15 Replies Latest reply on Apr 19, 2015 8:25 PM by GMJr




      Was having some editing frustration with an older laptop and realized it wasn't up to the task. A week ago I got a new Acer Nitro, i7 2.6 ghz, 16 gig ram, Windows 8.1 64 bit, a solid state drive + another non-solid state drive, and a GeForce GTX 860M graphics adaptor. (Video files on the solid state drive.) Was told it would take almost anything I could throw at it as far as video editing as it's designed for gaming. Had been working on a 4 1/2 minute music video so started from scratch on the new computer. Much better than the old laptop but have definitely hit a wall where PE12 is very choppy and sometimes it flat out doesn't respond. I hear audio but the video freezes. I'm admittedly using a lot of effects and cross fades on this one. 5 video tracks w accompanying audio (audio just for syncing) but rarely all at the same time. Usually 2 or 3. Plus a stereo soundtrack. The video is from a Canon DSLR- 1920 x 1088, 24 fps. I've got it all in a PE12 file that's 1920 x 1080, 30 fps. Just seems that it shouldn't be balking as much as it is. I render often but as in the old laptop, it doesn't last that long. Have I maxxed the software? Is there a threshold I've passed track-wise?  Something is definitely bottle-necking.

      Thanx in advance for any help or ideas!!


        • 1. Re: sluggish
          A.T. Romano Level 7



          Premiere Elements 12 on Windows 8.1 64 bit.

          Have you updated 12 to 12.1 yet using an opened project's Help Menu/Updates? If not, please do so.


          If your source is 1920 x1080 at 24 progressive frames per second, you should not be working with a "PE12 1920 x 1080, 30 fps".

          The project preset should match the properties of the source media. If you say 1920 x 1080, 30 fps, I suspect that you got stuck with the program's default 1080i.


          The program is set up to set the project preset automatically based on the properties of the first video dragged to the Timeline. Sometimes it does it right. Sometimes not. For those not times, you set the project preset yourself manually to match those source properties. Whether you or the project does the project settings, it should be (according to your source info)




          DSLR 1080p24

          or its PAL counterpart, depending on your computer setup. I am assuming NTSC for now.


          If the project is set with the above project preset, then when you go to Expert workspace Edit Menu/Project Settings/General, you should see

          12 Project Settings.JPG

          This may not be the final answer, but we do need to start here and then troubleshoot further based on your results and reports.

          You start a new project to set for a new project preset. If you set the project preset manually, use File Menu/New/Project.


          Any questions or need clarification, please do not hesitate to ask.


          Thank you.



          • 2. Re: sluggish
            GMJr Level 1

            Thanx for getting back so quickly A.T.


            The window on my file looks exactly like your pic, above. It doesn't seem to be changeable at this point. Anything I can do? Also, sometimes I do interview videos where I'm using different different formats, using whatever multiple cameras I have available: my canon DSLR, my Samsung phone, an old Alesis handheld lo-res video/audio recorder, etc. They're all different formats. In this case, what should I do?



            • 3. Re: sluggish
              A.T. Romano Level 7



              Thanks for the reply.


              Premiere Elements (any version) allows for only one project preset. And, that project preset should be set by you or the project to match the properties of the source media. When you have a mix of formats for the Timeline, priorities need to be set, picking one project setting and then fitting everything else into it.


              What you need to be particularly careful with is the cell phone video. Most of that kind of video is recorded with a variable frame rate instead of a constant one. The situation seems to involve the cell phone's variable frame rate option and the lighting conditions during the cell phone recording. If the cell phone video is going to be part of the mix, then I would suggest you test it separately to define its usability. Typically that type of video is made usable for Premiere Elements by taking it into a program such as HandBrake and converting it to H.264.mp4 with a constant rather than a variable frame rate.


              Once you have established a project preset and find the project settings are not what you want, you do need to start a new project. You cannot make significant changes in project settings in Edit Menu/Project Settings/General.


              If the sluggish is related to a mix of formats in the sluggish project, then it might be a good idea to create a mini new project for each (each with its appropriate project preset) and determine how a particular format performs on "its own". If each behaves poorly in its own project, then we need to decide what next.


              Please review and consider.





              • 4. Re: sluggish
                GMJr Level 1

                Hi and thanx again.


                So it sounds like, for this project I'm on now, I either just grit my teeth and get through it, as it's almost complete, or start the project over with different settings. If I were to do that, is there a way I could import what I've done into a new project or would it mean starting over completely?


                On the subject of different formats, it sounds like I need to convert the phone video to H.264.mp4 with a constant framerate. Is Handbrake for a pc or mac? I'm in a pc. And the little Alesis handheld I mentioned is 640 x 480 at 30 frames. So sometimes it's a complete hodgepodge as I'm just grabbing whatever I can. I'll more than likely have to do more projects like this so would I start the new project to fit the Canon format of 1920 x 1088, 24 fps? Then try to get the other formats to that also?


