1 2 Previous Next 17 Replies Latest reply: May 14, 2012 8:24 AM by Ian R. Brown
JamesB-JSA Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Our workflow uses Compressor 3 to generate PAL files in H.264 format for transfer to other locations. For several years, we have been using the same settings (part of a batch file) that we run to generate all the necessary variants of our self-contained Apple ProRes 422 video. Most times, we will only use part of the batch file - removing what we don't need.

 

Yesterday, after making the ProRes 422 file using FCP X and then batching  the PAL / H.264 format video with Compressor 3, the time required to convert this 30 minute video (usually around 1 hour) was looking to exceed 6 hours - this before we terminated the batch. Lowering some of the video settings helped slightly.

 

We imported the FCP X, ProRes 422 file into FCP 7 and then rewrote it to another file as a ProRes 422 file. Same settings, timing, etc. The result was that Compressor 3 made the requisite PAL H.264 file in about 1 hour - just like before - with the video settings for "Best" quality compensations.

 

From the file info, the slight variations are as follows:

 

Setting
FCP 7 Generated File
FCP X Generated File
Dimensions720 x 480720 x 480
Codecs:Linear PCM, Apple ProRes 422Apple ProRes 422, Linear PCM, Timecode
Color Profile:-

SD (6-1-6)

Duration:39:0639:06
Audio Channels:22
Total Bit Rate:37,45641,943
Size:12.34 GB12.32 GB

 

Based on the significant differences in the way Compressor 3 behaved with these two files, the FCP 7 generated from the FCP X file, I can only conclude that there is a difference in the way the Apple ProRes 422 Codec has been implemented.

 

Has anyone else experienced this? 

Is there something I can / should do to fix the problem with the conversion?

Is this a reason to use Compressor 3 with FCP 7 and Compressor 4 with FCP X? (I do not have Compressor 4 as I didn't see a need for it)!

 

Suggestions, help would be appreciated!


iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • 1. Re: Apple ProRes 422 from FCP X and FCP 7 give different results!
    Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (106,230 points)

    The codec is identical. It has to be you're using the same codec in all three applications. FCP might handle compression into ProRes differently, but the codec is the same.

     

    Is this the first time you've tried to do this process in FCPX?

     

    The right side of your table is cut off on my computer.

     

    P.S. Why are you exporting DV in ProRes and not its native format before you do the standards conversion?

  • 2. Re: Apple ProRes 422 from FCP X and FCP 7 give different results!
    JamesB-JSA Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Tom,

     

    No, I've tried this several times but the last time we let it run overnight. This time, we had more of a deadline so we didn't have the luxury of giving the video that much time to convert.

     

    As for the table, my computer shows a slider along the bottom that lets me see the whole table. Here's the last column - just in case.

     

    FCP X

    Dimensions: 720 x 480

    Codecs: Apple ProRes 422, Linear PCM, Timecode

    Color Profile: SD (6-1-6)

    Audio Channels: 2

    Total Bit Rate: 41,943

    Size:  12.32 GB

     

    The video run time is 39:06 in both cases.

     

    We have been using a batch file (Job) in Compressor 3 to make our videos and we haven't changed it in the last year. This is the same batch job we were using with FCP 7 and now trying with FCP X. The Compressor time ends up significantly longer with FCP X.

     

    We're new to FCP X but have been using Final Cut Studio and Final Cut Express for over 4 years producing a weekly show. We waited for the MultiCam (something we needed) and I was really excited to have the advantages of FCP X (the automatic rendering, 64 bits, better memory usage, etc.) but I'm now discouraged and frustrated.

     

    All I can tell you is that, same codec, different results. I have no idea what is going on.

     

    Thanks for helping.

  • 3. Re: Apple ProRes 422 from FCP X and FCP 7 give different results!
    Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (106,230 points)

    Sorry I don't get the slider in my window. (What browser are you using out of curiosity?)

     

    The figures look essentially the same if a little odd. FCP7 should also have timecode. FCPX has a color profile, which 7 doesn't use, but I don't think that should make a difference. Maybe Comprssor 3 (not 3.5?) doesn't understand it. Interesting that FCP uses a higher bit rate, but produces a slightly smaller file.

     

    I'm trying to run some tests, but it will take a while.

  • 4. Re: Apple ProRes 422 from FCP X and FCP 7 give different results!
    Ian R. Brown Level 6 Level 6 (17,900 points)

    My Safari browser shows the slider OK.

  • 5. Re: Apple ProRes 422 from FCP X and FCP 7 give different results!
    Wild Giles Level 2 Level 2 (335 points)

    It could be very well that you should use compressor 4 for FCPX, to get the results you want. From my experience with FCPX and Compressor 4 your transcode should take less than an hour. I have tried FCP 7 with compressor 4 and it works just fine, so why not get compressor 4?

  • 6. Re: Apple ProRes 422 from FCP X and FCP 7 give different results!
    Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (106,230 points)

    Sorry it took so long to get this done.

     

    I ran the same thing as you. File exported form FCPX, same duration, ProRes DV NTSC resolution. Converted it to H2.64 DV PAL resolution. Used Compressor 4 it took 47 minutes. Used Compressor 3.5 it took 42 minutes. The discrepancy may have been other things happening on the computer. Also the Compressor settings may not have been exactly the same as the two versions use different base presets.

