A couple of FCP best practice questions

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by norliss, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. norliss macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I will soon embark on my first proper project using FCS.

    Firstly, in terms of drive usage, is it best to use the scratch disc for that alone and keep the project files on the system drive or is it best to run everything from the scratch disc?

    Secondly in terms of mixed footage types: the film will be shot at the end of the week on a Sony PMW-EX1 in 1080p25. We already shot some footage a few weeks ago, alas this was mistakenly shot interlaced at 1440x1080i50. What would be the best way to go about combining these two sets of footage? Should I de-interlace the 1080i50 stuff first or just drop it all into the timeline and allow FCP to deal with it?

    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

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    #2
    For best performance, run your project files from your start up drive. Place your media on a separate scratch drive.

    Edit your interlace footage as-is, then deinterlace it when you export the final project. Otherwise you will have to transcode it twice and it will affect the quality.
     
  3. norliss thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 7, 2009
    #3
    Thanks for your reply!

    Just to clarify: do you mean keep the .fcp file on the startup file and *everything* else on the same drive as the scratch disc or did you mean specify a separate drive as "scratch" and the other bits (i.e. those in the Final Cut Pro Documents folder) on the system drive?

    I appreciate your help :)
     
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #4
    FCP kinda blows at doing anything that requires manipulating fields so I would use Compressor to transcode the interlaced footage into progressive. The quicker you make all your footage homogenous the better, IMO. FCP's 'open timeline' isn't all it's cracked up to be and other apps in the suite, like Color, don't play well w/mixed format timelines.

    The best solution would be to re-shoot the stuff that was shot interlaced if possible as he 1440x1080 footage might not match well w/the rest of the footage very well. The 1440x1080 footage obviously has a lower pixel count than the full-raster, 1920 footage, it was also shot at a lower data rate, the de-interlacing process will cost you some resolution, and the 50i won't have the same visual characteristics of 25p if there is motion going on in the frame.


    Lethal
     
  5. norliss thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Many thanks for this reply, too.

    Unfortunately, it's impossible to re-shoot the footage since the grounds of the house has changed. In truth, I'm only likely to use snippets of this footage amongst the other stuff so I will take the quality hit there.

    Interesting what you've said about the open timeline though. Would I be able to use the clips I want then send to compressor from FCP or do I need to do all that first?
     
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #6
    If you know what sections of the 50i footage you want to use you can just transcode those sections. No need to do all the footage if you are just going to use a small portion of it.


    Lethal
     
  7. norliss thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Yes, I think that's the way forward. Will wait until I have the rushes from the main shoot in the next few days and go from there.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. matteusclement macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

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    #8
    I too would like to know what the best set up is for hard drive config.
    Alot of threads here talk about RAID but rarely the simply practice of setting up your hard drives.

    For me it's like this:
    two fw400 external drives (chained together)
    one USB 2 ext. drive
    imac drive (sata)

    and from what I read here I should:
    USB= video files and source media
    FW= scratch disc
    SATA= FCP file
     
  9. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

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    #9
    Put your project (fcp) files on your startup drive. Put your media (footage) on a different drive. If you have SD footage, a standard 7200 RPM drive allocated for footage is good enough. If you have HD footage, you might want to look at RAID if your time-line scrubbing is bogging down. Make sure the drive you're storing your footage on is at least a firewire, sata, or internal. You can run backups of everything to a USB if needed. I wouldn't use USB for anything other than backup.

    Hard drive speed doesn't affect render speed. For fast renders, you need a faster processor(s).

    And for those of you who don't know this, the reason you have footage on a separate drive than your system and project files, is because it will slow down otherwise. If you have everything on the same drive, your read/write head will be working over-time trying to keep up. If you have it on two separate drives then you'll have two points of access. Finally, don't expect miracles. We are limited by FCP crappy implementation of ram. Hopefully, one of these years it will go 64bit and we'll be able to throw more ram at our projects.
     
  10. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #10
    I assume this methodology changes with SSD's?

    I have a pair of SSD's in RAID0 for my system drive and I intend to run everything (FCS, project files, scratch) from that. My plan is to only move stuff to magnetic storage when archiving a project (eg. it's finished).
     
