17 Replies Latest reply on Dec 1, 2008 9:10 AM by the_wine_snob

    CS4, reverting to CS3 (and getting a refund!) but still interested in opinions

      I've just spent the last 24 hours trying to muscle my way through the myriad of problems I'm finding with CS4. I've managed to alleviate some, but still can't produce my end video.

      To start off, I'm running on Windows Vista. All the problems seem to centre around Media Encoder (although I didn't get far enough to play with Encore or On Location).

      Initial problems where to do with installation. If CS3 is removed after CS4 is installed the link to Media Encoder fails, you then have to removed CS4 and reinstall. Uninstall doesn't work correctly or completely, it leaves a fair amount of files behind that have to be manually removed, failure to do so resulst in Error 2 on reinstall (I'm guessing because the install tries to create some of the working directories, and fails because they are already there?).

      After reinstallation, the job appeared correctly in Medie Encoder when it was fired up from Export in PP, and it was also now possible to add files to Encoder directly. I tried a test run of my project with the following settings:

      H264
      Width : 1280
      Height : 720
      fps : 25
      Field order : Progressive
      Quality : 4.0 and 5.1 (tried to runs)
      Bit rate : can't remember, but atleast 12M for target and perhaps 30M for max?
      VBR 2 pass
      Sound : AAC

      The end video was incredibly jerky.

      I tried a second time using the following settings:

      Quicktime
      Codec : H264
      Quality : 100
      Width : 1280
      Height : 720
      fps : 25
      Field Order : progressive
      Pixel Aspect : square
      Use maximum bit depth ticked
      Bit rate : 1k (I tried to move this to 5k however it kept reverting back)
      Sound : AAC

      Export from PP initially failed, the job appeared in the queue, however nothing actually happened, it just sat there. I read on another post that updating Quicktime to 7.5.5 fixes that (does PP rely on Quicktime for the codec?), tried and the job then started.

      Upon completion, the video played smoothly, although quality was low (low bit rate?). However the video to audio sychronisation was completely out. 30 seconds of play, and the sound was around a second behind the video.

      I then tried applying all of the updates. As with other people, the Encoder portion failed initially (even though I started the update process from Encoder), but then succeeded the second time.

      Upon completion of the updates, the problem reverted back to the initial, i.e. the job started OK, but didn't actually do anything.

      The render settings I'm using are required by the web site I'm trying to create this video for, and also worked without issue in CS3.

      It would seem to me that the Media Encoder portion in CS4, on the Windows version atleast, is seriously flawed (and no, I'm not going to buy a MAC ;-)).

      I would like some answers to these problems, despite all the issues, I did like the overall look and feel of the product compared to CS3, and I also now need the AVCHD support.

      Forgive any innacuracies in the phrases used, settings etc, CS4 has been removed from my system for now, so it was all from memory.
        • 1. Re: CS4, reverting to CS3 (and getting a refund!) but still interested in opinions
          Level 1
          Quick update, I've just reinstalled CS3 to do the render that way and (of course!) it wont read a CS4 file....

          So, back to CS4 and desperately seeking a solution, specifically to Quicktime render failing with the settings I'm trying.
          • 2. Re: CS4, reverting to CS3 (and getting a refund!) but still interested in opinions
            Eddie Lotter Level 4

            You need to install the CS4.0.1 update and you need the latest version of Quicktime from Apple's Web site.


            Cheers
            Eddie

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            • 3. Re: CS4, reverting to CS3 (and getting a refund!) but still interested in opinions
              Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
              H264
              Width : 1280
              Height : 720
              fps : 25
              Field order : Progressive
              Quality : 4.0 and 5.1 (tried to runs)
              Bit rate : can't remember, but at least 12M for target and perhaps 30M for max?
              VBR 2 pass
              Sound : AAC


              What is your target format? Who will your audience be?
              • 4. Re: CS4, reverting to CS3 (and getting a refund!) but still interested in opinions
                Level 1
                Jeff, thanks for the suggestion. I know it's a long post, however if have a read, you'll see I've tried both of those. It was the update that seemed to kill Quicktime the second time around.

                The target of the work is HD for Vimeo (i.e. a web site). These settings produce a large output, however they worked fine in CS3.... saying that, open to suggestions!
                • 5. Re: CS4, reverting to CS3 (and getting a refund!) but still interested in opinions
                  Eddie Lotter Level 4
                  >It was the update that seemed to kill Quicktime

                  Which update, QuickTime or Adobe? Your sparse details make things very confusing.


                  Cheers
                  Eddie

                  PremiereProPedia   ( RSS feed)
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                  • 6. Re: CS4, reverting to CS3 (and getting a refund!) but still interested in opinions
                    Level 1
                    From the post

                    "I read on another post that updating Quicktime to 7.5.5 fixes that (does PP rely on Quicktime for the codec?), tried and the job then started.

