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Long format project - anyone done one yet?

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Michael W. Towe
Long format project - anyone done one yet?
on Jan 25, 2013 at 4:39:47 pm

So I have a doc coming my way that has close to a terabyte of footage associated with it. My fist inclination is to take this to my Avid Symphony system as it's tried and true on long form. However the thought of having FCPX keyword organization is very intriguing to me So, have any of you done a long form doc with a large amount of footage on X before? If so what was your experience with it?

Thanks in advance!

Michael W. Towe
President M2 Digital Post
http://www.m2digitalpost.com


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James Cude
Re: Long format project - anyone done one yet?
on Jan 25, 2013 at 5:19:37 pm

Have a look a bit through the forum- folks are definitely doing longform with X. Can you give some more details- i.e. the formats you're working with, quantity of footage and also your hardware specs.


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Michael W. Towe
Re: Long format project - anyone done one yet?
on Jan 25, 2013 at 5:45:38 pm

Hey James,

Thanks for the response, here's a few answers to your questions...

System Specs:
MacPro 2x2.4 Ghz Quad Core
12 GB RAM
ATI 5870 with 1GB
Esata connected G-Raid Drives
Matrox MXO2 I/O

As for footage formats I am still in the process of finding that out. Long story short the producer had a very inexperienced editor do the initial log and he broke it up into 18 different FCP7 projects UGH!! I know it was all captured from MiniDV tape so I am assuming it was shot HDV. That said I don't know if it was captured to ProRes or to HDV Quicktimes.

As gor quantity I am being told around a terabyte of total footage, not sure yet what the actual run time of all the footage is.

Thanks again,

Michael W. Towe
President M2 Digital Post
http://www.m2digitalpost.com


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Steve Connor
Re: Long format project - anyone done one yet?
on Jan 25, 2013 at 6:01:06 pm

See thread on the "other" FCPX forum here

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/46711

Bottom line is FCPX is fine for long form, despite the rumours

Steve Connor
'It's just my opinion, with an occasional fact thrown in for good measure"


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Michael W. Towe
Re: Long format project - anyone done one yet?
on Jan 25, 2013 at 6:43:07 pm

Thanks Steve! Excellent link!

Michael W. Towe
President M2 Digital Post
http://www.m2digitalpost.com


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Trevor Asquerthian
Re: Long format project - anyone done one yet?
on Jan 26, 2013 at 7:05:07 am

"the producer had a very inexperienced editor do the initial log and he broke it up into 18 different FCP7 projects UGH!!"

The previous editor may have been inexperienced, but when I edit long form in fcp7 then this is the way I work.

I find it easier to manage fcp7 projects that are kept small and more akin to avid bins.

Searching via spotlight is easy and with full string outs finding shots is easy and the edit project is kept to a reasonable size.

Now if you are editing in avid (or x) then any organisation from fcp7 is not so useful without some extra work :-(

Please do post back if you decide to use X as it has definitely informs us lurkers :-)



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Mathieu Ghekiere
Re: Long format project - anyone done one yet?
on Jan 26, 2013 at 10:02:47 am

I would definately look for more RAM. FCP X likes RAM.

And I find that although FCP X can be a bit slow in the beginning, with rendering all the thumbnails, generating all the audio waveforms, analyzing, ... the media on import, once it has done that, it's very fast. I don't know how it is on a Mac Pro, but on a retina macbook pro with thunderbolt storage, it's a joy to use.


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Patrice Freymond
Re: Long format project - anyone done one yet?
on Jan 26, 2013 at 1:11:57 pm

I did a doc last year, pre version 10.0.6, with around 800GB of material, some from XDCAM, some from DSLR and even from smaller digital camers.

My setup is different: 2012 iMac, 32GB RAM, Pegasus 12TB Tbolt RAID.

FCPX handled the project quite gracefully, if you except the times when it would hang when I was frantically looking for a shot, skimming quickly from one clip to another. may have happened 10-15 times over two months.

Other than that it never lost anything, even when the whole setup lost power because of a short caused by faulty air conditionning.

I am with Mathieu here regarding RAM, I'd fill it up to the gills.

Let us know how it goes

Patrice


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Michael W. Towe
Re: Long format project - anyone done one yet?
on Jan 27, 2013 at 9:05:13 pm

Quick update on this. So after a bit of reading I am convinced that FCPX will be able to handle this project. Here's the plan...

First upgrade the ram in my MacPro. I'll be heading off to Other World Computing to order up 32 gigs.

Since the project was originally started in FCP7, although it was basically just logging that was done. I plan to use Xto7 to convert those projects over to X. I will most likely merge the events this creates since, as mentioned before, it is strung out across 18 FCP7 projects. This thinking could change after I see how the 18 projects are organized though as it may make sense to use multiple events.

I'll keep a running tally of the process once things get rolling and post here for other to learn from.

Thanks for the all the info in you folks have provided in this thread!

