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My new unpublished Premiere benchmark when running in CS3 under XP Pro shows encoding SD to AVI to be almost 100% disk intensive (as it was also in previous versions). Therefore the faster the disk or RAID array the faster the operation. When I try this same benchmark under the new CS4 I find it to take slightly longer do to the fact that it is now reading off a copy of the project that Adobe puts on your C: drive. If your C: drive is nearly full and fragmented I could see that it would have a very adverse affect on CS4 performance that would not show up on a fast and clean CS3 project disk or array.
I have not been able to explain why the encoding process randomly stops and starts on a very clean editing only system. When you closely observe the completion progress bar and/or watch the the two time indicators in AME you can see it happening. The erratic results of AME in encoding are the reason I cannot publish a reliable benchmark. The biggest deviations I get are not the AVI results but rather the MPEG encoding results.
Bill, it sounds like one or more processes are grabbing system resources during the export procedure.
Use SysInternal's Process Explorer to watch which processes grab CPU time during a specific period of time.
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Try exporting the sequence with the Use Preview Files selection checked and see if the improves the encode time. It shouldn't take that long...
I'm interested in what you said:
...."under the new CS4 I find it to take slightly longer do to the fact that it is now reading off a copy of the project that Adobe puts on your C: drive."
I know that CS$ will by default put it all on C, but I just assumed that if the scratch disks were set to a drive other than C: that would optimize speed and potential conflicts by keeping it off C. As a rule i never run anything on C that I don't have to.
When you say that "Adobe" puts a copy of the project on the C drive, do you mean that Media Encoder does that? Or, are you just referring to the default for CS4.
And do you mean a copy of the clip(s), rendered previews, or just the project data. If it is the former two, then one can only guess as to why that is the design? It would just be asking for problems.
>Try exporting the sequence with the Use Preview Files
Without any effects, would there even be any preview files?
Don, you do not have any option as irregardless of where you put various project files, CS4 will make a "temporary" copy of "the" project file and place it (in an XP OS) in C:\Documents and Settings\(your user name)\Temp. Take a look at the the non-controlable "Source Name" entry when AME comes up. I do not know if it is Premiere or AME that does it.
There are all kinds of CS4 files in this "Temp" directory. Specifically as you can see in the AME window it is "the" project file (.prproj)
> Without any effects, would there even be any preview files?
Transitions perhaps...who knows what else his project contains...
But would transitions really make much difference?
>who knows what else his project contains
We do. To quote: "The sequence is a DV sequence with only DV footage in it, plus there are no effects on any of the footage."
In CS4 that is not the case on Vista 64, or at least as far as I can tell. My projects are on another drive and all scratch disks are other than C. CS4 is not writing anything to my Documents file when exporting--unless I let it establish a project there by default. Exports from my setup are relatively fast, actually.
The OP may well have let the defaults take over when he first tried CS4, in which case your analysis may identify part of the problem, but it is hard to imagine such a huge difference based just on that.
Machine configuration may have a something to do with this. We really need to know more about his setup.
In Vista the files are in:
C:\Users\"your user name"\AppData\Local\Temp.
I guess you did not look at the Source Header info in AME.
You are right! I looked in 'Documents' and didn't check what AME said in the source header!
Damn. That's one more reason to abhor AME!
My earlier test was exporting a straight microsoft avi 720x480 dv clip with no effects, as the OP had done, from a project that had a 2 minute clip only in it. It went relatively fast rate compared to what the OP experienced --about 4 mins.
I have just tried it again with a 30 sec dv avi clip that has a Sapphire spotlight effect on a head ( from a 'Replace..' link to AE)and no other changes. There is very little subject movement in the clip. It took 12 mins + to render in AME. This is the same clip sent to AE for the sapphire effect through dynamic link which rendered out from AE in 6 minutes. Twice as long from AME!
And, if you are right about the potential slowdown by working off a temp copy of the project, and I suspect you are, caused by being sent to C and then rendered by AME, then that is a very dumb design feature, especially given that there appears to be no way to get AME to send it to a faster drive.
I literally never want anything worked on from C that does not have to be. I guess that if one renders from PP, given that it is the only way one can export anything, it will be sent to C for that operation.
I am using a trial to get a precise reading on what CS4 will do and not do in terms of my usual workflow, my typical projects. The export render is a deal breaker for me, as it presently works.!
Does anyone know of a way to keep AME from sending a project copy to the boot drive? I can't find any setting that will do that.
Don, I suspect that some way it is possible to have the whole "Users" folder on a separate or different disk, but have not had the time to try this. Seems like I always have another project waiting to be done and I cannot risk messing up my configuration. But it definitely is in my to do list. I have been involved in benchmarking Premiere now for 4-5 years (PPBM).
I suspect that you might have to load Vista, and then intelligently (probably with registry modifications) move the "Users" folder, then load CS4. It would be an ideal spot to use one of the new super fast SSD's like the Intel X-25E
That might do it, but I too have far too much on my plate for engaging in a workaround of that magnitude.
What really perplexes me is WHY Adobe did not make that user assignable, like the Scratch disks, etc. There aren't many programs out there that don't give us that choice with things like pagefile, scratch disks, caches, etc.
Is it simply poor design with AME, ostensibly a freestanding app which might well have kept that task withing its own boundaries, or was it somehow an inescapable requirement of XP and Vista. The latter seems very improbable to me, but I am not fluent enough in such matters to be certain that it was just weak design.
In any event, boot drives are a poor place to run a final render through IMO.
Thanks for your responses on this problem.
>CS4 will make a "temporary" copy of "the" project file and place it (in an XP OS) in C:\Documents and Settings\(your user name)\Temp. Take a look at the the non-controlable "Source Name" entry when AME comes up.
My Source Name is the same as the folder where I keep my projects (on my Projects drive, E:) when I export from the AME by itself.
My user temp file is the location when I export from inside Pr. I'm sure that will give network users fits as well.
Sounds like a workaround I might use. How do you export from AME by itself? I'm not sure of what you mean.
Does that mean you load up the queue by choosing export from within Premiere, then quit, and then render all your clips in AME?
What is your workflow to get around it using the Temp directory in C?
Open the AME and go to the File menu. Select Add Premiere Pro
Sequence. That fires up Dynamic Link and lets you navigate to your project file and choose the sequence from within it that you want to export. Be aware that it may take a few minutes for the sequences to show up in the right-hand pane, and during that time there will be no user feedback at all. So you may think that the AME has hung. Don't worry, it hasn't.
Since Pr doesn't have the project open, there is no need to create a temporary copy of it. The only reason a temporary copy is created in the first place is to allow you to get back to editing in the same project while the AME processes the sequence to be exported.
Thanks. Yes, it did seem like nothing would happen! But it did finally. That does work. Nice to know.
Also, thanks for the explanation as to why it makes a copy. That does make sense, of course.
What I am still wondering though is why they didn't give the user the option of assigning that project file copy to somewhere other than Users>>>temp on the boot drive.?
>What I am still wondering though is why they didn't give the user the option of assigning that project file copy to somewhere other than Users>>>temp on the boot drive.?
Sounds like a good Feature Request . :)