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Yes, a 90 minute AVCHD file can bring this program to its knees. The challenge is that Premiere Elements edits hi-def video files natively rather than through an intermediary codec. This means that you're actually editing the file rather than a temporary stand-in for it.
Unfortunately, a massive video file, highly compressed and well over an hour long is a LOT to lug around.
If you plan to edit AVCHD files of that length (roughly the equivalent of a 6 hour DV file!), this may not be the best program to do so. At least until there are 64-bit versions of it running on 64-bit operating systems.
Yes I agree with Steve... AVCHD is highly compressed format and so takes a lot of computer resources to play/edit it. An hour and a half is way too much footage to place on the timeline... better to make up a few smaller projects and combine them later when edited.
HDV is much less processor intensive than AVCHD... you may want to convert your footage to HDV MPEG2 to edit. If you intend your final export to be standard definition better to convert it before editing.
So I am being forced to conclude. Silly me, I figured when Adobe said the program could handle AVCHD files, it would actually be able to handle them. They didn't express any project size limits in their "pitch" for the upgrade to PE7 so I wrongly assumed that I would not be any more limited than I had been with HDV files in PE4.
Looks like all I will be able to do is to carefully edit small portions of my project with frequent saves and lots of reloads of the project (at nearly five minutes per loading) and try to limp through. Based on my previous experience with Adobe, I certainly expected better.
Well, Photoshop does a fine job with any photo file too -- but I wouldn't recommend loading a 24 foot long JPEG into it! ;)
The final output will be a Blu-ray disc. I will try making the project into maybe four or five smaller projects and then try to combine them into a final version when all the editing is done. Editing seems to work fairly well as long as the collection of clips is less than 30 minutes.
I understand what you guys are saying about the way PE7 handles the clips and that it presents a challenge to any current hardware. I guess my biggest disappointment is that nothing in the documentation that I saw warned me of these underlying limits. It would have been more honest of Adobe to have said that it could handle AVCHD but that a given project should not exceed 20 - 30 minutes.
But I do appreciate your input. Thanks for taking the time to post.
Of all the comsumer level editors PE7 probably handles AVCHD the best (I have tried all of them). The only program I use that handles AVCHD better and can handle 1.5 hours is Sony Vegas Pro, the 64 bit version running on Vista 64 bit with 8GB of RAM.
> Unfortunately, a massive video file, highly compressed and well over an hour long is a LOT to lug around.
Is this one huge file being imported, or a number of smaller files (one per clip)?
I'm wondering whether it's the number of clips that's the problem, or the size of the clip(s), or both. I'm minded to run some tests here, as I seem to get good results when others don't, for reasons that puzzle me.
Interesting question. Since I do not use PE for most projects, and break my "chapters" into separate Sequences in Pro, I do not know what the "ceiling" might be.
I have seen people mentioning SD PE Projects running up to 4 hours runtime, but not HD footage over just a few minutes.
This will be interesting. I'm still following dozens of threads on HD, both here and in the Pro fourms, as one day I'll spring - if the Blu-ray situation sorts itself out. I'll let all of you wealthy early adopters solve the problems, before I encounter them.
Didn't you hear Hunt... Blu-ray is dead:
>I'm wondering whether it's the number of clips that's the problem, or the size of the clip(s), or both.
I don't know about PE7 and AVCHD, but I do know that with earlier versions of PE and SD video, when a 1.25 hour project has more than about 600 clips, PE is liable to crash when I scroll the media bin contents or use the text editor.
I often combine (using Clipmate) and cut down several projects to make a highlights version. If possible, I cut out unwanted clips before combining, but sometimes it is not practicable, and so have to save often and put up with the crashes.
I would therefore expect that the number of items in the media bin is likely to affect stability with PE7 and AVCHD as well.
P.S. It's the number of items in the bin which is important. They don't have to be on the timeline. Once I delete unwanted clips from the bin, stability returns.
Yes, it appears to be the number of clips that causes the problem. My entire project has 522 clips. It is a record of our vacation trip. Each individual clip is short - a minute or less - but the total number of them seems to overwhelm PE7.
At the suggestion of an earlier poster, I tried breaking the project up into smaller sections. Using only enough clips to add up to approximately 20 minutes, the stability is much better and I have no problem making any desired edits.
But once I've edited all my mini-projects, I'll need to combine them somehow into one complete project for final rendering and burning. Right now I'm not 100% sure how to do that.
Has anyone else ever done a multi-part project similar to what I'll be trying to do?
The easiest way is to export each subproject as a file using a format which preserves quality for the ultimate delivery, and then combine these files into a new project. If delivery is to be standard DVD, then use DV AVI. If Blu-ray then something else (I forget the name of the best format for the moment).
