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choking on DVCProHD???

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APlacas
choking on DVCProHD???
on Apr 29, 2007 at 5:53:34 pm

I am in someone else's HD suite with all the latest stuff....newest mac, newest final cut, new Kona card, new g-tech raid, 8GB RAM. I know that they have previously had a successful final cut pro edit in this suite (dvcpro hd), and it has been used little since then, so I don't know what could have changed and why things are no longer running smoothly.

I am an after effects animator and am merely trying to view some rendered quicktimes in Final Cut on an HD monitor to check for quality, moire, motion jitter, etc..
I tried viewing some uncompressed TIFFs and some quicktimes rendered with Kona's codec, but the machine choked on them. (My final deliverables will be uncompressed TIFF quicktimes).
So, I resorted to rendering DVCProHD animations. Surprisingly, they do not seem to be playing back in FCP in realtime. They have some motion stutter to them whenever the motion is a bit fast.
However, when I play them on the desktop in the quicktime application, they do not have this motion stutter issue.

Any idea where my problem lies? I'm assuming in Final Cut.
There is no reason this machine should not be able to handle playback of DVCProHD.
I did reset the raid to eliminate redundancy, hoping that was the problem, but it wasn't.
I don't believe the problem is with the media itself since it plays back smoother in the quicktime app.
I have the latest version of Final Cut.
I am using Final Cut's Easy Setup "AJA Kona LH-1080i 29.97 DVCPro HD"
I ran the Kona conflick checker and it found no conflicts.
My media and my Final Cut settings are Upper Field first, 1080i, 29.97 so it is not an 'incorrect fields' issue.
What else can I check?

I am pretty sure my animations are fine, but I simply cannot deliver them without having first seen them playing smoothly on an HD monitor.

Thanks!
Alisa


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Bob Zelin
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on Apr 29, 2007 at 7:16:48 pm

when you say "the new g tech raid" - I have no idea of what you are talking about. choking and dropped frame error messages are usually due to a drive array that cannot respond fast enough to the data rate you are trying to work at (1080i) -

download, or run AJA Kona System Test, and tell me the read/write results, when choosing a 1920x1080 file size. If it reports back around 200mb/sec, you are ok, and it's not your drives, and it's another problem. But if it reports back 50mb/sec to 180 mb/sec, the drive array is too slow, and cannot work at this resolution.

A response of "but the guy that owns this system said it works just fine with HD" is not a correct response. Give me the results from AJA Kona System test, and I will give you an answer.

Bob Zelin


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APlacas
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on Apr 29, 2007 at 7:44:15 pm

Sorry. When I said "new," I meant that they bought it about three months ago, so I'm working on a new system with the most up-to-date apps and drivers and such.
It is a 1TB G-Speed.

I did the Disk Read/Write test with the video frame size "DVCProHD 1080i60" and file size 128MB and got write=202.6MB/s and read=244.3MB/s

with a file size of 256MB, I got write=134.4MB/s and read=162.9MB/s

with the file size set to 512MB, I got write=159/1MB/s and read=152.5MB/s


I did a "Desk Read Existing File" test on a quicktime that is 247.2MB in size.
I got a read of 171.9MB/s
And the same test on a file that is 357.1MB and got a read of 167.2MB/s.

So, it sounds like it is too slow to play files of this size, right?

I know that they went back and forth quite a bit when buying this system, trying to ensure that they were purchasing something that would be fast enough to edit in HD.
If this system is too slow, what DO they need?

thanks for your help..



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gary adcock
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on Apr 29, 2007 at 8:07:21 pm

FIRST
Stop posting the same note in different forums.


Your Gtech array should be able to play back 1080 DVCPROHD content, if it is not DVCPROHD - no it cannot.

Set the Kona SYSTEM test size to be 512MB - 128MB does not give an accurate measurement of the drive performance

"I tried viewing some uncompressed TIFFs and some quicktimes rendered with Kona's codec, but the machine choked on them. (My final deliverables will be uncompressed TIFF quicktimes)."

your set up is not fast enough to play back uncompressed content of any type.

