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26hr render on a 2min sequence?! (MacBook Pro, FCP 7, Lion...!!)

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Chris Stone
26hr render on a 2min sequence?! (MacBook Pro, FCP 7, Lion...!!)
on Feb 13, 2012 at 9:31:55 am

Hi all,

I'm a long time fan of the forum - but this is the first time I've had to post. Usually the community here has already answered whatever question I have. But I can't find a resolution for this particular problem.

I'm working on 2 projects at the moment and both are giving me similar problems. As always both are on a tight deadline so this particular issue is a tearing-hair-out one!

My first project looks like this:

Footage: HDV PAL 1440x1080 50i (HDV1080i50)
Sequences: HDV PAL 1440x1080 50i (HDV1080i50)

I'm creating a simple, 2 min edit to be used for an online promo. I've applied 2 filters to the footage: "Bad TV" and "Vignette" (both FCP standard filters). The BadTV filter is key-framed at the transition points throughout the piece. I've also included a .AIFF file as a music bed, created some very basic lower 3rd straps and added a graphic slate at the top and tail. In short, nothing particularly complex, and all very usual - the kind of thing I've done a million times before.

When I go to render the sequence it gives me a render time of 26 HOURS! Obviously this is ridiculous for a 2-min sequence. I've used the Bad TV filter in the past and remember it taking a while to render, but nothing like this.

My second project is not dissimilar. Footage and sequences both Apple ProRes 422HQ (transcoded from Canon 5D, H.264) 1920x1080, 25p. I've used between 3 and 5 filters on each clip: 1. plugin "Shadow/Highlight"; 2. plugin "vignette"; plugin "Facelight"; FCP Colour Corrector 3-way; FCP "Add Noise".

The render times on this aren't quite up the same dramatic number as my other sequence. We're talking 45mins for a 2min sequence. To my experience, this is still extremely slow.

My system specs are as follows:
Apple MacBook Pro
2.4GHz Intel Core i5
4GB 1067 MHz DDR3
Running FCP 7.0.3, Packaged with Final Cut Studio 3.
OSX 10.7.3 (Lion)

I'm fairly certain that for a project like this I would usually expect a render time of anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes depending on the complexity of the sequence structure and the amount of filters, graphics etc. So why am I suddenly getting extended render times?

There are 2 factors which distinguish this time editing (with render problems) from the last time I used the system (without problems):
1. I've recently upgraded my OSX to Lion. I downloaded from the app store and installed as per apples suggested process (i.e. straight into the system without a clean install)
2. I've recently downloaded a selection of 3rd party plugins.

Could either of these be the issue? I do have a Time Machine backup of my previous system, but I don't really have the 14 hours it's going to take to back up my current system (7hrs) then restore my old one (another 7hrs). Should I reinstall FCP as a first port of call? Should I try removing all the 3rd party plugins? Or is there some simple setting which I've inadvertently clicked like a complete numpty?!

Thanks you wonderful people - any help you can offer will be very much appreciated.

Very best,
Chris Stone


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Dave LaRonde
Re: 26hr render on a 2min sequence?! (MacBook Pro, FCP 7, Lion...!!)
on Feb 13, 2012 at 5:25:06 pm

[Chris Stone] "I've applied 2 filters to the footage: "Bad TV" and "Vignette" (both FCP standard filters). The BadTV filter is key-framed at the transition points throughout the piece.... When I go to render the sequence it gives me a render time of 26 HOURS! "

It's difficult to tell if you've applied the filters only when you need them or across every clip. If it's the latter, use the blade tool to limit Bad TV to only the transition points. It also wouldn't hurt to copy the entire edit timeline, then paste it into a brand-new timeline in ProRes 422, export as a self-contained quicktime, and use it in Compressor for final compression.

I fear you went about the OS upgrade incorrectly for FCP, which isn't helping render times. If you view David Roth Weiss' tutorial about getting ready for lion, he outlines the proper way to do it.

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


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Chris Stone
Re: 26hr render on a 2min sequence?! (MacBook Pro, FCP 7, Lion...!!)
on Feb 13, 2012 at 5:53:29 pm

Hi David, thanks for your reply. I've applied the filters across all the clips, and then key framed the variables at the transition points. Even across all the clips, I'd be very surprised if Bad TV requires a 26hour render as par for the course! I'll try the suggestion you made re copying and pasting, though to clarify I mean that the 26 hours is for rendering, never mind export.

