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View Full Version : What Gives? Smokin' computer, still choppy



Altared Weddings
05-24-2009, 10:17 PM
Hey guys, I'm hoping for some advice. I really need to edit a small shoot natively in AVCHD. I went down to the store today and bought a ASUS P6T Mobo, Intel i7 920 processor, and 6 GB ram.

I am running Win XP (32 bit, and I know the ram limitation is 3).

For an editor I'm running Adobe Premiere CS4.

When I load up the clips, they seem fair, still a little choppy, definately some distortion in the colors, but I can live with it. The real kicker is that CS4 constantly "freezes" and then releases, like it needs a break to think about it.

Am I going down the wrong path with this? I can still return this processor. If I need to I guess I can buy a Mac, but much prefer to stay with PC. I do a shoot almost every weekend (3 cams) and so I really need to be able to store and work natively in the compressed format for hard drive space.

Ryan
Altared Weddings

Thomas Lew
05-24-2009, 11:06 PM
Well here's my 2 cents of advice. You said you wanted to stay with PC, and you already have a pc with CS4, so it's not worth it to switch to mac.

Even though CS4 has the "ability" to edit avchd natively as so it says, it doesn't excel at it by any means. I've heard from many people that it's difficult to work with and gives them problems... problems such as the ones you are having.

Transcode the avchd footage into something that CS4 will have a much easier time handling and you will be fine. I know you wanted to edit it natively but at times it can be a bit impractical and in the end prove to be a time waster.. rather than a time saver.

sewolla
05-24-2009, 11:50 PM
I've heard that CS4 only edits AVCHD when shot in 1080/24p/30p/60i. What were you shooting in, and does it seem to make a difference?

I ask as I am thinking about upgrading to a i7 920 powered machine running 6GB's ram, dual 512MB video cards, 1TB boot drive and a pair of 1.5TB drives for project files and one for backup though I was going to run 64 bit Vista with CS4.

Is the limiting factor the Adobe CS4 software, or are today's machines still not powerful enough to edit this stuff natively?

With the newer machines I would imagine that the transcoding process would go rather quickly so perhaps in the end transcoding is still the best route.

ATL Media Group
05-25-2009, 06:33 AM
Is the limiting factor the Adobe CS4 software, or are today's machines still not powerful enough to edit this stuff natively?

Yes. This is the problem. Even if you go with a MAC, you will be stuck transcoding to ProRez. The bonus with a PC is that with a fast enough PC (one day) you won't need to transcode at all. For me as an Edius user that means no transcoding and full raster full frame output over HDMI. Not a "preview".




With the newer machines I would imagine that the transcoding process would go rather quickly so perhaps in the end transcoding is still the best route.

Yes, it does. It's mush faster than RT on a fast PC which still makes tapeless the way to go.

Altared Weddings
05-25-2009, 09:38 AM
Thanks for the replies, I've been using MainConcept to transcode. The problem I found though, is that I shot a video in 1080/24p, and when I send it through the transcoder, it comes out 30i. There is no where to change the settings. I also noticed that the blacks are much greyer and there was a loss of quality. All of my other shoots have been in 30 frames, so it was never noticable. How do I keep the 24p frame rate when transcoding?

Sewolla, i think you're correct about the formats that it takes, Premiere won't edit every format that the camera will shoot, but the footage I'm having trouble with is one of the native formats.

I may need to make the switch to edius....?

averan
05-25-2009, 10:02 AM
Edius is the only NLE that even comes close to being able to edit avchd raw. There is some lag with 1080 whereas 720 is pretty much realtime for me. (i'm using quadcore q6600 at 3.2ghz w/ 4gb 1066mhz ram, 2x32gb ssd in raid 0 running windows xp 64bit and a 2x1tb sata2 hdd in raid 0 for scratch disk)

In all my experience trying out all the NLEs available on a PC, i've found Adobe Premiere to be the biggest bloated piece of junk ever coded. I will never go back to Premiere unless they reprogram their app from the ground up.

Edius is just solid. Never ever had it crash or freeze. Premiere freezes every 5 minutes or so and crashes every 15!

Even so, I still am a fan of transcoding...Edius runs MUCH faster on canopus hq avi than raw m2t.

Check out TMPGEnc 4 Xpress. Has been a wonderful tool for all my transcoding needs.

