5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 23, 2016 5:59 AM by Szalam

    Adobe Media Encoder CC 2015 Slow Rendering Times

    Corentin Robin

      Hello!

       

      I'm new to video editing in general, but I'm quite intimate with PC hardware so here it goes.

       

      Relevant specs:

       

      • i7 4770K stock speeds, no thermal throttling
      • 8Gb 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 RAM
      • GTX 780 +170MHz Clock and 110% power limit/95 Degree C temp target
      • Driver 368.39 in use
      • 3 x Samsung 840 EVO (not raid)
        • Windows 10 64 bit running off SSD1
          • PE/AE/AME installed on this drive
          • Cache/Scratch areas on this drive
          • Footage being worked on
        • SSD 2
          • Games
        • SSD3
          • Games

       

      I record footage using NVIDIA shadowplay from a 2560x1080 75hz monitor. The output file is a 1920x1080 60 fps H.264 35Mbps bitrate MP4 file. (1920x810 with black bars).

       

      I add that footage to Adobe Premiere Elements 14, do any editing I have to do, then export it to a 1080p H.264 12Mbps bitrate MP4 file. Usually the render process take around 10-12 minutes for a 6 minute video.

       

      I then add that output file into Adobe After effects CC 2015, create a composition from it with the drag and create button, add a few text layers and export it through Adobe Media Encoder CC 2015 (AE doesn't support native H.264 from what i could figure out) with the SAME SETTINGS. However this time, and I have the estimate as I'm typing here, the render times are around 40 minutes.

       

      I have run a few tests, and during the Premiere render, the CPU hovers at around 80%  CPU and 1.8-2Gb usage, as I often watch some youtube while waiting, so it's understandeably not 100%. However, during the AE/AME render, the CPU stays at around 30% CPU and 1.8Gb ram usage. Using the Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration (CUDA) I would expect to see higher loads on my GTX 780, but it sits at 2-3% load, so nothing at all.

       

      Given that my render outputs are (to the best of my knowledge) identical between the PE and the AE/AME renders, it would seem that the hardware usage by AME is the issue here. Other posters have suggested that some effects require the previous frame to be rendered to move on, but I have not used such effects, being limited to simple text.

       

      So what is going on? I'd appreciate any and all insight you might have on this and I stand at the ready to provide more information as you need it.

       

      Regards,

        • 1. Re: Adobe Media Encoder CC 2015 Slow Rendering Times
          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Corentin Robin wrote:

           

          I'm new to video editing in general

          Aww, a newbie! Let me give you some pro tips!

           

          Corentin Robin wrote:

           

          3 x Samsung 840 EVO (not raid)

          • Windows 10 64 bit running off SSD1
            • PE/AE/AME installed on this drive
            • Cache/Scratch areas on this drive
            • Footage being worked on

          This isn't ideal.

          You don't want your cache and footage on the same drive. Ideally you'd have your cache on a dedicated drive, but as long as you're not running any of the software that's on drive 2 or 3 while you're working in AE, one of them should work.

           

          Corentin Robin wrote:

           

          I record footage using NVIDIA shadowplay ....H.264 35Mbps bitrate MP4 file.

           

          I add that footage to Adobe Premiere Elements 14, do any editing I have to do, then export it to a 1080p H.264 12Mbps bitrate MP4 file.

           

          I then add that output file into Adobe After effects CC 2015, create a composition from it

          You are capturing your game footage to a highly compressed codec. This would be fine if you're just planning to share it unedited. But you aren't. You are editing it.

          You are then sending it out of your editing program as another H.264. This adds even more compression! It wouldn't be an issue if you were planning to share it, but THEN you work on it in AE.

          You are already two VERY compressed versions in. This is bad.

           

          If you're going to use professional video applications, you need to learn some of the technical things like compression and codecs. You should try to keep compression out of the process as much as possible until the final step in AME. Yes, you'll be dealing with much larger files, but your result will look much better. (And AE will handle an intermediate codec much better than something that uses interframe compression like H.264.)

           

          So, what you should do is look into the options for what you can record your gameplay with. You want something less compressed.

          Then, when you finish editing in Premiere Elements, export it as an intermediate file with minimal compression. (Cineform works well for this. I don't know if Premiere Elements includes it, but the recent versions of Premiere Pro include native Cineform codecs. If you don't have the option for using the Cineform codec in AVI or MOV, QuickTime with the Photo-JPEG codec works well.)

          The resulting file will be much better for working in AE.

           

          Corentin Robin wrote:

           

          ...during the Premiere render, the CPU hovers at around 80% CPU and 1.8-2Gb usage, as I often watch some youtube while waiting, so it's understandeably not 100%. However, during the AE/AME render, the CPU stays at around 30% CPU and 1.8Gb ram usage...

