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Error: Out of Memory (a big problem)

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Frederic Lumiere
Error: Out of Memory (a big problem)
on Oct 21, 2010 at 4:29:44 pm

The "Error: Out of Memory" issue in FCP is rendering (no pun intended) this application on the verge of unusable.

I've been using FCP since the very first release. In the last couple years, the "Error: Out of Memory" message that pops up when rendering the timeline has become more and more frequent.

It is worse when mixing formats (stills, codecs, etc) and when using plugins.

I find this error message very lazy on the part of Apple. It is obviously a bug since trashing the render file for the section by bringing the opacity down then back up sometimes (only sometimes) fixes the issue (nothing changed on the timeline).

Over the last few projects, I have been spending a considerable amount of time trying to work around this very annoying bug (shutting down, moving clips around, repairing permissions on drives, changing render location, etc. etc.). In a profession where time is money and deadlines are frequent, this is making me consider other editing solutions (Avid) seriously and I am sure I am not the only editor feeling this way.

Ever since Media 100 staff was brought in - the stability of FCP seems to have taken a major hit. Sorry... it's true.

Anyway, this message is more a cry for help than anything else.

My recommendation would be to:

1. Revisit your error handling code and give the user more useful info than "Error: Out of Memory" so we can do some trouble shooting on our own. (i.e. render file XXXX could not be found, this could be due to a slowly performing drive, etc.)

2. Fix the bug. The majority of the time it has nothing to do with memory (I have 32GB RAM) and nothing to do with something the user did wrong (re-rending with no changes sometimes fixes the issue).

3. Make stability the priority over features.

Any other editor who feels the same way - please join in.

Thank you.

Frederic Lumiere

Frederic Lumiere
Producer
Lumiere Media


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Error: Out of Memory (a big problem)
on Oct 21, 2010 at 4:51:12 pm

This can be the problem of using cmyk stills or stills that are too big. This us am easy fix if you have Photoshop. Right click on a still and choose open in editor, change color space to RGB and save. The new file should auto update in FCP. you can do the same for a resize. Stills should not be over 4000x4000 generally.

Video can be a problem too if you are using prores files that aren't smpte spec frame sizes.

Fcp's open timeline is not that open. It requireds some hand holding by you the user.


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Bret Williams
Re: Error: Out of Memory (a big problem)
on Oct 21, 2010 at 4:52:06 pm

Final Cut can't use all that memory. It has to do with FCP maxing out on it's own memory maximum which is still only 2 or 3 gigs. The only time I ever get it is with advanced plugin effects or STILLS. Namely, stills given to me by an outside source usually. And I didn't check their size. Generally, around 4000 pixels or more is pushing the limit of FCP. Depends on the available memory, which is most likely affected by the number of sequences open, the number of unrendered effects, etc. I too have been able to fix the problem by reboots, rerendering, etc. All of which have cleared the ram most likely. Sometimes it's just enough.

If you can find the culprit jpeg or still, then open it in photoshop, make it smaller, and see if that works.

It's no excuse for FCP's growing shortcomings, but it works for me.


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Frederic Lumiere
Re: Error: Out of Memory (a big problem)
on Oct 21, 2010 at 6:40:19 pm

Jeremy, Bret and Dave all your suggestions are right on. I definitely never use non RGB stills especially if they have a resolution above 4,000 pixels.

Just to illustrate what I am experiencing, here's the latest reason for a "Out Of Memory" error.

The clip is prores 422 HQ 29.97 1080 in a 1080p 23.98 Prores 422 HQ timeline.

I slowed down the clip to 42% with a 12 frame cross dissolve at the end. I try to render and get the error "Out Of Memory", I take out the cross dissolve (Cut) and render fine. I paste the cross dissolve back on the clip (same one I cut a moment ago) and it renders fine.

I call that a bug.

F

Frederic Lumiere
Producer
Lumiere Media


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Error: Out of Memory (a big problem)
on Oct 21, 2010 at 7:51:19 pm

[Frederic Lumiere] "I call that a bug."

Perhaps so -- software developers probably aren't too shabby at spotting bugs, I expect -- but I also see a frame rate mismatch accompanied by a speed change on a clip.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Matt Lyon
Re: Error: Out of Memory (a big problem)
on Oct 21, 2010 at 7:56:06 pm

Hi Frederic,

I've definitely experienced similar problems, but not that often, to be honest (but I also almost never mix formats/timebases and rarely use plug-ins).

"Control-B" is a handy shortcut to toggle the visibility of a clip and force a refresh of the render in question.

I also find the problem can be exacerbated by bad ownerships/file access permissions on the render directory in question.

Make sure you are set as the owner of all the files and folders in your render dir(s) and everything is set to read/write. (Same could be said for your stills too)

It is also a good idea that your user account has admin privileges (if it doesn't already).

I'm not trying to be an apologist for FCP, but this problem isn't unique to it. I used to have similar issues back in my Media100 days.

But I think that clearly the issue is made worse by the burden FCP places on the users to do the heavy lifting as far as file organization and figuring out "best practices," etc.

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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Frederic Lumiere
Re: Error: Out of Memory (a big problem)
on Oct 21, 2010 at 8:33:09 pm

Thanks Matt.

Love the CTRL - B tip!

Yes, I am the admin and have full read/write privileges over all the directories (stills, renders, etc.)

F

Frederic Lumiere
Producer
Lumiere Media


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Error: Out of Memory (a big problem)
on Oct 21, 2010 at 5:33:27 pm

[Frederic Lumiere] "It is worse when mixing formats (stills, codecs, etc) and when using plugins."

I presume you're aware that long-gop codecs eventually render FCP virtually inoperable on a sufficiently large project.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Frederic Lumiere
Re: Error: Out of Memory (a big problem)
on Oct 21, 2010 at 6:17:55 pm

Yes Dave, I am fully aware of this. (I developed Lumiere HD ;)

Thanks all for the valuable advice.

F

Frederic Lumiere
Producer
Lumiere Media


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Nikola Bizic
Re: Error: Out of Memory (a big problem)
on Nov 17, 2010 at 4:15:28 pm

Final Cut Assistant software solved problem for me.
Select, Reset fcp from drop menu...
I am also using it for empty cash ...

MacPro octocore 2.8
macbook pro


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