I'm trying to speed up my company's export time and I'm running into some troubles. Its become kind of a tangled web in my head, so I'll try my best to lay out what it think are separate issues and a time line... sorry for the long post.
1st comp: 2 x 2.6 Quad, 6GB, v10.6.2... 2nd comp: 2 x 3 Quad, 10GB... connected to ProMax ShareMax system. Using FCP 7 with compressor 3.5 and Episode Pro 3. File exported: half hour HDV60i project exported as SD.
We are a small company that creates closed network programing and recently have changed distribution hardware, but still have legacy files... we now have to go out to H.264, Mpeg1, Cable Labs Transport Stream, and Program Stream. The goal is to get to all of those files with as few steps as possible, as fast as possible with the highest quality possible.
I saw two basic ways of exporting. Export each hour "program" individually as QT, then set a large batch job in Episode in the background or over the weekend (or watch folder)... or, using compressor and the Episode plugin, export each hour over night to every job right out of FCP. I started with the later because we have the time to do an hour every night, and it saves us the hard drive space of the uncompressed export.
COMPRESSOR ISSUE: Compressor was taking too long out of FCP to make it realistic. On its own it took about 15min, but I noticed it wasn't using all cores... so I followed instructions to use quick cluster to the T, even did it over the phone with a friend, and while it worked for him and doubled speed, mine slowed down infinitely!!! I reset all the settings, but its still slower than it was before!
Instructions followed: http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/compressor_multi_cores_stitzer.html
FCP export issue: In the meantime, I noticed a mention that you cant use quick clusters OUT of FCP... so I exported a self contained QT, which took about real-time, but after a few exports it started taking over an hour and I had to restart. So I called support, they had me do a few things and now it always takes over an hour!!
So now I'm stuck with a one time 15 min compressor render that now takes over an hour. And a one time half hour QT export that takes over an hour.
Quick update. I got the quick clusters to work as far as the activity monitor is concerned, but the export continues to get slower! For some reason it let me do 16 cores... activity monitor was lit up to 100%, but the export was 2-3 hours. Utilizing 8 cores it utilized 50% and took about 30min. Using 1 core it utilizes 15% and takes 20min... WTF!