                Sorry for all the questions but I'm pretty new to this and trying to learn what I can and not throw the computer out the window in the process:) Appreciate all this help a lot,



                • 5. Re: sluggish
                  A.T. Romano Level 7



                  HandBrake can be used for Windows or Mac.



                  Please let me know if you are OK with the details of how to use HandBrake.

                  You might want to assure that the HandBrake H.264.mp4 export bitrate setting is set comparable to the original file.


                  How bad is sluggish? It is sluggish in that it seems to take forever to complete a session but the session does get finished successfully? Or do you mean sluggish in that tasks do not get done but, if they do, they are not presenting the way you want?


                  Do you really mean 1920 x 1088? The typical resolution is 1920 x 1080.


                  Is your primary video the 1920 x 1080 @ 24 progressive frames per second one? If you use that as the basis for your project settings, you could consider using the SD footage as in with black borders or filling in the black borders with something artistic. Maybe a composite video in video in video frame? Right now I would focus on the frame size. You can try to scale the SD up, but watch out for pixelation if you over do it.


                  Please do not hesitate to ask if you need clarification on any of this.






                  Add On...Check out Edit Menu/Preferences/Scratch Disks. Look to where the scratch disks are directed. Go to the place where the preview and conformed audio files are....Adobe Premiere Elements Previews Files Folder and Media Cache Files Folder....and make sure you do not have major pile ups of files there.

                  • 6. Re: sluggish
                    GMJr Level 1

                    Okay, working backwards, the scratch discs on this project are all "Same As Project" and all exactly the same- 138.2 mb. Not even sure what a scratch disc is or how much would be considered a pile up. Or what to do about it.


                    Yes, the Canon's format is 1920 by 1080 but for some reason when I look at properties in the pc, it shows as 1088. Not sure what you mean by the SD footage. Would that be the Samsung phone camera? Or the Alesis handheld? I do use them like you mentioned to augment the 'real' camera. The handheld especially. I usually make it look very lo-fi and shaky, even more than it already is.


                    When I say 'sluggish', I mean it eventually gets done but takes a long time. When I first started on this 4 1/2 minute video on the new pc, it was great. No hiccups. But the more media I added and the use of effects piled on, it started bogging down. (The video on this project is all the same Canon format.) The music track would continue but the video would freeze up or be extremely jerky, making it hard to determine where to do cuts, crossfades, etc. If I can actually get through it, what is eventually rendered looks fine. Hope this explains it correctly.


                    Will download Handbrake and dive in soon.


                    Thanx again!


                    • 7. Re: sluggish
                      A.T. Romano Level 7



                      Thanks for the follow ups.


                      It is pushing 1 am where I am so I will be watching for your progress later in the morning. For now...


                      1. Any questions about HandBrake, please ask.


                      2. About those scratch disks....

                      a. Every time you render Timeline content, the program automatically generates a preview file which it saves to the computer hard drive location that you have designated in Edit Menu/Preferences/Scratch Disk - category Video Previews. Whether you Timeline render a still or video, if SD project, the preview file is DV.AVI; if HD project, MPEG2.mpg. They pile up with time and can slow things down. They can be deleted. The consequences in the project would be that you would have to re-render that content if you really needed a best possible preview.

                      b. Whenever you import an audio file, the project conforms that audio file, generating automatically two files (.cfa and.pek). They also add up with time. These can be deleted. They will be automatically generated again by the program when and if needed. These files are saved to the computer hard drive location that you have designated in the Edit Menu/Preferences/Scratch Disk - category Media Cache.

                      c. Also, there are conformed video files to contend with. To clean that up, please go to Edit Menu/Preferences/Media and the Media Cache Database area there. Click on the Clean Now button. The files (.mcdb) that are deleted (Clean Now) will also be generated automatically when and if the program decides they are needed.


                      By SD, I meant those files with resolution 640 x 480 or 720 x 480 as compared to HD 1280 x 720 16:9, 1440 x 1080 HD anamorphic 16:9, and 1920 x 1080 16:9.


                      Looking forward to learning of your progress as your schedule permits.



                      • 8. Re: sluggish
                        GMJr Level 1


                        I pooped out before you did last night:) Just reading this now. Invaluable info. Thanx a million. I'll clear out all those caches according to your instructions, and on my next project I'll try to adhere to the right formats and use handbreak first on the phone video files. And now that I think of it, I knew what SD means but was just too fried to put it together. I'll post back after starting my next project.

                        Have a great Sunday,


                        • 9. Re: sluggish
                          GMJr Level 1



                          Me again. Sorry to keep bugging you.


                          All Scratch Disks' locations on this project are marked "Same As Project" except Media Cache. So the only two folders that aren't media that I put there in my project folder are preview files and auto-save. When I open Preview Files, I see 148 files named like this- "Rendered - 0ad820e6-d034-4e36-be7a-000f15654394.mpeg." Type- Movie Clip. Are these what you referred to? Delete these? Don't see any MPEG2 files. In that same folder, 236 XMP files, all 5 kb. Keep or delete?


                          The Media Cache file was here - C:\Users\George\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Common\Media Cache Files. Found .pek files there and will delete.


