20 Replies Latest reply on Jun 9, 2008 2:55 AM by Jonas Hummelstrand

    HD Editing in AE - Need hardware

      Hi there.

      We do alot of HD editing in AE CS3. Most footage is uncompressed tga or 32 exr files. But editing is a pain, really really slow. Is it possible to get some sort of accelerator card? We don't need to capture data or edit mpg2.

      Our current system is a Dell dual Quad core Xeon with 8gigs of ram and a single SAS 15.000rpm drive.

      I would appreciate any input.

      Thanks
      Peter
        • 1. Re: HD Editing in AE - Need hardware
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
          Nope. What would you acclerate? 32bpc processing takes its toll, even in programs like toxic, Nuke or Fusion (though arguably they are doing some things a lot faster, but not all). Also check how many channels the EXRs have and how they are compressed. some compression methods (PIZ, B44) take more resources to uncompress than ZIP or ZIPS compression.

          Mylenium
          • 2. Re: HD Editing in AE - Need hardware
            Level 1
            How is it possible to work with uncompressed (lets forget about 32bit) HD footage. There must be some sort of video editing card supported in AE3? Even on a single layer with no correction or other stuff we have massive lack. Almost impossible to work.
            • 3. Re: HD Editing in AE - Need hardware
              Jonas Hummelstrand Level 2
              At least 2 GB (up to 3-4 GB) of free RAM per CPU is recommended for optimal AE performance with "Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously" enabled in the Prefs. Add to that the RAM your OS needs, so you should have at least 10 GB. In order to use more than 4 GB of total memory, you need Windows XPx64, Windows Vista64 or OS X 10.4.

              Also, make sure you have your OS and applications installed on a separate disk from where your sources are placed. Get a RAID setup so you get better disk performance (can be done in mosts systems in software by using two disks as one for RAID0 or three disks for RAID5.)

              - Jonas Hummelstrand
              http://generalspecialist.com/
              • 4. Re: HD Editing in AE - Need hardware
                Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
                >There must be some sort of video editing card supported in AE3?

                Umm, I think you have not yet realized the difference between compositing and editing. They're both completely different processes. All acceleration is dependent on having a highly optimized combinations of software and hardware, but with the limitations that apply - if you know the resolution when designing the software/hardware, you can optimze the hell out of it, but it will be useless for anything else. That's basically what video capture/ playback cards do already. You can work at full speed in the resolutions they support, but everything else is just as slow as AE or does not work at all. Seeing that AE is a resolution and framerate independent app, the question also is how would you optimize possibly a million combinations of source formats, resolutions, framerates and output settings? That's humanly impossible. All you could ever hope for is that the routines make more use of your hardware resources such as OpenGL acceleration on your graphics card or better use of your system's RAM. So for what it's worth: simply get used to it. And no, it's no different elsewhere - even highend systems such as flame* only do all their speed magic by forcing you into certain limits.

                Mylenium
                • 5. Re: HD Editing in AE - Need hardware
                  Level 1
                  Thanks for the answer.
                  Sorry, we are only doing compositing in AE not editing. Do you have som speed tips for the workflow and settings? Out gfx cards are Quadro 4600.
                  • 6. Re: HD Editing in AE - Need hardware
                    Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional
                    I work on Mac Pros with plenty of RAM and 3-drive software RAID configurations. I work regularly with uncompressed 1920x1080 footage and feel the system runs quite well. Perhaps our expectations are different, or perhaps there's something wrong with your setup.

                    If you could explain the specifics of what you do now, and what your expectations are, perhaps we could better evaluate if your gear is running normally.
                    • 7. Re: HD Editing in AE - Need hardware
                      Level 1
                      We normally do 3d for architetcs, but lately we find ourself doing more and more 3d animation (no live footage). We use our Dell workstation for this aswell. They consist of a dual quad core intel xeon 3ghz (45nm), 8 gigs of ram, quadro fx4600 and a single 15.000rpm sas drive.

                      We've installed AE CS3 setup the use of multiply cores else everything is pretty std. When working with 1280x720 uncompressed material or 1024x576 for the matter, is slow it plays about 5-10 frames a second with no effects or other layers.

                      Maybe this is normal, I dont know, but its hard to work when you have to wait constantly.

                      Thanks
                      Peter
                      • 8. Re: HD Editing in AE - Need hardware
                        Level 1
                        I think your slow down is drive related. I realize it's a fast drive, but to do any kind of HD work you should be using a very fast array of at least 2 drives.

                        Please take a look at this Adobe HD white paper.