Altared Weddings
05-26-2009, 09:53 PM
Thank you everyone. I'm mostly intrigued by the suggestion to use TMPGEnc 4 Express. I purchased it, and was able to export my media flawlessly. So, now that I can choose my output settings, I think I can now still save space since I can reference back.

I am planning on converting all footage, giving the new files the same name as the original media, when i'm finished with the project, deleting the expanded files and if i ever needed to get back and work on the footage, I could just "re-transcode" the original. Does that make sense?

Is the best quality encode going to be MPG2 from AVCHD? it seems to go very fast (about 3x real time, whereas transcoding to something like .mov took about 4x LONGER than real time, yet was a smaller end result.

nantnee
05-26-2009, 10:14 PM
I have the new mac pro, tried editing AVCHD natively in CS4, and it stuttered all the way.

icyroc kravyn
05-26-2009, 11:53 PM
just got camera and love it i have a new unibody macbook... 2ghz processor dual core... 2gb ram... i can edit multiple streams no problem... also tried it at work on imac 24 with 4gb or ram... had no problems.. i cannot import native into final cut on my mac g5 ... used voltiac to transcode and had no problems.... i love the tapeless workflow... shot some stuff today and pulled it in before the event was even over.. gosh it feels good to do stuff this quick.. ohh by the way using final cut... to edit... i havent tried cs4 yet they have it at work.. i will try this week and post later...

Thomas Lew
05-27-2009, 12:02 AM
I have the new mac pro, tried editing AVCHD natively in CS4, and it stuttered all the way.

D-Yikes! :huh:

Mike Harvey
05-27-2009, 01:33 AM
Thanks for the replies, I've been using MainConcept to transcode. The problem I found though, is that I shot a video in 1080/24p, and when I send it through the transcoder, it comes out 30i.

DVCProHD 1080p/24 doesn't exist. It's only available in 1080i. HOWEVER... Panasonic did for it what they did for the original DVX, do the whole 3:2 pulldown or whatever and put 24p into a 30i framerate. There is no way around this, but it's no different than editing DVX footage.

Your other option is to go the Cineform route. Cineform ProspectHD v4 will set you back $750 bucks and is designed for CS4, however, they aren't releasing all the bells and whistles for it until the 4.1 update for CS4. Cineform Neo Scene will set you back $130, but is much more stripped down... basically installing only the codec and the ability to transcode to it. Either way, it's cheaper than returning the components and buying a Mac.

averan
05-27-2009, 09:15 AM
using TMPGEnc:
the consensus is that mpg2 is the fastest to transcode and loses almost no quality and with little increase in file size. as long as that is working for you in the edit, go for it. since i have edius, i've settled on the canopus hq avi codec because it edits realtime, superfast!

i have the same workflow, transcode raw mts files, keep the filenames, archive only the raw files and ditch the converted once the project is finished. keeping the filenames makes it easy enough to retranscode if you ever need to bring a project back to life.

David Saraceno
05-27-2009, 09:17 AM
just got camera and love it i have a new unibody macbook... 2ghz processor dual core... 2gb ram... i can edit multiple streams no problem... also tried it at work on imac 24 with 4gb or ram... had no problems.. i cannot import native into final cut on my mac g5 ... used voltiac to transcode and had no problems.... i love the tapeless workflow... shot some stuff today and pulled it in before the event was even over.. gosh it feels good to do stuff this quick.. ohh by the way using final cut... to edit... i havent tried cs4 yet they have it at work.. i will try this week and post later...

Sounds like you are transcoding to pro res or AIC.

nantnee
05-27-2009, 02:27 PM
Toast 9/10 works pretty good. Transcode to Pro Res HQ. Huge files though. =/

Garion
05-27-2009, 03:25 PM
Agree with a previous poster about Edius, i use ver 5 and once converted to canopus HQ codec editing is a breeaze, silky smooth :)

What i want to know is why do all our "pro" NLE's need transcoding to edit when pinnacle studio 12 ultimate can just take the raw footage off the card and edit straight away??

I used to use it and i know its not in the same league as FCP, Edius etc but strange..

Mike Harvey
05-27-2009, 04:13 PM
What i want to know is why do all our "pro" NLE's need transcoding to edit when pinnacle studio 12 ultimate can just take the raw footage off the card and edit straight away??

