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# of video tracks in timeline?

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RJ Miles# of video tracks in timeline?
by on Dec 16, 2015 at 6:51:08 am

Can someone comment of what limits the # of tracks which can be played back in an edit timeline?

Is it just the bandwidth of the storage data I/O?

Does the GPU, CPU, system RAM all play a part and in what way?

I ask, because I am trying to tweak my 4K edit rig to increase the number of 4K streams I can get going at once within Premiere Pro CC 2015 on a cMP.

Thanks



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Shane RossRe: # of video tracks in timeline?
by on Dec 16, 2015 at 6:55:08 am

Number of streams is dependent on your hard drive speed, mostly. How many video streams can it play out at once. Multiple 4K streams? You'll need a VERY fast RAID array with a very fast connection. Thunderbolt, SAS, Fiber....

Shane
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Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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RJ MilesRe: # of video tracks in timeline?
by on Dec 16, 2015 at 7:08:22 am
Last Edited By RJ Miles on Dec 16, 2015 at 7:09:29 am

Yes... we have a cMP 2.93GHz 12 core set up with an R680 hosting a RAID built with (8) Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSDs. We pull about 2500-2600 MB/s reads with a 1.5TB project on the RAID.

I started the thread because based on how the SSD RAID appears to be staying way ahead of the demand, it feels like we should be getting more streams going. There seems to be something else acting as a bottleneck.

I thought it might be the GPU and we upgraded to a GTX 980 Ti and that helped a little.

We're running 64GB of ram and wondered about moving up to 96GB or even 128 GB to allow Premiere more ram or the system to have a bigger cache.

The goal is just to have a little more flexibility within a 4K edit session to work with rough compositing ahead of when the more serious After Effects action takes over.

Right now we get 3 4K streams to playback pretty well. Moving to 4 and 5 is iffy and playback is pretty random.

The 4K file formats are H-264 3840x2160 and XAVC 2K/4K 3840x2160 I have wondered about transcoding the 4K source into something more data I/O friendly.

Thanks for any additional advice.



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Alex UdellRe: # of video tracks in timeline?
by on Dec 16, 2015 at 2:45:35 pm

I'm going to bet the H264 and XAVC codecs are the culprit here.

that's a lot data to decode. So I am doubtful that drive speed is the issue here....


Transcoding to a friendlier format might be useful.

cMP = Mac Pro?

ProRes is an obvious choice.
Avid DNX might also be a good choice but might need to be added to your system.

Additonally, Adobe offers GoPRo Cineform built in. You might give that a whirl.

Once you do transcode...you should see more of the burden on the drives than the CPU's...

as always....

test the workflow before committing.

hth,

Alex Udell
Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual FX
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RJ MilesRe: # of video tracks in timeline?
by on Dec 16, 2015 at 5:18:36 pm

Thanks... I am preparing a test with a H264 file converted to 3 ProRes formats. 422 LT 4K, 422 4K and 4444 4K.

H264 is actually worse than XAVC as far as playback stability.

If I create a timeline for H264 and one for XAVC, in either case I can have 3 layers before I get the yellow render line at the top of the timeline. I'll see how many ProRes tracks I can layer before I get to the same render line. I know in the past working with FCPro 7.0.3, ProRes made all the difference at extending the number of tracks one you have in the timeline. I feel kinda silly for not assuming the same with 4K, but I guess I was kinda believing at advertising about working in raw camera source files.

Thanks again



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Alex UdellRe: # of video tracks in timeline?
by on Dec 16, 2015 at 6:16:44 pm

Yeah...

don't let yellow bars intimidate you....

let footage not playing back be your guide...

Sure PPro can read raw stuff without conversion....

but your actual work will really be your guide.

yours calls for stacking layers in this case...

if it was standard editorial....this might not be the case....

so it sorta depends...

Alex Udell
Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual FX
Let's Connect on Linkedin
Examples: Retail Automotive Motion Graphics Spots
Example: Customer Facing Explainer Video
Example: Infotainment & Package editorial


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RJ MilesRe: # of video tracks in timeline?
by on Dec 16, 2015 at 6:25:49 pm

Thanks Tero... a very informative read, especially as far as how the GPU processing is reflected differently in the presence and color of the bars. Thanks

Just curious... when that link mention the simple codecs of DV and DVCPRO... when it comes to 4K these are kinda replaced by ProRes and NDxHD?

I hear ya Alex. I will let the project work be the guide.

Bottomline... I was just trying to make sure I had not missed a technical aspect of the hardware/software set up. Appreciate the clarity you have both provided to help me better understand the limitations and what changes will impact those limitations.

Thanks



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RJ MilesRe: # of video tracks in timeline?
by on Dec 21, 2015 at 1:11:56 am

Just an update.

I test drove ProRes conversions of both the H264 and XAVC source material. I tried 422LT 4K, 422 4K, 422HQ 4K and 4444 4K. All but the 4444 4K offered a huge performance boost as far as how many 4K streams I could have going at one time.

4444 4K started to get choppy when adding a 5th stream. Makes wonder if the 4444 codec is not as friendly as the others, then again it has higher data I/O demands.

422HQ 4K started to get choppy when I added stream 12.

The others all let me just keep going and I stopped testing at 15 streams.

Any advice as far as the compromises of choosing among those ProRes codecs for converting all of the H264 and XAVC source for the edit? Comparing frames among the ProRes codecs and the source do not reveal any apparent visual artifacts in any of the ProRes conversions. I'd love to know about the color space compromises which might not be revealed until much later in the production workflow.



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Tero AhlforsRe: # of video tracks in timeline?
by on Dec 21, 2015 at 4:54:55 am

Prores LT should be enough if the source is a highly compressed codec.


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RJ MilesRe: # of video tracks in timeline?
by on Dec 21, 2015 at 5:10:08 am

Thanks

I went with 422LT for the H264 source and 422 for the XAVC source for the reasons you mentioned.



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