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Choppy playback & Scrubbing of 4K files on beast PC

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Chris Wood
Choppy playback & Scrubbing of 4K files on beast PC
on Jan 24, 2020 at 4:57:37 pm

Hello all,

Got a friend with the above issue on his PC, specs and codecs down below:

PC is Ryzen 3900x
64GB DDR4 3000MHz
2x 2TB NVMe SSD's (not in Raid)
RTX 2060 Super GPU

Friend says rendering is lightning fast and everything else performs as expected, but tbh playback on a 4k raw shouldn't be a problem for this spec.

It's an MP4 H.264, from a Sony A7SII with no transcoding done. Essentially importing straight from camera. The scrubbing through the timeline is jumpy too.

Anything we're missing on this? Thanks.


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Blaise Douros
Re: Choppy playback & Scrubbing of 4K files on beast PC
on Jan 24, 2020 at 5:25:00 pm

The missing piece is that your footage isn't an edit-friendly codec.

MP4 h.264 is a Long-GOP codec: basically, it means that every four or five frames, the codec records a "real" frame (called a key frame), and then the next four frames are just a record of what changed since that frame. So if you're scrubbing the timeline, if you land on a key frame your machine is happy. But if you land on frame number four, that means that your machine actually has to process five frames: the key frame, plus each successive frame until it gets to the one displayed. Couple that with a 4x increase in the amount of data from HD to UHD, and you've got a recipe for your scrubbing to suck.

You can do one of two things: first, you can transcode to a lossless intermediate codec like one of the ProRes, DnX, or Cineform flavors, at full res, and edit and deliver from that. This will increase your storage space, but the files will be easier on your machine to edit.

Second, you can use Premiere's Proxy workflow to generate lightweight intermediate files (usually in a lower res and also ProRes, DnX, or GoPro Cineform), which you use only during the edit process to speed up your machine. Before your final export, you relink to the original files, and the machine uses your original footage to export the final version.

"But that's so much transcoding," I hear you say! Yeah, I know. But that is the price of having a more responsive timeline.


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Jon Doughtie
Re: Choppy playback & Scrubbing of 4K files on beast PC
on Jan 25, 2020 at 12:54:01 pm

Blaise nailed the answer. Transcode or work with proxy files. That is the reality for everyone, regardless of beast CPU's or beast storage. A the moment, heavily encoded formats are beating hardware. This will push the next gen of hardware, and then the hardware will win - for a while.

It's always been like riding on a see-saw since non-linear editing stepped up on the stage.

System:
Dell Precision T7600 (x2)
Win 7 64-bit
32GB RAM
Adobe CC 2017.1 (as of 8/2017)
256GB SSD system drive
4 internal media drives RAID 5
Typically cutting short form from UHD MP4, HD MP4, and HD P2 MXF.


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Chris Borjis
Re: Choppy playback & Scrubbing of 4K files on beast PC
on Jan 27, 2020 at 7:08:48 pm
Last Edited By Chris Borjis on Jan 27, 2020 at 7:11:16 pm

Even an ssd drive is not nearly fast enough for sustained 4k playback.
It's about as fast as an old sata raid was for SD/HD workflows. That is a huge
bottleneck right there.

I've worked with all kinds of formats over the past 19 years and the io speed
of the storage device is what usually drives those to transcoding into other or proxy formats.
Never had to do that on any projects here.

But it should give you butter smooth playback and scrubbing in your situation.


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Eric Santiago
Re: Choppy playback & Scrubbing of 4K files on beast PC
on Jan 27, 2020 at 7:26:58 pm

The word RAW from the camera is somewhat confusing to some.
I honestly think camera vendors should add that warning on the box.
Excuse me if they do already.
My only experience with RAW is RED.
I had a GH4 and GoPro for years and it was always transcode first before using it in a project.


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Chris Borjis
Re: Choppy playback & Scrubbing of 4K files on beast PC
on Jan 28, 2020 at 11:41:56 pm
Last Edited By Chris Borjis on Jan 28, 2020 at 11:43:08 pm

[Eric Santiago] "I had a GH4 and GoPro for years and it was always transcode first before using it in a project."

Good point. Now that I think about it, I had one job that used GoPro footage some years back and that absolutely would
not play smoothly without transcoding.



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Blaise Douros
Re: Choppy playback & Scrubbing of 4K files on beast PC
on Jan 28, 2020 at 11:44:25 pm

Exaaaaaaactly. A drive full of raw (unedited) footage is very different from footage in RAW format...


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