"So, I resorted to rendering DVCProHD animations. Surprisingly, they do not seem to be playing back in FCP in realtime. They have some motion stutter to them whenever the motion is a bit fast."

then your seq settings are not correct choose the the Appropriate easy set up create a new time time and try the footage in that timeline. That stuttering motion is your systems failing to keep up with the video

"I don't believe the problem is with the media itself since it plays back smoother in the quicktime app."

Quicktime is not a professional application, FCP is making sure that every frame plays - QT does not care.

you talk about monitoring in HD but no mention of a HDSDI card.








gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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APlacas
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on Apr 29, 2007 at 9:01:45 pm

Gary,
I apologize. I didn't know what the problem was related to, so I wasn't sure which forum to post my query. I didn't realize you guys monitored each forum.

This time, my Kona Test with the file size set to 512MB and the Video Frame size set to DVCProHD 1080i60, I got a write: 196MB/s and read: 166.3MB/s.

My quicktimes were rendered with the DVCProHD codec, 1080i, 29.97, upper field first.

My Final Cut easy setup is DVCProHD 1080i.

The card is a Kona LH video card with an SDI out to a Panasonic HD flatscreen monitor (BT-LH1700W).

I am not sure what you mean by this, "Your Gtech array should be able to play back 1080 DVCPROHD content, if it is not DVCPROHD - no it cannot. "

If this 1TB G-Speed is not fast enough to playback DVCProHD, then what array would they need to upgrade it to?

Thanks for your help.


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Bob Zelin
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on Apr 29, 2007 at 8:51:17 pm

Hi Alisa -
AJA Kona system test is wonderful, and it has helped greatly to diagnose your problem -

see my comments below -

It is a 1TB G-Speed.

REPLY - I have never worked with the G-Tech G-Speed, and both AJA and Blackmagic had the G-Speed XL at their booth at NAB. But the G-Speed is smaller, and it looks like you have the smallest unit. Keep going, I will comment on your results.


I did the Disk Read/Write test with the video frame size "DVCProHD 1080i60" and file size 128MB and got write=202.6MB/s and read=244.3MB/s

REPLY - well this is the correct data rate, but as you see below, it gets worse, real quick.



with a file size of 256MB, I got write=134.4MB/s and read=162.9MB/s

REPLY - ok, already too slow. Something with the drive array is wrong. Keep reading.


with the file size set to 512MB, I got write=159/1MB/s and read=152.5MB/s

REPLY - OK, you are now seeing that with larger files (and your video stuff is A LOT bigger than these test files) - this drive array IS NOT fast enough to do your 1080i material - OR something is wrong with the G-Speed, or it is full, or you don't have enough drives to do this data rate.



I did a "Desk Read Existing File" test on a quicktime that is 247.2MB in size.
I got a read of 171.9MB/s
And the same test on a file that is 357.1MB and got a read of 167.2MB/s.

REPLY - you need over 200mb/sec to do uncompressed HD. You should be able to do DVCProHD - even at the 150mb/sec rate, however.


So, it sounds like it is too slow to play files of this size, right?

I know that they went back and forth quite a bit when buying this system, trying to ensure that they were purchasing something that would be fast enough to edit in HD.
If this system is too slow, what DO they need?

REPLY - now I don't know all the details of your purchase. I never use G-Tech products, but both AJA and Blackmagic were doing HD at their booth with the G-Tech G-Speed XL Fibre array. I don't know exactly what you have, or how it was set up, or how full it was. I am sure that you were on a budget, and didn't buy the most expensive product (you bought the 1TB chassis - thats actually the 960 MB chassis, so you bought the smallest chassis).


ONCE AGAIN - I don't know all the details of what is going on here. I don't know the resolution you are working at. If you are working at uncompressed HD, you have hardware issues. If you are working at DVCProHD, you should have no issues, even at the 150mb/sec data rate.

