19 Replies Latest reply on Sep 8, 2009 12:51 PM by CWoB

    Dropped Frames, Artifacting

    CWoB

      I am using a Canon XL1s MiniDV camcorder and a Panasonic DVX100a camcorder.  My workstation is a brand new Mac Pro 2x2.8GHz Quad core Intel with 6 GB of 800 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM RAM.

       

      I recorded using Standard DV 4x3 48kHz 60i on both cameras.  No 16x9 was used, no progressive settings were used.  When I try to capture from the cameras using the 4pin firewire camera port to 6 pin firewire computer port I get dropped frames and there is significant artifacting of the images.  I am capturing using the same settings I recorded with.

       

      Using the same brand new top quality firewire cable, I captured onto my friend's Macbook Pro into Final Cut Pro with no dropped frames and no artifacting.

       

      I also tried several firewire cables on my computer with no difference.  I made sure only Premiere was running when I attempted to capture.  I tried using a cheap, couple-hundred-dollar Panasonic miniDV camera (borrowed from a friend and don't know the model) to capture from.  I put the miniDV tapes that I had recorded using the XL1s and the DVX into the cheap Panasonic, however, Premiere would not even connect to the camera.  In fact, every time I plugged the camera in and tried to connect, Premiere would have a fatal error and crash.

       

      I also captured to a friend's computer, an older Athalon PC running Premiere Pro 2, with success using the small Panasonic, the DVX100a and the XL1s with no problems (I connected and captured using all three cameras and had no drop frames or artifacting).

       

      I have been editing on Avid for nine years.  Within the last four months, I switched to Adobe products so I am still not very accustomed to the layout.  However, I am certain all my settings for capture match those settings with which I recorded.

       

      Please help, I do not know what else to do (other than go back to Avid and drop $500 to upgrade my version).

       

      Thanks for your time and consideration.

      Jeremy

        • 1. Re: Dropped Frames, Artifacting
          Colin Brougham Level 6

          The Firewire port or card on your computer is fried. If it's an onboard port, get a 1394 PCI card. If it's a card, get a new one. If the tapes, cables, and cameras work on another system, that's the only other likely explanation.

          • 2. Re: Dropped Frames, Artifacting
            CWoB Level 1

            I highly doubt the firewire card is fried due to the fact that the computer is brand new.  I can transfer using the firewire to hard drive and I can capture, but it drops about 2-3 frames a second.  I would expect that if the port were going bad, but I have tried all ports with the same result.  If it were the card itself I would expect it not to work at all.  Of course I am not a computer tech, so you may be right, I just find it difficult to believe.

            • 3. Re: Dropped Frames, Artifacting
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              Though Colin is probaby correct, is there anything else on your Mac's FW connection - anything at all? Most MoBo FW connections have one controller chip, but may have more than one port. Many cards have multiple controller chips, but many do not, regardless of the number of ports.

               

              Along the lines of the first paragraph - do NOT daisy-chain any camera for Captuer, i.e. plug it into a spare port on an external HDD, etc. Never!

               

              Good luck, and hope that it's just a conflict and not a fried port/card. If so, I hope that it's just a card, as they are cheap. If the MoBo, just tape over it, and add a card.

               

              Hunt

              • 4. Re: Dropped Frames, Artifacting
                the_wine_snob Level 9
                I can transfer using the firewire to hard drive and I can capture, but it drops about 2-3 frames a second.

                 

                Is an external hooked up in addition to your camera? If so, disconnect that external, and ALL other devices, when capturing. See my other Reply, above.

                 

                Good luck,

                 

                Hunt

                • 5. Re: Dropped Frames, Artifacting
                  CWoB Level 1

                  Sorry, I did not explain completely.  I didn't mean that I was daisy chaining, the camera is being plugged directly into the computer, not into an external HD.  I have tried capturing both to an internal and external drive with the same results.

                   

                  Is there a way to test whether it is actually the card going bad without buying a new one and trying it?

                   

                  Thanks for your help.

                  Jeremy

                  • 6. Re: Dropped Frames, Artifacting
                    Colin Brougham Level 6

                    Ah, good thinking, Bill--that's probably an even more likely cause. Polling a FW external drive when trying to capture can cause that.

                     

                    As far as the FW port/card not being bad because it's a new computer: doesn't mean anything, unfortunately. I've purchased plenty of electronics that were DOA, straight out of the box. Electronics are not built to last, and they're certainly not built with "bulletproofness" in mind. Couple that with the fact that FireWire is notoriously easy to fry because of the way the cable connectors work and that 6-pin connections can carry power, and you've got a recipe for yank-it-and-replace-it. It may not be the problem here--in fact, I think Bill's suggestion is probably correct--but it's not out of the question simply because the computer is new.

                    • 7. Re: Dropped Frames, Artifacting
                      the_wine_snob Level 9
                      I have tried capturing both to an internal and external drive with the same results.

                       

                      No, I think that it was I, who did not explain clearly. Have you tried doing the Capture with absolutely no other FW device hooked to the computer?

                       

                      Daisy-chaining is very bad, but just having another FW device on any port on your machine might be causing this problem.

