14 Replies Latest reply on May 13, 2015 4:16 AM by Ed2149

    Help setting up an efficient AE/Premiere workflow.

    SeanPercy42 Level 1

      I am working on several AE/Premiere projects on a Pavilion M6 laptop and have a few drives that I can use for media storage/cache/exporting and am wonding what will be best way to use each one, or if I even need to. My internal drive is a Sandisk SSD 3Gb/s, my second drive is a WD MyPassport 256GB USB 2.0 5400RPM HDD, and my third is a Sandisk Cruzer Extreme 32GB USB 3.0 flash drive. I'm on a HP Pavilion M6-1035DX if you need any system specs to make a determination. I currently have all of my files on the MyPassport (because the Cruzer Extreme flash drive isn't here yet), and am wondering if I should:

      1. keep the media files on the MyPassport, run AE & Premiere (and store the cache) on my internal SSD, and export to the Cruzer Extreme (when it gets here)
      2. or, move my media and project files to the Cruzer Extreme and run AE & Premiere (and store the cache) on my internal SSD because the SSD is faster than the USB 2.0 drive (connection and read/write speeds, USB 2.0 vs SATAII and SSD vs 5400RPS HDD)
      3. or, move my media and project files to the Cruzer Extreme, run AE & Premiere on my internal SSD, and store the cache on my MyPassport (so it's not on the same drive as my project files, programs, or media)
      4. or, some other configuration I haven't thought of

      I have ready in many places that you should use three drives for video editing and motion graphics, but because there are so many technologies and potential bottlenecks involved I want to make sure I do it right/efficiently.

        • 1. Re: Help setting up an efficient AE/Premiere workflow.
          cc_merchant Level 4

          The Sandisk SSD is severely crippled by the SATA-3G connection, the WD Passport is completely unsuited for everything, apart from backups. The Cruzer Extreme is very small and should only be used as a last resort, because it's speed is not really bad.


          If the specs of the M6-1035DX are somewhat comparable to the M6-1051SD, you better get a new notebook, because it is way underpowered for anything more demanding than DV and does not even meet minimum requirements.

          • 2. Re: Help setting up an efficient AE/Premiere workflow.
            SeanPercy42 Level 1

            Gotta completely disagree with you there! I already used this laptop to edit several videos in Premiere, create a few pretty complicated projects in After Effects (with 100+ layers), and some nice scenes in Blender (where it starts to fall short). I haven't had any performance issues what-so-ever editing HDV video in Premiere or HDV projects in After Effects using only the internal SSD. I was just wondering if I could use the USB 3.0 Flash drive (and/or the WD MyPassport) to store the cache or export to so that my media files and/or export/cache locations aren't all on the same drive. Again, I have absolutely zero issues right now, just hoping to speed things up a bit. I was using Premiere back in '97 am completely aware of what it can and can't do on given equipment. I have a quad core 2.3Ghz CPU with 6GB DDR3 Ram and a 3Gb/s Solid State drive, which are all a hell of a lot faster that what I was using (again without any problems) to edit DV back in '97. I have zero need to shoot and/or edit 4K or 3D video right now which is when I'll definitely want a faster  PC (am planning to build my own custom for that specific purpose) but right now I don't have the funds to upgrade or build a new system, or the need. I'm also using CS4 Production Premium so the only benifits in upgrading my system would be a better video card, CPU, and SATA III SSD, and I'm not prepared to shell out $1k for that right now. Since none of my (32-bit) CS4 programs would benifit from any more RAM and my current mobo only supports SATA II, the only other option I have, without going out and dropping several grand (because I would definitely want CS5 or CS6 on a system that fast), is external drives. My question was pretty simple, can I use the MyPassport or the Cruzer eXtreme to improve my current workflow?

            The best and most appropriate answer is not always a complete system upgrade! Not everyone can afford to upgrade every few months, or often even years. Most people have other hobbies, interests, and bills that take presidence. I'm an experience IT/Cinematography Guru and purchased the best laptop I could afford at the time, and will build a new editing/3D modeling PC when I have a few extra grand to drop on one.

            • 3. Re: Help setting up an efficient AE/Premiere workflow.
              Alan Craven Level 4

              I have some experience of editing AVCHD and more recently Sony EX files, on a Laptop using external drives.  The CPU is an i7, so I have rather more power under the hood there than you.  I am using Windows 7 64 bit and CS6 - but not AE on the laptop.


              This is a system I use when away from home - I migrate to New Zealand for the northern winter, and clearly cannot take my desktop.  It enables me to do a rough cut.


              I replaced the original internal 5400 HDD with a 7200 hybrid HDD, so you are better off than me there.  I have only my programs and project files on there.  I use a 7200 rpm 2.5" drive in an Icy Box USB3/eSATA case for my media files and cache.  I can do rough cut edits having all my files, except those I mentioned that are on the system drive, on a single external drive.  USB2 I found to be simply not fast enough for me.  If I add a second USB3 external drive for the cache, performance is noticeably better.  Using the eSATA port is better still.


