Mac Poor Video Editing Performance

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by RedElectro, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. RedElectro, Mar 5, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011

    RedElectro macrumors regular

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    #1
    Hi, before I start, I want to make it clear that I'm a big Mac fan and possibly the last person to start slating the computer, but I'm having some real problems at the minute and (seriously) need some help!

    The Situation:
    I have a professionally produced DVD of a live gig that I have been asked to remove 2 songs from the running order (completely) and add titles. I have not been provided with the original footage just an edited DVD and exactly the same thing on BD.

    The Equipment & Software:
    I have an i7 MacBook Pro (15") with iMovie '09 and a PowerMac 2.0DP G5 with iMovie '08 and Final Cut Pro 6 (these both were already installed on the pre-owned G5 when I bought it)

    The Problem:
    The performance of both Macs in trying to do this job is simply, awful.

    I had heard that even though the G5 is "past its best" it is still a capable video editing machine (I mainly use it for design work, which is the reason I was asked to do the titles - and the performance of the G5 in this area is excellent). I wasn't sure on how to rip the video from the DVD at first - so used handbrake and imported the video into FCP and then couldn't play the video file without rendering. A process that was going to take 18 hours plus to complete. All subsequent changes resulted in further long rendering times which eventually led to me giving up in FCP (and on the G5) and moving to iMovie on the MacBook Pro.

    Moving to the Macbook Pro (and learning iMovie at the same time) - I started importing titles (PNG files made in Photoshop) and everything seemed to being progressing nicely. However, the further I got in the hour long video, the worse the performance of the Mac/Software became. Eventually, I couldn't even play the video and had to guess the changes I made were correct!! Each time a banner title was supposed to come on screen, the video would freeze completely and no title would be displayed at all. Now I know that iMovie is basically for "home enthusiasts", but I wouldn't have thought that a simple banner every 5 minutes of so would grind the software and (pretty high specced) machine to a hault? I eventually decided to export the movie to disc to see if what I had done looked any good and the overall quality of the video was lower than the original DVD rip! Even though everything was set to the highest settings. Playing both (DVD Rip and iMovie export) through AppleTV on a 42" Plasma resulted in a huge difference in quality.

    Current Status:
    I really want to be able to do this on the Macs - Ideally using FCP on the G5, but I'm at the point where I'm totally confused regarding the video editing performance and unless I can get some help, I'm thinking the unthinkable!! I might have to resort to using Adobe Premiere Pro on my (works) DELL Laptop!!! I don't want to do this, but I know it will be able to do what I need to get the job done!

    Surely something's wrong here? There must be an easy way for all of this to just work?

    Thanks for reading, hope you can help.
     
  2. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #2
    Here's your problem: you ripped the DVD with Handbrake into an MP4, didn't you?

    Here's the fix: rip using MPEG Streamclip into MOV using, oh let's pick a codec...
    - ProRes (for FCP - large filesizes but maintains good quality)
    - AIC (for iMovie or FCP - not as large, nearly as good quality)
    - DV (for anything - smaller file sizes, you may see artifacts around, say, overlaid titles. note: do not use MPEG Streamclip to convert to DV, use it to convert to QuickTime using the DV codec)

    Even though Apple includes support for many different codecs in FCP, it's accurate to say that that FCP is a QuickTime editor.

    You won't end up with 5.1 sound if that's what you've got, and you better not have copy protection on the DVD.

    Take time to learn what MPEG Streamclip can do for you before you start converting hour long videos. Practice on short clips (set your I and O on it in MPEG Streamclip) and then do the whole thing.

    NB: each licence for FCS allows you to install FCS on one desktop machine and one laptop.
     
  3. mBox, Mar 5, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011

    mBox macrumors 68020

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    Jun 26, 2002
    #3
    Just to add...

    basically try to keep the DVD format to its original source intended which is MPG2 (or DV). reason is that FCP even at its lowest machine config rocks using its old default standard format which is DV/DVD (MPG2@720x480).
    The settings are the default ones in FCP.
    FYI, I use Avid at work, even though we run mostly HD and the host workstation is a killer MP, converting a DVD file 720x480 then using Avids high-end codec can still slow a machine down (long format and with tons of plug-ins).
    Always best to keep the original file at its original form.
     
  4. RedElectro thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    :D

    Big Smiles!!! Yeah... you are totally right! I did rip it as MP4 and it was the cause of all the problems!

    I've just ripped one song from the DVD in ProRes and:

    A). The picture quality is perfect
    B). No rendering needed in FCP and it's running fine!

    Thanks for that... it's really helped me out. Faith in Macs restored! :apple:
     
  5. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #5
    The old default is DV/DVCPro... not DV/DVD...

    MPEG-2 is not a codec that FCP will edit nicely.

    This is just FYI, as the OP took the correct route and went ProRes as their intermediate codec.
     
