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Martin S Taylor Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

I've switched from FCP 7 to FCP X and one feature which frustrates me is that the export is so slow. In FCP7 I could export a sequence as a QuickTime reference file, and (provided there was no rendering do to) it was finished in seconds. Under FCPX we can no longer export as a QT reference, so there's around 40 minutes to wait - not for any rendering or heavy CPU work, but just while FCP writes an enormous file to my hard drive.

 

And this is 40 minutes when I can't do any useful work with FCPX.

 

Would buying Compressor save me this time? If I export from FCPX via Compressor, will it export any faster? I'm hoping that FCP will shift all the work straight to Compressor, and let Compressor do the 40 minutes writing, while FCP is left available for me to do useful work.

 

Thanks in advance for any help on this one.

 

MST


iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.1), 12GB RAM
  • blimpmedia Level 3 Level 3 (570 points)

    Martin the benefit I've found having Compressor 4 is that I no longer background render in FCX, unless I need to see a title animation play back smoothly, only then do I render that portion.

     

    When my project is complete, I choose Share>Send To Compressor from FCX. Compressor then takes care of your rendering while you can keep working in FCX.

     

    Now that's in a perfect world, however I and many others are experiencing some minor problems where FCX is chewing RAM and causing other apps to run extremely slow, including Compressor. Unfortunately till this gets fixed, my workaround is that I export a ProRes 422 from FCX, then use Compressor to transcode to whatever codec I need at the time.

     

    Hope that makes sense.

  • Martin S Taylor Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    It makes perfect sense, thank you.

     

    I've found that if I export it as h264, although there's masses of heavy CPU work going on it's still quicker than writing the ProRes 422 file to disk.

     

    I think I'm going to have to buy Compressor; I don't get problems with FCX chewing RAM so maybe I'll be spared this one.

     

    (Though other bugs are driving me nuts: losing the playhead at certain magnifications - Jeez.)

     

    MST

  • blimpmedia Level 3 Level 3 (570 points)

    Playhead...!!! Oh don't go there... That's taken 10 years of my life.

     

    Yeah definitely buy compressor, I've always found it to be a big plus.

  • Martin S Taylor Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Me too. It's just a question of whether it's worth buying Compressor 4.

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (110,055 points)
    Would buying Compressor save me this time? If I export from FCPX via Compressor, will it export any faster?

    Sending to Compressor is in fact much, much slower, even slower than export to ProRes. You can of course continue to work in FCP, but that will only slow down Compressor further.

  • blimpmedia Level 3 Level 3 (570 points)

    If you transcode for YouTube, VIMEO or DVD then yes it's definitely worth it.

  • Martin S Taylor Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Sending to Compressor is in fact much, much slower, even slower than export to ProRes. You can of course continue to work in FCP, but that will only slow down Compressor further.

    So I've heard, and that's clearly absurd. But I'm in no hurry to get the finished file (that can wait until overnight); I am in a hurry to keep using FCP. And with Compressor (as I understand it) I can send several files from FCP to Compressor for batch processing. Using FCP alone I have to wait until one file is written to disk before I can send another.

  • Martin S Taylor Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Can you get transcoding for YouTube to work directly from FCP? I've tried and can't get anywhere. MST

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (110,055 points)

    A more efficient workflow is to export a high resolution master, which you probably want to do any way, and take that to Compressor. Apply your multiple settings for compression and let it go. It really is better than using FCP while Compressor is calling it up for frame and audio mixing information. I have also found it creates odd audio dropouts.

  • blimpmedia Level 3 Level 3 (570 points)

    Martin what Tom is saying is 100% correct, compressor is much slower, however if you want to transcode to H.264, what other option do you have.

     

    Also the advantage in having compressor is being able to set up multiple or batch encoding.

     

    Re: Transcoding for YouTube from FCX, I can't say I've tried it but from what I've read on other posts, there are many others experiencing problems.

     

    My advice would be to export a ProRes422 from FCX, then use compressor to transcode to H.264

  • Martin S Taylor Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    But exporting it to a high-res master takes time while it writes that huge file to disk. I don't care how long the computer spends doing stuff in the background, as long as I can keep working on FCP.

  • blimpmedia Level 3 Level 3 (570 points)

    I can only speak for myself here, I use a 2011 MacBook Pro 2.3ghz with 8gig ram, and I'm finding it impossible to run any other apps while FCX is running, especially when synchronizing, optimizing or even as little as generating thumbnails or wave forms for my imported media.

  • Ken Hart Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)

    Speaking for myself also.  I always export a master file as Tom suggests then use compressor to produce the desired final video.

     

    If you take the time to set up a quickcluster or cluster if you have more than one Mac and configure compressor to use all the cores, transcoding goes extremely fast as opposed to export directly from FCPX.

     

    I have an 8 core Mac Pro, and using compressor with the quickcluster configured blows through the transcoding so much faster than a direct export from FCPX.  Last night compressor transcoded a 20 minute SD video to both DVD (mpeg2 video and ac3 audio) and to SD Apple TV in about 15-20 minutes.  Not bad at all.

  • blimpmedia Level 3 Level 3 (570 points)

    Ken, you would happen to have a step by step in setting up a cluster?

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