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Challenges working with limited drive space, suggestions?

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Drew DeCain
Challenges working with limited drive space, suggestions?
on Jan 13, 2012 at 4:17:17 pm

Hello all, first time poster, though I have lurked for a while and read several help threads. I've tried to search for an answer to this question, but I have been unsuccessful.

Basically I am editing a series of training videos anywhere from 5-10 minutes in length, totaling about +/- 30 videos. The videos all demand a number of graphics, mainly text and a talking head on a greenscreen. I am using the ProRes 4444 Codec (exporting text graphics and the key with a transparency layer) as my base editing codec, although I am running into physical space issues. The ProRess 4444 files are huge, and the computer I am working on has limited drivespace (the total drive space is around 680GB, 200GB or so are useable by me).

I am constantly having to delete render files and doing a 'fresh render' to try and save space, but I am getting rapidly tired of this and it is slowing my workflow.

I found the setting that lets you render things in ProRes 422, and after some tests, I discovered that it saved me an average of 28% on space used for rendering. Today i noticed some of my oldest project files (from another editor) have fractional sized render files. After some additional research, I believe these sequences are rendering in the native sequence format (XDCAM) instead of ProRes 422.

The question is that since I have to render everything to view it anyways (the drive can not playback ProRes 4444 smoothly, it must be connected by a SATA II cable), and my space concerns are greater than my rendering time concerns, should I switch my sequence settings to a higher compression codec and render in native sequence settings, even though the bulk of my project is in ProRes 4444?

Thanks!


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Challenges working with limited drive space, suggestions?
on Jan 13, 2012 at 5:38:45 pm

ProRes 4444 is overkill.
Use Prores 422 or 422HQ.
Only Use the ProRes 4444 codec for your alpha channel stuff.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Shane Ross
Re: Challenges working with limited drive space, suggestions?
on Jan 13, 2012 at 5:38:46 pm

Are the training videos destined for the BIG SCREEN? Movie theatre? If not, why on earth are you using ProRes 4444 as the base codec? You are just taking up mounds of space for no good reason. The only reason I use ProRes 4444 on SOME footage, is if I want an Alpha Channel graphic in my project. PR4444 does alphas, and is less bulky than ANIMATION. Other than that, I go ProRes all the way, and my stuff is destined for broadcast.

What is your final product going to be delivered on? Web? DVD? BluRay? With ALL of those, PR4444 is too much, and PR422, or even LT would be good choices.

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


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Drew DeCain
Re: Challenges working with limited drive space, suggestions?
on Jan 13, 2012 at 5:51:42 pm

"What is your final product going to be delivered on? Web? DVD? BluRay? With ALL of those, PR4444 is too much, and PR422, or even LT would be good choices."

Yeah I know PR4444 is overkill sequence resolution, and these videos are being delivered to Web, Mobile, or the occasional conference room Projector.

I think I will experiment with changing my sequence settings to PR422, my reasoning for editing in 4444 is simply to keep things consistent from video track to video track (when I first started editing here, FinalCut was crashing 10 times a day and since I revamped the workflow, I haven't had any issues with FinalCut crashes but I have been running out of space).

Thanks for the suggestions!


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Challenges working with limited drive space, suggestions?
on Jan 14, 2012 at 10:50:23 pm

Clearly, this may not be what you want to hear, but just go run out to Stsples and buy a FireWire drive. Yes, the prices have gone up a bit, but your sanity is well worth the cost. You can even bring the drive back when you're done if the dough is too painful to part with.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new Creative Cow Podcast: Bringing "The Whale" to the Big Screen:
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/Podcast-Series-2-MikeParfit...

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Drew DeCain
Re: Challenges working with limited drive space, suggestions?
on Jan 16, 2012 at 6:57:43 pm

Would be that I could, however the client I am working for wants me editing on site, with proprietary equipment and property, and they do not want to spend the $100 on an external.

After switching my sequence settings to 422(LT) and rendering with default sequence settings, I am getting much more manageable and space-efficient render file sizes. Thanks for the help!


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Jeff Meyer
Re: Challenges working with limited drive space, suggestions?
on Jan 20, 2012 at 1:07:02 am

If you're constantly deleting render files and creating a fresh render it seems like the cost a $100 firewire drive should quickly vanish relative to the additional hourly they're paying you while you wait for the computer to render. Sometimes you need to explain that in the pursuit of saving some pennies (not buying a hard drive) they're spending a few dollars (your additional hourly). I'm making the assumption you're on hourly. If you have a salary-based contract that logic won't get you anywhere.


Also, one option no one has mentioned yet is to put the .motn files right onto your timeline without exporting a ProRes4444. Final Cut becomes less stable this way, but by taking out the intermediate chunk you are saving space. If you have one or two Motion files on a timeline this can work out well, but the more .motn files you have on a timeline the more likely it is to crash. Use this sparingly, because time wasted waiting for FCP to re-open is time wasted, but this could have a place in your workflow. Caps lock can be useful when working with .motn files, preventing Final Cut from trying to render while you scrub.


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