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Okay to change settings within existing sequence rather than cut and paste into new one?

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Marc Israel
Okay to change settings within existing sequence rather than cut and paste into new one?
on Dec 24, 2018 at 4:47:05 am

I’ve been working on a feature-length documentary for a very long time now and I have started to run into issues - lots of dropped frames, out of memory, FCP 7 crashing. Everything was working just fine until two weeks ago when trying to render a heavily-effected clip. When trying to diagnose the problem, a couple people here suggested to me that the culprit is the system settings, which are as follows:
1440x1080, 23.98 fps, HD1080p24, 48 KHz, 32 bit Floating Point

Those people told me that these are outdated, basically awful settings, and that I need to change all the settings of the project. I’m not wholly convinced this is the culprit, but, from what I gather, my sequence settings are in fact yucky and could eventually make this very large project untenable, and will be improved in several aspects by correcting them. Therefore it’s very good idea, if possible, to switching the settings, regardless of if it solves the original problem. The settings I’ve found to be more appropriate is the highly recommend ProRes422, and then HD 1440x1080 for both pixel aspect ratio and aspect ratio (are these good, healthy settings overall?). But when I cut and paste an old sequence into the new sequence, all the audio becomes firmly mixed, as several video clips play with the wrong IN and OUT points - basically it’s a nitemare. Considering there are dozens of very densely-edited long sequences, to sort out this mess with individual clips is daunting, and would be extremely time-consuming - as in months. If I can avoid this in any way, I’d practically give the world for it. Now, when I change the original sequence’s settings to the new settings, everything is just fine, no-one gets hurt. So one question I have is: Is it okay to change the settings that-a-way? Is it the same difference? If so, that would make things soooo much easier. Any help is much appreciated - this project has basically stalled due to these issues, which's been a real bummer. Thanks.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Okay to change settings within existing sequence rather than cut and paste into new one?
on Dec 24, 2018 at 5:36:34 pm

The number #1 thing I told you was that your choice of codecs (specifically the old and Lind sho discontinued HDV codec) was your biggest issue. Somehow, you seem to have missed that point, and above only mention the pixel dimensions, frame rate, etc.

Per your ongoing problems resizing clips... you spent years doing things improperly, fixing things is NOT gonna be instantaneous, it’s gonna take you some time, but you’ll quickly learn new skills while you do that will help you in the future.

Meanwhile, when changing the sequence settings on a previously edited sequence, not all parameters you change in the settings actually do apply and affect the underlying clips, and that it why best practices would dictate the cut and paste I previously recommended.

***HERE’S A TIP: Don’t be afraid to do a “Save as” to duplicate a sequence in order to try changing some parameters and leaving others. In your case, you could try duplicating the sequence and simply changing the codec in seq settings, while keeping all the other parameters the same. In theory, test would at least give you the real-time benefits of Pro Res. However, yiu might not get 100% of the benefits of the total fix I recommended, because I suspect you’ll have loads of pixels that might look okay to your eye, but which will not display 100% technically correctly or at their true native resolution.

Does this make sense to you?

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
Los Angeles


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Marc Israel
Re: Okay to change settings within existing sequence rather than cut and paste into new one?
on Dec 24, 2018 at 8:48:32 pm

David, thanks so much for the help.
“Does this make sense to you?”
A little. My response below might be the best indicator.

I mentioned changing the Compressor from HDV 1080p24 to ProRes422. I figured this was “codecs” as I didn’t see anything else with the word “codecs” ( perhaps here revealing a staggering level of ignorance). But I now see, under the Render Control tabs, that there’s a dropdown menu to change the codec. I just tested this with the cut and paste method, and again, both audio and video are all madly desynchronized with each other and with themselves. I tried the setting change within the original sequence, and, like before, everything is in tact, except it started to drop frames, a problem, along with the others originally mentioned, which has incidentally otherwise disappeared.

“Meanwhile, when changing the sequence settings on a previously edited sequence, not all parameters you change in the settings actually do apply and affect the underlying clips, and that it why best practices would dictate the cut and paste I previously recommended. “

What settings do not apply/affect the underlying clips? I hear you that “the best practice” is cut and paste, however, the different effect and implications of these two different “practices”, in this case so far, is as extreme as it gets. If I can get away with changing the original sequences, this seems relatively….easy. If I have to cut and paste, I practically can’t perceive see any end in sight regarding the level of time/work required to go into piecing all these clips and layers back to form, especially given being relegated to a 5 hours of work a day limit due to enfeebling tendinitis which threatens to totally disable me any time now by continuing to push this work at all. With cut and paste, it could take half a year or even more. And the original issue for which this was prescribed has, for the time being anyway, disappeared. So these matters and decisions are very directly effecting my very life.

“you could try duplicating the sequence and simply changing the codec in seq settings, while keeping all the other parameters the same.”

I just did this (assuming I’m correct that the Render Controls codecs dropdown is in fact where one changes the codecs). By just changing it from “same as sequence codec” to ProRes422, via cutting/pasting practice, everything remains in tact. No “desynrchonization” of clips. Is this good enough?


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Okay to change settings within existing sequence rather than cut and paste into new one?
on Dec 25, 2018 at 5:15:20 am

There are just too many variables for me to have a clue, but tell me this, does your sequence set to render to Pro Res play without rendering? It should. And, how does it look?

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
Los Angeles


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Marc Israel
Re: Okay to change settings within existing sequence rather than cut and paste into new one?
on Dec 25, 2018 at 5:50:18 am

"does your sequence set to render to Pro Res play without rendering? It should. "

Most of it plays without needing to render. But the clips wherein anything was tweaked (motion, dissolves, filters etc), there's the red line above, needing to re-render. Did you mean all the clips should in general play w/out render, or you mean specifically that the ones originally requiring rendering should not need to re-render?

And, how does it look? Otherwise, looks the same, in quality and dimensions.

"here are just too many variables for me to have a clue". To have a clue about...what?


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Marc Israel
Re: Okay to change settings within existing sequence rather than cut and paste into new one?
on Jan 1, 2019 at 10:45:34 pm

David, Heads up: Sent you an email at drwfilms.


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Marc Israel
Re: Okay to change settings within existing sequence rather than cut and paste into new one?
on Dec 28, 2018 at 6:15:35 am

David, been hypervigilant for an email notice announcing reply to my last post where I answered your questions. Wondering should I give up hope of a reply. Maybe the variables finally rendered you clueless or exasperated or you've just crawled fully into retirement. If you can just let me know whether changing only the render settings within a sequence should have not required me to re-render various clips or if it's okay that it did require re-rendering some....and if this simple settings change suffices to fundamentally make the project more healthy and workable....I'd appreciate it, and then we can call it a day/night/thread. Thanks.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Okay to change settings within existing sequence rather than cut and paste into new one?
on Dec 28, 2018 at 6:33:50 pm

Just forge ahead Marc - you’ll get lots, but not all of the benefits I’ve been trying to turn you onto. So, you’ll be better off than before, and perhaps you’ll ask questions here before starting the next time you begin a project.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
Los Angeles


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Marc Israel
Re: Okay to change settings within existing sequence rather than cut and paste into new one?
on Dec 28, 2018 at 11:59:45 pm

Alright David. I just did the codec sequence setting change cut and paste on the particular sequence where a certain clip spurred the original issue (cuz it's heavily laden with special affects). For the first time, those special effects rendered properly on that clip without all the blotches and random cubes. That's great news, a sight for sore eyes! You're the best - thanks for your guidance!


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