8 Replies Latest reply on Jul 16, 2014 6:51 PM by Nic-Coe

    AE CC 2014 Mercury Transmit Ram Preview with AJA flickers

    Nic-Coe Level 1

      Hey Everyone,

       

      I have installed the latest AJA drivers and plugins and enabled Mercury Transmit preview in AE but when I render the preview the output flickers. One frame is normal the next is darker, normal, darker etc.

       

      Has anyone got this working yet ?

       

      Nic

        • 1. Re: AE CC 2014 Mercury Transmit Ram Preview with AJA flickers
          Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

          Is the AJA Preview plug-in enabled? If so, choose Window > AJA Preview, and click the Disable checkbox.

           

          You can choose to use either AJA Preview or Mercury Transmit, but don't use both of them at once. They will fight over control of the card and result in this type of flickering.

          • 2. Re: AE CC 2014 Mercury Transmit Ram Preview with AJA flickers
            Nic-Coe Level 1

            Hi Tim,

             

            Thanks for that, yes that was the issue, the old AJA Preview enabled trick. How ever I am still unable to achieve real time play back as I receive a warning stating that my project is 16 bit and won't play properly. If I convert the project to 8 bit it works correctly but I have never had to do that before and won't be able to do that as it changes the look of composites?

             

            Any ideas

             

            Cheers

             

            Nic

            • 3. Re: AE CC 2014 Mercury Transmit Ram Preview with AJA flickers
              Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

              Hi Nic,

               

              I'm not familiar with that error message. It's probably generated by the AJA Preview plug-in. Can you post a screen shot?

               

              8-bpc vs. 16-bpc does not always affect the appearance of the comp, it depends on the source material in use and how you are manipulating it. And in any case you can always switch between 8/16-bpc to get better performance when necessary. Keep in mind that switching color depths will invalidate any cached frames.

               

              Some facts about RAM preview playback performance with video preview in After Effects:

              • Enabling video preview of any form uses the CPU and memory resources of your computer, and when these are in low supply can eventually result in slow frame rates during RAM preview playback. This is because as the frames are played they are transformed on-the-fly (no caching) to the format of the video preview device. The higher the memory requirements of the frame (resolution, frame rate, color depth), the sooner you'll see the playback frame rate slow down. After Effects does not have the option of dropping frames during playback to maintain playback speed, like how Premiere Pro does.
              • The AJA Preview plug-in does this frame transform more efficiently than After Effects, because AJA has optimized their hardware-based playback pipeline to perform these transformations. It can still eventually be impacted by performance issues. Also, the AJA Preview plug-in currently has some limitations with scaled comp resolutions and color management, so there may be times when you may want to use Mercury Transmit for video preview instead.
              • When you are having problems with real-time playback with RAM preview, regardless of whether or not video preview is enabled the answer is always the same: reduce the resolution, frame rate, and/or color depth of the comp. The Resolution and Frame Rate/Skip controls in the Preview panel are intended for you to do exactly that, and the Shift+RAM Preview Options allow you to define two different sets of controls so you don't have to fiddle with those options frequently. Also, enabling color management will slow down RAM preview, as it does an on-the-fly transformation to correct the colors for screen display, similar to video preview. You can either choose View > Use Display Color Management to disable just the display correction, which will likely result in wrong color appearance of your comp, or disable color management in the Project Settings dialog altogether. Re-enable color management when you want to check the colors.
              • Otherwise, the best solution for slow playback in After Effects when you have a memory-intensive comp is a more powerful CPU and more RAM.
              • 4. Re: AE CC 2014 Mercury Transmit Ram Preview with AJA flickers
                Nic-Coe Level 1

                Hi Tim,

                 

                I have actually managed to solve the issue. I was opening projects created in V12.2 and letting AE V13 convert them. Then without saving the converted project I was trying to do a RAM preview and getting the error (a screen shot of which is attached). However if I save the newly converted project and then reopen both AE and the project I get real time play back?

                 

                Weird but workable.

