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Support needed with ridiculously long encode times using Compressor!

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Christopher Bradley
Support needed with ridiculously long encode times using Compressor!
on Dec 6, 2013 at 4:41:09 pm

I'm currently in the process of producing an SD DVD using DVD Studio Pro. I've edited a film in FCP 7.0 which is 1 hour and 8 minutes long. It was filmed in XDCAM using a Sony EX3 at 1080p PAL. I have added Neat Video noise reduction to about 90% of the footage and I have sent the timeline to Compressor using FCP's send to compressor function. Within Compressor, I am trying to create a MPEG-2 file using DVD Best Quality 90 Minutes and AIFF 16bit 48k audio settings. I have not tweaked any of the frame controls or other settings, they have all been left on automatic. The problem I am encountering is that Compressor is telling me that the encode is going to take 54 hours! I have currently left it running since yesterday and the time remaining is now at 30 hours!

I was wondering if anyone out there can please help me to understand why this process is taking so long. Am I doing something wrong? This is the first time I have worked in XDCAM and I was wondering whether the Long GOP structure of the footage creates significantly longer encode times. I was also wondering to what extent the addition of the Neat Video filter might complicate things.

If the encode fails or if I need to go through this process again, is there any way to speed things up? If I created an intermediate self-contained Quick Time file in FCP and brought this into Compressor for encoding, would this speed things up? I am editing on a 1 year old i7 MacBook Pro with 16Gb RAM.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


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Eric Strand
Re: Support needed with ridiculously long encode times using Compressor!
on Dec 6, 2013 at 6:07:23 pm

Hey Chris, I like to export a self-contained QT movie and bring that into Compressor. I've read multiple times on here and in articles by people like Larry Jordan that this helps with compression time. Also, if you go into your Sequence Settings then Render Control tab, change Codec to ProRes; this will help speed up rendering times. I would render your whole timeline after you change the Render Control, then export a self contained QT movie, bring that into Compressor, drag the best quality 90 minutes onto your video, change Resize in Frame Controls to Best, use bit budget from Ken Stone (http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/bit_budget.html) and submit your movie. It is still going to take quite a long time, but I wouldn't think 54 hours.

@ericstrand11


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Christopher Bradley
Re: Support needed with ridiculously long encode times using Compressor!
on Dec 8, 2013 at 3:54:08 pm

Hi Eric, many thanks for your advice. I did as you had suggested and I now have a completed DVD in my hand! After I changed the Render Control settings to Apple ProRes 422, the whole timeline took 12 hours to re-render. I then changed the compressor settings within the sequence to Apple ProRes 422 also and exported the timeline as a self-contained QT movie which took about 30 minutes. Once I was in Compressor, the MPEG-2 export took 3 hours to complete...overall a significant saving on the initial 54 hours!

Whilst trawling the forums as a way in which to understand why my initial process was taking so long, two things became clear; 1. Do not use the Send to Compressor feature within FCP as it is wholly inefficient and time consuming. 2. Either transcode your XDCAM footage into Apple ProRes before you edit or edit natively and then render out as Apple ProRes before going into Compressor. 3. If you're working with a new format (I normally work with DVCPRO HD and had never worked with XDCAM before) try to understand the workflow beforehand as it will save you a lot of time and a lot of stress!

Once again Eric, many thanks for all your help.


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Eric Strand
Re: Support needed with ridiculously long encode times using Compressor!
on Dec 10, 2013 at 4:00:11 am

Glad to hear it worked out, you're welcome!

@ericstrand11


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