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MC 7 on Mac - AMA dragging

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ted irving
MC 7 on Mac - AMA dragging
on Aug 17, 2013 at 2:06:46 am

I'm using Avid Media Composer 7 Interplay Edition on a a 2.8ghz Quad Core Intel Xeon Mac running 28GB of RAM with version 10.8.4 and a ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1024MB of RAM. All of my video is on internal Serial ATA drives, external Serial ATA drives and an external SATA RAID. So, why does Canon 60D H.264 files drag Avid down so much on this system? I'm using AMA linking to instantly import and edit. Should I be just importing these files and letting Avid convert them to MXF? Spinning wheel is horrible. Hit the spacebar and it spins 3 to four seconds before playing. Is my mac just too old? Will getting another 8GB of RAM help? Or will the Black Cylinder Mac coming in November be my only option? LOL

Ted Irving
Freelance Content Creation
CBS MaxPreps/BBN3
http://www.tedtv.tv
tedirving@yahoo.com


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Michael Phillips
Re: MC 7 on Mac - AMA dragging
on Aug 17, 2013 at 3:11:05 am

H.264 is a pretty tough codec to start with, and the longer the clip, the more you will notice. If you want to create DNxHD to make it much smoother, don't do an import. Do a transcode from the AMA linked clips. It will be at least 2x faster than an import.

Michael


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John Pale
Re: MC 7 on Mac - AMA dragging
on Aug 18, 2013 at 6:58:46 am

Since nobody has one yet, I can't say for sure, but I don't think getting a Mac Pro tube will help much. Poor performance with H264 material is more related to AMA than your computer. On your machine, adobe Premiere Pro CC will edit just fine with it, especially if you put in a qualified GPU.


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Adam White
Re: MC 7 on Mac - AMA dragging
on Aug 23, 2013 at 1:18:33 pm

Sorry to post again, but I just noticed your comment with regards to method of ingesting, Michael.

Very interesting! I always assumed the process would take the same amount of time whether you Imported or Transcoded from AMA file. Any idea why it's faster to use the transcode method?

Interestingly, just a couple hours ago I was transcoding some C300 files in Avid. I linked to original media via AMA to see how the performance was, and then decided that trusty DnXHD would be nicer to work with. And I did notice that the clips seemed to be processing faster than they would have if I'd just done a straight import.


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Michael Phillips
Re: MC 7 on Mac - AMA dragging
on Aug 23, 2013 at 1:41:45 pm

Import is very old code that is single threaded. AMA is all brand new and is multi-threaded allowing more cores to the transcode process. In most cases, AMA->transcode is at least twice as at fast as import. Also AMA'ing to clips in v7 give you far more control via source settings such as reframing a shot (frameflex" and ability to apply 1D and 3D LUTs.

For now, the background process is only for transcoding. I suspect we will see "save and render" in the background in future releases. Exporting would be nice as well.


Michael


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Adam White
Re: MC 7 on Mac - AMA dragging
on Aug 23, 2013 at 2:11:56 pm

Impossible to quantify the amount of processing time your tip will save me! Not to mention the number of extra beers that can now be consumed thanks to getting out the door earlier.

Thanks!


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Adam White
Re: MC 7 on Mac - AMA dragging
on Aug 23, 2013 at 12:27:39 pm

I have a much weedier Mac than you (still rocking my 2009 iMac - if it ain't broke...) and had the exact same issues trying to AMA with 5D files for a fast turnaround edit. Not an experience I wan't to repeat - pretty damn nasty, actually.

I'm surprised that on your machine you are having the same issues though, I just put it down to my ageing hardware.

If you don't have time to transcode the rushes initially, something I can suggest is transcoding your TIMELINE to DNXHD once you've assembled it. This at least made the back-end of the process more manageable for me when it came to exporting/compressing etc and also made changes in the timeline far less painful. It cut my exports time at least 3-fold.

Maybe another option would be to make a string of selects with the raw 5D files, then transcode just your selects to DNXHD (hopefully saving you a fair amount of time that would otherwise be spent transcoding material you're never going to use) and then just work with those files for speedy performance.

Out of interest - does MC 7 offer background transcoding, or does it still tie up the system?


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Michael Phillips
Re: MC 7 on Mac - AMA dragging
on Aug 23, 2013 at 1:08:54 pm

I find that the bigger the project is, or the longer the H.264 clips are affect performance. v7 does have background transcoding, but nothing is free - you now have two processes working at the same time - transcoding, then playback and editing. So be sure to look at minimum system requirements to get the best performance. An extension to background transcode is DMF (Dynamic Media Folders), these are rules based folders you can set up and whatever you drop in there will start a transcode to whatever settings you have set up whether MC is running or not.


Michael


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Adam White
Re: MC 7 on Mac - AMA dragging
on Aug 23, 2013 at 1:15:15 pm

Great to know v7 has the ability to do background transcoding. Thanks for the insight. I read somewhere on Twitter that it doesn't offer background exporting or rendering yet though, is that true?

To be honest, I think with my current set-up native editing of any kind is just a big NO-NO. It's too painful an experience. Alot of it probably has to do with the basic video card I have on my iMac. I had similarly bad experiences editing native 5D and c300 files with Premiere Pro (software that I really didn't care for anyway). Unless I absolutely, positively do not have the time to transcode (very rare for the work that I do) it is all about DnXHD or ProRes for me.

Hopefully AMA will become a more usable feature for me once I upgrade to one of the new Mac Pro's.


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