PDA

View Full Version : Need FAST Way To Do Videos



Strick9
12-29-2015, 05:54 PM
Long time lurker on Mac forums, first time poster.

Myself and a small group of people run a citizen journalism ring. We focus mainly on video recording events around the area. We're trying to become more professional in our methods, and one of the ways we're trying to improve on is getting our footage uploaded as quickly as possible.

Our cameras run AVCHD, which I've come to despise, but the battery life of our Sony Handycams absolutely slays anything from any other manufacturer by several hours.

Our videos are usually pretty basic. Some titling of the event and date, some titling of people or certain things that should be pointed out in the videos, basic cutting, sometimes inserting a freeze frame or a still picture, and sometimes zooming in. We've been using iMovie 9.X for a few years, which does everything we need done. There are a few main issues with our process; The time that it takes for iMovie to import, build thumbnails, and export, along with the massive file size that iMovie creates.

Between us, we have 3 MacBooks; 1 mid 2010 15", 1 mid 2010 13", 1 mid 2014 13". The 2010s have recently been upgraded to max 8 GB RAM and SSD drives, both running 2.66 i7 dual cores. Laptops are essential for us because a lot of our work is in the field. For 2 of us, buying new machines is way out of the budget, so we're trying to maximize the 2010 machines. Most of what we're trying to improve on centers around the 2010 machines. The 2010 15" is mine, and I did a fresh install of El Capitan on the new SSD, and also have a slave SSD in the optical drive slot and I've tried many of the methods below writing to that drive as well as the master drive.

We've set up a benchtest of a 30 minute video done with the Handycams, then exporting a random 4 minute clip, and we're measuring import and export times, which are the number one priorities that we want to improve on.

In iMovie 9.0.8, these times have not improved with the SSDs. In fact, the import takes a bit longer now, at just over 9 minutes for a 30 minute clip. The thumbnail creation is much quicker, though, and is really the only significant improvement with the SSDs. Using the default "share" option in iMovie to 720 takes just over 9 minutes to export a 4 minute clip, and 20+ minutes to make a 2080 file. The 2014 machine exports the 4 minute clip in about 5 minutes.

We've tried iMovie 10.1, as well. The import is MUCH faster, takes about 1 minute to import the 30 minute clip. VERY NICE! That's what we want! Very little in the way of reencoding anything, and the file size is about 1/5 of what 9.X creates. However, the export on 10.1 is ridicurous. Takes about 25 minutes to export the 4 minute clip.

We've tried some other apps, too. FCPX crashes on export in El Capitan. Premiere doesn't bring in the audio when doing a direct import of the AVCHD, but does have the audio when I bring in the .mov clip that iMovie 10.1 creates. Premiere, however, takes about 10 minutes to export the 4 minute clip. VideoPad also takes too long on the export.

We're fine with the import time and file creation that iMovie 10.1 does, so we are totally down with using that solely for the import, then using another app for the editing and export, but we'd prefer to just use one app to do it all. There has GOT TO BE A SIMPLE WAY to export these to 1080 that doesn't take more than twice as long as the clip itself. We've tried matching up the exact codec and other things from the 10.1 clip in hopes that whatever we use doesn't have to reencode the entire clip, but so far no luck. Why in the hell does it take 25 minutes to export this in iMovie 10.1, using the clip that it created?

Other than spending $3000 each for new machines, does anyone have any suggestions?

chas_m
12-29-2015, 06:38 PM
I'd suggest you get to the bottom of what's causing the crashes in FCPX, as that's your best bet. But any machine is going to re-render the video once you've added stuff to it, so any machine is going to take a little while exporting the video.

