10 Replies Latest reply on Nov 14, 2011 4:39 PM by anythingwilldo

    Premiere Pro CS 5.5 Mac interface becomes unresponsive

    Carey Dissmore

      So, I'm working a pretty heavy editing project with a client over my shoulder for a couple of weeks and I'm having a really annoying, constantly recurring issue in Premiere Pro CS 5.5 (5.5.2) on Mac which manifests as follows:


      I'll be editing along in Premiere Pro, scrubbing and trimming in the timeline and the GUI will become unresponsive. Meaning, The CTI or the interface will not update, even though I can still see some playback on my external Blackmagic-driven displays (with audio as well).


      The only solution appears to be to quit and re-launch Premiere Pro, then re-open the project. A major PITA to do with a client waiting, and it will happen 10-12 times in a typical 8 hour session. I have not been able to isolate a specific cause or action that triggers it. It also seems to happen somewhat randomly in that sometimes I'll make it an hour before it occurs, and other times it will be only 10 minutes or less between occurances.


      Now, it's quite possible that something like this is likely system-configuration specific, so I'm going to provide all relevant info:


      Mac Pro 2008 8-core 2.8ghz

      16GB RAM

      NVidia Quadro FX 4800 GPU

      Internal 4x1TB RAID 0 (Disk Utility)

      Blackmagic Decklink HD Extreme 3D


      OS X 10.7.2

      Premiere Pro 5.5.2

      Latest Decklink drivers (which are much improved in overall performance)


      Also, I am cutting footage from 3 cameras. Two F3's that are recorded on Nanoflash (which is XDCAM 422 at 140mbit I-frame, plus some native F3 stuff at 35mbit). Third Camera is Canon 5D MkII native h264s.


      In this case, I'm cutting in BMD timelines but from memory I have seen similar issues in projects where I was not running the hardware.


      So, to recap. The PPro user interface becomes unresponsive (but doesn't exactly crash) during editing, although external video hardware continues to display and react to mouse movements. Of course, since I can't see what I'm doing in the GUI I can't really work. To remedy, I have to save, quit (wait for PPro to completely quit), then re-launch, and re-open project.


      Lather. Rinse. Repeat.


      Seriously frustrating.


      Any advice?

        • 1. Re: Premiere Pro CS 5.5 Mac interface becomes unresponsive
          Todd_Kopriva Level 8

          Did this happen before the 5.5.2 update, too?

          • 2. Re: Premiere Pro CS 5.5 Mac interface becomes unresponsive
            Carey Dissmore Level 1

            Hi Todd, the answer to that question is yes. Although I probably can't say with certainty whether it is worse now. The 5.5.2 date in conjunction with the new BMD drivers Improved a lot of things but not this. My current project is causing me to have to confront this issue a lot more.


            I am strongly beginning to suspect something is up with display drivers being related to this issue. The reason is I have had a few other issues, such as once in awhile a clip I load into the source window not displaying (but I get audio)--this is rare but has happened, and  other issues such as opening the custom interface in colorista 2 for secondary keying...it draws blank.  These issues do not manifest in After Effects, however. But perhaps that is due to different software architectures and API calls.


            Prior to making this report I suspected the issue was somehow connected to the eye dropper issue that is now fixed. Sadly the update that addressed that didn't help with these other issues.


            I wish there were a simple way to uninstall/reinstall the display drivers for the Quadro FX 4800, but I cannot find a way o do that for Lion 10.7.2. I'm working with he understanding that display drivers are the issue more than cuda drivers. BTW my CUDA rivers report they are up to date.  Here is a screengrab of the system press CUDA pane that shows version numbers for both drivers. See anything suspicious? http://twitpic.com/7cap4t

            • 3. Re: Premiere Pro CS 5.5 Mac interface becomes unresponsive
              Cutwithray Level 1

              Hi Carey,


              Sorry to hear you are having trouble. A couple things come to mind. First, its well known that the performance of using a capture card of any kind will reduce the amount of "real time" performance compared to an Adobe native sequence. Its important to manage expectations. The trade off is you are seeing a full raster HD-SDI signal.


              I would look at your Premiere Preferences to make sure all is set up correctly. Specifically the memory vs performance and also the amount of Ram available to other applications. Next I would run the BM disk speed tool to make sure the storage array is giving you the performance your are expecting. Third I would open the activity monitor or iStats and watch the CPU cycles and RAM usage. I would work with the sequence that is giving you trouble and then I would copy and paste that sequence into a Adobe Native Sequence and see if the result is the same after an hour. Is the GUI freezing on both BM Sequences and Adobe Sequences?


              Lastly, because you are mixing a variety of native camera files together on a Blackmagic timeline sequence, you may be just running your machine into the ground either RAM or CPU. Hopefully the Activity monitor or iStats can shed some light on that. You may want to consider unifying your source footage to one common format like ProRes to ease the burden on your machine.


              Please let us know what you find.



              • 4. Re: Premiere Pro CS 5.5 Mac interface becomes unresponsive
                Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                One of the software engineers looking at this thread was wondering exactly which verion of the Blackmagic drivers you're using.

