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DSLR, DHxHD and all that - chosing new HD setup.

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Ben EdwardsDSLR, DHxHD and all that - chosing new HD setup.
by on Aug 9, 2012 at 12:49:23 pm

As a result of other posts I am thinking of getting new HDs but wanted to check this was needed, and if is have I come up with is OK.

Currently my HD delivers around 85MB/s, which I gather is not enough for native DSLR. Still not got a good pragmatic answer for what would be. My first question is would this be enough for DHxHD, ime guessing no as I believe the number is the DHxHD flavor indicates MB/second so only DHxHD 36 would be usable, or have I misread something. In my initial experiments the drive seems to be able to play DHxHD 120 smoothly but I have not used this in anger.

OK, so if the DHxHD format name tells me the MB/s I need. That seems fairly straightforward, although as with most things I ma guessing it is not;). DHxHD '1080p/25 120 8 bit' seems the minimum sensible format I would want to use for DSLR (although 10 bit is obviously preferable). Is this correct?

One thing I was wondering was is is possible to use the 36 DHxHD 36 format and then conform to the original DSLR files. How would I do this, can I simply copy the DSLR files over the DHxHD ones at the end of the edit?

I am thinking of doing RAID0 with Seagate Barracudas but cant find a benchmark for the likely read throughput. Anyone know where I can find this/what it would be?

Regards,
Ben

--
Ben Edwards - Freelance Picture Editor
http://www.funkytwig.com

i5 550, Windows 7 / Mac Lion, Nvida 550 Ti, 8GB Mem


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Ryan HolmesRe: DSLR, DHxHD and all that - chosing new HD setup.
by on Aug 9, 2012 at 1:34:21 pm

Ben,
I'm assuming you mean DNxHD (not DHxHD)...Avid's codec. If so, then when you transcode from h.264 DSLR footage you'll likely go with DNxHD 145 (as there is no 120). DNxHD 36 is meant for offline editing....though in some cases this may be sufficient. Depends on the footage, the client, the budget, and the post-prodution process.

DNxHD 145 will do great with compositing or color correction needed. Remember you're footage is only ever as good as the original capture format. In your case, a DSLR shooting to the h.264 codec. Currently that is only an 8-bit codec. So even if you transcode to DNxHD 220, you're not going to be adding data or picture quality to your image.

If you setup a RAID0 with 2 or more disks you should be fine on playback with DNxHD. It is a pretty efficient codec (similar to Apple ProRes).

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
vimeo.com/ryanholmes


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Ben EdwardsRe: DSLR, DHxHD and all that - chosing new HD setup.
by on Aug 9, 2012 at 2:02:24 pm

Thanks for that, Yes it is the Avid Codec. I am currently playing with the 36 version for offline editing and will replace the files with 145 for final finishing.

Ben

--
Ben Edwards - Freelance Picture Editor
http://www.funkytwig.com

i5 550, Windows 7 / Mac Lion, Nvida 550 Ti, 8GB Mem


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Jeff BrownRe: DSLR, DHxHD and all that - chosing new HD setup.
by on Aug 9, 2012 at 2:08:49 pm

Ben-- FYI, the AVID codecs are specified in bits (not bytes) per second.

-Jeff


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Ryan HolmesRe: DSLR, DHxHD and all that - chosing new HD setup.
by on Aug 9, 2012 at 2:30:24 pm

Jeff - Very good point. Sorry I missed that.

Quick conversion for you:

36 Mbps = 4.50 MB/s
145 Mbps = 18.13 MB/s
220 Mbps = 27.50 MB/s

If you had a codec running at 85 MB/s (megabytes) then that's equivalent to 680 Mbps (megabits). Bits and bytes matter! ;-)

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
vimeo.com/ryanholmes


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Ben EdwardsCant play DNxHD 36 smoothly
by on Aug 9, 2012 at 3:15:50 pm

OK, I have not transcended everything to DNxHD 36 and it does not play smoothly. I have a i5 3550 and 8GB of memory. The disk delivers around 85 MB/s. Do I need to separate disks for this? Odd as I was using Avid on a lower spec box and did not have any problem (cant remember which Avid codec I was using but it was way above 36).

