16 Replies Latest reply on Aug 8, 2011 3:56 PM by Toomany3

    Proof Export with Previews Doesn't Work

    Toomany3 Level 1

      I've read everything that I think has been written on the subject in the manual, Adobe forums, Creative Cow, etc. etc.  Some say they don't even bother with preview files because they are plagued with "issues."  Some of these issues are they sometimes magically disappear.  Others say they speed up exports, others say they don't.  So the jury was out with nothing conclusive.

       

      Well, I have been testing and testing for the last 30 hours to try to streamline my exports that are taking way too long.  (2 hours for a 9 minute clip.  See this other thread http://forums.adobe.com/thread/882985?tstart=0)

       

      So, in search to find a solution to my slow renders, I have tested this and retested this using many different scenarios. My real-world tests CONCLUSIVELY show that Previews are WORTHLESS for exports. They certainly can help you scrub through a slow timeline, but that's where their usefulness ends.

       

      MY RESEARCH

      I rendered out the same 7 minute section of a TV program with the following details.

      1. This particular section isn't overly complicated in either audio or video. 
      2. I have disabled all dynamic links to AE and replaced them with either a DNxHD encoded clip or a TIFF sequence
      3. 90% of the footage is from the Sony EX1r camera, the other 10% from the Canon 7D or 5Dm2.
      4. I rendered out the entire sequence (turned the entire timeline green)

       

      TESTING DATA

      1. The sequence is set up to process its renders with Microsoft AVI / Cineform codec, highest resolution settings, 1920x1080p, square pixels.
      2. I exported the same sequence many different ways.  One was doing it like everyone does by exporting your sequence timeline as normal (with all your cuts, etc.).  The other way was using THAT export, exported as Cineform .AVI, and dropping THAT .AVI into a new sequence and rendering the .AVI instead of all the cuts.  The clips were of the exact same thing, just one was an export of a "real" timeline, and the other was an exported version of that same timeline.  I used the following settings with the following export times according to AME logs:

       

      RESULTS

      1. EXPORTED 7-MINUTE TIMELINE
        1. 21:54 - Matching sequence settings using previews
        2. 22:26 - Matching sequence settings not using previews
        3. 23:03 -  Cineform .AVI (not using "Match sequence") with previews
        4. 23:50 - Cineform .AVI (not using "Match sequence") not using previews
        5. 21:44 - H.264 Target 15.72, Max 18.61 Mbps using previews
        6. 22:33 - H.264 Target 15.72, Max 18.61 Mbps not using previews
      2. CINEFORM .AVI COPY OF TIMELINE
        1. 3:31 - Matching sequence settings using previews
        2. 3:39 - Matching sequence settings not using previews
        3. 3:36- Cineform .AVI (not using "Match sequence") with previews
        4. 3:39 - Cineform .AVI (not using "Match sequence") not using previews
        5. 7:07 - H.264 Target 15.72, Max 18.61 Mbps using previews
        6. 6:58 - H.264 Target 15.72, Max 18.61 Mbps not using previews

       

      To top it all off, I did another test where I took just one long, unedited clip from the Sony EX1.  I exported it several different ways to Cineform .AVI.

      1. 8:00 - to export straight from timeline
      2. 7:50 - to export using previews
      3. 1:55 - to re-export using the .AVI made from one of the above
      4. 1:21 - to export (without audio) the actual preview file made by Premiere (located in the Preview folder)

       

      CONCLUSION

      This clearly shows that "use previews" does absolutely nothing when you export.  If it WAS using the preview files (which I have set up as Cineform .AVIs), you would expect to see render times very close to what it takes to render the actual Cineform .AVI exports since that's exactly what the preview files are supposed to be.  My testing shows the preview files are being used VERY little, if at all in the final export.

       

      You clearly see that using previews saves just a nominal amount of time off of exports--just seconds.  When considering this time difference could be influenced by other factors (e.g. other Windows processes running), the difference between using previews and not is non-existent.  Moreover, when you factor in the time you had to take to actually MAKE the rendered preview in the first place, you are far behind using them (other than for more fluid playback).

       

      Someone from Adobe, I think Jeff, told me to test my results.  Well, here they are and they are very disappointing.

       

      If someone can find a flaw here, let me know.  My post isn't to make Premiere look bad (although this data does), but to make my renders faster.  And clearly using preview files isn't part of that solution--at least using Cineform as a codec.

        • 1. Re: Proof Export with Previews Doesn't Work
          Jim_Simon Level 8
          isn't overly complicated in either audio or video.

