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TOPIC: Footage flickering from SD card import 10.4 issue?

Footage flickering from SD card import 10.4 issue? 01 Feb 2018 00:59 #93821

  • nessa
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Hi there,

Just updated FCPX to 10.4 running High Sierra 10.13.3
Filmed on Panasonic GH3 and imported AVCHD
Filmed in 24p, framerate on the timeline is 23.98p

Have edited many projects with the current computer with zero flicker issues but since updating to 10.4 on import there is a strong flicker to the footage even before it's been pulled into the timeline. It's most noticeable on the lightest orange colours

Footage is fine on camera and normal playback on imovie on another laptop.

Tried exporting file but flicker 'baked in' to the footage.
Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?
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Footage flickering from SD card import 10.4 issue? 01 Feb 2018 22:57 #93846

  • nessa
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As an update to the flickering, found it's only happening when importing AVCHD to 10.4 (10.3 worked fine with current settings)
Transcoding to ProRes first (via KYNO )and the flicker has disappeared!
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Footage flickering from SD card import 10.4 issue? 27 Feb 2018 19:01 #94386

  • ampuma
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We've run into the same issue - import from finder rather than straight SD card though.

Upgrading to 10.4 our Sony A7sII footage flashes in the skin tones/oranges. Even transcoding as optimized in FCPX doesn't solve it. We'll look into solving it by transcoding before import, thanks for the quick and hopefully temporary fix!
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Footage flickering from SD card import 10.4 issue? 04 May 2018 10:10 #95393

Hi Guys,

I've got the same problem, I just finished a large multicam project, but I see this is also in the master file export. I even removed all the optimized / transcoded media to export. But the flickering is still in the export. How can I save my project and export it normally without starting all over?

Thanks for helping me.

cheers, Angelo
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Footage flickering from SD card import 10.4 issue? 05 May 2018 10:21 #95396

  • joema
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ampuma wrote:
We've run into the same issue - import from finder...Upgrading to 10.4 our Sony A7sII footage flashes in the skin tones/oranges. Even transcoding as optimized in FCPX doesn't solve it...!

I have seen this with 4k XAVC-S H264 material from the A7RII. If it's the same problem it's not unique to AVCHD or importing data from an SD card. Here are my observations:

- In my case it only happens on the iMac Pro, not the 2017 iMac. If moving a hard drive with project and media from one machine to another and if deleting all render & proxy files, it consistently happens on the iMac Pro not the 2017 iMac.

- It's very unpredictable and inconsistent. It seems more common when using a connected clip over a multicam clip. When repeatedly playing the same material, it comes and goes -- the flickering on bright regions happens at different points and with different frequencies.

- The random and unpredictable nature may lead you to believe various things cause it such as loading from an SD card. In my case I've never loaded footage from an SD card, only a hard drive.

- It happens on a brand new 10-core Vega 64 iMac Pro which was reformatted and FCPX 10.4.1 freshly installed, and with no 3rd party plugins, effects or extensions. It also happens on 10.4.2.

- It's not just a display problem but is encoded into the output file -- whether that output file is H264 or ProRes

- In my case it does not seem to happen if source material is transcoded to optimized media, but I haven't tested that as much. The flickering can apparently be encoded into render files or proxy files, so it will happen if a project is moved from an iMac Pro to an iMac and the render and proxy files are not deleted.

- It is more apparent if using a color mask on bright regions to tone them down, but it also happens with no corrections or effects.

- It is more common if the footage contains bright orange or yellow areas such as high-viz apparel worn by construction workers.

- This is a gravely serious problem -- probably the most serious FCPX problem I've ever seen. It is not just brightness fluctuations during playback, it is graphical data corruption. If an iMac Pro was used as a transcoding machine for downstream users, it could be subtly injecting graphical corruption into the output. Due to the elusive, random and often infrequent behavior, this might not be discovered until a huge repository of material was already delivered.

If it's not isolated to the iMac Pro, it's even more serious. I'd be very interested if others experiencing this are only using the iMac Pro. If not, what are the exact machine and codec characteristics?
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Footage flickering from SD card import 10.4 issue? 06 May 2018 08:09 #95403

Yes, this is indeed a very serious problem.
We have 2 normal 27 inch iMacs, mine has the latest version of FCP prox and it has this problem. The iMac still has an older version 10.3 (of something like that) and it hasn't this problem.
It's only with footage from our Sony NX5. Other camera's (also sony cams like AX33 doesn't have this problem. However: importing from a sony AX33 crashes FCP, so I have to import in 10.3 and copy it over network to my computer).

A solution to save my current project is to Reveal the original footage of the problem camera angle. Drag this footage to compressor. Convert it to Prores 422 and replace the result in the multicam clip. So far so good. I need to check it this really works.