                          This whole scratch disk thing is very abstract to me and haven't wrapped my brain around it yet. On the next project, should I also designate the Media Cache File to "Same As Project" so everything is in one place and will be backed up properly. Doesn't make sense to me to have project files scattered all over the place like this.


                          Thanx again,


                          • 10. Re: sluggish
                            A.T. Romano Level 7



                            The Media Cache file was here - C:\Users\George\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Common\Media Cache Files. Found .pek files there and will delete.

                            Good. That folder should have cfa and pek file sets....these are the conformed audio....cfa is the audio file whereas pek file relates to the waveform for the audio that you see on the Timeline when the file is imported there. Do you see any indexed files in there? I would delete them all. And, then let the program do its job for these automatically.


                            When I open Preview Files, I see 148 files named like this- "Rendered - 0ad820e6-d034-4e36-be7a-000f15654394.mpeg."


                            That file with the .mpeg file extension uses the MPEG2 video compression to which I referred when pointing to preview files from rendering a still or video in a HD project. If you have 148 of them, I would delete them all. Worse case in a project related to one of them...you re-render the files that are now unrendered because of the deletion. But, you do that only if you need to see a best possible preview critical for the workflow. The .xmp files go. They are just informational companion files for the MPEG2.mpeg. You do not need the .xmp files. That Adobe Premiere Elements Previews Files Folder sounds like you would benefit from a clean out of it. What is the file size of that folder with its content?


                            Also, do not overlook the Edit Menu/Preferences/Media and the "Clean Now" in the Media Cache Database area there. Those conformed video files (.mcdb) can add up too.



                            • 11. Re: sluggish
                              GMJr Level 1

                              I did all those things. Did the "Clean Now" and that made an immediate difference for the better. Then, after reading your latest reply, I deleted all that other stuff too. The Preview File folder at that point was 1.3 gb. So after dumping that, I hit "play" and the music continued but the video just froze, early on at the same point every time. So I did a render and everything was very smooth after that. First time I could play top to bottom, stop and restart anywhere, without hiccups. So far, so good. Then I made a few changes (color adjustments, motion) and it slowed down a bit. Still not terrible. The 'render for smooth playback' kept coming up so I did. Now my Preview Folder is up to 208 mb with 153 items after just a few minutes of work on the project. Normal?

                              • 12. Re: sluggish
                                A.T. Romano Level 7



                                Are the 153 items, the mpeg files plus the companion xmp files? Every time your render a video or still on that HD Timeline, you will get the two files. So, it is normal for the previews to add up if you need to do a lot of Timeline rendering to get that best possible preview. The Timeline rendering does not fix anything. It just gives you the best possible preview of what you actually have.


                                If you delete the preview files when they pile up and start hindering performance, you gain the hard drive space and you do not affect the Timeline file itself, just the preview if needed. I typically refer to Timeline rendering as a window of opportunity to catch a problem sooner than later when the Timeline rendering does not yield an improved preview.



                                • 13. Re: sluggish
                                  GMJr Level 1

                                  Yes, MPEGs and XMPs. I'm not expecting a terrific view from the timeline, but it's difficult to tell where to, for instance, do a fade-in or cut from one to another if the video just stops. It's very tedious. I made the simplest of moves to scale and move a video image and the video just slows down so much and I can hear the hard drive wind up. Then I need to render again so I'm waiting 2 or 3 minutes after a 10 second adjustment. Just hard to get any momentum going. And like I said earlier, this laptop is only a week old so it's not all sludged up with garbage.

                                  • 14. Re: sluggish
                                    A.T. Romano Level 7



                                    Thanks for the follow ups and checking out the suggestions.


                                    The good news is that Timeline rendering is giving you good previews. The not so good news with regard to channeling your resources is that the program indicates "Render" after each edit of a already rendered file. There is no way to escape that. You could ignore that and move forward. But, if judgments on edits are dependent on best preview, you Timeline render.


                                    But, in order to be able to move forward as smoothly as possible, you may have to develop a "delete previews as you go" program.

                                    Have you done any mini test runs to see what the export is going to look like?



                                    • 15. Re: sluggish
                                      GMJr Level 1

                                      Actually, Timeline rendering is barely giving me any previews. They only last for a minute or two. Since our last exchange, I did a timeline render while cooking dinner. Over 2 hours later, it hadn't finished. It froze. I force quit, restarted the computer, opened the project and it flat out wouldn't play. Restarted again, unplugged a few fx and finished up best I could. I did a final render and it looks great. Happy about that. But this process is beyond frustrating now. For every minute I work, I'm putting in 10 or 15 to deal with these preview files. Plus, I'm wondering if I needed to buy a new laptop to begin with, as these are the same problems I had with the older, less capable computer. Can these issues really all be stemming from the fact that my media was 24 fps and the project file is 30? I really appreciate all the help and time you've put into helping me through this. But I may be looking at some other software, which is a drag because if PE12 would work smoothly, it does everything I'd need.