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Using GPU Acceleration inserts a random frame?

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Phil Gibson
Using GPU Acceleration inserts a random frame?
on Aug 11, 2014 at 4:14:14 pm

I posted this on the Adobe Media Encoder forums last week and I haven't had much traffic so I wanted to post this here to see what you all thought. This is clearly a GPU Acceleration problem, but I was trying to see if anyone else had seen this or knew of a workaround, preferably other than using Software Only Mode.
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New Mac Pro (6 core, d500 cards, 32GB RAM, OSX10.9.4). Adobe Media Encoder CC 2014.0.1. Tested on two separate machines of the same configuration.

I have a just over 2 hour long 1080p ProRes file that I was encoding to MPEG2 for DVD. During QC of the disc, a random frame from another part of the movie was found in a spot about 39 minutes into the encode. The issue was in the encoded MPEG2 stream.

The client also wanted a lower resolution h264 proof of the video, and that was encoded on the same machine at a separate time. That had the same random frame at the exact same spot.

I encoded the preview h264 in just a few minute segment of the video around the glitch on the second Mac Pro. It showed up again. I used the same setting but turned off GPU Acceleration, and the frame is gone.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what is going on here? Obviously there is a problem with GPU acceleration on the new Mac Pro's with Media Encoder, but what could be specifically causing it and what could be done to fix this? With all of the issues in Premiere and After Effects, some of which are being caused by software updates, and the issues with the one Mac Pro needing to be replaced due to bad video cards, I feel like there is just a ton of problems that didn't exist on our outdated Mac Pro with Final Cut Pro 7.

Please let me know of any ideas to make me not doubt every encode I do on these machines with GPU Acceleration turned on. Thanks.

-Phil


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Ryan Holmes
Re: Using GPU Acceleration inserts a random frame?
on Aug 12, 2014 at 1:41:58 am

Yep...this has been a known problem for a while now with Adobe and the new Mac Pro. People's recommended solution is typically to export using the "Software Only" setting which disables the GPU acceleration. It takes longer, but it's more reliable with your final output.

Just for safe measure I would submit a Bug Fix request directly to Adobe:
https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform&loc=en

Ryan Holmes
http://www.ryanholmes.me
@CutColorPost


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Phil Gibson
Re: Using GPU Acceleration inserts a random frame?
on Aug 13, 2014 at 4:25:34 pm

That is unfortunate.

Hopefully things get updated on both the Apple and Adobe side of things because some of us that use these machines on a daily basis are beginning to regret not going the PC with CUDA route.


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Ryan Damm
Re: Using GPU Acceleration inserts a random frame?
on Aug 31, 2014 at 10:06:01 pm

For what it's worth, I'm seeing the same problem on a PC with CUDA. Random frame encoded from a different spot in the sequence (not sure if it's the same clip or not -- I'm mashing together a lot of identical-looking clips). I haven't tested if it's GPU related, as it was easier to duplicate the previous frame in the sequence and repeat it. A lame solution, but I'm under deadline and can't be debugging someone else's software.

On my PC system, it's persistent, too: re-render the same sequence, and the same bad frame appears in the same spot (even if the project file was versioned). That's why the fix works, FWIW.

Personally, I'm ready for another suite besides Adobe; things have been buggy and unreliable for a while, and they break in creative ways. My coworker talks me down from the ledge by reminding me how ugly FCP 7 was, too. I'd give my eye teeth for reliable video software.


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Phil Gibson
Re: Using GPU Acceleration inserts a random frame?
on Sep 2, 2014 at 1:44:07 pm

That's even less encouraging. I was hoping it was something with the New Mac Pro's AMD cards and just ironing out bugs with that.

I used FCP for YEARS and it certainly had its share of bugs, but it seemed to me that whenever there was a bug, it was consistent and repeatable so you could figure out how to work around it. The Adobe bugs seem to appear and disappear at random and stuff has been broken with program updates in major ways (the insert loud buzz for every audio transition at the head of an audio clip one was wonderful).

Just out of curiosity, what is the footage you are working with that gave you the random frame? Maybe it is something with ProRes or QuickTime based footage?


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Ryan Damm
Re: Using GPU Acceleration inserts a random frame?
on Sep 2, 2014 at 3:58:11 pm

The source footage we're working with is Cineform (FS1 preset) -- Cineform has been awful, but it was a choice we made to accommodate a hybrid Mac/PC workflow (itself a huge, cost-driven mistake). Re: Cineform, we should've just gone with DNxHD.