Any idea what is going on?

Ben

--
Ben Edwards - Freelance Picture Editor
http://www.funkytwig.com

i5 550, Windows 7 / Mac Lion, Nvida 550 Ti, 8GB Mem


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Ben EdwardsRe: Cant play DNxHD 36 smoothly
by on Aug 9, 2012 at 3:32:15 pm

Sorry, I mean I have 'NOW transcended everything', not 'not transcended everything'

--
Ben Edwards - Freelance Picture Editor
http://www.funkytwig.com

i5 550, Windows 7 / Mac Lion, Nvida 550 Ti, 8GB Mem


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Ryan HolmesRe: Cant play DNxHD 36 smoothly
by on Aug 9, 2012 at 3:37:27 pm

Are you using an internal hard disk? Or an external one?

If internal - is it the primary drive (which houses applications, operating system, etc.)? How full is it?

If external - what type of drive? How is connected (Firewire, USB, eSATA)? How full is it?

It's a bad idea to edit video off the internal boot drive of the computer. That disk is already spinning for operating system related tasks. Asking it to read video files as well is a large challenge task, and it will often come up short.

If whatever drive you have the media on is even half full you'll start to notice a degradation in performance. This is just the nature of spinning drives. If you can clear off space on your hard drive that may help.

If it's an external drive - connect it by firewire or eSATA. USB is a poor connection for video editing needs. It works better to transfer data, but not to edit video from (even a compressed format like DNxHD 36).

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
vimeo.com/ryanholmes


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Ben EdwardsRe: Cant play DNxHD 36 smoothly
by on Aug 9, 2012 at 5:27:13 pm

I am using a eSATA Seagate Barracuda 72000 3TG which is around 80% full. Personally I would avoid fire-wire as compared to eSATA (and probably USB3) it is very slow. The Blackmagic Disk Test shows 85MB/s Read.

DHxHD 36 is around 4.5 MB/s and is a proper editing format so I am very surprised I am having a problem. Maybe I need more that 8GB (Adobe say PP works with 4 and 8 is recommended).

I am bending over backwards to help Premiere (i.e. attempting to transcode into something PP likes).

I am beginning to feel I should of gone the avid route.

Ben

--
Ben Edwards - Freelance Picture Editor
http://www.funkytwig.com

i5 550, Windows 7 / Mac Lion, Nvida 550 Ti, 8GB Mem


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Tom DaigonRe: Cant play DNxHD 36 smoothly
by on Aug 9, 2012 at 6:12:16 pm

Ben, any system I have used professionally has always had an external esata or similar type PCIE driven raid. Providing the Mercury Playback Engines what it needs to excell in performance (fast CPU/GPU/lots of ram amd fast raid system) is crucial to being happy with its performance.

With Avid you can get away with a lot less power since it is optimized to use DNxHD.

FYI, DNxHD plays nicely on my system. But I purchased it with the idea that it could handle whatever was thrown at it.

Sorry you are not having a good experience :(

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


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Jeff PuleraRe: Cant play DNxHD 36 smoothly
by on Aug 9, 2012 at 6:26:50 pm

Hi Ben,

An i5 processor is kind of weak for HD editing, a Core i7 being preferred. Have you hacked your 550 display card to enable the Mercury Playback Engine? That should help a lot. And RAM is cheap right now, upgrading from 8GB to 16GB may be beneficial.

I really didn't see your full system specs in the thread. You said your drive was 80% full - is that a dedicated video drive, or C: drive? In any case, performance is on the decline when that full, and hopefully it is defragged?

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor


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Shane RossRe: Cant play DNxHD 36 smoothly
by on Aug 9, 2012 at 6:55:11 pm

Offlining in DNxHD36...onlining in DNxHD145. You are aware this is the ADOBE forum, right? Not Avid. How do you intend to do this offline/online? Adobe really isn't built for that...the media management is not all that good.

Is there an offline/online workflow for Adobe?

