8 Replies Latest reply on Jul 6, 2013 2:34 PM by A.T. Romano

    Video playback and editing is too sluggish (PRE11) - help?


      Hi all,


      this is my first post here


      I purchased adobe premiere elements 11 (together with photoshop elements 11) just a few days ago after deciding I want to edit a week of footage that I shot with my camcoder.

      After a fairly smooth installation, I fired-up the application on my macbook pro (got the mac version, obviously) and created a new project.

      I chose the settings I believe match the video files, and then imported some files which are already on my hard-drive.


      When I try to scrub-over the files, I get maybe 2-3 frames played and usually no sound, and a short freeze immediately after, with a spinning mouse curser.

      It's important to mention that before I got PRE11, I installed the trial version of final cut pro x, and used it to import ALL my videos from my camera, which is a panasonic HC-V720.

      I shot all my videos in the highest quality, 1080p, and I believe it's in 25fps too, because it's supposed to be PAL (not sure how to verify that) and used final cut pro X to import the the footage from my camcoder to my mac, which are now in a .mov format.


      After trying to create a project and import files into it, I really can't do more than 1-2 actions without the application freezing to 'think' for a few seconds. Even dragging and dropping files on the timeline makes my mac think hard and freezing for a few seconds.

      While playing those files in final cut pro X and in iMovie is super-smooth (even when scrubbing),

      in premiere elements 11 it's impossible, and I can't work on a project like this.


      My macbook is strong enough to carry full HD playback without a problem,

      so why would it have problems playing it inside premiere elements?

      i'm assuming that either my project settings are wrong, or I'm going to need to transcode the files again (which I'm trying to avoid, since I have about 60GB of full HD footage and it will take a long time to process).

      I did try various project settings (creating new project and changing the media


      below are some details that might be helpful.


      my macbook pro model is (system information):


      Model Name:MacBook Pro
        Model Identifier:MacBookPro9,2
        Processor Name:Intel Core i7
        Processor Speed:2.9 GHz
        Number of Processors:1
        Total Number of Cores:2
        L2 Cache (per Core):256 KB
        L3 Cache:4 MB
        Memory:8 GB


      and my video file info is (quicktime media info):

      Screen Shot 2013-07-04 at 00.55.15.png


      Please help me solve this, it is very frustrating


      thanks in advance.

        • 1. Re: Video playback and editing is too sluggish (PRE11) - help?
          A.T. Romano Level 7



          For starters please see if you can find out if you have 1920 x 1080 16:9 @ 25 progressive frames per second or 1920 x 1080 16:9 @ 25 interlaced frames per second. A readout from the free MediaInfo would be expected to give you that information under Video Properties in MediaInfo's tree view.


          What is the file extension of your file once it is imported from camera to computer hard drive save location? Where are you storing the video files...what drive and how is it formatted? Can I assume FAT since you are working on Mac?


          Right now what are you using for Premiere Elements 11 Mac project preset

          PAL AVCHD Full HD1080i25


          PAL DSLR 1080p DSLR 1080p25


          What is setting the project preset, you or the program? If you need to confirm project settings, please see Edit Menu/Project Settings/General and the readings for Editing Mode, Timebase, and Frame Size.


          After you or the program has set the project preset and you have imported the video into the project with Add Media/Files and Folders and have dragged the video from Project Assets to the Timeline Expert view as the first drag there, is there no colored line, an orange line, or a green line over that Timeline content?


          If you see an orangel line over the Timeline content, have you been rendering it by pressing the Render button above the Timeline or going to the Timeline Menu/Render Work Area and then making your observations.


          When you import the media, do you observe a progress bar or panel at the bottom of the workspace indicating that there is conforming and/or indexing going on? If so, do you wait for this activity to cease before continuing in the project?


          When you are observing slow program performance, is it independent of the size and duration of the file that you have imported onto the Timeline.


          So that we can get it out of the way, I will ask...have you confirmed at the web site of the manufacturer of your video card that you have the latest driver for your video card (no matter how new the computer is)?


          Let us start here and then decide what next.





          • 2. Re: Video playback and editing is too sluggish (PRE11) - help?
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            For Mac, Media Inspector would replace MediaInfo: http://mediainspector.massanti.com/


            Same thing, but for different platforms.



