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Old 11-05-2018, 08:00 PM   #1
Jack08
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Large Project won't play- Help!

Hello, so I am in a very unique situation and need some help.

I am editing a large project on an older version of Final Cut Pro (6). I know, I know, I should upgrade. I made sure to convert all my video files to Apple ProRes 422. Everything was going great until one day after turning off my old mac for a few days, I opened up my project and found that it could no longer play my project. Everything feels extremely laggy, and it only plays for a few seconds before dropping frames.

I don't know what changed in that time. I know I'm stressing my system somewhat with how much video I'm working with, but I was editing just fine for a long time. So I know my computer is capable of handling this much video; I think there is a setting that I must have wrong somewhere.

All my footage is stored on a 7.28TB Lacie hard drive. So is my project file and scratch disks (I hope that's all right?)
There are currently 888 gigabytes free on this external lacie drive. I don't think this is the issue because I remember this number going down to around 750 gigs free, and the project slowed down a bit but still played fine. I agree I could be wrong on this though.

My computer is an old mac (can get you the specific specs if you need it)

My footage is 23.98 fps
1920 x 1080
13.6mb/sec data rate

My sequence settings are also using prores 422 as the compressor.

For system settings, my RT setting is on safe. My video quality setting is on low.

My Final Cut project file is 11 mbs.

I have tried trashing preferences, and it now gives me a message saying "One or more frames was dropped during playback. It gives me some ideas on how to fix, like lowering compression data rate. Also in red, it tells me that RT Extreme has determined these dropped frames were caused by slow disks. I can elaborate here if needed.

Let me know what else I can share that would help. I would super appreciate any ideas on what's causing this huge change, whereas for weeks I was playing and editing with this large project just fine.
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:04 PM   #2
AcousticAl
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Are you using FireWire 400, or 800?

How many sequences do you have open in the project? FCP versions before FCPX could slow down drastically if too many sequences were open at one time.

Try deleting all the render files (can be done from within FCP) and re-rendering the entire timeline in one pass. That opens up space on the drive and simplifies playback.

The drive shouldn’t pass 80% capacity or it can slow down.

Also try moving the project file to the desktop and launching from there. The media drive should be for media, not for anything else.

There’s also a chance the drive could be failing. I’ve had LaCie drives go bad on me before. That’s kind of a worst case scenario, but it’s in the realm of possibility. I’d back up the project media to another drive if possible.
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:36 PM   #3
Jack08
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Thank you so much for your reply, AcousticAl!

It says firewire 800 on the drive.

I have only one sequence open in the project.

I am definitely going to try deleting all the render files and re-rendering. That's a great idea!

I will clear more space on the Lacie drive.

I will also try moving the project file to the desktop and launching from there.

Hopefully the drive isn't failing! Will let you know how it goes.
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:43 PM   #4
AcousticAl
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It says firewire 800 on the drive.
Okay... so are you connecting to the Mac with FW800, or did you have to adapt it to FW400? This is kind of important to know.

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Originally Posted by Jack08 View Post
I have only one sequence open in the project.
Just out of curiosity... how big a sequence? Is your entire project in a single sequence? If so, what’s the run time? 11MB is actually on the larger side for a FCP project file. If you’re dealing with a feature, it’s actually helpful to work in reels, about 15-20 minutes each.
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:05 PM   #5
Jack08
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Good questions! I am connecting straight from the external drive to the mac, so I assume there is no adapting to 400.

With the sequence size, I have to come clean that I've been making it way too long. The overall video is currently about 58 minutes, but I performed my horrible habit of keeping many clips of raw footage toward the end of my timeline in case I need to grab them quickly. I will never do this again, as I see now that it could easily have contributed to my trouble. I will work with it in 15-20 min chunks for now on.

For deleting my render files within FCP and re-rendering, is there a specific guide or way I should do this? Is it just Tools>Render Manager: Clicking remove on both audio and video? I want to make sure I do this right.

Last edited by Jack08; 11-05-2018 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 11-06-2018, 05:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by AcousticAl View Post
Okay... so are you connecting to the Mac with FW800, or did you have to adapt it to FW400? This is kind of important to know.



