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Render Bar Issues on Project with Stills

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Brandon Smith
Render Bar Issues on Project with Stills
on Jun 4, 2013 at 2:45:06 am

I'm working on a 720p project for a wedding, where I animating a lot of stills (not sure if the stills are really related to this issue or not). The pictures were all taking by a professional photographer so they are high-res images, but the animations are pretty simple. I've just been using the scale & motion keys to create ease in/out and pan effects.

The project is about thirty minutes long. I've been able to edit and playback most of the project fine with safe RT turned on. Some of the pictures don't playback at full resolution but the animations all play back fine.

About 18 minutes into the project, FCP randomly started telling me that I have to render every picture. It doesn't seem to matter if the picture is large, small, animated or not. Many of the pictures have no animation on them at all and yet the red render bar shows up anyways. If I try to play the video, I just get the blue "unrendered" screen. Predictably, if I turn on unlimited rt, the playback stops after 1-2 seconds because of dropped frames.

The weird thing is that if I go back to pictures earlier in the project (before 18 minutes), all the pictures playback fine, even though many of them are animated. Yet all the pictures after that point--even the motionless ones--demand a render. I've tried deleting the pictures from the sequence and dropping them back in but to no avail.

I'm sure I'm probably overlooking something simple here, but was wondering if anyone might be able to help me know why the red bar starts showing up there. Have to render every single picture, every time I make a change will be extremely annoying. Any advice?

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Nick Meyers
Re: Render Bar Issues on Project with Stills
on Jun 4, 2013 at 3:04:04 am

FCP is holding a lot of info about those stills in RAM.
there comes a point where it runs out of RAM for that particular task.

you can try going into your user FCP System Prefs (Shift Q), Memory & Cache tab
and up your RT allocation for stills.

it still might not be enough.

i do a fai bit of work with subtitles. i get the same thing: subs play fine for a while with green render bar,
then they gum up with the orange render bar.

the trick is to turn the earlier ones OFF.
actually i have a separate tracks with visibility tuned off, and the real trick is to bump the earlier subs UP into that track.

that alone doesn't fix the later subs,
they too have to be turned off, and back on again. this forces FCP to "re-think" them.

you might have a lot of dissolves, making bumping chunks up a track difficult.
in which case turning them off with control B is the go.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Render Bar Issues on Project with Stills
on Jun 4, 2013 at 1:42:43 pm

You may want to do this in Motion, which is made for things like this: animation, compositing and special effects.

FCP is made to edit video, and it can sort of do animation, compositing and special effects. But not as well as Motion. If it did it as well as Motion, why have Motion in the first place?

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

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Brandon Smith
Re: Render Bar Issues on Project with Stills
on Jun 5, 2013 at 5:07:45 am

Nick, that makes a lot of sense. Your solution seems to have fixed my problem. I just bumped all of my stills prior to that point into a track that had the visibility turned off. Now the stills i'm working on playback fine.

Dave, I'm aware that motion is generally a better program for doing animations, however this is a bit of an unusual project I'm working on. I have audio from a wedding ceremony, but no video. What i'm trying to do is a create a photo montage type of thing, where the photos are synced up with audio from the ceremony. So when the couple is exchanging rings, there's a photo of the groom placing you a ring on the bride's finger. You get the picture.

The reason I decided to do this in FCP is because (1) I've had some trouble working with lengthy projects in motion before, (2) I thought it might be much easier to make the timing work in FCP and (3) most of the animations I've done have been pretty simple. When I wanted to do some more complex animations, I've sent those individual stills to motion.

I thought the length issues were more a limitation of what motion was made to do, but maybe it was just the particular project i was working on. I suppose I could have also lined all the stills up in motion, with the timing the way I wanted to, and then sent that to motion.

I'm always interested to learn from the experience of those more advanced in the field than me. Given the nature of this project, do you still think I would be better off doing the project in motion?

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Steve Eisen
Re: Render Bar Issues on Project with Stills
on Jun 6, 2013 at 4:26:48 am

You could save your self time and get PhotoMotion from GeeThree. The website will explain everything you need.

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

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