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poor performance with longer project

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Michael Graziano
poor performance with longer project
on Jul 25, 2013 at 3:40:51 pm

Hi,

I'm working on a feature doc. Everything was running smoothly until about the time my timeline passed the 90 min mark. Now nearly every move I make on the timeline pinwheels. I'm still in rough cut and probably have another hour of material to add before fine cutting. It's still workable, but I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to improve performance.

I found a larry jordan article on improving performance (albeit a year old) where he wrote:

"for larger projects, compound clips that aren’t nested inside each other can actually make the system run better. If you are loading lots of clips into the Timeline, Final Cut needs to track each of these clips individually. Instead, if there is a section of the Timeline that you are done editing, select all the clips in that section and convert it to a compound clip"

I tried it on several sections. Seemed to help marginally, but I'm hoping you guys might have other suggestions.

My set up is not the best, but is good, and like I said has been working fine until a couple days ago.
OS 10.8.4, 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5, 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M 512 MB

working from a 7200rpm 4 TB Gdrive w/ USB3.0 connection

Also, It's basically straight cuts at this point, no heavy graphics or effects. I haven't even added titles or tags yet.

thanks.

mike


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Sascha Engel
Re: poor performance with longer project
on Jul 25, 2013 at 8:57:41 pm

Please, keep me us updated, if you find something.
I will soon start a bigger project in X as well, and your post sounds a bit worrying.

Thanx.

Sascha Engel
TIME BANDITZ Productions
http://www.youtube.com/taikang


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Carsten Orlt
Re: poor performance with longer project
on Jul 25, 2013 at 10:15:04 pm

Rather than compounding, which I avoid totally until the very end right now hearing so many bad things about it, why don't you try to cut in sections, meaning creating several projects rather than having everything in one?

I'm in the middle of a large project and don' have the slow decrease in performance. But I edit 'scene' based right now. Every scene or logical section of the doc is in its own project. I will only put it together in the end. Don't know what will happen then but so far so good. It might take a moment when loading a diff project because of the size of associated events, but ones it's done system runs normal.

Mac Pro 2008, 16 Gb ram, ATI 5750, third party eSata raids.

Happy editing.


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T. Payton
Re: poor performance with longer project
on Jul 25, 2013 at 11:23:54 pm

Every edit you get a pinnwheel? Humm. I saw this quite a bit on 10.0.4 and earlier, but now it is much better. I'm guessing that is a Ram issue, or an issue with your HD.

Take a look at Activity Monitor, and view the "System Memory" area. See if the Page Outs is anything larger than a few hundred megabytes. That will send any app into spinning beach ball land.

I would run disk utility "repair" on your external drive.

What version of FCPX are you on?
What kind of media are you working on? Format, resolution, etc.
How many elements are on your timeline? Look at the timeline index and choose clips and it will show how many items you have.
How large is your currentversion.fcpproject file?

- T.

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: poor performance with longer project
on Jul 26, 2013 at 2:57:54 am

In my experience, these are things to AVOID in large projects:

Many events
Liberal use of compound clips - especially those with full timelines, like "selects" assemblies
Compounds within other compounds
Lots of effects and graphics
Many keywords applied to a lot of clips
Native camera media - HDV, H264, REDCODE, AVCHD - as opposed to ProRes variants

What the fail-over point is will vary with how many of these you have and the speed of your system (GPU, CPU, RAM, hard drive). Unfortunately there does not seem to be a definitive answer.

- Oliver

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


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Michael Angelo
Re: poor performance with longer project
on Jul 26, 2013 at 6:40:51 am

Appreciate this thread, just posted a similar query as launching a feature on FCPX, so at the bottom of the mountain:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/344/22337

Would be curious to know if you broke up your Events or just have one large Event? As far as edit timeline, in other systems, I usually break show up into reels and if I need to see the entire show, I cut a flattened version and view it with everything I don't need unloaded. FCPX makes that tough unless you design the show to work with Event Manager X and have multiple Events etc. Multiple Events have their own inherent issues, but is Event Manager X something that can help you?

Been banging my head against the wall for weeks researching, testing, inquiring about how to avoid the exact problem you are having, will post any useful findings as I get a bit deeper into the process and will definitely follow this thread closely.

Hope you get moving again soon!!

"A life without cause is a life without effect." -Dildano


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Carsten Orlt
Re: poor performance with longer project
on Jul 26, 2013 at 8:21:14 am

I can't say that having many events has any disadvantages for me, I would actually say it is the opposite.

Having events available doesn't mean they will be loaded in full when you launch FCP. I have 60 events for our doc. Each location is one event. And music is separate from SFX and VFX etc.

