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Earlier render files dissappear upon render complete

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Nick Henry
Earlier render files dissappear upon render complete
on Aug 26, 2012 at 5:50:51 pm

Hello all. I was wondering if anyone had some insight into this. I am at the end of a film edit, doing finishing touches, and every time I render something it seems to unrender other pieces of the sequence. In response, thinking something may be corrupted, I deleted all my render files and decided to start over. Not only can I not complete a render now, but final cut now crashes when I try to render the sequence. I did get an "fx script error:unknown error" near the end of the last pass of troubleshooting, but have not gotten far enough in the render again to see if that is still an issue (FCP lost the render files, AGAIN.)

I am working with all ProRes footage in an all prores sequence. Scratch disk is on an external G-Raid, and are being written to the hard drive, which seems to mean the its the connection that is being lost? Final Cut Pro 6.0.6

Because I am at the end of the project, there are a lot of effects on the clips (including a decent amount of smoothcam), and the time to render has made diagnosing the issue a very rough time. I've spent the entire past week troubleshooting, with no luck. I've already tried:

-creating a new sequence and pasting the clips in
-creating a new project and bringing the clips in
-trashing fcp prefs
-trashing waveform/thumbnail caches
-deleting all render files and attempting to re-render

I am currently not trying to render the second to last sequence I made, before the problems started, hoping there was a corrupted clip in the last sequence. Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated.

My edit rig:

Mac Pro (2007 version)
Leopard 10.5.8
Quad Core Intel Xeon, 10GB ram
ATI Radeon X1900 Graphics Card


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Harry Bromley-Davenport
Re: Earlier render files dissappear upon render complete
on Aug 27, 2012 at 3:20:01 am

How horrible for you.

I have precisely the same computer and setup as you, but I am on Snow Leopard.

I'm assuming that you are using FCP and not FCPX.

If you have worked a lot in FCP you will be aware that render files have always had a nasty habit of occasionally disappearing and that attempting to reconnect them is a fool's errand. This is an old FCP problem that was never fixed. But it's an occasional fault and should not happen on the massive scale which you describe.

You have done absolutely everything that I would have done except that you have not un-installed FCP and then reinstalled it. That would be a good idea. There's a tiny little program which is free from DIGITAL REBELLION. It's called FCP Remover. Here is the link:

http://support.digitalrebellion.com/fcsremover/

So that's what I would do next.

If that doesn't work, you should consider moving into more drastic territory: have you recently been suffering from other non-FCP files disappearing or other nasty misbehavior within your Mac? Perhaps your drive/s are teetering on the brink of self-destruction.

1. I wonder if your drives are 5400rpm or 7200rpm?

2. You say: "Scratch disk is on an external G-Raid, and are being written to the hard drive ... ". I hope you are not using your system drive to store your render files. Are you? If you are, you must stop that and change the render file destination folder to any drive other than your system drive. This is an imperative.

3. I wonder how old your internal and external drives are ... ? This leads me to tell you of a revelation I had about a year ago. I had old 5400rpm internal drives which were born in 2007. I was using G-Raid external drives. FCP was crashing increasingly so, in desperation, I bought three new 7200rpm 3TB INTERNAL drives. They cost about $180 each. I started from the ground up - I had no choice really - and used one drive as the system drive, the second for media files and the third for render files and other stuff like exports.

My problems ceased immediately. My life changed. I fired my psychiatrist and released the small children I was torturing.

So perhaps your internal drives are old and geriatric and run at 5400rpm. Or perhaps they have, for some other reason, gone bad. In any event, it seems as if you have tried pretty much everything except the replacement of hardware.

I reckon that it is possible that, due to age and/or low speed, your drives may not be able to keep up with demand.

In any event, that was my experience and I hope it may be useful to you.

Best wishes,

Harry The Idiot.



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Nick Henry
Re: Earlier render files dissappear upon render complete
on Aug 27, 2012 at 3:53:00 am

Hi Harry, thanks so much for responding. I am indeed on FCP6.0.6. I think we're pretty much on the same page, because this post was a last ditch effort before doing an entire Studio 2 reinstall. I am looking to upgrade to both Snow Leopard (or above) and FCP studio 3 after this project, so I will definitely look into that program, thank you.

To answer your troubleshooting questions:

1. My internal hard drive that stores the final cut project data and prores media files are 7200prm. Internal boot drive is the same I believe.

2. I should have been more clear there, the render files are indeed being written to the external drive, it serves as my entire scratch disk (including capture of tapes for other projects that aren't as imperative.

3. My base drive for my internal is as old as the computer, about 5 years. Definitely something I've been looking to upgrade, but haven't had the cash yet. The other slots (2,3, and 4, used for media and this type of stuff) are less old, I'd say about 2 years, 2.5 max perhaps. The old one does host the applications, however.


My update as of tonight:


I have gone back to the last previous sequence and seem to be having better luck. However, I am getting new error messages, including "codec not found, you may be using a compression type without the corresponding hardware card", and the newest one "Smoothcam failed to render: your hardware cannot render at the requested size and depth". Both of these are new error messages to my system. Along with that, the crashes are still happening. So, unfortunately, things are pointing to a hardware upgrade (and I'd assume a OS upgrade, as OS' above Leopard are supposed to use hardware and cores much better).

To that end, does anyone have any recommendations on programs to perhaps do hard drive and/or graphics card diagnostics?


