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Reducing Size of Zax Files so Premier Doesnt Choke

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Reducing Size of Zax Files so Premier Doesnt Choke
on Oct 28, 2005 at 10:30:12 pm

Invigorator files rendered with quicktime "animation" at 30 frames and millions of colors plus alpha can take from 27 megs to 200megs for a 6 to 15sec animation that has alot of motion. The files look fantastic, but, when the mov files are brought into Premier 1.5 as keys over a scene, they drag down the responsiveness of Premier because of their huge size it seems. My editor slows to a drag when I hit these scenes. I thought they were pre-rendered because they are mov files - and even changing it to an avi DV file it is still slow. I can scrub video clips fluidly, but when I get to the part with the animations over the clips - the scrubber sticks and stops and halts and does not keep up smoothly. Premie's internal graphics do not cause these slowdowns.

Is there another way to bring in these animations in with a lower overhead and still have them look good? I like good quality - havent even considered 15fps for animations yet. Maybe there might be a better codec?

Is it the alpha channels and the keying that is causing Premier to drag - or the nature of the movement? Regular DV avi video clips dont slow me down - just when I try to key a rotating or moving graphic over existing footage.

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Jon Okerstrom
Re: Reducing Size of Zax Files so Premier Doesnt Choke
on Oct 30, 2005 at 5:00:25 pm

Hi Suzzie,

A couple of thoughts about this.

First, the data rate of the movie with the animation codec is a lot compared to dv's 3.5 mb/second. Your hard drive setup may be a limiting factor. You can minimize the performance hit by keeping your work files on a drive other than the drive where your ap lives. Using a fast drive and being sure it's defragmented can also help. Real time response also depends on your processor speed and data pipeline, obviously. Having a lot of ram, rather than relying on scratch disks also helps. Your system may or may not be capable of what you're asking from it.

Second, Premiere is crunching more data when it computes the interaction of the alpha channel on the other layers in your timeline. There's no getting around that. In after effects, we can speed up the response time by rendering in draft mode or at something less than full resolution during the test phase of buildling the project. You may be able to do something similar in Premiere as you build your project and do your best quality rendering at output time.


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