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Final cut Pro vs Premiere (for speed)

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Mike Tyler
Final cut Pro vs Premiere (for speed)
on May 8, 2017 at 8:37:54 am

From what I've seen, most people use Adobe Premiere for editing..

Until now I was working with FCPX because it was just faster - the rendering was almost instantaneous.

However in my last project I was editing some really long (and big) files and it was just very slow and laggy.

In Premiere, the editing workflow is very smooth and fast, however the rendering takes ages.


What is your experience ? I thought about editing in Premiere and then just rendering in Final Cut, but I guess that wouldn't work as easy right ?


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Richard Herd
Re: Final cut Pro vs Premiere (for speed)
on May 9, 2017 at 8:37:56 pm

It's impossible to answer. Please include your exact workflow steps. Thanks!


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Todd Terry
Re: Final cut Pro vs Premiere (for speed)
on May 10, 2017 at 2:35:17 am

These days it's really not a Final Cut vs Premiere issue at all... it's a machine vs. machine issue.

The faster and more powerful the computer, the faster editing and rendering will be... irrespective of the editing platform. Current versions of both of those software suites are comparable in speed, I'd say.

At my place our two primary edit suites are pushing three years old (yes, an eternity it the computer world). Without getting into too many technical specs, at the time they were built we basically said "We want the fastest and most powerful boxes you can put together" (well, within reason and budget... but they were pretty high up there on the power scale). These machines worked quite well and were able to handle most anything we threw at them... usually realtime with no or minimal rendering required, unless we stacked up a bunch of HD tracks or used a lot of power-hungry effects or filters (for example, Magic Bullet effects still require rendering). Also, both machines have Matrox MX02 guts so the hardware acceleration and such helps.

Flash forward a couple of years though, and we start shooting more and more 4K video. Our systems weren't too happy about that and tended to choke on 4K, scrubbing through video was a pain and fairly heavy rendering was always needed. We obviously needed more power. Instead of starting from scratch, knowing that a lot of things had changed in the computer world we took one of the machines back to the builder and said "Jack it up as much as possible." They did quite a few things to it, I believe a new/bigger solid state system drive, crammed in more RAM, an additional and more powerful processor... we wanted anything they could think of. Now, that suite handles 4K just fine.

But... it's all about the power of the system, not so much to do with the editing platform (which here is Premiere, by the way).

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mike Tyler
Re: Final cut Pro vs Premiere (for speed)
on May 10, 2017 at 12:14:49 pm

thanks.

Ye, I am working still on the same machine (Macbook Pro 15 Retina mid 2012).

Maybe it's also due to the fact, that don't have the most recent version of Final Cut ?

Also a second difference I've noticed, which was quite surprising.. the default 'Computer' h264 output from FPCX produces very large file sizes.. compared to reasonable render settings in Premiere.


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Richard Herd
Re: Final cut Pro vs Premiere (for speed)
on May 10, 2017 at 5:58:06 pm

[Mike Tyler] "FPCX produces very large file sizes"

What do you mean by very large? Video files are massive and we always have lots of additional storage. In general, it's best to keep your camera archive on one Drive. Your editing media on another drive. (One other drive for dynamic link media too.) All of those are NOT your system drive.

This can get one more level of complexity when you start setting it up with backups and RAIDs, etc.

Render time is slightly more complicated because adding effects and resizing and whatever else you've done to a particular piece of media may not be exactly the same thing from one project to another. So to really compare you'd want to do the same thing to the same file in the separate applications and see what happens.


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Mike Tyler
Re: Final cut Pro vs Premiere (for speed)
on May 14, 2017 at 4:29:43 pm

thanks for the info guys.

I meant the output files... with Final Cut you don't have so much control over the settings, but the same edit rendered out as h264 in Final Cut and Premiere was at least a 150 mb larger from Final Cut.

I am sure it's using a bit higher VBR frame rate by default or something.. but it's still a disadvantage.


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Richard Herd
Re: Final cut Pro vs Premiere (for speed)
on May 18, 2017 at 6:16:18 pm
Last Edited By Richard Herd on May 18, 2017 at 6:17:38 pm

[Mike Tyler] "150 mb larger from Final Cut"

One hidden detail in compression is called the key frame interval. And that means how many i-frames there are. Compression is interesting. In order to have color on an image all the pixel data for each pixel is recorded. You can imagine an image of 1920 x 1080 as being made up of tiny 2 million pixels, in a grid. The first pixel is at location (1,1); the second pixel is at (1,2)...and so on. For each location the pixel has a corresponding RGB value (say it's white) of R=255, G=255, B=255. And so on. All that information is recorded in the Intraframe, the i-frame.

Video compression is very fancy math that calculates, predicts, and records, the CHANGE in data from the i frame to the next frame: b-frame. Then the next frame records what has changed from that frame and so on until another i frame is recorded.

i frames are very big file sizes.
b frames are smaller.

together all the i-frames and b-frames are called the "group of pictures" (GOP). You might read people posting about "Long GOP compression" or something like that.

You can control how big the final output is by changing the keyframe interval (what they should have called the intraframe interval). I usually put it to half the frame rate. So if it's 29.97, then I set the keyframe to 15, as an example.

It's best to experiment and find the best balance for you between quality and file size.

Keeping that in mind as you also juggle bitrate can help you get the best picture quality at the most efficient file sizes for your needs.

For the best control on Apple software, it's wise to get Apple Compressor, or learn to use ffmpeg.


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Marla Mitchnick
Re: Final cut Pro vs Premiere (for speed)
on Jul 19, 2017 at 6:43:53 am

Thanks Mike, that was useful!

Best,

Marla Mitchnick


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Gary Huff
Re: Final cut Pro vs Premiere (for speed)
on May 14, 2017 at 2:45:45 pm

[Mike Tyler] "Maybe it's also due to the fact, that don't have the most recent version of Final Cut ?"

This. Also, Final Cut is faster because it renders out to ProRes in the background, and then uses the ProRes to generate the renders. Premiere goes back to the originals for rendering instead of intermediates. I think that will be coming in the next big update for it, as it can be a killer feature, especially if you go off to get coffee and the system starts rendering out those intermediates while you're gone.

The reason it's near instantaneous is because ProRes is Intraframe and can literally be cobbled together from multiple files into a seamless video, then rendered from that.


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