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First thing you would notice with PE7 is that the GUI has changed significantly from PE3's. That change came with PE4. The layout of PE3 is more like PrPro's, which is a pretty traditional NLE program. PE7 is streamlined. Some really like it, others not so much. There ARE more features, and better support for some newer formats, but it does not sound like you need those - yet.
My suggestion would be to address what is causing your problems now. Most likely, you can modify your workflow, just a bit, and get more use out of PE3. Steve Grisetti has done some good work with the FAQ's on getting one's Assets into the best form, size, etc., and might help you. This is especially true with regards to still images. Re-sizing them (down) before Import into PE will go a long way towards an enjoyable editing experience. Getting one's Video Assets into the proper format outside of PE will do the same there.
Looking at your machine's specs., the only question I would have would be the connection to your external, and then the state of your system internal HDD. I've found that editing to/from a USB 2 external is painfully slow. However, I do similar with FW-800 externals, and move these (all Project files and copies of all media) between my laptop and my workstation. I also keep the system internal (C:\) clean, lean and mean, on both machines. Each has several internal HDD's and these are large and fast, plus they are kept clean. Again, the FAQ's address HDD housecleaning. These suggestions go a very long way to providing the best performance and most satisfying editing experience.
Along those lines, I stop and remove all unnecessary running/loaded Processes, when I am editing. No AV, no spyware protectors, no pop-up blockers, nothing that my system does not need to run my NLE program. I do not check e-mail, browse the Web, or anything, that is not necessary to my editing. The laptop, especially, is a multi-function computer. I do almost everything on it. Still, when I'm editing, it gets stripped of everything, that is not necessary for that session. If I'm editing on the workstation, and need to browse the Internet, then I do that on the laptop, not the workstation.
Things to address:
Get these in order first, and you should have a wonderful editing experience. I'd upgrade only when I needed some new feature.
Thanks for your very comprehensive reply.I will look at it very carefully so what follows is initial reaction.
I note what you say and also do most of what you recommend. I regularly defrag etc.Broadband off, no other programs running. The only thing I don't do on your list is disable Norton. But will this do anything if there is no network activity?
The external drive is on USB2. However a lot of what you say seems to be do to with performance and I can cope with going slow, ( at the moment) but I get continual catastrophic errors Error out of memory, must close down , unexpected error, encoding error etc. I do think it may be to do with system or program resources because often doing little bits allows progress. hence I was wondering if within the program there were buffers limits, workspace limits or something that may have been increased in V7.However it doesn't help to speculate ,I need to take a structured approach to it!
One reason to buy the upgrade is to try to get Adobe to help, for even though Steve helped me somewhat last project nothing has really changed.
However to focus on " assets" as that is something I haven't addressed I couldn't immediately find a Steve FAQ on this. We only use regular cameras, Looking at Properties, most images seem to be about 300 to 700kb. Is that large? My camera is set to medium quality.
One thing that I thought was the problem last time was that I change background colour in the Slide show which added a layer which added another video track in PE. However this time I was careful to leave that at black which didn't seem to add another layer in Photo shop but still, gave two tracks in PE, one for image and one black frames.I will do some more investigation in this area next.
I assume my original question is still " can I expect the two products to do what I am doing" Its seems modest and I would like to do bigger DVDs but cannot. Are there any guidelines about typical project limits for the products. i recognise such questions are very difficult as they are really multi dimensional.
PS I am new to the new Forum layout so hope this is the correct way to reply.
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We are all "new" to the new fora. We will all get through this together. Your reply looks good to me.
As for the use of any Processes, that are unnecessary, I do shut off Norton, plus the rest manually from the Tasktray. The reason for this is they all are written to shield against any attempt to shut them down, except by Exit from within the program. Next, I run EndItAll2 to eliminate all running Processes, that are not needed by the system. I normally shut off 20-25. EndItAll2 was a freeware program, but it seems to have gone shareware. There are others, but I have used this one for years. Though all of my machines are on DSL, I am also behind a hardware firewall. Because of this, I shut everything, related to security and the Internet off, including the wireless connection on my laptop. When I get a new OS, the first things that I do is to eliminate all messaging systems. I do no ICQ, etc., and am the only person on my network, so I do not need any of that "stuff." Next, all screensavers, and power savers are disabled. I do not want anything working in the background, even a simple timer. Windows Indexing is shut off for all HDD's internal and external. I will loose a few moments, should I need to Search, but I can live with that. Indexing is a resource hog, and will also lock some large files, when you are editing - not a good thing at all. Norton does a lot of monitoring, often passing files through it, to check them. If you are wired into the Internet, just pull the cable, and shut off Norton for the session. Rember to turn it back on, when you reconnect the cable.
As for the externals, I mean only the speed. If you are comfortable with that, no problem. One suggestion would be to remove any drivers by your external mfgr. I have found that everything from Maxtor, for instance, is bad and can cause systemic crashes. Most modern OS's do not need any mfgr. driver to see the external. Yes, you loose things like the one-button backup function, but I do not use those to begin with.
