2 Replies Latest reply on Jan 6, 2013 3:17 PM by Christopher Duncan

    Video card's impact on render time?

    Christopher Duncan Level 2

      Hey, guys.


      Been gone for a while, hope the holidays treated everyone well.


      Looking to shave some render time if it's possible but there's not a lot of room left for hardware improvements in my current environment. I'm in the final stages of post for a comedy series and a large percentage of the show is green screen. Footage was shot 1080 AVCHD on a Sony Ax2000, converted to Cineform and then bounced down to 720p (my max target resolution) before starting work on it. I'm still running a CS4 environment and won't be upgrading to 6 til later in the year as I'll need a new box in addition to the software upgrade.


      I'm down to final renders after adding some color grading and the render time is getting up there. The Windows 7 box I have is respectable for CS4, a Xeon 4 core processor, 3 gigs of memory, NVidea GTX 550, 9 TB disk space across 5 SATA drives (four 2 TB in eSATA enclosure, one 1TB local). I dual boot Windows so that I can have an environment with nothing but the CS4 products installed, no antivirus, etc.


      The basic effects stack for keying the individual shots is a collection of Red Giant products (really enjoying their stuff).


      DeNoiser II

      Smooth Screen

      Primatte Keyer

      Colorista II


      I'm doing the color grading in Premeire Pro for all the non green screen shots. However, for the green screen stuff I need to correct just the talent without affecting the background (talking head shots on a graphical background), so I'm doing it in the AE stack. I can't break it out separately because Primatte needs the background for the light wrap.


      To render a shot that's maybe 2 minutes long, I'm up to an hour and a half, maybe more, depending on the shot. They're not all that long, but to do a render job on 125 shots to add the color grading, and I'll have this box locked up for days to get them done. I have a deadline a couple of weeks out so this is making me twitch a bit.


      Short of a new box, which will happen for the CS6 upgrade later this year, about the only thing I can think of doing to bump render performance is the video card. If that would make a noticiable difference then I'd buiy something this week that I could later move into the CS6 box. However, I'm not sure if there's enough bang for the buck on reducing the render time as I don't know the relative impact of the video card on a render job of this type.


      I'm probably looking at a grand or more for a top notch card (I'm guessing) and my plastic is starting to lose its structural integrity after a series of production & post purchases this past year. Would a high end card make a significant difference in this sceneario, or is my bottleneck for rendering more on the CPU / memory side of the street?


      Any thoughts and suggestions would be most appreciated.


      Oh, yeah. Happy new year!

        • 1. Re: Video card's impact on render time?
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Rendering time depends on the original footage codec, comp size, original footage size, plug-ins used, and codec chosen for the render. A graphics card will only accelerate some effects. Generally it is not good to use OPEN GL rendering specifically because, except for some specific plug-ins you end get different results on different machines. If you're looking for a card to help CS6 it must be CUDA compatible. Check the recommendations on the Adobe product page. I wouldn't spend a bunch on the card because the gains are not often worth the difference in price between a modest card and the top of the line.


          I hope this helps.

          • 2. Re: Video card's impact on render time?
            Christopher Duncan Level 2

            Hey, Rick.


            I appreciate the insights.


            I'll be doing all the appropriate research when I get ready to put together a CS6 box. As for the current scenario, it sounds like it is what it is and there's not much more I can do to improve my current environment. Such is the nature of a 32 bit box. I would have spent money on another card if it would have made an appreciable difference but from what you're saying it wouldn't do me much good at present. So, I'll just soldier on and look forward to when I can upgrade the entire operation.