What type of CPU does your iMac have? H.264 based footage is very demanding on your CPU. Also do you have a card that supports GPU accleration and also what resolution are the files that you're attempting to work with.
However you should be able to turn the playback quality down in your program monitor and that should help with playback because it will lighten the load on your CPU a bit.
Thanks so much for getting back to me. Here's the information about my Mac:
21.5-inch, Mid 2011
Processor 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory 4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
Graphics AMD Radeon HD 6750M 512 MB
Software Mac OS X Lion 10.7.4 (11E53)
I have got the playback set to 1/4, but it's still very slow. Other friends are suggesting I convert all the footage using Apple Pro Res 422HQ codec, but surely CS6 is meant to cope with .mov files. What do you think? Will converting the footage make the files too big for my Mac to cope with?
I'm away from the Mac just now, but I'll let you know the resolution of the clips asap.
I will be updating my RAM to 16GB today, so hopefully that will help.
[edited by forum host - do not publish serial numbers]
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All .mov files aren't the same thing though. Quicktime/.mov files are just the "container" for the actual "codec" the codec is what determines basically everything other than the file extension itself anyways. Basically the type of .mov file you're attempting to edit is using the h.264 codec, which is a codec that puts a TON of strain on your CPU. Converting the files to ProRes would make playback better, but will produce huge files, and if you start stacking several layers of video on top of each other it will start to playback in a choppy manor, because you're not using a RAID array. In this case I don't think the RAM will help that much, although it should make your overall experince much better.
Although how many layers of video are you attempting to edit on the same track and what effects are you using? Because your system should be able to at least playback a single video clip inside Premiere without issue.
Although once you post what the resolution is I'll be able to recommend what codec to use, because for certain resolutions some codecs tend to become more efficient than others. But basically unless you have FCP on your machine you can't convert to ProRes, however if you don't have final cut no worries because you can use the Cineform codec which is just as good as ProRes. The cineform codec is also free now days which is great. But honestly I think that most likely you're going to need to transcode the footage to a ligher codec, basically you don't need to worry about files being too big because, even though it seems like a smaller file would be easier for your machine to handle it's actually quite the opposite unless you start hitting a HDD bottleneck. Which won't happen in most cases, (depending on resolution etc though or unelss the video is totally uncompressed HD).
Here is the basic reason why the less compressed a video clip is the easier you can edit the file without strain on the CPU. Video clips that use "GOP's" or Group of Pictures use
I - frames
B - frames
P - frames (With mpeg-1 there is also D-frames but it's not used anymore to my knowledge)
Anyways though when your CPU plays back a h.264 clip it has to decode the video which the longer the GOP is the harder your CPU has to work, and in general H.264 footage is almost always GOP because it's so heavily compressed. Unless it's I-frame only. Because basically the further the I-frames are from each other the harder your cpu must work to decode it. When dealing with footage that is much less compressed though you're CPU is basically free to process other stuff such as heavy CC or other effects.
Please help me to solve this problem!
It's going on Premiere Pro 6.0.2 CS6 and Retina MBP with 16GB RAM installed.
CUDA Driver Version: 5.0.24
MacBook Pro Retina, Mid 2012
Processor 2,7 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1024 MB
Software OS X 10.8.1 (12B19)
Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 (6.0.2. - 072)
While playing back inside PP a jerky playback occurs, every 1-2 seconds it rewinds to 2-3 frames back and continues to play forth...
No special console messages or something similar visible.
Have tried to clean the cache but it doesn't help. Also have tried to switch the mode between CUDA, OpenCL and SW - without any visible changes...
Exhausted... Please HELP!!!!
Thanks so much for your feedback -- so so helpful!
Yes, I've just realised I can't convert to ProRes as I don't have Final Cut Pro. The resolution of the footage is 1920 x 1080. What codec/format do you reckon I should convert the footage into? I've been recommended this converter from the internet -- do you reckon it's safe?
Attached is a screen grab of the options -- which format shall I go for? What resolution do you recommend for the best quality?
P.S. I heard that Apple Photo - JPEG is a good option. Can you confirm that?
Your core i5 may be the problem. i7 chips are required, I think, for everything to work correctly.
Honestly I'd recommend using Adobe media encoder instead of using mpeg streamclip, although streamclip is a great free program. I'd recommend you download the avid LE codec pack, it works on both MAC and PC. Then use the "Quicktime" format and then select the DNxHD codec. Use the 220 option it's visually lossless and is free and also just as good as ProRes IMO. It's basically Avid's version of ProRes, and in my personal experince works just as good as ProRes except it's totally free.
Just search google for this
Avid QuickTime Codecs LE 2.3.4 DOWNLOAD
Then visit the site and download the MAC codec pack option and you're good to go. After it's installed just stick all your footage into AME and then setup a DNxHD preset and you can batch convert all the footage to DNxHD it should make your footage playback better, although the lack of a RAID array might cause issues so I'd suggest testing a couple of clips first. In the long run since you're wanting to edit HD footage I'd recommend buying a external E-SATA based RAID array if you really want to edit 1920x1080 HD footage.
Photo Jpeg is good but isn't visually lossless although in my own personal experince it does have good quality when turned to 100 percent. If the DNxHD encode doesn't work out though because of the lack of a RAID array I'd recommend using the MXF-OP1A option and setting the codec to AVC-INTRA CLASS 100 that codec will provide a bit-rate that a non-raided setup can handle and will also produce great quality, while at the same time it uses I-frame only compression so it's very light on the CPU.
Good luck bro, post back if you have any further questions or issues.
Start your own thread and remember to post your video source format and sequence settings.
Nope, some I5 are weaker and dual core and some are butt-kicking quad cores, so i5 on its own doesn't tell you.
Wonderful! Thanks so much.
All the best :-)
Also remember to keep your resolution set to 1920x1080 and keep your field order exactly the same as the source media when transcoding. Not to say that 1280x720 doesn't have a good picture but I always prefer keeping everything as high res as possible, that way your master will be the highest possible quality once your edit is done with.
MPEG 2 mxf in your adobe media encoder. It is the same codec as Sony XdCam. Be sure to match your original footage resolution and framerate.