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Ben EdwardsRe: Cant play DNxHD 36 smoothly
by on Aug 9, 2012 at 8:20:05 pm

Full spec is i5 3550 (which is supposed to outperforms a lot of the i7s as it is 3g CPU. Ime using the avid DHxHD 35 codec (4.5 MB/s) so thought HD should be be a problem. Currently HD is delivering 85 MB/s. I have done the CUPA hack. Its a 550 Ti.

I am going to get a extra 8GB, someone told me there is no point in going to 24 as I need to double memory to make and difference.

In terms of HD I was going to get a pair of Seagate Barracuda drives but I am woried about there reliability. I have had one die and I have heard lots of thers who have had problems. Also seagate has reduced warrante to 1 year. I am also not sure if it is better to rid0 them or put different things on each.

Regards,
Ben

--
Ben Edwards - Freelance Picture Editor
http://www.funkytwig.com

i5 550, Windows 7 / Mac Lion, Nvida 550 Ti, 8GB Mem


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Ben EdwardsRe: Cant play DNxHD 36 smoothly
by on Aug 9, 2012 at 8:22:55 pm

Thanks for the reply, what I am finding very difficult is that PP seems to use pixie dust not science. Normally I can see where the bottle neck is and work out what needs upgrading but PP has low CPU and disk utilization and memory is not topping out. Kind of drives me nuts.

--
Ben Edwards - Freelance Picture Editor
http://www.funkytwig.com

i5 550, Windows 7 / Mac Lion, Nvida 550 Ti, 8GB Mem


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Ryan HolmesRe: Cant play DNxHD 36 smoothly
by on Aug 9, 2012 at 8:31:52 pm

[Ben Edwards] "PP has low CPU and disk utilization and memory is not topping out."

This is because Adobe utilizes your GPU (i.e. video card) to do most of the heavy lifting. It doesn't tax the CPU until exporting. RAM is still important though. The more the better. However, playback, realtime effects, color correction, etc. happens on the GPU. This is part of the Mercury Playback Engine - http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/mercury-playback-engine.html

Others will disagree with me, but I don't like relying on hacked gear when I'm trying to make a living from it (cameras, computers, video cards, you name it). I need it to be stable, robust, and rock-solid. Hacking a GPU (while it works, friends of mine on the Mac side do the same thing) seems like asking for trouble. what I would do (and what I do in my environment) is spend the $$$$ for a qualified, tested, proven card. Since you're a Windows user there's almost 24 different qualified cards, so your chances of finding one that meets your price point is pretty good. Adobe lists them all on that link above.

My order of importance for your problem:
(1) Qualified GPU
(2) More RAM
(3) Clean off space on your hard drive or buy some new ones (anything over 50% full will take a serious playback speed hit)

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
vimeo.com/ryanholmes


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Chris BorjisRe: Cant play DNxHD 36 smoothly
by on Aug 9, 2012 at 11:25:29 pm

[Ryan Holmes] "Others will disagree with me, but I don't like relying on hacked gear when I'm trying to make a living from it (cameras, computers, video cards, you name it). I need it to be stable, robust, and rock-solid. Hacking a GPU (while it works, friends of mine on the Mac side do the same thing) seems like asking for trouble."

I totally agree with you there and I did read on a forum where the "hacked" get a non certified
gpu to work was causing someone all sorts of issues.



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Dennis RadekeRe: DSLR, DHxHD and all that - chosing new HD setup.
by on Aug 10, 2012 at 11:02:07 am

Hi Ben,

Not sure how you're bringing in DNxHD into Premiere Pro but I'm guessing it is through a QT wrapper because we don't support native DNxHD in CS6.

When you're bringing DNxHD through QT, you're utilizing a 32bit process instead of a 64bit one. That hampers the performance and probably why things are not working as you would expect them to.

There is no pixie dust and Premiere Pro typically just works with codecs without any difficulty. However, because Avid licenses DNxHD and it is propietary, Adobe does not support that in its native MXF wrapper which would be the right way to do it.

Dennis - Adobe guy


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Gary HuffRe: DSLR, DHxHD and all that - chosing new HD setup.
by on Aug 10, 2012 at 1:19:25 pm

[Dennis Radeke] "There is no pixie dust and Premiere Pro typically just works with codecs without any difficulty. However, because Avid licenses DNxHD and it is propietary, Adobe does not support that in its native MXF wrapper which would be the right way to do it."

