So my company had the bright idea of purchasing a red epic and moving in to the 4k 5k world.. Since then my life has been a great headache. first we discovered that Apple was discontinuing FCP7 and there would be no support for R3D and 5k. So immediately the hunt was on for a new editing workstation. From everything I gathered online, Premiere cs5.5 seemed to be the answer. I watched videos of people bragging about how seamless their experiences have been editing raw 4k R3Ds in Premiere. After much reading I came to the conclusion that I would need to get a Red Rocket card for what they advertised as giving you realtime full quality 4k debayer and playback. So I throw down 5000 dollars on this piece of **** card only to discover the grim truth that it really only performs at about half the level of what was promised. after stomaching the 5K$$ I was expecting to open up premiere and begin my magical 4k experience. I was sickened when I noticed I could hardly get 5k to playback at 1/4 res without dropping frames.. and editing? forget about it.. nothing but dropped frames and red bars in the timeline.. So after further searching I find out that Adobe premiere doesnt work worth a damn unless you use " The GPU acceleration" function.. and of course my video card is not supported.. So after throwing a fit I coughed up another 1000 dollars on another crappy card (NVIDIA Quadro 4000) that once again is performing at about half or less of what was advertised by all the videos I watched from the Adobe website. Dont get me wrong, there was a bit of improvement..Now, I can get playback in my browser and timeline but it only works about a 3rd of the time. most of the time when I hit play it just freezes and does nothing. This happens a lot when I'm auditioning clips in the browser (excuse my FCP jargon). I select a clip in the bin , it comes up in the browser. I select the next clip in the bin, nothing happens.. the previous clip is stuck in the browser frozen on a frame and wont playback. I have to close out of the browser completely to get it to go back to normal. Same thing is happening in timeline sequences.. half the time when I hit play, nothing happens it just sits there frozen and I have to close the sequence and reopen it to get it to playback again. Similar problems with ordinary 720 DVCPROHD footage.. I select to preview from the bin and all I get is a black screen in the browser. After exiting out and back in, it works again for a couple of clips then black again..I I try doing a little MB colorista color correction to a 3k R3d in the timeline. I adjust the blacks while looking at the canvas... nothing. I reduce saturation... nothing. I go back down to the timeline and move the playhead around to wake it up. about 5 seconds later I see my color correction changes. uuugghhh... the debayering is slow as hell and the GPU acceleration is slow as hell. I spent the past 2 weeks emailing back and forth with red and there conclusion was that there is nothing wrong with my RED ROCKET card and it must be a hard drive issue. Well I'm on a fibre card and Raid with lightning read and write speeds that I tested myself so I know this is crap. What else makes me sick is that I'm on the hottest mac that Apple sold last year. a dual 6 core with 32gigs of Ram! How many more thousands of dollars do I have to spend to get back to a comfortable editing experience like I had with 1080 video in FCP7? Yes GPU acceleration is turned on. Yes Im set for performance and have allocated 29G of Ram to the premiere processor. I mean how much more juice does it need for God's sakes??? Am I the only one having this expensive *** nightmare?
I have read about Macs having a lot of problems. I suggest you return the Red Rocket card and your crappy computer and get an awesome $800.00 PC with a cheap $85.00 Nvidia GT 440 Graphics card. That is my honest advise. Below is my system using PP CS 4.0. I get even more realtime with PP CS 5.5.
How many more thousands of dollars do I have to spend to get back to a comfortable editing experience like I had with 1080 video in FCP7?
I think about $2,500 for a new PC would do it. If you return the RED Rocket, that still leaves you enough left over for the CS6 upgrade and a decent vacation to clear your head and have some fun before you return to editing.
Despite the windows enthusiasts' suggestions to switch machines/OS, there is nothing wrong with a solid mac. PPro is designed to run on both mac & win. Let's dispel this myth right now, thank you. Is it completely equivalent? Of course not. The threading, the memory model, i/o, everything runs different. But we've put a hell of a lot of effort in delivering the same editing experience, irregardless of the OS. Is it relatively more expensive than what I can cobble together? Sure, but that's not the point. People buy macs for the same reasons people buy high end HP machines, etc - it works out of the box & you don't have to tinker with it. (And don't get me wrong, I'm an overclocking geek @ home, I always build my home rigs... but you pay the price sometimes in troubleshooting random blue screens, etc.)
