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How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?

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T. Payton
How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 29, 2013 at 11:29:57 pm

My old faithful 2006 MacPro, 20GBM RAM with a Radeon 5770 and a eSATA RAID 5 is still running FCP X quite well. I'm totally happen with it believe it or not.

However, I feel like the Event Browser is quite slow, especially when trying to navigate and in filmstrip view. It doesn't seem to matter the size of the event. 100 or event 2000 clip events feel about the same. I was thinking a MBPR (MacBook Pro Retina) would not suffer from this slowness but when I tried it out at my local Apple store, the Event Browser felt sluggish on that machine too.

Is anyone else experiencing this? Perhaps it is just my perception. Please chime in.

Thanks!

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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Oliver Peters
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 2:21:13 am

It's not your perception. If you are a fast editor - as in how quickly you interact with the NLE - then actions in the Event Browser are significantly slower than in FCP 7, Premiere Pro or Media Composer.

I just loaded a new project today. 10 1/2 hours, 822GB, 828 clips of PRHQ 1080p/23.98 media. One Event, numerous Collections. Moving from one clip to the next is relatively slow because of the redraw time of a filmstrip with waveform. Sometimes you can close and reopen FCP X and the performance improves, because the RAM has been flushed. But operation on this kind of project is painful. Skimming helps to offset the experience, but I'm seriously considering moving the project to a different app in the morning.

I'm letting the machine cook overnight and generate proxies, just to see if the performance is better in the morning.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Bret Williams
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 4:32:19 am

Last time I checked, there was nothing even approximating filmstrip view in legacy. There was in the sequence, and it was a dog at redrawing. As was waveforms. Two things I never even considered using 90 percent of the time. I did however use thumbnails in list view, because you could skim them, albeit in their tiny little thumbnail. But even so, I would grit my teeth all the time waiting for the thumbnail redraws when I opened or scrolled large bins.

So I think filmstrip view is kind of a luxury. I'm surprised it works as well as it does. I generally use thumbnail mode with waveforms off. I skim the thumbs and use jkl to be precise for mark in/out.

My big wish for the event is multiple event windows so that one event window can be in thumbs and the other in list. Even of the same data, or different keyword collections. And add thumbnails to the list view.

And can we please match back to the shot in the keyword collection it was edited from? I dread hitting shift+f and having X redraw all the strips or thumbs in the entire event. and then I still cant find the clip among the zillion frames displayed. Oh, and skim and mark ranges in the viewer and event viewer. And a million other things. I'd love to see apples priority list.


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T. Payton
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 1:16:12 pm

Oliver -
What are the specs on your machine. Are you on Mac Pro too?

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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Oliver Peters
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 3:02:27 pm

12-core Mac Pro, 32GB RAM, ATI 5870, fast storage (internal RAID-0 plus fibre channel SAN), Decklink Extreme card.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Nicholas Kleczewski
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 4:55:18 am

It seems clear that FCPX is doing some kind of dump into RAM each time a clip is accessed for the first time in an open project. Whether thats the thumbnails, waveforms, metadata or what even the guys at FCPX Feedback aren't sure. But the good thing is, once its loaded once, you can go back to that clip and performance is lightening fast.

I'm working on a feature doc with over 10,000 clips of video, 5TB of footage just in proxy resolution. I find it best to leave FCPX open at all times as much as I can. Once things are cooked into Ram and FCPX is hitting around 10GB used, the project moves decently enough. The do-over from restart each time is a real pain and I avoid it all costs.

I notice this kind of thing actually performing much worse on a MacPro than any of the updated macs. I traced this back somewhere to some guys hypothesizing this had to do with something called AVX or something like that Intel put in post MacPro processors that goes directly to these types of quick access issues.

Another huge thing I found before 10.0.6 was using dual monitors drastically decreased general responsiveness. It seemed to get better after 10.0.6 to where I'm not sure it even happens any more. But I haven't worked on anything small and zippy lately to really test that.

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 1:11:05 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I'm letting the machine cook overnight and generate proxies, just to see if the performance is better in the morning."

I let the project cook overnight to create proxies in FCP X. Performance isn't any better with the proxies, so I'll probably just stick with original media. However, letting it sit overnight has definitely improved responsiveness. I think that when you do a lot of keywording the app does some under-the-hood database management. This doesn't show up as a background process, yet it definitely affects UI interaction. When it's done, the app speeds up. It's hard to put your finger on, but that seems to be why sometimes you close the app, or come back to it a day later, and it feels like you are running completely different software or are operating a much faster machine.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Nicholas Kleczewski
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 4:03:47 pm

Hey
Ive experienced the same thing. If you notice from when you started and picked it up the next day in Activity Monitor FCPX probably went from using some average amount a RAM to using much more. When everything is "loaded" and idle in my big project FCPX is hovering around 10-12GB of RAM used.

