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Redford Givens
Time Problem with Mac Compressor 3.0.4 for FCP
on Nov 24, 2008 at 7:59:39 pm

I have a two volume DVD set nearing completion. The timelines are within a couple of minutes of being the same (about 90 minutes). As far as I can tell both timelines are virtually identical in content — motion effects in almost every clip on both. The scenes were shot on the same set, same lighting etc. Both projects use exactly the same compression settings.

Disc I finishes compression in about 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Disk II takes 6 to 8 hours and sometimes the clock says 40 to 50 hours remaining. I stop these because after three or four hours what hope is there. (I was away or I would have cut it off sooner) Especially when the predicted compression time continues to increase.

Is there any known error that causes this kind of problem? What am I doing wrong?

I must have unwittingly made a change in Disc II, but don't have a clue what it might be. Both timelines play perfectly in FCP. All files are rendered etc with no apparent problems and no warnings.

Anybody know a reliable method of getting faster compression with DVD Studio II Compressor 3.0.4?

Please do not suggest Episode etc right now since I do not have time to get it before this project is due.

Kill all robots

Redford Givens


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Daniel Low
Re: Time Problem with Mac Compressor 3.0.4 for FCP
on Nov 25, 2008 at 8:03:16 am

You didn't say how you were going from FCP to compressor?

If time is tight you could take the exported sequence (as a Quicktime movie) directly into DVD SP and encode it there.


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Redford Givens
Re: Time Problem with Mac Compressor 3.0.4 for FCP
on Nov 26, 2008 at 7:02:53 pm

Re: Time Problem with Mac Compressor 3.0.4 for FCP
by Daniel Low on Nov 25, 2008 at 12:03:16 am

You didn't say how you were going from FCP to compressor
?

I send it to Compressor using the "Export to compressor" option under the File menu in FCP.

I've been doing a 2 Pass with Average Bit Rate 5.0 mbps and Maximum Bit Rate 6.0. Two pass VBR Best. MPEG - 2.

If time is tight you could take the exported sequence (as a Quicktime movie) directly into DVD SP and encode it there.

Is there any loss of quality? How do I do this? How long does it take? Does Quicktime preserve the Chapter markers in DVD Studio Pro?


At this point Compressor is a deep mystery. The problem is that two nearly identical timelines have a 4+ to 1 difference in compression time. One file compresses in about 2:20 the other takes 8+ hours.

Every scene in both timelines has virtually identical Motion effects consisting of lines and simple imported Photoshop images (no layers) laid over the video. None of the Particle Emitters, tracking or any of that is involved.

Both are 90 minutes (within a couple of minutes of being the same). One takes 2:20 hours and the other takes 8+ hours and sometimes bogs down and gives estimated finish times of 40-60+ hours (after an hour or two of steadily RISING estimated finish times, I shut it off and try again).

I cannot figure what the significant difference between the timelines is. Being a 30 wpm typist, I cannot help wondering if I accidentally hit some self-destruct option. Being a poor typist has lead to the discovery of many "UNDOCUMENTED" features, but this time I just want to get the job finished.

Any help in saving my sanity will be appreciated.

My deadline is nearing and we only need one or two more edits to get this finished and this damned Compressor is not helping. (I have to burn discs so my checker can verify the editing.)


When the Compressor frame rate to drops to 1 frame at an interval, the game is over!




Kill all robots

Redford Givens


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cow
Daniel Low
Re: Time Problem with Mac Compressor 3.0.4 for FCP
on Nov 26, 2008 at 7:51:02 pm

I actually gave up using compressor after getting fed up with its strange behavior. That said, the best method is NOT to use Export to compressor but to export to a Quicktime movie instead (using the same settings as the sequence, so there is no loss in quality).

While you're at it you might want to grab this:
http://www.digitalrebellion.com/compressor_repair.htm

And have a look at Ken Stones site:
http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/fcp_homepage_index.html#dvd

Lastly, invest in this for the best in Compressor tutorials:
http://movielibrary.lynda.com/html/modListing.asp?pid=188




__________________________________________________________________
Please post back saying what solved your problem. It could help others, and saying 'thanks' is free!


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Redford Givens
Re: Time Problem with Mac Compressor 3.0.4 for FCP
on Nov 27, 2008 at 6:30:58 am

[Daniel Low] "Re: Time Problem with Mac Compressor 3.0.4 for FCP
by Daniel Low on Nov 26, 2008 at 11:51:02 am

I actually gave up using compressor after getting fed up with its strange behavior. That said, the best method is NOT to use Export to compressor but to export to a Quicktime movie instead (using the same settings as the sequence, so there is no loss in quality).

