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SRV1981

Editing 4K 100mbps Clips on a Macbook

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Currently using a mid-2015 MBP 2.2 i7 w/ 16gb of ram.  As soon as I add the videos to iMovie (moving to FCPX this week) and layer them with green screen or picture in picture/etc. the computer slows and sounds like a jet engine taking off.  Not sure if creating proxies or upgrading new a 13" MBP 2020 model would be helpful. Also edit internally vs. external thoughts?

I will be creating mostly 5-15m videos for educational purposes on a weekly basis.

 

Thanks!

 

1. Stick w/ 2015 MBP 15" and use proxies with external HD or Internal?

2. Upgrade to 2020 MBP 13" and use regular files with external or internal?

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Don't know much specifically about your gear, but merely using proxies should give a huge performance boost.  Working with compressed camera files can slow things down to a crawl and cause discrepancies in effects and color grading.

 

You shouldn't need high quality files until grading and rendering.  Some graders transcode camera files to uncompressed and then work on them.

 

Regardless, if you get a new MacBook, Louis Rossmann (who makes a living repairing MacBooks) warns folks to disable secure boot.   If your current MacBook has a T2 chip, you should make sure that secure boot is disabled.

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Thanks @tupp I am using a combo of iPhone and Sona A7III video.  Additionally, I am making videos from Keynote for animations etc and layering all of these clips sometimes picture in picture etc.  I am just not sure if it will take a long time to create proxies if I am making anywhere from 1-3 videos a week, which is to support my job as a teacher.  

Apple has offered $480 for my 2015 MBP and I was looking at a 13" 2020 MBP 2 ghz, 32gb ram, 512 SSD for $2100 or $1600 after giftcard.

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Updating your computer will help. Transcoding files to prores will be beneficial, even if you maintain your current Mac. You could also buy a video recorder and get prores files externally.  But the cost of the recorder and more ssds might not be worth it. The a7s II has proxy recording for 4k files. Maybe the a7iii has that function as well? 

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42 minutes ago, SRV1981 said:

Thanks @tupp I am using a combo of iPhone and Sona A7III video.

If the files coming off of those devices are compressed, your machine (and NLE) has to continually uncompress those files on the fly, while applying effects and filters.  It's a huge demand on the computer's resources.

 

 

42 minutes ago, SRV1981 said:

Additionally, I am making videos from Keynote for animations etc and layering all of these clips sometimes picture in picture etc.

"Keynote?"  That sounds like a cute Apple name for a presentation app.

 

Make those clips uncompressed at a low bitrate.

 

 

42 minutes ago, SRV1981 said:

I am just not sure if it will take a long time to create proxies...

How long and how many are your video clips?

 

Try creating proxies with a couple of files, and see how long it takes.

 

If you have a lot of clips to convert to proxies, you could also build a cheap Linux box and batch render your proxies (with ffmpeg, handbrake, mencoder, etc.)  to a fast SSD drive.  Then, edit off of that SSD.  That workflow might payoff if you are doing three videos a week.

 

 

42 minutes ago, SRV1981 said:

... I am making anywhere from 1-3 videos a week, which is to support my job as a teacher.  

Evidently, teaching has changed dramatically since I attended school.  You are making more videos per week than a lot of pros make in a month.

 

If this is for teaching, why do you need 4K?  Try reducing the resolution to HD and reduce the bitrate wherever possible.

 

What happened to chalkboards? 

 

 

42 minutes ago, SRV1981 said:

Apple has offered $480 for my 2015 MBP and I was looking at a 13" 2020 MBP 2 ghz, 32gb ram, 512 SSD for $2100 or $1600 after giftcard.

US $2100 for a small 2Ghz laptop with a 512 SSD?!   Before dropping that kind of money for a laptop of questionable power/quality,  I would look into streamlining your workflow, as suggested above.

 

Again, with any MacBook (or any Mac) that has a T2 chip, make sure that secure boot is disabled.

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Thanks! @FranciscoB how can I tell if the a7iii can create proxies?

@tupp:

 

-Keynote is a cute app and I find it helpful - not sure I can change video export settings but will check!

-I probably will stick with Mac for ease of use etc. as my free time spent for work doesn't motivated me to learn/work with linux and creating my own machines.  Granted this may be the most efficient i'm seeking most efficient with Apple's products available to me.

-I appreciate your feedback but education has changed and my individual desire to provide more engaging content to my students doesn't represent anything other than attempting to be a part of a small group of teachers who use technology to reach our students.  Chalkboards exist, I like them.  Whiteboards exist, I like them better.  Smartboards exist, I like them even better.  

-My 2015 macbook pro is not a T2 chip device

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Definitely second @tupp suggestion that shooting in 1080p might be more than sufficient for your needs. I would kindly suggest you reexamine whether you truly need to shoot in 4K.

