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h.264 to compressor -- 80 hour compression time?

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aemilia scott
h.264 to compressor -- 80 hour compression time?
on Oct 16, 2011 at 5:51:13 pm

Hi guys,

I was charged with doing some video for a rock concert, and I decided to create 1 hour of footage. I'm using final cut pro 7 with prores 422 source material. I'm not sure if this matters, but my project had four layers with compositing effects (going for psychedelic, obviously. :)

I sent the thing to compressor, expecting an overnight render. my settings were h.264, medium quality, no audio, 720 size, 16x9. The original file was 1080 prores 422, as I mentioned.

I came down 10 hours later and found that it was less than 1/4 of the way through. It had an estimated time of 80 hours remaining. Is that crazy long, or am I doing something wrong?

I have a mac pro 2008, 8 cores, after market graphics card (nvidia gforce gtx 285), running snow leopard.

Any advice would be hugely helpful! I've never worked on a project this long before, but I figured that a 1/80th time ratio seemed a little crazy, even for a big file.

Thanks a bunch,

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Craig Seeman
Re: h.264 to compressor -- 80 hour compression time?
on Oct 17, 2011 at 3:02:41 pm

Sending to Compressor can be slow and I find sometimes unreliable as well.
Make sure all effects are rendered in the timeline.
Export the edit master to the drive (you might consider a reference file but I prefer having a master for archiving anyway).
Use the master in Compressor. Create a QuickCluster with 4 or 8 instances depending on how much RAM you have (2GB per instance might be a rule of thumb).

If you still think it's too slow consider getting Matrox CompressHD or Matrox MXO2 with MAX.

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Gaz Evans
Re: h.264 to compressor -- 80 hour compression time?
on Oct 20, 2011 at 4:12:58 pm

Hi Aemilia,

One thing I always find when rendering h.264 in compressor is that it never gives an accurate time estimate. I have rendered many a 30min file which has after an overnight render said it has 9+hrs left to go yet finishes 30mins later.


Gaz Evans

Workflow Technician
The diROOM

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Ken Mitchell
Re: h.264 to compressor -- 80 hour compression time?
on Nov 25, 2011 at 11:11:05 pm

Export a prores file use Export...quicktime movie use current settings instead of the quicktime conversion. This will save you time if your timeline is already rendered to prores.
Then use compressor or quicktime pro to convert your master file to H.264. If you are just changing the size it should not take more than an hour or two to convert.

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