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  • Multicamera editing in Final Cut Pro at Prores 422 HQ 1080 23.98

  • James Beattie

    April 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Working with a client who is working on a brand new Mac 8 core machine with 10 GB of ram. Os 10.6, FCP 7.0.3, Blackmagic, using facilis on 3 systems.

    They are editing multicamera footage shot on the Alexa at Prores 422 HQ 1080 23.98. During the first couple of versions for the editor’s cut, everything is working successfully. Then when they start locking a producer’s cut (adding more layers and audio) the timeline starts glitching at cuts. The facilis has plenty of bandwidth, and we are barely scratching the surface according to the bandwidth tools.

    This is also happening on a local raid volume that we created to troubleshoot.

    In the timeline it boggs down the most at layered cut points a frame glitch occurs. At that moment, there are 4 multicam clips playing back simultaneously, that have at least 2 angles each. It is my understanding that when multicam is selected that FCP will actually playback the QT file that you don’t see in a multicam clip. Which is consistent with my experience.

    After a day of testing, it looks like the issue is with the bus throughput of the video files. The system can only handle so many layers of Prores 422 HQ before it starts dropping frames. Whether it be the local drives or the high bandwidth shared storage.

    They are moving toward a proxy (LT) workflow, but they are close to locking the current episodes and would prefer to edit at Prores 422 Hq for another week.

    Has anyone had experience with this?


  • David Roth Weiss

    April 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    It’s hard to help with nothing more than the word glitch to go on. I’d suggest a bit more specificity might help get you the type of precise help you’re seeking.

    David Roth Weiss
    David Weiss Productions, Inc.
    Los Angeles


    A forum host of Creative COW’s Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.

  • James Beattie

    April 17, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Fair enough. When playing back, I will see a green flash. Then it will develop into full on video tearing, including audio blipping. Eventually the client either reboots, or the system crashes.

    This is an hour long sequences, and as the sequence develops during the editing process, the system becomes unstable.

  • James Beattie

    April 18, 2011 at 12:56 am


    Got bitten by the fact that the projects are just too darn big. Multicam means twice the number of objects, which turns into a larger project.

    I discovered that when the Final Cut Pro hit 1.9GB of ram in the activity monitor, then either you get dropout, glitches, or crashes.

    Break the projects into smaller pieces and keep an eye on the memory usage (Memory goes up when you hit play, so it sometimes causes a crash simply doing that).

    What threw us off the case was that the Black Magic card was named consistently in the error, “Final Cut Pro has unexpectedly quit due to Blackmagic Codec Plugin.”

  • John Heagy

    August 11, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Thanks for posting this James!

    We are experiencing the same thing as I type. We found a different temporary solution: Move the project and sources from our 8 core 8Gig of RAM Xsan attached MacPro, to a two year old iMac with 2Gig of RAM and a FW 800 drive.

    The seq consisted of lots of 10 cam multi-clips with 8 ch of audio on each. Just like you it started out fine but as the timeline grew so did the frequency of crashes. We figure the iMac worked because it presented a smaller playing field, resource wise, and never let FCP get behind the curve RAM wise.

    Deleting all but a single segment per project did not work. The original project was 240MB… after deleting all but one seg the size increased to 275MB??? We had to create a new empty projects and paste each seg into it. We are off the iMac now and editing on solitary timelines in 6 projects.

    FCP’s ancient code base really showing it’s age in this case!

    John Heagy

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