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FCP X is sluggish for a big library. Thoughts on how to fix this?

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Noam Osband
FCP X is sluggish for a big library. Thoughts on how to fix this?
on Aug 18, 2016 at 5:10:55 pm

I'm editing a feature length doc. My footage is on a RAID 5 and a single external drive that is attached with a RocketStor. Lately, the program runs slow. Thoughts?

I was thinking it might be because...
1 - There is a lot of metadata. I keyworded the hell out of it, and I often put the transcript in the camera name section for each clip
2 - I have a bunch of projects as I am making highlights of different scenes

I can't think what else it might be. Both the Raid and the drive on the Rocket Stor have at least 10% free.

Thoughts on what might be making FCP X a bit sluggish?


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Doug Metz
Re: FCP X is sluggish for a big library. Thoughts on how to fix this?
on Aug 18, 2016 at 10:21:56 pm

In some cases, turning off the inspector can speed things up substantially.

Doug Metz

Anode


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Joe Marler
Re: FCP X is sluggish for a big library. Thoughts on how to fix this?
on Aug 18, 2016 at 10:36:11 pm

I am working on a documentary with 2.2 terabytes in one event, consisting of 5,600 clips and 117 hours of material. Content is all on a 16TB Thunderbay 4 in RAID-5. On my top-spec 2015 iMac 27 it works fairly well but FCPX could use more optimization on thumbnail generation. Unlike Lightroom, you can't tell it to go ahead and pre-generate all the thumbnails. It tries to do this "just in time" and can get bogged down.

I found that having spotlight indexing *disabled* on the media drive makes it worse, and enabling spotlight makes it better. That is opposite to the normal advice.

If you are getting close to 10% free space that can definitely degrade performance -- assuming that I/O is the issue. Hard drives start putting data on the outer cylinder where rotational speed (hence transfer performance) is the fastest, then fill up toward the hub. It's true when you go below 10% HDD I/O performance can degrade drastically but long before that you are probably gradually losing performance. But your problem might not be I/O.

What part is slow? Skimming or going FF/Rev in the timeline or rendering the TL or applying effects or what? If you don't have the viewer set to "Better Performance" you could try that.

If you are editing H264 that can be CPU intensive even on a higher-end Mac, especially if compute-intensive effects are applied such as stabilization. Even if it's ProRes the effects must still be calculated, so gradually as you work on a project and apply more effects it can slow down.

If you are not using proxy you could try this on one project by just transcoding to proxy (not optimized) the used media indicated by view->show used media and then filtering (CMD-F) on used media, selecting only those, right-clicking and transcode to proxy, then set the viewer to proxy and examine performance.

Also if you have specific editing actions which are slow, examine whether those are consistently slow or only after FCPX has been running for a while. If you restart FCPX and they are fast it could be a memory management problem within FCPX.


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Bret Williams
Re: FCP X is sluggish for a big library. Thoughts on how to fix this?
on Aug 19, 2016 at 4:33:19 am

[Joe Marler] "it works fairly well but FCPX could use more optimization on thumbnail generation. "

When you mention the thumbnail issue, are you talking about thumbnails (one single frame to represent the entire clip) or filmstrips? I don't see any bog down in thumbnails, but I only use a single thumbnail, never filmstrips, even in the timeline. The only time I use a filmstrip is when I put the browser into list view, in which case it just has to generate one single filmstrip of the clip I'm on and it doesn't have a problem with that of course. I'm running a late 2012 27" iMac i7.

_______________________________________________________________________
http://BretFX.com Plugins & Templates for FCP X Editors & Motion Graphics Artists


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Charlie Austin
Re: FCP X is sluggish for a big library. Thoughts on how to fix this?
on Aug 19, 2016 at 10:40:19 pm

[Bret Williams] "When you mention the thumbnail issue, are you talking about thumbnails (one single frame to represent the entire clip) or filmstrips? I don't see any bog down in thumbnails, but I only use a single thumbnail, never filmstrips"

I use filmstrip view all the time, sometimes zooming in to the 1/2 second view. It does take a bit to draw stuff when you do that. I just take a couple minutes when I import new clips to scroll through them at all zoom levels so it draws them all. Saves a ton of time down the road, but is a bit of a PITA...

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
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~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Joe Marler
Re: FCP X is sluggish for a big library. Thoughts on how to fix this?
on Aug 20, 2016 at 1:19:26 am

[Bret Williams] "When you mention the thumbnail issue, are you talking about thumbnails (one single frame to represent the entire clip) or filmstrips? I don't see any bog down in thumbnails, but I only use a single thumbnail"

I'm talking about single-frame thumbnails. While it generally works very well there is some internal inefficiency which rears its head on very large events. The thumbnails become very slow to fill in and sometimes it gets stuck for 30 sec. During those periods Activity Monitor indicates extremely high I/O rate -- 15,000 I/Os per sec on my 16TB RAID. That must be from caching at either the file system or SoftRAID level, since a four-drive array can't do that many. There's nothing wrong with my RAID array, as I have several different ones (some hardware and some software) and FCPX exhibits this behavior on them all.

Eventually the thumbnails are generated (for that page) and then everything is fast. However as I scroll down further it gets bogged down until they generate.

Unfortunately there is no way to tell FCPX to proactively generate them -- you have to scroll down. The UI is somehow sending messages to the thumbnail generation thread. This is probably an optimization to avoid a lengthy thumbnail/preview generation period as with LightRoom, etc. But unfortunately there is no way to override the automatic algorithm and tell it "go ahead and generate them, I'll wait".


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Gregor Queck
Re: FCP X is sluggish for a big library. Thoughts on how to fix this?
on Aug 18, 2016 at 10:41:23 pm

- I had a corrupted file that slowed it down.
- Neat Video, if not rendered, slows it down.
- A unfriendly behaving audio or video plugin may be the problem
- sometimes even cables make problems

- maybe the time when the problem first occurred may give a hint
- make a new library, copy event for event and test in between....

....hope this helps...

. . .


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