           

          That may be the flaw in your testing.  Here are my own results.

           

          - Lags YUV media.

          - 2 minute sequence matching media attributes

          - Lags YUV previews

          - Lags YUV export (to avoid added codec burden)

          - Media, previews and export to three separate drives

           

           

          Using an effect which is known to be very slow rendering (Magic Bullet Looks), I exported out with and without using the preview files.

           

          Not using previews - 3:53

          Using previews -       1:16

           

          I think this shows pretty clearly that checking the Use Previews box really does use them for export, bypassing the need to rerender.

          • 2. Re: Proof Export with Previews Doesn't Work
            Toomany3 Level 1

            Jim, what are your render settings?  What codec are you using?  I wonder if that makes a difference.

             

            I've never been able to get it to affect my final export time.

            • 3. Re: Proof Export with Previews Doesn't Work
              Toomany3 Level 1

              I will try another round of testing this weekend with a lot of effects.  I've purchased a lot of the big-name plugins from Red Giant and a lot of others.  Anything in particular that I should put on there to push it's limits?

               

              I can throw in some Color Finesse, Looks, Colorista, Mojo, Mercali Tracking, Twixtor, Noise Reducer, and a lot of dynamic links to AE?

               

              I'd love to get to the bottom of this since it's affecting our workflow, so any info I can use to get to that end would be appreciated.

              • 4. Re: Proof Export with Previews Doesn't Work
                Jim_Simon Level 8

                I used Lagarith for the media, previews and export.  Keeping the same codec for all three eliminated any time PP might spend on codec conversions.  The export times were thus measuring only disk access and render.

                 

                As you can see, using the previews eliminated the render portion, leaving only the time it takes to copy the preview file from one hard drive to another.

                • 5. Re: Proof Export with Previews Doesn't Work
                  Toomany3 Level 1

                  I used Lagarith for the media, previews and export.  Keeping the same codec for all three eliminated any time PP might spend on codec conversions.  The export times were thus measuring only disk access and render.

                   

                  As you can see, using the previews eliminated the render portion, leaving only the time it takes to copy the preview file from one hard drive to another.

                  That sounds just like what I'm trying to do.  Instead of using Lagarith, I was using Cineform all the way through for the same reason you mentioned above.  I cannot get it to work as you obviously did.  So could it be a problem with Adobe/Cineform combo?

                   

                  I will try it again with Lagarith.  I was trying to keep it in Cineform to keep the sizes down since our projects are about 500GB each WITHOUT factoring in any previews.  Not a huge deal if you only have one or two projects, but we are doing about 6 of these at any given time.  Then there's those projects that are completed that haven't been archived yet and are just sitting there--probably another 6 projects.  I never thought I'd see my two 12TB drives get full, but they are now, and Laragith will only speed up that process.

                   

                  But it doesn't matter.  If Laragith works, I will make some adjustments in our project workflow and change things around with how many projects we do at a time... as long as I can get my exports to kick out a final product in a reasonable amount of time.  Harddrives are cheap, time isn't.

                   

                  Right now I've got one machine dedicated to exporting and rednering only almost 24/7. That, to me, is ridiculous to have to do.  And, from what you said (it working for you), I'm sure I still need to finess the process and find that perfect setting.

                  • 6. Re: Proof Export with Previews Doesn't Work
                    JDtogs

                    I don't think that rendering with Previews on or off is your real problem.

                    2 hours to render a 9 minute clip?? fix that before you start worrying about previews.

                    I also use the Cineform codec with my 5dmkii footage, read my post here

                     

                    I'm currently ranked at #15 on the PPBM charts.

                    Optimizing your system is everything.

                    These are some results of my rendering test I did on a large project.

                    Source files are Cineform 1080P.

                     

                    3.5hr 1080P project export from PP to AME, Maximum Render - On, Use Previews - On, all effects on timeline rendered.

                    CPU  usage was between 75-100% and drop to 35-40% for transition effects, MB  Looks filters was rendering at a steady pace 60-70% CPU

                    Max RAM used - 13GB (16GB installed, 3GB reserved for other apps)

                    1080P export to 3 disk RAID 0 array + source files,  -- 2hr:45mins

                    1080P export to 2 disk RAID 0 array + OS,  -- 2hr:51mins

                    1080P downscale to 720P export to 3 disk RAID 0 array + source files,  -- 5hr:50mins

                     

                     

                    Please post specs of your current rig.

