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XDCAM and FCP crashing

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nitin kulkarni
XDCAM and FCP crashing
on Jan 23, 2012 at 6:28:31 am

hi

I am working on tv show which is getting shot on Sony XDCAM PDW 700.

I am working on Macpro 2.4(8core) with 14GB Ram, FCP version 7.0.3
OS Lion. xdcam transfer 2.13 Decklink HD with latest driver

i am using xdcam transfer for unwrapping the footage. fcp keeps crashing frequently. Some time its show "coded error". some time there are green flashes on external and internal screen all of sudden.

after reading lot of forums I tried following things.

1 changing sequence setting to Proress.
2 clean install OS and FCP
3 Run all updates.
4 tried with diffident graphics card.
5 tried other macpros like 2.26 2.8 ect.

NOTHING WORKED!

last thing I have not tried that to convert everything to proress, as i know that will work for sure.

my question is there anybody in this world editing XdCam HD422 successfully? then whts your config?

Is FCP having issue with XDCam so i forget everything and start converting to proress.

one more thing i want to check out, with mxf4mac can edit mxf file native? will that make a difference compare to using xdcam transfer.

need help disparately..

regards
nitin


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Rafael Amador
Re: XDCAM and FCP crashing
on Jan 23, 2012 at 1:11:39 pm

Hi Nitin,
In working since a few years almost only with XDCAM stuff (EX-1 and HD.422) without problems on a MBP, first with Leopard and now with SL.
The only think is that I make sure my system is optimized running now and then DiskWarrior.
I don't know why, but most problems reported when working with XDCAM stuff happens with 8 cores MPs.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Miriam Lefkowitz
Re: XDCAM and FCP crashing
on Jan 25, 2012 at 3:18:16 am

I edit XDCAM HD 422 in FCP 6.06. We have a Sony PMW 500. I copy the files off the SXS card to my hard drive using XDCAM Browser. Then I open XDCAM Transfer and import the clips which makes the .mov file which I then import into my sequence, letting FCP set the sequence settings. So far so good. *knocks on wood*


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Thomas Berglund
Re: XDCAM and FCP crashing
on Feb 2, 2012 at 12:59:27 am

nitin,

Sorry to hear this. I have been troubleshooting issues like this in FCP 7 for about two years now, and I am sad to say there is no proper solution other than transcoding to ProRes.

Do see a lot of "malloc error" messages from FCP in the Console log (Applications/Utilities/Console) when viewing All Messages?

Long-GOP MPEG-2 in FCP 7 is not a good idea for long form. Short sequences work pretty well, but there are some issues there too unfortunately. It really depends on how complex your edit is (mixed formats, keyframed basic motion effects, filters, motion templates etc.).

One thing that helps quite a bit though is to turn OFF thumbnail previews in the sequence. An other thing you should do when you start seeing green flashing is to quit FCP and trash the Constant Frames folder where you FCP capture scratch is set. Then reopen FCP.

Quit FCP every time you take a break, and reopen when you get back. This clears out any memory leaks going on and will give you more stability overall per day.

I have seen a lot of stability issues related to NVIDIA graphics cards and Motion templates in FCP 7, but that is a problem of its own. Combined with unstable Long-GOP MPEG-2 decoding makes for a very unstable situation.

FCP 7 only has about 2.5GB of ram available. The rest is used for loading the application and frameworks. Close all other sequences than the current one you are working in. This will free up memory. Consider also turning off the video output (broadcast monitoring), as this frees up even more memory.

Part of why editing Long-GOP MPEG-2 (XDCAM EX, HD422 etc.) in FCP 7 on a MacBook Pro is more stable than on a Mac Pro is because of broadcast monitoring/video out. Most Mac Pro based edit bays have a broadcast monitoring enabled when working, and this uses quite a lot of memory. This means there is less memory available to handle the Long-GOP MPEG-2.