Michael W. Towe
President M2 Digital Post
http://www.m2digitalpost.com


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Nicholas Kleczewski
Re: Long format project - anyone done one yet?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 2:01:36 am

I'm currently editing a feature doc on FCPX, shot over 2 years with a couple hundred 5D multicam shoots. Over 10,000 clips, will take a year or more to post. If this was my first rodeo I think I'd be too daunted by the challenges FCPX presents on a project this big, but luckly its far from my first and I'm a glutton for punishment.

FCPX def struggles with performance when you get into a project this size, with this many addressable objects, hundreds of keywords, etc. But I've found very specific ways to make it work.

Initial start up, and initial clip selection gives me 10 sec spinning beach balls with every move, but I find that once the project gets fully "dumped" into RAM, and its using about 10GB, even when idle, performance gets mostly back to normal.

Couple words of advice if your interested to hear them from my trials and tribulations... Stay away from "Favorites" as a substitution for Subclips, they are too delicate and bad things can happen to them far too easily and there is no going back when it happens. Stick with Markers, Keywords and get your like footage into Compound Clips quick, much like you would have in Avid and using sequences. Once you play with the power of combining compound clips into the rest of your logging workflow, you'll wonder how you ever had the patience to continuously double click individual clips in your previous life.

If you have anything to sync, or multicam that is massive multicamera shoots that last hours and hours in a day, do yourself a favor and pay for Plural Eyes. FCPX syncing is rock solid, but it takes Plural Eyes seconds to do what FCPX can take an hour or more to do if its too big.

Good luck!

Director, Editor, Colorist
http://www.trsociety.com


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Michael W. Towe
Re: Long format project - anyone done one yet?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 4:05:41 am

Hey Nicholas,

First off thanks for the reply and advice! One quick question. When you are saying get you like footage into compound clips quickly, can you elaborate a bit more on how you are using compound clips in your workflow? Are you just using it for string outs of similar footage. For instance if putting each interview subject into a compound clip.

Thanks again!

Michael W. Towe
President M2 Digital Post
http://www.m2digitalpost.com


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Nicholas Kleczewski
Re: Long format project - anyone done one yet?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 4:46:32 am

I personally have found that once you get used to how powerful FCPX can skim through footage of any size in a particular clip, the harder it is to ever consider going back to double clicking through single clicks. So while Keywords can work for things like interview, B-Roll, etc you can also take say one interview has 15 clips where the camera stopped and started. Highlight them all Opt-G and make a single Compound Clip of the entire interview, then make markers on it, not the individual clips and tag it with a Int keyword. Or say B-Roll for a particular day shoot, or event. Truncate the potential hundreds of clips into a single or few Compound Clips and fly through it. So much faster... obviously depends on the needs of the project, but hopefully that makes some sense.

Director, Editor, Colorist
http://www.trsociety.com


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Michael W. Towe
Re: Long format project - anyone done one yet?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 5:27:43 am

Absolutely makes sense and falls in line with what I was thinking you were doing. Again thanks for taking the time to advise and elaborate!

Michael W. Towe
President M2 Digital Post
http://www.m2digitalpost.com


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Michael W. Towe
Re: Long format project - anyone done one yet?
on Jan 31, 2013 at 12:29:41 am

Okay, just got my 32 gig's of Ram from Other World. The 12 I had was in 2 gig sticks so by keeping some of it in I am now running 40 gigs of ram. I am floored by how much smoother and faster FCPX runs! And how much faster it starts up.

Michael W. Towe
President M2 Digital Post
http://www.m2digitalpost.com


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Nicholas Kleczewski
Re: Long format project - anyone done one yet?
on Jan 31, 2013 at 12:48:40 am

Hmm that's interesting. I have 32 gigs in my nehalem my pro and still feel like it runs slower than my 16gb MBPr. But I admit I didn't do a ton of experimenting with a big project on the Mac Pro once I realized all this. I'll have to check it out. Thanks!

Director, Editor, Colorist
http://www.trsociety.com


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Michael W. Towe
Re: Long format project - anyone done one yet?
on Jan 31, 2013 at 1:17:56 am

I don't know how well comparing an older MacPro with the newer iMacs or MacBookPro is going to be. I can tell you that our second edit system here at the shop is a mid 2012 iMac and with 16 gigs of ram and thunderbolt connected storage. I am convinced it runs circles around my MacPro when it comes to FCPX.

Michael W. Towe
President M2 Digital Post
http://www.m2digitalpost.com


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Elliot Pollaro
Re: Long format project - anyone done one yet?
on Jan 28, 2013 at 11:10:45 pm

Michael,
Im at the final stage of my 10 minute documentary. I used a mixture of RED footage, DVCPROHD, and H264 footage. I converted them all to a proxy format for smooth editing. The problems I ran into were mainly with the RED footage. It can become a pretty tedious task working around all of the bugs. Overall it was 50 / 50 good and bad. Im at the final stage trying to figure out how to export audio to pro tools, my timeline is insane so I dont know how I am going to do this properly. Just be aware that whatever your deadline is, you can be sure to push it back at least a week for completion because of the bugs. Hope this helps

Elliot


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