Latest post Tue, Mar 15 2022 2:00 PM by Pat Horridge. 5 replies.
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  • Thu, Mar 10 2022 3:17 AM

    Processor/RAM options for feature doc with 300 hours of 4K?

    Hello.  I will soon begin editing a feature length documentary from about 300 hours of 4K footage.  What is a reasonable computer/processor/RAM choice with the new Macs if I'd like to edit natively in 4K?  No special effects.  Very traditional verite doc with lots of straight cuts and audio work.  Happy to use low playback resolution to help speed things along, but I'd like to avoid working with proxy files.  All of the footage is already stored on RAID 0 SSD.  

    I am only interested in the new Apple chips and am open to MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, or Mac Studio, so would be curious to hear recommended RAM and processor choices for laptop as well as desktop, as I am still torn between both options for my needs.  I want to spend enough to make the system sing for my needs, but I don't want to blow a few extra grand unnecessarily.

    I only edit my own films once in a blue moon, so I'm not always up-to-date with every detail and advancement of Media Composer, and I'm not constantly editing projects to develop a feel for the speed of various systems.  And while I have successfully used proxy files before, I just want to keep the process as simple as possible from start to finish so would rather work with the original 4K files. 

    Thanks for any experienced insights regarding M1 Pro vs M1 Max, RAM needs, etc that you have used with similar projects.

  • Sat, Mar 12 2022 1:00 PM In reply to

    Re: Processor/RAM options for feature doc with 300 hours of 4K?

    Hello, 

    Okay cool! You'll want a fairly powerful machine if you're planning to cut a feature-length using a direct online workflow. One important consideration is the codec you'll be editing at. Do you plan to edit with the camera originals? Preferably, you would transcode to a mezzanine level codec like DNxHR HQ and edit from start to finish using that. I wouldn't even start to work on a project this size linking to the original 4K media and editing with that.

    FYI: Media Composer has never really been any good at editing with linked media. It much prefers transcoded media which it can store away in its Avid MediaFiles database. When editing long-form anything you really want to transcode to some intraframe codec.  

    Not quite sure about specific machines on the mac side but here are some ideas:

    For any direct online workflow at this calibre, you'd want a minimum of 32GB of RAM, preferably 64GB. Minimum of 8 cores, preferably 16 cores. You don't need to worry so much about a great GPU, as MC doesn't utilize it much during editing. Bear in mind that UME exports, plugins, and some effects utilize the GPU, but from your description that doesn't seem as important to you for this project. 

    Lastly, is there any specific reason why you want to avoid an online>offline workflow? The time you lose preparing and transcoding at the beginning will be time saved in the edit with fast timeline performance, troubleshooting, and exporting rough cuts. 

    Goodluck!

    Editing Movie Magic.

    My Equipment & System Specs

  • Sat, Mar 12 2022 1:15 PM In reply to

    Re: Processor/RAM options for feature doc with 300 hours of 4K?

    Thanks for your reply.  I appreciate your insights.  I was really hoping to link to the original media because that seems like a simpler process in my mind (as long as I pay for a system powerful enough to handle it).  Transcoding 300 hours of 4K footage would seem to take a lifetime up front.  And then properly relinking to the original media in the end seems like another potential to screw things up.  While I will hire a remote assistant at times, I won't have access to anyone much of the way, so I just figured a clean in/out with original media (Sony F55 and FX9 cameras) would simplify the process.  And I'm willing to spend a few extra grand on a new powerful system that would allow me to do so.  But if you're saying even the best machine won't be able to edit natively in 4K with the original files, then I will rethink this plan.  

  • Sat, Mar 12 2022 6:14 PM In reply to

    Re: Processor/RAM options for feature doc with 300 hours of 4K?

    If you edit in proxy, you can use any of the M1 chips. Just make sure you have 16GB of RAM. If you want to edit in 4K, Pro or Max will work just fine. Have at least 32GB of RAM.

     

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  • Tue, Mar 15 2022 1:00 PM In reply to

    Re: Processor/RAM options for feature doc with 300 hours of 4K?

    SlicedBread:

    Thanks for your reply.  I appreciate your insights.  I was really hoping to link to the original media because that seems like a simpler process in my mind (as long as I pay for a system powerful enough to handle it).  Transcoding 300 hours of 4K footage would seem to take a lifetime up front.  And then properly relinking to the original media in the end seems like another potential to screw things up.  While I will hire a remote assistant at times, I won't have access to anyone much of the way, so I just figured a clean in/out with original media (Sony F55 and FX9 cameras) would simplify the process.  And I'm willing to spend a few extra grand on a new powerful system that would allow me to do so.  But if you're saying even the best machine won't be able to edit natively in 4K with the original files, then I will rethink this plan.  

    That's why assistant editors like me exist Wink

    Very bad idea editing a project this size with linked media of any kind. 

    Editing Movie Magic.

    My Equipment & System Specs

  • Tue, Mar 15 2022 2:00 PM In reply to

    Re: Processor/RAM options for feature doc with 300 hours of 4K?

    Creating Proxy media during ingest is a staple of Post workflows. Because you end with stable Avid media thats manageable by the system.

    Go with camera sources as linked media and you will spend an ever increasing amount of time relinking those sources.

    As for the relinking at conform again this is a standard workflow carried out by just about every Post house. As long as the workflow is done correctly its done like this because it works.

    HP Z840 3.1GHZ 20cores 128GB RAM M4000 GPU 1TB NVMe drive HP Z book 17 G2 2.7GHZ Quad core 32GB RAM Nvidia K3100M 1TB SSD drive ACI Moderator. I'm... [view my complete system specs]

     

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