Just out of curiosity... how big a sequence? Is your entire project in a single sequence? If so, what’s the run time? 11MB is actually on the larger side for a FCP project file. If you’re dealing with a feature, it’s actually helpful to work in reels, about 15-20 minutes each.
Update: I tried to clear more space on my LaCie hard drive, but I got error code 36 (could not be completed). I then tried repairing my LaCie drive with Disk Utility, but unfortunately got the message saying that my LaCie drive could not be repaired! Now my LaCie drive is unmounted. The data report says:



Now what should I do?

Edit: I've contacted LaCie support. Man I hope our warranty is still active....

Last edited by Jack08; 11-06-2018 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:15 PM   #7
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Sounds like a drive failure to me. You did back up all your footage to a backup drive, right?
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:24 PM   #8
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Sounds like a drive failure to me. You did back up all your footage to a backup drive, right?
Thankfully I did, but there was still lots of other things on the 7tb hard drive that I just didn't have the space to back up anywhere else. I really hope I can somehow magically get this sorted out by getting it repaired through their support, or maybe Disk Warrior.

Now the drive will mount after a long time of waiting for it, but the icon has changed. It says I have 1.2 tbs out of 7.28 tbs available, so maybe that's an okay sign.... I'm not sure what's going to happen

Sigh, it's quite a huge hassle as I try to create this documentary for my client.

But thanks again Acoustic for your advice! I'll keep you updated.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:23 PM   #9
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Thankfully I did, but there was still lots of other things on the 7tb hard drive that I just didn't have the space to back up anywhere else.

Sigh, it's quite a huge hassle as I try to create this documentary for my client.
USB drives are dirt cheap, and great for keeping backup copies of all your extras (graphics files, sound files, etc.). They’re also good for keeping backups of footage. If I were you, I’d get one first thing in the morning (grab a G-tech from your local Apple Store) and back up the extra stuff while the drive is still agreeing to mount.

For future projects, always make sure that you have full backups of everything needed for the project. RAID is also a great option for keeping failsafes on hand.
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:33 PM   #10
Jack08
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Originally Posted by AcousticAl View Post
USB drives are dirt cheap, and great for keeping backup copies of all your extras (graphics files, sound files, etc.). They’re also good for keeping backups of footage. If I were you, I’d get one first thing in the morning (grab a G-tech from your local Apple Store) and back up the extra stuff while the drive is still agreeing to mount.

For future projects, always make sure that you have full backups of everything needed for the project. RAID is also a great option for keeping failsafes on hand.
That makes sense! I'll look into that. Thank you!
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Old 11-28-2018, 06:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by AcousticAl View Post
USB drives are dirt cheap, and great for keeping backup copies of all your extras (graphics files, sound files, etc.). They’re also good for keeping backups of footage. If I were you, I’d get one first thing in the morning (grab a G-tech from your local Apple Store) and back up the extra stuff while the drive is still agreeing to mount.

For future projects, always make sure that you have full backups of everything needed for the project. RAID is also a great option for keeping failsafes on hand.
UPDATE! I sent in the drive to the manufacturer and had them put the data on either 1 or 2 new drives that they are now shipping to me (depending on the size of the drives they're providing). AcousticAI, THANK YOU again so much for your advice. Now I would just like to make sure I start editing again the right way and reconnect my FCP Scratch the right way.

I will of course back up everything first. Then I am used to FCP having its scratch disks set to the Lacie drive that no longer exists.... I feel like that might create some trouble for me as I try to get back to editing my project... do I just reset my scratch disks and try to reconnect everything by clicking "Reconnect Media?" I feel like it won't be as simple as I'd like it to be.

For instance, when I open up my FCP project file from the Mac desktop, it just shows everything as offline as you'd expect. I have the option to click reconnect, which I plan to do, but I just want to make sure that I do it the right way, like making sure my new files are following a new directory that works well and gets me back to where I was editing before.

Edit: Oh also I assume it would be a good idea to re-render my render files after reconnecting? Is it just Tools>Render Manager: Clicking remove on both audio and video? Just making sure I do it correctly and that it's a good idea to still do it.