                        You may also want to look into working with proxies for your motion design work. Once the motion is where you want it you can revert to HD and adjust the look.
                        • 9. Re: HD Editing in AE - Need hardware
                          Navarro Parker Level 3
                          I recently did some 2K work that utilized multipass 32-bit rendering. Each frame had perhaps 150MB~200MB of source files. The hard drive became the ultimate bottleneck for me . Multiprocessing was actually slower (imagine 8 cores each wanting 200MB per frame).

                          I had to split out the source renders between four different drives just to improve disk access time. So while RAIDs are very helpful for heavy single stream loads, one RAID isn't great for loading lots of individual files for 3D compositing work.

                          I'm eager to try out the new WD Velociraptor drives.
                          • 10. Re: HD Editing in AE - Need hardware
                            Joey Morelli Level 1
                            Some of this has been mentioned, but working with HD footage in AE can be sped up by:

                            Use half resolution or less in preview
                            Use 8 Bit mode in preview
                            Use a separate RAID Array always (NEVER use your boot drive)

                            Joey
                            • 11. Re: HD Editing in AE - Need hardware
                              bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3
                              Even doing ol' DV in Final Cut we have learned to set source media, rendered, or transcoded media to separate physical drives. Remarkable speed enhancement.

                              bogiesan
                              • 12. Re: HD Editing in AE - Need hardware
                                Jonas Hummelstrand Level 2
                                i "it plays about 5-10 frames a second with no effects or other layers."

                                Aha, that's why! Use RAM Preview (numpad-0) instead of Spacebar play!

                                - Jonas Hummelstrand
                                http://generalspecialist.com/
                                • 13. Re: HD Editing in AE - Need hardware
                                  Level 1
                                  Thanks for the answers. Jonas, we always use ram preview (num. 0), we have smooth playback when the frames are stored in ram, but when doing ram previews it only process a couple of frames a second (at best).

                                  Peter
                                  • 14. Re: HD Editing in AE - Need hardware
                                    Jonas Hummelstrand Level 2
                                    OK, so playing the RAM Preview is fast, but rendering to the RAM Preview is slow, is that your problem?

                                    You will seldom see realtime playback directly from disk in AE, but to get as close as possible when just playing from disk is to have as fast disks as possible, and to make sure that those disks aren't used for anything else.

                                    A single frame of 1280x720 at 8bpc is 2.64 MB without alpha channel, so assuming you are trying to read 25 of those per second that is 66 MB/sec that your disk must be able to feed to AE.

                                    Still, I just tried reading 6 secs of 1280x720 8bpc uncompressed TGAs on a measly Dell laptop from the internal OS drive and it took around 3 sec to render the RAM Preview. On you machine it should be a lot faster, so check to make sure you have plenty of free storage and a defragmented drive.

                                    - Jonas Hummelstrand
                                    http://generalspecialist.com/
                                    • 15. Re: HD Editing in AE - Need hardware
                                      Level 1
                                      Jonas, I think you're spot on, the problem is the HD. We are thinking about getting 4 x HD and make 2 raid volumes so we can split up our footage.

                                      Does this sound as a solution and are Sata drives fast enough for this?
                                      • 16. Re: HD Editing in AE - Need hardware
                                        Andrew, what kinds of graphics cards do you have?
                                        • 17. Re: HD Editing in AE - Need hardware
                                          Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional
                                          Standard NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT, as supplied with the MacPro when purchased.
                                          • 18. Re: HD Editing in AE - Need hardware
                                            Jonas Hummelstrand Level 2
                                            That's a lot better! There's a page on
                                            i http://decklink.com/
                                            that describes the recommended types of disks for different kinds of media and speeds. Use that as a guide.

                                            I bet your current HD is really defragmented and full, since I could generate the preview at 1.5x realtime on a measly laptop and the internal drive.

                                            - Jonas Hummelstrand
                                            http://generalspecialist.com/
                                            • 19. Re: HD Editing in AE - Need hardware
                                              Level 1
                                              Now we are using out internal SAS drive, which also is systemdisk and has probaly never been defragmented.

                                              Do you use 720p in AE and get 1,5xrealtime when you play (no ram preview?)
                                              • 20. Re: HD Editing in AE - Need hardware
                                                Jonas Hummelstrand Level 2
                                                Peter,

                                                6 secs of 1280x720 8bpc uncompressed TGAs on a measly Dell laptop from the internal OS drive and took around 3 sec to render the RAM Preview.

                                                I never ever use Spacebar play, so I don't know what speed I would get.

                                                - Jonas Hummelstrand
                                                http://generalspecialist.com/