          Given that my render outputs are (to the best of my knowledge) identical between the PE and the AE/AME renders, it would seem that the hardware usage by AME is the issue here.

          What kind of text are you adding? I don't know about Premiere Elements' text tools, but if it has some, I'd use them if you're just putting basic titles in there. If you have a CC subscription, you might be better off using Premiere Pro for both titles and your editing.

           

          After Effects works very, very differently with footage than an editor does. Premiere Elements and Premiere Pro are Non-Linear Editors or NLEs. They handle footage in a certain way (playing back video streams) with an emphasis on real-time playback and speed. After Effects is not like this. After Effects is compositing and motion graphics software. AE focuses on pixel-perfect accuracy. AE works one frame at a time and there are things that just take longer in AE that are much faster in NLE's - that's why Adobe makes both kinds of software. Different tools for different tasks.

           

          Comparisons between how Premiere works and how AE works are like comparing apples and oranges. Apples and oranges are both fruit, but beyond that they are very different. Premiere and AE work with video, but beyond that they're very different.

           

          Again, if you're just adding in text, AE is probably not the ideal tool.

           

          If you're doing some text animation or effects, it might be better to make the text in AE, render it to an intermediate codec that supports alpha (transparency), and drop that into your NLE. (QuickTime with the PNG codec is a good choice for this - make sure to render RGB+Alpha in your output module settings in AE.)

           

          Corentin Robin wrote:

          Using the Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration (CUDA) I would expect to see higher loads on my GTX 780, but it sits at 2-3% load, so nothing at all.

          In order for the Adobe Media Encoder to render an After Effects composition, it launches a headless version of AE in the background. It's basically using AE's renderer, but with some limitations.

           

          If you're using AE CC 2015, you're not going to use the GPU for much. AE's renderer doesn't use it at all.

          If you're using AE CC 2015.3 (the new version that just released yesterday), there are three effects that are GPU-accelerated inside After Effects, but other than that, it doesn't use the GPU for much either.

           

          I usually render an intermediate file out of After Effects' render queue and then drop that file in the Adobe Media Encoder to make my deliverable (H.264 or whatever the client needs). That way I use the full version of AE's renderer and the Adobe Media Encoder is just working off of a video file instead of having to launch stuff in the background.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Adobe Media Encoder CC 2015 Slow Rendering Times
            Corentin Robin Level 1

            First of all, wow. Thank you so much for the depth and quality of your response! If everyone had that kind of mindset, forums would be a very different place...

             

            I realised the whole scratch disk and shared usage issue just as I was typing it, as I believe putting the problem down in words like this helped me realise what was going on disk-wise. So I'll try to either condense my game data on a single drive or two, and use the third exclusively for editing. Or I might buy a new one, if the budget allows it.

             

            Before I move to anything else, I would like to explain what I do with text. I add text as in overlay to the video, with sometimes some very basic motion tracking (I can forget that feature if I need). To the best of my knowledge, PE only allows to add a black screen with some text on time, as on a blackboard for instance. No text overlays/over-the-video (if that makes any sense...). So in regards to that, does Premiere Pro have these features? If so I might make the switch.

             

            I understand that AE requires a lot more precision, and the way you explained it allowed me to understand one of the major question I had with it, which was "Why is realtime playback so difficult in AE?". You answered that perfectly, cheers!

             

            On to the compression issue, I now understand that working from a compressed codec isn't ideal. My raw output file from Shadowplay was indeed H.264 because I believe that's the only output file it allows. I don't think I can do without shadowplay for the time being, as it has some unique features that cannot be replaced:

            • Extremely low hardware overhead, thanks to Nvidia drivers
            • Ability to retrospectively save a video after an interesting "keep-worthy" event, so as to avoid recording 24/7 in hopes of something interesting

             

            Also, to continue on the compression issue, I have gotten mixed answers in regards to this. Some, like you, say that working with H.264 sacrifices quality and performance, yet some say that it isn't an issue since youtube compression will severely disfigue the file anyways. To stick to that, my final render output has always been:

            • H.264 12Mbps target bitrate - 15Mbps max
            • AAC audio with 188kbps target
            • Stock codec settings for the rest.

            I think that my question would be: would I gain a significantly higher quality by using Fraps/Dxtory where I can control the raw footage's settings (keeping in mind  I lose the comfort of ShadowPlay) even though Youtube's compression should (I think?) disfigure that footage?

             

            So, keeping in mind all your suggestions, and the constraints I have to/chose to abide to, I should:

             

            • Have the work files on a separate disk, with scratch areas on that otherwise free drive
            • Replace PE with PP to eliminate the need for AE, and have only a single render
            • Since only one render is needed, there is no longer a true need for an intermediate low compression/lossless codec

             

            All in all, I believe I have come closer to streamlining my workflow, and even if my interpretation might be wrong (ah, newbies...), I learnt a lot more here than I did in several hours of intense googline (So a big thumbs up!)

