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Dual Monitor RAM Preview Not-Realtime for Specific Display

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Gevork BabityanDual Monitor RAM Preview Not-Realtime for Specific Display
by on Feb 10, 2010 at 4:06:41 am

I am going crazy trying to figure this out. We are using After Effects 9.0.2 on a Mac Pro 2.8 ghz in 10.6.2 and for some reason the ram preview will not play back realtime on the 24" Dell Ultrasharp monitor. There are two 24 LCD's connected and when moving the comp window to the other Dell 24 inch it plays back realtime but when moving the comp window to the Ultrasharp it plays at 17 fps. What is interesting is that if I just scale the comp window to about 75% or less of the screen but leave the magnification at 100% it plays realtime. If I leave the comp window fully covering the screen and go down to 50% for the magnification it plays realtime, but not at 100% magnification.

The point of using the ultrasharp is for better color and picture but it wont play in realtime. I have tried switching dvi ports, cables, deleting preferences, trying different settings, different video cards, Reset PRAM, but nothing works. I have also connected another LCD in the Ultrasharp's place but it wont work either. It seems that realtime only works on one monitor with dual screens, which wouldn't be a problem if I had 2 ultrasharps. The current video card is the stock ATI 2600HD. After Effects Windows on this same machine doesn't have the problem so it seems like an OS X issue with after effects.

Maybe there is a simple setting or something but I have gone through many settings to no avail, I would really appreciate if anyone had any ideas or suggestions. I realize this is probably a very specific problem, but I recall one of the adobe guys saying that there were a few Mac Pro users having ram preview problems.

Thanks



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Dave LaRondeRe: Dual Monitor RAM Preview Not-Realtime for Specific Display
by on Feb 10, 2010 at 4:25:46 pm

What kind of capture card are you using to play back to the monitor? AJA? Blackmagic? Matrox?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Gevork BabityanRe: Dual Monitor RAM Preview Not-Realtime for Specific Display
by on Feb 10, 2010 at 5:57:29 pm

There is no capture card of any kind, preview is set to computer monitor only.



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Dave LaRondeRe: Dual Monitor RAM Preview Not-Realtime for Specific Display
by on Feb 10, 2010 at 6:10:31 pm

[Gevork Babityan] "There is no capture card of any kind, preview is set to computer monitor only. "

Hmmmm. Let's summarize:

....you have a very nice video monitor that you want to use...
...but because video monitors and computer monitors are not identical and interchangeable and require different kinds of signals, you see nothing....
...however, you don't have a video card that could make the monitor work properly.

So what do you think should happen next?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Gevork BabityanRe: Dual Monitor RAM Preview Not-Realtime for Specific Display
by on Feb 10, 2010 at 7:08:00 pm

Ok sorry if there was a misunderstanding. I am using two Dell LCD monitors, one is an DELL 2408WFP and the other is a DELL E248WFP. Both monitors work fine in dual screen on OS X and any other application. When I move the Comp window to the ultrasharp and do a ram preview it won't play realtime. I do see picture it's not black or anything like that. I am NOT using any video monitors or capture cards, just two DVI LCD monitors connected to an ATI Radeon HD2600.



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Jon BaggeRe: Dual Monitor RAM Preview Not-Realtime for Specific Display
by on Feb 10, 2010 at 9:23:44 pm

You have an ATI card so this may be different for you, but on nVidia cards there is a setting called something like 'multi/dual display GPU acceleration'.
This can be set to either 'single display performance mode' or 'multi display performance mode'

If this is set to 'single' you will only have hardware acceleration on one monitor which might be what's causing your problem.

I'm on a PC, so don't know what this will look like on a Mac, but I would suspect there is something similar.


--------------
Jon Bagge
Editor - London, UK
Avid - FCP - After Effects


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Kevin CampRe: Dual Monitor RAM Preview Not-Realtime for Specific Display
by on Feb 10, 2010 at 11:15:25 pm

since it works fine under windows on your mac, my guess is that there is a driver issue on the osx side. i believe that apple writes/updates all the drivers for it's oem cards, so unless there is an osx update that you can install, i'm not sure you're going to find a fix now.

i would be curious how the ultrasharp does if it is the only monitor plugged in.

i would also be curious how it does with osx 10.5, if that's an option.

ati used to have a utility that would allow application specific settings for it's cards (including the oems), but that was back before amd bought them... i'm not sure if that's still around, or if it would even help.

the only other thing i can think of is that there is a third party pci card that is screwing things up. i have seen an aja pci card installed in the wrong slot affect the performance of a display on a mac. and it was specific to displays plugged into the mini display port, the dvi port was fine... that one took a while to figure out. if you have any other pci cards, you might try removing them and just see what happens.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Theo VeltmanRe: Dual Monitor RAM Preview Not-Realtime for Specific Display
by on Feb 10, 2010 at 11:43:45 pm

I've found After Effects seems to have a few problems with using a secondary monitor for display through one graphics card but try this as it's how I believe it's meant to be done. Worked for me but made my AFX unstable and crash constantly

1- Set your secondary monitors display resolution to as close to your production resolution as you can through system preferences (1024x768 for SD or maybe 960x600 for anamorphic although I haven't tested this one).

2- In your After Effects preferences/video preview set your output device to digital cinema desktop and output mode to raw. Make sure "mirror on computer monitor" and "scale and letterbox output to fit video monitor" are unchecked and try another ram preview. It should now play back in real time at 1 to 1 resolution.

I also had more accurate output quality selected and output during previews, interactions and renders selected. I tried changing these settings around but couldn't get my AFX to stop crashing so I've given up on it. Hope you have better luck than me.


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Gevork BabityanRe: Dual Monitor RAM Preview Not-Realtime for Specific Display
by on Feb 11, 2010 at 4:41:42 am

Thanks for all the advice. Unfortunately I was not able fix it today, but did get somewhere. Apparently the monitor on the left side works. I like having the comp window on my right side monitor for preference but this does not work. I physically moved the Ultrasharp to the left side and it started to work, and now the right side monitor wont work, plays at 16-17 fps ram preview. I have tried also changing the display arrangement in system preferences but that doesn't work.

If I physically move the ultra sharp back to the right side it stops playing back in realtime after a couple minutes.

This is the weirdest bug I have ever seen, and I doubt it could be a signal/cable issue. Maybe my computer just doesn't like the right side monitor? I really don't like having the comp view on my left side.
I'm very disappointed I can't find a fix to this and what's worse is that I fear this such a specific problem that there will never be a fix or solution.



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Kevin CampRe: Dual Monitor RAM Preview Not-Realtime for Specific Display
by on Feb 11, 2010 at 3:59:46 pm

the fact that it stops playing back in realtime after a few minutes makes me think it's a heat issue. you might try getting a can of compressed air, disconnect the tower, open it up and blow it out really well. in particular hit the back grill in the pci bay and the fan on the graphics card. make sure all the fans move easily and freely. put it back together and see if that helps.

there is also a graphics card test as part of the apple hardware test on the original osx install disk that came with the mac. instructions to load it are printed on the disk. you might try that too, to see what it might turn up (i think it will run under two dual monitors). run the extended test -- note, it will take a while to complete, so make sure you have an hour to kill.

you could try getting a new card, but with no guarantee that it will solve your problem, you may not want to spend $400-500 on a new card. i think i would try to find a second used 2600hd for cheap first.

there's one on ebay for $180, buy it now.

i can't guarantee that it will solve the weird right-side monitor issue, but it seems like it probably would. having one gpu with it's own vram for each monitor is usually better than driving two monitors from the same gpu and splitting the vram.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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