36 Replies Latest reply on Feb 11, 2009 10:04 PM by joshtownsend

    Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?

    Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3
      I selected some B-Roll that was shot in P2 1080i and brought it into a standard definition project. I scaled it to about 44% and sped up one timelapse segment by about 900%. The resulting length was about 8 minutes.

      Transcoding this 8 minute sequence into 720x480 NTSC With the CS4 Media Encoder is taking over 3 hours! This is on a system with an Intel Q6600 processor.

      Has anyone else noticed that the new Media Encoder seems slower? I don't think it uses existing render files like previous versions of Premiere.
        • 1. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
          Colin Brougham Level 6
          Previous versions of Premiere didn't use existing render files; that's an option for the first time in CS4 (accessible through the fly-out menu in AME). There's also a new "high quality" rendering option that slows down exporting, so you might have that enabled--but that seems like a pretty extreme time differential. General transcoding (like to DV) with AME seems faster to me; more highly compressed options like H.264 take more time, as would be expected.
          • 2. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
            Level 1
            Try disabling the preview in AME. That will help.
            • 3. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
              Level 1
              This version is about 3-4X slower than the version in CS3. That's another huge strike against CS4. You'd think they'd implement code optimizations that would offer maybe 8-10% speed INCREASE.

              My guess is the implementation of CUDA technology meant they compromised the CPU-based rendering severely.
              • 4. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                Jim_Simon Level 8
                My guess is it's more related to the AME now being a separate app and the way Premiere communicates with it.
                • 5. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                  Level 1
                  My experience (moving from Premiere Pro 2) is that simple operations have been tanked.

                  Consolidated some standard DV footage (simple cuts, no filters, no transforms). In the old days I'd just export movie, and bang very quick output with no problems. Now it takes far longer and I'm getting weird yellow block artifacts on some footage.

                  Yuck

                  Kevin
                  • 6. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                    Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3
                    Just to update; the estimated time for encoding the clip was a little over 3 hours. It actually took aprox. 2 1/2 hours, which of course is a long time... but what took so long was the hour long 1920x1080 P2 clip radically sped up.
                    I just exported some more P2 footage this morning as standard definition without any time-lapse segments, and it exported quickly.

                    Overall, I'm happy with CS4. One thing I like about the new media encoder is that when you have a number of individual videos to export from various timelines, including projects other editors have worked on, the encoder keeps a list of what has already been encoded. This list is a convenient reference when you get distracted and lose track of where you are at, for instance while encoding files for a DVD.
                    • 7. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                      Keith_Andrews Level 1
                      I just happen to notice that the 4.0.1 update to AME resulted in a significant performance decrease while exporting. With AME 4.0.0 I was able to export a test clip in around 50 seconds. The same clip exported from AME 4.0.1 took about 1:20.

                      It definitely has to be something to do with the update. I would much rather uninstall the update and revert back to 4.0.0 considering nothing in the update really helps me out.
                      • 8. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                        shooternz Level 6
                        I am finding AME is very fast if 'Use Render Files' option is used.

                        I like this feature and wish that it was the default or Visible as a button (not in the flyout menu). It resets between encodes which means more clicks and it is easy to forget.
                        • 9. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                          Level 1
                          >I am finding AME is very fast if 'Use Render Files' option is used.

                          I read that if you use "Use Preview files" it will degrade the quality of the output. Is this true?
                          • 11. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                            Curt Wrigley Level 4
                            I think you have to consider the source and destination formats to consider if re-using the preview files for export renders make sense.

                            > This version is about 3-4X slower than the version in CS3.

                            If thats true I wouldn't use CS4. Fortunately its not true. There are situations where it is slower exporting than CS3, but not 3-4 times slower. Gross exaggerations are not helpful.

                            Curt
                            • 12. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                              Level 1
                              > think you have to consider the source and destination formats to consider if re-using the preview files for export renders make sense.

                              Curt...Can you give some examples of when you would use it and when you would avoid it?
                              • 13. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant
                                I am not a expert like Curt, but I would guess if the source and destination are the same resolution or the destination is a lower resolution you could benefit from using the preview files. If you have to up-res the source data I might try both ways to see the results.
                                • 14. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                  Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3
                                  Craig Howard Wrote:
                                  "I am finding AME is very fast if 'Use Render Files' option is used.

                                  I like this feature and wish that it was the default or Visible as a button (not in the flyout menu). It resets between encodes which means more clicks and it is easy to forget."

                                  ___________________________________________________________

                                  Totally missed that. Had to hunt for this feature. Should be more visible and "remember" the previous export setting.
                                  • 15. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                    shooternz Level 6
                                    >Should be more visible and "remember" the previous export setting.

