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Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-dome (planetarium) editing

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Gary Burns
Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-dome (planetarium) editing
on Sep 17, 2015 at 3:18:30 pm
Last Edited By Gary Burns on Sep 19, 2015 at 1:17:04 pm

Hello!

I am currently working on a project which is going to require some basic editing in 4k for a full-dome planetarium show. Essentially the dimensions we are working with are 4000px x 3000px. Awkward, but it's what is needed for the medium.

In any case, keeping in mind I am okay with lower speeds/rendering time and I don't want to break the bank, I am looking to upgrade my existing editing PC which has been solid for my purposes this far.

Here is what I'm currently using: (asus m32--purchased 2014)

BASE FEATURES
Processor TypeAMD A6-6400K
Processor Speed3.9 GHz
RAM4 GB (1600 MHz DDR3)
Hard Drive Capacity1 TB
Hard Drive Speed (Revolutions Per Minute)7200 RPM
Optical Drive24X Supermulti DVD RW
Pre-loaded Operating SystemWindows 8.1 64-Bit
Graphics CardHD 8470D
Dedicated Graphic CardNo
DISPLAY
Built-in Monitor No
AUDIO
Audio Output1 x 6 Channel Audio
Microphone Input1
Line Out1 x Headphone
NETWORKING
Ethernet Port10/100/1000 Mbps
INPUTS & OUTPUTS
WebcamNo
KeyboardYes
MouseYes
RemoteNo
Modem1 x RJ45 LAN
USB Ports4 x USB 2.0 Rear; 2 x USB 3.0 Front
Card ReaderSD; SDHC; MS; MS Pro; xD; MMC
E-SATA4 x SATA 3.0 Gbps
VGA Output1 x VGA (D-Sub)
HDMI Output1
COMPUTING FEATURES
System BusAMD A55 FCH
Available PCIe Slots1 Mini PCI-e; 1 PCI-e x16
Available Memory Slots2
Removable StorageNo
Power Supply300 W
Energy Star QualifiedNo


Again, not really looking for speed, but just need basic rendering/editing capabilities for the 4k, dome style I described above. Any advance on graphics card that one break the band? Memory? Should I get another power supply? Any advice and links to recommended products is highly valued and appreciated.

Thanks again for your time!


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John Rofrano
Re: Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-done editing
on Sep 17, 2015 at 4:37:47 pm

[Gary Burns] "Again, not really looking for speed, but just need basic rendering/editing capabilities for the 4k, dome style I described above. Any advance on graphics card that one break the band? Memory? Should I get another power supply? Any advice and links to recommended products is highly valued and appreciated. "
I'm sorry to say this but there really are no upgrade options that can help you with such a low spec PC.

Sony recommends 8 cores for 4K you have 2 cores (that's 20% of what you need)
Sony recommends 16GB memory, you have 4GB (that's 25% of what you need)
Sony recommends an SSD or RAID drive, you have a single hard drive (that's 20% of what you need)

Your system isn't even 80% or 50% of what's needed. It's only 20% of the power you will need to work with 4K. I'm afraid that if you want to work with 4K you'll need a new PC. Preferably something with an Intel Core i7 Quad Core to be able to work in Proxy mode while editing. You also want to add a fairly new graphics card to that, maybe an AMD R9 270x minimum.

I would also investigate what codec the cameras in the drones use because Vegas Pro might not even be able to edit the raw video. You may need to convert it to something that is editable. Just something to think about.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Wayne Waag
Re: Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-done editing
on Sep 18, 2015 at 11:45:03 pm

JR is right. You really do have a low spec system that doesn't appear worth attempting to upgrade. Having said that, you can still do some pretty decent editing using proxies. It might be worth trying to do some test renders of proxies at differing resolutions to find a spot that your existing system might handle. 4000 x 3000 might seem daunting, but it's still a very basic 4:3 aspect ratio and there are lots of rendering possibilities. The first couple of months this year, I was forced to use an 8yr old Core 2 duo laptop on a 3 camera 1080 HD project. Preview using original footage was around 2 fps. However, using proxies, it was possible to bring that number to the upper 20's--good enough for completing the project. If rendering time isn't much of a concern, then you might give some thought to this approach. Just an idea. Good luck.

wwaag


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Gary Burns
Re: Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-dome editing
on Sep 19, 2015 at 1:57:38 pm

Hey guys,

Thanks for the replies. So, I actually accidentally posted the wrong specs for my machine (though they're not a ton better) they can be found below or here: http://www.cnet.com/products/asus-m32bf-b03-a-series-a10-6700-3-7-ghz-8-gb-...

