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Old March 17th, 2009, 10:46 PM   #16
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Hey Marty:

Other than the ranting part (which is totally understandable), I guess you'll ultimately have to ask yourself IF the extra features available to you in CS4 are worth the render hit with your existing OS setup.

Adobe clearly put themselves out on a limb with the whole Media Encoder thing, and some folks hate it (esp. for simple things like still frame grabs, which is honestly pretty inane). Even in a perfect OS world, it's likely to add clock cycles to render this way, just due to the extra overhead of AME (maybe not triple the time, like you're experiencing... but something). Others that have asked for a render queue for years are pleased as punch to be able to set up a whole slew of renders, even in multiple output formats, hit the go button and then go to bed, go shoot video (or basketball, the breeze, or whatever), and aren't going to sweat too much about the extra render time.

So ask yourself: Which category are you in?

And seriously, dude... did you try to render in After Effects CS4 via Dynamic Link?? I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

HTH,
Brian
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Old March 18th, 2009, 11:02 AM   #17
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Hey Marty:

A few more resources for you:

A post over on the Adobe Forums with some dude that did A:B testing of CS3 vs. CS4: Adobe Forums - Encoding Times - CS3 vs CS4

And an Adobe whitepaper: http://www.adobe.com/products/creati...m_64bit_wp.pdf

Reading these, I think it's pretty clear that Adobe's coding with CS4 has been optimized for 64-bit OS's (PCs and Macs). When and if you do upgrade to 64-bit, the first time you see four distinct processes for PPro or AE (one for each processor in your system)... I think you'll be happy that you took the plunge.

HTH,
Brian
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Old March 18th, 2009, 12:23 PM   #18
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Brian,
I actually have seen both of these and they are great resources. I guess I can try that dual boot scenario but I will be real surprises if it makes any difference. As I said, the simple little experiment that I am running has so little resources, I cannot really see how having extra memory for the program to access will speed this process up. The extra memory aside, if somehow the code is optimized for 64bit, then how does that explain these tests?

Other than the encode to Ipod, his Cs3 vs. CS4 encodes were near identical, which tells me that CS4 needs 64bit to do the "same" thing CS3 could already do! It's not any faster....it's the same but utilizing 64bits to accomplish the same. Still, I get the whole 64bit advantage overall, when I am loaded up with 3-4 applications and tons of videos and effects. I just don't get the tiny jobs needing it just to retain the performance of previous version of the software.

Peace.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 01:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik View Post
Brian,
As I said, the simple little experiment that I am running has so little resources, I cannot really see how having extra memory for the program to access will speed this process up.
It will speed up your system by allowing four processes, one for each CPU, instead of funneling everything through a single process. And your memory rates will not be nearly as high. I've never had PPro ask for more than 1GB total of RAM from my system... even whilst rendering complicated greenscreen stuff in conjunction with AE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik View Post
The extra memory aside, if somehow the code is optimized for 64bit, then how does that explain these tests?
Where I think the error in your expectations lies in that rendering speed alone is THE metric to a successful upgrade. The test in the above link shows that rendering speed is not nearly as impacted by the "thread-ier" code of CS4 WHEN used on a 64-bit OS as what you are experiencing with your old 32-bit OS. Again, relegating rendering speed as a moot point... it's sometimes better (vs. CS3), sometimes worse, but statistically irrelevant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik View Post
Other than the encode to Ipod, his Cs3 vs. CS4 encodes were near identical, which tells me that CS4 needs 64bit to do the "same" thing CS3 could already do! It's not any faster....it's the same but utilizing 64bits to accomplish the same.
Again, no one promised that a 32-bit app like PPro would render any faster in a 64-bit OS. By its very definition... it can't. Until Adobe writes a 64-bit app AND every codec-author also jumps on-board and writes 64-bit codecs (MainConcept, Apple, Lagarith, Cineform, etc., which is a point missed by most Adobe-bashers), we're stuck in 32-bit world. But the 64-bit OS's can and do make significant enhancements to productivity, workflow, and multi-tasking, even while running 32-bit applications.

The fact that I get a whole heap of productivity enhancements by upgrading to CS4 and only seeing negligible hits in rendering times on the proper OS (and getting a honest-to-gosh render-queue to boot) I see as a "glass WAY half full" scenario.

And the fact that you don't see improvements in rendering speed alone... it seems you want to view as a "glass WAY half empty" scenario. Is that fair?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Hudzik View Post
Still, I get the whole 64bit advantage overall, when I am loaded up with 3-4 applications and tons of videos and effects. I just don't get the tiny jobs needing it just to retain the performance of previous version of the software.
Naturally. The code is likely optimized for big jobs, not the tiny ones. Maybe tiny jobs are best left to CS3 or below. But if you really want to leverage workflow, effects, and integration of the suite applications, I'm here to tell you that I save hours off of my old CS3 workflow on any given project... even on the tiny ones. ;-) And that even includes render time, because I don't have to render until the very end of a project... not all the way through them like I used to do.