                                    Exactly - that is what Batch exporting is about. Many files, same setting.
                                    • 16. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                      Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant
                                      Craig, batch exporting does no good for any highly repetitive but not simultaneous task. (I just finished publishing a weekly construction progress report video that took 105 weeks.) My preference would be to have a custom preset that would remember that you want to use the preview files. It would also help out significantly in my benchmarking attempts.
                                      • 17. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                        Level 1
                                        I'm also having major issues with CS4 AME. I am trying to export just 12 minutes of video that was shot on a EX1. I want to export it to a h.264 1920x1080 quicktime for a client but the file just locks up and gives me some strange font errors when I shut the system down.

                                        I'm running on a Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0G 1333MHz FSB 6MB L2 Cache
                                        with 4 gigs of ram and Windows XP.

                                        Note, It was working fine until I loaded the latest patch from Adobe.

                                        Update,

                                        I started an export when I started this post. 10 minutes later it is stuck on Elapsed Queue time of 27 Seconds. I did the control alt delete to check on the computer performance and it shows the computer is at idle.

                                        I think the patch I installed from Adobe AME 4.01 screwed the system up. How can I remove the patch?
                                        • 18. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                          Level 1
                                          Well, not sure if this helps but Cleaner XL was considerably faster than AME rendering Flash video...
                                          • 19. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                            Level 1
                                            I had to remove CS4 this morning and reinstall it just to be able to get the AME to work. Who the hell is beta testing for Adobe because this product has some serious issues and flaws.
                                            • 20. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                              Level 1
                                              I inquired into the slowness while exporting to the media encoder yesterday and someone suggested checking the option to use the preview files. This sped up the process considerably, but still experienced a two hour process to produce a 1:35 second video. This was down from 3 plus hours without the use of the preview files. Also, I have Norton internet security installed. Disabling this during the export process also seemed to improve performance.
                                              • 21. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                                Level 1
                                                wow! super slow rendering. My computer is a super-beefed up thing with the fastest everything and it still takes 10x longer to render then when in was using CS3. what's up with this?
                                                • 22. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                                  Level 1
                                                  One thing that speeds things up using AME for me is always choosing the Use Preview Files selection...it spits out WMV, or anything else, a lot faster.
                                                  • 23. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                    That's assuming one has preview files that can be used. I myself don't render much while working. Plus, you really need to take into account the time it originally took to render those previews and add that to the export times to get a proper total.
                                                    • 24. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                                      Level 1
                                                      That's all true, Jim. It doesn't seem any slower to me, but I realize others may have issues.
                                                      • 25. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                                        Level 1
                                                        Make sure you turn off the preview window.
                                                        • 26. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                                          Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant
                                                          If you tune your system like TLC says and if you have preview files to use CS4 is faster than CS3. Since, when using AME, you are reading the file data off your C: drive a fast RAID for SD and HDV project files is of less value with CS4. Also it depends on the codec you select and specifically how well it is multithreaded.
                                                          • 27. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                                            Level 1
                                                            IMHO, the most striking difference between AME CS4 and the encoder in Premiere 2 is that there's a huge down-time on CS4. The rendering itself is probably faster, but you have to wait until it actually starts the process... and that's what's killing me.
                                                            What's up with the "Waiting"?
                                                            Being able to queue up a number of jobs is a huge improvement, but not at the price of having to wait 30 minutes for a 2-minute render.
                                                            • 28. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                                              Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional
                                                              >What's up with the "Waiting"?

                                                              It's waiting for you to tell it to start. Most batch processors won't do anything until you say, "Go!", and the AME is no exception.

                                                              It gives you more control over when memory and system resources get taken away from the task(s) at hand and are given instead to the rendering process.

                                                              A typical example is loading up the queue with sequences during the day while you work on a project, and then putting the AME to work when you leave for the night or go to bed.
                                                              • 29. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                                                Andy Urtu Level 1
                                                                One thing that makes a BIG difference de-selecting Maximum Render Quality. This is on the right side at the same level as the Filters,Video,Audio,Other tabs.

                                                                Select the little wing menu on the right side.
                                                                De-Select USE MAXIUM RENDER QUALITY.

                                                                From what I have read, you only need to use this Max Render Quality if you are resizing, like from HD to SD, or other specialized things.

                                                                This reduced my export times by 300% or more.
                                                                • 30. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                                                  joshtownsend Level 2
                                                                  "That's assuming one has preview files that can be used. Plus, you really need to take into account the time it originally took to render those previews and add that to the export times to get a proper total."

