This problem has been reported and discussed before. There may be a workaround but so few people have actually returned to report their successes or failures that we can't be sure (most persons seem to make one posting to report the problem and ask for help and then they are never heard from again).
In any case, here is a possible workaround or solution:
These reports of extreme slowdowns _may_ only happen if you export directly __from FCP__ to Compressor (that is, select menu item "File:Export >" from FCP and then "Using Compressor...").
Thus, this may be a FCP export problem and it could have little to do with Compressor v2 itself. It seems that Compressor v2 is also somewhat slower (maybe 1.25x to 1.75x, typical 1.5x), but these reported 10x slowdowns may be caused by a problem or conflict with the FCP export process.
My guess is that it is an interface problem between FCP _v5_ and Compressor v2 and it may even be limited to specific configurations. The workaround may simply be to avoid using the export using Compressor option of FCP v5.
The suggested workflow might then be:
A.) File:Export > QuickTime Movie... using current settings as either a self-contained or reference movie.
B.) Launch Compressor v2 and then manually add the aforementioned project export as a batch job.
Below is a link to a summary of known issues with Final Cut Studio and/or Compressor:
Waymen, "Pixulated Output" #1, 08:43pm Jul 31, 2005 CDT
If you want to shave off another 10% - 25% of your time, close down all other applicaitons (including compressor once the batch is running, leaving batch open) and then set the screen display type to 640 X 480 256 Colors, and remove volume control and clock from menu bar, set wallpaper to 1 dull color, remove any icons from desktop that are not 100% necessary, oh and if you want to go the whole hog, stop your networking services during the processing.
Simple stuff really, give the computer less to do or think about and it will be able to process the main task quicker.
After doing the export to Quicktime and loading it into batch, I'm processing 2X expected speed, so 5 mins real time give 10 mins of suggested processing time.
Oh and my G5's a 1.8 so I need all the help I can get.
Loyed, when you say "direct FCP export is WAY slower" how much slower are you talking about? Under my setup (FCP v4.5 with Compressor 2.0.1) I see maybe a 15% slowdown when exporting directly from FCP to Compressor but I wouldn't call that extreme.
However, some users have seen _very_ slow exports from FCP v5, something like a 10x factor over their experience with FCP HD (so, what use to be a one hour job now takes ten hours). But, these extreme results seem to be limited to certain configurations, not everyone is seeing this apparent problem.
In any case, make certain that you are using the latest updates to FCP, Compressor, and QuickTime. Also, you may want to consider the possibility of a software conflict -- virus protection software seems to be notorious for causing such problems. In that case, the "cure" is often worse than the disease and such software can even cause installation problems that won't become apparent until much later.
I really can't say exactly how much slower Compressor is with FCP 5. I usually put the encodes on overnight. I will say that I put on a 950 minute piece the other day and it was still going 7 hours later. I exported a QT and encoded that and it finished while I went out for lunch. Without a doubt....SOMETHING is wrong.
Okay, if the FCP v5 export was running to over 7 hours versus about one hour while "out to lunch" then it seems that you are in the group that is seeing extreme slowdowns (perhaps 10x or more). Have you reported this problem to Apple through the Final Cut Pro feedback link? Here it is:
Note, Apple does _not_ explicitly look for bug reports and customer feedback within the Apple Discussions area (where we are right now). If you want to make Apple aware of your problems you need to use the feedback link which I've listed above.
I had read in a different post in discussions that you get a much better quality if you export from FCP directly to Compressor. They stated through their testing, that there was a loss of quality when going out of FCP to a quicktime, then in Compressor.
Has this been anyone's experience?? And could this be the cause of the difference in speed between the two methods?? That, though it is slower, you get better results from exporting directly from FCP?
Just wondering what others ideas or tests may have shown.
Erick, the Final Cut Pro manual states that you will achieve some quality benefits if you export directly from FCP to Compressor. However, it is my opinion that you won't see any difference in the quality as long as you export as a QuickTime movie using current settings and include all markers.
