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Stuttering/Flashing/FCP Crash - AJA Kona3

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Dana Strom
Stuttering/Flashing/FCP Crash - AJA Kona3
on May 20, 2011 at 2:28:24 am

I haven't been able to find any solutions to this issue anywhere.
Here is my previous thread on LAFCPUG about this, still unresolved;
http://www.lafcpug.org/phorum/read.php?1,259677

and here's a short video of the problem we're running into; http://gallery.me.com/danajstrom#100040/FCP%20Flicker%20Problem

We're working in a 1080 30p ProRes 422 HQ environment - most of our footage matches with SOME XDCam footage. While playing parts that are unrendered (green preview and light green full render bars) we'll get the stuttering/flickering effect seen above.
Hiding Final Cut for a second temporarily fixes the issue, but is generally followed by a FCP crash. The crash report usually indicates a problem with the Kona card.

Anyone else come across this problem?


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Rafael Amador
Re: Stuttering/Flashing/FCP Crash - AJA Kona3
on May 20, 2011 at 12:03:15 pm

Hi Dana,

[Dana Strom] "Hiding Final Cut for a second temporarily fixes the issue, but is generally followed by a FCP crash. The crash report usually indicates a problem with the Kona card."
What i see is is happening in the FCs Canvas. No idea if the Kona may be implied (have no Kona but ioHD), on this. Try setting "Video Playback: None"

The picture plays back and forth. There is a kind of field order order/pull-down (?) problem and may be some time-base issue as well.
We need more details on your footage and sequence setting to try to figure out what's going on.
Tell us what the Info windo says when you open the Prores and XDCAM stuff with QT Player.
Have a look as well to the FCs Browser and see field-order and time-base of the footage.
Tell us your sequence setting too.

rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Rafael Amador
Re: Stuttering/Flashing/FCP Crash - AJA Kona3
on May 20, 2011 at 12:30:30 pm

And "External Video: off".
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Stuttering/Flashing/FCP Crash - AJA Kona3
on May 20, 2011 at 12:56:44 pm

This doesn't feel like a Kona problem to me.

What version of drivers, system, etc are you on?

How much Ram?

How are your PCI slots configured?

It's kind of a cool effect :)


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Dan Monro
Re: Stuttering/Flashing/FCP Crash - AJA Kona3
on May 20, 2011 at 1:04:21 pm

Tell us also please how big your project is, i.e. lots of sequences? Lot's of clips & bins? How big and complex is your sequence(s) and how many open at one time?

We have found here that the bigger and more complex the project the quicker you get out of memory errors, and that even though FCP reports the Kona card to be the cause that's not necessarily the case. Ours also reports FCE effects, or "unknown" errors.

We get this type of crash (green flickereing, random frames, etc.) more often when working with HQ than with regular ProRes - do you need HQ? Not that that helps with deadline approaching.

My advice as a band-aid while you're troubleshooting is to winnow your project down to the basic minimum. (I keep old seqs, graphics and music, etc. in different projects.) Take the time to convert those XDCam clips to ProRes or ProRes HQ. Render those green clips, even if you have to go get coffee, then keep rendering. Make sure you're sequence is set to unlimited real time, that may be why your green clips are now yellow. Set that auto-save for 5 minutes and develop an "apple-S" twitch in your left hand. Seriously. In the worst times I save after each edit. Click off to the desktop often. Restart FCP occasionally.

All of this sounds like a pain, yes, but it got us through our worst edits. FCP runs more smoothly now, but I generally follow those guidelines, and I convert as much as possible ahead of time (compressor droplets make this easy).

Hope this helps, good luck,
D

Dan Monro
FCP, Avid, AfterFX, Atlanta
MacBook Pro 2.53 GHz Intel Core i5 4 GB ram
Mac OS X 10.6.4
NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M
Final Cut Pro 7 Quicktime 7.6.6
- OR -
2 x 3.2 Quad Xeon; 16 GB ram
Mac OS X 10.6.4
NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 Final Cut Pro 7.0.2 Quicktime 7.6.6



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Ken Pugh
Re: Stuttering/Flashing/FCP Crash - AJA Kona3
on May 20, 2011 at 2:34:08 pm

I get this a lot with XDCAM footage. As mentioned above - it helps to turn off the AJA output -if it gets really serious I remove the AJA drivers completely with AJA uninstaller. The other solution is to render the footage - even force render the 'realtime' footage (to the ProRes codec of course - 422 is best for XDCAM not HQ). Also turn off the icon display in both bins and in the sequence - this can exacerbate crashes with XDCAM. FCP X? Maybe not such a bad idea....

Best,

Ken.


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Dana Strom
Re: Stuttering/Flashing/FCP Crash - AJA Kona3
on May 22, 2011 at 10:16:02 pm

Thanks for the quick responses.
A brief history;
This problem manifested near the end of cutting our last show (first show on this particular system) and we're now seeing it in our current show which is very young. It's just in the string-out stage so there are only a few simple sequences but there is a lot of media (documentary). We're shooting on a variety of formats but everything ends up as 1080 29.97 ProRes 422 (HQ) except XDCam which comes in as it's native codec (Apple XDCAM HD422 1080p30, 1920 x 1080)- but it still seems to play nicely with the other formats.