FCP only loads the full event that is needed in a given project, or if I select the event in the event browser. FCP keeps managing the memory perfectly and I only occasionally have to wait. I'm on a Mac Pro and just upgrading to a SSD as my system drive made a huge difference. I noticed that FCP uses the system drive quite a bit to cache stuff (or whatever it does - guess it puts memory content there temporarily) and the super fast SSD speeds up this process dramatically.

Same goes for projects. I have a new project for every little seq I edit. New version of same seq = new project. I do not create compounds to edit in. I maybe only would create a compound to apply a global effect or mix bus. So far no crashes - no hiccups.

Ah yes I do actually edit in proxy mode. I feel its faster, specially when working with non Prores originals. And FCP handles all the conversions under the hood. I couldn't be happier!!!

And while I'm at it, boy do I love the new timeline. Once you get a hang of it you never go back!!! And audio editing is 100% better than it ever was. Kudos to Apple for having the vision and sticking to it!

Happy editing


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Michael Graziano
Re: poor performance with longer project
on Jul 26, 2013 at 1:25:24 pm

Thanks everyone for your responses.

@ T Payton
Thanks for the good questions. here are answers with your original questions included:
What version of FCPX are you on?
10.0.8

What kind of media are you working on?
I've been creating optimized clips on import. I have plenty of storage and up until a couple days ago performance has been fine. Originally shot in 1920x1080 24p on Canon c100. Canon C300, and 5d

How many elements are on your timeline?
400 (is this outside the normal range? What is "normal"? Would be great to get your feedback on this)

How large is your currentversion.fcpproject file?
16.7 MB

Page outs is either 0 or a few kb

I think you may be right about it being an issue with my HD. I'm dumping everything on to a different drive now to see if that makes a difference.


@ Carsten

I get why breaking the film up into section and assigning each of those sections a different project/event could help performance, but to my mind you shouldn't have to do that ... I cut similarly sized projects on FCP7 with a slower older computer and slower older drives with no problem. Now suddenly I have to break everything apart?

That said, I'm not bashing FCPX. I'm converted and i think it's great. ANd the workflow/approach you propose does make sense, and if it works well for you that's all that matters, but I don't think we should *have* to do this with large projects.

I actually think I'm having some kind of HD problem on my external.

@ Oliver

I'm doing none of those things you warn against

@ Michael ANgelo

Thanks for the encouragement. I haven't even looked at event manager x. I have to have a fine cut of this by the first week of Sept. and a final cut by Oct 1 so I'm just trying to get through. As I mentioned, everything was working beautifully until a few days ago, which seemed to coincide with the time line approaching the 2 hr mark. The size of my event, however, has not really changed - i.e. all the footage was already imported and optimized well before I started this heavy editing. I'm thinking / hoping that it's just an issue with my external HD (which totally sucks because it's brand new).

Will keep you posted

Also, Larry Jordan mentioned trashing preferences as a way to improve performance - he was referring to earlier versions of FCPX though. I'm wary of doing this with 10.0.8. Anyone have any thoughts?
thanks again, mike


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T. Payton
Re: poor performance with longer project
on Jul 26, 2013 at 3:04:21 pm

Michael,

If you want, email me directly using my creativecow username without the period at onecreative.net. We can screenshare or talk in the phone and probably get this worked out quickly.

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


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Jacob Brown
Re: poor performance with longer project
on Jul 26, 2013 at 4:50:14 pm

With the feature I'm finishing up now I experienced a similar issue towards the end of the project.

One thing that definitely helped was deleting all render files -- towards the end I started using effects more and I think maybe there are some snags as effect render and rerender. Or it may just be that the old render files (unused) start piling up and eating away at memory.

I also went out and bought a small thunderbolt raid to edit off of. (ended up getting the Lacie 2 big. it's basically two 7200 rpm drives in raid) and that really smoothed things out for me.


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Michael Graziano
Re: poor performance with longer project
on Jul 26, 2013 at 6:50:22 pm

hi T, I just emailed you.

Thanks


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Nikolas Bäurle
Re: poor performance with longer project
on Jul 26, 2013 at 10:09:56 pm

I had the same problem over a year ago editing a feature length experimental art film, shot on xdcam ex. It is full of color corrections, fast edits, sound filters. Was using my 8 year old FW800 500GB Raid + 2011 MacBook Pro, i7. Until then it had bee outperforming even my newer LaCie drives. Suddenly with X and about 20 hours of footage, 60 min cut, X would pretty much come to a standstill, up to 30 min beach balls, the project could take about 15 minutes to load on certain days, relinking about 10 min... duplicating a 500 GB event inside x took about 12 hours.