In fact, I rendered three little FLV files and uploaded them to an FTP for a client automatically via AME while I wrote this response... would have been impossible to do in CS3 without lots of intervention. Multiply this times 20 or 30 and you'll start to see why I'm so happy with CS4. Imagine a DVD author project I had to do three years ago in Encore 2 that involved 120 different renders out of PPro... one after the other... for days. Yes, I would have literally saved days out of my life with CS4. And received the same $. Or I might have been able to work on other projects during those same wasted days and made lots more $.

See my point... it's not about the render, man. Or maybe it is about the render... it's just how you choose to view it. You're comparing "apples to armadillos" in my world.

So examine your workflow and see if there's any reason to step up to a near-renderless workflow. And then maybe when you do actually have to render... you just won't worry so much about it!

Cheers,
Brian
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Old March 18th, 2009, 03:15 PM   #20
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I'll make a few other points and then we'll move on to less "debating".

Currently, I do render out frequently to HD mpg files and upload different revisions many times a day. So I do rely on fast renders throughout the day and cannot wait until evening all the time. When I am used to exporting complex projects to HD mpgs in 20-25 minutes and I now tell my boss that since the upgrade to newer version of Adobe, it takes 60 minutes....it doesn't fly. At home I have access to Vista 64, at work...they'd have to buy it and with the economy like it is, that is not an upgrade that I want to hit them with! Ouch.

Also, My early sampling may not be adequate to make a determination. Here is all that I had to go on initially and perhaps you will understand my "knee-jerk" reaction.

I had just finished a 40 minute 1080P video in CS3 with numerous effects and blurs and color correction and even a bunch of Magic Bullet effects (these are ususally render intensive). I rendered it out in CS3, down to NTSC SD mpg file. It took 26 minutes to render this 40 minute project with oodles of effects, all four cores crunching away happilly.

I snag a 20 minute continuous HDV clip of my daughters dance rehearsal, drop it in the timeline of CS4, add a simple brightness and contrast effect, and export to same NTSC SD mpg format using new AME CS4 and it take 57 minutes.

So complex, tons of effects and 45 minute video in cS3 = 26 minutes
simple, color corrected 20 minute clip in CS4= 57 minutes

That is what I am seeing as a serious time waster. Had I been exporting a 45 minute clip it would have taken near 2 hours or 4 times longer than Cs3

So that is why I am so frustrated. Obviously more testing needs to be done, but I will be surprised if 64bit OS fixes this issue directly. I am sure the workflow has it's advantages but for now....it's hard to deal with.

Thanks.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 03:44 PM   #21
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Hi Marty:

Thanks for the heads-up on your workflow. Based upon what you told me (single renders, stuck with the XP OS), I'd say you are indeed better off with CS3 for the time being.

I've never seen the kind of render speeds you talk about (45 minute runtimes coupled with lots of effects including MB ones) on any version of PPro with my hardware. More like 1:1 or even 1:2 ratio... but never less than 1:1. That's amazing. But, I was never really happy at all with SD downconverts until CS4... I used to use a frameserver and TMPGEnc XPress to do the downconverting... and it was never speedy, but always looked amazing with the XH-A1 footage I shoot.

And my workflow is more long-form, typically big greenscreen productions, multiple renders to multiple outputs, but never more than a dozen or so a week and never more than a couple projects on my desk at a time. I work from home and never render during editing hours, since it's often a 1:30 ratio with the keying... 60 minute render for a 2 minute clip. Yeah... glacial renders. So being able to cue up a half-dozen of those and go to sleep is a big deal for me.

It's too bad that CS4 has impacted your renders so hard, but hopefully they haven't added anything to this upgrade that you can't live without with CS3. Time is $ if you're having to wait for a render... I think the i7 will be the next big purchase for your boss to consider when your firm has $ to spend. That setup should cut render times less than half of what you see, based upon what I'm reading.

Take care and nice chatting with you,
Brian
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Old March 21st, 2009, 11:20 AM   #22
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Just got my dual boot xp and Vista Ultimate 64 and I'm installing Adobe CS3 Production Suite and CS4 production suite for some testing. Hopefully it will make a difference.

An odd thing about vista 64bit is I installed the latest version of Nero and was copying a dual layer DVD that I needed to backup and task manager showed nero was using 6.5GB of RAM while backing it up. It appears Nero loaded the entire DVD contents into RAM instead of writing to an image file. Odd to think that 1 single dvd copy would utilize so much RAM.

As soon as I get some testing in CS3 and CS4 I will post some additional insight about this.

Thanks.
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 04:39 PM   #23
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Same basic test in 64bit world nets similar results.

In CS3, encoding a 20 minute hdv project to SD mpg2 for dvd takes exactly 16:32. The clipd is dropped in the timeline and I adjust the brightness by +31. That is the only effect.

