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Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar

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Hamdani Milas
Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on Apr 29, 2020 at 7:29:21 pm

I've been using FCPX continuously for paid work for 6 years, a slow adopter from 5 years with FCP Studio. I've encountered a problem not seen before, nor have I found it discussed on any forums. (Sorry for the long post but I wanted to provide as much description as possible.)

Recently updated a 2015 27" iMac to Mojave 10.14.6 and also updated all Pro Apps including FCPX10.4.8. The problem is this:

After updating some older libraries thin red lines were visible in the timeline render bar above random clips, titles or transitions. Sometimes these clips play smoothly, sometimes they judder. Sometimes the clips export okay, sometimes the juddery playback or even a stalled frame is reproduced in the exported file. The red line can sometimes be made to disappear by placing a duplicate of the clip on the secondary storyline above the original or by moving a title, or by separating the audio track. But it may return later. The red line may also disappear if a colour adjustment is made, only to return later.

The timelines include all ProRes video files and the only consistency of this red line issue seems to be its randomness.

The red line phenomena also applies to new libraries created from scratch in projects with all ProRes video media. I've also noticed the project render routine itself is hit and miss, I usually disable background-render, now and then select all and manually trigger a render but portions of the timeline often refuse to render leaving the usual white dots.

I am at a complete loss to troubleshoot this any further. I've done all the usual routines - reset NVRAM, trashed FCPX prefs, trashed FCPX itself and reinstalled it, reinstalled Mojave, ran Disk Repair on the SSD system drive, tried copy/pasting a problem project from an existing library into a new library - the red lines just travel with the project. Also deleted all library and/or project render files to no avail - the red lines persist. There's no apparent action in any aspect of the workflow that appears to induce the red lines nor can I find any reliable or repeatable way to eliminate them.

I now have such little confidence in FCPX's ability to function reliably, as expected, that I would be reluctant to accept paid work with the app in this state. Even if there was any work to be had right now. 😉

I've sent a description of the issue to Apple via the usual feedback support but I'm not really expecting a response. If anyone has any suggestions I'd be most appreciative.

Thanks for listening.

Hamdani Milas



Independent producer, director, cinematographer, writer, editor
Milas Film Productions, Hong Kong
http://www.milasfilm.com


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Joe Marler
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on Apr 29, 2020 at 9:56:11 pm

[Hamdani Milas] "...Sometimes the clips export okay, sometimes the juddery playback or even a stalled frame is reproduced in the exported file...all ProRes video files...2015 27" iMac to Mojave 10.14.6 and also updated all Pro Apps including FCPX10.4.8...I usually disable background-render, now and then select all and manually trigger a render but portions of the timeline often refuse to render leaving the usual white dots....Also deleted all library and/or project render files to no avail - the red lines persist. There's no apparent action in any aspect of the workflow that appears to induce the red lines nor can I find any reliable or repeatable way to eliminate them."

Very interesting case. I have never seen this; it is rarely reported and there's no clear answer. You have already done the normal troubleshooting steps.

Can you examine the characteristics of that clip and compare that to the timeline characteristics? Does the frame rate match? Is the clip or timeline interlaced? Has any retiming or optical flow been used on that clip? What are the clip attributes - IOW if you play it in Quicktime and do CMD+I, what does the movie inspector show?

What camera did the ProRes material come from? Blackmagic cameras can embed a separate project frame rate vs sensor frame rate and sometimes that metadata makes FCPX behave oddly, but nothing like this.

If there are clips which sometimes cause the problem and other clips which never cause the problem it might be worth examining those side-by-side using Invisor's comparison viewer: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/invisor-media-file-inspector/id442947586?mt=1...

You can also verify you are on the latest version of Apple Pro Video Formats. Starting with Mojave that is done in System Preferences>Software Update.

Re Disk Utility, it will only run in advisory or read-only mode on the system drive unless the Mac is booted in Recovery Mode: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314

After running that if you have never rebuilt Spotlight Indexes you can do this on each drive: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201716

I formerly had a 2015 iMac 27 and after a few years it showed erratic behavior but nothing like this. It passed Apple diagnostics but at the Genius bar they ran overnight bench diagnostics and it finally failed, requiring a logic board replacement. But normally a hardware issue would cause a hang or crash not an anomalous UI element.

