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Now you can transcode to 4K ProRes over 3x faster with FCPX


Andrew Reid
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Ah I see, press X to select entire clip range before dragging. That does it.

No. Simply clicking it (without dragging) selects it. They you hit the appropriate keyboard shortcut Q, W or E (or even D) to edit it into the timeline. Dragging to the timeline is the most inefficient, imprecise and noobie thing to do imho. Always has been, regardless of which NLE.

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Very interesting info, thanks joema. I was transcoding 4K MJPEG -> ProRes though, not H.264. But still felt there should have been a big difference to the MBP. No longer in any rush to upgrade to a Mac Pro!

As for I/O, wasn't a bottleneck... did the test on the internal SSD.

​OK, so Quick Sync and I/O are not factors here. This leaves CPU and GPU. Traditionally GPU acceleration has limited benefit for transcoding. In fact Extremetech.com had a detailed article titled "The Wretched State of GPU Transcoding": http://www.extremetech.com/computing/128681-the-wretched-state-of-gpu-transcoding

Maybe someone with algorithmic knowledge of this (like jcs) could comment why GPUs don't help more for this task. However for any given task it must (a) map well to the GPU programming model, and (b) the programmer must take advantage of this. Not all tasks are amenable to GPU acceleration. If any part contains inherently sequential algorithms, the GPU (which is parallel) may not help. 

Assuming mostly CPU-bound multithreaded transcoding, that leaves two issues:

(1) Why was the quad-core nMP and retina iMac not considerably faster than your MBP? Your MBP is pretty fast -- an i7-4850HQ quad-core CPU with max turbo speed of 3.5Ghz. The GeekBench 2 multi-core numbers shown in MacTracker (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mactracker/id311421597?mt=8) don't indicate a big difference between your MBP, 2014 nMP and retina iMac (esp. if iMac was 3.5Ghz i5). i7-based Macs have hyperthreading which I've tested on FCP X export and it makes an approx. 30% difference between turning it on and off via the CPUSetter utility: http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/48580/cpusetter So the iMac (if i5) could have been disadvantaged by that.

(2) Why was FCP X much faster than EditReady and all other methods? Careful coding can produce great improvement, as seen by Handbrake's x.264 implementation. It is very fast, even though it's software-only. If a developer is willing to profile the app, produce an execution histogram and re-write any hot spots (maybe even in assembler), significant improvements are possible. Maybe the FCP X developers did that.

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'p and move' was introduced in 10.0.3, I think, reacting to complaints by 'experienced editors'. 

You think wrong. That's nonsense. It was there from the beginning since it in fact makes certain editing tasks easier with less clicking. But most certainly NOT for the sake of catering to the "old way" of editing because of inflexible whiners. If you need to (temporarily at best) break connections when dragging something (e.g. slipping a clip that has a connected clip), that's what the tilde (~) key is for! 

(that's assuming you're using the standard layout AND an american keyboard... otherwise check the Command Editor)

If anything, then the "Event Viewer" was added for the whiners. Something I find completely useless 99.999% of the time. Which is probably why it's not open by default and (fortunately) can be hidden.

 

It's a tool to counteract the magnetism and almost completely useless. Makes people continue to workaround.

That on the other hand is at least partially true (the last part). And anyone who is actually using the Position Tool all the time, clearly doesn't have the slightest grasp on the most basic concept of FCP X and needs to be using something else. For whatever reason they aren't anyway, if it's such a chore for them to admit that they maybe don't know better. Don't want to get it or it's beneath you to learn? Don't use it. 

Guess what. Apple actually had a lot of (brilliant) reasons for doing what they did. Adapt or simply stay in your comfort zone.

But the Position Tool is far from useless outside of that nonsensical (mis)use of it. 

 

People are frustrated by the swapping behavior, which is actually only a side-effect of the magnetic timeline, not it's main advantage. 

