FORUMS: list search recent posts

Do I need 'Optimized' media?

COW Forums : Apple Final Cut Pro X

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Brian Thomas
Do I need 'Optimized' media?
on May 5, 2017 at 10:26:05 am

I multicam school shows and it’s all AVCHD on my prosumer Panasonic camcorders.

I import into FCPX creating Proxy media at the same time and I ‘Leave files in place’.

I do all my edits on the Proxy material, I change back to ‘Optimised/Original’ (and ‘Better Quality’) under ‘View’ and then I ‘Share’ to my delivery media. All seems OK but….

My question is: for my workflow, does ‘Optimized’ have any relevance? Am I missing out on something? It’s just that when I have ‘Create optimized media’ checked in the Import then inevitably the transcoding etc takes SO much longer and, I think, it all takes up a lot more disk space.

Thanks for any advice.

FCPX and PPro 6. iMac 24 + MBP 15". Near Geneva, Switzerland


Return to posts index

Brian Thomas
Re: Do I need 'Optimized' media?
on May 5, 2017 at 11:37:31 am

Whoops - got my answer: https://forums.creativecow.net/thread/344/46918#46931 Thank you Joe Marler.

So I'm avoiding optimized in future for my workflow.

FCPX and PPro 6. iMac 24 + MBP 15". Near Geneva, Switzerland


Return to posts index

Joe Marler
Re: Do I need 'Optimized' media?
on May 5, 2017 at 7:33:41 pm

[Brian Thomas] " AVCHD...I import into FCPX creating Proxy media at the same time and I ‘Leave files in place’."

The fact you can do "leave files in place" indicates you copied the files out of the folder tree and imported from there. Never do this with AVCHD, as it can create performance problems. FCPX does not handle this situation well, and unfortunately it is undocumented. Other tree-type media such as XAVC do not have this problem.

With AVCHD it is best to externally rewrap that using EditReady, then you can import with "leave files in place". If you use this method it will save a lot of problems, plus import will be much faster: http://www.divergentmedia.com/editready


Return to posts index


Brian Thomas
Re: Do I need 'Optimized' media?
on May 6, 2017 at 8:19:41 am

Many thanks for the reply Joe. I do indeed copy the structures to one of my fast G-Drive Thunderbolt disks and, as mentioned, I create Proxy files during the import. I edit these proxies on my top-of-the-range (as it was in Mid 2015) machines with 16GB RAM and I've never noticed any performance issues with as many as seven camcorders plus two external sound recorders. I've been doing this for years with a continuous flow of projects.

Looking at the divergent media web site I couldn't immediately see how it would do things for me that FCPX doesn't do already in one way or the other.

I've lots to learn and things keep cropping up that surprise me while adding to the pleasure of this activity. Perhaps there are issues related to all this lurking out there waiting to bite me and I'd be most grateful if you'd mention what sort of problems I might come up against if I continue with my simple workflow. Many thanks in advance.



1. Copy AVCHD structures to individual directories on HDD
2. Import all and specify create Proxy files.
3. Create Multicam clips as required
4. Editing
5. Change View back to Original
6. Share

FCPX and PPro 6. iMac 24 + MBP 15". Near Geneva, Switzerland


Return to posts index

Joe Marler
Re: Do I need 'Optimized' media?
on May 6, 2017 at 11:20:26 am

[Brian Thomas] " I do indeed copy the structures to one of my fast G-Drive Thunderbolt disks and, as mentioned, I create Proxy files during the import. I edit these proxies on my top-of-the-range (as it was in Mid 2015) machines with 16GB RAM and I've never noticed any performance issues with as many as seven camcorders plus two external sound recorders."

The performance issue happens if importing AVCHD content with "leave files in place", and without using proxy.

If you copy the entire card structure to your G-Drive, you cannot do an "in place" import. You'd have to then copy only the AVCHD video files out of the folder tree, and import from that location to enable "leave files in place". That is what causes the performance problem -- if you don't use proxy AND import "in place". FCPX apparently tries to dynamically re-wrap each file upon each reference, causing a large number of small I/Os when browsing the Event Browser in filmstrip mode. This is crucial because even a small % of non-proxy "in place" AVCHD files within a database can poison overall I/O performance.

This can be seen using the command-line Dtrace utilities bitesize.d, iosnoop and iopending. When scrolling down the Event Browser in thumbnail mode, the I/O histogram from bitesize.d and file access data from iosnoop shows an excessive number of small I/Os. Removing and re-wrapping those MTS files with EditReady eliminates this. It seems that using proxy may also avoid this, but this essentially requires proxy files for all imported media, otherwise you can't easily browse library content. This behavior is AVCHD-only, I have not seen it on XAVC.

Likewise importing the AVCHD content without using "leave files in place" will automatically re-wrap the files, which also avoids the problem whether you use proxy or not.

On a 2015 MBP (I have one) FCPX is fast enough to edit 1080p AVCHD content without using proxy -- provided that content was either imported from the original folder tree without "leave files in place" or was externally re-wrapped with EditReady then imported with "leave files in place". IMO the fastest method of handling this content is re-wrap with Edit Ready then import with "leave files in place", although the other method will also work.

Note the Dtrace utilities cannot be used starting with El Capitan unless System Integrity Protection is first disabled: http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/208762/now-that-el-capitan-is-root...


Return to posts index

Joe Marler
Re: Do I need 'Optimized' media?
on May 6, 2017 at 11:24:56 am

I just remembered you are doing multicam, so that might require proxy, even for 1080p. However it's possible if the files are imported properly you might have enough performance without proxy -- you'll have to test that.

Using proxy will probably protect you from the AVCHD I/O performance problem, but if you ever forget this and switch back to optimized/original, it could manifest. E.g, if you have a large library and don't generate proxy for everything, then switch out of proxy mode to see the non-proxy content.


Return to posts index


Brian Thomas
Re: Do I need 'Optimized' media?
on May 6, 2017 at 12:14:10 pm

Many thanks for all that Joe, much appreciated. It's now clear in my mind that I can stick with my simple workflow provided I have proxy files for my editing. I know from experience that even as few as two or three AVCHD streams will only play properly for a couple of seconds at a time but with those proxy files - wow!

"...but if you ever forget this and switch back to optimized/original..." - I've made this mistake a few times and usually looking at the anticipated file size has been enough for me to correct things. I actually made a feature request to Apple a couple of years ago to include a warning message after Share has been selected while still on Proxy files but little people like me in obscure places obviously don't count. They prefer to concentrate their updates on incredibly obtuse stuff, not what the vast majority of users are likely to come up against. Apart from that everything is fine and dandy!

Thanks again for your comprehensive advice.

FCPX and PPro 6. iMac 24 + MBP 15". Near Geneva, Switzerland


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]