It's not a very stringent test but you could try Apple diagnostics: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202731

[Hamdani Milas] "...The red line phenomena also applies to new libraries created from scratch in projects with all ProRes video media.."

This is especially troubling and could indicate some external commonality. E.g, a plug in, system config issue or an incipient hardware problem.

Is all media on locally attached HFS+ or APFS drives, nothing on NTFS, ExFAT or NAS drives?

You might check if any 3rd-party kernel extensions are installed by typing this command in terminal:

kextstat | grep -v com.apple


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Hamdani Milas
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on Apr 30, 2020 at 10:45:32 am

Hi Joe

Thanks very much for taking the time to read my post and for providing such detailed and useful suggestions. Here are the results of further checking:

[Joe Marler] "Can you examine the characteristics of that clip and compare that to the timeline characteristics? Does the frame rate match? Is the clip or timeline interlaced? Has any retiming or optical flow been used on that clip? What are the clip attributes - IOW if you play it in Quicktime and do CMD+I, what does the movie inspector show?"
All the red line problem clip characteristics match the project settings; frame rate 25fps, dimensions 1080 etc. All clips concerned are 1080p and either ProRes 422 or ProRes 422HQ, there are no interlaced clips and the project is also set to progressive. QT's movie Inspector confirms the above. There is 2x retiming on the clip shown in the screen grab but red lines do also occur above clips, titles or transitions, with no retiming. Interestingly, if the retiming is reset to normal on that clip the redline shows on half the original duration and white unrendered dots on the other half.

[Joe Marler] "What camera did the ProRes material come from? "
These are not camera files, they are either master files, output from Final Cut Pro (earlier version) or After Effects renders.

[Joe Marler] "If there are clips which sometimes cause the problem and other clips which never cause the problem it might be worth examining those side-by-side using Invisor's comparison viewer:"
I tried this and the clips compared show similar metadata and with nothing unusual apparent.

[Joe Marler] "You can also verify you are on the latest version of Apple Pro Video Formats. "
Yes, latest - Pro Video Formats ver. 2.1.1. I also notice several previous versions are also installed. Presume this is usual?

[Joe Marler] "Re Disk Utility, it will only run in advisory or read-only mode on the system drive unless the Mac is booted in Recovery Mode:"
Yes, Disk First Aid was run in Recovery Mode. Also booted in Safe Mood to run those under the hood routines as well.

[Joe Marler] "After running that if you have never rebuilt Spotlight Indexes you can do this on each drive"
Rebuilt the Spotlight indexes for the external media drive concerned. The red line problem persists.

[Joe Marler] "It's not a very stringent test but you could try Apple diagnostics: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202731"
Tried this too (wasn't aware of this startup routine, thanks) and the result was No Issues Found.

[Joe Marler] "This is especially troubling and could indicate some external commonality. E.g, a plug in, system config issue or an incipient hardware problem"
I have well over a hundred plug-ins from FXFactory, Coremelt, motionVFX and others. FXFactory enables easy disabling of their plug-ins and I tried this but the problem remained. I didn't dare venture through the hoop-jumping that disabling the other plug-ins would require!

[Joe Marler] "Is all media on locally attached HFS+ or APFS drives, nothing on NTFS, ExFAT or NAS drives?"
Yes, all attached media drives are HFS. The system drive is APFS.

[Joe Marler] "You might check if any 3rd-party kernel extensions are installed by typing this command in terminal: kextstat | grep -v com.apple"
This was interesting, it pulled up 14x 3rd-party kexts. 11 of them could be accounted for but 3 were unfamiliar. I shall research these later and if they're not related to any current hardware or app I'll delete them.

I also tried logging in as another user with admin rights and the red line issue prevails.

The issue seems to be that FCPX is having a problem with clips rendered in Apple's very own ProRes editing format in FCPX which is optimised for ProRes. It's seemingly illogical. I shall try generating new lossless versions of problem clips and importing / optimising them into FCPX to see if this changes anything. But it's not just imported clips that generate the red line, titles and transitions can also trigger it.

Another option in the process of elimination is to wipe the system drive, do a clean install of Mojave and migrate all apps etc from a CCC back-up. The random issues are just the best aren't they!

I'll report back with any new findings. Meanwhile, if you or anyone else have any other suggestions they are most welcome.

Thanks again!


