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Still can't export using compressor. DESPARATE

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Glenn Payne
Still can't export using compressor. DESPARATE
on Mar 24, 2014 at 3:23:37 pm

I'm trying to export a 106 minute feature film to compressor to put on a dvd. Everytime I try it begins the process then I get a "final cut unexpectedly quit" message. I'm using H.264 footage that I have since learned I need to change to ProRes so I changed it via SEQUENCE>SETTING>COMPRESSOR>APPLE PRORESS 422 then rendered that on the timeline. It helped with smaller projects and the film's trailer and teaser but it's not helping at all with the feature film.

I've got a few clips of animation that are 24fps instead of 23.98 and a couple that are 30fps. the 30fps clips are stock made space galaxy shots I needed. I've tried deleting these clips then rendering to see if they are the problem and and didn't seem to matter at all. Final cut still crashed. And those clips did render out fine in an earlier version of the film that I was successfully able to render to a dvd.

I tried exporting the film as a quicktime movie then closing final cut and opening that in compressor then rendering and it completed, but there seemed to be multiple glitches in the quicktime movie file itself. Rerending the qt movie brought the same results. I've deleted final cut user preferences and that did nothing. Also tried cleaning out my mac with "cleanmymac", this also didn't help.

Does anyone have any thoughts at all?? I am super desperate. The film has been completed for months and I should be screening the film now and can't even get a good exported render of it for a dvd.
THANKS for any thoughts!!!

The only other new development is that I accidentally unplugged the hardrive from the power source weeks back. That's when the "final cut unexpectedly quit" messages started appearing.

2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo - 4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM - GeForce 8600M GT
111.47 GB capacity Hard Drive (12.12 GB free) - OS X 10.5.8


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Still can't export using compressor. DESPARATE
on Mar 24, 2014 at 6:40:05 pm

Sorry to say this, but you have two strikes against you:

You're cutting using H.264 footage... and it sounds like a lot of it, which is even worse. You may have been able to get away with using it for short projects in the past, but not any more. It should ALL have been transcoded to ProRes 422 from the very start.

You're trying to cut together footage with mixed frame rates, which is something FCP can not do. The project should have been started with ONE frame rate in mind, and ALL footage converted to that frame rate.

Unless you're supposed to deliver a DVD for preview purposes, you should also know that ALL DVD's are standard-definition; I'll guess the project is in HD.

Long story short: I fear you won't be hitting your deadline.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Shane Ross
Re: Still can't export using compressor. DESPARATE
on Mar 24, 2014 at 7:43:20 pm

[Glenn Payne] " I'm using H.264 footage that I have since learned I need to change to ProRes so I changed it via SEQUENCE>SETTING>COMPRESSOR>APPLE PRORESS 422 then rendered that on the timeline. It helped with smaller projects and the film's trailer and teaser but it's not helping at all with the feature film."

That is a possible quick fix. A "band-aid" if you will. Something that may or may not work. It works on smaller projects, but on larger ones, this "band aid" doesn't stem all of the bleeding.

The simple fact is that FCP does not work well with footage that IS NOT in an FCP-codec...like ProRes. H.264...bad. Animation, bad. MPEG-4...bad. But what stinks is that it SEEMS like it will work, FCP doesn't warn you that it won't...unlike FCX that says "Hey, do you want to optimize this footage?" So you think this footage will work, and all will be well.

FCP also doesn't mix frame rates well at all. It doesn't remove or add pulldown properly, so it will play back in an odd cadence (and skip). Off frame rate, and H.264...ouch!

The solution is not easy. You will need to convert all of the footage used in the cut to ProRes...and most likely over-cut (instead of relink) the footage into a duplicate of the timeline. Anything that is a different frame rate, you need to convert that frame rate in Compressor....use the FRAME TOOLS to control how well to do this conversion. And DEFINITELY overcut that footage...it won't relink at all. If this is a feature length project...you have your work cut out for you.

Premiere Pro works with footage natively...FCP does not. Sorry to be blunt, but very little research was done in learning how to use FCP properly, how to bring the footage in. Assumptions were made...and those assumptions backed you into a very tight corner. Only hard work will get you out.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Glenn Payne
Re: Still can't export using compressor. DESPARATE
on Mar 24, 2014 at 8:43:00 pm

Thanks Shane and Dave. I appreciate the thoughts. Looks like I'll have to convert the footage and re-cut it to match the finished project. So, I'm guessing the first successful render I got of the film and watched on a dvd was just pure luck? (that was the longer version)

Question: If I convert the original footage to ProRes can I just pick the in and out points on my edited h.264 footage and just piece it together clip by clip? I'm assuming the frame rate will stay exactly the same. Basically I'm hoping to copy to a new prores timeline and replace the h.264 with prores and save all the layers of sound design, audio, music, etc. Does this sound reasonable?