Given this situation, it seems like, ideally, if you're unhappy with the performance of native AVCHD or H.264 video, perhaps transcoding to AVC-I or even DVCPRO HD in the P2 MXF wrapper format would be the way to go?

For the most part my footage is playing fine under Premiere CS6 (MacBook Pro Early 2011, 16GB RAM, Crucial M4 SSD and footage resides on a striped G-RAID Mini that is hooked in via eSATA and is rated at a 500MBps read speed), but it seems to easily get bogged down to the point where playblack lag creeps in, requiring a restart (for instance, I used the volume controls on the keyboard to adjust the audio level output to my speakers and it immediately caused Premiere to start lagging on playback and required a restart, which fixed the problem).

I'm editing AVCHD and it seems like I could alleviate a bit of frustration with that by transcoding to AVC-Intra MXFs.

As a side note, does this 32-bit process extend for EVERY file that has a .MOV extension? So AVCHD is typically .MTS, which I would assume is processed at 64-bit, but does that mean the H.264 files off a Canon DSLR in the QuickTime file extension wouldn't get that treatment?


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Dennis RadekeRe: DSLR, DHxHD and all that - chosing new HD setup.
by on Aug 11, 2012 at 11:24:28 am

[Gary Huff] "AVC-I or even DVCPRO HD in the P2 MXF wrapper format would be the way to go?"

AVC-I is heavy - meaning the CPU has to work harder to decode it so it's not my first choice, though the quality is very good. P2 is great and Intraframe. I also like OP1a MXF (Sony XDCAM)

[Gary Huff] "As a side note, does this 32-bit process extend for EVERY file that has a .MOV extension? So AVCHD is typically .MTS, which I would assume is processed at 64-bit, but does that mean the H.264 files off a Canon DSLR in the QuickTime file extension wouldn't get that treatment?"

Good question. We knew we needed to work around QT in the case of DSLR cameras (particularly the Canon's) and so we created an H.264 decoder that works outside of the QT one enabling us to have 64-bit performance on H.264.


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Gary HuffRe: DSLR, DHxHD and all that - chosing new HD setup.
by on Aug 11, 2012 at 5:42:27 pm

[Dennis Radeke] "P2 is great and Intraframe. I also like OP1a MXF (Sony XDCAM)"

I guess you mean DVCPRO HD? P2 is just a storage format (like SD or CF card).

This thread has made the nanoFlash seem like the perfect external recorder at this point for a Premiere workflow, given its XDCam codec and MXF wrapper system.


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Ben EdwardsRe: DSLR, DHxHD and all that - chosing new HD setup.
by on Aug 10, 2012 at 2:40:15 pm

Thanks for that, shame Adobe does not have an intermediate codec. Is there one of the camera formats listed in Media Encoder I should use rather than the Avid one (my research seemed to show the Avid one was a good choice, but advice from Adobe would be good on this).

I have previously worked in it (over 15 years) and generally it is possible to work out where bottlenecks are by looking at system utilization. I am not close to maxing anything out (memory/cpu/disk all generally under 25% utilization) so I have no clue which bits to upgrade. This is where the joke about pixie dust comes from. I am currently a student doing a MA so cant afford to waste money on unnecessarily upgrading. I have just upgraded to 12GB and got 2*2TB Barracuda drives and a RAID0 enclosure.

My system is:
Gigabyte GA Z77-DS3H Motherboard
12GB Memory (1600 but cant seem to get it to work over 1333, still looking into this).
Nvida 550 Ti GPU (I know it is not supported but read favorable reviews).
i5 3550 (When I looked at benchmarks it seems to outperform a lot of i7 processors so I thought it was a good choose).

I realize to do DSLR and other long GOP formats I need a very powerful machine so thought the intermediate codec was the way to go.

Any advise would be good, you do student discounts so advise on student systems would be good. I did look at the system requirements on the Adobe site for Premiere Pro at http://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/policy-pricing/system-requirements-premi... and I am superseding them all except the GPU bit. Is the GeForce GTX 285, GeForce GTX 470 or GeForce GTX 570 likely to give me significantly more performance.

