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FilmConvert/ColorFinale/iZotope RX5 Plugin Problems?

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Jim Adams
FilmConvert/ColorFinale/iZotope RX5 Plugin Problems?
on Apr 2, 2016 at 9:22:34 pm

I have been working with Apple Support for a full year now. My first 5K iMac was replace under suspicion of a bad graphics card. The replacement is a late 2014 5K, 4GHz i7, 32GB ram, AMD Radeon R9 4GB. Same problems occurring. So of course, my 3rd party plugins are under suspicion.

I produce projects that are 20 to 40 minutes long. I experience many slowdowns, FCPX shutdowns, screen freezes, and... constant need to render random clips. If I make a change in one clip, several others (unrelated) will need to be rendered. If I don't keep up on renders, the system slows to a crawl and FCPX will eventually quit. I have also experienced strange graphic anomalies in the interface. "Ghosting" of the timeline, "ghost" clips suddenly showing up "connected" in a strange way to the main timeline – except they do not play in the viewer and cannot be moved. I must shut down and restart to make them disappear. I've had entire parts of the timeline suddenly replaced by what looks to be a huge gap clip. Etc., etc. - these things often occur only once or twice and never again. But then other odd graphical things occur. Like I said, I've been with the Pro Apps people for a full year of this. Erasing my SSD drive and reinstalling clean 8 or 10 times.

Pro Maintenance Tools (from Digital Rebellion) indicates (confirmed often my crash reports) that plugins cause the crashes. FilmConvert, Color Finale, isotope RX, Lock 'n Load are implicated at times.

I am going to start re-introducing these plugins one at a time, but before I do...

Has anyone experienced these kinds of problems with any or all of those plugins?


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: FilmConvert/ColorFinale/iZotope RX5 Plugin Problems?
on Apr 2, 2016 at 11:29:29 pm

I had a lot of crashes with color finale until the latest version. Izotope rx5 has also caused crashes from time to time so I rarely use it inside FCPX any more, preferring to export and use it stand alone or inside a better audio app.

I trialled film convert recently and it was so slow on my Mac Pro that I didn't bother buying it.

Hope that helps.

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer | Southern Creative Media | Melbourne Australia
http://www.southerncreative.com.au | G+: http://gplus.to/jeffkirkland | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Jim Adams
Re: FilmConvert/ColorFinale/iZotope RX5 Plugin Problems?
on Apr 3, 2016 at 12:37:20 am

Thanks for the response, Jeff. If you have a spare minute, I'd love to know if:
(1) you have experienced the unending re-rendering I've experienced. If I render all, close FCPX, then reopen it, the timeline has render bars scattered all over the place. And they seem very random. Render, close and reopen, and different clips will show as unrendered.
(2) OR... have you experienced the odd graphics behavior on the interface? Green squiggling "ghosts" of the skimmer, "ghost clips" that really aren't there, can't be selected or played, etc.? And since you were so nice...
(3) might I ask if you used the "Render with GPU (OpenCL)" option when you tried FilmConvert?


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Oliver Peters
Re: FilmConvert/ColorFinale/iZotope RX5 Plugin Problems?
on Apr 3, 2016 at 12:56:40 pm
Last Edited By Oliver Peters on Apr 3, 2016 at 12:55:04 pm

[Jim Adams] " If I render all, close FCPX, then reopen it, the timeline has render bars scattered all over the place. And they seem very random. Render, close and reopen, and different clips will show as unrendered."

I've had this issue with FCPX since the beginning on multiple systems. I suspect it's a persistent bug. I just hardly ever render. It's not worth it.

However, the extent to which you describe it, coupled with the other systemic issue, seems to indicate some other type of issue.

- Oliver

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


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Jim Adams
Re: FilmConvert/ColorFinale/iZotope RX5 Plugin Problems?
on Apr 4, 2016 at 12:40:23 pm

Thanks, Oliver. Helpful info. I tried to avoid rendering, but as the timeline grew things would get very sluggish and eventually FCPX would crash. So I started rendering every so often. If the culprit is a specific plugin, I hope to find out which one. But knowing that others experience these re-appearing render bars is helpful info.


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: FilmConvert/ColorFinale/iZotope RX5 Plugin Problems?
on Apr 3, 2016 at 8:20:52 pm

I haven't really experienced any of the more extreme issues you're having. Given everything you're describing, my thought would be a faulty GPU. Something that's only showing up when FCPX is stressing it, aalthough I'm assuming other GPU intensive apps like motion are running fine?