​Excuse me? That's the primary point of the magnetic timeline! And most certainly it's biggest advantage by far. After working with it for over three years, no logic on this planet can explain to me why it wasn't this way since the 80's when I started. It seems so logical and obvious that it would. Funny how perceptions can change... if someone has the maracas to rethink matters.

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Why was FCP X much faster than EditReady and all other methods? 

Because FCP X (as does Motion) utilises OpenCL 2.0, which in fact is very much dependant upon the GPU and uses it/them extensively, so I don't know how you could come to the conclusion that it's of "limited benefit". In the context of FCP that's (clearly) nonsense. Of course it also depends on the codec your encoding with/to, since individual codecs' milage may vary.

E.g. encoding an H.264 with "Better Quality" will be exponentially faster on a Mac Pro with its dual GPUs, which OpenCL will use both of, than any other Mac. ProRes not as much.

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lin2log: 

You may be right that the position tool was there from the start. I vaguely remember someone writing, yippieh, we've got control back in FCP! or something of that kind. And yes, it's not completely useless, only that I seldom use it. Regarding the swap behaviour of the magnetic timeline:

Excuse me? That's the primary point of the magnetic timeline! And most certainly it's biggest advantage by far. After working with it for over three years, no logic on this planet can explain to me why it wasn't this way since the 80's when I started. It seems so logical and obvious that it would. Funny how perceptions can change... if someone has the maracas to rethink matters.

​I just very rarely change the position of two adjacent clips. For I am an 'old hand' with some conservative habits regarding editing. That's why I always spend quite a while to know my footage before I throw anything into the timeline. People argue about the timeline, but in my view the event browser with skimmer, tagging (no more office-like folders to be double-clicked) and intelligent collections would justify the 300 bucks (and more) alone.

The primary storyline I use as a rough draft. I usually only trim the length of some clips to get the right timing, and I am glad of the ripple behaviour. It's like a skeleton. Afterwards I connect everything I really want in the film to this. These clips I can move and swap without ever destroying the structure I laid out before. Everybody uses an NLE in a different way. Imo there is no right or wrong. 

If anything, then the "Event Viewer" was added for the whiners. Something I find completely useless 99.999% of the time. Which is probably why it's not open by default and (fortunately) can be hidden.

​At first, I was irritated by your comment. Because, frankly, I didn't know that a second viewer existed (f.k.a. 'viewer', whereas the timeline had it's own viewer, f.k.a. 'canvas'). Learned it only just now. And it is useless. Thankfully it's hidden well.

If you need to (temporarily at best) break connections when dragging something (e.g. slipping a clip that has a connected clip), that's what the tilde (~) key is for! 

(that's assuming you're using the standard layout AND an american keyboard... otherwise check the Command Editor)

​For the record: on a german keyboard '~' needs option+n (new event), the corresponding command then is cmd+^.

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I love FCPX, but you're almost making me hate it.

:lol: And you probably think that somehow speaks for you? Spoiler: it doesn't, it just makes you appear to be a populistic, unstable and erratic driven tool.

Talk about hurting ones case. 

For the record: on a german keyboard '~' needs option+n (new event), the corresponding command then is cmd+^.

But then I made a point of specifying that that goes for an american keyboard layout only. And for the record: that german shortcut is useless, since it will activate, but not deactivate the function. You'd be well advised to change it to just the ^ key or some other single key i.e. a key without a modifier. Full fail on Apple's localisation team's part.

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joema- H.264 decode and encode can be substantially GPU accelerated. In Premiere, there is a significant speedup when using Mercury GPU acceleration for playback and rendering/transcoding. ProRes is effectively 422/444 10/12-bit MJPEG and it too can be substantially GPU accelerated (especially the DCT).

The MBP has an nVidia GPU, the iMac Retina an AMD GPU. nVidia GPUs are generally faster for video processing- that could explain a difference between iMac and MBP. Additionally, in my tests OpenCL is typically 2x slower than CUDA (not clear what FCPX is using internally, would guess OpenCL).

