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    #11
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    Yea, the exporting is the rendering; I just meant I don't render inside the software because I don't need to. I normally would if I couldn't preview anything and the software kept locking up and pausing and skipping while dropping frames during playback.

    And I know what you mean...when I bake in LUTs into footage (for this exact reason = turnaround time), it's all ready to go so quickly.


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    #12
    Member joema's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batutta View Post
    ...90 minute film in FCP X and it's just a nightmare. Talk about taking forever to load. This will be the last time I use FCP X. Only used it because it handles h.264 4k files natively way better then other NLE's. Next time I'll use Resolve and just transcode.
    ...
    Sorry to hear about your problems. I've edited very large 4k H264 documentaries using FCPX on 2015 and 2017 iMacs. The last one was 22 minutes but 600 clips and all the interviews were multicam, so over 1,000 clips in the timeline. The library was 230 hours of 4k H264, 8,500 clips comprising 20 terabytes. Media was on twin 32TB OWC RAID-0 arrays. I used proxies for everything, and at some points had 40 different project snapshots. Loading those slowed down FCPX startup so I eventually deleted the unnecessary snapshots. Almost every clip had extensive color correction, including several keyframed shape and color masks. I also used Neat Video, Imagenomic Portraiture and Digital Anarchy's Flicker Free, which are all very compute-intensive. Just keywording and rating the material took a multi-person team months.

    I never had a case where the library or project took more than about 30 sec to load, even at the maximum size and timeline complexity.

    I just took a complex H264 4k documentary timeline and duplicated it a few times to reach over 2 hr, with a total of about 4,000 clips. Many of these were two and three-camera multicam interviews. Including the parent clips the timeline had about 8,000 clips. It ran OK on my iMac Pro. I tested it without proxies, with proxies and with optimized media. In all cases it ran OK but it was definitely more responsive with proxies. Loading the library took about 30 sec, mostly due to loading multiple project snapshots.

    Others have tested FCPX with 1,000 video layers, and timelines up to 588 *days* long. This was 4k ProRes from a Blackmagic Cinema Camera: http://www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/news...o-their-limits

    4k H264 can be much harder to handle. While FCPX on proper hardware (meaning a recent CPU and Quick Sync) is a real speed demon on 4k H264, the latest version of Resolve is just as fast. Blackmagic has made tremendous gains in playback engine performance. Unlike Adobe's Premiere they exploit Quick Sync for both decode and encode (Premiere only uses it for encode), so Resolve timeline operations are super fast, just like FCPX.

    Quote Originally Posted by Batutta View Post
    ...My sequence is over a thousand clips. I thought it was related to using h.264 footage, but even after transcoding to proxies its slow as a dog. Any change to the edit at this point and the whole thing grinds to a halt for anywhere between 10 to 30 seconds as it updates....
    I have several Macs including 2013, 2015 and 2017 top-spec iMac 27, 2015 and 2016 top-spec MacBook Pro and 10-core Vega 64 iMac Pro. Even on the 2013 iMac I never saw it grind to a halt for 10-30 sec. during timeline updates. However I deferred all the compute-intensive plugins until the last finishing phase. Otherwise they can really slow things down.

    I can't explain why your system remains slow if using proxies. Normally that makes everything pretty fast, even on older machines. I assume you did switch it to proxy mode after creating them? You can easily create a copy of the project, then use Edit>Remove Effects to remove all applied effects as a test. Then you can inspect the timeline behaves, whether it's inherently slow due to a combination of your machine, codec and timeline complexity or whether it's the effects causing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Batutta View Post
    .....3.09ghz i5 with 16GB RAM and Nvidia 1060 6GB. FCP X just isn't well optimized for long projects with a lot of clips in them...
    It's possible your system isn't sized or configured for a 1,000-clip H264 project (I assume 4k?). The nVidia card indicates this is might be a Hackintosh. For an older Mac Pro, the Xeon CPU doesn't have Quick Sync, which is critical for H264. If a Hackintosh even if the i5 has Quick Sync, most of them will not properly use it. The only exception to this is the Xeon-powered iMac Pro, where FCPX uses AMD's UVD/VCE hardware transcode acceleration to provide Quick Sync-like performance. However if you were successfully using proxies, those are ProRes 422 at 1/4 the pixel resolution so that should eliminate H264 performance issues for editing (but not for export and encoding).

    Quote Originally Posted by Batutta View Post
    ....Another dumb thing I hate about FCP X, it rerenders every time you export a sequence, even if you've already rendered in the program, or aren't converting your footage to a different codec....
    To my knowledge FCPX usually does "smart rendering" where it will not re-render already-rendered clips during export. This is easy to test, see my results below. However the benefit is codec and situation-dependent. If your footage is H264 and the timeline is fully rendered, the internal render codec is by default ProRes 422. If you export to H264 it still must be encoded (not rendered) since the export codec is different from the render codec.

    Some aspects I don't understand: if the export codec is ProRes 422, a pre-rendered timeline (which is also ProRes 422) should export super fast since neither rendering or encoding should be required. However this doesn't happen -- export is pretty fast but it's still takes longer than I expected.

    Pre-rendering definitely helps for H264 output (whether source is H264 or ProRes), at least on the hardware I've tested -- it's usually 5x faster. Pre-rendering for ProRes output usually doesn't help.

    In your case if you don't have functional Quick Sync you may be bottlenecked on the encode phase. Also without Quick Sync on the decode side, timeline operations can be very slow on 4k H264 -- Premiere is a good example of that.