              As far as I recall I did get by with USB2 when I had an HDV camera, but I always used 7200 drives, and it was "get by".  So you will find it slow going with your media files on the WD Passport, but you should be able to edit.


              So yes, it is possible, but you really need to move to USB3 - I don't think your laptop has eSATA?


              I hope this is some help to you.

              • 4. Re: Help setting up an efficient AE/Premiere workflow.
                SeanPercy42 Level 1

                Thanks Alan, I definitely don't have eSATA, and am unsure if you think I should use the MyPassport in my workflow at all. I do have the USB 3.0 flash drive which is rated pretty high in the performance review I read. So, should I use that for my media files and cache, and export to my internal SSD (or MyPassport) or should I store the media files and/or cache on my SSD and export the USB 3.0 thumb drive. I basically just have the three drives (Internal SSD, USB 3.0 Thumb Drive, and the MyPassport) and need to know where to place the cache, media files, and export files. If you could simply give me an answer like: place the cache the thumb drive, your media files on the internal SSD, and export to the MyPassport, that would be extremely helpful. Thanks in advance!

                • 5. Re: Help setting up an efficient AE/Premiere workflow.
                  Ed2149 Level 1

                  For me the best way to setup with what you have would be media on the thumb drive and then project and cache on the SSD, export wherever it fits, probably SSD. However the thumb drive is small capacity so that would depend on if your media would fit on it though your post asking if it is an option suggests it might? If it would not then you are going to have to keep the media on your SSD and then use the thumb drive for the cache and exports. As mentioned the passport external drive is not really usable as a working drive due to bottlenecks of the I/O transfer speed of USB 2.0 and the 5,400rpm disk speed. You could however use it for backups of media and projects which I would definitely do.


                  May or may not be what you want to hear but that is what I would do with what you have.

                  • 7. Re: Help setting up an efficient AE/Premiere workflow.
                    SeanPercy42 Level 1

                    I really appreciate your feedback but a comparison of data transfer speeds is not what I asked for in the original, lengthy question. I'm already familiar with them. They don't help me understand if it's more important to be able to export from Premiere/AE faster or read the files faster. That is really the core of the question I still need answered.

                    • 8. Re: Help setting up an efficient AE/Premiere workflow.
                      SeanPercy42 Level 1

                      So, you think it's more important to be able to read the media files faster than it is to export the renders faster? I just wanted to make sure I'm getting the least amount of bottlenecks possible, because I know my current setup is far from top of the line.  The 32GB card should hold my media alright for now, at least as long as I work on one project at a time. When I start editing 4K or working on huge projects I'll be sure to upgrade.

                      • 9. Re: Help setting up an efficient AE/Premiere workflow.
                        Ed2149 Level 1

                        There are two things going on here. First the question of where you are prepared to take the biggest hit in performance, edit or export, and only you can answer that but for what it is worth my suggestion was to improve the edit as far as possible since your export is going to be constricted anyway by the cpu more than anything else I would guess. As an editor I would also rather have an comp that was geared towards as pleasant as possible edit rather than export. Second is the connection between data rates and the above performance choices as they are directly linked which is I would guess is why you were given the link. By the fact you can fit project media on 32gb suggests the edit is quite small and the usb3.0 data rate with cache on ssd should as I understand it give you best edit response possible. The only other suggestion to improve your workflow for the edit would be to reduce media data rates and work off a low res or proxy transcode on the thumb stick, keeping full res backup on your passport (as before I would do this anyway), then when you are finished swap out the media in the stick to the res to do your export. Won't improve your export time (in fact will need to factor in time to relink the original media), but might help the system cope with the edit if you find issues there which in turn might save you time.

                        Sent from my iPhone

                        • 10. Re: Help setting up an efficient AE/Premiere workflow.
                          SeanPercy42 Level 1

                          I'm pretty quick on a PC so re-linking the high-res file wouldn't be an issue, and it's a really good suggestion. I've been editing for quite a while and have never heard or thought of doing it, so thanks for that. I do have a few more questions though, if you don't mind.


                          How would you go about a) converting the video to a low res version (AME? or a some other app) and b) replacing the footage when I want to do the final render? Do I just replace the .MP4 file or whatever (while the project is closed obviously), or would I right click on it in Premiere and do a 'replace footage'? Also, would the old cache (low-res) on my SDD be overwritten when I launch Premiere after replacing the MP4 with the high-res version, or would I need to open a different project and clear the cache, then open my actual project? I ask because I read that when you clear the cache (at least in Premiere) that it only clears it out for projects that aren't currently open.


                          The way I have my PC setup now is Exports, Media Files, and Projects on the 32GB USB 3.0 flash drive (which I'll upgrade to 64GB asap) and Programs, OS, Cache all on my internal SSD. Do you think that's the best setup? I was considering moving the cache to the USB drive as well but thought it best to keep it on the internal drive since (nearly) everything else that was being read and written while I edit is on that drive. Thanks for the advice and input.