The iMac Retina's GPU is much more powerful: http://www.game-debate.com/gpu/index.php?gid=2258&gid2=1715&compare=radeon-r9-m295x-4gb-vs-geforce-gt-750m-2gb-gddr5, however drivers and video processing (vs. games) can make a big difference in real-world performance. If FCPX is using CUDA (in addition to OpenCL, depending on what hardware is available), that could explain a performance difference in favor of the slower hardware.

My 12-Core 2.93GHz 2010 MacPro with a Macvidcards modded PC version GTX770 is very fast for video, including 4K and only slows down with complex operations (really driver issues and Premiere GPU pipeline issues. FCPX also runs very fast, though only used for small projects and experiments. Faster hardware, such as the GTX970/980 (tested in Windows), doesn't make a significant difference. Now that the GTX980 Macvidcards version is available, I'll probably switch to it, if only for the lower power requirements. If doing video on the new MacPro, it would probably make sense to purchase an external PCIe case and install an nVidia GPU (or two if using Resolve (full version)).

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I love FCPX, but you're almost making me hate it.

And you probably think that somehow speaks for you? ​:lol: Spoiler: it doesn't. 

Talk about hurting ones case.

And who even said that I use FCP X??

For the record: on a german keyboard '~' needs option+n (new event), the corresponding command then is cmd+^.

But then I made a point of specifying that that goes for an american keyboard layout only. And for the record: that german shortcut is useless, since it will activate, but not deactivate the function. You'd be well advised to change it to just the ^ key or some other single key i.e. a key without a modifier. Full fail on Apple's localisation team's part.

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in my tests OpenCL is typically 2x slower than CUDA (not clear what FCPX is using internally, would guess OpenCL).

Then you're clearly testing with OpenCL 1.x or old drivers or something. Because OpenCL will in fact smoke CUDA any day, assuming both hard and software are optimised accordingly. Also the reason why FCP X smokes Premiere in terms of speed in pretty much all areas (as this article only confirms), especially on a new Mac Pro, where Premiere isn't even able to utilise BOTH GPUs! Thanks to OpenCL 2.0 FCP X can and does.

And even if they're using old hardware, this certainly shows there's something wrong with your testing: ​http://www.fireprographics.com/ws/mae/adobe/index.asp

 

If FCPX is using CUDA…

FCP X is most certainly not using that proprietary nonsense, no. Good thing, too, because I for one prefer open standards that aren't tied to specific hardware but work equally well no matter the hardware, thanks.

Try 4K, full-res with 3-4 filters on it and play that back without rendering on both FCP and PPro on a Mac Pro and you'll see what fast is. But not in PPro and no thanks to CUDA. Or how about a 16 angle multicam in 4K and realtime? Love to see that on PPro... ​:lol:

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If CUDA or OpenCL is faster is comparing apples with oranges, if not both softwares use them or not in the same way. Also, if I read 16 x 4k PiP, or this or that configuration renders a certain codec 30% faster - I don't care.

Once, when FCP classic had to log & transcode modern codecs prior to editing and Premiere edited the native codecs and already had the Mercury Engine on it's side, there were workflow speed contests (including performance and render times) that could only have one winner: Premiere.

Someone has a monstrously pimped workstation, graphic power in great profusion, running Premiere, his competitor just an iMac with Thunderbold raid and FCP X. They both are confronted with 500 clips with externally recorded sound, and they are to edit the same one-minute-long sequence that they get shown before, from memory. 

This is again comparing apples with oranges, of course.

This situation reminds me of the Grimm's tale The Hare And The Hedgehog. Both take part in a racing duel, but as soon as the hedgehog fells behind, he ducks. Then, at the goal, the hedgehodge's wife, looking like him, raises her head and shouts: Well, here I am!

Unfair, isn't it?

