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Choppy playback

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dean chapmanChoppy playback
by on Aug 26, 2015 at 9:42:51 pm

Issues with playback. Playback starts smooth for a few seconds, then gets very choppyWorking with 3.2k prores 4444 on a 2009 z800 workstation, 24 gigs of ram, titan black GPU 6GB. Intel Xeon E5530 @ 2.40Ghz (2processors). Drivers are up to date. I've tried toggling through GPU acceleration and Software render in project settings. Line above footage is yellow in timeline.

Files are located directly on the hard drive.

Also tried on Mac Pro 2009 2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon, 12 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC, GTX 680 4 GB. Same choppy playback.

Any help is greatly appreciated.


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dean chapmanRe: Choppy playback
by on Aug 26, 2015 at 9:58:45 pm

Oh, and yep i've tried setting playback to 1/2, 1/4, and even 1/8. Still get this choppy playback after a few seconds.....cannot edit like this.

Thanks!

-d


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David Roth WeissRe: Choppy playback
by on Aug 26, 2015 at 10:46:59 pm
Last Edited By David Roth Weiss on Aug 27, 2015 at 12:54:19 am

[dean chapman] "Files are located directly on the hard drive."

Dean,

It's patently obvious from your post that you, like many other editors, do not give your hard drive(s) the respect they deserve as a major contributor to the performance of your editing system. And, if I had to guess, you're most likely storing and editing your media files off of a single hard drive. Right?

So, let me clarify many things for you so you have a real understanding of how your hard drives drive the performance of your NLE. The following is an excerpt from a series of Cow articles I'm now writing on this subject.

The most important aspect about hard drive subsystems (RAID) that editors at every level need to wrap their heads around is "data throughput" -- i.e. how much data per second can your media drive(s) reliably move to and from the CPU on reads and writes to disk at a sustained rate. Sustained data throughput for video applications is affected by a number of different variables that affect the overall performance of every NLE. (***Since the most important aspect of video editing is seamless playback of video files without dropping frames, it's the read speeds that are most important in this discussion.)

What are the most important variables that affect the sustained throughput of a hard drive subsystem?

#1. The number of disks striped together in a RAID - a simple rule of thumb is, every time you double the number of spinning disks you double the throughput approximately. So, 2-drives striped together in a RAID will generate approx. 2X the throughput of a single hard drive. Likewise, an 8-drive RAID array will deliver approximately 8X the throughput of a single drive.

#2. Rated drive performance and RPMs of individual disks - older drives were rated at 1.5Gbit/sec, then 3Gbit/sec, and now we're up to 6Gbit/sec drives. So, the drives themselves are now faster than before. (***7200RPM spinning drives drives are the standard for video editing applications because of price and performance, 5400RPM drives are too slow, 15,000RPM drives are too expensive, and SSD drives are also too expensive)

#3. Connection speeds - various connections have different max throughput ratings in this order: USB2, Firewire 400, Firewire 800, USB3, SAS 6G, Thunderbolt 1, and Thunderbolt 2. (***for our purposes consider SAS 6G and Thunderbolt to be approximately identical in terms of throughput)

#4. Video Bitrates rated in MB/sec - i.e. how many megabytes per second is required to play a single stream of a specific video codec (***4K varies significantly from uncompressed down to highly compressed proxies)

#5. Total number of simultaneous streams - i.e. how many streams of both audio and video at specific bitrates are to be played back at the same time (***streams of video equal layers - if you stack six layers of video and change the position or opacity of each, that equals six streams - if you stack six layers and only view the top track, that's only one stream)

#6. Misc computer components - CPU speed, Bus speed, RAM speed and amount, Controller card speed, etc. (***all of these also play a role in the overall performance of your NLE and they impact the throughput of data to and from the hard drive subsystem.)

Determining the necessary specs of a RAID for seamless playback of 4K is not rocket science, but it is science nonetheless, and it first requires that you specify the variables mentioned in #3 thru #6 above. (***When specifying the video codec, always consider the predominant video codec you're editing now, while always keeping an eye toward the future, because video files will only get larger and more demanding.)