While you're at it you might want to grab this:
http://www.digitalrebellion.com/compressor_repair.htm

And have a look at Ken Stones site:
http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/fcp_homepage_index.html#dvd

Lastly, invest in this for the best in Compressor tutorials:
http://movielibrary.lynda.com/html/modListing.asp?pid=188
"



Thanks for the info sources. I'll see what they can do for me.

Compressor is the worst Apple program I've encountered. It simply doesn't work right.

When it takes eight or ten hours to compress a 90 minute timeline, the program is essentially worthless, since I need to use FCP for other things than watching a counter go into slow motion and freeze after a while. (right now the slo-mo compressing is going at LESS than a frame a second)

I went to an Apple One on One and the help didn't solve the problems. The instructor at Apple (who is very good) could only shake his head and agree that Compressor is a seriously flawed program.

If I wasn't under so much time pressure, I'd dump Compressor in the trash right now.

As it is I need to get this balky clunker to work a couple more times to meet the deadline.

I cannot take any more of this BS. If the programmers who put this together worked for me— they'd all be looking for new jobs!

Can you recommend a RELIABLE compression program compatible with DVD SP? Something that does a job the same way every time like a good robot should. Something that gets the work done quickly and accurately.





Kill all robots

Redford Givens


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Daniel Low
Re: Time Problem with Mac Compressor 3.0.4 for FCP
on Nov 27, 2008 at 7:51:26 am

Can you recommend a RELIABLE compression program compatible with DVD SP? Something that does a job the same way every time like a good robot should. Something that gets the work done quickly and accurately.

Yes, Episode from Telestream.

http://www.flip4mac.com/episode.htm




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Please post back saying what solved your problem. It could help others, and saying 'thanks' is free!


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Redford Givens
Re: Time Problem with Mac Compressor 3.0.4 for FCP
on Nov 27, 2008 at 8:06:50 am

Thanks for the advice.

I'll probably buy Episode, but fear I won't be able to learn it fast enough for this project.

Does an Episode file retain chapter markers for DVD SP?

I've learned to write fairly good menus and don't want another learning curve. I've got the templates ready.

I'm trying to learn the Quicktime export method, since this seems to be a fast way.

Kill all robots

Redford Givens


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Daniel Low
Re: Time Problem with Mac Compressor 3.0.4 for FCP
on Nov 27, 2008 at 10:41:08 am

If you can use compressor, you should find Episode a walk in the park.

I'm not sure about Episode & chapter markers but even if you can't carry them over from FCP they are just as easy to add in DVD SP.




__________________________________________________________________
Please post back saying what solved your problem. It could help others, and saying 'thanks' is free!


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Redford Givens
Re: Time Problem with Mac Compressor 3.0.4 for FCP
on Nov 27, 2008 at 6:35:14 am

[Daniel Low] "Re: Time Problem with Mac Compressor 3.0.4 for FCP
by Daniel Low on Nov 26, 2008 at 11:51:02 am



..... the best method is NOT to use Export to compressor but to export to a Quicktime movie instead (using the same settings as the sequence, so there is no loss in quality). "


How do I do it?

How do I find the settings etc to export it without quality loss?

Does the Quicktime movie retain the chapter markers so I can do the menu?

Kill all robots

Redford Givens


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Daniel Low
Re: Time Problem with Mac Compressor 3.0.4 for FCP
on Nov 27, 2008 at 7:58:54 am

How do I do it?

Time to get the manual out - this is very basic stuff! An hours with the manual is the best investment you could make right now.

If you can't be bothered with that, everything you need is on Ken Stones site!

__________________________________________________________________
Please post back saying what solved your problem. It could help others, and saying 'thanks' is free!


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Redford Givens
Re: Time Problem w/Compressor Solved
on Nov 27, 2008 at 11:05:53 pm

by Daniel Low on Nov 26, 2008 at 11:51:02 am

I actually gave up using compressor after getting fed up with its strange behavior. That said, the best method is NOT to use Export to compressor but to export to a Quicktime movie instead (using the same settings as the sequence, so there is no loss in quality).


The Quicktime method worked! The entire compression routine, including making a menu in DVD SP took less than 90 minutes!