             

            Regards,

            • 3. Re: Adobe Media Encoder CC 2015 Slow Rendering Times
              Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Corentin Robin wrote:

               

              First of all, wow. Thank you so much for the depth and quality of your response! If everyone had that kind of mindset, forums would be a very different place...

              No problem! That's why I'm here.

              It certainly helps that you stated your issue clearly, with plenty of info, and asked it respectfully. The amount of, "why its not working u should help me fix it NAOW!1!1!!" posts without any information is staggering.

               

              Corentin Robin wrote:

               

              I'll try to either condense my game data on a single drive or two, and use the third exclusively for editing. Or I might buy a new one, if the budget allows it.

              That would be ideal. At my freelance studio, I have three separate drives

              1. OS/software
              2. Footage
              3. Cache (if there are different types of drive, this should be the fastest one you have [I know yours are currently all the same, this is more for future forum-goers])

              It probably won't help much for rendering speed, but it should help when you're interacting.

               

              Corentin Robin wrote:

               

              Before I move to anything else, I would like to explain what I do with text. I add text as in overlay to the video, with sometimes some very basic motion tracking (I can forget that feature if I need). To the best of my knowledge, PE only allows to add a black screen with some text on time, as on a blackboard for instance. No text overlays/over-the-video (if that makes any sense...). So in regards to that, does Premiere Pro have these features? If so I might make the switch.

              You should definitely stop using Premiere Elements and start using Premiere Pro. Not only does it give you a LOT more flexibility in working, but you can layer as many type objects as you want on top of your footage.

              It also works pretty seamlessly with AE. For example, if you have a shot you want to add some text to, you could clip out the part that would have the text and simply right-click and choose "Replace with After Effects composition". That footage will then be replaced with a Dynamic Link to an AE comp that already contains the footage you're working with. You save your AE project and the results will show up immediately in Premiere! It's really handy. If you want to keep that connection live, you can. Or if you're pretty sure you're done with AE work and want it to play back smoothly in Premiere, you can choose to render and replace it. It renders an intermediate file out of AE and replaces the linked comp in Premiere with it. VERY useful feature.

               

              If you are doing motion tracking, you'll probably want to use AE. Although you can do some animation in Premiere Pro, AE is much more suited for doing it. And, if you start getting really fancy, you'll probably want to do some rotoscoping too.

               

              Corentin Robin wrote:

               

              I understand that AE requires a lot more precision, and the way you explained it allowed me to understand one of the major question I had with it, which was "Why is realtime playback so difficult in AE?". You answered that perfectly, cheers!

              There's actually a lot more detail I could go into! Basically, AE needs to build a cache first and then play it back. Maybe I should have said that. It's even simpler and shorter!

               

              Corentin Robin wrote:

               

              On to the compression issue, I now understand that working from a compressed codec isn't ideal. My raw output file from Shadowplay was indeed H.264 because I believe that's the only output file it allows. I don't think I can do without shadowplay for the time being, as it has some unique features that cannot be replaced:

              • Extremely low hardware overhead, thanks to Nvidia drivers
              • Ability to retrospectively save a video after an interesting "keep-worthy" event, so as to avoid recording 24/7 in hopes of something interesting

              Those do sound like some pretty useful features. Just make sure you crank up the quality settings in the codec to as high of a data rate as it allows.

               

              Corentin Robin wrote:

               

              Also, to continue on the compression issue, I have gotten mixed answers in regards to this. Some, like you, say that working with H.264 sacrifices quality and performance, yet some say that it isn't an issue since youtube compression will severely disfigue the file anyways.

              YouTube may recompress it, yes. But if it does, it's adding ANOTHER layer of compression. This would be an even bigger argument for preserving quality on your end as much as possible.

               

              Corentin Robin wrote:

               

              I think that my question would be: would I gain a significantly higher quality by using Fraps/Dxtory where I can control the raw footage's settings (keeping in mind I lose the comfort of ShadowPlay) even though Youtube's compression should (I think?) disfigure that footage?

              I think the benefits of ShadowPlay outweigh the concerns I had about compression in that one step. I still say DON'T do any other steps of making H.264s again and again as you pass your project between apps. If you must render something (which you won't have to do if you start using Premiere Pro and AE together), render an intermediate codec until you're creating your deliverable.

