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Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?

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Amber Miller
Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?
on Jul 19, 2010 at 3:34:00 am

I am being held back majority with the amount of time it takes to render.

I have:
Mac Pro
2 x 3GHz Quad Core Intel Xeon
6 GB Ram
NIVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT - Graphics Card
Sonnet Tempo Sata E4P - Esata Card
Final Cut Pro 6
Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II External Hard Drive 2TB

For Example:
Currently, I have a sequence that is all ProRes 422 as well as all the clips are ProRes 422.
The video is a total of 3 minutes and 30 seconds long.
I have 6 tracks.
And it is taking TWO HOURS to render this. And of course I make a change and have render for another long period of time.

I talked with an apple representative and they have suggested getting a capture card. Kona LHe to be exact. I am trying to get more educated on the fact. It's a pricey piece of equipment. Would this actually be a solution for me to help speed the rendering process up?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks so much!


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Shane Ross
Re: Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?
on Jul 19, 2010 at 4:56:48 am

[Amber Miller] "And it is taking TWO HOURS to render this. And of course I make a change and have render for another long period of time. "

For 3:30 min? Why is it taking two hours? What sort of filters or plugins do you have on those clips?

[Amber Miller] "I talked with an apple representative and they have suggested getting a capture card. Kona LHe to be exact. I am trying to get more educated on the fact. It's a pricey piece of equipment. Would this actually be a solution for me to help speed the rendering process up? "

No, it won't. That is a CAPTURE CARD, as the description suggests. It is for the input and output of video only. It does NOT speed up rendering. That Apple rep needs to be flogged.

Sorry, there is no hardware that speeds up rendering in FCP.

Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Amber Miller
Re: Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?
on Jul 19, 2010 at 5:17:48 am

Yes, 2 hours to render 3 minutes of video. The only filters i'm using is an 8 point matte and 1 color corrector. And 1 track is a "Juicer" (pre-made animation). Something has to be wrong. I was using firewire and the apple guy suggested to upgrade to esata. I did that and haven't notice any difference in rendering speed. And then he suggested the kona card. So, what might you suggest? I am very frustrated here.


Thanks!
Amber


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Shane Ross
Re: Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?
on Jul 19, 2010 at 6:16:37 am

What a dork. Don't talk to him anymore. Faster drive speeds allow you to work with higher data rate formats, and multiple streams of formats (a stream being one layer of video). It won't speed up editing. Are they working on commission?

The JUICE file...did you use the Juicer and extract that as an editable file? Or is it a keyable element? If it is keyable, that will definately add to render times. Heavy graphics, text, particles, garbage mattes...all add to the render times (feathering).

The only thing that speeds it up is a faster processor. And unfortunately FCP only accesses ONE processor, even if your machine might have 2, or 4, or 8.

YOu have to have something heavy going on to get those render times.

Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Erik Lindahl
Re: Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?
on Jul 19, 2010 at 7:05:24 am

If you can't get the speed you need in FCP I'd experiment with other alternatives such as Motion or After Effects. Normally FCP isn't slow when dealing with simple comps / FX / edits however.

What you might want to check is:

- Sequence settings
- Format of your media

Some types of media and settings will hog your system. Transcoding all HDV or h264 material to ProRes for example will decrease rendering-times a lot. Also rendering in 8-bit instead of 10-bit or greater will vastly improve performance.

As noted above a CAPTURE CARD such as a Kona LHe will not improve rendering-times at all. It's not impossible different GRAPHICS CARDS affect your rendering but as for now in FCP I think that's to a minimum. Motion and Color will radically change with a more powerful GPU however.

------------------------
Erik Lindahl
Freecloud Post Production Services
http://www.freecloud.se


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Amber Miller
Re: Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?
on Jul 19, 2010 at 7:06:31 am

They must be working on commission. Unreal, eh? Glad I'm researching.
The juice file is .mov and not keyed. But, I do have a garbage matte on it and the regular video files.
And a color corrector. And that's all.

6 tracks cuz it was a multi- camera shoot.
This is dragging me down. Augh!

So, other than a fast processor- any other suggestions?
My external drive? Wrong settings? I don't know.
This is crazy considering I have a $5,000 machine here.