I doubt that this is an issue with the XDCam codec itself. While at the moment, all the "unrendered" (light green "FULL" render bars) is XDCam since it doesn't match the sequence, but we were seeing this on our last project when we applied color correction filters and whatnot.

Also, we're doing multiple episodes right now and only having this problem with this one newer 12-core system which has the Kona 3 card in it.

Also of note: On the LAFCPUG thread, a common element among others with this issue is that they're also on the newer Mac Pros. Many have Kona 3 cards but some don't.

I'm fine with rendering effects to avoid the problem, but rendering every XDCam clip as it's placed and modified in the timeline just isn't a practical solution. Also, re-compressing this media would be a total nightmare.


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AJA Sales Department
Re: Stuttering/Flashing/FCP Crash - AJA Kona3
on May 24, 2011 at 12:43:38 am

Please consider contacting AJA Technical Support for assistance. They can be reached via phone or email between 9am and 5pm PST and the assistance is provided free of charge.

This would appear to be a graphics card interaction related issue and/or possibly incorrect settings for the video output of the AJA KONA card. But, as opposed to speculating, it would probably be easiest to review everything with AJA Technical Support.

--
AJA Video Systems
+1 (530) 274-2048 Intl.
(800) 251-4224 US
sales@aja.com


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Dana Strom
Re: Stuttering/Flashing/FCP Crash - AJA Kona3
on May 25, 2011 at 2:00:44 am

Thanks!
We will do that, however this morning I removed the Kona 3 card and used the AJA Uninstaller utility.
This afternoon we ran into the same problem again, backing up my gut feeling that this is not a Kona issue.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Stuttering/Flashing/FCP Crash - AJA Kona3
on May 26, 2011 at 12:59:40 am

I'd suspect the graphics card. At the very least you might what to think about pulling out the PCI card and reseating it.

All your footage is 29.97 and not mixed 30.0 and 29.97, correct?

There was also a ProKit update released a few days ago, do you try that yet?

What graphics card do you have?


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Dan Monro
Re: Stuttering/Flashing/FCP Crash - AJA Kona3
on May 26, 2011 at 1:29:27 pm

Is your XDCam p30 or 29.97? Mixed frame rates are usually a problem.

While trouble shooting the Kona and the graphics card is a good idea, I think the problem lies with FCP itself. We've done fairly extensive troubleshooting with this problem, at different frame rates, using ProResHQ, ProRes, native XDCam, and mixed. It appears to be a Final Cut memory leak problem (we have worked with Apple engineers on this, and with AJA engineers.) As far as I know, there is no resolution to this as yet. On our last HQ project we were running with activity monitor open. FCP would invariably crash when the virtual memory approached a gig - always preceded by green flashes, then a beachball. This could happen when simply clicking around in the timeline.

My current project, which is 1080i, all ProRes, always gives me flashes whenever I put in unrendered animation codec graphics or XDCam broll. Once I render them its happy. Yes its a pain, but the render quickly and its less painful than crashing and re-starting.

If you can't recompress I'd recommend trying to live with the rendering. And a short auto-save period. And re-start FCP occasionally, or even click off to the desktop now and again.

Sorry to ramble, but its early and my system is down...

Good luck,
D

Dan Monro
FCP, Avid, AfterFX, Atlanta
MacBook Pro 2.53 GHz Intel Core i5 4 GB ram
Mac OS X 10.6.4
NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M
Final Cut Pro 7 Quicktime 7.6.6
- OR -
2 x 3.2 Quad Xeon; 16 GB ram
Mac OS X 10.6.4
NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 Final Cut Pro 7.0.2 Quicktime 7.6.6



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Stuttering/Flashing/FCP Crash - AJA Kona3
on May 26, 2011 at 1:43:11 pm

ProKit 7.0 supposedly fixes "leaks".



[Dan Monro] " system is down..."

Reminds me of the old Strong Bad hit, "The System. Is Down":







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Dan Monro
Re: Stuttering/Flashing/FCP Crash - AJA Kona3
on May 26, 2011 at 3:32:56 pm

Strong Bad is my hero...

Dan Monro
FCP, Avid, AfterFX, Atlanta
MacBook Pro 2.53 GHz Intel Core i5 4 GB ram
Mac OS X 10.6.4
NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M
Final Cut Pro 7 Quicktime 7.6.6
- OR -
2 x 3.2 Quad Xeon; 16 GB ram
Mac OS X 10.6.4
NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 Final Cut Pro 7.0.2 Quicktime 7.6.6



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Georg P. Muller
Re: Stuttering/Flashing/FCP Crash - AJA Kona3
on Jun 3, 2011 at 5:56:26 am

I am hunted by this problem for far too long and spent countless hours researching and trying to fix this with no solution. I went through 3 different graphic cards (ended up with a Nvidia GTX 285 for now) and also tried a MXO 2 mini as a replacement for our decklink multibridge pro. So it does not seem to be make a difference whether you use AJA, BM or other monitoring solutions.

It is horrible to sit in an intensive edit with a director next to you and be hunted by these flashes/crashes. The stuttering on our machine looks identical to the video shared by Dana Strom.

Working on an Imac or Macbook Pro is much more stable. I was asked by my client to either get a new machine (so I am looking at the i7 Imac with thunderbolt now) or he'd go somewhere else next time.

So I am wondering: Should I wait for FCP X before taking the plunge?

Georg

http://www.livingfilms.com


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