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Chapter 10. Rendering > Using G4 Real-Time Effects

Using G4 Real-Time Effects

G4 Real-Time (G4 RT) Effects take advantage of the G4's graphics handling power to compute and display previews of many effects in real time. Like most cutting-edge technologies, G4 RT Effects come with a list of caveats and trade-offs attached, so let's get those out of the way up front.

  • G4 RT requires a single- or dual-processor Power Macintosh G4 running at 500 MHz or faster (that's why they're called G4 effects) and the level of real-time performance you get depends on the speed of your Mac G4. You also need a minimum 384 MB of RAM. Check the Tech Specs page of the Final Cut Pro Web site (http://www.apple.com/finalcutpro/specs.html) for a list detailing which real-time effects are supported on which G4 system. If you're already working on an FCP system that supports G4 RT effects, check the list of effects on the Browser's Effects tab. The effects listed in boldface type are G4 RT-enabled on that system.

  • G4 RT's real time magic works on only two formats: DV format footage, and footage compressed in Offline RT, FCP's low-resolution draft-quality format. Because the Offline RT format's file size is smaller, you can preview more complex real-time effects in Offline RT format than you can in the higher-resolution DV format. For more information on working with Offline RT, see “New In FCP 3: Offline RT Video Format” in Chapter 3.

  • G4 RT effects are computed on the fly and play back only in the FCP program windows. You have to disable your DV FireWire to enable G4 RT's real-time previewing, so you won't be able to see anything on your external TV monitor while you're enjoying your real-time previews. You can purchase and install an extra Radeon video display card in your G4 tower and then route the G4 RT previews to an external TV monitor via S-video. If you're using a qualifying G4 PowerBook, you can use the Powerbook's S-video output to feed your external monitor.

  • Remember that G4 RT previews are optimized for real-time processing, not resolution. They work great for judging timing and composition, but for critical judgment of color and detail, be sure to render at least a few test frames and view them on your external NTSC or PAL monitor at final output resolution.


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