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Need Advice: How to speed Export

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Ned Miller
Need Advice: How to speed Export
on Nov 8, 2012 at 3:26:21 pm

I am working in 6 on a Mac Pro Quad Core Intel Xeon with 2.8 GHz and it's taking FOREVER to export a low rez video of about 29 minutes, perhaps because I have the time code reader filter on it. I have all other apps turned off and had restarted.

I have Google searched and tried a zillion settings, I'd call myself an intermediate editor. I have done many five second tests using QT Conversion. It is OK if the video is low quality because it is just for the client to approve sound bites, in fact I'm thinking of sending audio only but that doesn't seem quite professional.

Any advice? Or is this just necessary when dealing with a 29 minute video that has a time code reader filter?

Thanks

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Need Advice: How to speed Export
on Nov 8, 2012 at 3:29:44 pm

Define the term, "FOREVER", please.

It also wouldn't hurt to know a bit about the edit and your delivery codec.

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


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Ned Miller
Re: Need Advice: How to speed Export
on Nov 8, 2012 at 3:41:47 pm

Thanks Dave,

It says 4 hours. I can't get into my codec settings until it is done since exporting locks me out. I tried DV/DVCPRO because a YT tutorial suggested that, it didn't help so I am still doing H264. I put quality to medium, made audio mono, closed apps, reduced size to 320x180 (don't know if reducing the size helps), so I did all the usual suspects. I am thinking it's just the nature of the beast of a 29 minute sequence that has the TC reader overlayed on it.

I could use Proxy Mill, the codec of the camera was AVCcam from a Panasonic AF100 but my understanding is once I bring it into FCP it is then OK.

Thank you

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Need Advice: How to speed Export
on Nov 8, 2012 at 3:50:14 pm

The H.264 codec is very slow to encode. It also sounds like you cut in FCP using the AVC codec. It may work, but it's slow to export.

Your performance is typical, which means you're going as fast as you can expect from a codec that's slow to export while going to a codec that's slow to encode. It appears you'll have to suck it up and deal with long export time.

I guess the lesson here is not to trust YouTube tutorials unless they come from a reputable source.

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


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Ned Miller
Re: Need Advice: How to speed Export
on Nov 8, 2012 at 3:56:23 pm

Thanks. I think I'll try Proxy Mill for my low rez client approval files.

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Steve Eisen
Re: Need Advice: How to speed Export
on Nov 8, 2012 at 5:34:40 pm

Ned

There are a few options that can speed up h.264 encodes. The least expensive is the Elgato Turbo .264 HD. It looks like a thumb drive. Quality and speed are ok.

The next option is from Matrox. PCIe Compress HD Card or the Max option in their MXO2 io boxes. I have the Compress HD card in my Mac Pro and can not say anything bad about it. I bought it the day it first shipped. It has saved me HOURS of time encoding and the quality is spectacular. Did I mention encode time are Super Fast?

You do not need to add the Timecode Generator filter in FCP. You can add the timecode in Compressor using the timecode generator filter. Click on the filter tab in the inspector and scroll down to Timecode Generator. From there you have tons of options to change font, color and location.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Creative Pro Users Group


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Ned Miller
Re: Need Advice: How to speed Export
on Nov 8, 2012 at 6:21:23 pm

Great! Elgato is only $80 on Amazon. Thanks for the tip, will buy it for next time.

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Need Advice: How to speed Export
on Nov 8, 2012 at 8:59:50 pm

Your comp is old and slow.
The 2011 iMac will export the same video in 1/4 the time.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Ned Miller
Re: Need Advice: How to speed Export
on Nov 8, 2012 at 9:02:57 pm

Hi Chris,

I bought my tower in June of 2008. Are you saying I can get better results with the 2011 iMac? Can I hook up my two large monitors to it? What would you suggest I buy. Really appreciate your advice.

Thanks,

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Need Advice: How to speed Export
on Nov 8, 2012 at 9:07:39 pm

The iMac screen is 27" Nice and big, you'll love it.
Secondly, Yes, with a TB connection you can have a 2 monitor setup.

TB Screens are not cheap. I have a TB to DVI connector feeding a second/smaller monitor. Works fine for now.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Ned Miller
Re: Need Advice: How to speed Export
on Nov 8, 2012 at 9:18:17 pm

Hi Chris,

What's a TB connection? I have two Cinema Display monitors presently, since the iMac has such a large one then I figure I will just need one of my present ones. Can you please tell me what I should do in terms of upgrades? I don't do a lot of heavy graphics, mainly documentaries and corporate videos. Between the $1300 and $1500 is there a big speed difference for the kind of work I do?

$1300
2.7GHz
2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz) with 6MB L3 cache

$1500
2.9GHz
2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz) with 6MB L3 cache
Configurable to 3.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz).

I can't believe they are so cheap. I think I spent close to $4000 four years ago.

Thanks,

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Need Advice: How to speed Export
on Nov 8, 2012 at 10:17:01 pm

Ya, iMacs are cheaper then Desktop PowerMacs for sure.

Be aware there are brand new, better iMacs coming out THIS YEAR.

With comps. it's always the same rule: buy the most powerful you can afford at the time. You are buying the longest shelf-life possible.

TB=ThunderBolt

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Ken Mitchell
Re: Need Advice: How to speed Export
on Nov 9, 2012 at 12:58:45 am

I have the Matrox Compress HD card. It will do H264 in real time. Very good quality. Options. Bought it on ebay for $100.


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Jeff Meyer
Re: Need Advice: How to speed Export
on Nov 9, 2012 at 9:15:14 am

Warning: you have to jump through hoops to install FCP6 on a Lion system. I have no idea if it installs on Mountain Lion - which a new iMac would ship with.

Warning: new iMacs lack an optical drive. Make sure you buy an external drive - someday it'll fiend you if you don't.

Suspicion: I highly doubt you're looking at 1/4 on the export time. I did this very thing with a 12 core MacPro moving files from one RAID-5 drive to another RAID-5 drive. New iMacs are faster, but my experience with a very well speced MacPro suggests that it's Final Cut Pro that's really dragging you down. This is why they made FCX, which probably lacks a timecode reader. If you go the iMac route make sure you get fast Thunderbolt storage, such as a G-Tech G-RAID - half the cost of the computer.

====

It sounds like you're simply adding timecode to a talking head? Maybe talking heads?
• Consider using Final Cut's Batch Export function to convert all your clips to ProRes/DVCPRO HD in one shot. Build a sequence for each clip/person, add the filter, then batch export the sequences while you go to lunch/leave for the night. Batch Export (by default) exports to the Render Files in your scratch folder. After you have QT movies with a timecode burn, the $100 Matrox card will make H.264 encodes in real time.

• Consider using Compressor's Time Code Generator to add a timecode burn and compress your raw clips in a single step. The Timecode Generator is in the Filters -> Video area of the Inspector window. If you have fast storage and a lot of RAM, a QuickCluster might be helpful here. Google is your friend. Bear in mind this is a timecode generator, not a timecode reader.

====

Just as new iMacs have happened, a new generation of professional Mac is supposedly in the pipeline for the next calendar year. Perhaps one of the two workflow suggestions above can hold you over until Apple has a current, professional product on the market - hardware and software.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Need Advice: How to speed Export
on Nov 9, 2012 at 9:49:04 am

Step one export a self contained QuickTime using current settings.

Open file in Compressor and make the h264 using the time code burn in option. Compressor uses all cores and will compress at a much faster speed than QuickTime conversion from FCP.

Making the file smaller can take longer as the file has to scale down. You can keep working while the file converts in the background. Yes accelerators like Elgato or Matrox will further speed things up.


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