Last edited by Jack08; 11-28-2018 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 11-28-2018, 07:34 PM   #12
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When you have the new drives connected and open FCP and the project, you’ll get the “offline media” warning. Reconnecting is easy. Locate or search, depending on if you want FCP to scan for it, or you want to manually point it to the directory. Since you’ve swapped out drives, FCP probably won’t be able to find it on its own.

Manually reconnecting can be a huge pain, depending on how you have your media organized (how many folders and subfolders the files are in). You’ll have to point FCP to each one. The good news is, if you point it to a single file in the folder, it will reconnect anything else in that folder.

Regarding render files, skip reconnecting them. In fact, you could even go into the render folder on your drive before you launch the project and empty it out. Trash all the render files.

Once you have all your media reconnected, go to Sequence>Render All>Video. Then do the same with audio if you need to.
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Old 11-28-2018, 08:03 PM   #13
Jack08
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Originally Posted by AcousticAl View Post
When you have the new drives connected and open FCP and the project, you’ll get the “offline media” warning. Reconnecting is easy. Locate or search, depending on if you want FCP to scan for it, or you want to manually point it to the directory. Since you’ve swapped out drives, FCP probably won’t be able to find it on its own.

Manually reconnecting can be a huge pain, depending on how you have your media organized (how many folders and subfolders the files are in). You’ll have to point FCP to each one. The good news is, if you point it to a single file in the folder, it will reconnect anything else in that folder.

Regarding render files, skip reconnecting them. In fact, you could even go into the render folder on your drive before you launch the project and empty it out. Trash all the render files.

Once you have all your media reconnected, go to Sequence>Render All>Video. Then do the same with audio if you need to.
That is extremely helpful to know. I'll do as you've advised and let you know how it goes. Thanks so much, Acoustic! You're a life saver!
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Old 12-11-2018, 08:20 PM   #14
Jack08
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Originally Posted by AcousticAl View Post
When you have the new drives connected and open FCP and the project, you’ll get the “offline media” warning. Reconnecting is easy. Locate or search, depending on if you want FCP to scan for it, or you want to manually point it to the directory. Since you’ve swapped out drives, FCP probably won’t be able to find it on its own.

Manually reconnecting can be a huge pain, depending on how you have your media organized (how many folders and subfolders the files are in). You’ll have to point FCP to each one. The good news is, if you point it to a single file in the folder, it will reconnect anything else in that folder.

Regarding render files, skip reconnecting them. In fact, you could even go into the render folder on your drive before you launch the project and empty it out. Trash all the render files.

Once you have all your media reconnected, go to Sequence>Render All>Video. Then do the same with audio if you need to.
Hi Acoustic, so I have an update and I'm not quite sure the best way to proceed. I'd really value your opinion.

So initially, I completed a rough cut of my project on FCP 6 and my Mac 10.4.11.

I paid $1600, and Seagate sent me a new external drive that thankfully has all my scratch video files that I needed (tested it on a modern mac I sometimes have access to). Unfortunately, this modern drive is NOT compatible with my old Mac 10.4.11 (fyi I did initially tell them my operating system, and asked that they send me a drive that's compatible! Ugh). It is only compatible with Mac 10.6.8 and higher. Seagate told me that they could not send me another hard drive with the data that is compatible with my old mac

So I've been wrestling with how to transfer the files (it's unfortunately 492 gigs) to my old mac editing station. It feels tough. I do have a different 2TB external drive (which is thankfully compatible with everything), BUT it won't allow me to copy video files over 4 gigs to it. I know you mentioned USB drives, but wouldn't a hard drive be better for editing? Maybe I should purchase a hard drive that is somehow compatible with an old Mac and is formatted to accept video files over 4 gigs? Is that possible?

Seagate suggested that I contact Apple support and upgrade my old Mac to 10.6.8, which I'm open to, but I'm not sure if upgrading to a new OS would have any repercussions to my FCP 6 project. I plan to call Apple and ask them about this.

Also, at my work (I'm the only video guy here) they might buy me an upgraded Mac Pro, which is kind of crazy. But they have the money for it and want me to be able to edit modern 4k surgery footage, so I think it will happen at this point. For my project, I did all my editing though in FCP 6, so while I'd like to resume editing on a Mac Pro, I guess I would need to install FCP 6 on it somehow? I doubt FCP X would be compatible with my old FCP 6 file. I do have an export of my rough cut that I guess I could also paste into FCP X, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea...