Alternatively you could try Clipmate (not free, and a couple of issues) to copy the source clips to the final project, but stability may raise its ugly head again if you tried to edit the project before output.
Actually, outputting to DV AVI if you want standard DVD may not be a good idea. Many people have criticised PE and PPro in the past for not doing a good job of downconversion from HD to SD, particularly if there was any processing done on the HD. Maybe with the latest versions of the products that has been fixed (says he hopefully, with tongue in cheek).
I guess you'd have to render each edited section to a high def format - say using the H.264 "share" option - then use those mega-clips in a 'master' project to create the finished work.
What will the completed format be, I wonder?
Following my edits, I've tried rendering my individual "mini-projects" and that seems to work OK. I get acceptable playback and so far only isolated glitches during the editing process.
It will be the putting together of these projects into one all-inclusive project that I can burn to a Blu-ray that is my major stumbling block. Perhaps the Clipmate alternative that Peter has suggested might be my best bet. All the edits will be done. All I will need to do is to copy the edited and rendered projects and paste them sequentially into something that PE can then interpret as a project.
If you've exported them to suitable format files (one per 'subproject'), then you can simply open those exports in a PE 'master project' and there you are.
That is my current problem: how to "share" the output in a high-def format. PE 7 offers several low-def choices: for the internet, for computers, etc. but the only truly high-def choice seems to be burning the finished project to Blu-ray disc. I have had editing programs that allowed saving an image of the finished product to your hard drive but I don't see that option in PE 7.
My individual projects are all complete now and seem to be working well without any freezes or memory warnings. If I can figure out a way to save the individual projects in a high-def format like MPEG4 (or whatever would be the best available choice) then I can easily assemble a big project as Ozpeter suggests. Simple in concept but hard to implement at my current level of understanding.
Export to MPEG from Share to Computer... here you will find HDV MPEG2 and HD H.264
You are absolutely correct, Paul. I just created two H264 MPEG files by rendering a couple of my individual mini-projects. It took a while to do each - as we would all expect. But once rendered, the new files load into a new project like individual clips. And they do so quickly and efficiently.
So the message to taek away from all of this is that you CAN work with big AVCHD projects, but to do so you have to break them up into smaller segments, complete your edits and then render the entire min-project by "sharing" it to your hard drive.
Thanks to everyone who posted on this thread. I think I am good to go now. If I run into further problems, I'll start a new thread to let everyon know what else to look out for. Thanks, guys.
I also made the upgrade from PE4 to PE7.
In PE4 I used a Sony DV camera and PE4 was really easy to use and stable.
I upgraded to PE7 because I bought a Canon HF-100 AVCHD camera. I have a Vista32 machine with a AMD quad core and 4 Gig of memory. I tried Vegas, wich ran fine.
I also have a new laptop with XP and a PE7 trial on it. Just for refence and compare the errors to my home systemem.
Up to now PE7 has been nothing but a frustrating experience. Adding titles tends to crash PE7. As well as trying to export to H264 in mpeg or Quicktime. Export mostly ends with "Adobe failed to return frame".
So far Adobe support has been trying to help, but as a 2nd line helpdesk does, just point me to the already known documents. I send them some camera files to try.
I think there is definately some memory leak and some errors in way Codecs are treated.
So far no luck, although I really like the possibilities PE7 has. If only it would work without errors....
Have you optimized and updated Vista, per the FAQs at the top of this forum?
Particularly with Vista, keeping your firmware and Quicktime updated is extremely important.
And some regular maintenance can also go a long way toward keeping things stable with such an intensive program.
Laptops, as a rule, can also be challenging for video editing -- particularly because they often have smaller, slower hard drives, and especially when editing something as compressed as AVCHD, you need every bit of speed you can squeeze out of your machine.
i "Adobe failed to return frame... "
most often indicates a problem with one, or more, of your Assets, or a "gap" in the Timeline. Even a 1 frame gap (hard to see, unless you zoom into the "frame view" level) *can* cause this and similar problems.
To begin addressing this particular problem, you might want to make sure that your Assets are all the same (Audio & Video) and then do the following: Zoom in your Timeline view to max. Step through your Timeline from beginning to end using Page_Up/Page_Down. Watch the CTI (Current Time Indicator) for its movement. It should go the next Clip. If there is a jump (often just 1 frame, so watch carefully), then you *probably* have a gap. How you "fix" the gap will depend on your exact Clips and your edits so far. It might be as simple as extending the Duration of one Clip by just that one frame (or two), but you may have to close up the gap by dragging all remaining Clips over 1 frame (or however many are required). If you've already added a Music score, you may have to either edit it, or possibly add a tiny bit of Black Video (New icon in the Project Panel) to the tail of your Sequence. Always make sure to have your Video and Audio Tracks the exact same length, even if you need to add a bit of Black Video at the end to accomplish this. Never leave a gap in your Video Track(s).