                    Upon completion, the video played smoothly, although quality was low (low bit rate?). However the video to audio sychronisation was completely out. 30 seconds of play, and the sound was around a second behind the video.

                    I then tried applying all of the updates. As with other people, the Encoder portion failed initially (even though I started the update process from Encoder), but then succeeded the second time."

                    Sorry Eddie, but isn't that quite clear that first was to do with QuickTime and the second to do with CS4?
                    • 7. Re: CS4, reverting to CS3 (and getting a refund!) but still interested in opinions
                      Level 1
                      Sorry, missed the quote from my message in your post....

                      To clarfiy, when I applied the update to QuickTime, the render worked, but the video and audio where out of sync.

                      So I then applied the Adobe update. That stopped the Quicktime render from working at all (i.e the problem was the same as it was before I'd applied both updates).

                      Hope that clarifies it
                      • 8. Re: CS4, reverting to CS3 (and getting a refund!) but still interested in opinions
                        Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                        Vimeo only supports HD 1280x720 up to 24 fps.

                        How were you viewing your H.264 non-QT video when you determined it was "incredibly jerky"? What display/software combo was used?

                        12 Mbps or 30 Mbps is a waste for Vimeo, since they recommend 3 Mbps for encoding.

                        Realize your video will be converted to Flash for display.
                        • 9. Re: CS4, reverting to CS3 (and getting a refund!) but still interested in opinions
                          Level 1
                          My first attempt at producing the video was at quality setting 4, 5 Mbps as per the suggested settings, however the end quality of the video was terrible. I tried to up the settings to test. Sorry for not making that clear, I'm aware of what Vimeo standards are, however the point here is more to do with the fact that the software on my system does not do what it should.

                          I was viewing the end video using Quicktime, latest version, on two different machines, both of which have quite happily displayed a 2.2 GGbyte 6 minute video in full quality, full size HD that I produced last week (using CS3.... oh those were the days!).

                          At present, creating H264 files creating jerky outputs, creating a Quicktime file just fails full stop. The Quicktime render has worked, but produced a video file that is out of audio/visual sync, so I'm not prepared to accept that this is to do with system performance.

                          I've since completely stripped the application and tried a fresh install, and get the same results.

                          Some more information that I've just noticed, Encoder does not import the Custom Quicktime preset from Premier (I had to recreate it in Encoder), when I went back into Encoder just now to retry the job that failed, the Preset had reverted back to Quicktime NTSC DV, i.e. it did not accept the custom preset in the job queue. I've just started the job, using NTSC DV (as a test) and it works immediately.

                          I will set another job to run, using H264 (with the lower settings), just to recheck results after the new rounds of works I've tried, and will post the results of both renders later on.

                          If you have time, perhaps you could try setting up a custom Quicktime preset using the same settings as mine, try rendering a simple and short sequence to see what results you get?

                          One last question, does anyone know of a way to convert a CS4 project/sequence so as it's useable with CS3 (please, don't suggest sending it to Encoder to create a video file!)?

                          Many thanks

                          Stuart
                          • 10. Re: CS4, reverting to CS3 (and getting a refund!) but still interested in opinions
                            Level 1
                            OK, I've just tried three different renders.

                            Quicktime, using the standard preset NTSC DV. Render completed OK, video play back is smooth and sound is in sync, i.e. it works as it should. Excellent, shame it's not the correct format for what I need.

                            H264, settings as per my first post, with reduced quality to 4 and bit rate set at 3Mbps target, 6 max. The result, video is very jumpy (there are no dropped frame errors)

                            Quicktime, using a custom preset with H264 Codec. The job starts but just its there, elapsed time and time remaining don't count up. Processor utilisation is at zero, i.e. the computer is not even trying to do anything, if you attempt to close down Media Encoder, it shuts immediately (i.e. no warning about a job in process).

                            Just to clarify, I have reinstalled Preimer a number of times, and have also applied all Quicktime and Premier updates. You can read all the full information about everything I've tried to date is in my orginal post.

                            One possibility, I'm still not convinced that I'm cleaning up all of the old files after uninstalling, settings in Premier are remember when I reinstall. This may be causing a problem, is there any info anywhere on doing a complete uninstall, perhaps for the prerelease beta version?

                            I'll rebuild the whole machine if I need to, however I'd rather not...
                            • 11. Re: CS4, reverting to CS3 (and getting a refund!) but still interested in opinions
                              Level 1
                              >Quicktime and Premier updates.

                              Try using the Quickrime version that works for you in CS3.

                              >One possibility, I'm still not convinced that I'm cleaning up all of the old files after uninstalling, settings in Premier are remember when I reinstall. This may be causing a problem, is there any info anywhere on doing a complete uninstall, perhaps for the prerelease beta version?

