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Mixed Timeline, Picture Flicker/Stuttering, FCP Crash

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Colin Nusbaum
Mixed Timeline, Picture Flicker/Stuttering, FCP Crash
on Sep 20, 2011 at 3:50:55 pm

I am working on a documentary project that includes our production footage (60%), which is shot on Sony F3 and captured as XDCAM EX 1080 24p, as well as archival footage, which is almost entirely shot in 29.97, and sometimes HDV 1080 60i, and finally and archival photos.

The problem is that my project file has grown over 200MB. I have now split the project into three different projects, in order to the the size down, but there are still many sequences in each. Still, I am having two issues. Namely, sometimes when playing a timeline in the canvas, the picture will stutter over a few frames while the audio continues as normal. This can often, but not always, be fixed by restarting FCP. The other issue is that FCP has been crashing with some frequency, causing frustration and loss of work. I should also mention that the project is utilizing many subclips of master clips, as well as many long sequences (over 2 hrs), and bins and sequences are being sent back and forth between 2 editors. Both edit stations are having the same issues, working with FCP 7, Mac OS X on 2x2.93GHz 6Core Intel Xeon with 12GBRAM.

I wonder if anyone has thoughts or suggestions as to how to fix or avoid these issues. Thank in advance!

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Shane Ross
Re: Mixed Timeline, Picture Flicker/Stuttering, FCP Crash
on Sep 20, 2011 at 7:21:52 pm

Things to do:

Always edit in a ProRes timeline, even if your footage is XDCAM. GOP sequences and footage is processor intensive, and with large projects, long timelines, that's a lot of strain. Going to ProRes, even just a sequence as ProRes, really helps. Especially with mixed footage types. Have HDV on an XDCAM timeline? Oy...mixing GOP formats makes things worse.

Duplicate projects, NOT sequences. Every time you make a change to a sequence, don't duplicate the sequence...duplicate the project and give it a new date in the name. And then keep very few sequences in that if you can help it, but if you have subsequences with some footage, keep those as well. But the more sequences you have, the more bloated projects become.


Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def

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Herb Sevush
Re: Mixed Timeline, Picture Flicker/Stuttering, FCP Crash
on Sep 21, 2011 at 3:30:36 pm

Along with Shane's excellent advice, make sure you do not put sequences into bins. Putting multiple sequences into bins might seem a smart way to organize your browser but for some reason bloats and then corrupts projects in FCP.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions

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Andrew Rendell
Re: Mixed Timeline, Picture Flicker/Stuttering, FCP Crash
on Sep 20, 2011 at 8:20:36 pm

In addition to what Shane says, what is your storage and where are your projects?

The reason I ask is this: I did a job a couple of months ago where two FCPs were using an XSAN storage for shared media and the picture stuttering/ frequent crashing rings big bells. What we found was that the system was struggling when we had our projects on the XSan, but was much better when we moved to having the projects local and using a folder on the XSan to pass projects between the suites.

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