In CS4, encoding the same exact 20 minute hdv project to SD mpg2 for dvd takes exactly is scheduled to take 38 minutes.

Both of these tests are performed on a brand new clean install of Visa Ultimate 64bit OS with 3.2GHZ Quad-core and 8gb of RAM.

The results are very similar to my tests in XP with the only difference being CS4 is using 4.3GB of Ram whereas in XP it was lower obviously.

So my initial test is that 64bit OS with 8gb Ram has not significantly increased encoding speed at all, or the Brightness and contrast filter in CS4 is doing a something more intense.

I'll keep testing and poste more results, but initially, the whole 64bit will speedup renders in CS4 seems a bit of a misconception. At least with this project.
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Old March 23rd, 2009, 08:36 PM   #24
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Marty... thanks for your efforts and test. Great to have real world benchmarks with one-to-one comparisons.

I have C4, awaiting Cineform's full implementation.

Can you comment on any other pluses or minuses of C4 as compared to C3?
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Old March 24th, 2009, 07:37 AM   #25
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Marty,
Honestly, I am waiting for Cineform to really begin using it so I cannot comment on any other new features really. It didn't take long to figure out how much slower it renders though......I had decided to just try a very simple HDV project in it to make sure it was working okay before doing something complex and it was the render that killed it.

For what it is worth, I tried rendering it without any effects, and it was about equal to Cs3 encode with brightness contrast effect (16 minutes +/-). So I went to CS3, and removed Brightness and COntrast effect there, and the render time dropped from 16 minutes around 13 minutes.

So an brief synopsis would be that brightness and contrast filter in CS3 increases a 13min render to around 16min.

The same exact project and settings in CS4 renders in 16min and adding the brightness and contrast filter increased render time to 47 minutes. This is in 64bit land, in 32bit land the CS4 render was more in the 57min range. So 64bit OS helped a little, but bot much.

I was hoping to get to the bottom of all this but the more tests I do the more it seems that CS4 is just coded in a much less efficient manner. I am almost ready to just accept that if I want to use CS4, I am going to have to live with horrendous render times compared to CS3.

I'll post if anything changes regarding this.

THanks.
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Old June 20th, 2009, 09:06 AM   #26
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The latest update 4.1 for AME fixes the slow encoding a bit.

a 3:54 sd project with various post edits (plugins etc) now takes 1hr 30mins instead of 2hr 47mins before.

However, i still have the feeling it is not as fast as it used to be. (cs2, cs3)

Also, i have a quad core processor and the media encoder only uses 25-30% of its power. (so ~ 1 core)
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Old June 20th, 2009, 11:11 AM   #27
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I also skip using CS3 AME to encode to MPEG-2 because of the quality issue. In low bit-rate, the output from AME is noticeably worst. So I output to AVI with an intermedia codec. Then use Procoder 3 to convert. It works so much better.

I have heard the MPEG-encoding engine is improved in CS4. Didn't have a chance to test it out yet.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 07:03 AM   #28
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beware Newbie posting

Im no where near you guys technically but...I do have a comment regarding CS4.

I purchased a "upgrade". copy of CS4 for my PP2.0 software.
Its been a nighmare getting CS4 plus updates to 4.2 to work.

Im only have a Intel dual processor with 4gig ram.

Adobe Encoder will not even boot sometime...along with other weird problems...Ive never experienced with Pre 2.0.

Im considering staying with PP 2.0 since I have the Canon xh settings now installed to capture.

Guess Im ranting.....will post any successes I have getting PCS4 to work.

Thanks for the shoulder to cry on....
Jeff
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Old July 12th, 2010, 07:54 PM   #29
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So, what is everybody using for 3rd party encoders that is superior to AME for output to MPEG?

Anything cheaper than Procoder 3 which runs $350-400?
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Old July 13th, 2010, 06:21 PM   #30
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While we are on the topic of rendering... does this sound unusual to you:

I've finished editing a wedding in CS3, total run time is 96 minutes, and it's broken into 4 sequences which I've nested into a main sequence.

All HDV footage, with RGB curves applied to most clips and 3-way colour corrector to a few as well some other effects.

I'm rendering to mpeg2 widescreen DVD preset using AME.

I'm on a 2.8ghz i7 with 8gb ram, running windows 7 64 bit.

I started rendering at 11pm last night, came back to it at 8:30am this morning and it was only at 60%.

That works out to a total render time of about 15 hours & 50 minutes. Is this normal? This is the first wedding I've done in CS3, as I've been using Vegas recently and have just done the switch. This would've rendered in about 4 hours in Vegas and I expected similar results from Premiere. I've had to cancel the render halfway because I've got other things to work on, so is there any way to speed things up when I restart it?

There's always a few little mistakes that slip through in the first render so I normally render, burn to DVD, review, make changes and re-render. If I do that it will take me three days - I'm tempted to start the project again in Vegas as I know I could do it faster, and I won't have my computer out of action while rendering for three days.
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