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Michael Sacci
Re: Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?
on Jul 19, 2010 at 8:55:04 am

Before you start looking at equipment you need to give precise information.
List the clips info, Codec, resolution, frame-rate and so on. List the complete info an the Juice file as well as the sequence.

For the sequence what is the Compression set to. Do a Screen capture of the sequence settings for ease.

Are the clips is a multicam angles or do you have clips on 6 video tracks? How many tracks are viewable at the same time.



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Shane Ross
Re: Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?
on Jul 19, 2010 at 9:02:47 am

[Amber Miller] "The juice file is .mov and not keyed."

.mov must means that it is a Quicktime file. Saying you have a .Mov is like saying you drive a car. WHAT KIND of car? So, what KIND of .mov? What CODEC? Get Info on the clip and report what you got.

[Amber Miller] "So, other than a fast processor- any other suggestions? "

Nope. That's all that comes into play in terms of rendering. If there was another option, I'd have said so.

[Amber Miller] "My external drive? Wrong settings?"

Not your drive. What are your settings? What CODEC is the footage? What are your sequence settings?

[Amber Miller] "This is crazy considering I have a $5,000 machine here."

Well, when you lack some understanding of working with video, and what codecs you are working with, then it can be crazy. There are a lot of details that go into editing, and knowing stuff like what codecs are, and how they interact with other video codecs...sequence and clip settings, the fact that if you layer 6 tracks with garbage mattes, and how the mixed codecs might affect things are important to know.


Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Amber Miller
Re: Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?
on Jul 19, 2010 at 3:54:46 pm

Thank you for all the feedback guys. I need it.








Here are screen captures of my timeline and how it looks all together.


I shoot on a HDV Sony FX1
Capturing via firewire to an External HD
All clips are captured as Apple ProRes 422
1440 x 1080
29.97 fps
The juicer (american flag) AND sequence settings are both converted to Apple ProRess 422 1440 x 1080
The Render Control Codec is also set to ProRes 422
I've tried 8 bit, 10 bit, and RGB under the video processing settings.



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Wayne Carey
Re: Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?
on Jul 19, 2010 at 4:17:28 pm

Now that answers your rendering times.

I can tell you for a fact capturing your HDV footage into the ProRes422 codec is your issue. I have the same issues you do when using this workflow. I feel that its messed up and Apple will not admit this issue but I feel that it solely lies with the ProRes422 being at 1440x1080.

This is a "bastard" resolution for ProRes. Yes, it can do it but its not its optimal resolution. By its nature. ProRes422 is a full raster 1920x1080 codec. Its beautiful when used this way. When do the HDV-ProRes422 conversion, the video stays at its native resolution, which is 1440x1080. This is where the rendering problems come from. You have to take a full raster codec and render it into a non-square resolution. That takes lots of time.

The way we get around this is to capture our HDV to ProRes422 for logging purposes only. After all of the logging is complete, we'll re-capture the footage into a more friendly codec like DVCProHD, which places the footage into a natural state that is easier to edit.

If you're thinking, I'll just blow out the footage and recapture into the ProRes422, it won't work. It will recapture everything back at 1440x1080 and you'll be in the same situation again.

_______________________________

Wayne Carey
Schazam Productions
http://web.mac.com/schazamproductions
schazamproductions@mac.com


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Amber Miller
Re: Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?
on Jul 19, 2010 at 4:46:30 pm

Now, I guess I don't understand what you mean by "logging purposes only"
What about HDV 1080i60 vs. DVCProHD? Would DVCProHD be better then?
Because i was trying 1080i60 and it still seemed to be a drag.


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Wayne Carey
Re: Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?
on Jul 19, 2010 at 5:41:35 pm

[Amber Miller] "Now, I guess I don't understand what you mean by "logging purposes only""

Logging footage is just that... Digitizing the footage, looking at it carefully, naming the clips you want to keep and throwing away (or deleting the media) that you don't need. Not everything shot will be needed.

[Amber Miller] "What about HDV 1080i60 vs. DVCProHD? Would DVCProHD be better then?"

These are codecs. To understand this, you need to learn about the codecs. Personally, we like to edit in DVCProHD 1080i60 because its a high quality codec that has been around for a long time now. Its fast and easy to work with. DVCProHD is an I-Frame codec. HDV is something totally different. Its a Long-GOP codec. So, every time you work wit it, it has to render and conform to the HDV codec. DVCProHD works much easier. There is no conforming. Just edit and render.