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Harry Bromley-Davenport
Re: Earlier render files dissappear upon render complete
on Aug 27, 2012 at 4:24:55 am

Oh, Nick,

The more you write, the more my suspicion increases that a new Internal System Drive is in the cards. I realize that this involves expense. But sometimes you have to put new tires on your car. You are apparently suffering terribly right now and I fear that you will continue to stick band aids all over a house which needs new foundations.

Why don't you try un-installing and reinstalling first? Then you can confront the possible expense of a new drive.

All those wacky messages that FCP is throwing up are screaming at me that FCP is attempting to pull stuff off your drives while those drives are not delivering the goods on time. So FCP just despairs and either crashes or vomits up bizarre messages in desperation.

And I assure you that upgrading to FCP 7 will not fix this. I just know it. I can smell it. I am running OS 10.6.7 and FCP 6.0.6 which, on my setup, is now stable. Installing Snow Leopard on a totally fresh drive appears to me to be the way to go. You say: "Internal boot drive is the same I believe." You really should check this.

You ask about a hard drive diagnostic program. I think that you are living in the hope that such a program will inform you of where the problem lies. It probably will not and I fear that you will be wasting your time and increasing your aggravation level.

I wish you well.

Harry.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Earlier render files dissappear upon render complete
on Aug 27, 2012 at 4:46:31 am

Let's back up a moment.

If you are getting filter errors, it will probably be the filters causing problems.

On fcp6, smoothcam renders came undone all the time, it even creeped in to fcp7. It was eventually fixed by Apple.

A good way around it is to 'bake' the Smoothcam files by exporting the smoothcam clip and reimporting and placing it on the timeline.

What other filters are causing problems?


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Rafael Amador
Re: Earlier render files dissappear upon render complete
on Aug 27, 2012 at 5:58:12 am

Had you tried the "Search For: All movies" (in the left of any window)?
That will show you any movie file in your System/HDs. Set the emerging column by "Last opened".

Weird things happens some time.
If I don't remember wrong, Jeremy had once an issue that made the render files to be wrote inside the FC package in the Application folder. But I never heard of low-performing system losing render files for lack of HD speed.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Earlier render files dissappear upon render complete
on Aug 27, 2012 at 2:51:13 pm

[Rafael Amador] "If I don't remember wrong, Jeremy had once an issue that made the render files to be wrote inside the FC package in the Application folder. "

Yes. That was another bug. Good memory!

Here's some posts about the Smoothcam render files. Earlier versions of FCP6 used to lose ALL render files, not just Smoothcam.

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/8/1047351

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/8/980739

http://library.creativecow.net/articles/garchow_jeremy/final_cut_pro_6.php


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Rafael Amador
Re: Earlier render files dissappear upon render complete
on Aug 27, 2012 at 3:32:03 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] ".. Earlier versions of FCP6 used to lose ALL render files, not just Smoothcam."
Yes. On opening of FC, all the sequences previously rendered shown the red line, and no way to reconnect the render files, but the files never disappeared from his folder. That one drove nuts everybody for a while, but, as you say was one of the first FC.6 versions. By FC.6.6 that was solved.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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David Eaks
Re: Earlier render files dissappear upon render complete
on Aug 27, 2012 at 5:54:33 am

Well, if you need a new system drive and you only install the OS and Apps on it, you could probably get by fine with a 128GB SSD. Crucial M4's are only $99 at B&H (plus a $25 2.5" to 3.5" adapter), I have one on the way for my MBP and just installed a Samsung 830 in my Mac Pro. I only recently realized how little space I really need on my system drive and, at that moment, immediately ordered SSD's. For a hundred bucks, anyone and everyone can and should have an SSD boot drive.

FWIW

Crucial M4 link-
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/768801-REG/Crucial_Technology_CT128M4...

Don't forget the-
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/798867-REG/Newer_Technology_NWTADPTAD...

A clean install of (and upgrading to) Snow Leopard 10.6.7 and FCS 3 with an SSD Boot Drive and your G-Tech RAID should be a pretty solid setup.

Update a clean install of Snow Leopard with the 10.6.7 combo updater-
http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1361

While your at it, get that G-RAID on eSATA, if it isn't already-
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=798875&Q=&is=REG&A=d...

Of course you'll want to check that there aren't any compatibility issues with this stuff and your particular Mac Pro, before buying anything.

*EDIT

Jeremy's got a good idea with baking in the filters on individual clips, that method has helpd me in the past.


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Nick Henry
Re: Earlier render files dissappear upon render complete
on Aug 27, 2012 at 5:18:33 pm

Thanks for the replies everyone! Its definitely helping through this tough process. Now on 8 days and counting of diagnosing this :(

Took until about 6am this morning to do a fresh install of final cut 6 and removing with the suggested FCS remover. The problem still persists, however it now seems to be ONLY the smoothcam renders that go missing now, not other random ones, so at the very least the trace is coming down to the filter.

I am going to read though those threads and try the baking method you guys talked about. I have been using the smoothcam method of exporting the clip with zero effects, importing in, and applying effects to the small clip, but perhaps you are right in that baking it into the clip may help. I shall report back in after, as that is my final idea outside of jumping off a cliff.

Side note (for weeks to come), is my only option to upgrade the OS looking for a disk of Snow Leopard on ebay somewhere? I know its considered EOL'd and apple doesn't seem to offer it anymore, which sorta locks you out of upgrading.

My edit rig:

Mac Pro (2007 version)
Leopard 10.5.8
Quad Core Intel Xeon, 10GB ram
ATI Radeon X1900 Graphics Card


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