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Rafael Amador
Re: XDCAM and FCP crashing
on Feb 2, 2012 at 11:55:15 am

[Thomas Berglund] " I have been troubleshooting issues like this in FCP 7 for about two years now,"
Hi Thomas,
I've never needed to transcode.
What computer are you working with?
[Thomas Berglund] "Part of why editing Long-GOP MPEG-2 (XDCAM EX, HD422 etc.) in FCP 7 on a MacBook Pro is more stable than on a Mac Pro is because of broadcast monitoring/video out. Most Mac Pro based edit bays have a broadcast monitoring enabled when working, and this uses quite a lot of memory."
I always have a Broadcast monitor working with my MBP.

[Thomas Berglund] " have seen a lot of stability issues related to NVIDIA graphics cards and Motion templates in FCP 7, but that is a problem of its own. Combined with unstable Long-GOP MPEG-2 decoding makes for a very unstable situatio"
I work with XDCAMHD-422 from the NANO-flash. Most of the time I shoot LGOP 100Mbps and quite often 220Mbps Intraframe. Last few days I've been working with Intraframe 280Mbps (for slow motion).
No crashes, no hangs.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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nitin kulkarni
Re: XDCAM and FCP crashing
on Feb 4, 2012 at 7:25:42 am

hi


thanks for reply!


"I don't know why, but most problems reported when working with XDCAM stuff happens with 8 cores MPs.

Exactly... its works fine on imac, mbp..early 2008 2.8 mac pro. whats wrong with new 8 core 2.4? i have tried working with different graphics card too.


"Part of why editing Long-GOP MPEG-2 (XDCAM EX, HD422 etc.) in FCP 7 on a MacBook Pro is more stable than on a Mac Pro is because of broadcast monitoring/video out. Most Mac Pro based edit bays have a broadcast monitoring enabled when working, and this uses quite a lot of memory. This means there is less memory available to handle the Long-GOP MPEG-2."


I have done with this too. keeping easy setup to basic and make sure FCP wont use BMD

I am quite sure there an issue using XDCAM HD422 50mbps with MacPro 2.4

Considering Thomas tips....its hard to work like this when you have TEN Edit bays and twenty different editors working on it.

transcode to Apple Proress is difficult with me because of time constrain and in addition it will acquire more storage space.

i am just waiting for new macpros if at all its going to come..


regards
nitin


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Thomas Berglund
Re: XDCAM and FCP crashing
on Feb 10, 2012 at 2:23:34 am

nitin:

It's hard to work without broadcast monitoring, I totally agree.

I ask once more. When FCP starts acting up, do see a lot of "malloc error" messages from FCP in the Console log (Applications/Utilities/Console) when viewing All Messages?

How easy is it for you to reproduce the instability issues? Does the exact same project/sequence work fine on your iMac or MacBook Pro with the exact same version of OS X, QuickTime and FCP? If this really is the case, it would be very interesting if you were able to prove it with a screen recording.

AppleHDVCodec.component in /Library/QuickTime handles all Long-GOP MPEG-2 decoding/encoding in FCP. When FCP crashes, you often see a reference to that component in crash log for the thread that crashed. That QuickTime component is still part of the Pro Applications QuickTime Codecs package which FCP X still use for (I guess until they are written as 64-bit AV Foundation components one bright and shiny day...).

Do you have any motion templates/projects in your sequence?


Rafael:

What kind of video card do you use for broadcast monitoring with your MBP? Matrox?

You say you shoot a lot of 100 Mbit Long-GOP MPEG-2 and 220 Mbit Intra-frame MPEG-2 using Nano-flash. Have you tried editing large projects with either XDCAM EX 35 Mbit or XDCAM HD422 50 Mbit?

Thomas


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Rafael Amador
Re: XDCAM and FCP crashing
on Feb 10, 2012 at 3:03:25 am

[Thomas Berglund] "What kind of video card do you use for broadcast monitoring with your MBP? Matrox?"
Work with an AJA ioHD.


[Thomas Berglund] "You say you shoot a lot of 100 Mbit Long-GOP MPEG-2 and 220 Mbit Intra-frame MPEG-2 using Nano-flash. Have you tried editing large projects with either XDCAM EX 35 Mbit or XDCAM HD422 50 Mbit?"
My average projects are no longer than 40 minutes or so, but i load many hours of footage (12/15).
Most of the sequences is two layers (base and b-roolls) with subtitles, lower-thrids and some time some graphic on top. Often apply some heavy filters: Neat-video, MagicBullet..