               

              Corentin Robin wrote:

               

               

              So, keeping in mind all your suggestions, and the constraints I have to/chose to abide to, I should:

               

              • Have the work files on a separate disk, with scratch areas on that otherwise free drive
              • Replace PE with PP to eliminate the need for AE, and have only a single render
              • Since only one render is needed, there is no longer a true need for an intermediate low compression/lossless codec

              Yes. Although, you still might use AE, you've eliminated the need to render intermediate files if you're using Premiere Pro and AE together.

              In addition to the Dynamic Link workflow I mentioned, you can also (once you have finished your edit in Premiere Pro), import your entire Premiere Pro project into AE. Use the Import>Import Premiere Pro project command. It brings your whole sequence into AE with each cut on its own layer. You'd really only need to do this if you started getting really complex with your AE work though.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Adobe Media Encoder CC 2015 Slow Rendering Times
                Corentin Robin Level 1

                Wow! I din't know that AE and PP had this kind of seamless interaction! Now the whole "Creative Cloud" makes some serious sense from a business and consumer comfort perspective. I think I'll stick to PP for now and as I progress, it's good to know that AE's power is only a few quick clicks away.

                 

                As for rotoscoping, it looks like a whole new world of creativity.

                 

                And when it came to compression, I was under the impression that compressing the file was done in a linear fashion, if it makes any sense. As in I could compress a file to the same settings multiple times, with identical quality. Interessting to see that the action of compressing itself actually "damages" the quality, which, and correct me if I'm wrong, would mean that the render process is never perfect, as a 3D blender render for instance (thinking about them fireflies...).

                 

                Anyhow, thank you so much for you help, and the knowledge you brought forward! I'm looking forward to work on that.

                 

                Regards,

                • 5. Re: Adobe Media Encoder CC 2015 Slow Rendering Times
                  Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Corentin Robin wrote:

                   

                  Wow! I din't know that AE and PP had this kind of seamless interaction! Now the whole "Creative Cloud" makes some serious sense from a business and consumer comfort perspective.

                  If you think that's cool, just wait until you use the Mobile apps.

                  If you grab the Adobe Capture app, you can get Looks from photos you take and apply them to your footage in Premiere. Look up what LUTs are to get an idea of how that works.

                  The Capture app has several things it can do:

                  • Vectors from photos you take (useful in After Effects, Photoshop, and Illustrator)
                  • Looks from photos you take (useful in Premiere Pro, After Effects, and SpeedGrade)
                  • Color palettes from photos you take (useful in every Adobe CC app)
                  • Patterns from photos you take (more Photoshop, but you could use this in AE too)

                  It's so cool! I use it all the time to make color palettes for motion graphics. All four of those things you do on your phone show up immediately in your Adobe apps on your desktop.

                   

                  Another HUGE CC benefit for businesses is the Libraries feature (which you'll be using as an individual too when you use the mobile apps, by the way). You can set up color themes, example images, and other resources for specific projects and share them with the team members that are working with the project. Say I'm in London and I see something that would be useful for my team back in Nashville for our Transportation Project. I just grab the asset on my iPhone, drop it into the Transportation Project library, and it immediately shows up in Photoshop in my team's Libraries panel back in the States. IT'S SO COOL!

                   

                  Sorry, I just get excited about the possibilities of our new creative world sometimes.

                   

                  Corentin Robin wrote:

                   

                  As for rotoscoping, it looks like a whole new world of creativity.

                  It really is. It lets you make your text seem more like it's fitting into the world because other objects pass in front of it. When you're ready, this is a good page of resources to start learning it. Of course, if you're still new to AE, you should go through this stuff first.

                   

                  Corentin Robin wrote:

                   

                  And when it came to compression, I was under the impression that compressing the file was done in a linear fashion, if it makes any sense. As in I could compress a file to the same settings multiple times, with identical quality. Interessting to see that the action of compressing itself actually "damages" the quality,

                  You can test this yourself. Grab a short video and encode it into an MP4 at, say 4MBps. Then drag the resulting file into AME and do it again. Take that resulting file and do it again. Take that resulting file and do it again. Use the same settings each time and watch how the quality goes to poop more and more with each generation.

                   

                  Corentin Robin wrote:

                   

                  correct me if I'm wrong, would mean that the render process is never perfect, as a 3D blender render for instance (thinking about them fireflies...).

                  You can render to a technically lossless file (like QuickTime Animation or QuickTime with the PNG codec at high quality levels) and there won't be any generational loss. The file size will be huge in comparison to an MP4, but the quality will be the same each time. If you render from Blender into a TIFF image sequence, there's no compression there either so you have great quality and no loss.

                   

                  Speaking of 3d renders, did you know that your Creative Cloud subscription includes Cinema 4D Lite? Cinema 4D integrates really well with After Effects nowadays. Once you learn AE reasonably well, you should go through this great Cineversity series and see how powerful Cinema 4D Lite inside AE can be.