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FCPX Render times

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Ben Lithman
FCPX Render times
on Oct 4, 2013 at 2:49:07 pm

I know it's unlikely, but wanted to know if there was any way of setting up a render farm for FCPX. Let me clarify, I'm not talking about exporting/compressing video( i know this can be done through Compressor and other macs), I'm talking about rendering video after filters/effects have been applied.

If this isn't possible would changing my graphics card help, or is this a CPU related task?

Many thanks for any advice!


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Tim Jones
Re: FCPX Render times
on Oct 4, 2013 at 3:27:58 pm

To reasonably answer your question, we really need to know what hardware are you currently working with :).

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Ben Lithman
Re: FCPX Render times
on Oct 4, 2013 at 3:31:31 pm

Sorry my mistake.

I have a MacPro4,1... 2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon, Single NVIDIA GeForce GT 120. Boot disk is a Crucial M4 SSD.

I've never really understood if installing a SECOND NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 would help with this type of problem, or if installing another graphics card would just enable me to plug in more monitors?


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Tim Jones
Re: FCPX Render times
on Oct 4, 2013 at 5:02:22 pm

That video card is where I'd start (getting to at least 16GB in the system if you're not there would be another path).

If your budget allows, the newer Kepler-based Nvidia cards are a real boost.

http://store.apple.com/us/product/HA959LL/A/nvidia-quadro-k5000-gpu-for-mac

I'm quite a bit more budget conscious, so I went with the YoyoMarv Quadro 4800 on our four Mac Pro 4,1 units with great performance improvements for both FCP X / Motion 5 and Premiere Pro / After Effects.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NVIDIA-Quadro-FX-4800-1-8-GB-Video-Card-Mac-Pro-200...

Best $300 I've ever spent (aside form FCP X, that is :) ).

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Ben Lithman
Re: FCPX Render times
on Oct 4, 2013 at 5:06:02 pm

Thanks so much for the advice. I was under the impression that there were only 2-3 graphics cards that are compatible with my mac pro....? Will the YoyoMarv Quadro 4800 work straight out of the box? Should I be using WITH or instead of my current graphics card?


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Tim Jones
Re: FCPX Render times
on Oct 4, 2013 at 5:16:20 pm

It will work straight out of the box - he takes the non-EFI PC card and reflashes them so that they are Mac EFI compatible.

I simply replaced our 120's with this card. Never looked back.

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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James Cude
Re: FCPX Render times
on Oct 4, 2013 at 6:29:14 pm

You cannot setup a traditional render farm in FCPX- the power of the main CPU and GPU are what determines render speed. However you can definitely create a true multi-system render farm using Compressor and send completed FCPX projects to it.


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Bret Williams
Re: FCPX Render times
on Oct 4, 2013 at 9:31:46 pm

And you can only have one GPU installed. X will be be crash, freeze, and beach ball prone if you do. I assume they'll address that for the new tube.


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Bill Davis
Re: FCPX Render times
on Oct 4, 2013 at 8:41:34 pm

Ben,

I presume you understand that "rendering" in X works quite differently then it does in many NLE programs? Which is to say, X has a complex and very efficient process of creating "tiered proxies" on asset import - allowing the user to do virtually all their editing decision making starring instantly, and use background rendering to substitute higher Rez versions of source files as they're completed.

Because even the X "thumbnail proxies" it creates instantly are referenced to the original imported media, the editor can simply "park" on frames and the software will kinda "insta-render" a still composite, allowing quality judgements to be made

Because of this system, many of us commonly work with "background rendering" turned off by default.

The reason,is that instead of messing with (timeshared rendering" which is how the background rendering works - we simply wait until we need an output version - knowing that when X renders inside the "share" finction, it dedicates all the system resources available to the task.

If you are trying to force X to "render" as you used to (render as you go...) you may find out its totally unnecessary and often a major waste of time in X.

Just import and go to work. Do renders over lunch or overnight when your system is otherwise idle.

As rendering and machines like the new dual GPU MacPros arrive, rendering may become a different kind of experience in X. but the point is that is's no longer "traditional" rendering, anymore.

Something to be aware of.

FWiW

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Ben Lithman
Re: FCPX Render times
on Oct 5, 2013 at 12:49:20 pm

Hi Bill,

Firstly, thank you very much for taking the time to write such a detailed response. It's very kind of you to go to such trouble.

I must say some of what you said has gone over my head, but I think I got the gist of it.

I guess the summary of what I wanted to know comes from the issue i come across when applying a filter to a sequence and then having to watch the Mac attempt to play the footage back smoothly (and fail). I understand from your post, that spreading the processor is not possible across multiple locally networked machines. So I assume my best chance of aiding this process (without spending too much money) is to do as other posters have suggested, and upgrade my Graphics card.

Thanks,
Ben


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Bill Davis
Re: FCPX Render times
on Oct 5, 2013 at 10:02:38 pm

[Ben Lithman] "I understand from your post, that spreading the processor is not possible across multiple locally networked machines. So I assume my best chance of aiding this process (without spending too much money) is to do as other posters have suggested, and upgrade my Graphics card."

Possibly.

Have you tried letting X create Proxies of your source files and switched your storyline to pointing to them? IT's a near instant switch once the Proxy creation is done - and it cuts your footage stream size WAY down with minimal visual editing qauality loss.

That might make your rendering issues a lot easier to handle during your rough cut stage.

Once your editing is complete, just point the storyline to the original files, Take a break while it renders - and if you have tweeks to make, you can switch back to proxies any time.

FWIW.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Bill Davis
Re: FCPX Render times
on Oct 5, 2013 at 10:15:33 pm

One other thing I forgot to mention,

Since X became essentially resolution independent and "re-plumbed" for Core Video and AV Foundation, it appears to try to maintain the maximum resolution possible in all it's compositing and layering work.

So I've found myself in situations where I set up a stack of effects over a scene - particularly things like titles and transitions with a lot of transparency in play and watched as X took a LONG TIME to calculate it's final frame states.

That seems to have gotten a LOT better in recent X updates, but I'm still warry of building stacks of effects as discrete elements over a timeline. When I want to stack effects, I tend now to make the whole effect stack a single compound clip prior to rendering - because it would sometimes cut a render down from hours to a few minutes.

Again, this might be problems I remember from older builds of X. And might not do anything for you. But it's worth a shot.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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