                    • 7. Re: Proof Export with Previews Doesn't Work
                      Toomany3 Level 1

                      I'm running multiple computers, but the best results are on this one:

                      • i980x 3.33gzh overclocked to 3.6gzh, liquid cooled, stress tested and running smooth on all other tests.  I get similiar results with overclocking and non-overclocking.
                      • 24GB DDR3 ram
                      • C: drive is a SATA III SSD running at only SATA II speeds.  I'm working on this one, but might be limited to my mother board's chipset speeds.  Either way, I'm testing out at around 250 MB/s on C:  Wish I could get the 500 MB/s speeds I thought I would, but 250 MB/s is pretty good for a C: drive.
                      • Premiere and Win7 are on C:
                      • Scratch, previews, footage and projects are all on a 3-disk Raid-0, averaging 320-375 MB/s.
                      • Nvidia GTX480 card running hack for MPE (480 cores)

                       

                      I just did a reformat and clean install of only everything necessary and my render/export times are still in the same gneral speed range.

                       

                      Windows Experience Index gives me 7.7 out of 7.9 if that means anything.

                       

                      I'm currently ranked at #15 on the PPBM charts

                      I've seen others talk about this, but not sure what this is.  How to do you rank on this?  Are there certain tests Adobe provides for these figures?

                       

                      I don't mind throwing some money at this (within reason.  Don't go crazy on me).  What I want is a blazing fast export... HOWEVER I have to get it.  But I think my machine shoudl be MORE than sufficient for that.  Maybe it needs some tweaking?

                       

                      Capture.PNG

                      • 8. Re: Proof Export with Previews Doesn't Work
                        JDtogs Level 1

                        As far as your system specs goes, you are on the right track.

                        My setup is the same except for scratch and previews which are on a seperate 2 drive Raid0.

                        I use the GTX580 card, i7-2600K OC4.6Ghz, 16GB DDR3 1600, ASUS XtremeIV mobo

                         

                        Download the Premier benchmark test here, more details are on the site.

                        Tune your Win7 64bit  system to only use the needed services, I have 38 process loaded on startup, if its only a editing rig, you can tune these even more.

                        Start your test with a 5 min clip, no effects, transitions - Cineform to Cineform (match sequence settings - I assume you use the Cineform sequnce preset) should give you real time render or faster, turn MRQ on. Test your results exporting to a different drive other then your project drive. monitor CPU usage.

                         

                        Once you have fine tuned the system and your render times improve test that problematic 9min clip again - without effects and with.

                        Would like to see what you can come up with.

                        • 9. Re: Proof Export with Previews Doesn't Work
                          Jim_Simon Level 8
                          • Scratch, previews, footage and projects are all on a 3-disk Raid-0, averaging 320-375 MB/s.

                           

                          Separate those.  One for projects/previews, one for media, a third for exports.

                          • 10. Re: Proof Export with Previews Doesn't Work
                            JDtogs Level 1

                            Here is some links that will definitely help you tweaking your system.

                             

                            http://forums.adobe.com/message/1979297#1979297

                             

                            http://ppbm5.com/Win7Tuning.html

                             

                            cheers

                            • 11. Re: Proof Export with Previews Doesn't Work
                              JDtogs Level 1

                              Toomany3 wrote:

                               

                              Someone from Adobe, I think Jeff, told me to test my results.  Well, here they are and they are very disappointing.

                               

                              If someone can find a flaw here, let me know.  My post isn't to make Premiere look bad (although this data does), but to make my renders faster.  And clearly using preview files isn't part of that solution--at least using Cineform as a codec.

                               

                               

                              #Toomany, just checking in to see if you've made any progress over the weekend.

                               

                              I made some notes of my project renders I did this weekend, see below

                              I found that exporting directly from PP gave me the fastest output (not using the Queue to send to AME)

                              Of ocz AME has it's own advantages (batch processing, etc..) but exporting directly from PP and with Previews off gave better results - now what has the Adobe gurus have to say about that?

                              With your current hardware setup you should be getting the same results or better.