            • 3. Re: Video playback and editing is too sluggish (PRE11) - help?
              A.T. Romano Level 7





              Sorry shahariko, MediaInfo is a Windows Only. I have never used the Mac alternative for this, being a Windows user at heart.



              • 4. Re: Video playback and editing is too sluggish (PRE11) - help?
                the_wine_snob Level 9



                I am the same - a PC-only guy.


                Media Insprector came to me from a Mac guru, and plenty of thanks to them for that.


                Good luck to the OP,



                • 5. Re: Video playback and editing is too sluggish (PRE11) - help?
                  shahariko Level 1

                  First of all, thanks everyone for all the answers and comments. It's nice to see people have willingness to help others

                  I'll get to the point;



                  • The file extension of the files after import is .mov. I haven't changed them since I loaded them to my mac. Some non-destructive editing in FCP X and playback at most.
                  • This is the info I got from the mediainfo app for mac after using it to check/inspect the file:
                  • The video files are stored on my mac's hard drive, not an external drive - that's the one that came with the mac. The mac Disk Utility says it's formatted as 'Mac OS Extended (Journaled)'.
                  • I tried project preset of both the ones you mentioned, but still the same result (sluggish and unplayable videos). Tried "PAL AVCHD Full HD1080i25" settings, and when I added a clip to the timeline after importing into the project I tried my luck with the render button, and after this I could play and scrub over the file in the timeline very well. Its' quality, however, was quite bad in full screen, even though it's a full HD video. Is there a way to apply this rendering for all the videos in the project that are not in the timeline? I want to avoid this, but if this is the only way then it's better than nothing.
                  • I tried to render with "PAL DSLR 1080p DSLR 1080p25" project settings, but then when I rendered a short video in the timeline it simply played it, but the playback and scrubbing was still slow and slugginsh and no scrub sounds.
                  • I confirmed the project settings:
                  • I pulled 3-4 clips to the timeline, waited a few minutes, but no colored line appeared above the timeline. I do see orange lines on the video itself, but that's the opacity line. The videos playback was jerky as before and I couldn't even render them.
                  • Clicking 'render' both from the menu or by clicking the button simply plays the timeline video and surprisingly does not render the videos at all.
                  • I tried modifying the video just a bit by lowering the opacity to 96. Then the orange line appeared, I rendered, and then that specific video's playback was good and the line above turned green.
                  • When I imported the media, I did  observe a progress bar which took no longer than a few seconds to complete. There was nothing in the workspace indicating that there is some  indexing going on.
                  • The performance has nothing to do with the duration of the file. I tried playing both 7 seconds and 3 minutes clips, and both had very bad playback and performace.
                  • Just to make sure, "the manufacturer of your video card" - are you suggesting to try and update the mac's video drivers? Is there an easy way to do it on the mac? haven't dealt with drivers on the mac yet (I have both mac and PC, but have been using PC for more than 20 years now, and only got the mac last year ).





                  I just launched Mediainfo on the mac. Actully there are 2 apps on the mac called "MediaInfo", and they both do quite the same.


                  My main purpose is to see if I can get those video clips working without starting to render them all in PRE11 or convert them to another format, which might also reduce the quality a bit.


                  Any help is appreciated,


                  • 6. Re: Video playback and editing is too sluggish (PRE11) - help?
                    A.T. Romano Level 7



                    Thanks for the follow up. Lots information to exchange.


                    First let us get the rendering of the Timeline out of the way. I am not sure from what you wrote if you are clear on this. If you are, please excuse.


                    Rendering the Timeline in the Edit area is a preview thing. The program uses a colored indicator system to let you know whether you have the best possible preview of what you are seeing in the Edit Mode Monitor Playback. No colored line or a green line over the Timeline content indicates that you have the best possible preview; whereas, orange line over the Timeline content indicates you do not. Do not be confused by too many orange lines. We are focusing in on the one at the top of the Timeline. Please refer to screenshot.