If you do shoot in 4K, here is a brief explanation on how to create 720p proxies, which will be much easier to edit with. Then when you render (or export or deliver or whatever your editor calls it), you exchange the proxies with the 4K versions.

 

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6 hours ago, SRV1981 said:

-Keynote is a cute app and I find it helpful - not sure I can change video export settings but will check!

You can change the export settings in Keynote.  Set it to 1920x1080 (or smaller) and to ProRes 422.  Evidently, there is no way to adjust frame rate (defaults to 29.97) nor bitrate in the current version of Keynote.

 

 

6 hours ago, SRV1981 said:

-I probably will stick with Mac for ease of use etc. as my free time spent for work doesn't motivated me to learn/work with linux and creating my own machines.  Granted this may be the most efficient i'm seeking most efficient with Apple's products available to me.

First of all, Mac is not the easiest OS to use.  By the way, almost all OS's are point-and-click, so even a Mac user should have little trouble working with them  😉.

 

Furthermore, the free transcoding programs that I mentioned (ffmpeg, handbrake, mencoder) all work the same on any platform, be it Mac, Windows, Linux, BSD, etc.

 

I suggested a Linux rendering box for... rendering (the proxies).  In such a scenario, you would still use your current MacBook to edit the renders off of the aforementioned external SSD.

 

On the other hand, you could easily do your entire post production (including presentation animation and editing) on the same Linux box, and it could cost you as little as $200 for a used machine that is adequately snappy.  The software would all be free and open source.

 

You still have not given any information on the number of clips per video that you edit nor on the length of those clips.  If you use 5 clips per video and they are each 5 minutes in length, start the proxies rendering (in FCP?) on your current MacBook, and go make a cup of coffee.

 

 

6 hours ago, SRV1981 said:

Granted this may be the most efficient i'm seeking most efficient with Apple's products available to me.

If you are making 3 videos per week with 2 hours of camera clips to edit for each video, a cheap, separate rendering box is likely more efficient.

 

 

6 hours ago, SRV1981 said:

-I appreciate your feedback but education has changed and my individual desire to provide more engaging content to my students doesn't represent anything other than attempting to be a part of a small group of teachers who use technology to reach our students.  Chalkboards exist, I like them.  Whiteboards exist, I like them better.  Smartboards exist, I like them even better. 

Your heightened teaching efforts are certainly welcome!  However, it is doubtful that 4K is any more engaging to students than regular HD.

 

 

6 hours ago, SRV1981 said:

-My 2015 macbook pro is not a T2 chip device

Great!

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1 hour ago, tupp said:

On the other hand, you could easily do your entire post production (including presentation animation and editing) on the same Linux box, and it could cost you as little as $200 for a used machine that is adequately snappy.  The software would all be free and open source.

I like Linux (particularly fond of Linux Mint which I have on a few machines). And I LOVE saving money. But I am not sure that the OP could edit on a US $200 linux box. What would you propose as an NLE???

And would one need a particular Distro in order to run that NLE? (For instance, Resolve is coded to work on Cent OS and isn't really guaranteed to work on other Distros, although i have heard of people using it on Ubuntu).

Of course, my vision might be warped because around here, people sell their used PC's for WAY MORE than the rest of the USA. 

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Thanks all! I will try to create 720 proxies as well as film 1080 vs. 4k and see if there is a noticeable difference on the a73.  Worst case I will look into trading my 2015 MBP in for a 2020 13" MBP.  I think I have a good game plan thanks to the suggestions here.  Much appreciatd!

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9 hours ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

I am not sure that the OP could edit on a US $200 linux box.

I am sure.

 

9 hours ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

What would you propose as an NLE???

Kdenlive, Cinelerra (GG) or Blender is what I would recommend.  I have heard good things about Shotcut and Olive.  Openshot would also work for someone who doesn't need anything fancy.

 

One of the the great things about Cinelerra is the Blue Banana plugin -- a very unique and powerful color grading interface.  I wish that somebody would port it to MLV-app.

 

If one is okay with proprietary software, then there is Resolve, Lightworks or Piranha.

 

 

9 hours ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

And would one need a particular Distro in order to run that NLE?  (For instance, Resolve is coded to work on Cent OS and isn't really guaranteed to work on other Distros, although i have heard of people using it on Ubuntu).

All of the open source NLEs work on most distros.  On the other hand, there are special media distros that are worth considering, such as AV Linux and Ubuntu Studio.

 

I tried Resolve once, and I as I recall it was distributed as a tarball, and I had no problem installing it on my Debian-based distro.

 

 

9 hours ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

Of course, my vision might be warped because around here, people sell their used PC's for WAY MORE than the rest of the USA.

Not sure where you are from, but, as I recall, my current Ebay machine cost US $145.  It has an i7-3770, 3.4GHz cpu, and it came with 16 gigs of ram, two mediocre graphics cards and a 500GB drive.  I put an SSD in it and loaded a non-systemd distro.  It's fairly snappy.

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