If you'd like me to help you with the science to determine the best RAID solution(s) for your needs, please email me privately at drw@drwfilms dot com and I'll be happy to help you. In addition, I consult with a number of different resellers, and I can offer you pricing that will meet or beat the best online deals you can find.

I hope this proves helpful to you and others here on the Cow.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
Los Angeles


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


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Lisa OlshanskiRe: Choppy playback
by on Sep 1, 2015 at 5:16:59 pm

Hi David- I am having very choppy playback too which makes it very hard to edit. All of my equipment is brand new this year. I have a MacBook Pro Mid 2015, 2.5GHz Intel Core i7 Processor, 16GB Memory, AMD Radeon Graphics card, and a Lacie RAID 0 Thunderbolt drive. Mac OS X Yosemite and Premiere CC 2014. My footage was shot H.264 4K natively. I am editing in a 1920X1080 h264 timeline because some other footage is that and that is how I'm going to deliver. Having the latest equipment, why would it not be playing back smoothly? Please help. As a recent convert from FCP7, I can say that I seem to be having nothing but problems with Premiere. I really want to like it though!
Thanks!

MacBook Pro- Mac OS ver. 10.9.3- Processor 2.3GHz- 16GB memory
Final Cut 7
Adobe Premiere CC


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David Roth WeissRe: Choppy playback
by on Sep 1, 2015 at 7:53:30 pm

[Lisa Olshanski] "Having the latest equipment, why would it not be playing back smoothly?"

There are a few reasons why you're having issues Lisa.

First, you're editing h.264, which is a very processor intensive codec, and you're asking your laptop's single processor to scale down almost every single shot in realtime from 4K to 1080p. That's a whole lot of processing demand for a laptop processor.

[Lisa Olshanski] "I have a MacBook Pro Mid 2015, 2.5GHz Intel Core i7 Processor, 16GB Memory, AMD Radeon Graphics card, and a Lacie RAID 0 Thunderbolt drive. Mac OS X Yosemite and Premiere CC 2014."

You've only mentioned the brand of RAID (Lacie), the fact that it's RAID 0, and that it's Thunderbolt, but you haven't mentioned how many drives your RAID contains. I'm going to assume your RAID only has 2-drives. Like most users here on the Cow, it seems that you're not really aware that a 1 or 2-drive RAID may not have the throughput required to playback 4K media seamlessly. You may need a 4-drive RAID, or even an 8-drive RAID, and the only way to determine what you need is to do the requisite testing and math to determine your RAID sub-system is generating enough throughput for the codec and the number of streams of audio and video you're editing.

Your first step is to download the free AJA System test, then run it on your Lacie hard drive, then report the results back here. Once you do that I'll help you by interpreting the results and showing you what your RAID is achieving vs what you really need a RAID to achieve.

In addition, you may want to rethink your workflow... You should probably consider transcoding your 4K h.264 material to ProRes HD before editing, as scaling h.264 4k on the fly on your laptop is just plain crazy. You'd actually do better to edit the 4K natively - right now you're playing it back and scaling simultaneously, which is simply not what laptop processors are made for.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
Los Angeles


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


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Lisa OlshanskiRe: Choppy playback
by on Sep 1, 2015 at 8:33:25 pm

Hi David- Thanks for your reply. I was going to convert all the footage to ProRes and edit in FCP7 but it was taking so long and I read that Premiere is fine with editing H264 natively so I decided to go with Premiere. I kept the footage 4K in a 1920X1080 timeline incase I want to zoom in on any of the footage. I won't lose resolution. I'm using the portable RAID disk that Lacie makes so there are only 2 disks. I ran the AJA system test (inputing video frame size 3840X2160, and 1 GB file size) and the results were Write: 218.5MB/s and Read 202.2 MB/s. What do you think? Too slow? I'll also do as you suggested and edit in a 4K timeline since I'm not zooming in on too many shots. I really appreciate your help. Thanks so much!

MacBook Pro- Mac OS ver. 10.9.3- Processor 2.3GHz- 16GB memory
Final Cut 7
Adobe Premiere CC


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David Roth WeissRe: Choppy playback
by on Sep 1, 2015 at 8:55:30 pm

Do you know what the bitrate is for your video?