                    If you have no colored line or a green line over the Timeline content, when you try to render the Timeline, all you will do is play it back in the Edit Mode Monitor. When rendering is indicated by the orange line over the Timeline content, the Timeline will play back automatically after the render is complete. Complete is indicated by the orange line turning green line.There is an option in the preferences that can stop the automatic playback immediately after rendering if you decide that is what you want. Also, be advised that you can do selective rendering by setting the gray tabs of the Work Area Bar to span just the area for rendering. Rendering is not required for the end product, but it is your window of opportunity to catch a problem sooner than later. But, it is particularly (essentially) useful to get a good look at transitions, effects, titles, and non native formats after an edit. Lots more, but we will leave it at that for now.


                    I am strictly an Elements Windows person so I would need to do some Googling for Mac and its video card and the video card driver.


                    Have you mentioned so far how much free hard drive space you have on that Local Disk C? I am assuming that you have the Scratch Disks directed to it also. Do you have access to an external hard drive to supplement the free hard drive on the Local Disk C?. In the case of the Mac I am not sure what to recommend. For Windows users, I typically write ...an external hard drive formatted NTFS not FAT32. For Mac ?


                    You wrote

                    I tried modifying the video just a bit by lowering the opacity to 96. Then the orange line appeared, I rendered, and then that specific video's playback was good and the line above turned green.

                    This sounds like one of my maneuvers which has been working for me on a high % basis. I get a video that has no colored line which is the program telling me that I have the best possible preview. But the preview has its flaws. BUT, I cannot render that Timeline content because the program feels that I have the best possible preview. So, what I do, is force it to become unrendered, typically by right clicking the video, selecting Time Stretch, and setting the Speed% to 99. Now I have my orange line over the content, and I can render the video to get my green line which is the program telling me that I have the best possible preview. After that there is a remarkable improvement in the playback.


                    But, in all this, you must remember "rendering the Timeline" is not forever. It is until after the next edit of the content.


                    Please review the above and let us know if rendering of the Timeline content and maneuvering of it has made your workflow better and usuable.


                    Thank you.



                    • 7. Re: Video playback and editing is too sluggish (PRE11) - help?
                      shahariko Level 1

                      Hi ATR,


                      I understand how the colors above the timeline work. I just wasn't 100% sure that the colors over the video ment the opacity, but after playing with it a bit and rendering, I got it.

                      Like I said, playing with the opacity and then rendering made the playback quite smooth, but as soon as I modify the video the playback becomes choppy again so this is not a good solution and more of a workaround. It also won't work on playback for videos in the 'imported' section, which is a shame


                      About an external hard-drive - in fact I got a 1000GB hard drive just about a month ago, and it's empty, so free space is not a problem.

                      My internal mac HD also has plenty of free space, more than 400GB, and it's the factory default format, which should obviously be good enough for the macbook pro.


                      I suspect the only workaround is to re-encode / transcode (not sure what's the correct term here) all the videos again to the best format that premiere elements 11 can handle.

                      Can you please advice which format would work best?

                      I don't mind keeping a second copy of my raw videos, it will serve as a backup anyway, and I can always delete them. The only downside is that it will probably take a few good hours, and some extra disk space.






                      • 8. Re: Video playback and editing is too sluggish (PRE11) - help?
                        A.T. Romano Level 7



                        Thanks for the follow up.


                        First thing I need to make sure of is that we are in sync concerning all the details. Am I correct in that what comes from your Panasonic HC-V720 with your settings is


                        1920 x 1080 @ 25 progressive frames per second and that footage normally would have AVCHD (MPEG4 AV/H.264) video compression and the file extension of .mp4? If that is correct, how are you converting that footage to a file with a .mov file extension and what is the video compression of the .mov file?


                        Back in post #5, it looks like that indicates that your footage is not 1920 x 1080 @ 25 progressive frames per second but rather 1920 x 1080 @ 25 interlaced frames per second (with the Scan Order for that interlaced footage being Top Field First). From your camera's description is looks like you can shoot 1080p50, 1080i50, or 1080p25. You would have to be shooting 1080i50 to be in accord with the MediaInfo readout in post #5. That 50i being 50 field per second also known as 25 interlaced frames per second). It also looks like your footage has AAC Stereo for the audio.


                        I want to make sure I have the details correct so that I can advise on import as well as suggested export settings.


                        Also, have you looked at directing all your scratch disks to the external hard drive.


                        More later.


                        We will be watching for your verification on the above.