                                                                  Good point Jim. A lot people forgot that they had to wait to render those preview files.

                                                                  Andy, the 'Maximum Render Quailty' tab is de-selected by default. You have to manually turn it on to de-select it.

                                                                  As for the question when to use 'preview files'. Another way the menu could say it would be "would you like to render your preview files again?"

                                                                  When you re-render your rendered preview files they are going through an extra round of compression, another generation.

                                                                  DV project. If you have three clips and third one is color corrected then you do a 'preview render' that 2nd clip is rendered to dv so it will play real time in your timeline. Then when you render out to DVD clip 2 is rendered yet again to Mpeg-2. It has been rendered twice, it a second generation image unlike clip 1 and 2 which are still first generation before the Mpeg encoding.

                                                                  If the results are look fine to you then OK. They are useful, I use them for test renders but when I'm doing something as a final render I don't use them.

                                                                  Personally I find AME pretty snappy but After Effects is way more reliable, versatile and flexible.

                                                                  They should have just strip After Effects of everything but the renderer and made that AME.
                                                                  • 31. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                                                    creig bryan-mUOxt4 Level 1
                                                                    > "...DV project. If you have three clips and third one is color corrected then you do a 'preview render' that 2nd clip is rendered to dv so it will play real time in your timeline. Then when you render out to DVD clip 2 is rendered yet again to Mpeg-2. It has been rendered twice, it a second generation image unlike clip 1 and 2 which are still first generation before the Mpeg encoding...."

                                                                    This is confusing. Please try again.

                                                                    But if you are saying that re-render renders the already rendered preview clip, I believe that you may be in error. I thought re-render ignored the previews and looked to the source file(s) again. Am I wrong?

                                                                    Keep Smiling
                                                                    • 32. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                                                      joshtownsend Level 2
                                                                      "DV project. If you have three clips AND THE 2ND ONE is color corrected then you do a 'preview render' that 2nd clip is rendered to dv so it will play real time in your timeline. Then when you render out to DVD clip 2 is rendered yet again to Mpeg-2. It has been rendered twice, it a second generation image unlike CLIP 1 AND 3 WHICH are still first generation before the Mpeg encoding"

                                                                      Sorry typing faster than my brain. Sorry trying to get work done and help people got the better of my fingers brain. The above is corrected with the corrected in CAPS.

                                                                      In a nutshell when you use preview files your telling the computer to use files that have already lost a generation to make your edit faster.

                                                                      If you edit DV the preview renders the effect (or whatever) to whatever is set in the sequence files. So a new DV file is made, which is rendered into an MPEG (or quicktime, Blu-ray whatever).

                                                                      "But if you are saying that re-render renders the already rendered preview clip, I believe that you may be in error. I thought re-render ignored the previews and looked to the source file(s) again. Am I wrong?"

                                                                      Yes your wrong because your assuming the preview render was done in the format your outputing in AME. If re-render 'ignored the previews and looked for the source file(s) again' there wouldn't be any render to 're-render'.

                                                                      The Preview render renders a new file based on your media codec (dv to dv, HDV to i-frame. dvcpro to dvcpro). It has no way of knowing what your final setting in AME are going to be. So preview files are double rendered.
                                                                      • 33. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                                                        Phil Griffith Level 2
                                                                        I find that hard to believe. If that's the case, why not just delete the render files, and that will mean that it renders from source files. Which I think it does anyway. Why would it use the render files to render from?
                                                                        • 34. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                                                          joshtownsend Level 2
                                                                          "Why would it use the render files to render from?"

                                                                          To save rendering time obviously. If you render from the source files in AME it has to re-render whatever effects, titles, dynamic link thus it takes longer than use when you use 'preview files'.

                                                                          " If that's the case, why not just delete the render files, and that will mean that it renders from source files. "

                                                                          It does just that until you check the 'use preview files'. That is why it is left off by default. If you need more proof read the help.

                                                                          http://help.adobe.com/en_US/PremierePro/4.0/WS5518C746-F7D9-4b53-9627-3FDB012B8CF6.html

                                                                          " Using existing preview files can make encoding much faster since Premiere Pro does not need calculate the effects transitions again. The disadvantage, however, is that there is only one compression cycle when the preview file is generated, and this can cause a slight quality video loss."
                                                                          • 36. Re: Does The New CS4 Media Encoder Seem Slow?
                                                                            joshtownsend Level 2
                                                                            Glad we share the same reality or line of thinking with another physical or conceptual entity.

                                                                            I am smiling see: :)

                                                                            josh