Hamdani Milas

Independent producer, director, cinematographer, writer, editor
Milas Film Productions, Hong Kong
http://www.milasfilm.com


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Hamdani Milas
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on Apr 30, 2020 at 2:56:31 pm

The red line issue gets weirder.

In another project timeline there are two lengthy clips from the same single source video, ProRes with 1920x873 dimensions for a widescreen appearance (used this workflow before with no issues). The first clip shows it's rendered and there's no red line above it. The second clip shows the red line above. (As does the animated title that follows) The second clip plays without issue.

If the second clip is selected and a Compound Clip is created from it the red line disappears and the clip renders.

If that Compound Clip is opened in its own timeline there is no red line above and the clip renders.

Oh! Maybe I spoke too soon. As I write this the first clip now has a red line above it. Right out of the blue! No action was carried out to trigger it. Random and unpredictable. And in this case the portion of the clip with the title above it stalls on playback while the audio continues to play. Following the title the remainder of the first clip plays okay.

Weirder and weirder.

Hamdani Milas

(Image has some clip names obscured for confidentiality.)



Independent producer, director, cinematographer, writer, editor
Milas Film Productions, Hong Kong
http://www.milasfilm.com


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Joe Marler
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on Apr 30, 2020 at 11:40:55 pm

[Hamdani Milas] "The first clip shows it's rendered and there's no red line above it. The second clip shows the red line above. (As does the animated title that follows) The second clip plays without issue."

Thanks for the additional info. To my knowledge, in FCPX there is no documented or even "known but undocumented" red line. It's not like Premiere where green means rendered, yellow means non-rendered but GPU-accelerable, and red means non-rendered and non-accelerable.

In FCP 7 there were multi-color render bars with several colors for various render states. Red meant "render required". That does not exist in FCPX unless it is some kind of legacy or debug code which was somehow triggered.

I was thinking back over this statement: "the project render routine itself is hit and miss, I usually disable background-render, now and then select all and manually trigger a render but portions of the timeline often refuse to render leaving the usual white dots."

In general it should always render on command. Exceptions: Optical flow retiming can sometimes get stuck and it won't render. If background rendering is left enabled sometimes render files can build up and render tracking gets confused. To avoid this keep background rendering disabled, manually delete all render files then do a one-time render with CMD+A to select all clips and CTRL+R to render. You can then selectively render additional clips or timeline ranges as needed.

Deleting render files using the FCPX UI does not delete analysis files, thumbnails, peak or waveform files. Unfortunately there is no documented way to delete those, but if you set library properties to store cache in a separate folder they will be placed in an .fcpcache bundle. You can safely delete the entire thing if needed.

There are also some render file tracking issues which can adversely interact with certain built-in and 3rd party effects. This can cause render files to become invalid and require re-rendering, even though no edits have occurred. There are other scenarios where render files will not be used even if they exist and are valid. Details: https://www.fcp.co/forum/4-final-cut-pro-x-fcpx/31621-help-losing-renders-a...

That may sound bad but in general the FCPX render system works quite well.

It is possible the huge number of plugins and kernel extensions on your system could be a factor. Unfortunately there is no easy way to troubleshoot this. Booting MacOS in Safe Mode does not allow launching FCPX because OpenGL acceleration is disabled. Also there is no "FCPX safe mode" to boot with all plugins disabled.

All current FCPX plugins except for Motion templates run within the process address space of FCPX. This means any bug in any plugin can crash or destabilize FCPX. Supposedly this will be improved in the future as plugin vendors move their products to FxPlug 4 which can enable out-of-process plugins, thereby preventing a plugin bug from crashing FCPX: https://developer.apple.com/documentation/professional_video_applications/f...

All of the above notwithstanding, in general FCPX is overall quite reliable, especially from the standpoint of data integrity. I have managed post production of several very large documentary projects using FCPX, some involving 150 4k camera hours and 100 multi-camera interviews. We never lost any data or even a single edit, despite various periodic glitches and crashes. I only wish Premiere was that reliable the years I used it.

I don't think there is an unsolvable problem with FCPX but there's obviously an architectural issue regarding plugins and MacOS kernel extensions that can impact troubleshooting. This can make it quite cumbersome and time consuming to pursue. If you have another machine or can boot MacOS from a separate drive and do a clean provisional FCPX install without any plugins, that might be a path forward. I realize steps like that are aggravating and time consuming.