Is your drive array configured as RAID 0, or some other way? Are you using Fibre, SCSI, or what for your interface ? Do you have an HD VTR like a Panasonic HD VTR available to - forget your animations, can you digitize in some HD material at DVCProHD res, and see if it plays back. There are so many variables, that you need to make things as simple as possible right now. It's easy for me to say "buy this, and buy that " to fix your problems, but you may simply have corrupt preferences - I just don't know, until you give me more info.

You may feel at this moment - "I spent all this money, I am not technical, and I don't really want to deal with any of this techno mumble jumble" - well, someone has to, and if it's not your dealer that sold you this gear, or a freelance tech, then you have to.

I will await your reply.

bob Zelin




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APlacas
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on Apr 29, 2007 at 9:24:27 pm

Thanks, Bob.

I realized pretty immediately that this system would not playback the TIFFs or the uncompressed Kona media.
I was pretty confident that it should be able to handle DVCProHD media though.
As I mentioned, they have previously done an edit in here with DVCProHD with no problems.

The G-Speed was set at Raid 3, but I changed it to Raid 0.
It is a SCSI connection.

Yes, this is frustrating and I am not much of a tech specialist. But, I am a freelancer and am used to being left on my own to figure stuff out...with the aid of the amazingly helpful people on this site.
This is my husband's company. They really only shoot video (he's a cameraman), but they just bought this system to archive their stuff and to rent out to freelance editors. Their tech guy is a college student that they just hired and who is currently out on a shoot for the next three weeks. SO, if I want to use this equipment, I am the one that has to figure out why it isn't working. It is worth it since they are letting me use it for free!

Could the G-Speed have too much media on it? I am currently copying 100GB to something else so I can dump it off the G-Speed.

I could digitize some stuff and play it back, but not until Monday. They've got a huge equipment room full of stuff downstairs, but no one is here to direct me to the decks. And I've got to head home to feed the baby. troubleshooting on all fronts.....

Alisa


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APlacas
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on Apr 29, 2007 at 9:45:32 pm

I erased 100GB of media and now the G-Speed has 699GB of free space.

I rendered out small 5 sec clips of some of the animations so that the final DVCProHD quicktimes are only 70MB each. They are still stuttering in Final Cut.

I tried seeing if Disk Utility would 'fix' anything on the G-Speed, but it was not able to unmount and inspect the disk.

what should I try next?

thanks..
alisa


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Bob Zelin
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on Apr 29, 2007 at 10:14:42 pm

there are too many variables here for me to diagnose. You certainly have plenty of disk drive space available to you. When you say "the quicktimes are still stuttering in FCP" - when you get "stuttering" in FCP, you either get DROP FRAME ERROR or you don't - (provided you have the System Preferences setup to abort on dropped frames) which is the default for FCP.

You really need to forget these animations (which I realize is your actual job right now), and digitize in some NEW HD footage from an HD source (camera or VTR) into the Kona and FCP system. Open up a new project, use the DVCProHD EASY SETUP, make sure you have your G-Tech raid selected in System Preferences, and digitize 30 seconds of material. Does it work (I know you can't do this now on Sunday).
If you were getting 150mb/sec with AJA Kona System test, this is ok for DVCProHD capture.

This is the way you troubleshoot - you make things as simple as possible, and do one thing at a time. If you still can't get it to work, we are going to abandon FCP, and use the AJA VTR XChange program, which is a free download, to digitize, and see if that works.

I can list dozens of tests (try this, try that - for example, forget HD, and digitize 8 bit uncompressed media thru your kona onto your internal hard drive, or an external FW 800 drive - this will work for a few seconds) - and see if this works, and see if it fails with your RAID array.

But I can't tell anything if the only material you have to work with is your quicktime animations. There are so many variables here, that you need to do some tests in a NEW CLEAN PROJECT, not using your animations. I know that this is easy for me to say, when you are not at your studio, with no equipment to do these tests now.

Just let me know.

bob Zelin


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gary adcock
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on Apr 30, 2007 at 12:39:36 am

OK

I do use the Gspeeds ( I have both models) and I have never had this issue with not being able to playback.

