Long export, Quicktime Self Contained

Posted by Mike Watson 
Long export, Quicktime Self Contained
September 05, 2008 12:43PM
I'm exporting a self-contained QT movie of a 30-minute program I just completed. It's jumping between one and two hours to complete this task. I've had the same thing happen before, and can't figure out why it would take so long.

I'm on a brand-new Mac Pro with the latest FCP 6.xx. The project is in XDCamHD 29.97. Each segment was edited in it's own sequence, then the sequences were dropped into a "master" sequence with the same properties.

Re: Long export, Quicktime Self Contained
September 05, 2008 01:08PM
I'm not trying to be sarcastic, just sincerely asking: Why would you ever export a Quicktime master in XDCAM format? XDCAM is an acquisition format only. I could maybe understand if you wanted to go back to XDCAM recording media and were willing to live with another compression hit. But why would you ever go to Quicktime in that format?

Re: Long export, Quicktime Self Contained
September 05, 2008 02:17PM
We're acquiring in XDCam and editing in XDCam with ProRes renders. We play out through a Kona LHe, and it is recorded into an on-air server of some sort, from which it plays OTA. We do archive it back onto XDCam, but mostly for posterity - once it airs from the aforementioned server, it sits in a closet somewhere in perpetuity.

I need to make a few DVDs of the show. Right now, it's taking 1-2 hours to do an export to a QT, from which I burn the DVDs. I appreciate your vague insult, but would appreciate insight on the problem more. I am open to workflow changes in general, as well as changes that would help this particular project move along a little faster.
Re: Long export, Quicktime Self Contained
September 05, 2008 02:21PM
Okay, your workflow makes perfect sense now. But you shouldn't be re-encoding it to XDCAM for archiving. There's a compression hit there. You should archive in a format that's closer to being lossless, like ProRes. It'll require more storage, obviously, but you'll end up with better-looking footage and much shorter render times.

Re: Long export, Quicktime Self Contained
September 05, 2008 02:30PM
I don't know if you know the answer to this, but here's what I want to know.

I thought a self-contained quicktime (which I use all the time, although usually on 30 sec sequences) was a pointer to video files and render files. I thought the whole idea was it was a quickie export technique with a tiny file size, for temporary needs (like burning a DVD).

Why on earth would it take 1+ hours to throw this together for a 22 minute show?
Re: Long export, Quicktime Self Contained
September 05, 2008 02:36PM
Because FCP converts the footage into an I Frame format for editing, so when you then want to export back to a GOP format...via file export or print to tape...FCP needs time to put it back into that format.

This is why that is an acquisition format only...not archival nor delivery.


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Re: Long export, Quicktime Self Contained
September 05, 2008 02:37PM
You have it exactly backwards. A self-contained Quicktime is, unsurprisingly, self-contained. What you're thinking of is a reference movie.

But even then, it doesn't work the way you think it does. If you have an XDCAM timeline with ProRes rendering, then all your render files will be written to disk in ProRes format. But when you export, even if you try to create a reference movie, Final Cut will have to go back and re-render all your render files into XDCAM format. Final Cut cannot export a reference movie that mixes footage of different types. All the footage has to be in the same format, even for a reference movie.

It's taking as long as it is because rendering to XDCAM is an insanely intensive process, and your computer can only go as fast as it can go. That's why XDCAM is an acquisition codec, not an intermediate codec.

Re: Long export, Quicktime Self Contained
September 05, 2008 02:38PM
Jinx, Shane. You owe me a Coke.

Re: Long export, Quicktime Self Contained
September 07, 2008 05:40AM
ok, so you're rendering to Prores

why not just work in a Prores sequence.

everything will get rendered to Prores as a matter of course,
(and auto-render is great for this... it'll render while your're at lunch, or whatever)
when you finally go to export, it'll be much faster.
in fact you should be able to do a true reference movie,
and it WILL be fast.

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