7 Replies Latest reply on Feb 12, 2012 2:25 PM by Steve Grisetti

    choppy footage in timeline


      hello, i'm new to premiere elements, when trying to edit footage in the timeline, the playback is choppy and skipping, but when i playback the video in the organizer, it plays smoothly. How do i get it to play smoothly in the timeline?...thanks

        • 1. Re: choppy footage in timeline
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

          What model of camcorder is your video from and what format is it?


          When you started your Premiere Elements project, which settings did you select? If you selected the correct settings for your source video, you will NOT see red lines above your clips when you add them to your timeline. Is this the case with your project?


          What operating system are you running? How fast is your processor and how much RAM do you have?

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          • 2. Re: choppy footage in timeline
            John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Do you have only one hard drive, or do you have your video files on a 2nd 7200rpm drive?

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            • 3. Re: choppy footage in timeline
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              Welcome to the forum.


              Steve has asked the very important questions, and their answers will likely point to the problem. Also see this ARTICLE on what info is so very useful for helping sort out problems on the forum.


              Now, you note that the AV files play smoothly in the Source Monitor, but not from the Timeline in the Program Monitor. That is because they are very different Monitors. The Source Monitor (and the little Monitor in the Project Panel) are simple players, and directly access the file on your system. When you drag that Clip to the Timeline, things change, and fairly dramatically. What you see in the Program Monitor is the Clip, ready to be edited. It is no longer playing the Clip from the HDD, but is showing you a proxy file, of how that Clip will be edited. This requires much more horsepower, to display smoothly.


              For SD (Standard Definition) material, and some HD (High Definition) material, the I/O (HDD's, their size, speed, controller type, etc.) will be most important. However, with highly-compressed H.264, and AVCHD material, the CPU is most important. That is why Steve is asking for info on your Source Footage, your Project Preset, and also your CPU's speed, and number of cores.


              Good luck, and please let us know more,



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              • 4. Re: choppy footage in timeline
                filmhead42 Level 1

                I have a Nikon D3100. I started in 720/ 24p...I do not see the red lines. My operating system is:


                Windows Vista Basic:

                processor: Intel celeron cpu:540@1.86 GHZ

                Memeory: 4GB

                System type 32 bit


                I've read the other questions on the forum,relating to the same problem. And it sounds like my hardrive isn't strong enough. If this is the case,Do you think 1TB of external hardrive will be enough. If not what do you suggest?...thanks

                • 5. Re: choppy footage in timeline
                  John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  >Nikon D3100


                  Exactly what is the CODEC produced by that camera?


                  As well as some general Nikon reading below, you need to report back with codec details


                  Read Bill Hunt on a file type as WRAPPER http://forums.adobe.com/thread/440037

                  What is a CODEC... a Primer http://forums.adobe.com/thread/546811

                  What CODEC is INSIDE that file? http://forums.adobe.com/thread/440037


                  Report back with the codec details of your file, use the programs below... a screen shot works well to SHOW people what you are doing


                  For PC http://www.headbands.com/gspot/ or http://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/en


                  Nikon D7000 MOV http://forums.adobe.com/thread/860846
                  -and http://forums.adobe.com/thread/873475

                  Nikon D90 MJPEG http://forums.adobe.com/thread/901259

                  Nikon DSLR stutter http://forums.adobe.com/thread/889477


                  >Intel celeron


                  That is a very minimal CPU for editing video


                  One hard drive is not enough

                  My 3 hard drives are configured as...

                  1 - 320Gig Boot for Win7 64bit Pro and all program installs

                  2 - 320Gig data for Win7 swap file and video project files

                  When I create a project on #2 drive, the various work files follow,

                  so my boot drive is not used for the media cache folder and files

                  3 - 1Terabyte data for all video files... input & output files (*)

                  (*) for 4 drives, drive 3 all source files & drive 4 all output files


                  Search Microsoft to find out how to redirect your Windows swap file



                  Trying to use only ONE Hard Drive for Video Editing


                  You are a music conductor, with a baton that you use to point to various parts of the orchestra... this is like Windows pointing to various parts of the hard drive to do Windows housekeeping or to load program segments for various functions


                  Now, at the same time and with the same hand... while still using the baton to conduct the orchestra... pick up a bow and play a fiddle... this would be doing something with your video file at the same time as all the other work


                  You as a person cannot do both at the same time with the same hand


                  A computer is a LITTLE better, in that it can switch from one kind of task to another very quickly... but not quickly enough for EASY video editing


                  You need AT LEAST two hard drives (separate drives, never a partition http://forums.adobe.com/thread/650708 for more) with Windows (or Mac OS) and software on your boot drive, and video files on a 2nd drive so the boot drive is not slowed down by trying to do everything


                  I find that the three drives I use work very well for me, for editing AVCHD video... some people use a 4th drive, so video INPUT files are on drive three and all OUTPUT files are on drive four... I only bought a mid-tower case instead of a full tower case (my bad... but had to fit in the space available on my office desk!) so I use the three drives that will fit


                  Depending on your exact hardware (motherboard brand & model AND USB2 enclosure brand & model AND external hard drive brand & model) AND the type of video file, you may... or may NOT... be able to use an external USB2 hard drive for SD (Standard Definition) video editing


                  Steve Grisetti in the Premiere Elements forum http://forums.adobe.com/thread/856208 and Jim Simon in the Premiere Pro forum http://forums.adobe.com/thread/856433 use USB externals for editing


                  A USB3 hard drive connected to a motherboard with USB3 is supposed to be fast enough for video editing (I don't have such, so don't know) but eSata DOES have a fast enough data transfer for video editing... I have not used the eSata Dock below... for reference only, YMMV and all the usual disclaimers


                  http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-BlacX-eSATA-Docking-Station/dp/B001A4HAFS/ref=cm_cmu_pg_ t

                  • 6. Re: choppy footage in timeline
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    Unfortunately, Nikon does list the CODEC, but just the MOV wrapper on their Specs. Site.


                    What is inside the MOV wrapper, will be important.


                    Historically, many Nikons used a tweaked MJPEG CODEC, but those were wrapped as AVI's.


                    If it is H.264, that Celeron CPU will never give you smooth playback. One needs a very fast Quad-Core (barely capable), or fast i7 to decode and play any H.264 footage.


                    Good luck,



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                    • 7. Re: choppy footage in timeline
                      Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                      The real issue is the computer's processor.


                      Celeron's were budget processors that paled in comparison to Pentium chips -- and even Pentiums are not powerful enough to edit hi-def video.


                      A 1.86 ghz Celeron isn't even remotely powerful enough to edit this type of video. Sorry.