                               

                              9 min Cineform 1080P sequence, CS5.5
                              Cineform HD 1080P footage

                               

                              no effects/transitions
                              PP set to Performance
                              MPE -ON
                              MRQ -OFF
                              USE PREVIEWS -OFF
                              MATCH SEQUENCE SETTINGS (Cineform HD Codec)

                               

                              CPU maxed at 70%

                              GPU at 22% MAX
                              5.8Gigs RAM used , 16GB installed, PP limit set to use 13GB

                               

                              PP - EXPORT - 4:18
                              PP - QUEUE - AME EXPORT - 5:38

                               

                              RENDERED THE TIMELINE - 5:54 (waste of time really, unless you need it for smooth preview)

                               

                              PP - PREVIEWS ON - EXPORT 4:22
                              PP - PREVIEWS ON - QUEUE - AME EXPORT - 5:33

                               

                              I then rendered a 7min Edited timeline loaded with MBLooks 2 filters and transitions

                              (I render all my AE sequences as Cineform.avi files and bring them back into PP, no dynamic links)
                              same settings as above with Previews On, Match Sequence - 22: 20
                              CPU dropped to 30% MAX

                              GPU 34% Max
                              7GB ram used

                               

                              Previews OFF - 20:34
                              12.3GB ram used
                              CPU 15-30%

                              GPU 28% MAX

                               

                              CINEFORM to h.264

                              3x1TB WD Black HDD raid0 - Media, previews, export on same drive / media cache on 2disk Raid0
                              9MIN Cineform 1080P sequence convert to h264 1080p target 32 Mbps max 40 Mbps PP export- 9:08
                              (match sequence) cineform to cineform PP Export- 5:09
                              (match sequence) cineform to cineform AME export - 6:18

                               

                              55min 4camera edited sequence

                              MPE on

                              MRQ off
                              cineform to cineform PP export - 1hr : 21min

                              cineform export to h264 bluray 42:53

                              MRQ on - cineform to cineform PP export - 2hr : 10min

                              • 12. Re: Proof Export with Previews Doesn't Work
                                Toomany3 Level 1

                                Hey JD, thanks for your detailed report.  I spent the weekend speeding up my overclocked i7 980 processor from 3.6 GHz to 4.4 GHz and making sure it is stable.  You've got an awesomely overclocked computer too, so you know what kind of work that involves keeping things from BSOD'ing and temps cool.

                                 

                                I also got the Benchmark Premiere deal that you sent me that I think Harm has something to do with.  I ran the tests and posted my results.  I tried to reverse engineer what those numbers mean and if I did it right, I think my computer's not ranking so hot.  I'll see if Harm sends me the posted results later.  That's why I spent some time overclocking it more and doing all those system tweaks from the links you sent me.

                                 

                                I'll be doing some real testing of projects today.  Hopefully things will work better.

                                 

                                At 4.4 GHz and 24 GB ram with an SSD on C: and 3-disk Raid-0, you'd hope I'd be rendering a 9 minute clip in a shorter time than 2-3 hours. 

                                 

                                Thanks again.

                                • 13. Re: Proof Export with Previews Doesn't Work
                                  Jeff Bellune Adobe Community Professional

                                  Did you see my reply in your other thread?

                                   

                                  http://forums.adobe.com/thread/882985?tstart=60

                                   

                                  -Jeff

                                  • 14. Re: Proof Export with Previews Doesn't Work
                                    Toomany3 Level 1

                                    Jeff Bellune wrote:

                                     

                                    Did you see my reply in your other thread?

                                     

                                    http://forums.adobe.com/thread/882985?tstart=60

                                     

                                    -Jeff

                                    Hi Jeff, I sure did.  I'm working on that today.  I'll report back when I have some more data to share.  Thanks!

                                    • 15. Re: Proof Export with Previews Doesn't Work
                                      JDtogs Level 1

                                      Hey, no probs, hope to hear some good results soon from that 4.4 OC :-)
                                      FYI, I dint get a single BSOD during OC'ing my rig, only lockups during Premiere renders, took me 2 weeks to finally sort it out. (DDR3 1600 ram issue)

                                      PC was stable during 18hrs stresstesting but would lockup 30-40 mins into PP rendering..
                                      But hey, that was then, everything is smooth sailing now.

                                       

                                      I would suggest for your current project and as part of your workflow, export your timeline to Cineform.avi master (match sequence settings, MRQ on)
                                      Add that file/folder to AME and setup to batch convert to all the other formats you need.
                                      Adding a Matrox HD card will also help speed up the h.264 conversion, i'm looking into getting myself one for even faster final output.

                                       

                                      **what was your benchmark numbers?

                                       

                                      JD

                                      • 16. Re: Proof Export with Previews Doesn't Work
                                        Toomany3 Level 1

                                        **what was your benchmark numbers?

                                        Short on  time right now, but here's what the "output.txt" file spit out:

                                         

                                        "157","28","65","79"

                                         

                                        This is before any of the PC tweaks and new overclocking.  When I get some more time, I'll do the test again.