Is this the type of thing I would be better talking to suport about rather than using forums?

Ben

--
Ben Edwards - Freelance Picture Editor
http://www.funkytwig.com

i5 550, Windows 7 / Mac Lion, Nvida 550 Ti, 8GB Mem


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Gary HuffRe: DSLR, DHxHD and all that - chosing new HD setup.
by on Aug 10, 2012 at 3:31:05 pm

Ben, you might test out Adobe Media Encoder to transcode into either DVCPRO HD or AVC-Intra into their MXF formats. I'm considering trying that out myself.


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Dennis RadekeRe: DSLR, DHxHD and all that - chosing new HD setup.
by on Aug 11, 2012 at 11:32:06 am

[Ben Edwards] "Thanks for that, shame Adobe does not have an intermediate codec."

We're looking into it for the future, but at the moment anything that Premiere Pro understands, you can use as a DI codec if you wish. It is a common request we're hearing and it's very valid for some workflows.



[Ben Edwards] "generally it is possible to work out where bottlenecks are by looking at system utilization."

You got it and this is the key! There are a lot of resources that can help. I basically sum it up as this: it's about BALANCE! Here's a catch all post from Todd that you can find a lot of articles on performance - http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2011/02/optimizing-for-performance-adobe...

I also like looking at specs from PPBM5.com and their Premiere Pro results.

Taking a glance at your specs, I'd say that adding more memory would not go amiss (4GB per core would be a good starting point). A GeForce GPU would also be a great addition especially if you're on a budget.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.

Dennis - Adobe


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Ben EdwardsRe: DSLR, DHxHD and all that - chosing new HD setup.
by on Aug 11, 2012 at 1:08:23 pm

[Ben Edwards] "Thanks for that, shame Adobe does not have an intermediate codec."

[Denis. Adobe] We're looking into it for the future, but at the moment anything that Premiere Pro understands, you can use as a DI codec if you wish. It is a common request we're hearing and it's very valid for some workflows.


Good to here. I realize any can be used as DI codecs but as the Avid one is 32 bit it does not sound ideal. What would you recommend (i.e. what is not log GOP and is 64 bit). Yesterday I started cutting stuff with DNxHD 36, it is better but still does not always play smoothly. Also I did a lot of Audition roundtrips and it kept grinding to a halt (for some reason I had to log out and in again to get PP to restart).

[Ben Edwards] "generally it is possible to work out where bottlenecks are by looking at system utilization."

[Denis. Adobe]You got it and this is the key! There are a lot of resources that can help. I basically sum it up as this: it's about BALANCE! Here's a catch all post from Todd that you can find a lot of articles on performance - http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2011/02/optimizing-for-performance-adobe.....

I also like looking at specs from PPBM5.com and their Premiere Pro results.

Taking a glance at your specs, I'd say that adding more memory would not go amiss (4GB per core would be a good starting point). A GeForce GPU would also be a great addition especially if you're on a budget.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.

Dennis - Adobe


Yes, am coming to the conclusion it is the GPU. I have added another 8GB (16GB total) and the most I have used is around 10GB. In terms of PP is the 550 Ti less 'powerfull' than the 285 and 480. Is it CUPA cores that matter as the rest of the specs for 550 Ti seems higher than the 285.

Regards,
Ben

--
Ben Edwards - Freelance Picture Editor
http://www.funkytwig.com

i5 550, Windows 7 / Mac Lion, Nvida 550 Ti, 8GB Mem


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Ben EdwardsAll seems to be working now
by on Aug 11, 2012 at 7:10:35 pm

Just to let people know I upgraded the Nvida drivers (and windows installed service pack 1) and it not seems to be working. Thanks everybody, more info at http://forums.adobe.com/message/4614666#4614666.

--
Ben Edwards - Freelance Picture Editor
http://www.funkytwig.com

i5 550, Windows 7 / Mac Lion, Nvida 550 Ti, 8GB Mem


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Tom DaigonRe: All seems to be working now
by on Aug 12, 2012 at 1:13:01 am

Congrats!

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


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