When an got my LaCie thunderbolt drive everything worked perfectly fine, on the same MacBook. On my new iMac there's practically no stalling whatsoever.
My old drive still works with my laptop very well, just not long X projects.

FCPX generally has problems with older hardware, in my experience. The places I've used X at all had problems with their drives. I had a job cutting 3 min image clips last year on a 12 core MacPro, pimped out machine. At first the Raid died, and even after getting the new one it was slow., I ended up using my MacBook with my old 500 Gb Raid Drive:-)) worked like a charm.

"Always look on the bright side of life" - Monty Python



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Michael Graziano
Re: poor performance with longer project
on Jul 26, 2013 at 10:41:11 pm

I hear you. Both my computer and drives are brand new. Like I mentioned before, not the most high performance, but still should be more than enough. I ran disk repair on everything to see if something was failing or corrupted, but there were no problems at all.

It's still workable. And never pinwheels for more than 30 secs, but it's maddening when trying to trim a clunky and/or long winded interview response and every time you use the blade the pinwheel comes out, even if it's only for 5 seconds.

If this keeps up I'm going to get a thunderbolt raid. I thought USB 3 would be enough (I was able to get 2 brand new 4TB USB3 G drives for the same price as 1 4tb thunderbolt raid). we'll see...

I looked at the render files. All of them put together only add up to 100gb, which shouldn't be the problem.

In any case, before I pony up for the thunderbolt I'm hoping there's some default or preference or something that's causing the trouble that I've overlooked and to which someone points me


thanks for your input

mike


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Nikolas Bäurle
Re: poor performance with longer project
on Jul 27, 2013 at 12:03:51 am

Do you have background rendering turned on? That can slow you down, and it generates a lot of files, every single change you make gets rendered automatically, then you make speed changes adding optical flow for example or add 3rd part effects and X spends its time background rendering like crazy, so any time you move your mouse it starts beachballing to pause the rendering and start rendering again once you stop, it happens on older macs and drives very often. I would delete your renderfiles on a regular basis if you background render.


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Michael Graziano
Re: poor performance with longer project
on Jul 27, 2013 at 1:34:28 am

I was just about to post to the thread when I read this.

I do have background rendering turned on, which makes sense that as the timeline expanded the increased weight would cause the pinwheeling. I'll try cutting without it on to see if that helps. although, WTH this almost all straight cuts, not effects, titles or even tags yet.

All that said - don't know why I didn't think about this earlier - but I turned off audio and video skimming after my last post and performance improved *dramatically* - pinwheeling only a fraction of the time - back to 90% performance.

Maybe if I turn off BG rendering i'll be back to 100%.

What are the pros cons of turning off BG render altogether vs. just trashing render files periodically? If i go with the latter, i.e. trash but leave BG render on, won't that just cause the program to attempt to re-render everything that I trashed as soon as I'm back on the timeline?

thanks again,

mike


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Nikolas Bäurle
Re: poor performance with longer project
on Jul 27, 2013 at 8:40:43 am

I always have it turned off, I only use it when If need to render the entire edit. I always render selections using ctrl+r and only if its really necessary.

If you leave BG render on and you open an unrendered project it will start rendering.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: poor performance with longer project
on Jul 27, 2013 at 4:01:30 pm

This might sound oversimplified, but do you use Dropbox?

I rarely do, but one of my vendors swears by it so I have to use it, unfortunately.

I was getting massive slow downs in a really simple project the other day and quitting Dropbox was like flipping a performance switch in fcpx. I had to actually quit it not just stop it. I am now using Dropbox through the web only on fcpx machines.

Jeremy


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Nikolas Bäurle
Re: poor performance with longer project
on Jul 27, 2013 at 4:41:01 pm

I had the same problem with iTunes slowing down X last week.


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Michael Angelo
Re: poor performance with longer project
on Jul 28, 2013 at 7:15:23 am

Hey Carlson Orlt,

I love the idea of having separate Event Libraries! I'm just new to the software and haven't really figured out how to use all my valuable keywording to make a search across multiple Events. Say for example I break the imports into 10 logical Events and I want to see all the shots with 3 specific characters, at 2 common locations plus another criteria across all my Events. That would be 5 keywords that I would like to use to pull media from within 10 Event Libraries. When I put a key word in search field it doesn't pull anything up. I guess that leaves smart collections which don't seem to work across events meaning I'd have to create 10 Smart Collections one for each event? I'm so very new to this work flow so please excuse my ignorance…

This forum is unreal, really appreciate all the great info and responses...

"A life without cause is a life without effect." -Dildano


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