, the size of the engine, the type of fuel, the oil you use...and how is that right... When it would for everyone benefit to have a many level proxy file system and a many level optimised...

Let's talk about optimised...this means calibrated to my system, if you optimise something, you make it functional for your needs, take a car, you would soon not drive that car if you could not adjust the seat distance from the pedals, or you could not adjust the radio, the air con..that is all optimising the car for your needs, so if Apple means to optimise the data as in Optimiized/Original then that function should generate a file that works on every system, and every generated file would be different, it is not the case, it uses a template to generate what Apple thinks is a most effective file, which is not correct or effective.

As folks in the media we should not encourage dropping of mics, this does damage to the mic pick up, the diaphragm and could break the pre amp system...No dropping of mics please...
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Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc 18 Oct 2018 12:18 #97428

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so let me get this right, you have purchased a Macbook Pro that was designed for Minimum HD and Maximum 4K Workflow. And you are not satisfied cause 8K is not working for you?
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Why transcode media on import? Proxy / Optimized etc 18 Oct 2018 12:33 #97429

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No, nothing like that, let me explain my point again...

The original question was why use proxy/optimised...I merely pointed out that there is only 1 option for optimised and 1 option for proxy, when if you need something more than this, for a more effective proxy workflow on underpowered devices you could use the Baez method, generate via Compressor a compliant proxy workflow file.

My only issue in this regard is the lack of options in optimised and proxy, with proxy there should be a variety of compression available that generates compliant files for proxy workflow, ie copy the code from compressor and paste into FCPX...This way you can use older devices when you cannot easily replace them as they are just way too expensive here.

If there was scope in the budget, and if the contract demanded it, then yes I could and would buy something more suitable, but that is not the point.

Apple has refused to address this lack of options in countless updates, and you have to admit it would be useful for everyone from the Ripple Twins to Snottywood and Mumbiwood, to have 1 shop compression for 4k-8k and beyond.

I have seen 5 or 6 different workarounds for "editing on the road/portable editing..." This would be a thing of the past if Apple actually cared, and right now the inspector and the whole file/data management system is a bit fisher price my first editor...it is as if they reached a roadblock and gave up...

Why is optimised and original the same and a separate category for proxy? Why not 3? There are small issues that really could have been addressed a long time ago, and not left unfixed.

For the age of the app, and the lack of certain options, this speaks volumes, if you don't like what I write, don't read or don't comment....
Last Edit: 18 Oct 2018 13:04 by MsJustine.
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