As for the images themselves, Steve's rec. is 1000x750 pixels max for SD material. It is a good one. Sorry that the FAQ's are not as complete, as they were prior to the changeover. Steve is working on that. I go Steve one better, in my case. I re-size the images to exactly what my Project Preset is, say 720x480 PAR 0.9 for NTSC 4:3, unless I need to pan on a zoomed-out image, then it gets just the sizing that I require. I do all of this in Photoshop, and will place copies of all of my used images into separte folders by the size required. Then I run Actions from PS to re-size specifiically. As you can probably tell, I do not do any "random pan and zooms." Everything is done by hand per either my artistic vision, or the client's. Each image is treated as a unique one, and any animation is based on that particular image. If one does do the random pan and zoom, then Steve's suggestion is spot on.
For motion Assets, I only Import DV-AVI Type II files into Premiere. All format conversions are done outside via 3rd party software. Same for Audio Assets. Everything is converted to PCM/WAV 48KHz 16-bit outside of Premiere. I only feed Premiere what it likes best. Same for when I go to author my DVD's. I only feed Encore what it likes best. No exceptions made. This has yielded a workflow that is 99+% good. I can count the number of crashes from any version of Premiere and Encore combined on one hand. It is more work going in, but it just flat works once into Premiere or Encore. That is one reason why I do not know about a lot of the file format limitations in Premiere - I never try them.
Now, whether PE7 is more stable, than PE3 (assume you have the PE3.0.2 [?] update), I cannot say. It seems that PE7 requires a bit more on the resource end, however I do not know that to be fact. I would rather that Steve, Paul_LS, or Robert Johnson comment on that. I am just not qualified, as I do not even have PE7.
Here is a LINK to an article in the CS4 PrPro forum, with some good comments on setting up an editing system. All might not apply, though most will.
I think the issues you mentioned in your post is not related to memory or application is not robust. Premiere has one issue with high resolution images. In the post you are already mentioned that slide show having around 200 photos. Please reduce the dimension of the photo 1000 x 800. You will get lot of improvements. You would not see any memory issue.
Thank you for your very definitive answer. I have checked my photos and they are typically 1200x 1600, so well in excess of what you recommend so that looks like a problem.
Are you implying its the size of each image rather than the total number?
Does adding zoom in PS change this?
Will I notice loss of definition in the resulting creations?
Does PE7 support a higher resolution, as we watch our shows on TV.
Lots more questions I am afraid but I feel like we are now making progess.
I am going away for a few days but will try at lower res when I return.
Will answer you other reply separately.
The exact dimensions that you use for the stills will depend on whether you're going to DVD (SD), or BD (HD). If the former, then the largest frame size, that you can use is the DVD standard for your TV-type, i.e. 720x480 in NTSC-land. Now, if one is panning in the fully zoomed-out image, more pixels are required. If all pans are within zoomed-in images, probably not.
I re-size outside of my NLE, using Photoshop (PS). I feel that its re-sizing algorithms are better than those in my NLE's. PE7 might have gotten better at this, but I still like to do it in PS. As I treat each image individually, I script the Motion, etc., that each will require. This often means that with 1000 images, I might have 700 that are all resized exactly to my 720x480 dimensions. Then there might be 200, that require a slightly larger size for panning, and another 100 with even larger dimensions. I'll group copies of these into three folders, and do an Automate>Batch (using a pre-designed Action) to re-size them all. A cup of coffee, and they are all done. I then set my Duration (Edit>Preferences>General) and Import from their respective sub-folders. I can alter the Duration of individual images, as needed, but this allows for the bulk to be Imported with my general chosen pacing. Then, I need to remember to set that Duration back, if I've changed it.
This means that you, your system and your NLE are working with just what is needed. It means that no additional processing is needed by the NLE to do the re-sizing, and the results are better to my eye.
As for your externals, I do have one comment: when I began using these, I dutifully loaded the supplied drivers and utilities. Some of these required the mfgr's utilities to get the discs set up, for the OS to Format, or Convert. I made the mistake of leaving these drivers, and such, on the system. In my case, these were Maxtor brand externals, and they came with backup software, and other "features." I did not plan on using them for backup, only for media storage, and the like. Aside from the slow performance of the USB 2's, I started getting major crashes. I contacted Maxtor and MS, since these were MAJOR crashes. No one had an answer. I began tracking the errors, and installed a few "sniffers," to monitor the system. Turns out that the drivers for the Maxtors was the issue, though Maxtor would never acknowledge it. Since I had XP, I really did not need any of the Maxtor drivers, and removed every trace of all, plus any/all utilities, as I'd already Converted my drives. The crashes ended, though slow performance continued. This was a good example of why one needs to keep their editing computer "lean and mean." Now, when I get new externals that need any sort of utility to convert from say Mac to PC, I install those on a third machine, that does no editing, make the conversion, and then plug these into the editing machines. Nothing that I do not absolutely need ever goes on the editing machines. I learned that lesson the hard way with BSOD's at every turn.
