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Project Manager "Unknown Error"

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Mollie ReederProject Manager "Unknown Error"
by on Oct 17, 2016 at 6:38:39 pm

Hi there all. I hope someone can help.

I edited a feature film and the colorist is ready to start grading. This is my first feature so the colorist walked me through his preferred workflow. He told me to use project manager to consolidate the project and we agreed on Cineform as our mezzanine. Great, sounds easy enough - except that Project Manager won't do it. It gets partway through the process and then stops due to an "Unknown Error". Then it deletes everything it's already copied to the destination folder, Premiere stops responding, and I have to force quit. No exaggeration, across the past 72 hours I have probably had this happen 20 times. Usually after it's been transcoding for hours, which makes troubleshooting very costly in time.

Things I have tried:

1. "Copy & Collect" instead of Transcoding
2. Rebooting everything.
3. Uninstall/reinstall of Premiere & encoder
4. Updated firmware for the RAID system the footage is stored on
5. Clear media cache
6. Writing to different destination drives
7. Created a new, clean Premiere project and imported ONLY the sequence with the picture locked cut

Nothing has worked. I am days behind my deadline to ship the drive (colorist is in another state) and feeling like I've hit a wall.

My next step is to split the sequence into parts and try transcoding individual parts to isolate the problem, but does anyone have any deeper insight? Also, I don't know if it's related, but Project Manager's "Calculate" function seems super broken. Its "Resulting Project Size" calculations have been WAY off every time I've tried it.

Premiere CC 2015.4 (started on 2015 and as part of my troubleshooting updated to .4)
Intel i7 3770k , 16GB , Geforce GTX 660
Windows 8.1
Drobo Pro

Footage is a mix: primarily 2k Raw, Sony Fs700 to an Odyssey7 ... (I read somewhere on an old forum that Project Manager used to lack support for Long-GOP formats and that the Convergent Design recorders were long GOP but my understanding is that Project Manager should support that now? I'm a bit confused by all of that so clarification would be helpful. These files are .dng image sequences.) and B camera stuff shot on Fs100 to a Ninja in ProRes... plus a few shots on a Black Magic 2.5k and a little bit of GoPro.

Anybody who has experience with Project Manager, particularly if you've worked with feature-sized projects, I'd love to hear from you. Thank you all!

PS: When I actually get this to work, how large will my output be? Either transcoding in Cineform 12bit or copying source files? Since this is my first feature length project I have no idea what to expect... the film is 96 minutes.

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Sejin KimRe: Project Manager "Unknown Error"
by on Oct 19, 2016 at 12:52:24 am

I haven't specifically worked with the Project Manager, but I have experienced symptoms similar to the ones you have. If you ever put In or Out markers in the project, you'll want to delete those, then delete the preferences again, both for Premiere Pro and for Media Encoder, then trying the encode again.
I don't really have an idea on how large the Cineform will be; sorry!

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Peter GarawayRe: Project Manager "Unknown Error"
by on Oct 19, 2016 at 9:48:49 pm

Hi Mollie,

Sorry you're running into some trouble here. A few things that can trigger this error:

1. Copying to full drive (nearly full drive)
2. Spanned clips in the project
3. Enabling "Include Preview Files"
4. Copying to a long destination/file path and/or name
5. If the audio has been modified via Modify > Audio Channels

Long GOP is supported for Consolidate and Transcode, if the Format/Preset supports it. In the case the preset does not support it, then the file will be copied and not transcoded.

I hope some of the above info is helpful.


Peter Garaway
Premiere Pro

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Ryan PatchRe: Project Manager "Unknown Error"
by on Oct 20, 2016 at 11:13:53 pm

You're saying that you're editing .dng sequences? That's a red flag for me - can you try transcoding those first and then going to color? DNG sequences aren't exactly the easiest thing to work with. I usually send my colorist renders of DNG sequences and then send them original files to re-link to sequences.

Another solution would be just to output the whole timeline flat to one single file and then do anything with crossfades separately. That's the backup solution.

Last, the colorist only needs ONE TRACK of video - so if you have 2+ tracks of video, you compound your potential for error - try flattening it down to one. I do this by starting at the top track, selecting the entire track then just "nudging" it down one track with a custom shortcut that I've set. Then, I re-select all clips on that track and do the same. Make a copy of sequence before doing this.

Also (make copy before this as well) delete all audio files - why keep those around?

A very hack-y solution might be to watch the progress bar and figure out approx when it fails, and you can look at a certain point in the show when it fails to figure out.

You might try exporting in "reels". Try to separate it out into 10-minute sequences. At minimum, you should be able to isolate the problem.

Let me knowif you need more help. My email is ryan@ my company's website.


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Mollie ReederRe: Project Manager "Unknown Error"
by on Oct 24, 2016 at 8:03:16 pm

Guys, these were all excellent answers. I am filing all of these suggestions away for future reference. This has been a stressful, but educational experience. 😉

At this point, it looks like it's a problem with our Drobo. This weekend, I manually copied a small reel off the Drobo onto a different drive, did a render and a transcode and it was lightning fast and behaved like it should. I'm moving footage to a different system and hopefully that will get us back on track! I think the Drobo was just too full (one of the drives was yellow) and even though I was trying to export/write to a different destination, its read speeds were tanking and causing the process to fatally lag.

Hopefully new drives will get us moving forward again! Thanks again.

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