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Terry Barnum
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 1, 2020 at 12:19:23 am

I found this on the fcp.co site from many years/versions ago talking about a red band above footage that doesn't play well. There wasn't a resolution unfortunately but the original poster did find a way to trigger it by compounding and getting rid of it by detaching the audio. Apparently the 7toX folks (now SendToX) called the red line a "corruption indicator." https://www.fcp.co/forum/4-final-cut-pro-x-fcpx/6650-red-band-in-fcpx-timel...

-Terry


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Hamdani Milas
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 1, 2020 at 9:27:25 am

Thanks Terry for unearthing this most interesting thread. It seems quite similar to what I've been experiencing, except the red line is thicker!

I've also eliminated the red line by detaching audio along with a number of other steps including, as mentioned before, creating a Compound Clip from red-lined footage and also placing an identical version of the problem clip above it on the secondary storyline. I've also experienced that detaching the audio has no effect at all on the red line. These would seem to be clues pointing at some kind of rendering issue under the hood.

The appearance of the red line continues to be arbitrary, unpredictable and the investigation continues...

Independent producer, director, cinematographer, writer, editor
Milas Film Productions, Hong Kong
http://www.milasfilm.com


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Hamdani Milas
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 1, 2020 at 9:16:49 am

Once again, thanks Joe for the detailed response and most helpful suggestions.

In 6 years of working almost full-time with FCPX I've learned its few quirks and glitches and have successfully run the usual routines to fix any unexpected behaviour. I've always marvelled at FCPX's ability to save the very last editing action prior to now rare crashes and have never lost work. But this issue has got me completely flummoxed.

Prior to the macOS system update to Mojave and FCPX 10.4.8 everything was running smoothly and reliably. Maybe I should have known better! ☹

[Joe Marler] "Unfortunately there is no documented way to delete those, but if you set library properties to store cache in a separate folder they will be placed in an .fcpcache bundle. You can safely delete the entire thing if needed."
Useful tip, thanks. I'll try this, see if it makes a difference.

[Joe Marler] "There are other scenarios where render files will not be used even if they exist and are valid. Details: https://www.fcp.co/forum/4-final-cut-pro-x-fcpx/31621-help-losing-renders-a....."
Interesting thread, I've observed some of what's described here with regard to un-rendered clips / effects. The final post in that thread from Joema is notable.

[Joe Marler] "If you have another machine or can boot MacOS from a separate drive and do a clean provisional FCPX install without any plugins, that might be a path forward. I realize steps like that are aggravating and time consuming."
Agree this is an essential troubleshooting step. Neither my ancient MacBook Pro or Mac Pro are Mojave compatible but I'll try installing FCPX on a Mojave boot drive, at least it will eliminate a plugin issue. I'll also try to locate a machine with Mojave / FCPX 10.4.8.

I'll continue to investigate this and will report back with any useful findings.

Thanks!

Independent producer, director, cinematographer, writer, editor
Milas Film Productions, Hong Kong
http://www.milasfilm.com


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Hamdani Milas
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 19, 2020 at 9:48:57 am

The random red line in the render bar continues to make its random appearances. I'm still at a loss as to a fix.

Sometimes the playback of the clip stutters beneath the red line, sometimes it doesn't seem to affect playback at all. At worst playback will freeze on the first frame of a red-lined clip and this freeze will also be rendered on an exported mpeg4. That is a major concern.

The red line will sometimes have an obvious trigger like the application of colour-wheels or a plugin. Sometimes extending a clip will trigger it. Other times it just appears with no apparent trigger.

I have also discovered that a variety of seemingly unrelated 'voodoo' tricks can make the red line disappear; separating the audio, moving the clip to another primary storyline location, duplicating the clip and positioning it directly above, extending the clip by a few frames, going back to the browser and bringing the clip in again to replace the existing clip, turning visibility of a title clip above off or on, copying the entire timeline and pasting it into a new project and so on... Sometimes these moves eliminate the red line for good, replacing them with the regular grey dots, and sometimes they don't.

It's all quite illogical but I suspect it's connected with the internal rendering pipeline because clips with the regular un-rendered grey dot indicators above do not always complete rendering even when they're force rendered.