Here they are as well:

PROCESSOR / CHIPSET
CPU AMD A series A10-6700 / 3.7 GHz
Max Turbo Speed 4.3 GHz
Number of Cores Quad-Core
Processor Socket Socket FM2

CACHE MEMORY
Installed Size 4 MB
Cache Per Processor 4 MB

MEMORY
Max Supported Size 16 GB
Form Factor DIMM 240-pin

RAM
Installed Size 8 GB / 16 GB (max)
Memory Speed 1600 MHz

HARD DRIVE
Capacity 1 x 1 TB
Interface Type SATA
Spindle Speed 7200 rpm

STORAGE CONTROLLER
Type 1 x SATA - integrated
Interface Type Serial ATA-300
Channel Qty 4

GRAPHICS CONTROLLER
Graphics Processor AMD Radeon HD 8670D


Wayne: can you explain to me what you mean by proxies? I really appreciated your post--I need to functionally edit in the format I described but a crystal clear preview isn't necessary (as you mentioned even getting it to 20fps would suffice)--especially if I'm alright with slower rendering speeds and the final product is still fine.

JR and Wayne: given the updated specs above, is there anything you would recommend in the way of upgrades? Maxing out my ram to 16g? Adding a SSD? Any particular graphics card you would recommend? Specific models/specs to look for would be a huge help as I know Vegas is particular on GPU usage.

I appreciate your patience with me and understanding of my situation. Speed is not a necessity for me, nor is preview quality as long as it is exactly that: preview quality (in Vegas I'm even used to/ok with preview: draft)...if the final rendered product is good, that's really all I'm looking for. I know my rig isn't ideal, but until I'm able to grow and expand, I need to try to and make due with what I've got to get a few projects off the ground.

Thanks again for your time and help--any advice is appreciated!


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Wayne Waag
Re: Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-dome editing
on Sep 19, 2015 at 3:59:30 pm

[Gary Burns}

The idea behind proxy editing is pretty simple. Take your 4000 x 3000 media. Each frame has 12 million pixels. I suspect that even the most high power systems would choke on attempting to preview such media. Suppose that at the beginning of my project, I render the original media down to a 640 x 480 MPEG file. Now each frame has 307K pixels, a reduction of 39 fold. Now, even the most modest system can easily preview such media. If you're using a single display, this permits you to still have a reasonable size preview window. So at this point, you do your editing using these down-sized files. Once you're happy and want to render, you simply replace the proxy files you've been using for editing with the original files.

Vegas 13 already has a proxy capability built in. In your project window, if you select a media file and right-click, there is an option to build a proxy. Once the file is built, if you use draft or preview quality, then Vegas uses the proxy file for preview. If Best or Full, it uses the original file. Once its time to render, it automatically uses the original file. While this is really pretty easy to use, I found that in my laptop example, the resulting files were still too large to be previewed well. For that reason, I created my own render template and manually created my own proxy files, which is what I would probably recommend that you do. If you have Vegasaur, there is a proxy builder function included that lets you specify what render template you want to use for your proxies. This can be very useful if you have lots of media files. However, if you have only a few, just doing it manually will work just as well. Hope this gives you a little better understanding of using proxies.

