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misu cucu
AVCHD hiccup
on Feb 3, 2012 at 9:02:25 pm

hello.
I am trying to edit avchd footage generated in Panasonic AG AF-101 with Sony Vegas 11 64-bit. I tried different preview, gpu, cpu, ram set-ups with no succes; between any two shots there is a drop in fps, from 25fps to 16-18fps, for about one second. after about two minutes of playback it drops to as low as 2-3fps, and does not recover. there is no way I can edit a video with this hiccups.
I use a laptop with i7 cpu, nvidia GT 550M graphics, 8gb ram, 7200rpm hdd.

I also tried to edit .h264 from canon hdslr and it works fine.
is there anything I can do to have a smooth edit?

thank you,
misu


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Stephen Mann
Re: AVCHD hiccup
on Feb 4, 2012 at 5:03:01 am

As you have discovered, AVCHD requires bone-crushing CPU power to preview. But your i7 should be enough, so something else is eating up all your resources.

If you have run any MS Office applications, close them and reboot the computer. MS Office applications load themselves into RAM the first time you use the,.

Turn off your anti-virus. Especially Norton. It may be examining every file I/O and greatly slowing the PC.

Turn off the WiFi. If you have Dropbox (a great program - highly recommended), it "calls home" periodically to look for updates.

Make sure your power settings don't slow the HDD after a minute of no keyboard/mouse inactivity. Many laptops do this to artificially increase their battery life.

Hope this helps.

Steve Mann
MannMade Digital Video
http://www.mmdv.com


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misu cucu
Re: AVCHD hiccup
on Feb 4, 2012 at 6:10:49 am

thank you.
this helped.
I did turn off the antivirus and the internet browser.
the result is fps drops only to 20-22.
with the dynamic ram set to 5gb it works fine until the ram is full and then slows down. with dynamic ram turned to 0 it keeps the pace.
still, I have the hiccups all the time, for about a second at every shot change. it looks like the initial shot freezes for a second at the end and the next shot stumbles.
turning off the gpu seems to do good.
I hoped the hyper-threaded i7 2670QM cpu would be enough to have a good edit experience; the task manager shows me 15-20% cpu usage so it is enough.


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Stephen Mann
Re: AVCHD hiccup
on Feb 5, 2012 at 12:58:06 am

First, an i7 should give you better performance than you are experiencing.
Do you mean the Preview RAM? The sweet spot seems to be around 1Gb.
How do you know the RAM is full?
Try running Resource Monitor (start/resmon) to see what's happening. On the Memory tab then sort by the Commit column. This will tell you what programs are hogging the memory. In my case Firefox and Thunderbird are huge resource hogs.

CPU usage doesn't tell you much except that when it's below 100%, your CPU isn't the bottleneck.

Also, go into the task manager and make sure the Process Affinity (go to the Processes tab and right-click on Vegas110.exe. Make sure all cores are enabled. You can also bump the priority, but that won't stick. The next time you run Vegas, the priority will again be "Normal".

Steve Mann
MannMade Digital Video
http://www.mmdv.com


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misu cucu
Re: AVCHD hiccup
on Feb 5, 2012 at 7:51:35 am

hello.
I mean preferences/video tab/ Dynamic RAM preview max: I can type anything from 0 to 7073MB. I tried both 0 and 4-5000mb. I can watch the ram filling in Windows Task Manger/ Performance tab. I also see the cpu usage and it is using 8 threads with 20% maximum. when rendering something the result is quite good (avchd 1080p25 to xdcam hd 422 takes less then real time) and the cpu usage peaks above 90%, with all 8 threads in use.
I also tried to preview an avchd clip with a color curves filter applied and the frame rate keeps stumbling between 25 and 16fps.
thank you for your help.
misu


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Stephen Mann
Re: AVCHD hiccup
on Feb 5, 2012 at 9:41:03 pm

The Dynamic RAM preview is used when you use CTRL-B to RAM preview a region. If you loop on a region, it does the same thing. Otherwise, it is only RAM that is not available for anything else.

That's the theory. But experiments have demonstrated that Vegas uses some of the Preview RAM for normal editing and encoding. The sweet spot seems to be 1Gb. You can set it to zero, but encode times (in the Render As menu) take longer.

Almost all F/X and filters will require every pixel on every frame to be rendered. This is a lot of work for the processor and GPU to handle in real-time.

Steve Mann
MannMade Digital Video
http://www.mmdv.com


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misu cucu
Re: AVCHD hiccup
on Feb 6, 2012 at 8:16:23 am

that might be the case but the ram usage increases when I allow it to be used (maybe preview is stored by default). either way the preview is not smooth, as it is supposed to be. adding a filter does not overload the cpu, as I keep an eye on the performance. it never exceeds 30% in preview.
it makes little difference what preview settings I use.
could it be the case that I need another codec?
I suppose I should give up and switch to another nle system.
best,
misu


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Stephen Mann
Re: AVCHD hiccup
on Feb 6, 2012 at 3:15:59 pm

"adding a filter does not overload the cpu, "


I didn't say it would, only that it would tax the CPU more.


This is not a CODEC issue, simply a performance issue. Also, CPU usage is not a reliable performance measurement - it can only tell you that the CPU is or is not the bottleneck in your process.

"I suppose I should give up and switch to another nle system."


Please do. Seriously. Download the demo versions of Avid and Premiere and see if they perform any better. I would really like to know the results. If you find a better tool for your workflow, then use it.


http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?product=premiere_pro

http://www.avid.com/US/specialoffers/product-trials

Steve Mann
MannMade Digital Video
http://www.mmdv.com


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misu cucu
Re: AVCHD hiccup
on Feb 13, 2012 at 10:04:23 pm

I discovered that my laptop has one Intel integrated graphics card and a dedicated nvidia one. bypassing the integrated graphics is not an option but I found that I can set vegas to always use the nvidia card through the nvidia setup menu.
as a result the video preview is much smoother, with a shorter freeze, the frame rate drop is a lot smaller and it does not slow down when the ram is filled. the problem still exists but after previewing once it replays fine, as the frames are stored.


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Thomas Smet
Re: AVCHD hiccup
on Feb 19, 2012 at 10:14:57 pm

I should point out I have this exact same problem. 17" MBP core 17 quad core with hyper threading. AMD 6750 GPU 1 GB VRAM and 8 GB system ram.

I am running Windows 7 64 under bootcamp with Vegas 11. I have the latest version and everything plays great until it gets to a cut. I can even scale AVCHD down to 720x480 add 4 gpu filters and play in RT and render out at super fast speeds. My fps does drop 1 to 4 frames between every cut.

Vegas is using the AMD video card and I have tried many storage devices even up to an empty ESATA drive running at 125MB/S.

To me it seems like the way Vegas seeks the drive to get the next video clip. It just seems to take a frame or two. Once the clip is there it plays fine. I find this bug very annoying as it makes it hard to focus on the timing of edits when the video hickups for a few frames between cuts.

I should point out I have run Adobe CS5.5 under Windows and OSX on this same machine and it does not have the same problem. I have also run FCP and the new FCPX without this same problem on the same hardware.

I would love to know if I'm just doing something wrong but the last three computers I tried Vegas on did the exact same thing.


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