Wat I have to add is that I NEVER RENDER TO XDCAM. I conform my sequence to the footage and I may cut in XDCAM, but as soon as I have to render (few layers or no RT effects), I change the sequence codec to ProresHQ. Also all the exports are to ProresHQ.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Alan Langdon
Re: XDCAM and FCP crashing : Constant Frames culprit?
on Oct 12, 2012 at 8:23:19 pm

Thomas, I have been reading the thread and am interested in what you are saying. I am runnign FCP 7.0.3 completely updated, on a 2 x 2.4 GHz QuadCore INtel Xeon with 20 GB of RAM, a ATI Radeon HD 5770 video card (1 GB VRAM ) and also a Matrox MX02 for broadcast monitoring.
I noticed you had asked Rafael Amador if he was using a Matrox card and thus thought of dropping you a line about my similar problem. I have been working on an hour-long feature in 1080p shot in XDCAM. THousands of clips in dozens of folders, and the need to open folders with thumbnails has been crashing my system very often. Watching the Activity Monitor, I notice RAM running up to 2 GB as I open folders and view more thumbs, and eventually the system crashes.

I just discovered that by emptying the Constant Frames render files within Render Manager, I immediately trim about 0.5 GB of RAM usage of FCP, keeping me safe within the 2 GB limit I seem to have.

Other than this, I have trashed prefs, Thumbnail Cache, but always RAM seems to run out and crash teh system, often with the gold ol' green screen of death.

Any info is much appreciated! And I will try turning off Matrox output to see if this helps reduce memory usage in FCP.



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Thomas Berglund
Re: XDCAM and FCP crashing : Constant Frames culprit?
on Oct 12, 2012 at 8:43:28 pm

I've been troubleshooting XDCAM HD422/EX Long-GOP MPEG-2 issues in FCP for over two years now, and other than the tips I have already posted, there isn't much you can do unfortunately.

FCP 7 is getting old, and the 32-bit architecture simply isn't handling complex, large projects with large amounts of Long-GOP video. Once you start seeing those malloc_error messages in the system logs, you know FCP is having a hard time with memory allocation.

Long-GOP MPEG-2 mostly works fine for news and other short and simple edits, but once you start adding effects and mixing codecs, things can go wrong even with short sequences. I've seen a bunch of exports to XDCAM HD422 go wrong too. I've seen things like the bitrate dropping down to 13 Mbit/s in the exported file. I've seen frames being skipped (easy to see in panning/zooming shots). I've also seen several examples where FCP generates corrupt B-frames that freaks out playout systems like Omneon Spectrum servers. I know this because I have analyzed files in Interra Baton which reports corrupt B-frames on specific timecodes. On playout you see a 1-2 sec black image while audio is still playing. This is because of corrupt B-frames from FCP on export. If you do a "recompress all frames" from the same project with the same sequence the problem seems to go away.

Issues like corrupt B-frames are extremely difficult to troubleshoot because they don't occur every time, hence it's difficult for Apple to reproduce and fix, and... FCP 7 development is dead.

If you are struggling badly, I would advice you to transcode to ProRes. It will require a lot more disk space, but I would say it's worth it. You could try switching to an other NLE, but let me tell you. Based on feedback and reports I have seen, Long-GOP MPEG-2 seems to be problematic in other NLEs too.

Long-GOP was never meant for editing. In my opinion, if you want a 100% stable editing experience, stick with i-frame only codecs.


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Joe Bartone
Re: XDCAM and FCP crashing
on May 18, 2012 at 10:54:55 pm

I do know that XDCAM must be a closed GOP. Why it MUST be a closed GOP I would LOVE to know...hehehe...I can't find an answer anywhere. I have a feeling that a closed GOP always lands on an I frame. so for scrubbing and editing reasons it looks better. but that is just a guess. anyone?


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