 And for the record: that german shortcut is useless, since it will activate, but not deactivate the function. You'd be well advised to change it to just the ^ key or some other single key i.e. a key without a modifier. 

 

Though I'm not enchanted by your charm, I appreciate your wit and FCP X knowledge. Maybe you're a nice fellow in real life and your avatar is your Mr. Hyde.

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@lin2log

thanks for putting me into your standard "its always been that way, why change it" box, because thats really not what i am at all. i tried fcpx shortly after it came out and even though i gave it a chance, there were many things i didnt like. so i didnt continue. congratulations that you know more about the applications possibilities today, as you clearly have a longer history with the software. im very open to new things but they have to make sense to me as a whole. and thats not the case with fcpx. and obviously i havent tried fcpx every time a new update came out. aint nobody got time for that.

i work with photoshop, illustrator, after effects and premiere, which are all layer based. now, it might be possible that there is a better way than "layers" for video editing (even though i havent experienced it yet). but having the same structure through all the creative software i use, helps me to be a lot faster this way. using photoshop and AE along with fcpx would make me less productive. rendering and exporting stuff from ae? no way in hell. i have animations opened in ae, graphics in photoshop and when i change anything, they update LIVE in premiere. thats an amount of time saving, that fcpx can never make up for.

that being said. i tried x again over the past days and there are certain things i like. oh, i hope that its ok for you lin2log that i now talk about fcpx again without knowing as much as you do... anyway, ive been experiencing weird lags in fcpx after installing lut utility. its always somewhere between a little laggy and completely unusable. im using a hackintosh, maybe that my problem, but i just cant work like this. and since fcpx doesnt support LUTs by default (right?), im in need of lut utility. so for now there is no love between fcpx and me. plus, i cant customize the ui which really drives me mad! 

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i work with photoshop, illustrator, after effects and premiere, which are all layer based. now, it might be possible that there is a better way than "layers" for video editing (even though i havent experienced it yet). but having the same structure through all the creative software i use, helps me to be a lot faster this way. using photoshop and AE along with fcpx would make me less productive. rendering and exporting stuff from ae? no way in hell. i have animations opened in ae, graphics in photoshop and when i change anything, they update LIVE in premiere. thats an amount of time saving, that fcpx can never make up for.

​Hope you don't mind if I put in my next two cents. Nobody needs to prove, let alone justify anything. Who is a lifelong user of AAE and feels on par with Andrew Kramer hardly feels any urge to jump ship. Would the inadequacy of tracks (and composition layers without edible nodes) be that self-evident as our comments suggest, they hadn't survived the last 3 1/2 years. And the wide range of tools, integrated or third party, collected as the years passed by, is awe-inspiring.

tomekk wrote:

Can someone do a list of pros, cons, differences of using both FCPX and Premiere? Does FCPX has system around it like Premiere does (after effects etc.)?

FCP X more concentrates on what most people actually need. Sure, you can do a lot with Motion (probably more than you'd expect), but it isn't AAE. Anyway, I'd guess only few use Motion to really create animations. They use effects, graphic generators, titles and the like from Motion, but within FCP X. They let others create the 'Motion templates', which can be published for FCP X, many for free. These effects you can easily adjust to your needs. Doesn't sound particularly creative? Okay, but is that tinkering with the exchangeable graphic elements mentioned above anything to be proud of anyway? Today we see match-moved lower thirds every minute, everywhere we look. Even if you found a new, baffling effect to impress clients, laboriously keyframed it together in AAE, it'd be a matter of weeks until someone cloned it, also for FCP X, and every GoPro surfer (not even primarily video-oriented) uses it effortlessly in his youtube video.

You can comp in Motion. Very good keyer and an absolutely usable tracker. Layers, a timeline, not too exotic. No roto brush, no built-in Mocha. So if 3D composition is what you're into: stay with AAE or learn Fusion.

