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h.264 transcode test

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bryson jones
h.264 transcode test
on May 28, 2010 at 4:34:00 pm

This is just a report of some testing I did. I'll try to keep publishing these "somewhat-real-world" numbers when I can.


A guy I was demo-ing for got me to thinking yesterday about h.264. I've seen large shops transcode tons of footage with the Worker but not specifically h.264...Since these "go-pro" type cams are used more and more these days I wanted to see what we were in for.

Being the geek I am, I refused to guess lol. So I dialed into a client site who's got an 8 core xserve and about 160TB of footage so there's a lot to play with, and got us some numbers.

I'm pretty impressed with the results.

We took 109 clips of h.264 from go pro and other little cams and set up a test and then duplicated them, renamed and ran the test on 218 clips. The footage was only an hour long, so this was a test of a lot of small clips. I'll update when I do a job with some longer duration clips as well. My final will be 4 hours of large h.264 clips.

The workflow was:

pick up the clips from a drop folder

change file extension from MP4 to MOV

create a pro res copy @ 29.97 in its own folder

import the clips into a catalog

create a photo-j proxy in the proxy drive

finally copy the media to an archive folder

The results were that 57 min 28 sec of footage transcoded both copies in 1 hour and 7 minutes. The only failures were 6 renames that failed due to the way I set up the file copy. (hey, I'm working fast here)

No transcode failures. (I mention this because the client mentioned that they were choking Compressor with h.264.

Then, I reset my script order and did all the events separately, I transcoded to pro res - imported and made proxy and then finally moved them off to a nearline.

Finally I duplicated and renamed the copied clips. The doubled pass took 1 1/2 hours for 218 clips (2 hours of footage total).

Transcode Tests -

8 Core Mac with Worker

2 min clip = 1:30 to pro res & 1:05 to photo-j-proxy (actual duration 1:57)

1:30 clip = 1:00 to pro res & 42 sec to photo-j-proxy (actual duration 1:26)

- 2/3 to 3/4 realtime for pro res

- About half realtime to make proxy


1:07 hrs/min total for 57 min of footage to pro res and proxy and nearline - 109 clips

1:35 hrs/min total for 1:54 hrs/min of footage to pro res and proxy and nearline - 218 clips (clips were renamed to duplicate them but the script was changed to increase speed as well)

More to come...



bryson

bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com

hidefcowboy.com


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John Heagy
Re: h.264 transcode test
on May 29, 2010 at 4:05:06 am

Interesting... next time check Activity Monitor... I'd be interested in how many cores Worker fires up.

Thanks
John Heagy


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Kevin Duggan
Re: h.264 transcode test
on May 29, 2010 at 9:06:56 am

HI John
it lights them all up ..but still plays "nicely"


Kevin Duggan
CatDv




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bryson jones
Re: h.264 transcode test
on May 29, 2010 at 3:59:40 pm

Kevin, is right on, it sprinkled the lights across the bar, which is nice when you're running it on a server lol.

I have some long clips now to see if that makes a difference as well.

bryson

bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com

hidefcowboy.com


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Bob Zelin
Re: h.264 transcode test
on May 29, 2010 at 4:03:57 pm

Questions -

change file extension from MP4 to MOV -

QUESTION - did you use Automator to do this ?

create a pro res copy @ 29.97 in its own folder

QUESTION - how, using Compressor or the Canon plugin with log and transfer ?


No transcode failures. (I mention this because the client mentioned that they were choking Compressor with h.264.

QUESTION - why isn't the client using the new Canon plugin, or the new Magic Bullet utility for the Canon cameras. AND was compressor choking in a shared storage enviornment (reading the h.264 media from the shared volume) or choking on a local volume (that's my most important question here).

http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/products/all/magic-bullet-grinder/


Thanks -
Bob Zelin




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bryson jones
Re: h.264 transcode test
on Jun 9, 2010 at 4:56:01 pm

Questions -

change file extension from MP4 to MOV -
First, sorry guys, I was off on a vacation - (what are those??!!)

The answer is "all in Worker". The CatDV Worker node can perform all of the mentioned actions, no outside scripting needed for this one. It's got a QT based transcode/export engine, the ability to change file extension and names and the ability to copy, move or delete files.

This is really where the package gets powerful, all these things in an app that can also update the server info for each clip it touches. For instance, at the end, we changed a field to "proxied" (yeah, I know that's not a word lol) so that we could quickly sort for the clips that were ready to view/edit by the producers.

I'll gather more info on the Compressor stuff, I just heard this from the client, it wasn't one of my setups. We're just testing CatDV for them.

As to the Canon stuff, I'm not familiar with it, as I'm just starting to look into the canon stuff, for now, we just transcode with QT since we don't use camera metadata in the shows I'm doing now.

Again, sorry for the lag but a weekend away from the screen was amazing.



bryson

bryson "at" hidefcowboy.com

hidefcowboy.com


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