Tried a complete uninstall of FCPX by using AppCleaner and then a reinstall but that's not a fix.

About the only thing I haven't tried is a clean install of Mojave and copy/migrate all system drive files from a CCC backup. But that could only bring in pre-existing cruft and I'm very loathe to do a full reinstall of all apps and plugins because there are several hundred.

It's also maybe notable that this issue doesn't seem to have been reported elsewhere recently, possibly indicating a machine-specific hardware or software issue.

Regardless, it's the kind of jinx that would be guaranteed to pop up when it's least appreciated, on an urgent delivery...

I'll leave it at this for now, if anyone has any suggestions they'll be most welcome but I think this bizarre issue would have even the Apple FCXP team scratching their heads. If anyone on that team is reading this feel free to contact me and I'll be happy to help trouble-shoot it.

Hamdani Milas

Independent producer, director, cinematographer, writer, editor
Milas Film Productions, Hong Kong
http://www.milasfilm.com


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Joe Marler
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 19, 2020 at 2:10:50 pm

[Hamdani Milas] "The random red line in the render bar continues to make its random appearances. I'm still at a loss as to a fix."

At this point we can only guess. There is no documented or "known but undocumented" red render bar.

If we assume it is related to the render system, we could examine that. Even if previously done, re-verify that that background rendering is disabled, and delete all cache files.

Inspect the location of the render folder. It should be external to the library. In Finder create a different folder on a different drive. Then use Finder CMD+I and under "sharing and permissions" grant "everyone" Read & Write access. Then press the gear icon and pick "apply to enclosed items". After that use FCPX library inspector>Modify Settings>Cache to designate that folder. This is to ensure there's no intermittent permissions or space issue. Make sure all drives are HFS+, not any ExFAT nor NTFS nor any on a NAS drive. A NAS is OK but not when troubleshooting an intractable problem.

Then manually render by selecting all clips in the timeline with CMD+A and render with CTRL+R. The freshly-generated render files should be placed in the new cache folder.

Examine the behavior. If it still happens, export your current project as an XML, create a new blank library, then load that project XML in that library. Render that timeline in the new library and examine the behavior. Using the XML route sometimes will filter out project corruption or anomalies.


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Hamdani Milas
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 20, 2020 at 6:05:23 am

[Joe Marler] "If we assume it is related to the render system, we could examine that."

Thanks for the suggestion Joe, I'll try this and post results.

Hamdani

Independent producer, director, cinematographer, writer, editor
Milas Film Productions, Hong Kong
http://www.milasfilm.com


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Hamdani Milas
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 21, 2020 at 2:01:00 pm

Tried all of the latest suggestions kindly offered, but nothing eliminated the random red line issue.

To my alarm I have discovered other odd behaviour that makes FCPX, in its present state on this machine, somewhat unfit for purpose.

Two examples.

1) Inserting a dissolve between one red-lined clip and a grey dotted line unrendered clip - both clips have adequate frames beyond the Out and In points to cover a 1 sec dissolve transition. However the transition simply cannot be applied, with the usual warning appearing about insufficient clip duration. Tried the three ways I'd previously used to add a dissolve; drag the effect from the transitions browser, option / drag a transition from another clip and Command T. None of these work. And yet there is ample footage on both sides of the edit.

2) Compound Clip manic behaviour - I have discovered that making a compound clip can sometimes get rid of the red line and choppy playback / rendering. A red-lined clip in one recent project is selected to test this with the Option G command to make a CC. As the CC is generated the clip deletes itself from its original location and instantly jumps backwards in the edit timeline, closes up the gap where it was, and inserts itself a couple of clips earlier! It's not something you would believe was possible unless you saw it with your own eyes. This mad behaviour is repeatable and consistent on this red-lined clip.

The incomplete and inconsistent rendering issue also prevails, sometimes a third of a timeline is often left un-rendered when the preference is set for background rendering and, if this is disabled, the same applies, forced rendering almost always leaves a portion of the timeline unrendered.

There's other weird stuff going on including ghost rendered titles where there is no title above a black solid but that oddity occurred just once and hasn't reappeared. I have video screen caps of some of this quirkiness.

I'm flummoxed by the random unpredictability and instability of a previously reliable and stable editing app.