The majority never touches these areas. They are proud to work with the 'industry standard', if that's what AAE really is, but they never use the stuff. They buy expensive plugins. Or cheap plugins that look like it.

Many of them could better do with FCP X, if they made up their minds what they really need.

... anyway, ive been experiencing weird lags in fcpx after installing lut utility. its always somewhere between a little laggy and completely unusable. im using a hackintosh, maybe that my problem, but i just cant work like this. and since fcpx doesnt support LUTs by default (right?), im in need of lut utility.

Don't know, lut utility causes no problem with my set up. FCP X has a few of the most common LUTs built in (clip properties in the inspector, Blackmagic, CanonLog, ArriLog,SonyLog). I recommend you connect an adjustment layer over your whole sequence and apply the appropriate lLUT to that. That way you can trash it as a whole before you export to Resolve.

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Because FCP X...utilises OpenCL 2.0, which in fact is very much dependant upon the GPU and uses it/them extensively, so I don't know how you could come to the conclusion that it's of "limited benefit". In the context of FCP that's (clearly) nonsense....

​My statement was "Traditionally GPU acceleration has limited benefit for transcoding", which is correct. This is talking specifically about transcoding, not GPU acceleration in general or for rendered effects. There is no doubt the GPU can greatly accelerate certain affects. E.g, applying color correction to every pixel of a frame is parallelizable, so the many parallel elements in a GPU can help.

However there is little evidence that a GPU accelerates transcoding greatly. In FCP X monitoring the GPU with iStat Menus shows little activity during export. In a recent interview with editor Scott Simmons and Andrew Page (nVidia Product Manager for Professional Video Technologies), they explained: "there are a lot of tasks that can't be broken down to be parallel: encoding is one, decoding some of the camera compressed formats is another one...what happens in frame 2 depends one frame 1, we do something to frame 1 then feed the results into frame 2....that's pretty much an encoding problem...everything is interrelated, so we can't break it up into lots of different simultaneous things." (That Studio Show podcast, 5/20/14: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/that-studio-show/id293692362?mt=2)

Maybe eventually some clever developer will figure out how to more effectively harness the GPU for encoding but as of today it hasn't happened to a great degree.

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Well, thank you for an additional display of your lack of knowledge of FCP X. Thank you.

And for the record: I couldn't care any less which NLE you choose to use, nor am I in the business of selling anyone anything, let alone FCP, so I'd have absolutely ZERO advantage or disadvantage to you using FCP or anything else. This is about making nonsensical claims about something one knows little to nothing about, but having the hubris to present them as fact. Nothing else. So there's no need for you to justify your choices to me, they're irrelevant.

Oh, and you might want to get that shift-key checked.

 

i tried fcpx shortly after it came out and even though i gave it a chance, there were many things i didnt like. 

 Oh, right. Therefore one should be talking about the current version based on mere fiddling-knowledge of it, as it was four years ago. Makes total sense to me!

 

and obviously i havent tried fcpx every time a new update came out. aint nobody got time for that.

Be sure not to let that stop you from engaging in conversations about it and telling everyone how useless it is, what's missing, yadda yadda yadda nonetheless though! That'd be silly.

 

i have animations opened in ae, graphics in photoshop and when i change anything, they update LIVE in premiere.

Wow. That's cool! Sounds oddly exactly like... working with Motion and Photoshop in FCP X! Weird. 

Of course you know everything about Motion, too, to know that it couldn't possibly do any if not everything you do in AE if you were to switch, no doubt. And never mind that Motion is exponentially faster than AE (I think it's called realtime or something) when working... but that apparently doesn't pose an amazing time-savings to you. Having to render everything in your NLE to get any sort of realtime instead makes much more sense. Agreed. :rolleyes:

And... HUH??... how is FCP "layered" any differently than PPro??!  :wacko:

 

i hope that its ok for you lin2log that i now talk about fcpx again without knowing as much as you do... 

