26 Replies Latest reply on May 7, 2012 10:58 AM by JoshWeiss reTooled

    Video Preview files

    bjkupfer Level 1

      How can I change my video preview render file preferences?  I'd like to render my timeline previews in Pro Res, but that setting in my Sequence Settings dialaog box is grayed out.  I'm on a Mac and I do have Final Cut installed on my iMac.

      The Preview File Format box shows I-Frame only MPEG and it's grayed out...

       

      thanks

        • 1. Re: Video Preview files
          Jim_Simon Level 8

          You'll need to use a Custom sequence to get access to change the preview format.

           

          But honestly, there's not much reason to do so.  The quality of previews is relatively unimportant, and even with the Use Previews box checked, there's a limitation with QuickTime that prevents that from happening, so exports won't be sped up any.

          • 2. Re: Video Preview files
            bjkupfer Level 1

            Thanks!  I just didn't figure to switch the preset to "Custom"

             

            I just watched a tutorial on retooled.net and the reason I want to switch to the Pro Res previews is when I export out to Pro Res for distribution it'll go much faster... since I'm usually ready and wanting to hurry the export.  I'll take the rendering time hit during the edit session.

             

            Does this make sense? 

            • 3. Re: Video Preview files
              Jim_Simon Level 8

              when I export out to Pro Res for distribution it'll go much faster

               

              It actually won't when using QuickTime formats (eg. ProRes preview to ProRes export).

               

              Works fine on the PC using AVI, though.

              • 4. Re: Video Preview files
                bjkupfer Level 1

                According to the tutorial, if you check "Use Preview Files" when exporting inside PPRo or Media Encoder, it'll use the already rendered Pro Res files in the sequence so it shouldn't need to re encode, hence faster?

                • 5. Re: Video Preview files
                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                  It might, depending on the export settings, but also lower quality is not uncommon. It is better not to use preview files.

                  • 6. Re: Video Preview files
                    bjkupfer Level 1

                    That's what I'm trying to figure out... It shouldn't be lower quality if you're rendering the preview files in Pro Res, especially if you're exporting to Pro Res... I would think it would just save a step, take the time during edit breaks rather than the export. 

                     

                    I'll run a few tests.

                     

                    Thanks!

                    • 7. Re: Video Preview files
                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                      Prores is a waste of time and space, since the conversion to Prores takes times, does not improve quality at all and increases storage requirements by a factor 3.

                      • 8. Re: Video Preview files
                        bjkupfer Level 1

                        I understand all of that, but if it's a client requirement to deliver in Pro Res, that's what you do.  Just curious, on a Mac, if you had to deliver a high quality codec for your final file out, what would you choose?  I know that's kind of vague, but if your camera format is AVCHD or H.264 or a combination of both but you needed a file out that the client would be able to repurpose as both high rez playout on a big screen and subsequent Youtube files, I'm always curious to know what others do.

                         

                        Thanks

                        • 9. Re: Video Preview files
                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                          Praise the Lord!!! I'm on PC.

                           

                          Final delivery format like H.264-BR or H.264-YouTube or H.264-Vimeo come to mind, or if you want to avoid generation loss, uncompressed, Lagarith or UT, but they take some space.

                          • 10. Re: Video Preview files
                            bjkupfer Level 1

                            FYI, my new Mac seems to like PPro just fine.  No crashes at all, smooth playback, things just seem to work... and quick rendering- no, don't have the proper card for hardware acceleration, but then, I don't know what I'm missing   As a long time Apple user, I figure I'm too old to switch!

                             

                            I just figured Pro Res was good compromise.  Delivered as required, plus takes up much less space than uncompressed.

                             

                            Thanks for all input.

                            • 11. Re: Video Preview files
                              lasvideo Level 4

                              Pay no attention to that man hiding behind his super computer.

                               

                              Joshes workflow is a viable path for professional under deadlines. As an editor at a leading NYC post facility he knows his stuff.

                               

                              You will find a vast variety of folks with opinions here. The trick is to find the ones that have a work flow similar to yours. Most professionals are mastering to Prores or DNxHD these days. Then make any dubs from those for client approval or web use. Welcome to the forum!

                              • 12. Re: Video Preview files
                                bjkupfer Level 1

                                The retooled.net site is very helpful to me as I transition over to Premiere Pro.  I really like the program, and sites like this show the hidden, (or to a new user, the depth) and power of the app.  I know I'm going to be even more pleased as it matures.  NAB 2012 will be the next step.

                                 

                                Thanks.

                                • 13. Re: Video Preview files
                                  Jim_Simon Level 8

                                  it'll use the already rendered Pro Res files in the sequence so it shouldn't need to re encode, hence faster?

                                   

                                  Unfortunately, no.  This works on the PC with any format I've tested, but apparently it doesn't work as advertised on Macs using QuickTime formats.  PP will rerender your sequence during export, with or without the Use Preview box checked.  (At least, according to Mac user reports.  I can't test that myself.)

