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Severe Dropped Frame Issues

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Adam Smith
Severe Dropped Frame Issues
on Jul 28, 2011 at 9:54:45 pm

SHORT VERSION:

We're having severe dropped frame issues on a system that has run flawlessly for the last couple years. At this point I can't play more than a few seconds of video unless it is rendered. Even rendered footage can drop frames if I move the mouse around on the screen or mark ins/outs. This may be a FireWire related issue, but throughput from the drives seems normal. The problem has persisted through a Snow Leopard reinstall (not clean install... yet) and the complete uninstall of FCS2 and fresh install of FCS3. We're not doing anything crazy like editing from USB/internal drives or running uncompressed 4k on a laptop, just the normal DVCPROHD, HDV and ProRes (mostly 720p) projects we usually do.


LONG VERSION:

A couple of weeks ago the boss tried to capture from his HDV camera and the camera would not mount. Eventually he could get it to mount, but it would immediately disconnect both media RAIDS. Booting the laptop with the camera connected would hang the system while it tried and failed to recognize the hardware. A borrowed camera (same model) did the same thing.

About the same time we started seeing more frame drops than normal. I couldn't cut a 2-stream NTSC multicam edit because it wouldn't play more than a few frames before stopping.

The problem was somewhat intermittent, sometimes a reboot would seem to help for a while. Both RAIDS (3TB CalDigit VR and 1TB G-RAID) seem to be performing well from a read/write standpoint. I ran the AJA System Test quite a bit and both are consistantly writing in the 50's and reading around 80. Performance was the same as single drives and daisy-chained together as we usually use them.

No combination of settings (trash prefs, less audio channels, RT Safe, with or without the MXO2) has helped so far, other than fully rendering the sequence which does eliminate MOST dropped frames.

I had a 12 minute piece I had to show clients so I exported a movie with sequence settings (self-contained, 720p60 ProRes422) and pulled that back into FCP to wind up with greatly improved performance but still occasional dropped frames. I tried playing this file back from both RAIDS, the internal drive, and a USB drive in a SATA dock. All had dropped frames, although often they were far enough into the video as to give me a false sense of security. The data rate for that movie file is around 142kbps, just one long 12 minute video with no edits, in the format native to the sequence. I also tried playing the video through the Matrox Vetura Playback software, but encountered dropped frames there as well.

As our first real attempt to correct this, I uninstalled everything FCP related using FCS Remover, did a SnowLeopard re-install (over the top, not a clean install), and then installed our brand-new FCS3 suite. Our Matrox MXO2 is disconnected for testing but since we didn't do a full clean install I suspect the drivers are still in there somewhere.

Any suggestions?

-Adam

- - -
Video Photographer / Avid & Final Cut Editor


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Severe Dropped Frame Issues
on Jul 28, 2011 at 10:19:27 pm

[Adam Smith] "As our first real attempt to correct this, I uninstalled everything FCP related using FCS Remover, did a SnowLeopard re-install (over the top, not a clean install), and then installed our brand-new FCS3 suite. Our Matrox MXO2 is disconnected for testing but since we didn't do a full clean install I suspect the drivers are still in there somewhere.
"


Adam,

You're simply going to have to do a clean install of the operating system. Anything less is bound to give you issues. That's all there is to it. Use a new hard drive or clone your old one to a firewire drive if doing these procedures makes you nervous.

And, your assumption about Matrox drivers is 110% wrong. Even when doing even simple OS updates to the same OS, uninstalling and reinstalling I/O drivers is typically necessary. When upgrading to a completely new OS it's absolutely mandatory. There are in fact completely different drivers for each of the operating systems.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Adam Smith
Re: Severe Dropped Frame Issues
on Jul 28, 2011 at 10:40:07 pm

Hi David, thanks for the reply.

I know we really need to do a full wipe, but the boss just wasn't ready to take that step. We're going to run a full backup tonight and discuss in the morning. We just found out that we have a few weeks of AppleCare left and it would be stupid not to run it down to the Apple store for a checkup, and we kinda suspect whatever they do will wind up wiping the HD.

Regarding the Matrox drivers, what I was trying to say was that the Matrox software had not been addressed since the rebuild, and even tho it's not being used, having the drivers still in there could be a factor. If I'd been thinking yesterday I would have uninstalled the MXO2 at the same time we removed FCS2.

- - -
Video Photographer / Avid & Final Cut Editor


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Severe Dropped Frame Issues
on Jul 28, 2011 at 10:49:53 pm

[Adam Smith] "If I'd been thinking yesterday I would have uninstalled the MXO2 at the same time we removed FCS2.
"


Good idea.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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