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Mercury Playback in AE

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Morimitsu YamauchiMercury Playback in AE
by on Apr 25, 2010 at 6:02:54 am

Is Mercury supported in AE CS5?


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Uli PlankRe: Mercury Playback in AE
by on Apr 25, 2010 at 12:58:23 pm

It depends, since "Mercury Playback Engine" is just a marketing name for more than one core technology.
The complete switch to 64 bit is supported in AE CS5 and is making it much more stable and performant. During beta testing I was able to treat 4K footage from the RED One with Neatvideo and didn't get a single crash – try that in CS4. I don't need to explain why stablity is a major factor for real world speed ;-)

The use of CUDA (i.e. offloading tasks to the GPU) for realtime effects is not supported in AE.

Hope this helps,

Uli

Director of the Institute of Media Research (IMF) at Braunschweig University of Arts


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cow
Todd KoprivaRe: Mercury Playback in AE
by on Apr 25, 2010 at 3:08:14 pm

Uli's answer is an excellent one. To go just a little further:

'Mercury' is a marketing name for these performance improvements in Premiere Pro:

- multiprocessing
- multithreading
- 64-bit application
- use of CUDA to to some processing on supported hardware

The first three of these are in After Effects CS5. (The first two have been in After Effects for much longer.)

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
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If a page of After Effects Help answers your question, please consider rating it. If you have a tip, technique, or link to share---or if there is something that you'd like to see added or improved---please leave a comment.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Mercury Playback in AE
by on Apr 25, 2010 at 5:36:51 pm

I would also suspect -- although I don't know it for a fact yet -- that AE 10 will still have difficulty working with HDV video, the various flavors of mpeg and H.264.

So don't expect miracles if you import video from a Canon 5D or 7D into AE.


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


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Todd KoprivaRe: Mercury Playback in AE
by on Apr 25, 2010 at 6:10:23 pm

Dave,

Actually, the improvement of AVCHD (a subset of H.264) decoding was a major part of CS5 feature work. A _lot_ of cameras use the AVCHD flavor of H.264, including the currently popular DSLRs that you mention, so we put a lot of work into getting this right for CS5.

On the NAB show floor, I challenged people to bring me media that had been problematic in CS4, and I loaded what people brought me into Premiere Pro CS5 and After Effects CS5. No problems with import, preview, or renders in the tests that we did there on the spot with random people's H.264 media from all sorts of cameras.

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If a page of After Effects Help answers your question, please consider rating it. If you have a tip, technique, or link to share---or if there is something that you'd like to see added or improved---please leave a comment.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Mercury Playback in AE
by on Apr 25, 2010 at 6:21:38 pm

[Todd Kopriva] "No problems with import, preview, or renders in the tests that we did there on the spot with random people's H.264 media from all sorts of cameras."

Excellent! That's what I get for not upgrading my home machine in a timely fashion to check out AE 10 for myself.

Now we only need to know about mpeg's, m2t's, mts's.....

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


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Uli PlankRe: Mercury Playback in AE
by on Apr 25, 2010 at 7:13:13 pm

Thank you for the kind words, Todd.

Well, to give you a first impression, Dave: on my MacPro Xeon (non Nehalem) with 16 GB RAM After Effects is playing H.264 straight from the D5 at 16 fps – about half RT.

AVCHD from a Canon HG21 is playing at 15 fps (originally 25 fps progressive).

XDCAM footage from a Sony EX-1 in 1080i50 is playing around 11 fps (MPEG-2 @ 35 mbps).

All of these are without any effects.

Regards,

Uli

Disclaimer: Other than having been a member of the beta program, I'm in no way affiliated to Adobe.

Director of the Institute of Media Research (IMF) at Braunschweig University of Arts


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Dave LaRondeRe: Mercury Playback in AE
by on Apr 26, 2010 at 2:11:09 pm

Great! Now, how do the RENDERS turn out?

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


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Uli PlankRe: Mercury Playback in AE
by on Apr 26, 2010 at 4:29:53 pm

In many cases the quality is better than software only, scaling for example.

Director of the Institute of Media Research (IMF) at Braunschweig University of Arts


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Dave LaRondeRe: Mercury Playback in AE
by on Apr 26, 2010 at 4:38:30 pm

Well, that explains why Adobe's Guy In Charge Of After Effects, Dave Somebodyorother, looked at me as if I had two heads when I asked him about imported footage problems in AE 10.

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


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Koss ThieryRe: Mercury Playback in AE
by on Jul 18, 2010 at 1:46:22 pm

This is just a question about After effects architecture.

I've been a long time Vegas Pro user, which has been at 64 bit for a couple of years now. I recently added After Effects to my weekly routine at the TV station, specifically for Key Light, and the Refine Mask effects available in After Effects CS5.

I was shocked to find that Vegas tends to handle AVCHD clips, with no GPU acceleration mind you, much better than After Effects. I'm just wondering what's going on under the hood with AE that makes it perform so poorly. Literally the same clips will play in real time on the Vegas timeline, but they usually play at about 12-15 FPS on AE with absolutely no effects processing at all.

This difference, and the somewhat ambiguously defined Mercury Playback Engine led me to get a super clocked nVidia GTX 480 video card with 1.5GB of GDD5 RAM, similar to what this guy is doing, in hopes of adding it to the list of supported cards, and using it to speed things up in AE. Unfortunately I found out, pretty much the same day that this particular part of the MPE is not supported in After Effects.

So, I suppose the second part of my question is, "Why not?" It seems obvious to add Mercury Playback to After Effects, considering that people will probably be doing more effects processing with it than they will with Premiere. Is this a planned patch for After Effects? Similar to some of the Vegas plugins I've seen, which re-route some effects processing from the CPU to the GPU? Pretty please?

As a third part to this question, "What do I do with this monstrosity of a card, now?" I haven't used Premiere in nearly a decade, but it was my first non-linear experience, and though I survived, I've never looked back for fear I would turn to a pillar of salt. I've heard that it's better, but I'm in an environment where I have access to FCP, Avid, Vegas, and now Premiere, and nothing seems to come close tot he functionality and speed of Vegas so far. Any insights?

Thanks


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