For what it's worth, I think the frame came from earlier in the same clip (could've been later -- the footage is very monotonous). It looks weirdly low-res, like it's a partially-decoded wavelet file or something.

The only other stuff in our stack -- we're using a Red Giant plugin for color correction, and encoding with the x264 Pro plugin through AME. The sequence itself is a really vanilla Premiere sequence.

And yeah, I hear you about 'consistently broken' is better than 'randomly broken.' Workflow quirks and patches can be ugly, but at least they're static and solving known problems. The reality with AME (and compressor before it, honestly) is we have to watch every frame of every video during QA, and we have to keep enough slack in the schedule for multiple re-render passes when we find errors. These random breaks in AME seem to just increase the number and variety of problems we're catching in QA -- six months ago it was just gray frames, now it's random frames and inexplicable render slowdowns or failures. (Renders that slow to a crawl as soon as I go to bed is another pet peeve.)

If I could change anything about the Adobe Creative Cloud, it would be the silent/required updates and patches. I simply can't afford a random patch or update to break our workflow, the way it's done on several occasions. It makes the software prosumer, not pro. If anyone from Adobe reads this thread, I would love a 'freeze' option for my installation, so I'm not dealing with Adobe-related issues in the month leading up to a huge deadline.

If anyone else is listening, I'd love to hear suggestions for a truly stable software solution. I'm looking into Nuke, but unfortunately I don't think that's the whole answer (as we'll still have to edit and encode somewhere -- and I don't think Nuke has a solution for that). Perhaps it's just as simple as: NLEs and commercial encoding software are broken, full stop.

Sigh. (This is why I like camera-side stuff.)


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Chuck Major
Re: Using GPU Acceleration inserts a random frame?
on Jan 7, 2016 at 5:37:30 am

I have the same issue with Random frames appearing in the Encore MPEG2 transcodes of my latest 3 projects. All imported Seqs from Premiere Pro CS5 via Adobe Dynamic Link. I can Export from ppro to mpeg2 without the issue, but video quality is not as good for titles and video. The PC is a dual Zeon, 256GB RAM, 1TB SSD Boot/Program Disk, 4TB Video Source Disk, 2TB RAID0 Scratch and processing disk. Nvidia Quadro K4000 video



Also have another PC not as powerful, but it does not have the issue


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Chuck Major
Re: Using GPU Acceleration inserts a random frame?
on Jan 19, 2016 at 5:40:38 am

Random single frames from another part of my video appear at different locations in my Encore MPEG2 transcodes. The sequences

were imported into Encore from Premiere Pro CS5 via Adobe Dynamic Link.

The random frames do not appear in the original Premier Pro timeline, only in the Encore transcode and the burned DVDs.

I have tried importing into Encore using Adobe Dynamic Link with both Mercury GPU acceleration turned on and Mercury Software only

with the same results.

I can export directly from Premiere Pro with the MPEG2 for DVD setting, but video and title quality suffers and Encore does not

automatically adjust transcode to fit on the DVD.

If I turn GPU Acceleration off the Transcode in Encore takes longer and appears to use more memory, but completes successfully

without the random frames.
There are many people on the Adobe forums that have had this issue on CS4 - CC, but no one seems to have found a resolution.

I Also have another PC not as powerful (FX1800), but it does not have the issue.


System Config:
Windows 10 Pro
Dual Xeon E5-2637 v2 @ 3.50GHz
256GB RAM
Nvidia Quadro K4000 Graphics Card
1TB SSD Boot/Program Disk
4TB Video Source Disk
2TB RAID0 Sctratch and processing disk


Software:
Premiere Pro CS5
After Effect CS5.5
PhotoShop CS6 (Installed from Master Collection)
Media Encoder CS5
Media Encoder CS5.5
Media Encoder CS6


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Chuck Major
Re: Using GPU Acceleration inserts a random frame?
on Jan 25, 2016 at 6:32:55 am

UPDATE: I no longer have the memory issue.... I slip RAM between adobe and other apps, giving each about 128GB..

The random inserted frame from another part of the video during Encore transcode is still a big issue! It happens whether GPU Acceleration is on or off when using Dynamic Link to import a sequence from Premiere Pro.


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