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Compressor & Dual Core

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Jane Williams
Compressor & Dual Core
on Apr 16, 2012 at 3:06:11 pm

Hi!

I have a question about Compressor 3.5. I'm working on a Macbook Pro 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo / 2 GB 1067 MHz and unfortunately it takes forever to compress videos that I edited in Final Cut Pro. I know this is a common problem, since I've been looking for a solution in other forums. However, I'm still hoping there is a way to increase the speed.
When I open the Activity Monitor, I can see that only one core is used, and I would like to know whether it's possible to use both cores of my Macbook Pro, or if this is a no-go because you're not supposed to use all your cores? I wouldn't mind not being able to work on other things during compression.

I read that you can activate the cores via Apple Qmaster, but I'm not sure if compressor only lets you do that if you have at least 4 cores? The thing is, when I open Qmaster in the system preferences and under services I click on "Compressor" and activate "Share", the button "Options for selected devices" is gray, so I can't click on it to add instances. I tried to access Qmaster directly in Compressor as well, but I couldn't find anything. Here's a screenshot:



Any help would be appreciated!


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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressor & Dual Core
on Apr 16, 2012 at 3:28:17 pm

Activate Quickcluster with Services. See if that gives you access to Options . . .



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Jane Williams
Re: Compressor & Dual Core
on Apr 17, 2012 at 10:00:05 pm

Thank you very much for the reply. It didn't work with Quickcluster with Services before, BUT I downloaded an application called Compressor Repair and it immediately saved the problem. It lead to another one though... even though I activated both instances, compression seems as slow as before, and it seems strange to me that when I look at the Activity Monitor, the CPU barely goes over 70-75%. Why is that? I included a screenshot of my Activity monitor.
When I submitted the video in Compressor, I chose the cluster that I set to "2 Instances" in Apple Qmaster before, so that should be fine. Is there anything else I need to change in the Compressor preferences? I don't understand why this isn't working. Thanks again!



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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressor & Dual Core
on Apr 17, 2012 at 10:24:40 pm

compressrod is what you want to look at. This shows virtually no activity. It doesn't look like it's encoding anything. Certainly not to H.264.



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Jane Williams
Re: Compressor & Dual Core
on Apr 17, 2012 at 10:52:34 pm

Well I just read that you can only use virtual clusters if you export a reference movie from FCP first and open that in Compressor. Is that really true? I just tried it and it boosted the CPU up to 150%, which should be a good sign. I'm just wondering because I usually choose "Send to Compressor" in FCP, because my test exports so far showed a decrease in quality that way - I could especially see it during fade ins and outs of titles. However, I just re-rendered the sequence changing the Quicktime Video Settings from H.264 compression to Prores422 in FCP, and it looks much better now. Could that be the solution after all?! :D


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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressor & Dual Core
on Apr 17, 2012 at 11:15:28 pm

Personally I never use Send To Compressor. It's always been extremely unreliable IMHO.
I always export in Sequence setting and then use the file in Compressor. Exporting ProRes is also good especially to save as a master (which you should do).



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Jane Williams
Re: Compressor & Dual Core
on Apr 18, 2012 at 6:02:12 pm

Yeah I usually do that too, but this project contains footage from a lot of different cameras and the dissolves etc. look terrible when I try to export it with current settings. Well, hopefully it will work with Prores, I'll give it a try tomorrow. Thanks a lot for your advice, I appreciate it!


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Craig Seeman
Re: Compressor & Dual Core
on Apr 18, 2012 at 6:06:04 pm

If need be, you should be converting to ProRes on import then. FCP7 doesn't handle multiple formats in the timeline. On the other hand FCPX does that much better. Multiple formats and frame rates.



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Jane Williams
Re: Compressor & Dual Core
on Apr 18, 2012 at 8:35:14 pm

Okay got it. When I started having exporting issues, I realized I should have converted everything into the same format in the first place, before importing the videos into FCP, but it's too late now - I'm working with 80GB of material and I would have to convert almost everything, which would take forever. Oh well, next time I'll know better! :D


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