The only logical explanation I can think of is that the random red line issue and other weirdness started appearing after an update from High Sierra to Mojave which included an update to FCPX and subsequent updating of libraries. In hindsight I should have archived recent FCPX libraries and updated copies only, then at least I could have downgraded to the previous version of FCPX. But then I'd never previously had any issue with updating libraries through several versions of FCPX.

I'm still trying to locate a Mac with Mojave and the latest version of FCPX installed to see if the issues in the affected libraries appear on another machine, that will either eliminate or incriminate this iMac.

Thanks


Hamdani

Independent producer, director, cinematographer, writer, editor
Milas Film Productions, Hong Kong
http://www.milasfilm.com


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Eric Santiago
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 21, 2020 at 3:31:01 pm

[Hamdani Milas] "I'm still trying to locate a Mac with Mojave and the latest version of FCPX installed to see if the issues in the affected libraries appear on another machine, that will either eliminate or incriminate this iMac.
"


I'm running Mojave on a 2013 Mac Pro at home with 10.4.8.
Send me a Library with all the required resources and I can test this for you.
I have over 20 projects present in Mojave and not once have I seen this red line.


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Ronny Courtens
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 21, 2020 at 6:51:36 pm

This phenomenon has been in the app since version 1. According to Apple, it's a software bug that shows an internal code that is not intended to be displayed. It appears it is caused and can be intermittently corrected by several various things. You can read more details in this thread from 2012: https://www.fcp.co/forum/4-final-cut-pro-x-fcpx/6650-red-band-in-fcpx-timel...

I have only seen it in very few projects, mostly with optical flow retimed clips that have audio. In most cases, this red line does not affect performance and can be ignored. I a few rare cases it does indicate a corrupt file or a corrupt render file, which can affect performance.

- Ronny


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Hamdani Milas
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 22, 2020 at 1:28:09 pm

Thanks Ronny, appreciate the feedback. I had seen this FCP.co thread from 2012. My case though didn't seem to fit the profile. On all clips affected - ProRes 422 HQ 1080/25p, or sometimes just titles and including a few where the red line doesn't randomly come and go but persists regardless, there is no retiming or optical flow as the OP dgwvideo observed with his repeatable experience.

I've never encountered the red line issue before and have been using FCPX for more than 6 years. What caused it to suddenly start appearing randomly across several updated libraries after upgrading to Mojave and FCPX 10.4.8?

I have also observed, as the 2012 FCP.co thread mentions, that in some cases the red line can be ignored, as it has no effect on performance or output. But I have also noticed that with some clips when the playback stutters, in itself not desirable, the exported video either also stutters on playback or shows a freeze frame.

If it's a bug, then I can only consider it a serious one because it cannot be eliminated, despite having applied all the usual maintenance / problem fixing routines, and it affects the ability to deliver work. I have reported it to Apple via Feedback but have seen no response.

Hamdani Milas

Independent producer, director, cinematographer, writer, editor
Milas Film Productions, Hong Kong
http://www.milasfilm.com


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Hamdani Milas
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 22, 2020 at 1:44:57 pm

Thanks Eric, that would be much appreciated. I have prepared the last 45 secs of a showreel I'm currently working on for a 3D animator colleague, you may download the zipped library file here. No password is required:

https://we.tl/t-jfjVUv8Km9

I'm afraid it's almost 17GB, even though the generated library render files were deleted, because it includes some clips where the red line appears intermittently as well as the final clip which has persisted with a red line through several sessions with this edit.



Hamdani Milas

Independent producer, director, cinematographer, writer, editor
Milas Film Productions, Hong Kong
http://www.milasfilm.com


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Joe Marler
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 22, 2020 at 5:42:23 pm

[Hamdani Milas] "Thanks Eric, that would be much appreciated. I have prepared the last 45 secs of a showreel I'm currently working on for a 3D animator colleague, you may download the zipped library file here. No password is required:"

I will download and test it on several different machines.


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Joe Marler
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 22, 2020 at 11:13:10 pm

[Joe Marler] "I have prepared the last 45 secs of a showreel I'm currently working on for a 3D animator colleague, you may download the zipped library file here"

I have downloaded the library and am studying it. I can easily reproduce the red line on 10.4.8 on Catalina 10.15.4 on an iMac Pro. I don't see any other performance-related issues but it's obviously an anomaly. It still happens if I copy a simplified version of the project to another library, also if I create and load an XML of that project to a new library.