Thanks for the tip re the correct way to prepare for lion. When I've got through this debacle I'll take a look and implement that properly.

Cheers,
Chris


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adam taylor
Re: 26hr render on a 2min sequence?! (MacBook Pro, FCP 7, Lion...!!)
on Feb 14, 2012 at 1:08:47 pm

the problem could be that you have applied BadTV to HDV footage. So as well as having to render the effect, its also having to render the video first, as HDV is not a good format to be editing in.

Adam Taylor
Video Editor/Audio Mixer/ Compositor/Motion GFX/Barista
Character Options Ltd
Oldham, UK

http://www.sculptedbliss.co.uk
My YouTube Animations Page


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Chris Stone
Re: 26hr render on a 2min sequence?! (MacBook Pro, FCP 7, Lion...!!)
on Feb 14, 2012 at 2:36:49 pm

Hi Adam,

thanks for the response. Can you expand on what you mean about HDV not being a good format to edit in? I've been editing for about 8 years, and for a large chunk of that time I was editing HDV footage on a daily basis, in HDV PAL sequences. Perhaps not so much now, but between 2005-2009 HDV was the standard source for a lot of my jobs, largely coming off Sony Z1s. Working in HDV PAL sequences I've never had to render the naked footage at all. Can you expand your point a bit?

Also, I created a very similar sequence to the one I'm working on now about 18 months ago, with a less powerful macbook, using HDV and the "Bad TV" filter - it took a little while to render (maybe a couple of hours max). 26 hours seems to be the indicator of a fault somewhere along the line - obviously I'm doing something wrong somewhere.

Be interested to know what you or anyone else thinks about this?

Thanks,
Chris


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adam taylor
Re: 26hr render on a 2min sequence?! (MacBook Pro, FCP 7, Lion...!!)
on Feb 14, 2012 at 3:25:59 pm

Maybe i was wrong!
I also have a Z1 and everytime i tried to edit in its native format using the HDV Pal settings i had to render constantly. Now if i ever need to ingest from HDV I immediately convert to Prores to avoid the problems.

Another thought has just sprung to mind - how full are your hard drives? If they have anything less than 10% available, then that could also cause major slowdowns.

And please tell me you are not using the laptops internal hard drive for storing your video media on.

Adam Taylor
Video Editor/Audio Mixer/ Compositor/Motion GFX/Barista
Character Options Ltd
Oldham, UK

http://www.sculptedbliss.co.uk
My YouTube Animations Page


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Dave LaRonde
Re: 26hr render on a 2min sequence?! (MacBook Pro, FCP 7, Lion...!!)
on Feb 14, 2012 at 3:26:56 pm

[Chris Stone] "26 hours seems to be the indicator of a fault somewhere along the line - obviously I'm doing something wrong somewhere."

That's correct, and I must point out a fundamental change you made to your machine: you changed the operating system.

If you follow this forum with any regularity, you will have noted that changing the OS in the midst of projects is NEVER recommended. FCP in particular often reacts poorly to an OS change. This, I believe, is the root of your problem.

There is a prescribed method for major revisions called the Clean Install. Instead of worrying about a 26-hour render, you may want to invest some of that time In doing it. As I mentioned earlier, David Roth Weiss has a tutorial on getting ready for Lion; I strongly recommend you take a look at it.

This may not be the news you wanted to hear, but I'm afraid it's the news you MUST hear. It appears, at least to me, that by making an OS change not in the prescribed manner for smooth FCP functioning, you painted yourself into a corner. Now you can either wait for the paint to dry or find another way out.

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


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Chris Stone
Re: 26hr render on a 2min sequence?! (MacBook Pro, FCP 7, Lion...!!)
on Feb 14, 2012 at 3:44:40 pm

Thanks David and Adam - everything else I've done as I've should and it does seem clear that David is right - it looks like I'm just going to have to suck it up and do a clean install of my system. I'll implement that and let you know what difference it makes.

Very much appreciate your help.

Chris


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Dave LaRonde
Re: 26hr render on a 2min sequence?! (MacBook Pro, FCP 7, Lion...!!)
on Feb 14, 2012 at 3:58:06 pm

A key point to remember: when doing the clean install, always keep running the updates for software being installed until there are no more of them. You may have to run updates quite a few times.

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


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