Steve has given great pointers for other issues, and they are important tweaks for all versions of PE.
As you may have noticed from my last post, Eelco, I was able to solve my particular problem by breaking up my large project into smaller projects, completing all my edits and then combining them into one final all-inclusive project.
Treated that way, my individual projects (< 20 mins long) were easy and stable to edit. Exporting them as H264 MPEGs to my computer hard drive allowed importing them to the final project as big individual clips. Once that was done, I was able to add a menu and complete the project. Used that way, PE 7 works about as well on AVCHD as PE 4 had done earlier for my tape-based HDV projects (some of which were nearly three hours long).
I do think it would have been more honest of Adobe to tell us going in that AVCHD projects are effectively limited to 20 minutes in length if you have ANY editing to do. As I learn more about AVCHD, I have come to question whether it was really ready for the consumer market and why the manufacturers decided to adopt such a resource-hungry format.
It gets lonely out here on the bleeding edge of technology but we always figure it out and make it work somehow.
>As I learn more about AVCHD, I have come to question whether it was really ready for the consumer market and why the manufacturers decided to adopt such a resource-hungry format.
AVCHD was designed to use as little recording medium as possible, at the expense of processing power. However media costs continue to fall and capacities continue to rise, so it will probably turn out not to be the best compromise for HD after all.
> I do think it would have been more honest of Adobe to tell us going in that AVCHD projects are effectively limited to 20 minutes in length if you have ANY editing to do.
My last AVCHD project was 37 minutes long and I experienced no problems. Didn't your problem relate to a very large number of short source clips, or was that someone else?
FWIW, I have discovered that if PE7 (and PE3 before it) gets low on resources it can often be "cured" by temporarily giving some other program the focus. It seems to cause PE to release resources that are being held when they are not needed. A memory leak of sorts.
Try this..... keep Task Manager open while editing and watch the total memory usage. In my case (4GB RAM and system managed pagefile), when total memory usage gets up around 1.6 to 1.7 GB (1.3 to 1.5GB in PE3), PE will get sluggish and possibly produce a "low resources" warning (if you are lucky). ALT-TAB away from PE to another program (I use IE) and you will likely see the total memory usage drop significantly.
Unknown why it happens.... or for that matter, why giving another program the focus helps.
Too bad.... it was something I had hoped was fixed in PE7.
I am very frustrated with PE7. I have been a PE customer since the first version. I skipped 4 and decided to purchase 7. I am attempting to make a slideshow/video of my daughter's soccer team. The video itself is about 15min. I have a ton of pictures about 300 and about 200 20sec to 2min clips in AVCHD. I have about 2min of the project done and it keep crashing and running out of memory. I have a quadcore Intel box with 4GB or RAM. I hope that is enough since I'd have to move to a server to get more. I keep running out of memory. I saw the posts about sub projects, but that seems really cheezy to me, since I like to program's ability to tag items. It helps organize my content so I can create a great slideshow/video. It seems it would defeat the purpose to split up all my data in small chunks. I would hope just having clips in the organizer would not take a bunch of memory. I would expect that only the clips I use and add to the timeline would take up memory. Should I be converting all my AVCHDs into MPEG before working with them? Is there a card I can add to my computer to allow PE7 to work better with these types of files?
The last excitement is PE7 is totally hung and when I go to the process to stop it I cannot stop the process. I have to reboot to kill it. I hope there is a patch for this soon. I have a machine that should work with this and it will be hard to stay a customer if it is un-useable.
What is your output format? SD or HD?
If SD, try converting your AVCHD clips to DV-AVI first, either with PE7 itself or some other program. Make sure your photos are not too large if you have a lot of them. If you do not plan to pan or zoom, the optimum size is 640x480 for NTSC or 768x576 for PAL. Somewhat bigger should be OK, but the bigger they are and/or the more there are, the more PE will be stressed.
Edit. The above optimums are for standard format. For widescreen they are 864x480 or 1024x576, respectively.
You should not need to reboot to kill a hung program. Normally task manager (ctrl/Alt/Delete) will kill it for you, but sometimes not.
I couldn't agree more about the basic non-functionality of PE7 when it comes to handling large AVCHD projects, David. We were both taken in by our previous favorable experiences with earlier versions of PE.