                       

                      Also, what is the speed of your HDD (the internal, that you have also tried to Capture to), and is that different than the HDD in the computer that gets it done correctly?

                       

                      Good luck,

                       

                      Hunt

                      • 8. Re: Dropped Frames, Artifacting
                        Colin Brougham Level 6

                        What is the nature of your external drive? USB? Firewire? eSATA?

                        • 9. Re: Dropped Frames, Artifacting
                          CWoB Level 1

                          The computers that have worked correctly have all been slower, older computers and drives.  There should be no speed issues with a Mac Pro.  Before this I was capturing using the same cameras to a Mac G4 from 2003 with 1.5G of ram.  Capturing miniDV footage should be child's play for my new mac.

                           

                          I have had nothing else connected to the FW card, no other ports in use when capturing to my internal HD.  Also when attempting to capture to the external drive, I was using a Lacie 500G Firewire 800, 400, usb 2 and esata, and a Lacie 250G firewire 400 (I tried every connection except esata).  The 500 is new(ish) and the fastest model they had when I got it about a year or so ago.

                           

                          I captured to the 250G Lacie drive using my old G4 and it had no problems, no dropped frames and no artifacting.  Of course I was using Avid, but I would think Adobe should be able to do the same since my Avid was 5 years old and my Adobe is CS4.

                           

                          I will probably end up going to Best Buy and purchasing a firewire card to see if that corrects anything.  If not, any other ideas on what the prob may be?

                           

                          Thanks again for your help.

                          • 10. Re: Dropped Frames, Artifacting
                            the_wine_snob Level 9
                            any other ideas on what the prob may be?

                             

                            No, so long as your internal is at least a 7200RPM HDD, and it should be, I cannot think of anything else. You have systematically ruled out about everything else - thanks for the info.

                             

                            Good luck with the card, and I hope that is the cure.

                             

                             

                             

                            Hunt

                            • 11. Re: Dropped Frames, Artifacting
                              CWoB Level 1

                              It doesn't look like it is the firewire in the computer.  In the Mac pro, there is no firewire card, the firewire is actually a part of the motherboard.  So it looks like the firewire ports in the front are completely separate from the ports in the back so if the front don't work, the back should, but both are giving me the same results.

                               

                              Any ideas?

                               

                              Could there be a bug with the particular software I got?  A prob with my disk making Adobe do this with miniDV format?  I know that is really far fetched but I'm having a hard time coming up with answers.

                               

                              Thanks for your help.

                              • 12. Re: Dropped Frames, Artifacting
                                the_wine_snob Level 9
                                Could there be a bug with the particular software I got?  A prob with my disk making Adobe do this with miniDV format?  I know that is really far fetched but I'm having a hard time coming up with answers.

                                 

                                I certainly cannot rule this out, but it would be very, very rare.

                                 

                                Now that we know that your FW is on the MoBo, but do not know if separate controller chips are used (doubt it), have you tried this with zero else plugged into any FW port? If so, and it still did not work, then I am out of ideas. If not, unplug everything else - everything, and reboot and test.

                                 

                                Good luck,

                                 

                                Hunt

                                • 13. Re: Dropped Frames, Artifacting
                                  CWoB Level 1

                                  So I spent several hours with Apple support today and narrowed some things down.  It isn't the camera, the cable or the firewire card, for some reason it is the user.

                                   

                                  I created a new user and captured with no problems!  When looking at the activity monitor, when Premiere captures while upen under my original user, it uses 50% of my processor power.  While operating under my new user, it only uses 35%!!!  We re-set all the system preferences to their default and there was no change.  Where could the problem be happening?  Why would Premiere us 15% more processing power under one user than the other?

                                   

                                  Can anyone give me some guidance?

                                   

                                  Thanks for your help!

                                  • 14. Re: Dropped Frames, Artifacting
                                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                                    Users all have different profiles. This means that User A has different programs loaded and running in the background than User B. That would be the most likely explanation.

                                    • 15. Re: Dropped Frames, Artifacting
                                      CWoB Level 1

                                      The only program I have running on each user was Premiere.  The Mac tech asked if I had any thrid party stuff for Premiere running.  I don't think I do, don't remember ever putting any plug-ins on to the program.

                                       

                                      Is there a way to check if there are any or to check the differences between the two users and what is being accessed?

                                      • 16. Re: Dropped Frames, Artifacting
                                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                                        It would have been so easy on a PC, but you are on a MAC. Isn't there a utility to see all your active processes both for user A and B?

                                        • 17. Re: Dropped Frames, Artifacting
                                          CWoB Level 1

                                          Yes, that is the activity monitor I mentioned.  However the only processes that are listed are the OS and Premiere.  Could there be plug-ins running within premiere that would not show up on the activity monitor?

                                          • 18. Re: Dropped Frames, Artifacting
                                            Jim_Simon Level 8

                                            Even on a Mac, there should be more than 2.  Any OS will generate a multitude of individual processes.  And Premiere usually generates a couple of its own.

                                            • 19. Re: Dropped Frames, Artifacting
                                              CWoB Level 1

                                              There are seeral little piddly things running that flick on an off, but none are using more than .01% of my processor power.  Nothing that would account for a jump from 35% to 50%