Theres still lots of smaller beach ball moments while its "thinking" its way through things. but much more manageable.

I think in a sense the FCPX engineers devised so many performance/convenience items, from waveforms, to thumbnails, to saving every move made, to massive amounts do metadata, etc, and in order for it to do that at the blistering speeds it does, it needs everything held as close as possible. Where as Avid, or to some extent FCP legacy, addressed things more linear as needed so size didn't matter for the most part, (Avid compartmentalizes way more than Legacy did) I have no doubt that if I had every Bin open and everything going at once in Media Composer as FCPX is trying to do, it would be even worse.

I kinda wish there'd be some kinda implementation of a "performance/convenience slider" or a "longform/shortform" toggle switch, and FCPX could make intelligent decisions on processes for forgo, or not forgo in order to keep things running as equal as possible regardless of project size.

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 31, 2013 at 12:33:06 pm

" I have no doubt that if I had every Bin open and everything going at once in Media Composer as FCPX is trying to do, it would be even worse."

That hasn't been my experience with Media Composer, but admittedly I run those bins in the list mode. There is no equivalent to skimming, but you can play thumbnails in the frame or script view from within a bin. I will admit, though, that if you open a large MC bin in the frame view, it will take a while to populate as well. If you scroll up revealing off-screen frames, you'll get similar display latency as to what T is showing.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 1:17:44 pm

There's definitely some under-the-hood management going on that still needs to be optimized. It would be great if there were an option to have a list-only view or completely turn off waveforms in the event filmstrip until needed.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 1:46:45 pm

In times like these, if you have the screen real estate, you should keep a Finder window open and single click the Event file to highlight it.

You can see how often the file gets hit and that, at least for me, causes a few pauses here and there.

A cache and manual save option would help here, but I'm sure that will never happen.

You go from knowing when the pauses happen in Legend by virtue of user control (save all, renders, "preparing to display...") to letting the software manage the pauses. Although, since v10.0.0, I find they happen less often.

I find it helps to see the software doing something by watching the Finder. :)


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T. Payton
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 3:54:28 pm

The thing that is killing me is when I am in the initial organizing stage of my project and I trying to scroll through a bunch of footage in filmstrip. Especially with my magic mouse trying to "flick' up and down. It is painfully slow, jumpy and jerky. So much so that it isn't useful for reviewing, keywording or organizing footage. I fell like I am working against FCP X.

Is this what it feels like to you on more recent Macs? (for me anything more recent than a 2006 MacPro)

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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Nicholas Kleczewski
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 4:09:14 pm

This is exactly the performance hit stuff that through some old research I found was possibly tied in some part to the AVX Intel thing I mentioned before. It does not seem to be GPU/CPU relatable in terms of clock speed or cores alone. So in fact, my MBPr works much much better in this regard than my Nehalem MacPro does. I actually don't even use it for FCPX editing. I export XML when im done from MBPr that is docked right beside and just use the MacPro for Resolve or whatever else.

The whole AVX thing could have nothing to do with it, but there is no doubt that there is something that makes the processor generation different in performance in current MacPros over newer stuff, even a mac mini frankly, just in terms of this type of performance.

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 4:30:56 pm

[T. Payton] "I trying to scroll through a bunch of footage in filmstrip. Especially with my magic mouse trying to "flick' up and down. It is painfully slow, jumpy and jerky."

Hmm... I'm not seeing that here. Although, I typically only work with ProRes media (I do not believe in using native H264 camera files). Generally my clips are no longer than several minutes, since these are file-based recordings.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Nicholas Kleczewski
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 4:32:29 pm

Yeah, I was going on the assumption that ProRes was being used. But thats def a no brainer, H.264 is terrible to edit with and should be avoided at all costs. FCPX makes the transcode process so easy theres almost no reason to consider it unless you literally had a one day turnaround or something.

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


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T. Payton
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 5:13:47 pm

Oliver,

This is what I am seeing on my end with ProRes footage. This event has 2100 clips:









------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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T. Payton
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 5:14:32 pm

Sorry for the double video on that last post. The preview on my post wasn't showing the youtube embed correctly.

