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Transcoding for Premiere

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Neil GowanTranscoding for Premiere
by on May 26, 2015 at 3:58:35 pm

Several folks have assured me that Premiere's "ability" to work with native camera formats is reliable and efficient...offering good enough performance with native formats to make it worth skipping the transcode stage.
Obviously I'm coming from the FCP world, so I've been skeptical. But I've been trying to configure my system and my sequences to optimal settings for whatever native format I'm working with, and I've really been disappointed with performance, particularly with scrubbing and jogging - especially in reverse speeds.

I've got a 4K doc (shot on BlackMagic so all footage is natively ProRes) which is scrubbing and jogging very nicely, while even a 1080 sequence from AVCHD media isn't keeping up with my jogging commands (particularly backwards), nor do I get a real-time video or audio scrub when scrubbing through the sequence.

Are the people who are happy with Premiere's native-format capabilities just light users, not needing to scrub or jog a lot? Or do I still have some settings wrong? Or am I missing something else? I'm working on a 3.5Ghz 6-core Xeon E5 with 32GB ram, dual FirePro D700's (late 2013 Mac).

Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.


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James StrawnRe: Transcoding for Premiere
by on May 26, 2015 at 4:16:52 pm

Are you using JKL key command for playback & scrubbing? Or the mouse + other commands?
Are you transmitting out through and AJA device or other hard are during playback?
What are your monitor (playback/paused) resolution settings?


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Neil GowanRe: Transcoding for Premiere
by on May 26, 2015 at 4:26:02 pm

I'm using the mouse to scrub, and yes using j,k,l for playback and jogging.

No other hardware during playback...just using dual D700's in my machine. I'm using a 4k monitor (via HDMI), but performance is the same whether or not I'm sending to that monitor.

I've got playback and paused res setting to Full.


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David Roth WeissRe: Transcoding for Premiere
by on May 26, 2015 at 5:51:08 pm

You've not once mentioned your media drive(s), which are as important, if not more important than procs, RAM, and GPU.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Neil GowanRe: Transcoding for Premiere
by on May 26, 2015 at 5:57:47 pm

In this case, media lives on a Thunderbolt 2 RAID.

I'm most interested in hearing others' experience when comparing the performance of ProRes vs. camera-native codecs, regardless of system specs.


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David Roth WeissRe: Transcoding for Premiere
by on May 26, 2015 at 6:25:04 pm

That's like saying you want to discuss the difference in performance between two cars without discussing the difference in their engines.

Also, you said you're using a Thunderbolt RAID, but failed to mention how many hard drives in the enclosure. There are 2-drive RAIDs, up to RAIDs with many more drives, and each time you double the number of drives you essentially double the performance of the RAID, so just answering my earlier question with the type if RAID, but not its number of hard drives tells us VERY little.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Neil GowanRe: Transcoding for Premiere
by on May 26, 2015 at 6:49:32 pm

No, it's like saying I want to discuss how your engine does comparing 2 different roads. And with your input, I can assume that my engine will have similar performance differences given similar road differences. Looking for relative information here, make sense?

My media is on a RAID 5, 8 disks.


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David Roth WeissRe: Transcoding for Premiere
by on May 27, 2015 at 6:04:49 pm

Neil,

I understand your logic, but if you road test before making certain your engine is running properly you will have too many variables to deal with, and you will never be certain which of those variables are creating issues.

Now that you have mentioned you have an 8-drive RAID we can eliminate that as the source of your issue, and we can look deeper. That's how it works best here, i.e. you ask for help, supply the info we need, and we try our best to help you.

As has been mentioned by others, since we know your system is quite capable of seamlessly playing 4K Pro Res and a host of other codecs as well, it does seem to point to AVCHD as the culprit. That's precisely why Sony switched from AVCHD to XAVC as their chosen hi-performance codec.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Neil GowanRe: Transcoding for Premiere
by on May 27, 2015 at 6:14:38 pm

Thanks to all for the input.

Here's my specific situation: working on a 4K doc shot on BlackMagic so all A Cam media is in ProRes. We have a couple B Cams - a DJI Inspire (giving me an AVC encode) and a Lumix GH4 (giving me h.264). Would you all expect those B Cam clips to perform at the same speed and agility as the ProRes? Would you transcode the B Cam clips to ProRes for better performance? Are my expectations too high for Premiere to handle these B Cam clips as well as ProRes?


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James StrawnRe: Transcoding for Premiere
by on May 26, 2015 at 7:03:18 pm

[Neil Gowan] "interested in hearing others' experience when comparing the performance of ProRes vs. camera-native codecs, regardless of system specs."

I can usually play them both back ok.

I experience no noticeable performance drop with pro res compared to other codecs. On some of my older systems, I sometimes drop frames with 4k and larger formats, especially if I've applied many effects. I workaround that by a) setting my mon. res. down to 1/2 (or lower of needed), b) building render preview files for effects and b) (if needed) render and replace and/pr stranscode to a smaller format.

Software Quality Assurance - Digital Video at Adobe Systems


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Tero AhlforsRe: Transcoding for Premiere
by on May 27, 2015 at 7:04:27 am

[Neil Gowan] "while even a 1080 sequence from AVCHD media isn't keeping up with my jogging commands (particularly backwards), nor do I get a real-time video or audio scrub when scrubbing through the sequence."

AVCHD is at its core a shitty, badly optimized codec that is the only codec I would transcode because it doesn't run well on anything.


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Chris BorjisRe: Transcoding for Premiere
by on May 27, 2015 at 4:49:38 pm
Last Edited By Chris Borjis on May 27, 2015 at 4:50:12 pm

I haven't had any issues at all with native media since I went from fcp to
the then current premiere 5.5 and its only gotten better with each release.

I don't miss transcoding at all. used to spend days converting files.
not any more since.



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