"But I can't tell anything if the only material you have to work with is your quicktime animations. There are so many variables here, that you need to do some tests in a NEW CLEAN PROJECT, not using your animations. I"

I agree, even if you build the animations inside of FCP you will get a better Idea of whether or not there is a problem with the array or the issue is with the conversions.

Did you build the QT files as 1080i60? or as 1080 29.97?

have you tried creating new qt files via QT Pro rather than via an other application?


gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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2lucid4
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on Apr 30, 2007 at 1:15:15 am

I made the quicktimes in After Effects.
My compositions are 1920x1080, 29.97 and I rendered them out upper field first with the DVCProHD codec.

On Monday, I am going to try locating an HD deck and digitizing some footage.
I'll also download that AJA VTR XChange app and see what things look like through there vs Final Cut.

more tomorrow...

Thanks again!


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weevie833
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on Apr 30, 2007 at 3:50:22 am

Is there a remote chance that your Viewer/Canvas windows are NOT set to FIT TO WINDOW? That'll do it too.

No mention of whether an imported QT has to be rendered [red line] in your sequence first before playing. I assume not. If so, your render specs and FCP playback specs are not compatible.

Also, were the G-Tech drives formatted as Mac HFS Extended before being used in the edit system? I believe GTech drives come out of the box as such, but I will not assume this is so all the time. If you open Disk Utility and select the volume in question, it should say the drive format somewhere at the bottom left. If it is anything but Mac HFS Extended, then there may be performance problems, and shouyld be erased and reformatted. Had a guy have problems like this before where 8-bit SD would not play on a borrowed drive and it was because it was formatted for PC.

steve covello
double wide post


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weevie833
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on Apr 30, 2007 at 3:55:39 am

Is there a remote chance that your Viewer/Canvas windows are NOT set to FIT TO WINDOW? That'll do it too.

No mention of whether an imported QT has to be rendered [red line] in your sequence first before playing. I assume not. If so, your render specs and FCP playback specs are not compatible.

Also, were the G-Tech drives formatted as Mac HFS Extended before being used in the edit system? I believe GTech drives come out of the box as such, but I will not assume this is so all the time. If you open Disk Utility and select the volume in question, it should say the drive format somewhere at the bottom left. If it is anything but Mac HFS Extended, then there may be performance problems, and shouyld be erased and reformatted. Had a guy have problems like this before where 8-bit SD would not play on a borrowed drive and it was because it was formatted for PC.

steve covello
double wide post


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weevie833
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on Apr 30, 2007 at 4:01:03 am

Is there a remote chance that your Viewer/Canvas windows are NOT set to FIT TO WINDOW? That'll do it too.

No mention of whether an imported QT has to be rendered [red line] in your sequence first before playing. I assume not. If so, your render specs and FCP playback specs are not compatible.

Also, were the G-Tech drives formatted as Mac HFS Extended before being used in the edit system? I believe GTech drives come out of the box as such, but I will not assume this is so all the time. If you open Disk Utility and select the volume in question, it should say the drive format somewhere at the bottom left. If it is anything but Mac HFS Extended, then there may be performance problems, and shouyld be erased and reformatted. Had a guy have problems like this before where 8-bit SD would not play on a borrowed drive and it was because it was formatted for PC.

steve covello
double wide post


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weevie833
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on Apr 30, 2007 at 4:03:43 am

Is there a remote chance that your Viewer/Canvas windows are NOT set to FIT TO WINDOW? That'll do it too.

No mention of whether an imported QT has to be rendered [red line] in your sequence first before playing. I assume not. If so, your render specs and FCP playback specs are not compatible.

Also, were the G-Tech drives formatted as Mac HFS Extended before being used in the edit system? I believe GTech drives come out of the box as such, but I will not assume this is so all the time. If you open Disk Utility and select the volume in question, it should say the drive format somewhere at the bottom left. If it is anything but Mac HFS Extended, then there may be performance problems, and shouyld be erased and reformatted. Had a guy have problems like this before where 8-bit SD would not play on a borrowed drive and it was because it was formatted for PC.

steve covello
double wide post


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weevie833
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on Apr 30, 2007 at 4:03:51 am

Is there a remote chance that your Viewer/Canvas windows are NOT set to FIT TO WINDOW? That'll do it too.

