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Metal/the next FCP X re-write - and InfinityFabric

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Bill Davis
Metal/the next FCP X re-write - and InfinityFabric
on Jun 10, 2019 at 4:13:25 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Jun 10, 2019 at 4:15:43 pm

Sarah Kimberly Euschen , an editor/motion graphic pro who is very active in the higher-end internet X groups, has written a cool piece about why the new MacPro design might represent a breakthrough in desktop parallel processing. Like many, I had heard the "Infinity Fabric" buzzword in the WWDC presentation - but didn't have much handle on what that meant specifically for video editors and motion graphics folk. Now I know a bit more.

It's very digestible and I found it to be a really interesting look at some of what the FCP X/Metal re-write currently underway might yield.

For those interested:

https://themagicalworldofsakie.wordpress.com/2019/06/10/infinity-fabric-and...

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Metal/the next FCP X re-write - and InfinityFabric
on Jun 10, 2019 at 5:49:55 pm

[Bill Davis] "CP X/Metal re-write currently underway might yield"

This has me a bit puzzled. Why should there be any rewrite? FCPX has "supposedly" been fully Metal-enabled all along. Or was that just marketing BS? Seems to me that if there is a rewrite of code going on (bear in mind its probably 10 years old at this point) then FCPX is possibly in worse shape than its competitors.

And just as an FYI - Apple is making speed comparisons based on a quad GPU set-up. That's basically 4 of the top-of-the-line GPU cards from the current iMP line. Of course, in FCPX, that will be 4X faster. Duh! Seems like a huge expense compared with 1 or 2 Nvidia 2080 cards ☺

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Bill Davis
Re: Metal/the next FCP X re-write - and InfinityFabric
on Jun 10, 2019 at 6:50:24 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Jun 10, 2019 at 6:52:40 pm

[Oliver Peters] "This has me a bit puzzled. Why should there be any rewrite? FCPX has "supposedly" been fully Metal-enabled all along. "

To best leverage the new pathways that the research they did leading to the adoption of Afterburner and Infinity Fabric. Clearly those require code in the software to implement. And just as clearly, whatever used to call just the CPU or the GPU will need to now integrate calls to these new technologies for the future.

I don't understand why this is confusing.

Adobe spent a significant time encoding CUDA processes in the quest for increased performance.

Apple is doing the EXACT same thing for Metal. I expect Adobe is still working to leverage CUDA to the max - and it appears Apple is taking time to leverage Metal to the max.

Business as usual for everyone, isn't it?

From reading Sarah's post, it looks like there are some fundamental processing pathway changes that these new processes enable. An FCP X code refresh seems like just common sense. How much of X's App needs to be revised to use these is WAY beyond my pay grade - but apparently it's quite a bit.

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Metal/the next FCP X re-write - and InfinityFabric
on Jun 10, 2019 at 7:02:22 pm
Last Edited By Oliver Peters on Jun 10, 2019 at 8:14:25 pm

[Bill Davis] "whatever used to call just the CPU or the GPU will need to now integrate calls to these new technologies for the future.
I don't understand why this is confusing."


I'm confused, because that's exactly what Metal is all about. Apple is already in the second iteration of Metal (current OS). A number of apps like Pixelmater Pro and Affinity take advantage of this, too. As do Premiere and Resolve. That's what FCPX has been doing all along. Right? So what's different now?

[Bill Davis] "Adobe spent a significant time encoding CUDA processes in the quest for increased performance."

Not just Adobe, but everyone except Apple.

[Bill Davis] "I expect Adobe is still working to leverage CUDA to the max - and it appears Apple is taking time to leverage Metal to the max."

All cross-platform developers are leveraging both.

[Bill Davis] "it looks like there are some fundamental processing pathway changes that these new processes enable. An FCP X code refresh seems like just common sense. "

Well, my guess is that - and my testing tends to bear this out - that FCPX has not been capable of taking advantage of the combination of multiple GPUs when installed. Apps like Resolve do. So with up to 4 GPUs available in this configuration, my guess is that FCPX is playing a bit of catch-up. Same for Motion and Compressor, I would imagine.

Note Premiere's support for multiple GPUs in this video.






- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Bill Davis
Re: Metal/the next FCP X re-write - and InfinityFabric
on Jun 11, 2019 at 4:05:02 am
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Jun 11, 2019 at 4:10:36 am

[Oliver Peters] "So what's different now?"

The now publicly understood architecture of the New Mac Pros, obviously.
Why shouldn’t the research and code changes Apple is building into the next X version reflect these new hardware capabilities? And as others like developer Roger Bolton noted on other boards, some of the stuff like Infinity Fabric is more tied to the AMD capabilities than specific Mac Stuff. So putting code support for that into the next X release seems like a no-brainer that will potentially benefit lots of X editors, even if they don’t spring for CheeseGrater Redoux!

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Metal/the next FCP X re-write - and InfinityFabric
on Jun 11, 2019 at 12:09:21 pm

[Bill Davis] "So putting code support for that into the next X release seems like a no-brainer that will potentially benefit lots of X editors, even if they don’t spring for CheeseGrater Redoux!"

