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christian calon
fcp sluggish
on Oct 21, 2010 at 4:16:10 pm

I have this 1080p30 sequence in ProRes Proxy for offline work. Sequence is used for selecting the material and is about 3h long right now. In order to select the apppropriate material, I process the clips with plugins and some animation and remove clips that don't fit in. Doing so I sometimes get to the point where FCP is getting really sluggish and I get the colour wheel quite often. Sometimes even, clips with a green/grey bar cannot be read properly (as if they needed rendering). I then have to quit and eventually reboot.
RT settings: Unlimited, quality/Speed= Dynamic.
Ckecking with Activity Monitor doesn't reveal any abnormal CPU usage. My system is: MacBook pro 2,5GHZ, 4GB ram and a G-Tech FW800 HD.
I have a feeling that FCP seems to load information on all the clips in the timeline and may have a problem with unsufficient ram. Not sure. So I am wondering how you guys would proceed:
1. select clips and edit them without considering the full lenght of the master files?
2. create sub-clips and then copy them into real files, so FCP only deals with shorter files in a lighter-shorter sequence?

Does that seem normal to you? Is there something I miss?
Thanks a lot for helping.

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David Roth Weiss
Re: fcp sluggish
on Oct 21, 2010 at 5:05:26 pm

In the first place, your system is pretty minimal for working with 1080p material. A single Firewire 800 drive is marginal at best, though ProRes Proxy should be helping. I would tend to suspect that your Firewire 800 drive is almost full. What percentage remains free?

David Roth Weiss
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles


Colorist - UP IN THE AIR (electronic press kit) - nominated for six academy awards

A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.

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christian calon
Re: fcp sluggish
on Oct 21, 2010 at 8:02:15 pm

Yes, system is minimal…
The drive is about 60% empty. It is a G-Tech G-Raid dual drive Raid 0.
In the previous tests I did, fcp can read from this drive 10 layers of ProRes Proxy with various opacity settings, 8 of them with a 3-way Calibration plugin (fcp) and 8 audio tracks. Playback is not too smooth, but definitely useable. The timeline shows a green bar. So in this case I look elsewhere than at the drive. I am also going to connect the drive through eSata, and see.
I am starting to suspect that FCP puts a lot of data in ram and since the macbook pro only can take 4GB that may be the source of slowdown?
But do you think FCP puts data in ram when you open a sequence or when you open a project?
thanks for your time and concern!

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