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Playback "stutters"

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Bobby Hall
Playback "stutters"
on Aug 8, 2013 at 1:08:13 am

I'm making an instructional chess video in FCP that I shot with three cameras. I converted the footage from all three cameras so that they're all 1920x1080 prores. One camera is a close-up on the instructor, the second is a wide shot showing the instructor from far away and the students watching, and the third camera is aimed at a giant screen that a chess board is being projected on. What I want is to cut back and forth between the first two cameras, which will be on the right side of the screen, while the projected chess board will cover the left half of the screen.

I used pluraleyes to sync the footage. The problem is that when I scale or move any of the clips (so that it's on half the screen), there's a green render bar and when I click play, after a few seconds the video and audio stutter, then the audio continues normally while the video is stuck on one of the frames. I have to press stop and play again for it to play normally, but then the stuttering process happens again.

I also noticed if I try to crop the video that's on the top track, a red render bar appears, but this didn't happen if I crop the video on tracks underneath it.

I'd like to know if there's any way I can make it play smoothly. I don't want to have to render the green bar as that will take forever. Thanks for any help!


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Steve Eisen
Re: Playback "stutters"
on Aug 8, 2013 at 3:58:43 am

Usually indicates the hard drive is causing the problem. The faster the drive and connection the better the performance. eSata/Thunderbolt Raid=best. FW800 RAID=better. USB2=don't even think about doing it!

Other scenarios:
Do not use your system startup as your scratch disk.
7200RPM drives. SSDs are fast.
make sure hard drives do not go to sleep.

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


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Bobby Hall
Re: Playback "stutters"
on Aug 8, 2013 at 4:06:38 am

Thanks for replying. My scratch disc is a 2T "My Passport for Mac" that uses USB 3.0. My processor is 2.8 GHz and I have 8 gb of ram. And my startup drive is 7200 rpms.

Is there some way to make the green render bar go away so that I can edit in real time smoothly?


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Steve Eisen
Re: Playback "stutters"
on Aug 8, 2013 at 2:21:57 pm

Green render bar is good. That means you have real time playback. In the upper left of your timeline, make sure your playback settings are set to Unlimited R, Playback Quality-Dynamic and Playback Frame Rate-Dynamic.

I'm assuming you have USB3 ports on your system. If not, you are not getting the full throughput of USB3. That would cause bad performance.

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


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Bobby Hall
Re: Playback "stutters"
on Aug 8, 2013 at 5:11:03 pm

How do I know if I have USB 3 ports on my system? When I bought the drive it said it had USB 3 and it plugs into my system, so I assumed I was getting USB 3. Is this not true? Thanks.


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Brett Sherman
Re: Playback "stutters"
on Aug 8, 2013 at 5:40:32 pm

I had a problem where I thought I was using USB 3, however it downgraded one drive enclosure to USB 2.0. I'm now using a different USB 3 enclosure.

Open "About This Mac" from the Apple Menu. Then More Info.. Then System Report. Select USB under hardware. Your drive should be under a USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Bus. If it's under USB Hi-Speed Bus, then it is using USB 2.0.



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Bobby Hall
Re: Playback "stutters"
on Aug 8, 2013 at 9:29:09 pm

Thanks Steve and Brett.
I'm using USB 2.0. I guess this is way too slow for my computer to handle layered video to play back smoothly (that is, when I crop or scale the clips).
Should I get a RAID drive or is a drive that connects via firewire 800 good enough? I've heard that g-technology has some good firewire drives. Can someone recommend one for me? Also, how do I know if my computer supports firewire 800 cables? I don't mean 800 connecting to a 400 port, but if its speed is actually 800. Thanks!


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Steve Eisen
Re: Playback "stutters"
on Aug 9, 2013 at 3:58:28 am

Tell us the model of your system. Click on the Apple in the upper left. Gives us the important info. Do not include Serial Number. Click More Info/System Settings/FireWire.

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


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Bobby Hall
Re: Playback "stutters"
on Aug 9, 2013 at 5:18:01 am

Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro5,2
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.8 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 6 MB
Memory: 8 GB
Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz
Boot ROM Version: MBP52.008E.B05
SMC Version (system): 1.42f4
Sudden Motion Sensor:
State: Enabled

When I click "firewire" it says:
FireWire Bus:

Maximum Speed: Up to 800 Mb/sec

I'm guessing the 800 Mb/sec means my system supports firewire 800...?


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Steve Eisen
Re: Playback "stutters"
on Aug 9, 2013 at 5:19:23 pm

That helps a lot. FW800 is your fastest connection.

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


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Neil Patience
Re: Playback "stutters"
on Aug 10, 2013 at 12:59:07 am

You may still notice some stuttering even with Firewire 800 when trying to playback 3 layers of ProRes. It will be a huge improvement over your USB drive though.
It might be worth looking at getting a raid. Depending on how much storage you need something like 2 bay CalDigit VR2 might be worth a look. They range from 2TB to 8TB in capacity and can be configured as raid 1 or raid 0.
Similar solution is a GTech G Raid, they come in same capacities and are slightly cheaper. I think the G Raid can only be configured as raid 0.
Raid 0 gives faster performance but offers no redundancy so if either drive were to fail all data would be lost.
Raid 1 gives mirrored data so if 1 drive were to fail you can simply replace it and all can be restored. However the drive performance is less than raid 0.
So it comes to speed v safe data.
Both have FW800 connections and I think the CalDigit also supports JBOD

Esata is another option you can buy an esata card for your MBP and use similar drives that have esata connections, that should be quicker than F800 but of course you need the express card. Its not a hugely expensive item though.

There are quite a few manufacturers of similar systems I have always found GTech to be reliable and I work at a place that uses CAL Digit drives and really like them although never owned one myself they certainly seem reliable. Hope that helps.

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv

8 Core MacPro, Kona 3, Tangent Wave, Mackie Universal Symphony 6.5 FCP7
i7 2.7 Gig MBP (non retina) 16Gigs Ram Blackmagic Monitor Mini Symphony 6.5 FCP7


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Bobby Hall
Re: Playback "stutters"
on Aug 10, 2013 at 6:17:49 am

Steve and Neil,
Thank you so much!


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