Regarding hardware, my only suggestion would be to an add additional hard drive to your system that is dedicated for your video work. Two would be even better to avoid having to read and then render to the same hard drive. SSD's are great as a system drive, but are still too expensive (IMHO) for use as a project drive involving large media files. JR is the guy to give video card suggestions.

wwaag


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John Rofrano
Re: Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-dome editing
on Sep 20, 2015 at 11:24:32 am

That's a better computer for sure but unfortunately it's still an AMD. As you can see on CPU Boss the AMD A10 670 3.7Ghz is slower than an Intel Core i7 3.4Ghz. So AMD isn't the best choice for video editing but at least it has 4 cores which is better than the 2 core computer you showed us before. On the bright side, the AMD Radeon HD 8670D isn't a bad GPU for Vegas Pro. I think it's based on the Radeon 6900 series which works well.

What upgrades? Considering you only have 8GB of memory and Sony recommends a 16GB for 4K work, I would increase your memory to 16GB. Then if you could use your current 1TB drive as a data drive and get an SSD for the boot drive, I think you will have taken that computer has far as it can go towards editing 4K. As Wayne pointed out, you will still probably need to use proxy editing but Vegas Pro takes care of all that for you now.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Russ Froze
Re: Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-dome (planetarium) editing
on Sep 19, 2015 at 4:10:45 pm

Ok first thing we need to know is which codec is this 4k recorded in. I have no problems with the GH4 Codec or even Shogun ProRes 4:2:2 HQ. There are other codecs that do not play as nice with my modest hardware.
Russ Froze


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Gary Burns
Re: Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-dome (planetarium) editing
on Sep 20, 2015 at 8:56:24 pm

Thanks for the replies, everyone. Great information about proxies--I am looking more into that now and think it will definitely be a viable solution.

Re: what format the 4K is I am working with--it really can be anything. What I mean by that is the raw footage is actually preexisting animation that was either originally rendered in 720p or 1080p using flash or AE--for this particular project we are now going back and upconverting or in some cases completely re-rendering the projects to 4k. For a "dome master"--what ends up getting used for a planetarium show is actually a .png sequence. So, if it makes any sense--I'm less picky about what format it's given to me in and more concerned about the .png sequence we render out to for the master.

With that being said, do you have any suggestions on a 4k file format I should tell my animator would be preferred?

Thanks again for everyone's help on here--you've all been extremely cordial, professional, and helpful. It's great to find a community of like-minded creatives who simply want to help each other succeed.

Thanks again!


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Russ Froze
Re: Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-dome (planetarium) editing
on Sep 21, 2015 at 7:20:33 am

[Gary Burns] "I'm less picky about what format it's given to me in and more concerned about the .png sequence we render out to for the master."

I hate questions as answers but more info is needed as to the media creation process. As stated in theory E=MC 2 the same principal applies here. Both Flash and After Effects can use either raster or vector images to generate a presentation / animation. If the content used to create the animation is of a vector method, the file can be enlarged/ expanded to the limit of the hardware while retaining color sharpness and detail. Vector artwork is scaled up or down via mathematical means and as such will retain it's quality. Conversely when scaled up or down raster images are squeezed or stretched to fit inside the new dimensions.The results will show blocking and stair stepping on the edges similar to early video games. Also resizing raster images needs to be done correctly as to avoid partial pixels which will degrade detail, sharpness and color information. On smaller screens this may not be apparent but when projected onto a large surface it will be plainly visible and the need for output specs become a mute point for this is the stage where input = output or E=MC2 . I'm afraid that input is paramount. One answer may be to test, test and test. Take a handful of finished frames and project them then sit and decide which way to take the project. The show has to dazzle and amaze the crowd. Good will not suffice, it needs to be the best ever. Those are my thoughts / opinions and like butt holes, everybody has one.
Russ Froze


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John Rofrano
Re: Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-dome (planetarium) editing
on Sep 21, 2015 at 12:24:24 pm

[Gary Burns] "With that being said, do you have any suggestions on a 4k file format I should tell my animator would be preferred?"
You're going to want a format that preserves as much of the animator's quality as possible. Try having them give you a PNG sequence and see how well that edits in Vegas Pro. Otherwise Sony XAVC Intra seems to edit nicely in Vegas. I don't work with 4K so I can't give you personal experience. This is just what I've read.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Mike Kujbida
Re: Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-dome (planetarium) editing
on Sep 21, 2015 at 12:29:22 pm

I render out PNG sequences in After Effects all the time and they play very nicely with Vegas Pro so no worries there.
Mind you, I only do 1080p, not 4K so a workflow test is definitely in order.
+1 to what John says about XAVC.