                • 5. Re: Premiere Pro CS 5.5 Mac interface becomes unresponsive
                  Carey Dissmore Level 1

                  Hi Todd,


                  I've been running BMD Decklink 8.6.1. It solved playback issues for me along with the PPro 5.5.2 update immensely. Especially with this high bit rate Nanoflash XDCam media. But the interface issue has existed prior to both of these.


                  Yesterday I installed Resolve 8.1 update which "might" have updated the Decklink drivers. The way BMD handles this vis-a-vis Resolve is a bit strange. However I also notice that BMD has a 9.0 Decklink driver now. I downloaded it but have NOT installed it at this time. Looking over the release notes it seems to be an Avid-centric update.


                  If you think that will help I can update to it at the end of the edit day today. With client trying to finish up some cuts today so until evening I may not be very responsive.

                  • 6. Re: Premiere Pro CS 5.5 Mac interface becomes unresponsive
                    Carey Dissmore Level 1

                    Hi all,


                    With client but just FYI I've gotten her to agree to cut today without BMD-driven monitoring running. It's not ideal but we'll make it work.


                    Of course there is a definite improvement in real-time stuff but we'll have to see how this affects the GUI issue. Today's session will tell. Underway now.

                    • 7. Re: Premiere Pro CS 5.5 Mac interface becomes unresponsive
                      Carey Dissmore Level 1

                      Hi all,


                      Well, I did a bunch of cutting today, mostly in native Premiere Pro sequences but also in a few BMD sequences. The issue where the interface becomes unresponsive only occurred while working in a BMD sequence.


                      As far as system load goes:

                      My RAID benchmarks at over 530MB/sec reads and writes. My boot drive is an SSD. I am coming nowhere near taxing my storage subsystem.

                      As far as RAM goes, the issue can occur whether PPro is the only app running or if I have AE and several other apps running so I'm inclined to think it's not a RAM issue.

                      As far as GPU VRAM: The Quadro 4800 has 1.5 GB of VRAM so, while that's a lot, I can't rule out that competing software isn't fighting over it's VRAM allocation.

                      As far as CPU load, my 8 cores show pretty even load distribution and are hovering between 15-50% utilization levels on each core depending on what I'm doing. The only thing I'm doing that maxes them out is when I'm exporting an h264 approval for the client.


                      I still think something is a bit off with graphics (as in computer desktop) redraws and the display drivers of the Quadro, specifically regarding Premiere Pro and plugins like Colorista 2 that open a custom interface (the secondary keyer, for example), which work fine in AE but in Premiere Pro draw blank viewers. Not sure what is up with that.


                      Anyone know of any display driver issues with Lion 10.7.2 and the Quadro FX 4800? As far as I can find there is no user-replaceable driver beyond what Apple chooses to provide with the OS. CUDA driver is up to date via the NVidia installers and updater within System Preferences.

                      • 8. Re: Premiere Pro CS 5.5 Mac interface becomes unresponsive
                        Cutwithray Level 1

                        Hi Carey,


                        Would you mind listing your Nvida Driver version and also the CUDA driver version?


                        I would be interested in hearing about your results after the BM 9.0 update. Also does this happen when you are using all media types or just in projects where you are mixing 3 or 4 different types / codecs?




                        • 9. Re: Premiere Pro CS 5.5 Mac interface becomes unresponsive
                          Carey Dissmore Level 1

                          Hi Ray,


                          The display and CUDA driver versions can be seen in this screenshot http://twitpic.com/7cap4t


                          For the record on all but one of these timelines I am only mixing two codecs. Canon DSLR and XDCAM 422 (which was recorded on the Convergent Designs Nanoflash field recorder). All footage is 1080p/29.97.


                          As far as whether the issue happens with only mixed codecs my answer to that is "probably" not. I've seen the issue in the past on a simple project that was all Prores, but I need to point out that was prior to updating to the latest versions of both Premiere Pro and the BMD drivers. As far as updating to the 9.0 Blackmagic drivers, I don't expect a big change because the only change they list is for Avid support. BTW the Readme on the Decklink 9.0 download only lists as high as PPro 5.5.1 compatibility, but honestly I think that's more of an oversight than a deliberate omission. I'll probably install the Decklink 9.0 drivers tomorrow.


                          FYI I cut today in native sequences and did not have the unresponsive issue.



                          • 10. Re: Premiere Pro CS 5.5 Mac interface becomes unresponsive
                            anythingwilldo Level 1

                            Hi all,


                            I'm sorry that I do not have a reply to this, but the same issue happens with me, a couple of tihng worth notinhg on my configuration, I have a Contour Shuttlexpress connected via USB, that I use mainly with PPro and a Wacom tablet on the other side. Only some functions become unresponsive, for example, the jog and wheels stop working but the buttons continue to function to the assigned tasks. The minus and plus on my keyboard stop working, but the save function and Command-Q still work.


                            I'm running CS5 on an iMac Quad-core with 16gb. I have a AMD Radeon HD 6970M card. And most of the times I have Safari open and I'm reviewing a CS review session, I jump between PPro and Safari, as some comments are easier to watch online than in the timeline.


                            As others have mentioned, sometimes it's several times per sessions, some others only once, and some none at all.


                            Hopefully an solution will be posted soon.