If I had to make a wild guess, it might be related to the non-standard parameters of some of the CGI clips. E.g, "Shenzhen Bay Cam1" is (from FCPX standpoint) 2048x1024, 25p, ProRes 422HQ. That should nonetheless work and cause no problems.

The video header metadata states 189 megabit/sec, ProRes 422HQ , 1920x873, display aspect ratio 2.2:1.

It might be FCPX is getting confused by this clip or similar ones. I will continue studying it tomorrow.


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Hamdani Milas
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 23, 2020 at 7:09:28 am

Thanks for checking the library Joe. That's something of a relief to know the issue is not specific to the iMac or macOS.

A little more information on the Shenzhen Bay Cam1 clip. It was rendered out of 3DS Max at 1920 x 873* / 25fps as a Targa image sequence of 801 frames. This was imported into After Effects (alpha ignored), brought into a comp of the same dimensions and fps and rendered as a ProRes HQ mov. We've been using this workflow for years with no issues.

(*We adopt those dimensions because the 2.2:1 aspect better suits these projects and it's also a little faster than rendering 1080 frames in 3DS Max.)

It's identical in all respects to the Shenzhen Bay Cam4 clip that precedes it, except as you can see this is a Compound Clip with a cloud layer. This clip may randomly show a red line but playback is always normal.

I'd be interested to see if any other clips show a red line as you are looking at this library. They usually appear randomly when random adjustments are made!

For example, I just opened the Cam4 CC into its own timeline and on returning to the Red Line Edit 08 project five additional red lines appeared above random clips. It's almost as if the presence of one permanently red lined clip can affect render indicators (or trigger this bug) anywhere in the entire project.

I shall continue to look into it myself, meanwhile your feedback, and any other contribution, is much appreciated.


Hamdani Milas

Independent producer, director, cinematographer, writer, editor
Milas Film Productions, Hong Kong
http://www.milasfilm.com


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Joe Marler
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 23, 2020 at 1:32:19 pm

"Recently updated a 2015 27" iMac to Mojave 10.14.6 and also updated all Pro Apps including FCPX10.4.8"

I believe this is the key. I just tested FCPX 10.4.6 on Catalina and the "red line" problem doesn't seem to happen. This could indicate it's a side-effect unique to your media format which possibly began with the Metal-optimized version of FCPX, 10.4.7.

To test this you'd need to run 10.4.6 and load your data. You could possibly export a library XML using the prior XML version which is 1.7, create a new library when running 10.4.6, then load that XML.

You don't need to re-install FCPX to switch between versions, just double-click on the 10.4.6 .app file to launch it. Of course any libraries already upgraded to later versions won't work, but importing the library XML will re-create all projects and should connect all media, although those clips may not appear in the Browser until you reference them.

You could possibly recover the 10.4.6 .app file using Time Machine. If you don't have this, email me at joema4 at gmail dot com.

If you verify it doesn't happen on 10.4.6, that might be an interim workaround while we further pursue the behavior on 10.4.8.


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Doug Metz
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 23, 2020 at 3:45:22 pm
Last Edited By Doug Metz on May 23, 2020 at 3:48:09 pm

Apologies for jumping in, but I've also downloaded the library to investigate as I haven't seen this particular problem before.

I have had projects behave strangely in other cases where I've changed the project's start TC to prep for bars & tone and output to tape, so thought I'd start there.

Indeed, there is an apparent link to your project's timecode setting. When I changed the start TC from 23:59:54:12 to 00:00:00:00, everything functioned properly and all red bars disappeared. I was unable to make them return after this change. Changing it back to your original modified start caused all the red bar strangeness return.

*Added for clarity - I saw the red bars immediately upon opening the project. Running the latest Catalina and latest FCPX.

Doug Metz

Dalton Agency


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Doug Metz
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 23, 2020 at 4:17:40 pm
Last Edited By Doug Metz on May 23, 2020 at 4:30:06 pm

Further Update:
I was able to reliably reproduce the problem in any other project by simply adding preroll to the TC setting. It gets confused rolling through zero.

Edit - tested on several projects with different frame rates. When preroll is added, you may not see the red bars initially, but simply disabling / re-enabling various clips will reveal the red bars.

