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Mercury playback equivalent please (I don't like waiting for render)

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Jacques Gaines
Mercury playback equivalent please (I don't like waiting for render)
on Jan 16, 2011 at 3:10:32 pm

Does anyone know if Apple's next version of Final Cut will be able to take advantage of any hardware (affordable) acceleration like the Mercury playback (nvidia) engine in Premiere. My next question is. I've been using Final cut for the past year but never got a chance to check out if there is already existing hardware that might be doing just this. Sounds crazy but I've actually been so busy using the software that I haven't had a chance to find out how to streamline my workflow.


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Ben Holmes
Re: Mercury playback equivalent please (I don't like waiting for render)
on Jan 16, 2011 at 3:43:41 pm

There is no existing hardware for this, and no one outside a small team of beta testers knows what's in the next version of FCP. And it's a pretty good bet they're not telling.

Edit Out Ltd
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Steve Eisen
Re: Mercury playback equivalent please (I don't like waiting for render)
on Jan 16, 2011 at 5:28:52 pm

You think any one of us doesn't like rendering? There are a lot of FCP users including me that get sufficient real time editing. It does depend on your workflow and hardware setup.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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John Heagy
Re: Mercury playback equivalent please (I don't like waiting for render)
on Jan 16, 2011 at 10:46:26 pm

To edit native or rely on RT Preview...

For us it native all the way. Our shows have such tight delivery schedules we can't afford to render a 1hr seq of AVC-I, or other codec, in order to output to tape or submit to an encoder. There is no file format that allows a mixed codec/frame size or rate to coexist in a media file. One could use the FCP project as the "final master" but that's a lot of "spinning plates" that could fall compared to a single ProRes file. No amount of hardware preview acceleration will change that.

If you are using RT to go to tape.. remember, RT is only 8 bit and who knows what other short cuts it's taking to preview mixed codecs. It's called "preview" for a reason. Adobe refers to it's Mercury engine the same way I believe.

The render is unavoidable... we choose to render first.

John Heagy


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Jacques Gaines
Re: Mercury playback equivalent please (I don't like waiting for render)
on Jan 17, 2011 at 12:15:57 am

Thank you for your replies. I guess what I wasn't clear on was preview. The fact that rendering has to be done to even preview effects and changes etc. I used to be on Sony Vegas which, at the time of DV editing, had a fantastic ability to show you your changes on the spot and quickly. Although not perfect. It gave you a very good idea. Unfortunately 1080 hd kinda destroyed Sony Vegas' ability to do that. I think there might be some work flow modifications that I need to be looking at. I believe that the hardest thing to really NAIL is work flow. What you start off with and how you end up with the final result is so enormously important it isn't even funny. Last question for now:


What is the most important hardware upgrade in your existing Mac that improves on work flow and the PREVIEW issues I have addressed. RAM?, Video card? Processor cores?

Please illuminate


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Mercury playback equivalent please (I don't like waiting for render)
on Jan 17, 2011 at 2:24:50 am

[Jacques Gaines] "What is the most important hardware upgrade in your existing Mac that improves on work flow and the PREVIEW issues I have addressed. RAM?, Video card? Processor cores?"

None of the above.

The answer is, a hard drive raid with plenty of throughput. Period, end of story.

The reason CalDigit, Dulce, Max Digital, G-Tech, etc., advertise on the Creative Cow, especially on the FCP Forum, and is not to sell things to people they don't need, but in fact, because everyone really needs a good RAID, but they just don't know it yet.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Dennis Radeke
Re: Mercury playback equivalent please (I don't like waiting for render)
on Jan 17, 2011 at 12:25:15 pm

[John Heagy] "If you are using RT to go to tape.. remember, RT is only 8 bit and who knows what other short cuts it's taking to preview mixed codecs. It's called "preview" for a reason. Adobe refers to it's Mercury engine the same way I believe.

The render is unavoidable... we choose to render first."


There are no short cuts as you suppose and in fact mixing multiple codecs on the same timeline is not a function per se of the Mercury Playback Engine. The ability to mix'n'match was available in CS4 and I did an Adobe TV episode on it called the Incredible Playback Demo (or something like that).

To output to tape or create a file-based final output, clearly you have to render. Adobe does it with all CPUs in 64-bit goodness. The difference here is the definition of preview. With FCP, you may have to convert your footage to ProRes to begin with and you may at some point have to render a portion of your timeline to preview your show. Premiere Pro works natively with files and will play them in full res in realtime assuming your system is adequate. Our editing methodology or 'preview' allows you to edit faster without interrupting the user with renders.

In the end, like most things, it comes down to what your preferences are. Any two editing systems offer certain advantages over the each other and I don't expect that to change in the near future. Choose the right tool for the job or based on your preference. Chances are you have both of them already. ;-)


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