7 Replies Latest reply on Feb 23, 2016 12:23 PM by Tim Kurkoski

    Mercury Transmit breaks greater than 1920x1080 external monitoring

    Graham Hutchins Level 1

      Hi all,


      In Adobe CC in Quicktime Preview, there is an option to "Scale and Letterbox Output to Fit Video Monitor" in the Video Preview preferences.  This enables the ability to monitor 2K and 4K footage on hardware (in my case the Blackmagic Mini Monitor) that only supports up to 1920x1080 playback.

       

      In CC 2014, this functionality does not seem to be present, in the same way the Premiere has not and does not support this function.

       

      Anyone have any ideas?  Anyone from Adobe want to chime in?

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Mercury Transmit breaks greater than 1920x1080 external monitoring
          Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

          The QuickTime- and DirectShow-based video preview and Mercury Transmit video preview technologies have significant under-the-hood differences. The Scale and Letterbox Output control was removed because it doesn't have context in how Mercury Transmit works.

           

          Mercury Transmit negotiates with the video preview device to choose which frame format (width/height, PAR, frame rate) to deliver the frames in. Blackmagic devices choose to reject any comp with a frame format that does not match exactly the device's supported video modes. This is not the case for other devices, which will automatically scale the frame to a supported format.

           

          You can preview your 2K or 4K comp by nesting it into a 1920x1080 comp and scaling it down to fit, and using that comp for video previews.

           

          More information about how video preview with Mercury Transmit works in After Effects here:

          http://bit.ly/AE_video_preview

          • 2. Re: Mercury Transmit breaks greater than 1920x1080 external monitoring
            Graham Hutchins Level 1

            Hi Tim,

             

            Thanks for the response.

             

            "it doesn't have context in how Mercury Transmit works"

             

            Are there plans to include this functionality?

             

            "You can preview your 2K or 4K comp by nesting it into a 1920x1080 comp and scaling it down to fit, and using that comp for video previews."


            Thanks for the suggestion, although I wouldn't really consider this a usable workaround.  You lose realtime feedback, which is the primarily the reason I need to use an external monitor in the first place.


            I'm curious, what exactly is being gained by using Mercury Transmit?


            Thanks!

            • 3. Re: Mercury Transmit breaks greater than 1920x1080 external monitoring
              Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

              Graham Hutchins wrote:

               

              Are there plans to include this functionality?

              You can submit a feature request: http://adobe.ly/feature_request

               

              But this control should not be required because (sorry to repeat myself here) Mercury Transmit and the video preview device will negotiate to scale the video format when necessary. Compare this to previous versions of After Effects, where to get the correct output you were required to manually define the settings. The automatic negotiation in Mercury Transmit works well with the other video preview devices we have tested. Blackmagic devices are different, they choose not to accept or scale the frames when the video format does not match what the device supports. We talk with Blackmagic regularly, they are aware that their devices currently choose not to support this functionality.

               

              I'm curious, what exactly is being gained by using Mercury Transmit?

              See the bullet points in the first section here: http://bit.ly/AE_video_preview

              • 4. Re: Mercury Transmit breaks greater than 1920x1080 external monitoring
                Graham Hutchins Level 1

                "Mercury Transmit and the video preview device will negotiate to scale the video format when necessary. Compare this to previous versions of After Effects, where to get the correct output you were required to manually define the settings. "

                 

                Well, given my druthers and the fact that I would prefer not to spend another $1K on a 4K SDI box, it seems like I'm going to be sticking to a previous version of AE where I do have the option of manually defining the settings and using my existing hardware.

                 

                Thanks for the clarification.

                • 5. Re: Mercury Transmit breaks greater than 1920x1080 external monitoring
                  Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

                  To clarify: Blackmagic could change this in an update to their drivers; new hardware is not necessarily required for this to work. I'm not aware that they have any plans to do so. You could ask them.

                  • 6. Re: Mercury Transmit breaks greater than 1920x1080 external monitoring
                    Scott McKenzie

                    Hi Tim,

                     

                    Unfortunately this is still an issue.  Every time I load up a comp which is not 16x9, for example 2048x858, my options are "Scale Down" which outputs as stretched to fit 480i or "Scale Up" which outputs as stretched 1080p.  I get the same behaviour in the latest releases of both Premiere and AfterEffects.  To me, this appears to be more of an issue with Mercury Transmit than it does the Blackmagic drivers.  When I load up Avid for example, I have the option to set "Hardware Resolution" as well as a "Reformatting Option" (See attached image).   This allows me to work in any sized timeline and see the intended output on my reference monitor.  I have a similar option when exporting stills out of Photoshop for Preview.  It would be wonderful for this painful issue to be resolved.  Unfortunately, nesting a comp to fix a preview issue is not an option.

                    HardwareSettings.png

                     

                    Mac Pro 6,1

                    6-core 3.5Ghz

                    2xD700 6GB GPU

                    32GB Ram

                    OS X 10.10.5

                    Blackmagic UltraStudio Express

                    Desktop Video 10.5.4

                    • 7. Re: Mercury Transmit breaks greater than 1920x1080 external monitoring
                      Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

                      To me, this appears to be more of an issue with Mercury Transmit than it does the Blackmagic drivers.

                      Here is how Mercury Transmit interacts with hardware (AJA, Blackmagic, etc.):

                       

                      1. Mercury Transmit gets the frame specs (frame dimensions, PAR, frame rate) from the host application (After Effects, Premiere Pro), and then asks the hardware if it will accept the frame.
                      2. The hardware (the drivers) can answer back Yes or No. If No, it can (but is not forced to) specify alternate frame specs. It can be either specific as it wants (i.e., "Here's what you gave me, here's what I want instead"), or it can return a list of acceptable frame specs (i.e., "I can't take this, here's a list of options for you to choose from.").
                      3. Mercury Transmit transforms the frames to meet specifications delivered by the hardware as it sends out the stream of frames.

                       

                      This is very similar to what you describe with Avid, but Mercury Transmit leaves it up to the hardware to deliver a frame spec. Unless the hardware's options expose control, all of this happens behind the scenes.

                       

                      I don't know how Blackmagic is delivering the frame specs in their current drivers. In older versions of their drivers, they simply said "No" to any frames that did not meet their supported frame specs. When they added the Scale Up and Scale Down options, which are somewhat blunt tools for the task at hand, they are returning some sort of frame spec, but I don't know how they do this. Have you talked with Blackmagic support about what frame specs they can return in their current drivers when those options are enabled?

                      Unfortunately, nesting a comp to fix a preview issue is not an option.

                      I am genuinely curious why not. I understand it may not fit your workflow, but I'd like to know why this tool doesn't fit your workflow. Are you aware of the Primary Viewer switch in After Effects CC 2015 that allows you to specify a viewer that always outputs to Mercury Transmit?