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TOPIC: FCPX freezes macbook (restart required)

FCPX freezes macbook (restart required) 10 Oct 2018 09:49 #97343

  • drewchilli
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Hello guys!

I'm experiencing some major problem with Final Cut (10.4.3) on High Sierra OS. It happens when I play the project and literally doing something else during play like zooming or just navigating through the interface. The project continues to sound but the whole system freezes, even app switching doesn't work. Sometimes mouse pointer moves, sometimes not. So the only thing I can do is press the power button to restart. I thought its because of the external HDD, but it also happens with project on SSD. I have previous model of macbook pro top spec. Any ideas how to find out what's going on guys?

Thank you!
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FCPX freezes macbook (restart required) 10 Oct 2018 11:15 #97344

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Why are you trying to do other things during playback? Stop playback first.

What is your media? 1080, 4K? Frame size and rate?
Codec?
Are you optimizing or using proxy media?
How long and complex is this timeline?
How big is the Library?

Laptops are not the most powerful computers in the world.
Last Edit: 10 Oct 2018 11:16 by FCPX.guru.
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FCPX freezes macbook (restart required) 10 Oct 2018 11:51 #97345

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Hello! Well, ok, it freezes the computer even if I'm not touching anything. Was just now. Symptoms: I need to check, but seems like system is overloaded with some very heavy process, but I disabled background render, even while play stopped. Need to check memory usage... And I suspect it might be Neat video denoiser...
Answering your questions:
1080/30fps. Codec from cameras - sony XAVC. No proxy or optimized media. Timeline is 25 minutes. No nothing but some music, multicam (2 cameras) clip and couple of titles. No transitions. Library size is 165 Gb.

Any guesses?
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FCPX freezes macbook (restart required) 10 Oct 2018 14:10 #97346

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XAVC multicam could cause some bottlenecks, but shouldn't cause crash.

First, do all of your drives have at least 15% of their total capacity, individually, left over as free space?

1- Now that background rendering is turned off, please, please, please NEVER turn it back on.
2- AND select the Library in the browser, go to File, to Delete Generated Library Files, and delete ALL render files.
3- Quite FCPX, then hold both Command and Option keys together while launching it again, then delete preference files when prompted.
4- I'd also run Disk Utilities "First Aid" on all my drives, just to be safe.

If none of this helps, I'd download the free app "FCS Remover" from Digital Rebellion (dot com) and use it to totally wipe FCPX from the system (it won't touch Libraries or content or plugins). Reboot, launch the App Store, go to Purchased, then re-install FCPX.
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FCPX freezes macbook (restart required) 10 Oct 2018 14:12 #97347

  • JarrodMFay
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I think you may be right about Neat Denoise. It's a super system intensive effect. Try turning it off and see if you still have problems. If you still do then start simplifying one element at a time to troubleshoot. Do you have any way of testing the same project on a desktop computer to see if it's just the power of your laptop? I assume you're using an external hard drive? Is it fast enough? Do you have plenty of empty space on it as well as your internal drive? Best of luck!
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FCPX freezes macbook (restart required) 11 Oct 2018 01:22 #97352

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Thanks guys! I have a big suspicion it's Neat video denoiser. Problems stopped after I turned it off. It's a nice tool but seems like for short clips only. Otherwise it causes major problems.
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FCPX freezes macbook (restart required) 11 Oct 2018 10:25 #97354

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Be sure to report it to the developer. Are you running the latest version?

I'm not a Neat Video user, so I'm not familiar with its effects on a system.
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FCPX freezes macbook (restart required) 11 Oct 2018 10:29 #97355

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I start to realize that plugin is well known for consuming huge amount of computer resources. It's just me who wasn't aware of that. :) Thanks guys. I think it's solved now.
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FCPX freezes macbook (restart required) 11 Oct 2018 13:47 #97356

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It's always been a resource hog. I've only used it on a Mac Pro and even on this machine I only use it sparingly (to repair an occasional shot) and only drop in in at the very last stage of the edit. I can only imagine what using on a MBP would be like. Glad you found the culprit.
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FCPX freezes macbook (restart required) 12 Oct 2018 12:26 #97361

  • joema
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drewchilli wrote:
... the whole system freezes, even app switching doesn't work. Sometimes mouse pointer moves, sometimes not. So the only thing I can do is press the power button to restart. I start to realize that plugin is well known for consuming huge amount of computer resources. It's just me who wasn't aware of that. :) ...