To the OP: I think you need to unravel the complexity. You should also be able to get 4K RED files playing back @ 1/4 res without a Rocket - the only thing the Rocket brings to the table is realtime debayering @ full res. There's plenty of people editing 4K footage on macbooks @ 1/4 res...
If you're having problems with DVCPRO HD, then start there. I'd suggest pulling the Rocket & figure out why DVCPRO isn't playing back correctly. If you're just loading clips into the source monitor, it should be really fast - period. If not, usually that's a sign that there's something wrong with either the video drivers or audio drivers.
Btw, is there anything you're leaving out about the system? Possibly a 3rd party i/o card, a la BMD/AJA/Matrox?
Thanks for your response Will. No I dont think I left anything out.. When I click on a clip in the bin to preview the dvc pro footage I see a glimpse of the clip for a split second then it goes black. I keep running into random BS problems like this. The most irritating is that its random and unpredictablet. So things will start working properly for a few minutes and then not.. The whole program doesnt lock up but the clip i try to playback whether in the timeline or browser, whether r3d, dvcpro or whatever will do nothing and I have to exit out and come back in to wake it up.. I'm about fed up with this as it seems theres a new problem everyday. One of the things I loved about FCP was the consistency. I knew what to expect. I guess its because Im brand new to premiere but I dont know what the heck is going on half the time. Its just Random problems. Today I tried to load some of my R3D files into the program and half of them would'nt load. It said they were unsupported or damaged files. These exact same clips loaded in last week. Its just crazy. Even though I dont buy it I'm going to go off the advice given by Red that it may be a HD read issue. I'll run some tests and report back..
I was going to suggest disk i/o next as well - try a local drive, or better yet, a RAID 0 pair. If it was a video/audio driver issue, you'd be hosed on the first attempt, it wouldn't strike you intermittently like this.
To provide a little balance to the thread inital posters, I can edit 4K .R3D files with ease on my system below at 1/2 res. (which is really 2K images). No rendering is necessary. Using the "Source" menu I can do color correction similar to Red Cine X and still play back in real time. You need to do a little detective work to see why the Mercury Playback Engine isnt happy with your setup.
Avid DS / PrP / After Effects Editor
Mac Pro 3,1
2 x 3.2 ghz Quad Core Intel Xeon
Nvidia Quadro 4000
24 gigs ram
Maxx Digital / Areca 8tb. raid
I believe there are special drivers needed to work with Epic files in Premiere that are free.
One thought that just occurred to me - maybe it is related to the audio device. You might want to try this out:
Wow! No $5000 Red Rocket? when I do R3D source metadata color correction, the timeline will show a yellow render bar but it usually wont playback immediately. Sometimes not at all.. it'll just stay frozen on the frame then I have to figure out a way to wake it up so it will play. Other times it works properly. Like I said, unpredictable.... It seems like a Red Rocket debayering issue but Red insists that there is no problem so??? Any suggestions on where to start the Mercury Playback investigation? I'm running out of ideas..
Well, I didnt try the audio thing yet because now premiere is miraculously working somewhat properly. Im not getting the freezing but I an getting lagging playback on the 4k and 5k resolution R3Ds at 1/2 res..Its random unpredictable behavior like this that really frustrates me..Im so confused.
OK try this.
Start a brand new project.
Import 1 red file.
Create sequence from clip.
(Your are playing back from a fast raid array right?)
Playback timeline and see if anything has changed.
Then we have a point of comparison.
Did you activate the RED Rocket card in Premiere? You have to right click on a R3D in a bin and select "source settings.." This will open the R3D RAW menu where you can adjust all the RAW settings. At the bottom you have to enable "use RED Rocket".
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