Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Where to go from here - Part 1

I am an editor by day and by hobby.  I love telling stories and I love computers -- so it was a win-win for me when I realized in high school what it was that I wanted to do.  I learned on Media 100 on a computer at school.  I knew nothing about asset management, i/o, the Mac platform or anything like that.  I was shown what to do to get video onto the computer and I figured out how to cut from one angle to the next.

Years went by and that was what I knew.  Then came college and FCP.  It was super similar and I slipped right into it.  8 years later, I consider myself an FCP master and I loved the program.  But I have had enough.  I needed a 64-bit program to handle all the new tapeless workflows and FCP7 wasn't cutting it anymore.

8 years and I had grown comfortable.  I now have 4 NLEs on my system and go back and forth between them all trying to find the "right" one.  I will chronicle my findings here as well as talk a little about what I like, dislike etc.

The Catalyst:

I got a clean install of Compressor 4 this morning and put it through the ringer today.  I like it a lot so far.  Pretty much the same UI but a couple changes:
I noticed "This Computer Plus" as opposed to the old "Include unmanaged services on other computers"
I am one of the few people I knew that used this function.  Compressor was (and still is) a 32-bit program so it doesn't natively take advantage of the internal power of the system's core.  This was their 32-bit workaround and it worked great.  Basically you could tell all 4, 8, 12 cores to split the job up and they'd all work on it together -- quickening up your workflow.  I even went a step further and installed qMaster on all the computers in the office and took over EVERYONE'S cores -- 32 cores after all was said and done, I think.  It was fairly reliable but there were times where one core would not behave and the whole render would be bad.  But 7/10 times, I got the speed I needed for deliverables, etc.

Now compressor has made it EVEN EASIER to do.  No more going to System Preferences to set up qMaster.  It seems to be built right into compressor.
This will basically make your computer utilize all cores you tell it to while rendering from compressor and, what looks like, FCP and Motion although I have not used that function.  In the Compressor options in the window, that's where you tell it how many cores to utilize for renders and voila!

Here's how it will look when you render and select "This Computer Plus":
I also highlighted some cool things I found in the "Share Monitor" preferences.  This is what used to be "Batch Monitor" but has since been renamed.

I am not sold on any NLE yet, but after using Adobe's Media Encoder and having not-great-luck with client deliverables (hinted-streaming quicktime files, mainly - which I use exclusively), I find that Compressor 4 has made me a fan!

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