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John Laird
Re: Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-dome (planetarium) editing
on Sep 24, 2015 at 8:18:06 pm

John, Steve and All

I just installed the latest version of Vegas 13 in my Toshiba laptop 4 k version with the R9-265 video chip and it has fixed all the issues with 4k. It plays great on the timeline and renders 4 K without any problems. It uses gpu acceleration on both playback and rendering with either the Sony or Main Concept codec. Here is the best part, it fixes the scaling issues in the display. It never freezes or crashes. All I can say is Sony really got it right with this update. Steve give gpu acceleration a try. They really got it right

Good job Sony!!!!

John



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Russ Froze
Re: Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-dome (planetarium) editing
on Sep 24, 2015 at 8:33:50 pm

[John Laird] "Good job Sony!!!!"

Plus 1 from me
Russ Froze


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John Rofrano
Re: Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-dome (planetarium) editing
on Sep 24, 2015 at 8:52:50 pm

That sounds great. Having an AMD R9 video chip really helps with Vegas Pro.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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John Laird
Re: Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-dome (planetarium) editing
on Sep 24, 2015 at 8:56:36 pm
Last Edited By John Laird on Sep 24, 2015 at 10:03:31 pm

John..

All I can say is WOW!! What a difference. It just works as advertised Again Thank you Sony!!!!!!

John



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Aaron Star
Re: Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-dome (planetarium) editing
on Sep 24, 2015 at 9:16:18 pm
Last Edited By Aaron Star on Sep 24, 2015 at 9:26:06 pm

Glad you found a solution.

I would ask, based on reading the thread, that you work backwards from your projection and video display device/server. From what I read, it sounds like the display system uses .PNG sequence to playback during the performance. I would not convert footage to a codec like XAVC just to edit. If your laptop will not playback a PNG imported sequence of 4000x3000, create a proxy set of the .PNGs of 1280x960, then create proxy edit project of that size. You should be able to edit the like for like content in real-time. When done editing, change out the 1280x960 material for the full 4000x3000 material, and increase the project size back to full res. Then render a new .PNG sequence that will be your completed show sequence.

Get a new .PNG or TIF or EXR export from the original animator in the 4000x3000, then edit using the proxy mode described above. Converting png to xavc and then back to PNG, is just going to reduce image quality for the sake of some editing workflow mindset. Editing a PNG sequence will edit just like video codec file, and maintain what little quality you have in your original .PNG sequence.

Something I would look into, is what exactly the Planetarium display system will use at the highest quality. Something like a TIF or JPEG2000 sequence would be much better than a .PNG sequence.


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Russ Froze
Re: Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-dome (planetarium) editing
on Sep 24, 2015 at 10:03:52 pm

[Aaron Star] " From what I read, it sounds like the display system uses .PNG sequence to playback"

I agree with Aaron Star and would take it a step farther and have an export of the original file without the alpha info thereby reducing the filesize and decoding requirements. For that matter if the resulting file(s) is to be a png sequence, unless further compositing is required, I am confused as to the need for editing in any nle for the piece can be finished in Flash or After Effects.


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John Laird
Re: Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-dome (planetarium) editing
on Sep 24, 2015 at 10:26:09 pm

Here is a Test Video shot with a Phantom 3 pro and edited with the Toshiba. Downrezed to 1920 by 1080 for the net. Took about 12 min to encode with main concept codec.

http://www.movingmoment.net/HighFlite7.mp4


John



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Russ Froze
Re: Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-dome (planetarium) editing
on Sep 24, 2015 at 10:39:12 pm

It certainly does look great, nice work
Russ Froze


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John Laird
Re: Hardware requirements: 4k video for full-dome (planetarium) editing
on Sep 24, 2015 at 10:57:23 pm

Thanks Russ..


John



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