Another problem is that Compressor crashes frequently when I submit the batch to convert to Prores. After 5 to 7 resubmits it does the job.
So all in all, I'm not happy with the state of the current versions of Compressor and FCPx, I really cannot depend on this when I have to do a lot of videoprojects. I'm wondering if this will be fixed, because otherwise I'll have to change to another system / software.
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Footage flickering from SD card import 10.4 issue? 07 May 2018 18:26 #95422

  • joema
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angelo.houben wrote:
...We have 2 normal 27 inch iMacs, mine has the latest version of FCP..and it has this problem...It's only with footage from our Sony NX5....A solution... is to Reveal the original footage of the problem camera angle. Drag this footage to compressor. Convert it to Prores 422 and replace the result in the multicam clip....

I'm still investigating this. I've seen this happen in FCPX 10.4.x using 4k H264 footage from various Sony Alpha-series cameras including the A6300, A6500 and A7RII. Those all use the same 100 mbps 8-bit 4:2:0 XAVC-S codec, as does the A7SII and A7RIII.

It's unlikely to be a problem with all those cameras -- it's probably something in FCPX or the layers below that.

In my case I've only seen it on the iMac Pro (two different machines), not a regular iMac. I don't know why.

If it's *not* isolated to the iMac Pro, that's even more serious. Several on this thread were using AVCHD.

Is anyone else NOT using AVCHD and seeing this problem (brightness flickering on light-colored objects)?
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Footage flickering from SD card import 10.4 issue? 07 May 2018 19:04 #95423

  • joema
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It's possible this problem is the same one described in this thread: www.fcp.co/forum/4-final-cut-pro-x-fcpx/...-red-and-green-areas

If so the solution is to select the clips (either in the timeline or Event Browser), in Inspector pick "Settings" at the bottom and then use Color Space Override to manually select Rec 709, even if your library color space is already Rec 709. If multicam you have to pick the parent clips, not the multicam clip itself.

The problem is very intermittent and inconsistent. It may involve some kind of timing, caching or race condition. Because of the ever- varying behavior, it may appear to only happen with certain codecs, only with multicam or only on certain machines.

The easiest solution is try the above steps and see if that resolves it. It's probably a good idea to delete all generated library files before testing this -- that includes optimized, proxy and render files. Otherwise the brightness fluctuations might get "baked in" those files and still appear to happen, even after the problem is fixed.
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Footage flickering from SD card import 10.4 issue? 15 May 2018 13:01 #95496

Hi, I still can't figure out how to quick fix this.

I click the videofile that has this problem (either in the multicam clip or in the library), then I go to the inspector and click the i(info) inspector icon, next to the video inspector and audio inspector and I see this:

task4.biz/images/fcp-inspector.png

I can't figure out how to change it. Where do I need to click?
I found that I can change the color space in the PROJECT inspector, but that doesn't change anything. Even if I change the REC790 to 2020 it reverts back tot REC790 (on project level, so not on file level).

Hope anyone can help. I don't want to transcode every single file to prores 422.

Thanks!
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Footage flickering from SD card import 10.4 issue? 16 May 2018 11:05 #95505

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As stated above, at the bottom of the Inspector pane, click "Settings". You must change from "Basic" to "Settings" to expose the option for color space override.
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Footage flickering from SD card import 10.4 issue? 16 May 2018 15:04 #95510

Thanks, I found it now. Wow, problem solved. I'm glad!
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Footage flickering from SD card import 10.4 issue? 16 May 2018 19:19 #95513

  • bossy22
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The same here.
I basically can't import my GH3 Footage anymore. Import freezes, FCPX crashes. Upon reopening, the files are imported, but FCPX hangs when I click on a clip.

Its the biggest Bug I've experienced with FCPX, which was the most reliable Video Editor on my machine.

Will roll back to 10.3.4 for now..
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Footage flickering from SD card import 10.4 issue? 25 May 2018 01:06 #95643

Please Let apple know about these problems. I called Apple and they need more people to call in so they can fix the problem. They were very nice and took my computer info and screen shots of my problems.
They need you to call in!!!
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Footage flickering from SD card import 10.4 issue? 25 May 2018 04:33 #95646

  • joema
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grant.magnus fu wrote:
Please Let apple know about these problems. I called Apple and they need more people to call in so they can fix the problem. They were very nice and took my computer info and screen shots of my problems.
They need you to call in!!!

I spent weeks isolating this problem for them. I had several emails with Customer Relations describing it. I had long discussions with both macOS and Pro Apps escalation support and described it to both engineers.

I sent Pro Apps escalation support a video file illustrating it. On the phone, I discussed the bug as he played back the file and confirmed he could see it. I told him I have a 16GB library I can upload them which reliably replicates the problem on an iMac Pro. He said that was too big. I told them at his request I could try to shrink the repro further but it took weeks of work to get it this small and stay consistent. He said they'd call me if that was necessary.

I offered to FedEx them a thumb drive with the library. He said that's not necessary, and previous Apple escalation support engineers have told me they aren't equipped to receive physical materials from customers. I personally don't understand that -- when I worked in escalation support for SQL Server, I'd have customers ship me hard drive or entire machines if necessary to solve a problem.

I also offered Pro Apps my machine for remote debugging 24x7.

At this point I'm not sure what else they need to fix this bug. Who were you talking to? Was it Pro Apps escalation support?
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