Because AVCHD is technically considered a consumer format, and a relatively new one at that. Also, the 150 is the first (and right now only) pro camera to use it, the first camera to use it at this high of a bitrate, and it's a relatively new camera. Plus, I've heard Studio 12 is a bear to edit AVCHD with (I could easily be wrong).

Garion
05-27-2009, 04:42 PM
Because AVCHD is technically considered a consumer format, and a relatively new one at that. Also, the 150 is the first (and right now only) pro camera to use it, the first camera to use it at this high of a bitrate, and it's a relatively new camera. Plus, I've heard Studio 12 is a bear to edit AVCHD with (I could easily be wrong).

I must have had a good copy i guess, studio edited real smooth in 1080 25p, 50i & 720 25p.It was a real dog to edit 720 50p tho lol, i use a quad core q6600 2.4 gig with 4 gig ram on xp.

Could also be that maybe it only really edited at the lower commercial bitrate not the 21 mps of the hmc ? Anyhow ill shut up now,i dont want to sidetrack the thread lol. Thanks for the input tho Mike :)

cheers Andy

Altared Weddings
05-27-2009, 10:10 PM
Good to know icyroc. I'm experimenting with Voltiac to convert it for mac. Weird situation, but I need to run Voltiac on PC (which is available), but then take the transcodes over to FCP on a mac. Are the Win and Mac versions actually putting out different files? The only output options I had on Voltaic was WMV or AVI? You can't run either of those natively on FCP can you?

Ryan

mcsmooth
05-28-2009, 05:56 PM
I've heard that CS4 only edits AVCHD when shot in 1080/24p/30p/60i. What were you shooting in, and does it seem to make a difference?
There are currently only presets for 1080, so if anything, the program is more compatible with those. However, the buginess happens with footage from ALL of the PH modes, which are encoded differently from most other AVCHD cams. Many people are editing happily at lower bitrates... but that's not what you buy the 150 for! I mainly use those modes for doing timelapses, and I've had pretty good luck there.


I ask as I am thinking about upgrading to a i7 920 powered machine running 6GB's ram, dual 512MB video cards, 1TB boot drive and a pair of 1.5TB drives for project files and one for backup though I was going to run 64 bit Vista with CS4.

Is the limiting factor the Adobe CS4 software, or are today's machines still not powerful enough to edit this stuff natively?.
I'm on a similar setup, it is blazing fast. The problem with CS4 has nothing to do with being slow, it has a process that freezes up randomly and the program stalls until it wakes back up. If you search around, you'll see many others having the same problem. The update is supposed to be released this month... so everyone has their fingers crossed.



Thanks for the replies, I've been using MainConcept to transcode. The problem I found though, is that I shot a video in 1080/24p, and when I send it through the transcoder, it comes out 30i. There is no where to change the settings. I also noticed that the blacks are much greyer and there was a loss of quality. All of my other shoots have been in 30 frames, so it was never noticable. How do I keep the 24p frame rate when transcoding?

If you go the properties of the clip after importing, you can check a box for DV pulldown to fix this. I believe this is a bug as you did not used to have to do that, and will hopefully be fixed in the update (though everyone is hoping more for AVCHD editing issues to be worked out). I found that the quality holds up great at 1080, but is noticeably worse in 720. I've noticed color and contrast changes when transcoding to most formats. Red always seems to shift orange.


I am planning on converting all footage, giving the new files the same name as the original media, when i'm finished with the project, deleting the expanded files and if i ever needed to get back and work on the footage, I could just "re-transcode" the original. Does that make sense?
That should work so long as you get the same file names (or you can replace individually). My hope has been for months that Adobe can get AVCHD going smoothly where you can take an existing project, replace the transcoded media with the originals, then export with original quality. This would make a great workflow for those needing to edit on a crappy machine with an offline file, then when finished, can render at full quality.



Is the best quality encode going to be MPG2 from AVCHD? it seems to go very fast (about 3x real time, whereas transcoding to something like .mov took about 4x LONGER than real time, yet was a smaller end result.
.mov is just a quicktime file, the codec and its settings are what determine the processing. I see a lot of people are transcoding to mpeg2, does it really retain all its quality? (more than DVCHDPRO at 1080?) People keep touting why h.264 is so much better to start with, not sure why you would convert to another long GOP codec with lesser quality... but it will def be easier to edit. Most would prefer a intra-frame codec if quality is important. That will take up more space, but transcodes only need to be temporary. But really it is worth testing as many options as possible to decide which workflow works best for you.