The entire system should never freeze. However if FCPX hangs while running full screen and doesn't accept UI input for that window, the entire system could *appear* to freeze. But you should always be able to reach the app switcher with CMD+tab.

The problem is not that Neat Video is a "resource hog". The same behavior happens with Digital Anarchy's Flicker Free, Imagenomic's Portraiture, and some of CoreMelt's plugins. Certain tasks within FCPX -- whether native or a 3rd-party plugin -- are computationally intensive. It's required to get work done. The issue is how Apple's FxPlug SDK handles this, how the plugin developer wrote their code, and what guidance Apple gave developers on this.

There are several architectural aspects to smooth, reliable system operation when running an app or plugin:

(1) Memory space -- whether the additional code runs "in process" or as a separate process in an isolated address space
(2) CPU scheduling -- whether the additional code is scheduled preemptively as a separate entity or requires the app or plugin to periodically yield to the CPU scheduler.
(3) User input and event processing -- whether the host app or OS (macOS, Windows, or FCPX) uses an asynchronous input queue or not. If a synchronous input queue is used, a single app or plugin can lock out all user input and appear to hang the host process.

A related concept is "sandboxing" which traditionally meant running the additional code in a separate address space but in more recent years applies more broadly to a security framework. With FCPX 10.1, Apple released the FxPlug 3.0 SDK which supported sandboxing for the first time. I don't know if that enabled running plugins "out of process" or not.

To illustrate why the Neat Video behavior cannot be blamed solely on being a "CPU hog" -- I can run a computationally intensive CPU benchmark app on macOS, but it doesn't hang the entire OS or lock out user input. MacOS is preemptively scheduled and (starting with OS X in 2001) used an asynchronous input queue. Windows NT began using this in 1990, so the concept has been known for a long time: blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20130604-00/?p=4173

That CPU hog app is "sandboxed" and exists in its own isolated address space, *plus* its CPU time is scheduled separately and independently by macOS, even IF the app fails to yield and stays in a tight CPU-bound loop. Ideally an FCPX plugin should have the same behavior. Apparently this is not the case.

Simple plugins for FCPX are just Motion templates. The compute and task scheduling behavior is already part of Motion. More sophisticated plugins for FCPX are written in Objective-C and use the FxPlug SDK. Neat Video, Flicker Free, Portraiture and SliceX are examples of these.

No FCPX plugin -- no matter how CPU/GPU intensive -- should ever hang or disrupt the FCPX UI. The mouse should move, menu selections should be available, the screen should repaint -- not freeze in one state. Unfortunately this is not the case. These plugins can hang the FCPX UI for extended periods.

I recollect hearing a plugin developer say The FxPlugin SDK does not allow control over when their code is invoked. IOW the host app (FCPX) determines when and how often to run this code. Just dragging Neat Video or Flicker Free to the timeline can hang FCPX for 15 seconds or more. I don't know what guidance Apple gives to developers of these compute-intensive plugins. Are they supposed to sprinkle "yield points" throughout their code, as was done before OS X? Is there some technique using FxPlug to avoid this?

Regardless, the current situation is not good. It creates a clunky, confusing, unpredictable user experience that harkens back to Mac System 6 and Windows 3.0.

There have been several interviews with Jim Tierney of Digital Anarchy, Szymon Masiak of MotionVFX and Roger Bolton of CoreMelt, but unfortunately these items were never discussed.
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FCPX freezes macbook (restart required) 12 Oct 2018 13:24 #97364

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For what it's worth, when I say "resource hog" I mean that as a slang for "computationally intensive". ;)
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