I didn't try the OpenCL setting in film convert, but my issue was with the sluggishness of the user interface so I'm not sure if that would have made any difference there.

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer | Southern Creative Media | Melbourne Australia
http://www.southerncreative.com.au | G+: http://gplus.to/jeffkirkland | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Jim Adams
Re: FilmConvert/ColorFinale/iZotope RX5 Plugin Problems?
on Apr 4, 2016 at 2:40:46 am

[Jeff Kirkland] "Given everything you're describing, my thought would be a faulty GPU. Something that's only showing up when FCPX is stressing it, aalthough I'm assuming other GPU intensive apps like motion are running fine?
"

Thanks again, Jeff, for taking the time to respond.
I am a one trick pony. I don't use Motion.
I also thought that maybe lightning struck me twice (bad GPU) and that the replacement iMac had the same GPU issues. But the Pro Apps people had me construct a timeline using only an Apple generator clip and an Apple sound effect. I duplicated those many times to make a 30 minute project. Then I retimed, reversed, connected, Ken Burns-ed, colored, moved, resized, added 3D Titles, added effects, transitions, color board adjustments, made compound clips, etc, etc. The system handled all of that without as much as a hiccup even with background rendering on. No re-renders if I closed and reopened FCPX. Everything worked like a dream. Like the dream I had when I purchased the original 5K iMac.
So, according to Apple, the computer is working properly. Now I need to start reintroducing plugins. But WHY this is happening when no one else seems to share my issues....? (And of course, the plugin makers have never seen my issues.)
If I learn anything significant, I'll post it here.
But if anyone else out there in Cowland has had these issues, I would surely like to know what you have learned.


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Claude Lyneis
Re: FilmConvert/ColorFinale/iZotope RX5 Plugin Problems?
on Apr 4, 2016 at 5:14:15 am

I have found when using Color Finale and it starts rendering, if I continue editing it generally crashes FCPX a few times. If I walk away an let it render, it is less prone to crashing. Osx 10.11.3 and FCPX10.2.3. Mid 11 iMac with 24 GB of memory.

Irritating, but that seems to be the way it is.

Claude


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Jim Adams
Re: FilmConvert/ColorFinale/iZotope RX5 Plugin Problems?
on Apr 4, 2016 at 12:32:49 pm

Thanks, Claude. All information like this is much appreciated and helpful as I go forward.


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Nick Rucka
Re: FilmConvert/ColorFinale/iZotope RX5 Plugin Problems?
on Apr 7, 2016 at 9:03:17 pm

Hi Jim,

I'm glad I'm not alone! ;-)

I'm cutting a number of spots, including one particularly complex 29 minute one with a ton of graphics, 4K footage and complex sound design, on FCPX and have had the same issues you describe. I get the ghost clip, clips disappearing, a black screen in the viewer when it should be displaying video from the project timeline etc etc. I've actually figured out a trick to get these things to go away, which is to disable (V) a top layer clip and then re-enable it, which seems to convince FCPX that the clip is fine and was there all the time. It's weird that this does the trick, but life is strange what can I say?

The issue of the renders disappearing or randomly getting lost is also a real hassle. I'm dealing with this now and after talking to some editing friends, we agree that this seems like a continuation of render file relinking issues that the old FCP7 suffered from. In my office, since we have our renders and cache being saved on an office SAN (we cut on multiple stations, and have to move around depending on editorial needs), one of the thoughts is that the SAN isn't a good place to keep this sort of stuff. That said, I've cut other projects with the renders and cache on the SAN and haven't had the renders getting lost issue, so I'm not certain that that's the culprit.

Now I'm especially intrigued by the Color Finale plug in issue that you mention. I am using the hell out of that plug in the projects, in addition to Hawaiki Keyer, and have noticed another issue occasionally where it leaves like a 2-3 pixel white boarder around the edges of the video I'm color correcting. I have no idea if that has any relation to what's going on, but it's certainly a bug that has yet to be fixed.

As for the iZotope point, I've only recently installed it on my primary editing bay, and while that plug in definitely borks my machine, all of those other issues predate its installation. So I don't think that's the problem.

At any rate, I'm very interested in what you find out from Apple Support. In the meantime, I find that rendering regularly, and baking stuff in by outputting and reimporting, does the trick if and when I have onerous playback issues. It's dumb to have to round trip it like that, but when you got a deadline, you figure out work arounds eh?

Thanks and good luck!

