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TOPIC: FCPX lags editing image sequences (animatics)

FCPX lags editing image sequences (animatics) 17 Feb 2018 11:55 #94190

  • Nekrasov
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Hi everybody.

I used to edit animatics for cartoon shows in FCPX. Animatics are build of many stills — jpeg images. Usually there are 1000+ images in 12 minutes.

I have Mac Pro (Mid 2012)
2 x 3,46 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
96 ГБ 1333 MHz DDR3
Radeon RX 580 8gb

FCPX 10.4 high sierra 10.13.3

FCPX and all library assets are stored at Kingston SHPM2280P2/480G (1200mb/sec Read-write).

But i have micro freezes while editing FCPX timeline. Micro pause after copy/pasting clip, micro freeze after triming and so on. In general, rendering performance are cool, but live timeline editing is poor. Turning off BG render does not change anything. FCPX does not make proxies for still images, but they are already light weight.

Any thoughts?
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FCPX lags editing image sequences (animatics) 18 Feb 2018 17:15 #94207

  • JarrodMFay
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Hmmm. I haven't noticed any lag on my end with editing image sequences. Couple things to try.

Definitely delete preferences. Is it a 1080 timeline? Do you notice any slowdown with video clips editing too? Can you try using an external drive (TB or USB3) just to make sure your SSD isn't being weird. Obviously it's fast enough. If you haven't already, try creating a brand new Library and drop the images on a brand new project.

Good luck!
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FCPX lags editing image sequences (animatics) 18 Feb 2018 17:20 #94208

  • Andreas Kiel
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Though I don't see any reason for a performance problem I still (would) use QT Player 7 to create a reference movie.
This also will help to keep events "clean" and to create proxies.
"Reference" cause simple changes of single frames will be updated automatically.
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FCPX lags editing image sequences (animatics) 04 Dec 2018 23:16 #98069

  • PaulG
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I'm going to revive this thread because there have been no improvements.

I can confirm that FCPX has real problems with playback of stills sequences. I am on an iMac Pro 10 core with 64 gb of RAM and a Promise 6 drive RAID. As the OP described, I too experience dropped/held/lag frames consistently when cutting animation storyboards using JPEGs or PNGs (the common format for storyboard panels). It seems that the lags occur as the edit session progresses. So early in the session, the playback is fine. Later on, there are many times when I have to play a part of a sequence twice: once as a "pre-roll" to let FCPX stutter and fail and the 2nd time to see a smoother playback.

To everyone who suggests making QT movies instead of using stills: this is NOT a practical option for cutting storyboards. You need to reference the original stills and cut them frame by frame. I often start with all stills on a timeline (forgive me: Project) set to 8 frames each and then adjust certain chunks using Control-D (duration) to lengthen and shorten as needed. This is very fast and accurate. The individual frames need to be available to do frame fixes and other tweaks. Converting to video in advance is the wrong approach to cutting boards.

The problem is that FCPX's performance SUCKS with stills, no matter how large or small they are. It doesn't matter whether the frames are on a RAID or very fast internal SSD. There's some sort of performance hitch that makes it a terrible editing experience after a while. When you're cutting boards, the flow and timing is everything so any lags or stutters makes it a real drag to judge things.

I've even started investigating Premiere, which seems to be rock solid with stills playback of any size.

Does anyone have any more information from Apple about what might be causing the hiccups? I feel like Apple needs to work on stuff like this instead of wasting our time with things like Tiny Planet plug-ins and 3D type.
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FCPX lags editing image sequences (animatics) 05 Dec 2018 01:21 #98070

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1 - What are the dimensions of the sills you're using?
2 - What are the dimensions of the Project timeline you're editing in?

Just curious.
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FCPX lags editing image sequences (animatics) 05 Dec 2018 01:28 #98071

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I have a variety of timeline sizes. Some or all are custom due to the need to have an odd sized blanking area around the frames. Some board panels are essentially 4K or 6K and some are 1080p. Some timelines are full sized and some are scaled to 1080. Even if I edit still sized to 1920 x 1080 and in an HD timeline, I will still get performance lags.
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FCPX lags editing image sequences (animatics) 05 Dec 2018 09:37 #98072

  • Nekrasov
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I can confirm everything Paul has posted. Only solution now is to group parts of animatic in compound clips and work inside them, but it is not handy at all.
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FCPX lags editing image sequences (animatics) 05 Dec 2018 18:45 #98076

  • Redifer
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I experience this with regular unoptimized video. It will have plenty of lags and pauses when playing back h.264 content on the timeline, usually when I start playing (it'll catch up and usually do fine after the first 5 or 10 seconds). However I have my settings set to BEST QUALITY. Have to tried BEST PERFORMANCE? it'll make your eyeballs bleed during playback, but its worth a shot.
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FCPX lags editing image sequences (animatics) 05 Dec 2018 19:12 #98077

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Changing from Better Quality to Better Performance doesn’t make any difference except in how the footage looks at speed. But it begs the questions: what is considered “optimized” when dealing with stills?

For video, a mezzanine codec (ProRes etc.) vs. compressed codecs like H264 makes sense. Are JPEGs more work to decode than PNG, or TIFF or TGA? Does compression matter with still format? My theory is that Apple has not optimized playback of still sequences in terms of cache, look ahead etc. Video is completely different temporarily to stills and Apple may be thinking that the number of people trying to edit with image sequences is too small to worry about.

That may be why Apple doesn’t even support image sequences at all in FCPX but instead makes you jump through hoops to use them. Resolve, Premiere , Avid, Motion and AE all can use image sequences as single clips as opposed to individual frames that must be corralled in a compound clip in FCPX.
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