  6. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    Jul 11, 2003
    #6
    Shouldn't the thread title read 'Mac User Poor Video Editing Performance'? :D
     
  7. RedElectro thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    I agree! :p
     
  8. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #8
    So what's HDV? :D
     
  9. mBox, Mar 6, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011

    mBox macrumors 68020

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    #9
    oops my bad, I added MPG2 due to the MPEG StreamClip being mentioned. I figured the op was trying to rip the DVD to a working format not ingesting into FCP :)
    I got so used to calling FCP Standard as DV/DVD due to the same pixel res.
    It was the only way I can burn it in students/others back in the day for dealing with FCP.
     
  10. RedElectro thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    Just an update for anyone interested:

    Finished the (minor) editing and adding titles to the video. The G5 worked like a dream throughout, never struggled once - once the video was in the right format. :eek:

    Final Cut Pro definitely doesn't like MP4 video! The quality of ProRes Mov is much better anyway.


    Just one final question (I don't think it's going off-topic) what's the best format to export this as now? I need to burn the entire thing back on to DVD and don't really want the quality to drop. Would using DVD Studio Pro be the best option?
     
  11. mBox macrumors 68020

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    Jun 26, 2002
    #11
    You can try Export to Compressor route. You can even export as is and then import into DVDSP4 and let that do the encoding for you.
    We use a few diff utilities in the past but currently all our outputs are HD/2K/4K docs so DVDSP4 gets the DVD projects.
     
  12. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #12
    HDV has a different GOP structure that FCP has a preset for ;)
     
  13. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #13
    Good to hear that. In most cases, people should to look into the mirror first before blaming Apple computers. ;)
     
  14. RedElectro, Mar 7, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011

    RedElectro thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Yes, agreed! (bows head in shame).

    While the computer and software in the editing process was working perfectly (I'm sorry for being a complete pain here!) I'm having some trouble with my carefully crafted titles (which was the whole point of me getting the DVD in the first place).

    The titles match the settings in the sequence and I've saved them from photoshop in most common formats (PNG, JPEG, PSD and TIFF) and they are pixelated and heavily anti-aliased (if that makes sense?) when imported into FCp. I have tried lots of different preview options in FCP and also doubling the image size of the titles in Photoshop, in the hope that the larger size would reduce the poor quality, but that doesn't seem to work either.

    As you know, I'm using the ProRes codec for the video (which has square pixels) and I have tried to match that with the size of the Photoshop CS 4 images. I thought at first that it was just some preview setting in the canvas so it hasn't bothered me throughout the process, but now, after exporting, the quality is the same and I'm rather concerned!!

    Not jumping to conclusions about software faults, poor computers etc. I realise this (again) is probably my fault... Just wondering if anyone can explain why? - and obviously what I can do about it! As you can see in the attachment the Viewer shows the imported PNG file on the left, the Canvas shows the same file after it's inserted into the timeline (and rendered).

    Sorry about this guys... thanks again. :eek:
     

    Attached Files:

  15. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #15
    I know, but it's still MPEG2 , so I'll see your ;) and raise you a :D:D

    Slightly OT, I find it interesting when FCP is criticised for not having support for codec XYZ. FCP has support for stacks of codecs (I get lost in the drop down). Real codecs. Professional codecs, not Mickey Mouse flavour of the month ones. Can't please all of the people...
     
  16. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #16
    Lazyman here: Render the sequence, export as QuickTime MOV (not self contained), open iDVD, File -> OneStep DVD from movie. Burn.

    This will give you a DVD that plays when you stick it in a DVD player and loops automatically. Great for reviews. Doesn't get much easier than that.
     
  17. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #17
    Photoshop for Video by the inimitable Rich Harrington is a great place to start.

    Firstly, make sure your PSD project is NTSC (or PAL if required) size.
     
  18. RedElectro thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    Thanks Martin. I've double checked the size and I'm working to Pal settings. Had a look at some of the videos above too. Just not sure what to do here. Keep searching for now I guess.
     
  19. mBox macrumors 68020

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    Jun 26, 2002
    #19
    If its pixelated maybe you need to save PSD as PAL 720x576 in Photoshop.
    You can check the Film & Video settings for that res.
     
  20. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Los Angeles
    #20
    Try resizing your canvas window down to 100%.


    Lethal
     
  21. RedElectro thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    Yeah... well spotted Lethal. :)

    I did that to show the pixelation in more detail. It's still (very) rough looking at 100% I just wanted to make sure it was clear on the image.
     
  22. RedElectro thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    Thanks, I'll try that. :)

    I think I'll also try exporting the entire footage with out titles at a resolution I know photoshop has as a present and create a new project at these settings? Worth a try I suppose?
     
  23. shark512 macrumors newbie

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    Mar 8, 2011
    #23
    I think I can help. What settings are you using for your timeline?
     
  24. RedElectro thread starter macrumors regular

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    #24
    I hope so!! This is driving me mad. Even the vector based artwork that's included comes out jaggy on export! I've got a new project with everything identically matched in FCP and Photoshop and it's still doing it. I've exported to AppleTV using the compressor settings and it's still doing it.

    Here's the settings for my original project - these came from MPEG-StreamClip when I ripped the DVD.
     

    Attached Files:

  25. mBox macrumors 68020

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    #25
    Your original DVD footage (as Ive stated at the start) should be 720x480. Maybe Im missing something but you should be using that as your target resolution. Unless of course your not working with DVD footage?
     

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