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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Nicholas Kleczewski
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 5:17:03 pm

I'd say thats not odd behavior given the amount you are flicking through. If you change the thumbnail slider to be less representations over time that helps. But getting used to working in the clip name with film strip at top mode is what I'd recommend. You can flick through that with ease. and simple meta data additions could be inserted with keywords or columns to give you the same visual que of where your flicking too that the filmstrip achieves.

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


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T. Payton
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 5:20:51 pm

[Nicholas Kleczewski] "I'd say thats not odd behavior given the amount you are flicking through"

So you are seeing the same type of performance?

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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Nicholas Kleczewski
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 5:24:40 pm

Yeah, I frankly don't use that filmstrip view style ever. It does work better if you change the duration slider at the bottom to make less detailed views, but I never really found the advantage to it over seeing clip info with single film strip at top.

You could split the difference on the idea and drill down your raw footage with keywords and then when your flicking through, its a lot smaller version of the database to pull from and then you should get better performance. For instance, break up B-Roll by days or theme or location. Break out interviews, or whatever is simple. Then when you click that relevant keyword you are only pulling a narrow subset of all the events clips which should work a lot better.

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


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T. Payton
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 5:24:48 pm

Nicholas - are you on a MacPro also?

(BTW. From what all of you have said, this is looking like it is not a machine issue, but rather something with FCP X)

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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Nicholas Kleczewski
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 5:30:21 pm

Ive run FCPX on just about every mac out right now sans the latest iMacs. I dont think what your running into is necessarily a machine or even FCPX limitation per se, you are attempting to do something there pretty unique. That is thousands of pictures, waveforms etc you are breezing through on any given flick. And its not the same as something like lightroom or Aperture in which the thumbnail never changes. Its a a dynamic process with every flick based on filmstrip length, whats around it, how big the window currently is, etc. So its a load on a whole other incalculable scale.

Im sure the engineers could thing of ways to improve that, but I can't imagine it'd be any time soon. Also, solid state storage could help you in this regard. That little microsecond of delays your getting could be affected by read speeds, even if your on the fastest of fast affordable arrays, access time matters at the level your pinging large amounts of data here.

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 6:07:45 pm

This looks pretty normal to me. I don't work in that view either. For me it's almost always list+top filmstrip unless it's an event with only still photos.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Mark Dobson
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 7:24:36 pm

I work in filmstrip and list view depending on what task I'm doing.

My mind responds to visual information better than long lists and with skimming on its possible to find things very quickly.

I've got a 2008 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon with 22 GBs of RAM and a ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB Graphics card . I find scrolling in filmstrip view jerky bit not unusable. (1080p native Canon C300 files)



I've devoted a 27" monitor to the Event viewer and keep the view at minimum with no waveforms.

Tomorrow I'm starting to migrate to a new 27" iMac and I'm looking forward to finding out what improvements in performance / stability I'm going to get for my investment or whether I'd of been just as well to stick with what I've got and gone on a holiday.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 31, 2013 at 1:27:33 am

If you can, open Activity Monitor and click the "Disk Usage" tab and check out both the data and also iops.

Your cache is being built as you scroll through there, how new is this Event?

Is the performance different on your OWC drive?

It looks like you have three hard drives that have pertinent fcpx databases on them. What happens if you go down to just the chicken of LaCie?


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T. Payton
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 31, 2013 at 4:28:49 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Your cache is being built as you scroll through there, how new is this Event?
"Is the performance different on your OWC drive?"
"It looks like you have three hard drives that have pertinent fcpx databases on them. What happens if you go down to just the chicken of LaCie?"


Actually I just grabbed that event because I knew it was large, about 2100 clips, and it would illustative the problem well for this thread. My drive "Chicken of the LaCie" is running off esata so it is just fine with speed, about 120MB/sec. I've done many tests with different configurations—many events or few— all with similar results. I've cut dozens of projects and have always experienced this slow scrolling behavior. ProRes gives the best performance, but nothing I would call smooth.

I have quite an old Mac Pro 2006, so I was just wondering if this was typical. It sounds as if alot of folks are not using filmstrips to view clips. I for one use it to get a quick overview of my footage. It is a great timesaver, I just wish it was more responsive.

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: How is browser performance in FCP X on your machine?
on Jan 31, 2013 at 4:57:15 am

There's no question a newer computer will perform noticably better.

You could take Chicken of LaCie to an apple store, plug it in to a quad core i7 imac and see the difference as long as you have the proper adapters.

We are facing the same fate of plunking down for new hardware, but I am trying to wait it out just a bit longer.

FCPX can do some amazing things, but it does use considerable resources. It would benefit from a modern Xeon.


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