This is also the reason why we have an option to capture HDV as ProRes422. Its a friendlier codec than HDV.

Look on the net about codecs and their uses. This will help you very much.


_______________________________

Wayne Carey
Schazam Productions
http://web.mac.com/schazamproductions
schazamproductions@mac.com


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Amber Miller
Re: Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?
on Jul 20, 2010 at 3:36:50 am

So, would you recommend capturing my HDV footage as:

HDV 1080i and then convert to DVCPro HD

or

ProRes and then convert to DVCPro HD


And by converting-- I am using the batch export.



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Shane Ross
Re: Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?
on Jul 20, 2010 at 3:40:47 am

HDV to ProRes...stop there.



Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Wayne Carey
Re: Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?
on Jul 20, 2010 at 1:08:54 pm

Yes, I agree, Shane... For this case, ProRes422 would be Amber's best option.

Amber, I'm not sure if you understand what we are talking about. In your Easy Setups, you'll find options to capture HDV to ProRes422. I'd select HDV to ProRes422 - Sony - 1080i60. This will capture your HDV footage into the ProRes422 codec. This will make it easier for editing and outputting to whatever you want.



_______________________________

Wayne Carey
Schazam Productions
http://web.mac.com/schazamproductions
schazamproductions@mac.com


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Amber Miller
Re: Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?
on Jul 20, 2010 at 6:04:01 pm

I think you got me confused now.
In the easy setup- I selected ProRes 422 TO BEGIN WITH under the format option. That's what my current project is. And I thought you said ProRes was my problem and to use something more like DVCPro HD.
Is it actually supposed to say HDV to ProRes422 - Sony - 1080i60 in the easy setup? Because I don't see that. This is what I'm looking at below...... I appreciate the help!



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Amber Miller
Re: Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?
on Jul 20, 2010 at 7:26:09 pm

OK-- Nevermind. I found it in the A/V settings. HDV- Apple ProRes 422

Now, you're saying I should just capture it this way and edit? Or then convert to something else like DVCPro HD?


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Wayne Carey
Re: Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?
on Jul 20, 2010 at 8:53:52 pm

No... Just edit in ProRes422. I was explaining our workflow hoping that you'd see that it can be used in various ways. We have to mix formats, so its easier to capture in a more friendly codec for our needs.

_______________________________

Wayne Carey
Schazam Productions
http://web.mac.com/schazamproductions
schazamproductions@mac.com


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Amber Miller
Re: Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?
on Jul 21, 2010 at 4:47:44 pm

ok. I tried dumping new footage with these settings. Seems to be a TON better. :-)

Several more questions if you would~

Now, how should I have the sequence settings setup?

Frame size I have set to 1440x1080 of course

What about the pixel aspect ratio? Difference b/w HD 1440x1080 vs. square/ anamorphic?

Field dominance I match to the clip (that being upper)

And the compressor to Apple ProRes 422

Should I keep it interlaced I assume? (under the advance tab)

What is 4:4:4 chroma filtering?

What would be the best way to convert all my pre-made animations to suit this format better?


ALSO:

I just noticed I'm getting ECC errors in my memory status for one stick.
From what I read.. says not to worry. Should I?


Thanks for the help. The Apple dude obviously didn't know much.


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Wayne Carey
Re: Kona Capture Card to Increase Rendering Speed?
on Jul 19, 2010 at 3:59:22 pm

Exactly, Shane.

But this is where a capture card, such as an AJA Kona LHi, can come in handy. Technically, they are not GPU cards but they can speed rendering in the fact that all of you media that you digitize thru that card will be of the same codec, therefore, simple effects like a 3-way Color Corrector will work in real-time. As long as you sequence codec and your clip codecs are the same, its all real-time, if you have a good enough machine to handle it.

This is where confusion sets in. A capture card is just that - an input/output card, not a CPU. It can make editing faster by having everything in the same codec.

Amber, my suggestion to you is... Look up here on the net about the basics of editing and codecs. There are many wonderful tutorials and explanations on these subjects. There are several here on the COW for example. Take a look. It will make you a better editor and faster editor. We've all done it at some time.

_______________________________

Wayne Carey
Schazam Productions
http://web.mac.com/schazamproductions
schazamproductions@mac.com


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