FCP X rMBP Dropping Frames - HD related?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Burk11, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. Burk11 macrumors newbie

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    Jun 28, 2012
    #1
    Hi people,

    I picked up a rMBP and have been doing some editing with it. It's a sweet rig, but I've been running into some dropped frame issues when editing 1080p. I'm assuming it's my HD workflow.

    So I've been trying to edit right from the internal, OS drive, which I've always heard is a bad idea. I also tried running the footage off of a thumb drive just out of curiosity. Same issue. I do have an OWC drive that I formerly used for scratch/media but this rig doesn't have FW, so I'm relegated to USB (it's also sort of a mess as I can't seem to see the ex-fat partition and the other one is NTFS, bla bla).

    So am I going to have to shell out for a thunderbolt HD of some sort? Or use the FW adapter when it's released? I was hoping to get some stuff done this weekend, so let me know if you have any ideas or I'm barking up the wrong tree all together.

    Some quick info that may provide some shading on my question. I've transcoded, used optimized media, used proxy media, tried encoding them to web optimized with hand brake. Still running into dropped frames while previewing and after rendering it out. If I play the source video in VLC before ingesting it, it's smooth as butter.

    Thanks for any help you might have for an old buccaneer.
     
  2. matteusclement macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

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    #2
    Doesn't it have USB3? That should be fast enough to have your media on.
     
  3. Burk11 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 28, 2012
    #3
    Computer, yes. Hard drive, no :(
     
  4. matteusclement macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

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    #4
    well, you could get a new enclosure. it will be much cheaper than thunderbolt
     
  5. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 6, 2007
    #5
    As a rule of thumb USB thumb are way too slow for editing, but there's no way the SSD in the Retina MBP is. (Assuming it's not faulty.)

    What format — be precise — is your original footage?
     
  6. Burk11 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 28, 2012
    #6
    Mp4 downloaded from youtube. 1080p 24 fps. But even after transcoding to h.264 in handbrake or prores in fcp x it persists.
     
  7. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #7
    It certainly should not be a storage speed issue as the flash storage on a MBP is fast enough to play back uncompressed HD (granted it so small that you could only have a few minutes of uncompressed HD on it but whatever...). I don't know enough about FCPX though to have an idea of what else might be causing it.
     
  8. Burk11 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 28, 2012
    #8
    Yeah, I'm really not sure. I messed with it a bit more on my lunch break. The footage is h.264, plays fine before ingesting into fcpx. It's odd that after transcoding and even doing proxy media it still does it.

    I may go to best buy(hour away) after work to get a usb3 enclosure. Hopefully that will do it but i have a bad feeling that it's something peculiar.
     
  9. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 6, 2007
    #9
    Unless your Retina's SSD is faulty, it's not going to help in this instance.

    Is FCP X giving you a dropped frame warning message, or is it just that the video looks choppy?
     
  10. JMG macrumors 6502a

    JMG

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    #10
    One options to transcode all of your footage to a more compressed format like dnx36 the cut with that. Once you are cut, decompose the video layers of your sequence and upres it back to full HD, then cut it over your audio and output from there. That's how it's done in the professional world to save space and make editing easier. I don't know if FCP does this, but avid does very easily.
     
  11. Burk11 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 28, 2012
    #11
    Okay, I'll skip best buy then. It's a bit of both. You can immediately tell that it's dropping frames by the audio, and after a few seconds, the dropped frame warnings pop up.

    So what's the deal with the old adage that you should never edit footage directly from your internal HD or the HD your OS is installed on? Was that just related to the speed of spinning hard drives before, and isn't really relevant in the land of SSDs? I realize there's a space issue as well, but it doesn't hurt the performance anymore?

    ----------

    I appreciate the advice, and may need to look into this to get my projects done this weekend. Having said that, it seems like this problem shouldn't exist and this machine shouldn't have an issue with this footage, especially transcoded.

    I might just hook up the desktop I'm trying to sell to get my stuff done this weekend. Hopefully I can get to the bottom of it. Keep the suggestions coming if you have any more ideas.
     
  12. Burk11 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Quick update:

    I was curious to see if there was something with the specific footage, so I shot some quick 1080p on my DSLR and ingested it to the same results. Choppy playback, drop frames, errors out, even when transcoded and proxied by FCP X.

    Then I installed premiere pro cs6 and tried the same (initial) footage in there and it played fine.

    So I'm not sure if it's an FCP issue or what, it's all up to date so I wouldn't think it would be an optimization issue. For clarification, I tried it both with the retina display, and also with an external monitor and the retina closed, so I don't think it's a scaling issue either.

    I'm out of ideas, but I guess I'll be using premiere for now. Kind of defeats the purpose of buying it (for me).
     
  13. JMG macrumors 6502a

    JMG

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    #13
    My mistake, I missed that you already transcoded. Did you try spitting out a QuickTime and playing it to see if the footage is actually skipping or just your editing app not being able to keep up with the stream?
     
  14. Burk11 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    I did. The rendered footage was equally bad.
     
  15. phyrexia macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    That's right. Back in the spinning-HDD days, your OS drive could be busy running the OS or the video/audio application when it tried to write audio or video, which could cause problems. With a Solid State Drive, not only is seek time basically eliminated, but transfer speeds are high enough that for most uses it's probably no longer an issue.