My original problem came with a project similar to your own: lots of smalll files (clips) that added up to a large total project. The problems with memory shortfall occur when you pull a large number of clips from the Media window down to the project line. I had no trouble getting my 552 individual clips downloaded from my camcorder to the "Get Media" window. It was only when I dragged them down into my Sceneline that the wheels started to come off. With a great deal of patience and several reboots, I got my 552 clips loaded into my project but got into immediate and deep trouble when trying to edit the raw footage into final form. Apparently PE7 juggles the huge (in my case about 18 GB) file every time you try to do an edit and the manipulation of the big file is what eats up the memory.
As pointed out by earlier posts, AVCHD is efficient as a compression format for the raw video files but is extemely processor and memory-intensive when you try to edit a file with a lot of individual clips.
I certainly didn't know that I was biting off such a big piece of new technology when I bought my new Sony AVCHD camcorder. I don't think the shortcomings of AVCHD are very widely appreciated except by people who have confronted them head-on as you and I have done.
I fear that the solution for these difficulties will be beyond the scope of a patch by Adobe. Both you and I are using what should be a near-state-of-the-art computer with appropriate hardware and we are barely able to work on an AVCHD project. And, yes, converting your project files to MPEG format is a key part of a semi-workable solution.
The multiple project export method that I outlined above is unquestionably "cheesy" as you suggest but some vatiation on it is about the best you are going to do with AVCHD in PE7 for the foreseeable future.
There is currently no program, and i have tried them all, other than Sony Vegas Pro, the 64 bit application running under Vista 64 bit that can handle large AVCHD projects better than PE7. PE7 is better than any other consumer AVCHD program at handling large projects. Quite simply, I would suggest that if you are unhappy with PE7 that you try a competitors program before judging PE7.
I don't have a lot of experience with programs other than Pinnacle Studio <br />(which was simply incapable of handling an hour-long full-rez movie) but <br />with my 2gb Vista 32bit system, I am editing 2-hour dv files with no <br />problems and an acceptable responsiveness. I don't know what it would be <br />like trying other types of files, but I've learned to just do everything in <br />dv and then convert when I am done.<br /><br />Mark<br /><br /><br /><br /><Paul_LS@adobeforums.com> wrote in message <br />news:firstname.lastname@example.orgNXanI...<br />> There is currently no program, and i have tried them all, other than Sony <br />> Vegas Pro, the 64 bit application running under Vista 64 bit that can <br />> handle large AVCHD projects better than PE7. PE7 is better than any other <br />> consumer AVCHD program at handling large projects. Quite simply, I would <br />> suggest that if you are unhappy with PE7 that you try a competitors <br />> program before judging PE7.
I also have problems with PE7 and memory leaks. PE4 and Vegas 8 ran just fine on my systemen. My system is also way above the recommended (Phenom quad core with 4 Gig and Vista Utimate).
But PE7 with AVCHD clips from my Canon HF-100 tends to crash a lot. Espcially around editing titles, it eats up a lot of memory.
Unfortunaltely after a lot of Emails with Adobe support it is still not stable and no solutions. I found a workflow that at least gives me the oppertunity to edit and export my timeline.
I have 2nd laptop with XP and Pe7 demo, and it has the same problems, so it is not system related. It definately PE7 that has some soft of bug or memory leak.
Premiere Elements edits AVCHD files natively, and that is one of the most intensive processes a computer can do, since these files are high definition and highly compressed. I would be surprised if you could edit AVCHDs at all with Premiere Elements on a laptop.
And it would take a pretty powerful desktop to handle that load also.
If editing AVCHD natively is a PC intensive process, I would expect that to simply take a lot of time. Tthe issue here is that editing AVCHD files in PE7 causes it to CRASH, not run slow.
While I have not edited AVCHD in PE7, I have edited a project with a lot of h.264 files. Large projects definitely cause PE7 to crash. By contrast, I have tried those same files (and the same number of them) in Video Editor from AVS4YOU (which seems to edit them natively) and it does not crash and does not use anywhere near the amount of memory PE7 uses. The program is missing some (OK, quite a few) of the features that PE7 offers but it at least is stable with large compressed projects.
So the issue of running out of resources would seem to be a consequence of how PE7 handles compressed files, not simply the fact that they are compressed.
And the problem with "solving" the issue by converting to DV-AVI before editing is that it is not practical to do that on a routine basis. Once converted, you have to keep the DV-AVIs accessible to PE until you have no need to edit the project again.... ever. That takes up a lot of room and even with a 1TB drive I can see running out of space quickly. When I pop for a BluRay drive, that might change. But until then, it is a major PITA and something that Adobe needs to address if they are really marketing their products to the home video buff. ??