I have a lot of info here and a lot of choices, so I guess I'd just like to hear what you would focus on in my place if your goal is to get back to work editing a documentary project and doing a good job on it. I appreciate you taking the time to hear me out!


Edit: OH SHOOT I forgot that I have another external hard drive that might be perfect for transferring all my project footage to it! I think it will be compatible with both my editing work station AND the modern mac that I have access to after office hours (AND I think it is formatted to accept video files over 4 gigs no problem!) I think all I need to do is transfer the footage to it and edit from there. It's a bit of an older hard drive, so I need to be extra careful with it and always back everything up, but I believe I should try this!

Still feel free to let me know what you think, of course! ><

Last edited by Jack08; 12-11-2018 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 12-11-2018, 08:50 PM   #15
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I paid $1600, and Seagate sent me a new external drive that thankfully has all my scratch video files that I needed (tested it on a modern mac I sometimes have access to). Unfortunately, this modern drive is NOT compatible with my old Mac 10.4.11 (fyi I did initially tell them my operating system, and asked that they send me a drive that's compatible! Ugh). It is only compatible with Mac 10.6.8 and higher. Seagate told me that they could not send me another hard drive with the data that is compatible with my old mac

So I've been wrestling with how to transfer the files (it's unfortunately 492 gigs) to my old mac editing station. It feels tough. I do have a different 2TB external drive (which is thankfully compatible with everything), BUT it won't allow me to copy video files over 4 gigs to it. I know you mentioned USB drives, but wouldn't a hard drive be better for editing? Maybe I should purchase a hard drive that is somehow compatible with an old Mac and is formatted to accept video files over 4 gigs? Is that possible?
Ho geez. Well, first of all... I never use Seagate. I have G-tech drives comin’ out my ears and they’re compatible with even my older Macs (OS 10.x) that have legacy software on them. Not sure what Seagate did in their drivers that can’t work with your 10.4 system but that’s a bit ridiculous. Go get yourself a G-tech drive or two for projects moving forward.

Your 2TB drives are formatted to Fat32 or exFat, which is why they have a 4GB/file limitation. You need to clear one of those drives off and reformat it to HFS using your Mac’s disk utility. Then you should be able to move as much data as you need to.

USB drives are not for editing. They’re for backup. For each project I have a Thunderbolt drive I use for editing, and a USB drive that I use to keep a backup of all my footage, sound, and graphics.

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Seagate suggested that I contact Apple support and upgrade my old Mac to 10.6.8, which I'm open to, but I'm not sure if upgrading to a new OS would have any repercussions to my FCP 6 project. I plan to call Apple and ask them about this.
While, in theory, as long as the OS is not updated past compatibility with FCP 6, it is never a good idea to update OS or software mid-edit. It may be fine, but if something goes wrong it’ll wreck your project, possibly past the point of getting it back.

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Also, at my work (I'm the only video guy here) they might buy me an upgraded Mac Pro, which is kind of crazy. But they have the money for it and want me to be able to edit modern 4k surgery footage, so I think it will happen at this point. For my project, I did all my editing though in FCP 6, so while I'd like to resume editing on a Mac Pro, I guess I would need to install FCP 6 on it somehow? I doubt FCP X would be compatible with my old FCP 6 file. I do have an export of my rough cut that I guess I could also paste into FCP X, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea...
If you’re gonna update, you’re gonna need to really update. That means the latest OS and FCPX.

To move a project from FCP6 to FCPX requires a little song and dance. Keep your old Mac running with 10.4.11 and FCP6 in case you need to go back fro any reason. You’ll export an XML file from your FCP6 project. Then you’ll use an app called SendToX on your new Mac Pro to import the XML as a FCPX project. You’ll get your timeline back, but you’ll lose any color correction and Motion compositing you may have done. It’s better than having to re-edit from scratch by using a reference video.

Just know that the shift from FCP7 and earlier to FCPX is pretty drastic, and X has a bit of a learning curve. But it’s worth it in the end.
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