I also keep ALL indexing OFF on all of my editing machines, as I do not want anything accessing any files, except for my NLE programs. These files are big, and MS Indexing will "lock" them, while it tries to index them. No other program can use them during that process. With Video editing, the NLE needs to write, re-write and read all of the time. Yes, if I need to do a Search, it's a bit slower, but I'm not ever going to be doing a Search inside any of these files anyway, so nothing really gained there, and nothing lost - be sure to turn OFF any program's indexing, or monitoring. For Windows, you need to turn this OFF for all folders in a drive too!
This is a good reason to turn OFF all anti-virus, and such. Most of these programs monitor every new file created. This takes time. If the A-V program is scrutinizing a big file, and the NLE needs to overwrite it, the A-V program throws a fit, as it's not finished yet. It often sees this as virus, Trojan activity. Not a good thing. Similar can happen with some modules in other programs. Some of the music programs will test each file that *could* contain music to see if it's DRM protected and the user is trying to get around that. I won't name names*, but I believe that one very popular music program has a module that does nothing but manage rights. It does not stay content with just the music files in its folder structure, but looks closely at every file that could possibly contain any Audio. Besides taking time and resources, this can "lock" certain files too. It makes no difference whether the main program is running, or not. This module loads by defult and snoops all the time. I use MSCONFIG to keep this "helper" file from ever loading. If you look at the Processes that load at boot-up, I think you'll find about 60-70 on an average computer. Only about 25 are really necessary. The rest are "baggage," and take precious resources. If you have a pre-built computer, loaded with bloatware, you might have 100+ Processes and programs that load. Some take a big chunk of memory and do not release it, even if they are not running. Take a long look at Task Manager>Processes.
Remember, "lean & mean." This goes for both your machine and for your Project.
* Some of this is just speculation on my part. I have not torn into the code. I have only observed the activity of these programs/Processes, and have drawn conclusions based on that activity, plus the observations of many, many others. Still, why would a module of a music program, that is not running, show activity when one just Imports an AVI file into their NLE? If I was Importing, or Opening the AVI in that module's main program, I could see the activity. I'm not. That main program will have been un-launced for weeks, so why is part of it suddenly interested in my AVI? Maybe just a conspiricy theory, but I do not want any part of that program active, until I launch the main program. BTW, the main program functions perfectly without it little "helper."
I have finally had time to take on board all the really good advice from you and the others ( Which I am now using to help a colleague who is just starting out and hit the same problems). I did a trial with about 200 pics that were refusing to render in my old regime. I resized according to your advice and just used my internal drive and WOW. It all rendered in one minute, what previously had taken about 5 hours. This is a stunning improvemnt. This needs to be written big when you start using the product as it was quite hard to eventually get to the bottom of all this. I now need to decide a simple and effecient work flow that works for me.
What I am doing so far ( but it might change when I upgrade to V7) is
- Make Collection
- Export to Folder ( my folder for the resized images) changing the resolution in the dialogue box
- Then using that folder as source for Premiere.
This works BUT
- Issue1 The order was changed ,and was not that in the collection. This was done during the export phase, rather than the import to PE. It seems random, not date etc
- Isuue 2 Now how do I do my zooms, as currently this can only be done in slide show creation , I think,. And I don't think you can the save a slide show to file.
- So I am getting a bit confused
At first I used "process multiple images", but it used an extra stage, first "export to file", then "process Multiple files". This was not as quick but did retain the order.
So in summary, a major step forward, but I need to consolidate that into a process for my needs, namely , making DVDs with about 200 pics , with zooms and then adding about a dozen edited video sequences, sound, transitions etc. This is the normal profile of what I do.
As some things some slightly different in the V7s I think I will do the upgrade now, and then make the process work in that environemt, having solved the underlying problem.
Thanks very much again for your help
I encourage you to start a new topic for your specific questions, Chris. It sounds like you're very near a solution, and I'm sure we can help you out. (It just gets hard sometimes to separate old issues from new in longer, older posts.)
Ok I will do that. It makes sense , But I did try that af ew eeks ago but got no repies. Maybe the question wasn't clear enough. I asked for help to define a process for this. But maybe the word process was misleading. Maybe work flow would have been better.
So I went back to my question and to Hunt who had got me this far. Though I think you also pointed me this way a little time ago.
But as you say I am geting on much much better, I want to do it efficiently now, and use all the experience that you guys have.
Unless it is totally obscure or unanswerable, it's a rare thing to post a question here or at http://muvipix.com/phpBB3/ and not get an answer within a few hours. As you've no doubt experienced.
Maybe you posted when all of us were on vacation?
I'd love to help with part 2, but have to plead total ignorance to any use of the Organize and Organizer functions in PE/PSE. I do not use them, and know nothing about them. Instead, I use Bridge in PrPro/PS to do similar. When any threads appear on the use of these functions, I just sit back and read.
As for their use and any limitations, many on this forum do use the features, and many more on the Muvipix Community (Steve's link) do, as well.
Wish that I could help you here, but I'm "out of my league."