Nick


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Jim Adams
Re: FilmConvert/ColorFinale/iZotope RX5 Plugin Problems?
on Apr 8, 2016 at 4:05:50 pm

[Nick Rucka] "At any rate, I'm very interested in what you find out from Apple Support. In the meantime, I find that rendering regularly, and baking stuff in by outputting and reimporting, does the trick if and when I have onerous playback issues."

Very helpful, Nick. I agree that misery loves company. I gather that you are much more experienced in all this than I. I am a band of one and do all pre, production and post by myself. (OK, my sweet wife is very important to the pre-production and does all our admin.) No SAN. No editing team. But your response was very helpful. I've not tried outputting and reimporting. What kind of output? "Master File"? "Export File"? (I've never used Export File before. I'll have to consult the manual on that.)

Apple's response: My rep has been very patient with me even when I've begun to lose patience. I like him. However, when I reported my issues with FilmConvert after a clean install and running with nothing external plugged in, it felt like things changed. I had asked him about whether I should make a clean partition or completely wipe the drive so that I could test Color Finale. His response ignored my question. All he said was that, obviously, there is nothing wrong with my new iMac, but that I could take it to the Apple Store to test the GPU. (The iMac I returned for a new one passed all those tests with flying colors, but continued to screw up until finally they replaced it.) I have had the same case number for over a year now!

If the philosophy of the FCPX designers is to build a platform that welcomes (even encourages) the development of 3rd Party plugins to do the heavy lifting in certain areas (e.g., color grading/audio), then it makes no sense that they then blame widely used commercial plugins when something goes wrong. "Not our problem."

I will be testing Color Finale next because it is a real world stressing of the GPU. If it produces a bunch of issues, then I will do another clean install and try something like Lock n Load and iZotope. If they all crash, delay or produce UI corruption on a "pure as the driven snow" 5K iMac, then something is wrong with it. Because to-date, you are the only person I've found who reports the strange ghosting, etc. Or, if it isn't my iMac, then something is wrong with the FCPX philosophy that drives the use of plugins like these.

Thanks again! (And sorry for yet another long post.)


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Nick Rucka
Re: FilmConvert/ColorFinale/iZotope RX5 Plugin Problems?
on Apr 8, 2016 at 11:53:48 pm

First, in answer to your question, yeah just output a master clip and bring it back in. It's not an elegant solution - and in fact eats up drive space - but it'll solve your issue in the short term.

Definitely let us know what your Color Finale test shows. As it turns out, an editor in my office knows those guys so we might be able to talk to them about it if the situation can be recreated.

Lastly, it's not your 5k iMac. We have four work stations in our office - some supped up iMacs some mac pro (trash can) - and the issue occurs independent of it. It seems to be something that occurs in certain libraries that somehow get borked. What we don't know is what exactly causes this, but I really do suspect it's certain plugins and their interactions.

Have you optimized your footage? Transcoded it to ProRes before ingesting? Are you working with proxies? If so, has the problem continued independent of this?

Anyway, I hear you with your frustration with the plugin situation but I've found that all editing platforms have their weaknesses and quirks. FCP7 had it. Goodness knows that Premiere still has it. And should we talk about Avid? FCPX is doing some serious processing and some fancy footwork, so I try to cut it some slack. Hopefully the situation can be figured out soon, though! :/


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Jim Adams
Re: FilmConvert/ColorFinale/iZotope RX5 Plugin Problems?
on Apr 11, 2016 at 9:52:44 pm

[Nick Rucka] "The issue of the renders disappearing or randomly getting lost is also a real hassle."
[Nick Rucka] "Now I'm especially intrigued by the Color Finale plug in issue that you mention."

I am currently running tests with library and media on my internal SSD. Nothing is connected externally – not even my audio monitors (I'm getting superstitious). My event contains only 6 fairly short 4K clips that have been "multiplied out" over about 26 minutes of timeline. I've added some of those as connected clips. The only plugin installed (on a clean install of the OS and FCPX) is Film Convert.

So far there have been no crashes or freezes. And no strange graphic corruption of the UI that I experienced with the FilmConvert test (orange splotches over the adjustment areas in the Info Browser when mousing over the numerical values). But the oddball re-rendering keeps occurring. I render all. Close FCP. Open FCP. A couple clips will need re-rendering (which, BTW, seems really slow; but maybe that's my unfamiliarity in working with 4K media). After those clips re-render, if I close and reopen, it doesn't need re-rendering. But if I trim one clip, render all, close and reopen, new render bars appear in a couple places.

I haven't talked with Apple about this yet. More testing to do. I sure hate the idea of losing FilmConvert!


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