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View from a little guy: autosave

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Chris Paul
View from a little guy: autosave
on Jul 10, 2011 at 8:02:15 pm

Unlike many who have posted I do not have a lot of overhead in my business. No sending to color correction, rarely do audio sweetening, rarely collaborate with other editors. (Wish I did, but that is off topic). I hoped that this would make the transition to FCPX easier. I also usually shoot on DSLR and send out spots via ftp so I I/O is less an issue for me than for some.

I installed on a clean boot drive. I bought the excellent training videos from Ripple and practiced for a week. Then I edited a 5 minute video fro a local film community group- so far so good. So I decided to try it with a real paying job. I picked a simple project- 2 simple :15 local TV spots- that I can usually knock out in about 90 minutes from edit through upload. I gave myself 2 4 hour sessions to complete work. And failed... miserably. Forget the change from bins to keywords. Forget the loss of most of my plugins. Forget the loss of round tripping to Motion. Forget not being able to see my work on a broadcast quality monitor. The final nail was that there is no way to force FCPX to save projects. In theory it is always autosaving. In reality, it forgets a lot. You can open a previous project and find some of your work gone. Open it again and find even more gone. Suffer a crash and lose 2/3rds or more of the blood you have been sweating out to get this done.

After 7 hours I gave up and booted up FCP7. Took the elements I had make and was done in 45 minutes.

I am not giving up on FCPX in a future incarnation as I am intrigued by the keyword based organization of media metadata. I will keep practicing to see if I can start thinking the X way instead of the 7 way. But as Apple has killed FCP7 (and Shake, and DVD Studio, and probably Soundtrack and Color) I have no choice but to start writing my map of how to move past FCP7. For my likely future business that has to include a strong possibility of switching to Premiere. I will grab their cross-grade while they are still giving a discount just to protect my business.

Chris Paul
POV


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Rick Lang
Re: View from a little guy: autosave
on Jul 10, 2011 at 10:43:11 pm

"The final nail was that there is no way to force FCPX to save projects. In theory it is always autosaving. In reality, it forgets a lot. You can open a previous project and find some of your work gone. Open it again and find even more gone. Suffer a crash and lose 2/3rds or more of the blood you have been sweating out to get this done."

Fully understand if you just want to forget this post. But surely this unreliable performance is not everyone's experience. Would you be willing to provide information about some of the characteristics that might be a factor?

What DSLR was used?
What format was used for your clips eg ProRes 4:2:2 (HQ)?
Anything you can think of that might explain the losses such as unsupported additional media used?
What machine was used? Processor? Graphics unit (GPU and graphics memory)? Speed? Memory? Booted in 64bit?
How often if ever did you quit FCP X while working on this (which should save anything not already saved)?

When it crashed it appears to have corrupted the database. Was there any application message when you restarted after the crash?

There have been many people noting they experienced crashes, but your note seems to indicate very unreliable results even for the times there was not a crash. Did you provide feedback to Apple?

Thanks for any response.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Ray Wang
Re: View from a little guy: autosave
on Jul 11, 2011 at 5:50:39 am

I have experienced once where I have lost titles / effects applied to a short 2 minute clip.

What I did: added titles / effects and made timeline into a compound clip. Nothing crashed, I exited "normally"

Result: When I re-opened the project, titles / effects were missing.

With FCP 7, if you save, you are sure to have your project saved without any data loss.
With FCP X, I am still not sure whether to trust it or not.

There were also some odd occasions where titles required re-rendering even though I have not changed it.

Running FCP X on MBP 2010 17" (SSD, 8 GB)


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Rick Lang
Re: View from a little guy: autosave
on Jul 11, 2011 at 4:26:00 pm

Thank, Ray. That’s a nice laptop you have and certainly no one would think a couple of minutes of video would be problematic so that is disconcerting.

I was reading yesterday about the recommendation to use disk images to isolate Events and Projects via a .dmg file that is opened when you want to work on that particular project. I thought that was possibly overkill but if such a small effort can have reliability issues, maybe it’s worth creating these disk image islands to see if they help minimize problems. You could always have your general purpose stuff that you apply frequently to your projects in the normal location but new and unique Events and Projects could each have their own disk image and only be opened when needed. Reduces clutter and maybe complexity causing problems and helps simplify archiving the related items.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Chris Paul
Re: View from a little guy: autosave
on Jul 11, 2011 at 5:42:59 pm

The footage was Canon 5dMkll media that had already been converted to ProRes. My system is an 8 core Xeon with 16 gigs of RAM, nVidia 285 and 28tb of fiberchannel storage on a pair of Rorke Galaxy level 5 RAIDS.

Further testing is leading me to believe that part of the problem is related to footage disappearing. This footage was linked to the events folder with aliases rather than actually being in the folder. This is the result of not checking the "copy files to Final Cut Events folder" box in the import dialog. I opened the folder in the Events folder that had contained the aliases to the original media- the aliases were gone. This is discouraging as I have a lot of FCP7 media that I wanted to leave in place and just link to.

The original footage did not disappear. The Rorke raids are very reliable- I have not lost a file on them in 5 years, even when 1 of the drives died (the RAID just rebuilt automatically).

My FCPX project folder is also on one of the RAID arrays. I did this because FCPX puts all of the render files in the project folder. I wish that there was a way around this- if my project folder were on my boot drive I might have been able to restore my project from a time machine backup.

Chris Paul
POV


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Julian Bowman
Re: View from a little guy: autosave
on Jul 11, 2011 at 7:40:11 pm

Couldn't they have just added a save option. Really now!? Do they want to lean in and tell me when I can wipe my arse as well?

Of all the ridiculous things I keep reading about X this takes the biscuit. It's like when they replaced their glorious 23" monitors with 24" glossy ones that DIDN'T HAVE AN OFF BUTTON!!!!

Er, wtf!

I swear, they must be dishing out peyote with the morning doughnuts over there.


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Rick Lang
Re: View from a little guy: autosave
on Jul 11, 2011 at 8:15:51 pm

Thank you for the additional information regarding the media and your equipment. Certainly would not find anything problematic with your equipment so that does narrow it down to procedural or some software bug.

Your further analysis may be right so I hope you provide feedback to Apple on this problem. I know that can seem fruitless as they don’t reply to the feedback leaving you in the dark... until one day there’s an update that includes “corrects a problem related to the use of aliases when media is not copied to the Events folder.” This is an important feature of the new FCP X to reduce needless copies of files and fits in with the concept of having media shared across many projects. So hopefully it gets quick attention.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Gary Huff
Re: View from a little guy: autosave
on Jul 11, 2011 at 9:05:09 pm

[Rick Lang]Thank you for the additional information regarding the media and your equipment. Certainly would not find anything problematic with your equipment so that does narrow it down to procedural or some software bug.

What exactly would you have been able to determine from hardware specs alone that would have told you why his projects didn't save?


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Rick Lang
Re: View from a little guy: autosave
on Jul 11, 2011 at 11:50:37 pm

Gary, I’m very new here and was not familiar with Chris’ hardware so I thought I’d ask to see if anything he was using was not currently supported by FCP X. For example, what if he was using XSAN and got it to work somehow before formal support was added.

This was trying to eliminate reasons he had such poor results. But now I’ve read other posts also describing what appear to be unreliable results. Don’t see a common thread in them and there may not be one other than the fact that the software is release 10.0.

If his further analysis is right, although he’s doing something completely supported (i.e.not copying media to a new Event when he wishes to share it across projects), it may not have been tested as thoroughly as a configuration where all the media and project items are not using aliases. Apple’s quality assurance team will know if that’s possible.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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