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Playback problems with 1080p footage in FCP 7

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Chuck Purnell
Playback problems with 1080p footage in FCP 7
on Dec 3, 2010 at 3:43:14 am

I have some footage that was shot with a Canon 5D Mark II camera. I used Mpeg Streamclip to convert the clips over to Apple ProRes 422 (LT) 23.98. In FCP 7, my settings are as follows:

Sequence Preset: Matrox MXO2 Mini - Apple ProRes 422 (LT) 1080p 23.98 48 KHZ

Capture Preset: Matrox MXO2 Mini - Apple ProRes 422 (LT) 1080p 29.97 48 KHZ (There was no 23.98 listed in my codecs for Capture to match the Sequence)

Device control: Firewire NTSC Basic

Video Playback: Matrox MXO2 Mini - 1080psF 23.98 YUV 10-bit (1920x1080)

Audio Playback: Built-in Output


I am using a 4TB Caldigit HD utilizing FW 800 that is mirrored so technically I am using 1.6 TB. Editing with a Macbook Pro. RAM is maxed out.

Okay now that you have all that info, my playback is not fluid. Its very stuttery in the playback windows and on the timeline. Sometimes during playback I will tap the space bar to pause and it will continue to play. Sometimes the video will freeze but the audio will continue to play. Even clicking on the FCP drop down menus will lock up on me and I will get the spinning beach ball for a few seconds before anything happens.

Should I try using 1080p 29.97 instead for the timeline? Well then again the problem happens before the clip gets to the timeline. When I double click it and play it back in the windows its stuttery there. After Mpeg Streamclip conversion, I right clicked some of the clips and then GET INFO and was able to playback the clips in the small preview window with no hiccups or issues. Its when I brought the folder of clips in FCP 7 that I am seeing these issues.

I was told to use Apple ProRes 422 (LT) 1080p 23.98 to avoid stuttery playback issues and that seems to be not true as its big time stuttering or has hiccups for me.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Cre8tive Minds Entertainment, LLC


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Ross Daly
Re: Playback problems with 1080p footage in FCP 7
on Dec 3, 2010 at 4:04:22 am

Howdy Chuck!
I have more questions than answers, but I bet we'll get there.

Do you have any render bars on your timeline?
Will the video playback smoothly in quicktime?
If you switch the color mode to rgb or 8 bit, what happens?
Where is your scratch located?
Lastly, if you encode a few clips to straight up prores what happens on playback?

I took a spin around the googles and found a few other people having similar problems.
http://forum.matrox.com/mxo/viewtopic.php?p=8909&sid=2a1a26f3c00519863307e9...
http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/132/858324

That creative cow link above seems to be suggesting to use DVCPRO HD. On a personal note, I have been editing 7D footage converted to prores on a macbook without dropping frames, so I am really shocked that your setup with a faster drive, processor AND stocked with RAM is having troubles.

There are probably a few ways to fix this, but I think all of them involve picking a new codec.

_Ross

_______________________
•You Down With FCP?


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Chuck Purnell
Re: Playback problems with 1080p footage in FCP 7
on Dec 3, 2010 at 8:06:06 am

Thanks Ross!

Another thing I noticed after I posted my question was that my Macbook Pro seemed to be really sluggish for some reason. Its never sluggish. It took almost 3 minutes for FCP to shut down. When it did shut down and the blue dot went out under the FCP icon in my dock, the FCP top menu was still visible on the screen as if it never really shut down!

With those signs it sounds like it could be a RAM issue.

When I put the clips on the timeline, I didn't have any render bars and they clips could playback without rendering. The footage played back fine in QT. I have not tried switching the color mode to 8 bit or rgb. My scratch is the Caldigit 4TB external Hard drive. I have not tried the to encode a few clips to straight up ProRes yet. I will try everything you suggested once I return home from work.

I saw a youtube video that suggested using XDCAM 1080 30p VBR as the conversion with Mpeg Streamclip then in FCP to use: XDCAM 1080p 23.98 VBR as a set up preset.

I was wondering too if I was using a funky codec that I should change but when I first starting viewing my clips, it was playing everything back smoothly. After about the 10th or so clip it started getting sluggish. So at this point, I don't know if its the HD or something with my MBP that is causing it to be sluggish.

Cre8tive Minds Entertainment, LLC


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Chuck Purnell
Re: Playback problems with 1080p footage in FCP 7
on Dec 3, 2010 at 3:40:50 pm

One more question. If I do change the codec from within FCP do you think I would have to go back to Mpeg streamclip and convert the clips all over again with a new conversion codec as well?

Cre8tive Minds Entertainment, LLC


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Ross Daly
Re: Playback problems with 1080p footage in FCP 7
on Dec 6, 2010 at 3:12:01 am

Hi Chuck!
[Chuck Purnell] "One more question. If I do change the codec from within FCP do you think I would have to go back to Mpeg streamclip and convert the clips all over again with a new conversion codec as well?"

Yep, your sequence settings need to match your footage settings exactly for the fastest playback/rendering/etc. I would let fcp auto detect the settings when you drag your first clip into the timeline. ProRes or even animation would work as a test. It does sound like it may be hardware if it stops and starts unpredictably.

Just for fun, I'll also ask why you are using streamclip and not the canon fcp plugin. Also I've never used a psf format. That struck me as odd seeing as the footage is true progressive. Good luck, I'd love to hear what you find out.

_Ross

_______________________
•You Down With FCP?


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Chuck Purnell
Re: Playback problems with 1080p footage in FCP 7
on Dec 18, 2010 at 4:31:04 pm

Ross,

I went ahead and edited the music video and it plays back fine. I didn't have to render anything I put on the timeline (excluding filters and transitions). The issue I have now or maybe its the same original issue is that Matrox didn't have a 1080p 23.98 codec option to select when I was first starting my project so I chose 29.97 as that was the only listed for the frame size I wanted to use (see my original posting). So I exported it out of FCP and compressed it in Compressor. In Compressor it shows it has the 1920x1080 1080p 23.98 compression codec! So I chose that setting. The compression went fine and I sent the compressed file to someone and they said it looked like the lips were out of sync. Everything looked good on my timeline before the export and compression.

I am trying to backtrack now and see what I could do differently. We are premiering the video tomorrow so I have to figure this out. Don't want this artist looking silly with his mouth not matching!!!

Cre8tive Minds Entertainment, LLC


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