Video acceleration on Power Macs / QuickTime / FCP

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Shiunbird
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Video acceleration on Power Macs / QuickTime / FCP

Unread postby Shiunbird » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:22 am

Hi guys, Happy Holidays!

I've been trying to learn a bit of video editing stuff, and I'm putting my G5 Quad to work.
My workflow currently consists of transcoding video from my DSLR from H.264 24.93fps 1080p to Apple ProRes using Compressor, working in FCP, and then exporting the final product back to H.264. The H.264-ProRes-H.264 step is done using my 2011 Mac Mini - it's far more efficient.

Storage is currently on a FreeNAS box built out of a HP MicroServer Gen8, using link aggregation so I can get 2ish Gbps from the NAS to the G5 (the G5 connects itself to the rest of my network using AirPort). It can push around 120MB/s without much CPU overhead on the G5 end. The NAS is using 40-50% of CPU when the load is heavy. It's enough for me.

The G5 can handle most of what I throw at it fine, even with RT Unlimited and very few frame drops. Sometimes, however, it asks me to render stuff for preview, and I still don't know what causes it.

Here is my question: I was looking into getting something like an used KONA 3 - there are fine examples with ok prices on eBay. How much would that help me? I was checking the documentation and I couldn't get if, with a KONA 3, I can do more it starts asking for renders, or what kind of work it relieves the CPU from, or if my exports are faster, etc..

I know Final Cut allows you to choose what kind of codec is processed where...

So how much would that help me? Anyone around with experience in the area?

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Re: Video acceleration on Power Macs / QuickTime / FCP

Unread postby toasty » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:51 am

The secret to editing with FCP on a G5 or older Mac is to do what's called offline editing. You basically capture your media in low resolution (or make low res copies of your already captured high res media), edit in low res, and then conform your edited sequence to the high resolution version. Editing would be a breeze as you are only working with standard definition videos. And you just let your computer do the crunching all night long when it's time to spit out the hi def version.

https://documentation.apple.com/en/finalcutpro/usermanual/index.html#chapter=91%26section=2%26tasks=true

This is what editors in film and television have done for years until computers were fast enough to directly edit 1080p, 2K, 4K, 3840934293K, etc.
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Re: Video acceleration on Power Macs / QuickTime / FCP

Unread postby Shiunbird » Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:57 pm

Oh, thanks for the tip! It sounds pretty obvious now that I'm reading it.

Not to go into the 3984293048290384K silliness. We lived SD for a few decades, and I thought we would spend at least 20 years on HDTV. I just bought a decent TV 4 years ago and I'm not buying a new one. The amount of trash this foolishness generates is insane: capable computers go to trash because of YouTube. And monitors. And TVs. And broadcasting equipment.

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Re: Video acceleration on Power Macs / QuickTime / FCP

Unread postby uunix » Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:14 pm

Shiunbird wrote:Here is my question: I was looking into getting something like an used KONA 3 - there are fine examples with ok prices on eBay. How much would that help me? I was checking the documentation and I couldn't get if, with a KONA 3, I can do more it starts asking for renders, or what kind of work it relieves the CPU from, or if my exports are faster, etc..


I don't work in the area you are describing, but I got myself one of these and used it for pre-source converting for my discreet system and it worked brilliantly. It would easily take any input and throw out what I wanted. My Card came with the rack mount modules as well, which was great. I don't use it now, since I've finally mastered the art of VHS -> Betacam -> Flame and I'm nearly 99% complete with my 2 year goal to setup a super system.

2 Years to buy everything in the world related to 625 converting VHS.. which I could do for £20 on a mac and I've only got 3 tapes to do anyway.. ah keeps me off the streets I suppose.
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Re: Video acceleration on Power Macs / QuickTime / FCP

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:27 pm

To toasty you listen. That said, I generally edit in native Apple Intermediate Codec on my Quad.
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Re: Video acceleration on Power Macs / QuickTime / FCP

Unread postby Shiunbird » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:00 am

uunix wrote:2 Years to buy everything in the world related to 625 converting VHS.. which I could do for £20 on a mac and I've only got 3 tapes to do anyway.. ah keeps me off the streets I suppose.


I know the feeling. Not being rich, we’ve all got to wait to gather what we need for specific projects, and sometimes that wait makes me anxious. My pile of projects grows up faster than I clear it. It’s maddening.

And yes, you do 3 tapes, done. =)

ClassicHasClass wrote:To toasty you listen. That said, I generally edit in native Apple Intermediate Codec on my Quad.


Hmmmm… I thought of using the Intermediate Codec, but when I saw it could handle ProRes, I settled for it. Have you ever compared both? I’ll check it out.

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Re: Video acceleration on Power Macs / QuickTime / FCP

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Thu Dec 29, 2016 3:22 am

ProRes IIRC is going to be overall slower, although in fairness you'll get better quality and colourspace from it. Since my workflow doesn't really benefit from that, however, I use AIC, which is smaller than ProRes and faster to edit.

Note that if I were editing on an Intel Mac I'd just use ProRes; AIC doesn't really have any advantage there.
smit happens.

:Fuel: bigred, 900MHz R16K, 4GB RAM, V12 DCD, 6.5.30
:Indy: indy, 150MHz R4400SC, 256MB RAM, XL24, 6.5.10
:Indigo2IMP: purplehaze, 175MHz R10000, Solid IMPACT
probably posted from Image bruce, Quad 2.5GHz PowerPC 970MP, 16GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.4.11
plus IBM POWER6 p520 * Apple Network Server 500 * RDI PrecisionBook * BeBox * Solbourne S3000 * Commodore 128 * many more...

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Re: Video acceleration on Power Macs / QuickTime / FCP

Unread postby Shiunbird » Thu Dec 29, 2016 6:17 am

Thank you for all the tips.

I'm going to do a few comparisons. My sources are mostly H.264 MPEG-4 AVC 4:2:0 YUV videos from a Nikon D7000. 1080p / 29.98 fps. The bitrate is around 18Mbps.

The quality is not great, specially since I end up having to shoot at higher ISOs, even though I'm using 1.8 aperture.

I tried using my Mac Mini for editing, but:
1. When it's idle, it's great. But when the fans are blowing, it's far more annoying than the G5. Whiny high pitched fan.
2. I don't necessarily like Final Cut X (or didn't take the time to learn it properly).

In the past, I edited internal material for my first job and I had Final Cut 2 on a G4 733, so I'm much used to the interface. I just haven't really touched it in years.

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Re: Video acceleration on Power Macs / QuickTime / FCP

Unread postby uunix » Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:16 am

Shiunbird wrote:2.(or didn't take the time to learn it properly).

True with all software, the more you become familiar the nicer it is.
I spent a good few hours (days?) trying to rotate a small clip 90 degrees in Flame.. I managed to do it after going through the books, but then had some crazy layer in the film, which took more time to remove. I achieved it but ask me to do it again.. :?

It's all a big learning curve when you're new.
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