I exported from FCP to Quicktime using video only — include chapter markers options and then used an AIFF audio file exported from FCP. Everything worked perfectly in DVD SP.

It only took a few minutes to create the QT file and 30-40 minutes for the Compressor run.

Apparently Compressor speaks QT very fluently because everything went like clockwork— no slow downs and a fast pace to completion.

The QT file size in DVD SP is 3.9GB compared to 4.4GB for the FCP direct export.

I feared a loss of quality, but I cannot tell the difference after its burned to disc. It looks great (as good as it ever did).

I'm finished Exporting to Compressor straight from FCP. This last brain damaging encounter with Compressor cured me of that habit.

THANKS to Daniel Low and a few others who finally persuaded me to go with QT. I recommend this strategy to any who are having Compression problems.



While you're at it you might want to grab this:
http://www.digitalrebellion.com/compressor_repair.htm

And have a look at Ken Stones site:
http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/fcp_homepage_index.html#dvd

I subscribed to Linda.com.

Lastly, invest in this for the best in Compressor tutorials:
http://movielibrary.lynda.com/html/modListing.asp?pid=
188




Kill all robots

Redford Givens


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Daniel Low
Re: Time Problem w/Compressor Solved
on Nov 28, 2008 at 12:22:57 am

"I exported from FCP to Quicktime using video only — include chapter markers options and then used an AIFF audio file exported from FCP. Everything worked perfectly in DVD SP.

It only took a few minutes to create the QT file and 30-40 minutes for the Compressor run.

Apparently Compressor speaks QT very fluently because everything went like clockwork— no slow downs and a fast pace to completion"


I'm glad it worked (please 'Rate my Post' if you want to!)

You are still making like harder than it should be. Just export using the quicktime method and deselect 'Make self contained' Once in compressor, use the AC3 encoder for your audio.

Another thing to remember is that Quicktime IS the Mac OS. Quicktime is so very much part of the whole operating system that saying something like "Compressor speaks QT very fluently" just doesn't make sense.
At the very heart of FCP, compressor, DVDSP, Motion, iTunes iMovie, iLife and every other media aware relies on Quicktime. All these apps are built around Quicktime. Quicktime is the man-servant, butler, translator, heavy-lifter, all round good guy etc. Quicktime is one for the reasons why using a Mac is so good and also why when things go wrong they can be so frustrating.

QuickTime rocks! ;-) Nothing else on the market comes within a million miles of the capabilities of Quickime. (and I remember testing the very first version!)

__________________________________________________________________
Please post back saying what solved your problem. It could help others, and saying 'thanks' is free!


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Redford Givens
Re: Time Problem w/Compressor Solved
on Nov 28, 2008 at 8:10:00 am

Apparently Compressor speaks QT very fluently because everything went like clockwork— no slow downs and a fast pace to completion"




Another thing to remember is that Quicktime IS the Mac OS. Quicktime is so very much part of the whole operating system that saying something like "Compressor speaks QT very fluently" just doesn't make sens
e.

Then why does Compressor go into slow motion when receiving directly from FCP.

I'm no computer expert, but I've got a feeling that this problem stems from a flaw in the way FCP and Compressor count frames when they communicate.

Counting errors in FCP are probably responsible when you get timecode breaks while capturing long clips with resulting sound sync problems. Capturing requires precise frame counts etc. Ditto for sending a project to Compressor.


If these errors only occur when FCP is directly in the mix, it becomes a prime suspect. I would suggest that the programmers take a long hard look at how FCP and Compressor count frames and keep the timecode in order.

This is my hunch.

At the very heart of FCP, compressor, DVDSP, Motion, iTunes iMovie, iLife and every other media aware relies on Quicktime. All these apps are built around Quicktime. Quicktime is the man-servant, butler, translator, heavy-lifter, all round good guy etc.

Then these problems are even more mysterious. Apparently FCP or Compressor is not fluent in ALL QT dialects.

Quicktime is one for the reasons why using a Mac is so good and also why when things go wrong they can be so frustrating.

QuickTime rocks! ;-) Nothing else on the market comes within a million miles of the capabilities of Quickime. (and I remember testing the very first versio
n!)

I'm a Mac fan for life. These problems pale in comparison to the brain damaging, ego destroying, production killing, unsolvable problems that happen to PC users.

So far I've never encountered a problem on a Mac that wasn't resolved in short order.




Kill all robots

Redford Givens


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