                 

                Thanks for the help

                 

                Nic

                 

                16 bit project warning.png

                • 5. Re: AE CC 2014 Mercury Transmit Ram Preview with AJA flickers
                  Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

                  Thanks for the screenshot. You may be misinterpreting the warning in the Info panel about 16bpc. The intent of that message isn't that real-time playback is not possible with 16bpc, it's that 16bpc can be a contributing factor to not getting real-time playback. You can change other contributing factors such as the resolution and frame rate in the Preview panel.

                   

                  In any case, glad to know you've gotten around the issue, although I'm at a loss to explain why the converted/unsaved 12.2 project would make a difference. Could you share a screenshot of your timeline panel, just so I could look at what the comp structure looks like? (Subcomp timelines, too, if you're using them.)

                  • 6. Re: AE CC 2014 Mercury Transmit Ram Preview with AJA flickers
                    Nic-Coe Level 1

                    Hi Tim,

                     

                    I wasn't misinterpreting the message, I was following it's advice.

                     

                    First I got NOT realtime because "project colour working space is on" so I turned off "Use Display Colour Management". Then i got NOT realtime because "zoom is not 100%" which I corrected, then I got NOT realtime because "project colour setting is 16 bit". I duly converted the project to 8 bit and all was well. So I assumed that 16 bit project setting was causing issues, I also tried 32 bit as well with same results.

                     

                    Since having discovered the converted/unsaved issue I have to say it is strange and not a behaviour I have seen with AE before and I have been using it since it was Cosa Effects!

                     

                    I have tried various projects and the culprit seems to be anything that has live actionesque video in it. I have a project that has a slow subtly changing graphically created BG (imported QT file) that played fine without saving but the next one had fast moving treated flames as a BG layer (imported QT file) that suffered the "Not realtime" issue. The original problematic project had several layers of AVID mxf footage in it.

                     

                    One thing I have noticed is that you can no longer tell AE not to mirror the RAM preview on the computer monitor at the same time while using the Video Preview function. This always caused playback issues in the past so I always told AE to use the Video Preview only which helped. Could we put that back or does that not work anymore with the Mercury Transmit Preview?

                     

                    Anyhoo, most initial problems are now solved and I am nearly ready to switch over to CC 2014. Just waiting for a major project to finish and then .....

                     

                    thanks for all the advice

                     

                    Nic

                    • 7. Re: AE CC 2014 Mercury Transmit Ram Preview with AJA flickers
                      Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

                      One thing I have noticed is that you can no longer tell AE not to mirror the RAM preview on the computer monitor at the same time while using the Video Preview function. This always caused playback issues in the past so I always told AE to use the Video Preview only which helped. Could we put that back or does that not work anymore with the Mercury Transmit Preview?

                      You can submit a feature request. Can you be more specific about the playback issues? They might no longer exist with Mercury Transmit video preview.

                       

                      The point that I want to emphasize to about the warnings in the info dialog is that while it will flag certain properties of the comp, that property is not the only one you could change to achieve real-time playback. For example, 16bpc color changes compositing results in many cases, so you may prefer to reduce the RAM preview frame rate or resolution in order to preserve the compositing results at the cost of frames or resolution.

                       

                      In any case, again glad that things are working smoothly for you now.

                      • 8. Re: AE CC 2014 Mercury Transmit Ram Preview with AJA flickers
                        Nic-Coe Level 1

                        I can't quite remember when I had the issues with playback, whether it was before or after I upgrade my Kona LHe card to an LHi, but I could only achieve realtime RAM preview playback if I switched off mirroring on desktop as well.

                         

                        I work entirely in 1920 x 1080 HD these day, (nothing larger yet), but have had realtime full res/frame rate RAM previews on my broadcast monitor for a few years now, so to have to drop either to achieve RT would be a massive step backwards for me. I just think that having a computer try to display images in RT on two devices simultaneously might be problematic, especially on older machines, hence my surprise at that option being removed.

                         

                        But, as you say, things are working now so I'll enjoy that and not worry too much any more