And given that you both appear to be experts I guess it's safe to bet that is a 99% guaranteed fix...?
Thanks again!


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Shane Ross
Re: Still can't export using compressor. DESPARATE
on Mar 24, 2014 at 11:00:37 pm

[Glenn Payne] "Question: If I convert the original footage to ProRes can I just pick the in and out points on my edited h.264 footage and just piece it together clip by clip?"

If you give the footage REEL numbers, you can use the MEDIA MANAGER to do that for you. Duplicate the sequence...take out everything BUT the footage you need to convert...unless you need to convert everything. Then use the Media Manager, COPY option...only what is used in the sequence, with 40 frame handles. Take the resulting files into Compressor to compress to ProRes....and then cut the new files back in. You could use the RECOMPRESS option, but that is not wise if the files are differing frame rates...RECOMPRESS doesn't do the frame rate conversion well.

[Glenn Payne] "Basically I'm hoping to copy to a new prores timeline and replace the h.264 with prores and save all the layers of sound design, audio, music, etc. Does this sound reasonable?"

Yeah, you can leave all the sound work alone...that should he fine. REplacing the footage is all you need to do...and because you can't simply RELINK, it isn't a simple task. It's time consuming.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Glenn Payne
Re: Still can't export using compressor. DESPERATE
on Mar 24, 2014 at 11:50:23 pm

Thanks so much, Shane!! I'll get on that asap. When you say "duplicate the sequence" I'm guessing you mean in the very same final cut project file. correct?

I'm gonna give this all a whirl and report back. Hopefully I won't have to bug you with more questions.
THANKS AGAIN!


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Shane Ross
Re: Still can't export using compressor. DESPERATE
on Mar 25, 2014 at 12:38:37 am

Not the whole project...just the sequence in the project. Keep one that is linked to your media as is..the final. Duplicate that...make all the changes to the duplicate.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Glenn Payne
Re: Still can't export using compressor. DESPERATE
on Mar 25, 2014 at 4:51:43 am

Thanks again! Just to make sure I'm doing this correctly.
In Media Manager (just the clips I needed in this sequence)

COPY
include render files: unchecked
include master clips outside selection: unchecked
delete unused media from duplicated items: CHECKED
**use handles: CHECKED 00:00:00:40 (**?**)
include affiliated clips outside collection: unchecked
base media file names on: existing file names
duplicate selected items and place into a new project: CHECKED
include nonactive multiclip angles: CHECKED
media destination: (my desired folder on external drive)

it's very likely i have a few of those wrong. I also went through and gave all my clips a REEL NUMBER. Any corrections?
THANKS!


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Shane Ross
Re: Still can't export using compressor. DESPERATE
on Mar 25, 2014 at 6:43:14 am

That looks right to me.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Glenn Payne
Re: Still can't export using compressor. DESPERATE
on Mar 28, 2014 at 3:02:51 am

Shane,
I used media manager and got all the clips converted to ProRes 422. My next step is getting those clips back into the timeline. Is there any way that Media Manager will help me put them back in just as they were originally cut(edited)? Or do I just have to manually cut those clips and replace them one by one, replacing the h.264 footage that was in the timeline (which already has a sequence setting of proress)?

thanks so much for your help!


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Shane Ross
Re: Still can't export using compressor. DESPERATE
on Mar 28, 2014 at 6:00:46 am

[Glenn Payne] "Is there any way that Media Manager will help me put them back in just as they were originally cut(edited)?"

Did you media manage the original clips in the bins? Not the sequence? The idea was to highlight the sequence, and media manage>Recompress the footage in the sequence.

You can also take the H.264 files offline, and then try to relink to those prores files.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Glenn Payne
Re: Still can't export using compressor. DESPERATE
on Mar 29, 2014 at 4:53:04 am

I media managed the clips in the sequence. Which then automatically placed them all into a new folder. I sent batches of those clips (straight from the new folder on my external hard drive) into compressor until they were all new prores files (stored in yet another new folder).

I believe you had mentioned that "You could use the RECOMPRESS option, but that is not wise if the files are differing frame rates...RECOMPRESS doesn't do the frame rate conversion well." Since I had a small number of clips that were a different frame rate I didn't use the RECOMPRESS option.

BUT if I need to delete the folder of new prores clips and just use the RECOMPRESS option in order to not have to re-edit the clips then I can definitely do that. Whatever it takes to get the job done. I assume that either way I'll have to additionally recompress those small number of clips that have different frame rates (they are animation shots).

Terribly sorry if that is worded in a way that makes no sense at all. Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed.
And THANK YOU again!


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