8 Replies Latest reply on Jun 10, 2009 5:19 PM by Tostie14

    What is the limit for how much footage a project can hold? CS4 Issues

    Tostie14

      While I haven't seen Adobe post a theoretical limit of how much footage a project can hold and still function, it seems that CS4 (as well as previous versions) does not handle project files that well that have a lot of footage.

       

      I recently built a new rig from scratch (Vista 64 Business, Intel i7 920 [Quad-core with hyperthreading enabled], 12GB RAM, external 10TB RAID 5 array, NVIDIA Quadro FX 1700 graphics card) running the CS4 Production Suite hoping that some of the problems that I'd been having in CS3 with large project files would disappear. Boy, was I wrong.

       

      I am editing a documentary that has over 150 hours of footage so far (~4TB of footage) shot with the Panasonic HVX200 in DVCPRO HD P2 720P 23.976P with some additional footage shot on Kodak Zi6 (MP4/H.264 in .mov wrapper) and Canon Vixia HG20 (AVCHD). When I imported roughly the first third of the footage, Premiere appeared to work fine. The project file took a few minutes to open, but I could still edit and Premiere didn't crash on me much.

       

      As I started approaching having all of my files imported, I begin getting errors saying that my files are not recognized or are an unsupported format. Keep in mind that Premiere was giving me this error with files that were shot on the same P2 card as other files that it imported fine, with no change in shooting or file format.  I opened a new project to check and see if the files were still not recognized and they imported fine.

       

      It seems like one of the biggest problems that has occurred is the ImporterProcessServer likes to crash either during project loading or once the project opens (which now takes between 20-40 minutes). Premiere sometimes continues to run once ImporterProcessServer has crashed, but at that point I can no longer import, link media or "online" any of my files.

       

      Has anyone had success using one project file to hold all of your media?  As another example, on CS3 on a previous rig, a project that had about 20 hours of footage would take about 20ish minutes to load and would still crash every other time. In Premiere Pro 2.0, a full-length movie I shot and edited with about 27 hrs of footage would load but crash after about 10 minutes of editing.

       

      I'd appreciate any and all help.

       

      Thanks,

      Kevin Tostado

      Producer/Director/Editor of "Under the Boardwalk"

      MonopolyDocumentary.com

        • 1. Re: What is the limit for how much footage a project can hold? CS4 Issues
          Harm Millaard Level 7
          I am editing a documentary that has over 150 hours of footage so far (~4TB of footage)

           

          First of all, there is a limit to the length of your timeline. See the help file for details. I believe it to be 24 hours.

           

          Second, how can you effectively edit all those hours, without breaking it down into more reasonable and manageable portions?

           

          Maybe you should consider changing your workflow.

           

          If you are doing long form editing, it often is advisable to break it down into smaller pieces and use nesting to get it all together.

           

          From a point of interest, how do you want to deliver that documentary? On a 1 hour DVD? That means a lot of deleting, the hardest part for an editor.

          • 2. Re: What is the limit for how much footage a project can hold? CS4 Issues
            Tostie14 Level 1

            Harm,

             

            I'm not worried about how much footage to have in a single timeline, and by no means do I plan to even more than a few hours at most in one timeline. I understand how nesting works and have used it successfully in previous projects, but when I can't get the project file to open reliably in the first place, this is a much deeper issue. (Sidenote: the more sequencing nesting that occurs in your project, especially with larger amounts of footage in your project, the more likely Premiere is to crash as this dramatically increases the file size of your project in my experience.)

             

            I have my footage organized in a workflow that does very nicely for what I need, but I need to have access to all of the footage within one project file so that if I need a quick shot from an interview that I shot three months ago that fits in quite well with footage from last week, I need to have access to be able pull up any shot or reference what someone talked about in their interview.

             

            I've done lots of long-form editing in the past; I'm just frustrated running up against the limitations of Premiere.

             

            Our final documentary will likely be delivered in an uncompressed Quicktime file (or two) for possible film-out or up-res to 1080. We will also do delivery on DVDs and Blu-ray.  And yes, I'm well aware that having massive amounts of footage will be a challenge, but having been there either shooting or directing for at least 80% of the material, I am well acquainted with my footage.

             

            Kevin

            • 3. Re: What is the limit for how much footage a project can hold? CS4 Issues
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              Kevin,

               

              I'm trying to imagine what planning you need to do to get that project on the road. The longest project I ever did was only 28 hours source (single camera) to 1 hour delivery. My initial thoughts are to create multiple projects, but the major problem is you can't have multiple instances of PR running at the same time. The advantage of using multiple smaller projects is reduced loading times. But then...?

               

              Let's say you are editing episode 7 (tapes 140-150) and you need a clip from tape 38. How do you find it? Where is it stored? What is it called?

               

              I think the only way to handle that effectively is by using all the metadata that Bridge offers, but it requires some discipline on capturing. Entering all relevant data can be tiresome, but I can't think of another way to lessen the burden. I'll sleep on it and if I can give you more suggestions I'll post them.

               

              Good luck with this enormous project.

              • 4. Re: What is the limit for how much footage a project can hold? CS4 Issues
                Tostie14 Level 1

                Harm,

                 

                Thanks for your suggestions. Since our shoot was not tape-based and is entirely digital, there is no capture process. All of the footage is digitized and while yes, I see the merits of having multiple small projects, from a practical stand point that won't work as I start cutting in b-roll and intercutting footage from the several different projects. I want to make sure that any makers or notes I make for each video clip within Premiere are not lost when I have to reimport them to deal with working with multiple projects.

                 

                I haven't worked with Bridge (or the Adobe Drive) so I'll take a look into those and see if either of those can be a helpful intermediary.

                 

                Kevin

                • 5. Re: What is the limit for how much footage a project can hold? CS4 Issues
                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                  Kevin,

                   

                  Your question is not about capturing or tapes. I used those examples from old experiences, but the question is about accessability to footage that is stored somewhere on your disks and how to easily access an individual clip in your current project. With the massive amounts of clips you have, it all boils down to organizing and labelling your clips. Organizing in terms of directory structure, labelling in terms of tags, etc. With the massive number of clips you have ingested or may be ingesting, this requires carefull planning. What tags will you use, what names will you give each file to be distinctive but not cumbersome, I'm sorry I don't have a boilerplate solution for you.

                   

                  As to the topic heading, I'm not aware of any limitation, apart from disk space, in CS4.

                  • 6. Re: What is the limit for how much footage a project can hold? CS4 Issues
                    joshtownsend Level 2

                    Break it up into 10-20 minute reels then when your done combine them. That will save time AND PRPRO will edit faster.

                    • 7. Re: What is the limit for how much footage a project can hold? CS4 Issues
                      Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                      If you wait until the end of this month and then download Premiere Pro 4.1 it is supposed to load projects faster.

                       

                      Maybe that improvement will help along with some of the suggestions on better management/workflow.

                      • 8. Re: What is the limit for how much footage a project can hold? CS4 Issues
                        Tostie14 Level 1

                        Well, the 4.1 update definitely helps with loading the project. However, once I have opened the project with it's 15,000+ imported media files (thanks to the large P2 file structure) it usually will crash within 30 minutes of being loaded. The ImporterProcessServer crashes and stops loading the files into memory, so once again I am hitting a wall with project management.

                         

                        I will continue to use smaller chunked projects in the meantime, but this is frustrating that there is no advertised upper limit for what Premiere can support but clearly Adobe doesn't like the larger project sizes.