                              Adobe has a Clean Script Program on the internet somewhere that should fix this. Try a search for it.
                              • 12. Re: CS4, reverting to CS3 (and getting a refund!) but still interested in opinions
                                Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                                I've produced "non-jumpy" H.264 exports from CS4.  I am not happy with the quality of the final output because, like in Sorenson Squeeze, the video that is produced by the MainConcept H.264 encoder has recurring artifacts that can vary from barely noticeable to offensive. (NB: Squeeze 5 also has the MainConcept H.264 encoder as an export option.)<br /><br />None of my quality issues H.264 appeared until the arrival of QuickTime 7.5.5.  QT 7.5.5 caused problems in Squeeze even when the Apple H.264 codec was used.  Interestingly, video encoded in QuickTime Pro 7.5.5 has none of these other issues.  What a surprise.  Until it is definitely proven otherwise, I will continue to insist that QT is the source of the H.264 problems I've encountered.  (Feel free to either join me or to insist that CS4 is the problem. :) )<br /><br />I would revert to QT 7.4 or earlier, but iTunes 8 requires 7.5.5, and earlier versions of iTunes won't work right on Vista 64.  I have developed a workflow that gets my Pr CS4 video into H.264 via QTPro,  so I can afford to wait until Apple, Sorenson Media, Adobe and MainConcept get their collective acts together.<br /><br />Your problems seem more basic and obvious than that.<br /><br />Before rebuilding your system, try deleting any/all of the "Adobe Media Encoder", "Premiere Pro" and "PPro Headless" folders located here:<br /><br />C:\Users\<your user account name>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe<br /><br />You'll lose custom presets and workspace layouts for both CS3 and CS4, but you'll eliminate any leftovers from the various installations, uninstallations and updates.  Pr and the AME will rebuild what they need on next launch.<br /><br />You can also move/rename those folders instead of deleting them, or you can just plan on restoring them from the Recycle Bin if their deletion doesn't solve the problem.<br /><br />EDIT: For an initial test, it may be simpler just to create a new user account and launch CS4 from there.  That would accomplish the same thing as deleting the other folders.
                                • 13. Re: CS4, reverting to CS3 (and getting a refund!) but still interested in opinions
                                  Level 1
                                  Thanks for the detailed post Jeff.

                                  First of all, a small update, I've just managed to complete a succesful render using WMV to the desired quality in CS4. Video is smooth, sound is all sync'd in, so atleast the immediate problem of getting the project uploaded has been resolved.

                                  I wasn't aware of the ~\roaming\ directory structure, so I'll have another go, remove all of those and then give the registry and good clean up to boot... if it does muck up the whole system, then I'll be left with a rebuild which would have been my next port of call anyway... and have a few days to spare now, so I could do with something to while away the time!

                                  I'll pop up an update in a few days time....
                                  • 14. Re: CS4, reverting to CS3 (and getting a refund!) but still interested in opinions
                                    tamotion Level 1
                                    Stuart, buying a Mac would not help you with this problem. I am having similar problems with CS4 on 3 different Macs. I have also been reading the posts on the forums -- this and Creative Cow's Premiere Pro forum (see other posts on the Adobe forums and also http://forums.creativecow.net/forum/adobepremierepro) -- and I can tell you -- there are a lot of unhappy people out there.

                                    What concerns me is Adobe's total silence in the face of SO MUCH criticism.

                                    When a company such as Adobe goes public with a product, you expect it to perform. Their advertising, their website, the general hype at all the demos (if any of you go to user group meetings) --- everything about CS4 has been "sold" to us as a product that does x,y, and z. IT DOES NOT. The bottom line is -- CS4 is simply not working. Not on Windows, and not on Mac.

                                    Apps are crashing and hanging. Menu items do not work. Items are greyed out when they should not be. There are so many bugs in this thing that it would barely make the grade as a beta.

                                    WE ARE NOT BETA TESTERS.

                                    I have been in this business for about 18 years. I have never experienced such a flawed release as CS4. It goes without saying that I have downgraded to CS3, even though I'm stuck with some projects which are too far developed in CS4 -- I have yet to figure out how to deal with those. Aside from that, I am now taking a fresh look at Final Cut Pro...

                                    Those of you who have experience in print graphics, may remember how QuarkXpress neglected its customer base until it got walloped by the introduction of Adobe's InDesign. You'd think that Adobe -- having delivered that harsh lesson to Quark -- would be alert to the importance of responding to customer dissatisfaction.