  11. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #11
    It's actually best, in general, to separate scratch and media files from your boot/app drive. You don't want I/O thrashing the same drive for both things, and actually the better write performance of HDDs can be an asset in editing, since FCP isn't really going to blaze at striped SSD speeds. Video, after all, is going to take up a ton of space.
     
  12. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

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    #12
    SSD's are poor choice for video unless you are rich. I wouldn't trade speed for storage space, and in your case, RAID SSDs are overkill. The bottle neck nowadays is more in the poor implementation of ram and processor speed. In your situation, I'd put all of my media files on a separate drive, then run system, applications, and project files from the SSD Raid.
     
  13. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #13
    I guess it also depends on the amount of video you're working with. I'm typically doing 5 minute videos which does not present the same storage issues as someone working on 2 hour features.

    I'm not sure you can have overkill on storage speed... it is by far the slowest card in the deck these days, although I agree that processor speed is the limiting factor in a lot of video/rendering tasks. Fortunately, Nehalem solved any issues with the memory architecture... as long as you have enough of it.

    Cheers! :)
     
  14. matteusclement macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

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    #14
    so like this?

    so not this:
    USB= video files and source media
    FW= scratch disc
    SATA= FCP file

    but this is what I should do:
    USB= render/scratch drive
    FW= video and media files
    SATA= FCP file

    I shoot HD but RAID is out of the question with an imac.
     
  15. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

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    #15
    You can put the render/scratch on the FW with your video and media. It won't make the big of difference in speed. This will free up your USB for backup. But don't trust me, run a few tests and you be the judge. My guess is that you won't notice a difference having the media and render all on one drive. But be sure to keep your fcp project files on your start up drive. Don't rely on the USB for anything other than storage or backup.
     
  16. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

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    #16
    In your situation, then yeah, use the SSDs. I'm finding that my bottle neck is in processor speed not hard drive speed. Especially for timeline rendering - I'm always waiting for the cores to crunch the video. For tasks like that, hard drive speed does nothing unless you are dealing with 1080p. (I have a 4 core 2.66 early 2006 MacPro). When I bought the machine, I thought my days of waiting for renders were over. Ha! The only good thing is that I can see more of what I'm doing without doing a render- but I still have to do renders on complex composites. The good news is that they are 5 or 10 minutes instead of an hour or two. Still, those 5 minute renders add up after a few days of work. I hope that Snow Leopard speeds everything up- but I'm not holding my breath.
     
  17. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

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    #17
    You can buy a dual drive external housing that supports RAID. You can find them at Macsales. If your iMac has FW 800, then get an enclosure that supports that.
     
  18. matteusclement macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

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    #18
    Fw 800 Raid

    I doubt if I will see that much of a speed boost on RAID going through FW 800.
    Anyone else think differently?
     
  19. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #19
    RAID 0 running over FW800 will be much faster than a single FW400 drive. Whether or not you'll see a big change in working w/footage depends in part on what kind of footage you are working w/and how fast of a CPU you have. HDV footage, for example, is the same data rate as DV but it's a pretty CPU intensive codec to handle so faster drives might not help that much of the CPU is the choke point. DVCPro HD, on the other hand, is about 4x the size of HDV in terms of bandwidth but it's a much easier codec for CPU to handle so in that case your storage might be the choke point.


    Lethal
     
  20. matteusclement macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

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    #20
    The whole story

    Here is all my info so I can understand my flow better

    iMac intel core 2'duo 2ghz
    4 gigs ram
    hard drives are stated above
    canon hv30 - I capture in hdv 1080i60

    should I capture then deinterlace all my footage in compressor?
    BUT I don't always use HD.
    I burn my DVD in SD and code my web stuff in HD.
    I get what you mean about the raid fw800, but from what you said, hdv is sucking up all my CPU.
    HD APPEARS better looking, but if it's slowing down myrender times I need to re-evaluate my camcorder choice.
     
  21. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #21
    If you are shooting in 1080i60 don't deinterlace. If you are shooting in 1080p24 (which is stored as 1080i60 on the tape) then you can use Compressor to reverse telecine your footage prior to editing to give you 1080p24 footage to edit with. If you are shooting in SD do not deinterlace. If you are making something that will only be seen on computers then you can deinterlace when you are exporting the final movie.

    Compared to SD footage HD footage is always going to be more intensive to work with because you are pushing a lot more data around.


    Lethal
     

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