Oh, no worries. I've grasped the fact that you don't want to like FCP X no matter what, even if it's just due to mere lack of any real knowledge of it, yes. To think someone might actually want to learn the software he's using (let alone talking about) first is just ludicrous, I know. Putting it off with (surely utterly detrimental!) "things" you don't like (or just plain don't get) without actually being specific (since that could get embarrassing) is the far easier route. I know.

 

im using a hackintosh, maybe that my problem

*faceplam*... no comment.

 

but i just cant work like this. 

Hmmmm.... then... don't?! 

Simply stick with what you (claim to) know! Wow. Problem solved. 

Just maybe do yourself the simple favour of not talking about things you know little to nothing about. You could be mistaken for a troll just trying to justify his (apparently insecure?) decisions by trash-talking those of others.

 

and since fcpx doesnt support LUTs by default (right?)

Case in point, thank you! Spoiler: wrong. It has various built-in LUTs and does native log processing, or can use a simple plugin if something is missing or you want to use your own. 

Oops.

 

im in need of lut utility. 

Uuuuuuummmmmrrmm.... yeah.... SO?! :huh: I guess the 29 bucks for LUT Utility are somehow a complete no-go or something? In which case I'd say you have much bigger problems than just your choice of NLE... 

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Sure, you can do a lot with Motion (probably more than you'd expect), but it isn't AAE.

You might try to not lump compositors in with people that just plain need a really nice and fast lower third​ or graphic animation for their every day editing tasks. There are far more of those than there are some high-end compositors! The ones not in need of fitting a CG dinosaur into a meadow with exploding meteorites and 5000 ogres attacking. That's not what Motion is or ever was meant for no. Go to AE, Nuke, Fusion or whatever for that, by all means! What Motion does it does superbly and (given the right minimum hardware) in realtime. Not exactly something AE or the others can boast about. It's actually rather pathetic imho...

https://vimeo.com/69563518 

... and that's an old video and also the perfect reason NOT to use them for that kind of thing and why Motion is in fact a much better choice in that case, yes! Obviously, especially in the context of FCP X. Its integration is FAR deeper in FCP than AE is in PPro, too.

 

Anyway, I'd guess only few use Motion to really create animations. 

 No. No one. At least not people like the Wall Street Journal

http://on.wsj.com/1wN5ZoE

or even USA Today

http://www.usatoday.com/videos/sports/2015/01/20/22056111/ (just one of MANY of theirs that I could find off the bat)

Just like no "real professional" uses FCP X. :D 

 

They let others create the 'Motion templates'

Aside from obviously not being any shame in that, if it saves you time... do you mean like AE, C4D and various other users do, too?? How is that in any way unique to Motion? You realise of course, that there are exponentially more sites offering templates for AE and others, rather than for Motion, right?

And if someone ain't doing it themselves in AE, then they sure as hell ain't doing it in Motion either... as well as the other way around. If they are, they'll continue to do so with Motion.

 

Layers, a timeline, not too exotic. 

Huh? As opposed to which "exotic" appearance in AE?

 

No roto brush, no built-in Mocha. So if 3D composition is what you're into: stay with AAE or learn Fusion.

​Roto brush. Yeah, there's something people need aaaaaaaall the time. Never mind Motion's b-splines and various other tools that AE doesn't have. And get TrackX and you have a mocha tracker built in or send data over from mocha Pro! (Motion's own sucks, sorry)

But yeah, as you point out perfectly, those are highly specialised areas and tasks that I'll guarantee you not even 90+% of AE users EVER need.

And how exactly is there no 3D compositing in Motion??

 

I recommend you connect an adjustment layer over your whole sequence and apply the appropriate lLUT to that. That way you can trash it as a whole before you export to Resolve.

Why would you do that? To reapply it in Resolve? And simply leaving them on is bad because...? You realise of course, that any and all color changes you have applied in FCP X, including (built-in) LUTs, are carried over to Resolve via XML, no?

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