No mention of whether an imported QT has to be rendered [red line] in your sequence first before playing. I assume not. If so, your render specs and FCP playback specs are not compatible.

Also, were the G-Tech drives formatted as Mac HFS Extended before being used in the edit system? I believe GTech drives come out of the box as such, but I will not assume this is so all the time. If you open Disk Utility and select the volume in question, it should say the drive format somewhere at the bottom left. If it is anything but Mac HFS Extended, then there may be performance problems, and shouyld be erased and reformatted. Had a guy have problems like this before where 8-bit SD would not play on a borrowed drive and it was because it was formatted for PC.

steve covello
double wide post


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John Pale
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on Apr 30, 2007 at 5:58:11 am

[2lucid4] "My compositions are 1920x1080, 29.97 and I rendered them out upper field first with the DVCProHD codec."

This is not the correct frame size for DVCPRO HD, which is an anamorphic format.

If you are rendering these compositions in After Effects, you should be using the DVCPROHD 1080/29.97 preset, which will give you a frame size of 1280 x 1080.

If you somehow "manually" created a custom larger frame size with the DVCPROHD codec, it will not play properly.


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John Pale
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on Apr 30, 2007 at 6:01:37 am

[2lucid4] "My compositions are 1920x1080, 29.97 and I rendered them out upper field first with the DVCProHD codec."

This is not the correct frame size for DVCPRO HD, which is an anamorphic format.

If you are rendering these compositions in After Effects, you should be using the DVCPROHD 1080/29.97 preset, which will give you a frame size of 1280 x 1080.

If you somehow "manually" created a custom larger frame size with the DVCPROHD codec, it will not play properly.


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John Pale
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on Apr 30, 2007 at 6:02:47 am

[2lucid4] "My compositions are 1920x1080, 29.97 and I rendered them out upper field first with the DVCProHD codec."

This is not the correct frame size for DVCPRO HD, which is an anamorphic format.

If you are rendering these compositions in After Effects, you should be using the DVCPROHD 1080/29.97 preset, which will give you a frame size of 1280 x 1080.

If you somehow "manually" created a custom larger frame size with the DVCPROHD codec, it will not play properly.


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APlacas
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on Apr 30, 2007 at 4:13:28 pm

Whew!
I downloaded Kona's VTR XChange app and my DVCPro renders look beautiful.
I was hoping they had their own app. I have a Blackmagic at home and tend to use their native viewer to watch animations since I'm not needing to edit anything.

So, I don't know what I am doing wrong with the Final Cut settings though. I'd still like to figure that out.
I started a new project with the Easy SetUp of Kona LH- 1080i 29.97 DVCProHD.
I imported a DVCProHD animation and the image looks the same in both the viewer and the canvas. The motion is still stuttering.

I wanted to try a fresh project with captured video rather than the rendered animations.
We tried connecting an HD camera to digitize from (the decks are out on jobs), but weren't able to get either Final Cut or XChange to recognize the video source.

Thanks sooo much for all the help.
I have what I need to continue working. I will continue try to help their guy here try to figure out the Final Cut issue though.


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wesball
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on May 9, 2007 at 7:23:18 am

Forgive me if I'm mistaken here, I stumbled onto this post while researching the use of a Kona with After Effects...

Can't you monitor your animations directly inside of After Effects? I was under the impression AE could output through the KONA card to a monitor for checking.


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walter biscardi
Re: choking on DVCProHD???
on May 9, 2007 at 10:40:50 am

[wesball] "
Can't you monitor your animations directly inside of After Effects? I was under the impression AE could output through the KONA card to a monitor for checking."


Yep, just select the Kona card and the appropriate video frame size / rate from the Video Preview preference in AE.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Food Network's "Good Eats"
HD Editorial for "Assignment Earth"

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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