7 Replies Latest reply on Aug 14, 2010 9:34 AM by kdoc2

    Mercury Playback Engine

    kdoc2 Level 1

      I am assuming that the Mercury Playback Engine is useful in smoothing out playback when using an Effect that has 32 bit floating point capability, even if I haven't checked "Max bit depth" and thereby activated 4:4:4 color? (A question which comes after reading Karl Soule's blog on the subject. Is this correct--do I have this basically straight

        • 1. Re: Mercury Playback Engine
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Partly correct. 32 bit effects and transitions are handled by the CUDA/MPE capable card.


          Maximum bit depth is 10 bits per channel, so it will use a 4:2:2 color space, not the 14 bit 4:4:4 space. You need to have a specific ingest card to use that with HD-SDI during life recordings, otherwise the color space is just padded with zeroes. 4:2:0 material does not gain quality when used in a 4:2:2 space.

          • 2. Re: Mercury Playback Engine
            Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Several 32 bit effects are GPU acceleratored but not all.


            High-bit-depth effects


            Premiere Pro includes some video effects and transitions that support high-bit-depth processing. When applied to high-bit-depth assets, such as v210-format video and 16-bit-per-channel (bpc) Photoshop files, these effects can be rendered with 32bpc pixels. The result is better color resolution and smoother color gradients with these assets than would be possible with the earlier standard 8 bit per channel pixels. A 32-bpc badge appears to the right of the effect name in the Effects panel for each high-bit-depth effect.To enable high-bit-depth rendering for these effects, select the Maximum Bit Depth video rendering option in the New Sequence dialog box.

            • 3. Re: Mercury Playback Engine
              kdoc2 Level 1

              So from both of your answers let me see: I gather that the Mercury Playback would not help color correction if I shoot with a digital camera which uses 4:2:0--you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear, so to speak. I'll only get "color" benefit if I have a camera which has collected enought color information to start--not so with DSLR video, I gather (4:2:0), but fine for images edited in Photoshop if I've kept them at 16 bits. Is that Right? And if so, what if I've initally edited in PS in 16 bit, but then sent to PrP at 8 bit (as a psd or tiff file), do I lose the 32 bit floating advantage?


              But I also gather that the Mercury Playback Engine does other things than merely help color correction, such as smoothing out playback and speeding things up generally. Is this correct?



              • 4. Re: Mercury Playback Engine
                Harm Millaard Level 7

                If you use 4:2:0 material and then pad the color space to 4:2:2 if does not improve quality, but, and that is where the benefit may be, if improves resistance to color degradation caused by keying, keeping a higher level of quality over more effects.


                CUDA/MPE does improve rendering times by a factor of 10 on average. Look at the Background Information page here: PPBM5 Benchmark


                Additionally it provides better quality than plain encoding, because of the MPE assisted scaling and the use of linear color, that it only used when software assisted MPE is set to MRQ (Master Render Quality) at the cost of 10 times the normal duration.

                • 5. Re: Mercury Playback Engine
                  kdoc2 Level 1

                  That's quite a nice Benchmark site you have there Harm. Let me ask you folks this: I'm editing on an i7, Raid 0, 8 GB RAM with an NVIDIA GTX 260, and have written that card into the txt file so that the Mercury Playback engine is being activated, and the little 32 bit chevrons show up white. My video camera is not high end, but I shoot at 720p, and soon I'll be shooting DSLR video (Canon). Would you say that I should routinely edit with Max Bit Depth and Max Rendering quality both checked? Is there any significant downside to putting this additional stress (and adding this additional capacity) on the system? Should those be checked as part of my typical workflow now?



                  • 6. Re: Mercury Playback Engine
                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                    It would be interesting to see your own results on the benchmark, because at this moment we only have one GTX 260 observation with a rather slow system.


                    From your specs, i7 with 8 GB and raid0, I guess you are talking about an i7-860 or lower and a P55 mobo with onboard raid0. If that is correct, I suggest to look closer at your disk configuration. Use a single disk for OS & programs, not a raid0 and then have a look at Adobe Forums: Generic Guideline for Disk Setup It pays to have some more disks.


                    MRQ (Maximum render quality) is only needed for non-CUDA/MPE cards. A hacked GTX 260 uses linear color for all the rendering.


                    Whether the additional load of maximum bit depth on your system is needed depends very much on your editing style. If you use chroma keying to a large extent, it may be worth it. If not, don't bother.

                    • 7. Re: Mercury Playback Engine
                      kdoc2 Level 1

                      To be more precise, I've a new HP Pavilion, 180t, and it has a 930 Intel i7. I knew about the extra drive advantage, but HP (or Dell) won't sell it that way (they won't put the OS on the extra, non-Raid 0, drive). And I got this system for less than half of their workstation. The system is working quite well so far. I don't know what you mean by the "P55 mobo," (I'm not that sophisticated). I'm leaving San Francisco soon on some business meetings (to your wonderful land...in and around Amsterdam), so I won't be benchmarking now. I haven't moved to chroma keying at this point, so I gather I might as well turn off Max Bit Depth and Max Render Quality as per your indications. Does anyone else disagree with this? but I'll still be getting a boost from the Mercury Engine. right?