Sunday, August 12, 2012

A lot of intermediate files, and a 12 step program

I just finished the final render step for the Kye Kye video. This is just a Media 100 export step. Now I'm going back to iMovie to create titles and chapter marks for their short video. The Master export quicktime file is about 4 gigs in size for the 30 minute Kye Kye video.

There are a lot of intermediate files that exist and a lot of time rendering for these Cornerstone video edits.

I'm going to give a quick summary. Then a longer summary with numbered steps. Then last a diary. Most will want to read the FAST summary and ignore most of the other diary points of this post.

There are several input and export steps used and many intermediate files created with many steps. (The steps are: iMovie imports, Media 100 imports, Media 100 exports, iMovie Imports again, exporting from IMovie to iDVD working files and finally the DVD burn of the master file.)

These take many steps. The key is keeping enough free space on the Macintosh hard drive for working files and exporting out the external drives whenever possible.

Most will probably want to skip the rest of this blog entry.


Here’s a brief summary of steps and some file sizes in a typical large project like this. This is concert video with many cameras supplying footage.

1. Import footage into iMovie first. This creates a file about 15 gigs per hour. It’s a high resolution quicktime file.

2. Import that video from iMovie folder into Media 100. This generates an audio file, which is not very large. It will not create another video file. You’ll have the advantage of having video files imported with iMovie which seems to do a better job and almost instant use of that in Media 100.

3. Create intermediate files inside the editing process. This is done automatically by Media 100 or Boris Red Exports. For the long Iona video of 82 minutes. I had some really long renders of color FX clips that took a ton of space on an external drive. These took 186 gigs of space.

There are other files that will be created as well. This took roughly 500 gigs of space for the Iona edit. There were a lot of mistakes to correct.

5. You may have to import some of those intermediate files in Imovie if you rendered them at to high a quality. This will be imported again in Media 100 to make more corrections. This happened to me with the Boris red footage. About 160 gigs of files Red created at a setting that was way to high in resolution were reimported into iMovie and took up about 16 gigs. This for 24 minutes of footage.

6. Export the footage from Media 100 as a quicktime master file. I didn’t have any titles at this stage. This created a master file that was about 18 gigs in size.

7. Import that back into iMovie. This creates another file.

8. Export the final iDVD rip to iDVD from iMovie. For the Iona video this created a file about 19 gigs in size. This was master footage that iDVD could rip. I created titles in iMovie and used chapter markers with song titles at the start of each song.

9. Create the final DVD, which should use PROFESSIONAL or BEST setting in iDVD. Keep in mind if you don’t do this it may not fit on a single sided DVD. Iona video wouldn’t fit on a single sided DVD. But with a professional setting it did and looked better.

10. Burn the DVD. Verify the menus work and import the audio tracks or video that you may want for animated titles.

The export to DVD can be to a VIDEO_TS folder on the hard drive. All DVD’s can be burned with Toast (version 7 on my machine). This generates another 4 gigs of data on a disk somewhere for your DVD master file.

11. Archive the iDVD to an external drive. This can be an additional step, if you want to reload the iDVD project later and change menus. That can take a lot of space. I haven’t done that step.

12. Rip copies for your iphone, ipad, or home playing devices like Apple TV or Western Digital player. These can be done using Handbrake and take up more space. A nice size video file for the iPad might take up a gig in space.

-- My Personal edit diary - (More for my future review most blog readers will want to skip the rest of this.)

If I want to make a diary of sorts and say how much time and space this will take. I had a lot of really high resolution masters and working files in the middle of the Iona project. I had almost 1 TB or 1000 gigs of files at one time or another for an Iona video. This was all at 1080i resolution for the most part and footage from many cameras.

The more conservative approach (had I known better) might take up 500 gigs or less for all the working files for the Iona edit. Keep in mind there are probably less than 30 gigs of digital files for the entire Iona show to begin with. Those are mostly in AVCHD Sony compressed format. My version of Media 100 cannot use native AVCHD files even with “clip wrap” program.

The process I use, intermediate Apple Quicktime files that are often ten times larger than the source files. This due to 1080i full resolution wishes for the edit process. Had I downgraded the standard resolution throughout the production process, I would have used a lot less space and had much faster rendering. (Standard video would use something like 954 pixel wide intermediate files, instead of 1920 pixels wide full HD.)

The total time to render the Iona video project took about 3 and a half days of rendering. Not including manual editing, just the computer working away while I slept or ran errands.

The Kye Kye video is smaller and takes a lot less time, but if you make a mistake and forget to have enough “working space” in your internal drive, many programs (Media 100, iDVD, and iMovie) will create HUGE intermediate files on the internal hard drive during their rendering process. This means you may need about 30 gigs of free space for many of the steps.

For the 82 minute Iona video, the iDVD project took 18 gigs for an IDVD project file that goes to the Macintosh internal hard drive by default. The Media 100 export uses temporary work space on the hard drive. If you run out of space, the render may stall. My latest Media 100 export of Kye Kye stalled and after waiting 8 hours I finally realize I ran out of drive space on the internal hard drive. I had to stop and re-render it. The actual export at very high quality H.264 export settings took about 4 hours.

So the KEY is to keep enough free space on the internal hard drive for working and temporary files. Check before each step of the process to save time.

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