                          • 11. Re: Help setting up an efficient AE/Premiere workflow.
                            SeanPercy42 Level 1

                            I forgot to mention, I'm prepared to take the biggest hit in render time. I would also rather be able to edit as quickly as possible and take longer to export (cause I can always do something else in the mean time). Just wanted to mention it in case it makes a difference in how you answer the questions I asked in my last post.

                            • 12. Re: Help setting up an efficient AE/Premiere workflow.
                              cc_merchant Level 4

                              From Tweakers Page - Disk Setup


                              With all the reading and writing going on, on the boot disk, it is understandable you need a (number of) dedicated disk(s) for video editing, especially with the bandwidths required when the clip duration is short and the number of tracks exceeds one and uses a codec more complex than DV. The kind of files used during editing are, in order of their need for speed:

                              1. Media cache & Media cache database files, created on importing media into a project. They contain indexed, conformed audio and peak files for waveform display.
                                Typically small files, but lots of them, so in the end they still occupy lots of disk space.
                              2. Preview (rendered) files, created when the time-line is rendered for preview purposes, the red bar turned to green. Read all the time when previewing the time-line.
                              3. Project files, including project auto-save files, that are constantly being read and saved as auto-save files and written when saving your edits.
                              4. Media files, the original video material ingested from tape or card based cameras. Typically long files, only used for reading, since PR is a non-destructive editor.
                              5. Export files, created when the time-line is exported to its final delivery format. These files are typically only written once and often vary in size from several hundred KB to tens of GB.

                              When you are doubting which category of files to put on which kind of disk, especially when using both SSD's and HDD's, keep in mind that the speed advantage of SSD's over HDD's is most noteworthy with the Media cache & Media cache database. These files are frequently accessed, are small and there are many, so reducing latency and seek times and increasing transfer rates pays off by putting these on a SSD, rather than on a HDD, even if it is a raid0. Export files can go to the slowest volume on your system, since you only export once. To help you decide, I have added priority rank-numbers for speed, with 1 for the fastest volume and 5 for the least speed-demanding category.

                              • 13. Re: Help setting up an efficient AE/Premiere workflow.
                                SeanPercy42 Level 1

                                First I wanted to say "thank you for all of the excellent answers and info". It is incredibly difficult for me to choose the 'correct' answer as so many people gave me excellent information and suggestions. I ended up keeping my programs, media files, and media cache & database on my internal SSD. I put my preview files on my flash drive, which is also where I put my export folder (which I learned from watching part of a After Effects & Premiere Pro Performance Workshop video). Since I'm not exporting video while I'm editing, and I'm not previewing my project while I'm exporting a project, this made a lot of sense to do. I will mark the last answer as correct just because it helped me the most being able to see the "priority rank-numbers for speed, with 1 for the fastest volume and 5 for the least speed-demanding category".The one thing I would ask 'cc_merchant', is if you could re-clarify the list so it shows which files are read the most, require the fastest read speeds, and when/how often they're being read; as well as another list that does the same for write speeds. I still don't completely understanding exactly what data is being read/written when, and exactly how much. If data cache & database (for instance) is being read from constantly, it may make sense to put it on my flash drive, since nothing is currently being read from it while I edit (if that makes sense). I do like the fact that my project files and original media are in the same folder, and would like to keep it that way if at all possible. I also bench-marked my SSD and flash drive, and know that I get excellent read speeds from my SSD and excellent write speeds on my flash drive. Although, I can also read and write to and from both simultaneously.


                                I actually just purchased a 2nd USB 3.0 flash drive (64GB, my other is 32GB), and am going to configure it as suggested in this similar discussion Generic Guideline for Disk Setup. The first posting there really answered my question the best so far, and if someone would have posted it here I would have definitely marked it as correct immediately. I would highly recommend checking out that discussion if you're new to configuring your Premiere Pro or After Effects workflow. It is a simple list that tells you where to put your files for the best performance based on how many drives you have.


                                Thanks again for all of your help!

                                • 14. Re: Help setting up an efficient AE/Premiere workflow.
                                  Ed2149 Level 1

                                  Glad you found something that is working for you. A lot of what has been posted above and on the discussion you linked to is lifted from sections on the Tweakers Page and there is a wealth of information contained within the articles there, which though a bit dated in some cases are still very much worth reading when it comes to makes these kinds of decisions.


                                  One thing to note with your current setup is by keeping your projects and media in the same folder on your internal SSD you need to be aware of where your autosaves are going. The default location for your project autosaves is either with in the same folder or in the documents folder on your system drive. This being on the same SSD as the main project means if you have a drive failure you are at risk of loosing everything. There are several ways to safeguard against this including using the Adobe backup to Cloud feature available in the autosave option in the preferences drop down. This is not on by default (or didn't used to be), and of course requires an internet connection. You can save the autosave to a new location such as the thumb drive so separate them from the main project or move the folder with the media media and and project to the thumb drive or another drive if you add one to the system.