                                    I would assume Adobe people read the forums too. Okay Adobe -- you need to be allocating every possible resource to fixing this problem, NOW. Not just a few techies to respond to support calls. If you don't pull out all stops here and get this thing fixed, you're going to have a lot of disgruntled professionals on your hands. A public apology wouldn't harm either.
                                    • 15. Re: CS4, reverting to CS3 (and getting a refund!) but still interested in opinions
                                      joshtownsend Level 2
                                      "WE ARE NOT BETA TESTERS"

                                      You are now. But I agree Adobe should be much more forthcoming with all of this. Problem is Adobe is not worried about Premiere. No real professionals use it anyway seems to be their attitude. And besides your generally forced to buy it with the production packs because the products are so high priced separately.

                                      Wish they would break the cycle, get CS4 working stable in 6 months, then start only work on making the program work faster as is without messing it up adding useless features that break the program.

                                      Merging AE and Premiere would make it a killer app. Hell if AE had a simple NLE added to it that gave you real-time playback like premiere (before effects of course). It would be brilliant and Adobe would be a force to reckon with.
                                      • 16. Re: CS4, reverting to CS3 (and getting a refund!) but still interested in opinions
                                        Level 1
                                        Strong responses and from what I've seen, read and experienced so far, much deserved.

                                        I've no doubt Adobe are listening, even if they don't feel brave enough to post a response. I'm also sure that they're well aware that we'll post questions here for to those more experienced in the hope for some answers, and critisiscm elsewhere to those looking for guidance. The current dissatisfaction with this product will undoubtedly affect sales, let's hope that Adobe are astute enough to realise this... perhaps more voices for refund pending action may help to turn the tide.

                                        I've seen quite a lot of posts on CS4 voicing OE problems, under spec'd machines, other insinuations pointing towards the end user. However the general content of the posts seem to be far more fundamental then that; inconstistencies between different codecs, missing menu items, installation issues and the like, all pointing towards basic bug ridden and badly tested coding.

                                        We have purchased this application as a tool, it should function as such. To be expected to trouble shoot to the level that has been displayed so far is simply unacceptable; even if many of us have the skills, we should not be expected to work as an IT consultant or beta tester, spend our time navigating through the problems to try and force the application to work. We've all paid good money for it, in good faith, with the expectation that it would provide us with the functions advertised.

                                        Time to start a revolution!
                                        • 17. Re: CS4, reverting to CS3 (and getting a refund!) but still interested in opinions
                                          the_wine_snob Level 9
                                          Stuart,

                                          Maybe I'm just too old and have seen too many "revolutions," to get onto that wagon.

                                          However, the more I follow CS4 threads, the more I am starting to question whether I will upgrade from CS2, or not. Some things look useful to me (more than with CS3), but then there are the problems.

                                          Adobe IS listening, as evidenced by a few of the folk on the team dropping by to give info on updates, etc. Having some major "fixes" so soon upon release, indicates to me, that they are working on it.

                                          I didn't move to CS3 for similar reasons. Also, it really did not offer ME much in the way of useful features.

                                          Whether it's through bug reports, posts in the forum or direct correspondence with Adobe, the best way to get their attention, and provide them with useful data, is to offer as much detail on the specific problem(s) as one can and demonstrate repeatability. General posturing might make one feel better, but does little to get improvements in the program.

                                          As you state, some of the problems are probably OE. Some are system specific, and others are related to 3rd party software. Still, there do seem to be a lot of issues that ARE CS4-specific. These worry me. These are the issues that I would like to see Adobe address. So far, they seem to be, albeit maybe not quickly and efficiently enough for many users. CS4 does seem to be more of a "work in progress," than I am willing to take on just yet, especially as it would also likely mean a new workstation and new OS (one that is not without some problems of its own and a new learning curve also).

                                          I'm fortunate enough to have CS2 and a rock-solid group of systems to use it on. It does 95% of what I'd like for it to do, and that extra 5% has yet to intice me, especially with the "problems" that I've been reading about.

                                          As for the Adobe faces in the forum, they have shown up, when they could actually tell us something. I view that as a very positive sign. Even when they have dropped in, too many people demand to know "WHEN?" something will be fixed. If they knew, they'd tell us.

                                          I'm sorry that CS4 has not gone more smoothly, upon release. It saddens me greatly. However, it is also why I will be waiting and keep reading. For me, this will be an upgrade that will be very expensive, because it's not just the software. I hope that Adobe does get it all running and running smoothly.

                                          I would anticipate, and hope, that the next update fixes most of the issues. I anticipate, and hope, that Adobe will provide us with the same sort of info on it, as they have done with 4.0.1 & AME's update. I also hope that the forum subscribers will concentrate on the info provided and cease with the "WHEN?" The Adobe posters do not know yet, as the coders are still working on it. It *seems* that rushing to meet a product release date might have gotten us into this trouble to begin with.

                                          My fingers are all crossed. Maybe 4.0.2 will signal that it's time for me to make the jump.

                                          Hunt