Doug Metz

Dalton Agency


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Hamdani Milas
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 23, 2020 at 5:07:38 pm

I'm so glad you jumped in Doug, it seems you've nailed it.

I can confirm that resetting the project starting timecode to all zeroes consistently eliminates the red render error line across several affected projects in several updated libraries. It also fixed some other weirdness including incomplete render portions of a timeline that would remain unrendered and the mysterious jumping compound clip described in an earlier post.

It's the last thing I would have thought of, I've been offsetting the project timecode to allow for colour bars and black preroll for years.

Thanks for submitting the bug report Doug and Joe, I can confirm that all clips across several libraries, including the one uploaded, all render fully, as expected.

Thanks so much to everyone for your time and effort in helping to track this down, it's a huge relief and I am most grateful.

Hamdani Milas

Independent producer, director, cinematographer, writer, editor
Milas Film Productions, Hong Kong
http://www.milasfilm.com


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Joe Marler
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 23, 2020 at 4:34:59 pm

[Doug Metz] "When I changed the start TC from 23:59:54:12 to 00:00:00:00, everything functioned properly and all red bars disappeared. I was unable to make them return after this change."

Doug, thanks for this. I confirm this on my machine and copy of the library.

However there is apparently a separate problem whereby certain timeline ranges will not render or keep showing render dots. I see this on clip "Galaxy cam1_ProRes 422 HQ". This might be the overlayed Motion title, which shows the "missing" yellow exclamation point.

As you suggested, Hamdani could try resetting the project timecode to zero via project inspector>modify>starting timecode, then evaluate. If that fixes the red line issues but there are remaining problems, then state what those are.

There are a few render tracking issues whereby the render dots won't go away if the clip has certain effects or titles, but it's unclear if this is that problem.


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Doug Metz
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 23, 2020 at 4:47:08 pm

As noted above, I was able to reproduce this in several of my other Libraries / Projects. I suspect you're correct regarding the missing title over the Galaxy cam1 clip.

I've submitted a bug report via the FCP > Provide Feedback mechanism.

Doug Metz

Dalton Agency


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Hamdani Milas
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 23, 2020 at 5:21:47 pm

Joe, I tried your suggestion about opening the Red Line Edit 08 library in FCPX 10.4.6 via XML export / import with the original project timecode offset and can confirm there was no red line issue (running on macOS Mojave).

Thanks!

Independent producer, director, cinematographer, writer, editor
Milas Film Productions, Hong Kong
http://www.milasfilm.com


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Joe Marler
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 23, 2020 at 8:20:43 pm

[Hamdani Milas] " I tried your suggestion about opening the Red Line Edit 08 library in FCPX 10.4.6 via XML export / import with the original project timecode offset and can confirm there was no red line issue (running on macOS Mojave).
"


That is good, but if you can run 10.4.8 there are definitely performance improvements. Long term, you don't want to get stuck on 10.4.6 as the new versions roll out. When I tested 10.4.8 using Doug's suggestion of resetting the project timecode to 00:00, it seemed to work.

However you have a project to complete so do whatever you think is necessary for now.


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Doug Metz
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 23, 2020 at 10:51:10 pm

Out of curiosity, I tested a bit further by adding more time to the preroll.

I wanted to see if the red indicators would change based on the location of 00:00:00:00, and in fact, they do. I reset the start time to 23:59:35:00 so that the TC would roll over in the middle of the timeline to confirm. Red only shows after the zero mark. Tried a few other start times to verify successfully.

Definitely a timecode bug.

Doug Metz

Dalton Agency


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Hamdani Milas
Re: Unusual FCPX problem - red line in timeline render bar
on May 24, 2020 at 6:40:26 am

[Doug Metz] "Definitely a timecode bug."

I can confirm your findings about setting different pre-roll timecodes.

After applying 00:00:00:00 as the project start timecode to projects across several libraries all unexpected render / red line issues and other quirky behaviours have been eliminated, although the option to change a project's starting timecode for pre-roll purposes is effectively redundant.

I also submitted a bug report via FCP Feedback and pointed to this thread for further information. Perhaps others can consider doing the same to help bring this to Apple's attention.

Great, back to work with confidence in FCPX restored. Thanks to all!

Hamdani Milas

Independent producer, director, cinematographer, writer, editor
Milas Film Productions, Hong Kong
http://www.milasfilm.com


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