    There are other factors which can cause unpredictable FCPX slowdowns. One of the worst is using AVCHD media which was copied out of the file package and imported with "leave files in place". This effectively poisons the library and will cause tremendous slowdowns due to excessive small random I/Os. Even a few such files among other media can cause this. The problem is apparently caused by FCPX dynamically and repeatedly re-wrapping the AVCHD files upon each reference, including just scrolling the Event Browser. The solution is remove all those, and either import to the library allowing FCPX to re-wrap or re-wrap them externally using EditReady, then import with "leave files in place".

    Assuming a single-layer timeline is already rendered, re-rendering during export is normally only required for the changed clip. E.g, if you change the color, exposure or effects on a single clip, only that one clip will show render dots above it. If you edit or trim a connected clip or secondary storyline, only that one item will show render dots. If you trim the main storyline, that will invalidate any existing render files from edit point to the end of the timeline. This is unavoidable since render files are a flattened composite of all layers for a given span of the timeline. We may envision a clip being rendered but in actuality a span of the timeline (inc'l all layers) is rendered.

    FCPX export performance testing, pre-rendered vs non-rendered timeline:

    System config: 10-core Vega 64 iMac Pro, 64GB RAM, 2TB SSD, macOS 10.13.6, FCPX 10.4.3. Media and library files on OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini using 4 x 2TB SSD drives in RAID-0. Output file goes to iMac Pro 2TB SSD.

    Test timeline: 4k H264 8-bit 4:2:0 100 mpbs 4 min 35 sec complex documentary with 139 clips (mostly multi-cam), total clips inc'l multicam: about 300. About 500 keyframed color correction effects, also Neat Video, Imagenomic Portraiture and Digital Anarchy Flicker Free. Due the large number of test permutations I used a short, complex timeline to facilitate turnaround.

    I did multiple batches of testing, both with original 4k H264 media then using optimized ProRes 422 media. I tested export to both H264 and ProRes, and for each of those with and without a pre-rendered timeline. Time is min:sec elapsed for export.

    No pre-render, 4k H264 media, export to 1080p H264 fast encode: 10:09
    Pre-render, 4k H264 media, export to 1080p H264 fast encode: 1:40

    No pre-render, 4k H264 media, export to 1080p H264 better quality: 20:05
    Pre-render, 4k H264 media, export to 1080p H264 better quality: 3:18

    No pre-render, 4k ProRes 422 optimized media, export to 1080p H264 fast encode: 9:39
    Pre-render, 4k ProRes 422 optimized media, export to 1080p H264 fast encode: 1:38

    No pre-render, 4k ProRes 422 optimized media, export to 1080p H264 better quality: 19:20
    Pre-render, 4k ProRes 422 optimized media, export to 1080p H264 better quality: 3:46

    No pre-render, 4k H264 media, export to 4k H264 fast encode: 10:33
    Pre-render, 4k H264 media, export to 4k H264 fast encode: 3:14

    No pre-render, 4k H264 media, export to 4k H264 better quality: 21:05
    Pre-render, 4k H264 media, export to 4k H264 better quality: 6:26

    No pre-render, 4k ProRes 422 optimized media, export to 4k H264 fast encode: 10:26
    Pre-render, 4k ProRes 422 optimized media, export to 1080p H264 fast encode: 3:12

    No pre-render, 4k ProRes 422 optimized media, export to 1080p H264 better quality: 21:06
    Pre-render, 4k ProRes 422 optimized media, export to 1080p H264 better quality: 6:16

    No pre-render, 4k ProRes 422 optimized media, export to 4k ProRes 422: 9:31
    Pre-render, 4k ProRes 422 optimized media, export to 4k ProRes 422: 9:33

    No pre-render, 4k H264 media, export to export to 4k ProRes 422: 9:52
    Pre-render, 4k H264 media, export to export to 4k ProRes 422: 9:55


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    #13
    Senior Member Batutta's Avatar
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    Thanks for all that info, but there is enough I don't like about FCP X that isn't about performance that I'm not inclined to stick with the program. Not trimming files when consolidating is a deal breaker, because I routinely work with clips that are an hour to two hours long, so consolidating in FCPX saves me little space. I'll stay on FCP 7 as long as I feasibly can for most of my work, then switch to Resolve at some point. I'm not finding h.264 playback in Resolve as good as it is on FCPX but that's for the free version. I've heard you need the paid version for proper acceleration.
    "Money doesn't make films...You just do it and take the initiative." - Werner Herzog


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    #14
    Member joema's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batutta View Post
    ...Not trimming files when consolidating is a deal breaker, because I routinely work with clips that are an hour to two hours long, so consolidating in FCPX saves me little space....
    Worx4 X will trim clips when copying to another library: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/worx...95903030?mt=12

    Quote Originally Posted by Batutta View Post
    ...I'm not finding h.264 playback in Resolve as good as it is on FCPX but that's for the free version. I've heard you need the paid version for proper acceleration...
    My testing shows the free version of Resolve 15 is very fast on 4k H264 on both an iMac and iMac Pro. If you are on a Hackintosh the problem may be non-functional Quick Sync. FCPX may be so efficient that without Quick Sync it's faster than Resolve but given functional hardware acceleration Resolve 15 is very fast on H264.

    There are various ways to improve Resolve playback: https://fstoppers.com/originals/how-...-clicks-192312

    You have to get the paid version of Resolve if you want HEVC support.


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