In any case, the slowdowns that some are seeing are _extreme_ and don't in any way represent normal or expected behavior. However, if you are _not_ seeing these extreme slowdowns and if the export to Compressor option fits with your workflow then there is probably no good reason to avoid using it.
Going from final cut to Quicktime to compressor is like going around your butt to get to your elbows, but my experience doing this yielded a MUCH faster compression in Compressor 2 and no loss in quality.
As for my first post. I appreciate everyone help. I think I just suffer from ADHD and want everything NOW. Even exporting from FCP5 to Quicktime took about 8 hours, but when dropped into Compressor 2 it only took about 45 min. to compress?!? This was a Quicktime movie that contained only DVDSP markers and no compression. Of course completely rendered out before I sent it to export as Quicktime.
I'm experienceing the same issues with compressor 2. I have Final Cut Studio installed on a brand new dual 2.3 with no previous installs and all the updates.
2 hours to encode a 13 minute FCP sequence is too long.
Exporting as a Quicktime movie first yields a noticeably lower quality DVD. Besides, if I wanted to take unecessary steps to accomplish my goals, I would be editing on a PC.
IMHO - Apple mucked this "upgrade" up royally.
2 hours to encode a 13 minute FCP sequence is too long.
That does seem too long. I'd estimate that on your Power Mac G5 something a little under one hour would probably be more consistent for a 13 minute sequence in standard definition, 2-pass best quality. However, I don't think that you are seeing the extreme results that some are reporting (10x slowdowns). What preset did you use and are you sure that the timeline was completely rendered before you started the export?
As a point of comparison, my 800MHz G4 system would take about 3.5 hours to compress 13 minutes of DV when using Compressor 2's best quality 2-pass preset. However, if I use one of the "faster" presets (1-pass or even CBR) I could encode that 13 minute sequence in about one half hour. The times I'm quoting for my system are what I'd consider to be typical for Compressor 2 and thus they do not represent the extreme results (or apparent malfunctions) that some are reporting.
I'll admit, however, that under Compressor v1.x and with QuickTime 6 that a similar 13 minute sequence would probably take no more than 2.5 hours to complete on my 800MHz G4 when using a 2-pass high quality preset.
As far as exporting to a QuickTime movie, I doubt that you'd experience any noticeable quality difference as long as you exported as a QuickTime _Movie_ using __Current Settings__ and with _all_ markers. In fact, if you export as a reference movie (_not_ self-contained) then Compressor will reference your original FCP source files and I doubt that there would be any quality difference whatsoever.
Add me to the list. Direct export from within FCP, 15 minute slideshow, over 6 hours to compress??? 6.5 average, 6.6 max. I like to keep it tight. I would usse CBR but I get jerky playback of slides that I don't get using VBR. Yes, I am leaving feedback. For anyone trying to troubleshoot: this is a brand new system, 3-days old. Dual 2.7, 4.5 gigs of RAM, clean install of OSX.4.2 onto a 74 gig 10,000 rpm Raptor drive. All media kept on a G-Tech FW 800 drive. Firewire drives kept on a seperate PCI card. 800XT graphics card. This is nuts.
I've been using Compressor 2 for all of one day, since dropping Cleaner from my production processes and installing Flip4Mac's WMV Studio Pro (which is why I dropped Cleaner btw - it wouldn't produce WMV 9 files).
The first run was with 1 minute 40 second NTSC DV file exported from FCP as a self contained movie and imported into Compressor 2.
I was impressed with the very impressed with the processing duration of the four formats I produce:
H.264/AAC 320x240 30fps TBR 400Kbps
H.264/AAC 320x240 15fps TBR 200Kbps
WMV9 320x240 30fps TBR 400Kbps
WMV9 320x240 24fps TBR 200Kbps
TRT was around 15 minutes (about the same as Cleaner)
Today I ran the same presets but directly from FCP and it took 35 minutes.
As Waymen indicated, an extreme slowdown, and with no noticable increase in quality.
So I'd also strongly recommend exporting a self contained "master" from FCP for use as your encoding source and also for your archives!