                                  • 14. Re: Video Preview files
                                    bjkupfer Level 1

                                    Well, I beg to differ.  At least with my box, when I render the previews in Pro Res and export, as long as I check the box "Match Sequence Settings" and "Use Previews"  it  exports a Pro Res file in no time.  The test I just ran went both ways, one setting as previous described, one setting not using the preview files.  BIG time difference.

                                    • 15. Re: Video Preview files
                                      lasvideo Level 4

                                      It is still rebuilding the sequence frame by frame. Try adding effects and AE dynamiclink comps and it will slow done. Its great you are getting good speed on export, but that doesnt deny the fact that the sequence is being rebuilt frame by frame as you export. This can be an issue for professionals doing long form shows with lots of title, effects or AE motion graphics. In that case your export might take as long as 2-3 hours or more. Just so you know...

                                      • 16. Re: Video Preview files
                                        bjkupfer Level 1

                                        It may be rebuilding the sequence, but I don't think it's re-rendering the files if I have the "Use preview" box checked.  The video has color correction (Magic Bullet) applied to almost all the clips.  It has titles on many of the clips.  All I know, is that one sequence that has pro res preview files being used takes MUCH LESS time than the same sequence that doesn't use preview files, exported to Pro Res.  Both files end up the same size after export, both look the same but one renders in 1/2 the time of it's duration while the other takes 5 times its duration...

                                        • 17. Re: Video Preview files
                                          lasvideo Level 4

                                          You are correct . The rendering of effects and titles and such was done when you rendered the sequence( preview files) before you chose to export the project. And the preview file rendering was sped up because I believe Colorista 2 now is GPU accelerated. Dont forget to count the render time for previews along with your export time.

                                           

                                          The trade off is this. With MPEG I frame preview files, render times are very quick. So your client sitting in the edit bay doesnt roll his eyes every time you need to render something for it to play in real time. (selecting Prores as your preview file increases the render time quite a bit.) So you get a faster editorial process with the client, but a slower export after the fact since the preview files are not suitable for use.

                                           

                                          Choose the workflow that fits your situation.

                                          • 18. Re: Video Preview files
                                            bjkupfer Level 1

                                            Totallly agree with you.  Thanks for your information!

                                            • 19. Re: Video Preview files
                                              lasvideo Level 4

                                              Your welcome!

                                              • 20. Re: Video Preview files
                                                Jim Curtis Level 3

                                                bjkupfer wrote:

                                                 

                                                It may be rebuilding the sequence, but I don't think it's re-rendering the files if I have the "Use preview" box checked.  The video has color correction (Magic Bullet) applied to almost all the clips.  It has titles on many of the clips.  All I know, is that one sequence that has pro res preview files being used takes MUCH LESS time than the same sequence that doesn't use preview files, exported to Pro Res.  Both files end up the same size after export, both look the same but one renders in 1/2 the time of it's duration while the other takes 5 times its duration...

                                                 

                                                I have hit and miss success with the Use Preview button.  Some times, my exports are super fast, others (such as one I'm waiting for as I write this) are ridiculous.  I have a 3-minute sequence, entirely rendered to ProRes previews.  Export time is 25 minutes, whether Use Previews is checked on or off.  Apparently, Pr is re-rendering the entire sequence.  25 minutes is about how long it took to Render all effects in the Work Area (set to the entire Sequence) before I Exported/Make Movie.  I shouldn't have bothered rendering.

                                                • 21. Re: Video Preview files
                                                  bjkupfer Level 1

                                                  Just curious, do you have the "Match Sequence Settings" box checked at the top of the Export Media page?  Unless you have both that and the "Use Previews" boxes checked, you may end up with speed issues (in my instances)

                                                  • 22. Re: Video Preview files
                                                    Jim Curtis Level 3

                                                    I've tried it every which way, with the same result.  I normally do work in a Custom sequence that's set to use ProRes for previews.  As I mentioned, some times it works great, and as expected.  But, I seem to be cursed with Pr issues that are intermittent and not repeatable.

                                                    • 23. Re: Video Preview files
                                                      Jim_Simon Level 8

                                                      And the preview file rendering was sped up because I believe Colorista 2 now is GPU accelerated.

                                                       

                                                      Colorista in all versions has always been rendered on the GPU.  But this has no bearing on the export being sped up significantly when using the preview files.

                                                      • 24. Re: Video Preview files
                                                        Jim_Simon Level 8

                                                        Unless you have both [Match Sequence] and the "Use Previews" boxes checked

                                                         

                                                        I wonder if that makes the difference.  Tom claims the feature never worked for him when going ProRes preview to ProRes export.

                                                        • 25. Re: Video Preview files
                                                          bjkupfer Level 1

                                                          Well, so far in my very limited (only 4 sequences so far) experience, the process works as advertised.  I get the render hit during the render of my preview files but not during export IF I have both boxes checked.

                                                          • 26. Re: Video Preview files
                                                            JoshWeiss reTooled Level 2

                                                            I had issues in CS 5.5 myself with the Use Previews box.  In CS6 it seems to be fixed though!