10 Replies Latest reply on Aug 24, 2011 4:49 AM by JDtogs

    Can GPU help with HD to DVD encoding?

    ExactImage Level 3

      We do lots of DVDs, in fact almost everything we do ends up on a DVD (from 1080p source) so naturally our systems spend a lot of time with MediaEncoder running VBR 2 pass Maximum Quality encoding.  None of our systems have nVidia GPUs installed (they're all ATI) and it's taking approx 14-15 hours to do the DVD (MPEG2) encoding (MacPro 8 core) for a 90 min program (56 hours for a core2duo).

       

      Would adding a supported nVideo card help speed up this process?  I've read that Media Encoder doesn't use the GPU (which seems odd since it seems to spawn a headless Premiere Pro in the background!), but if we output directly from Premiere Pro instead of Media Encoder would the export go quicker (as in MUCH quicker) with GPU assist?   I'm not sure of PP uses GPU for resizing or not (HD to DVD).

        • 1. Re: Can GPU help with HD to DVD encoding?
          Colin Brougham Level 6

          The GPU only accelerates rendering, whether that's to the display, to a preview file, or as an intermediate step before encoding directly from Premiere Pro. The GPU doesn't accelerate encoding at all, but the net effect when using accelerated effects, etc. is that encoding is accelerated because the CPU only has to handle encoding, not rendering. In essence, the GPU and CPU work in parallel in certain circumstances, each handling a specific task. No matter the encoding destination, however, the GPU is not actually creating compressed frames. Maybe someday...

           

          (Hint: Adobe Feature Request/Bug Report Form)

          • 2. Re: Can GPU help with HD to DVD encoding?
            ExactImage Level 3

            Thanks Colin.  I wasn't expecting help on encoding, but wondered if it would help in terms of the resize (render?) from 1920x1080 to 720x576.  That would seem something the GPU could be good at doing.....

            • 3. Re: Can GPU help with HD to DVD encoding?
              Colin Brougham Level 6

              Absolutely, in that case. The CUDA accelerated rendering includes a lot of things beyond effects--scaling, for example. In light of that, even a relatively meager CUDA card would benefit your encoding times.

               

              Check out these two blog posts from Todd Kopriva about what CUDA acceleration and the Mercury Playback Engine can bring to the table:

               

              CUDA, Mercury Playback Engine, and Adobe Premiere Pro « Premiere Pro work area

               

              Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 improvements in CUDA processing and the Mercury Playback Engine « Premiere Pro work area

              • 4. Re: Can GPU help with HD to DVD encoding?
                ExactImage Level 3

                Thanks.

                 

                Of course now I'm going to ask the obvious question     How much time is it realistic to assume we could save?   Since most of the extra time seems to be on the max quality down conversion, what is realistic in terms of GPU acceleration?  (yeah, I know - how long is a piece of string?)....

                 

                One more while we're here..... since Multicam is all about rendering multiple streams to the screen, does CUDA help with Multicam editing?   We've noticed a few times that things are running  big sluggish with 3 or 4 cameras and native footage (Canon DSLR and XF100 MXF files), but then we don't have any CUDA cards!

                • 5. Re: Can GPU help with HD to DVD encoding?
                  Jim_Simon Level 8

                  CUDA doesn't help with simple playback, so multicam will only be sped up if the source clips have accelerated effects on them (or are scaled, etc.)

                  • 6. Re: Can GPU help with HD to DVD encoding?
                    ExactImage Level 3

                    Wait.... it will run faster if I 'do' apply effects than if I don't ?

                    • 7. Re: Can GPU help with HD to DVD encoding?
                      Jim_Simon Level 8

                      Sorry, that's not what I meant.

                       

                      CUDA acceleration will only help if you have accelerated effects or scaling going on.  Those effects will be sped up, not the playback.

                      • 8. Re: Can GPU help with HD to DVD encoding?
                        Colin Brougham Level 6

                        I don't believe that's entirely the case. The Mercury Playback Engine is always on--which includes several different performance enhancements--and enabling hardware acceleration enables a few more. Just because you're not using applied effects doesn't mean that the CUDA-accelerated MPE isn't being used; any kind of rendering (to the Program Monitor, to preview files, for export) is using hardware MPE when you're in GPU accelerated rendering mode and you see a yellow bar in the sequence. So, yes, playback is accelerated.

                         

                        This is based on my understanding of the various blog posts by Todd; perhaps Steve Hoeg can clarify how the pipeline works.

                        • 9. Re: Can GPU help with HD to DVD encoding?
                          Jim_Simon Level 8

                          You shouldn't get any bar in a normal multicam scenario.  Only if effects, scaling or other such are applied.

                           

                          And even then, it's my understanding that only those effects are such are accelerated, not decoding (playback) of the original media.

                          • 10. Re: Can GPU help with HD to DVD encoding?
                            JDtogs Level 1

                            ExactImage wrote:

                             

                            Thanks.

                             

                            Of course now I'm going to ask the obvious question     How much time is it realistic to assume we could save?   Since most of the extra time seems to be on the max quality down conversion, what is realistic in terms of GPU acceleration?  (yeah, I know - how long is a piece of string?)....

                             

                            One more while we're here..... since Multicam is all about rendering multiple streams to the screen, does CUDA help with Multicam editing?   We've noticed a few times that things are running  big sluggish with 3 or 4 cameras and native footage (Canon DSLR and XF100 MXF files), but then we don't have any CUDA cards!

                            If your workflow mainly consist of downscaling HD to DVD, why dont you just buy a descent nVidia GPU card and get rid of the current ATI version? These things cost almost nothing nowadays. You have nothing to lose since PrP are not using ur current GPU.

                            14-15 hrs for downconversion on a 8 Core? I also always use 2 pass with MRQ on. Try this - export via PrP or AME - match sequence settings, add this file to AME and encode to DVD with ur usual settings - you should be able to cut a few hrs of your encoding times.

                             

                            Multicam - i convert my HDSLR footage to Cineform HD 10bit - these file is an issue with Multicam, so to correct this I turn MPE off and it all works fine, 4 cameras an no sluggish playback.