2 Replies Latest reply: Mar 23, 2012 10:07 AM by innocentius
louithefish Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hey guys,
Thanks in advance for your response. I'm editing an enormous series of video right now that's on a timeline to get finished (one per week for the next month). It's been going fairly smoothly until now. Essentially I started with about 150GB of raw video shot on a Nikon D7000 at 1080p and 24 FPS. Obviously when FCPX was optimizing the media it started to take up way too much room so I bought an external hard drive (LaCie running off of FW800) and had FCPX reroute everything to there. Things seemed to be going smoothly until I revisited some older footage for inclusion in the project. I started to notice that not only the older stuff but the newer, already optimized footage, was extremely jerky on playback and I couldn't really use it as it was because of being unable to accurately place cuts and music.


I tried making Proxy and Optimized media of everything again and it's literally been running for 12 hours straight untouched and has barely gotten past 14%. Here are my stats:


2.4GhZ 2008 Unibody MBP
8GB RAM, 500GB onboard drive with 150GB available.
1TB LaCie & 2TB G-Tech both running via FW800 separately.


Any ideas how to get this stuff to stop being so jerky and stop taking days to optimize? I can't spend another day waiting for it to wrap up and it's clear that today wasn't even enough. If you've got any tips to streamline this whole process that'd be great too, I'm pretty new to FCPX.


Thanks in advance.

iCloud, Mac OS X (10.7.1)
  • andynick Level 5 Level 5 (4,925 points)

    I'd suggest you're asking a lot of the MBP to run all this.


    This is my pet checklist for questions regarding FCP X performance. You've already addressed some of the issues but it's worth going through them all.


    Make sure you're using the latest version - FCP X 10.0.3 runs very well on my 2009 MacPro 2 x 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon with 16 GB RAM and ATI Radeon HD 5870 1024 MB. I run it with Lion 10.7.3.


    First, check that you have at least 20% free space on the Hard Drive that your System and your Media, Projects and Events are on.


    Check the spec of your Mac against the system requirements:



    Check the spec of your graphics card. If it's listed here, it's not suitable:



    If you are getting crashes, there is some conflict on the OS. Create a new (admin) user account on your system and use FCP X from there - if it runs a lot better, there's a conflict and a clean install would be recommended.


    Keep projects to 20 mins or less. If you have a long project, work on 20 min sections then paste these into a final project for export.


    Create Optimised media - most camera native files are highly compressed and need a great deal of processor power to play back - particularly if you add titles, filters or effects. ProRes 422 takes up much more hard drive space but is very lightly compressed. It edits and plays back superbly.


    If you are short of drive space, use ProRes 422 Proxy (FCP X Preferences > Playback) - but remember to select High Quality when you export your movie.


    Hide Audio Waveforms at all times when you don't need them (both in Browser and Storyline / Timeline). They take up a lot of processor power. (Use the switch icon at the bottom-right of your timeline to select a format without waveforms if you don't need them at the moment, then switch back when you do).


    Create folders in the Project and Events libraries and put any projects you are not working on currently, in those folders. This will help a lot.


    Move your Projects and Events to an external HD (make sure it's formatted OS Extended - with journaled on or off) and run from there.


    Unless you cannot edit and playback without it, turn off Background Rendering in Preferences - this will help general performance and you can always render when you need to by selecting the clip (or clips) and pressing Ctrl+R.


    The biggest single improvement I saw in performance was when I upgraded the RAM from 8 GB to 16.


  • innocentius Level 4 Level 4 (1,845 points)

    If your info is up to date, you are still using Mac OS 10.7.1. Have no idea if that could be an issue.