And, how many layers of video and audio are you cutting?

BTW, while Adobe can play back all kinds of native files, not all files are created equal. H.264 for example has small files, but they require lots of computational processing - meanwhile, ProRes has much larger files, but it is a high-performance codec that is very processor friendly. As editors we need to know about these variables and how they affect what we're trying to accomplish.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
Los Angeles


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


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Lisa OlshanskiRe: Choppy playback
by on Sep 2, 2015 at 1:12:24 am

The data rate for the video is 97 Mbit/s. I just started cutting so I have 2 tracks of audio and one track of video.

MacBook Pro- Mac OS ver. 10.9.3- Processor 2.3GHz- 16GB memory
Final Cut 7
Adobe Premiere CC


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Lisa OlshanskiRe: Choppy playback
by on Sep 2, 2015 at 6:52:53 pm

David- What do you think I should do at this point? I don't have time to convert all of the footage but I could buy another RAID so I would have 4 disks. Do you think that would work?

And, say I did have time to convert all the footage, would I be able to link my edit to it without any issues? I would think something would be off or I would get some type of error message???

Again, thanks for your help. I really appreciate it. I haven't had this problem before.

MacBook Pro- Mac OS ver. 10.9.3- Processor 2.3GHz- 16GB memory
Final Cut 7
Adobe Premiere CC


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David Roth WeissRe: Choppy playback
by on Sep 3, 2015 at 6:10:27 pm

[Lisa Olshanski] "David- What do you think I should do at this point? I don't have time to convert all of the footage but I could buy another RAID so I would have 4 disks. Do you think that would work?"

I do think you need at least a 4-drive RAID, and preferably an 8-drive RAID. Contact me offline at drw at drwfilms dot com and I'll show you how to do the "secret science" to calculate the throughput required to seamlessly playback your 4K video.


[Lisa Olshanski] "And, say I did have time to convert all the footage, would I be able to link my edit to it without any issues? I would think something would be off or I would get some type of error message???"

The secret to transcoding proxies is to make certain they are are same pixel dimensions and framerate as your camera original - all you really want is to get all the files converted to an easy to playback ProRes codec such as ProRes LT, while leaving everything else the same.

That being said, to truly leverage the power of your Adobe software, purchasing a 4-drive or better yet, an 8-drive RAID, is what you REALLY need to do the kind of work you're doing properly. The MSRP pricing on the G/Speed XL 8-drive Thunderbolt units is as follows: 24TB - $2,999.95, 32TB - $3,999.95, 40TB - $4,599.95, 48TB - $4,999.95, 64TB - $6,999.95 - (***street prices are lower).

These are, in my opinion the best Thunderbolt RAIDs on the market - they are hardware RAIDs=, which are much more reliable than less expensive software RAIDs, and they are populated with enterprise-level hard drives with a 3-year warranty, not the consumer-level drives with a 1-year warranty found in virtually all other Thunderbolt drives on the market.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
Los Angeles


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


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Lisa OlshanskiRe: Choppy playback
by on Sep 3, 2015 at 10:16:05 pm

Hi David- I ended up transcoding all of the footage to Pro Res 422 1920X1080. Sooo much easier to edit now. It didn't take as long as I thought to transcode the footage but I did have to show Premiere where each clip was for the media to relink. I suppose if I made the file name the same it would've found them all. I just should've taken the time to do that at the beginning. You live and you learn! Thank you for your help. When I'm a little less swamped I'll contact you to figure out which RAID set up I should get. Too bad I just bought 3 2 disk RAID drives. Maybe I can chain those together to get 4 disks? The 24TB RAID drive you mentioned actually isn't a bad price considering what I just spent!

MacBook Pro- Mac OS ver. 10.9.3- Processor 2.3GHz- 16GB memory
Final Cut 7
Adobe Premiere CC


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Paul BentleyRe: Choppy playback
by on Nov 1, 2015 at 11:28:32 am

hey dean, my son was having this problem on his workstation, but was ok on the imac.....seems it is a sound problem which everyone always overlooks, changed some audio settings and playback ran smooth !

hope this helps


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