    The SSD in your rMBP can read as fast (~500MB/s) as about 5 standard hard drives (5 * ~100MB/s), and it can start reading and writing almost instantly, compared to a magnetic hard drive.
     
  16. Burk11 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 28, 2012
    #17
    Thanks phyrexia, that makes sense.

    Well, I'm pretty much out of ideas here. I made a post in the MBP forum requesting people who had edited 1080p on a rMBP with no replies.

    I really can't imagine that these rigs are incapable of editing 1080p in FCP X. Hopefully I can find some others who are editing with them. Maybe I just got a bad one.
     
  17. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

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    Terra
    #18
    This is your problem! H.264 takes even more work for the computer to decode than MP4. One rule of thumb with editing is NEVER use distribution formats (like H.264) to edit. They're heavily compressed and the computer has to work that much harder in order to edit them. ProRes422 should have fixed your issue. What version of ProRes did you transcode to? There are a lot of them...

    Editing from your internal drive is not a good idea, though with the SSD the issues from doing that should have been alleviated, if not removed entirely. Your external drive should be quick enough for small edits, but a USB3 enclosure would be better. Thumb drives, in general, just aren't fast enough so there's small wonder you had issues there.

    Transcode your video to ProRes422 (not HQ, I doubt the video from YouTube is good enough to benefit from it) and pop all your stuff on your external USB2 drive and see if that doesn't help. Make sure you're not running a bunch of other apps in the background as well. I use FCS2 and edit everything from an external FW800 drive, and it works beautifully on my 2009 13" MBP, or at least as beautifully as it can on this machine.

    Also, another thought: install MenuMeters and see if you can tell if something is maxing out when you're getting all your frame rate issues. The software puts gauges for your CPU, RAM, etc in your menubar. If your CPU is completely maxing out, for example, that would at least help to figure out what the issue may be.
     
  18. katmeef, Jun 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012

    katmeef macrumors 6502

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    Jul 20, 2010
    #19
    I dont have fcpx but if you want you could send me that test source footage and your desired hand break settings and I'll try to reencode it on my Rmbp and iMac to compare the output.

    Pm if you like,
    Matt
     
  19. Burk11 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 28, 2012
    #20
    Thanks for all your insights! I'd really like to get this figured out.

    Hopefully I don't miss something but:

    1. I believe the default "transcoded media" in FCP X is PR 422. So it should have been 422 in FCP X, and later pro res proxy. However, I did also put it through compressor and output it to 422 before ingesting into FCP X just to see if the built in transcoding was borked. Same result.

    I didn't get that app but did run the activity monitor to check things out and while playing back, FCP X was using about 50% cpu power. Nothing else was using much according to the monitor.

    As I mentioned before, I also tried some fresh footage from my DSLR and it had the same result. That is also mov h.264 but was transcoded and proxied in FCP X with no help :(
     
  20. Burk11 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 28, 2012
    #21
    Works fine in iMovie at the full resolution setting :|
     
  21. mBox macrumors 68020

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    #22
    At FCPX current state its still a mystery as to why one person can edit ProRes4444 4K res files with no issues vs other formats using the same exact hardware config and having issues.
    When I first started with FCPX, I was warned to make sure I transcode to ProRes422 at all times. Then there's an article that Apple claims not to transcode all media (sorry I have to find it on the web) since some are better at their native format within FCPX.
    At this point you might want to try and ingest and make sure you are using Optimize. Btw I noticed that depending on the ingested footage length, you really have to check if the background render is actually done. I was helping a friend and she ingested 33 min of AVCHD video and the background task percentage wasnt moving but when you open up the window you can see the transcode going on in the back. I find that weird since I would like to know if other processes are going on.
    Ive heard/read that h.264 can make any system/software crawl due to the on the fly conversion.
    I guess stay away from that one.
     
  22. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

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    #23
    Have you tried restarting, repairing permissions, and/or reinstalling FCPX?
     
  23. Burk11 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 28, 2012
    #24
    I did try reinstalling, and installing the FCP X trial. No dice.

    ----------

    Thank you.

    Yeah, I've tried it every which way but loose with the transcoding, even doing it in compressor so it's ingested as pro res 422. I've also made sure that the background tasks are complete before moving forward. It's a mystery. And it works just fine in iMovie and premiere. I finished my work on my desktop, but I might be sending this unit back if i can't get to the bottom of it. I love FCP X (use it at work with a mac pro and it works great) and was hoping to use this rig as my road warrior for editing.

    It's one thing to have issues without transcoding or proxy media but the fact that it won't work even after those measures is just a head scratcher. I'm sure something it amiss and it's not the machine. Maybe an FCP X issues needs to be patched.

    But I still can't believe there aren't' a million people editing 1080p on these rigs here yet. Maybe it's just that no one is using FCP X.
     
  24. mBox macrumors 68020

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    Jun 26, 2002
    #25
    Which rig? The rMBP? Not too many pros would. A lot of us wont fork over that much for first gen hardware. We would take our chances with Mac Pro but not an iMac/MPB type.
    Mind you some folks are really enjoying it like Michael Cioni from Light Iron http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?81179-New-15-quot-MacBook-Pro-Performance
    But he's from another planet :)

    ----------

    I spent some time with the Audi Sportscar Experience FCPX project at local Apple store. That HD project was transcoded nicely and the project/event works so flawless. Would love to get a hold of that for demo ;)
     

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