     

    I see no conceivable reason why your Compressor 3 encode would take six hours or anywhere near that.

  • 7. Re: Apple ProRes 422 from FCP X and FCP 7 give different results!
    baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (60,125 points)

    Tom Wolsky wrote:

    The right side of your table is cut off on my computer.

    And

    Sorry I don't get the slider in my window. (What browser are you using out of curiosity?)

    FWIW, it shows up in SL w/Safari. Haven't checked in Lion.

     

    Screen shot 2012-05-13 at 4.29.37 PM.png

  • 8. Re: Apple ProRes 422 from FCP X and FCP 7 give different results!
    JamesB-JSA Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Well, I don't understand it but I do know that is the experience we had. Strange.

     

    The presets were the same as they are custom and used via the batch job.

     

    Thanks for running the test. I'll post again if I figure this out. There are a number of things I need to figure out that don't make sense. I'm going to delete the preferences and hope that fixes something.

     

    Appreciate the help!

  • 9. Re: Apple ProRes 422 from FCP X and FCP 7 give different results!
    Luis Sequeira1 Level 5 Level 5 (5,625 points)

    baltwo wrote:

     

    Tom Wolsky wrote:

    The right side of your table is cut off on my computer.

    And

    Sorry I don't get the slider in my window. (What browser are you using out of curiosity?)

    FWIW, it shows up in SL w/Safari. Haven't checked in Lion.

     

     

    I also thought the table was cut off at the right. I'm in Lion. That's an effect of Lion not showing a scroll bar until you try to scroll. I never worried about that before, as I always scroll with two fingers on the trackpad, but this example shows how now having affordances can be a bad idea.

  • 10. Re: Apple ProRes 422 from FCP X and FCP 7 give different results!
    Ian R. Brown Level 6 Level 6 (17,900 points)

    Hi Luis, what do you mean by "affordances"?

     

    Actually my main question about your post centres on your mention of a trackpad.

     

    Last week Karsten said that he used a Magic Trackpad in preference to a mouse.

     

    I had never thought about trackpads until then but his comments got me interested.

     

    Is yours a separate trackpad for use with desktops and if so how do you find it for use with FCP X?

  • 11. Re: Apple ProRes 422 from FCP X and FCP 7 give different results!
    Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (29,885 points)

    Ian R. Brown wrote:

    …  Last week Karsten said that he used a Magic Trackpad in preference to a mouse.

    I had never thought about trackpads until then but his comments got me interested.

    those vanishing scroll-bars is a feature of Lion, I had to get used with it.

     

    on first sight, the inserted pic looks cut.

    hovering the 2 fingers moving cursor over it, let the bars appear.

     

    lion bars.jpg

     

    esp. in Preview.app it gets a bit tricky, when you like to scroll down a long text by grabbing the bars - when you're too slow, the bar vanishes!

     

    but on my Magic Trackpad I just swipe down 2 fingers fast - presto! - end of page/pic/site ...

  • 12. Re: Apple ProRes 422 from FCP X and FCP 7 give different results!
    Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (29,885 points)

    JamesB-JSA wrote:

    …  Is this a reason to use Compressor 3 with FCP 7 and Compressor 4 with FCP X? (I do not have Compressor 4 as I didn't see a need for it)!

    coming from the hobbyist corner, I never used C3 ... but does it allow to use each core on your Mac as 'instance' to speed up rendering?

     

    C4 does, and on my tiny C2D mini, using both cores for rendering really increased the process dramatically - not to imagine, doing so one some 12-core beast ...

     

    maybe this feature is a reason to invest 40€ ...

  • 13. Re: Apple ProRes 422 from FCP X and FCP 7 give different results!
    Luis Sequeira1 Level 5 Level 5 (5,625 points)

    Ian, the term "affordances" may be roughly described as "visual clues".

     

    They can be some indication such as "there is something to click here", but it can be more than that. For example, up until Snow Leopard, whenever the content of a window was too large to fit into the view, you got a scroll bar; but not only that, as the size of the cursor in that scroll bar gave you an indication of how much more there was. In Lion, by default, you won't see a scroll bar unless you either start scrolling or click in a very tight area. I've become reasonably comfortable with it, but I can see why some people resent that change.

     

    Let me give you another example: you can unlock, or duplicate a document by clicking on a little triangle... that only shows when you place your mouse there... so you might not even know that something can happen there - i.e. there is no affordance in this case.

     

    Regarding mouse vs trackpad: I suppose it is a matter of personal preference. I've worked mostly on laptops for about ten years now, so I grew accustomed to trackpads. The trackpad in my macbook pro works perfectly, and I feel no need to use a mouse with it. Other people hate trackpads and always bring a mouse along.

     

    If I were to buy an iMac today, I'd seriously consider the Magic Trackpad.

    That said, I still think that for serious editing, the most vital and flexible input peripheral is the keyboard.

  • 14. Re: Apple ProRes 422 from FCP X and FCP 7 give different results!
    mishmumken Level 5 Level 5 (4,000 points)

    James, is there a possibility that you have gotten these values wrong? I was never good at math but it seems odd to me that you would have the same length video with a higher bitrate result in smaller file?

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