joema
01-27-2016, 05:32 PM
....Our cameras run AVCHD, which I've come to despise...main issues with our process; The time that it takes for iMovie to import, build thumbnails, and export, along with the massive file size that iMovie creates....we have 3 MacBooks; 1 mid 2010 15", 1 mid 2010 13", 1 mid 2014 13". The 2010s have recently been upgraded to max 8 GB RAM and SSD drives, both running 2.66 i7 dual cores....For 2 of us, buying new machines is way out of the budget, so we're trying to maximize the 2010 machines. Most of what we're trying to improve on centers around the 2010 machines....In iMovie 9.0.8, these times have not improved with the SSDs....Using the default "share" option in iMovie to 720 takes just over 9 minutes to export a 4 minute clip, and 20+ minutes to make a 2080 file. The 2014 machine exports the 4 minute clip in about 5 minutes...tried iMovie 10.1, as well. The import is MUCH faster, takes about 1 minute to import the 30 minute clip. VERY NICE! That's what we want! Very little in the way of reencoding anything, and the file size is about 1/5 of what 9.X creates. However, the export on 10.1 is ridicurous. Takes about 25 minutes to export the 4 minute clip....FCPX crashes on export in El Capitan....Premiere, however, takes about 10 minutes to export the 4 minute clip....We're fine with the import time and file creation that iMovie 10.1 does, so we are totally down with using that solely for the import, then using another app for the editing and export, but we'd prefer to just use one app to do it all. There has GOT TO BE A SIMPLE WAY to export these to 1080 that doesn't take more than twice as long as the clip itself....Why in the hell does it take 25 minutes to export this in iMovie 10.1, using the clip that it created?...

I can't answer everything but here are a few comments. Your 2010 machines are likely using Intel "Arrandale" CPUs, which is the same architectural generation as Clarksdale. In terms of H264/AVCHD video editing the main issue is that chip does not have Quick Sync which is Intel's on-chip hardware transcoder. The 2014 13" should have this. Given appropriate software (FCPX) Quick Sync can accelerate H264 encode and decode by 4x.

However new laptops are expensive and you already have a partial solution for import. I don't know why FCPX is crashing -- it should not. It is highly optimized for the Mac platform. In my tests it is 5x to 10x faster than Premiere CC on the same hardware in terms of frame rate during FF, and several times faster during export. I would suggest staying with iMovie 10.1 and/or figure out the problems with FCPX.

I don't know the internals of iMovie but FCPX does not really edit AVCHD directly; it is "re-wrapped" on import and a buffer of ProRes footage is invisibly edited in the timeline. On export the timeline must be rendered (meaning all effects and edits applied) then it must be transcoded to the final format, even if that is H264 -- similar to the import codec. There is no way around that.

Here are some suggestions to possibly try:

(1) Externally re-wrap all AVCHD material to MOV using ClipWrap before import. The re-wrap does not transcode and is very fast. This should make the import faster; it will definitely make it easier to manage and inspect the footage before import: http://www.divergentmedia.com/clipwrap

ReWrapAVCHD is free and supposedly does the same thing but I have not tested it: http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/39800/rewrapavchd

(2) The 2014 machine probably has a CPU with Quick Sync. FCPX on that machine should export faster than any other software, provided you select the right export option. That is Share>Master File>Settings, and pick Format: Computer, and Video Codec: H.264 Faster Encode. For web upload pick 720p, it is 1/2 the size and 1080p has limited benefit for web distribution as viewed on most devices.

(3) Pursue whatever is causing FCPX to crash. It should run fine on those machines. If you re-wrap with ClipWrap or ReWrapAVCHD before import, it might not crash. Re-wrapping AVCHD before import also allows maintaining all your media external to the library. This in turn allows use of a "lean library" which contains only your edits, no media. This lean library is small enough to email between editors. I won't go into the procedure here but it is pretty straightforward. Some of the items are discussed around 07:45 in this MacBreak Studio tutorial:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZXmtZFWEmY

In theory you could edit on the 2010 machine, email the edits to the 2014 machine which may be faster to export from.

FCPX also supports proxy files which can facilitate collaborative work between editors in the field. This may or may not apply to you. See this MacBreak Studio tutorial:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN-ArQnHQTc

FCPX also does not require the source and destination media trees have the same structure between two different computers. It can search your entire disk drive and relink all the media files.

This MacBreak Studio episode covers it starting around 04:10. The specific relink procedure starts at about 08:00.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwKVVZixgk0

MightyGem
01-28-2016, 03:55 PM
ReWrapAVCHD is free and supposedly does the same thing but I have not tested it:
I've used this, and it works fine.