I think that's too much of an assumption, unless they are running multiple GPUs.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Steve Connor
Re: Metal/the next FCP X re-write - and InfinityFabric
on Jun 11, 2019 at 1:27:11 pm

https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/wwdc2019/608/


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Oliver Peters
Re: Metal/the next FCP X re-write - and InfinityFabric
on Jun 11, 2019 at 2:43:52 pm

Good video. Thanks for posting.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Steve Connor
Re: Metal/the next FCP X re-write - and InfinityFabric
on Jun 11, 2019 at 2:59:22 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Good video. Thanks for posting.
"


I saw it on Alex Gollner's Twitter, thought it might be useful.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Metal/the next FCP X re-write - and InfinityFabric
on Jun 12, 2019 at 8:11:55 pm

BTW - I realize no one here wants to hear this, but with Apple focusing on 8K video with a 16-bit float pipeline, they are already behind the eight-ball in terms of where the industry could be headed. For example, Avid is being re-coded as 32-bit float with 16K project sizes possible. Also an uncompressed version of DNx and ACES workflow support.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Metal/the next FCP X re-write - and InfinityFabric
on Jun 12, 2019 at 8:18:21 pm

[Oliver Peters] "BTW - I realize no one here wants to hear this, but with Apple focusing on 8K video with a 16-bit float pipeline, they are already behind the eight-ball in terms of where the industry could be headed. For example, Avid is being re-coded as 32-bit float with 16K project sizes possible. Also an uncompressed version of DNx and ACES workflow support."

I know people like the Gretzky/puck quote, but it is possible to skate too far ahead of the puck. I mean, hypothetically if 16K projects start becoming a common thing in 2023, and other NLEs have 32-bit 16K support in 2021, does it matter that Avid had it in 2019?


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Steve Connor
Re: Metal/the next FCP X re-write - and InfinityFabric
on Jun 12, 2019 at 8:42:41 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "if 16K projects start becoming a common thing in 2023, and other NLEs have 32-bit 16K support in 2021, does it matter that Avid had it in 2019?"

No because we all wouldn't have had time to get the new eyes that we'll need to actually see 16K and beyond :)


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Oliver Peters
Re: Metal/the next FCP X re-write - and InfinityFabric
on Jun 12, 2019 at 8:43:34 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "but it is possible to skate too far ahead of the puck"

Look, I personally have no interest in 8K or 16K. However, the Japanese are already venturing into those areas. So it's not 2023. The point is, if you are going to rework the pipeline, you want as much potential headroom as possible. I suspect FCPX and the 2019 MP will be fine with 16K projects. But it seems to me the pipeline issue may bite them sooner than later.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Metal/the next FCP X re-write - and InfinityFabric
on Jun 12, 2019 at 9:18:30 pm

[Oliver Peters] "However, the Japanese are already venturing into those areas. So it's not 2023. "

NHK is always tinkering, and HD existed for decades before it finally found traction (for various reasons) in the early 2000's.

8K is around the corner so Apple is talking about 8K. 16K is around the corner from 8K and Avid is talking about that because they are trying to shake the stigma of being an old, broken down NLE that only exists due to favorable market inertia. I don't doubt that when 16K is actually around the corner that Apple will talk about it's 16K ability and how it's based on the latest tech (as opposed to the 'old' 16K tech used by *those other guys*). ;)


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Steve Connor
Re: Metal/the next FCP X re-write - and InfinityFabric
on Jun 12, 2019 at 8:44:37 pm

[Oliver Peters] "they are already behind the eight-ball in terms of where the industry could be headed. "

A small subset of the industry? I see your point though :)


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Bill Davis
Re: Metal/the next FCP X re-write - and InfinityFabric
on Jun 19, 2019 at 4:49:07 pm

[Steve Connor] "[Oliver Peters] "they are already behind the eight-ball in terms of where the industry could be headed. "

A small subset of the industry? I see your point though :)"


Resolution creep?

I see this as merely one large conspiracy generated by the Forensic TV shows.
Some wretched writer pened the line: "Enhance, enhance, enhance..." a decade ago — and since then video engineering has been desperately trying to make it come true.

Sigh.

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Metal/the next FCP X re-write - and InfinityFabric
on Jun 19, 2019 at 4:53:10 pm

[Bill Davis] "Some wretched writer pened the line: "Enhance, enhance, enhance..." a decade ag"

Huh? Been hitting the merlot again? ☺

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Andre van Berlo
Re: Metal/the next FCP X re-write - and InfinityFabric
on Jun 13, 2019 at 9:45:04 am

At 5:40 into the video he mentions that Metal will use any available hardware. Does that mean that is doesn't have to be identical GPU's or CPU's? So if I have a Mac Pro 2013 with an eGPU it would use both the D700's + the Vega for decoding?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Metal/the next FCP X re-write - and InfinityFabric
on Jun 13, 2019 at 12:14:05 pm

[Andre van Berlo] "Does that mean that is doesn't have to be identical GPU's or CPU's?"

I believe this is the case. That is already being experienced when people have an eGPU. But it is application-dependent.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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