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Old June 16th, 2010, 05:49 AM   #1
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MC5 AMA playback

I have come to the end of the road there.

AMA playback is poor for me using 5D clips in MC5.0. Anyone having the same trouble?

Avid Community say to lower the playback quality to yellow, set AMA playback video settings to highly compressed (as against the quality setting), turn off hyper threading and use 25 fps.

The frame rate setting didn't help much.

I tried all of this last night and got improved results. I even installed Win 7 (64 bit) dual boot, hoping to squeeze just enough out of my old dual 2.8ghz Pentium Xeon Intellistation with Quadro FX 1400.

Playback is I guess maybe useable. I can scrub the timeline and get maybe every 5th frame. Playback will work for about 0.5 seconds of every second, ie: move, then freeze, move then freeze. Sound plays smoothly.

They say AMA is CPU heavy and I guess that editing machine upgrade I have been putting off (due to budget) has caught up with me. To go higher than what I have in a new quad core machine will be 5k or 4k build your own.

Anyone having more sucess with AMA playback. What machine are you using?

With regards

Jeff
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Old June 16th, 2010, 08:46 AM   #2
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Hi Jeff,

I don't have any 5D files but am using AVCHD files. They play back very well. My set up is a I7 with 6gigs of ram. The only thing it doesn't play full screen smoothly when on green . My friend is going to give me some 5D files next week, let you know how they play back then. By the way my system was only $1500.00 by a local builder.



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Old June 16th, 2010, 09:44 AM   #3
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Ram

Hi, yes the same reply on the Avid Forum - get more RAM - I have 4 Gig and will update to 8.

Will let you know how that goes.

Yes the i7 builds can be done reasonably - the dual Xeons are a bit more expensive.

With regards

Jeff
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Old December 8th, 2010, 10:38 AM   #4
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Re-build

It's been a while since I posted this. I canned the idea of more ram and am currently building a quad core i7.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 10:48 AM   #5
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It's been a while since I posted this. I canned the idea of more ram and am currently building a quad core i7.
Good, because that is what you need. Avid is a 32bit program and wouldn't use more than 3GB of RAM anyway.

I will caution you that using AMA for cutting 5D video is a BAD idea. If you're just trying to review your footage then it's fine. But I wouldn't cut anything other than the simplest of projects using AMA.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 03:58 PM   #6
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Perrone,

Just curious. What are your specific concerns about editing a project using AMA? I haven't had any problems so far editing quick turn-around projects,one even had 75 35Mbit XDCAM QT clips imported from HM 700. Cut my import time down from 3/4 of a day to instantaneous. Have others had issues?

Again more curious than anything.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 06:22 PM   #7
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David I think its the 5D linked AMA files that performance isn't great. I know with XDCAM is smooth as.

I have cut several projects with 5D AMA linked files and found that its only best for shorter clips (3-5min), playback is totally fine but when cutting in clips the computer goes busy longer and longer every time I insert a clip as my timeline gets longer. Not sure what it is but its very annoying.

So transcoding it all is still the best way to go, also transcoding AMA linked clips seems to be a lot faster than importing them.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 06:29 PM   #8
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Peter pretty much nailed it. XDCam is Mpeg2 which decodes pretty quickly. If you aren't doing a bunch of grading, and just your basic cuts, dissolves, and maybe some color correction, then all is well. But with the H.264 based stuff, it's painful. I batch convert my DSLR files into DNxHD for the most part and just work that way. Takes longer, but I'm much happier with the workflow.

I am currently cutting a film that was shot in XDCamEX. Timeline performance is ok, until I start stacking effects, like repositioning frames, using BCC Pan/Zoom, and MB Looks. Then things slow to a crawl. The same stuff transcoded to DNxHD absolutely fly on the timeline.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 09:05 AM   #9
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Interesting and makes sense. We're seriously about to purchase a Panasonic AF-100 (end of year money yea) and moving to ProRes record. Our tests so far with ProRes HQ show a little lag in playback compared to DNXHD, especially after color correction.

Does linked AMA clips change the load to be more processor intensive vs. DNXHD which sort balances the workload between processor, graphics card, and memory?
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Old December 9th, 2010, 09:31 AM   #10
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AMA linked clips are absolutely more CPU intensive than video that has been injested into the project. It gets much more so once you put an effect on an AMA linked clip.

I use AMA for my XDCam stuff and it works great. Once I know what I'm going to use in the project I import the AMA clips and transcode to NDxHD. I don't do any color correction or apply any effects till I have the basic timeline built and the footage transcoded.

For my 7d video I don't even try to use AMA. I just transcode to NDxHD from the start.

The computer I'm using is reasonably fast. Its an i7 running at 3.2ghz and 12gig of ram on Win7/64bit. I'm working on getting an Quadro video card but so far the GTS260 is working OK. I'm sure my real time performance would be better with the Quadro but I have NO problems with several layers of DNxHD footage playing in real time.

AMA is great for bringing things in and doing some rough editing. Its performance isn't good enough in my opinion to use for end-to-end processing on a complete project.

Strictly my opinion.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 09:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Chris Medico View Post
AMA is great for bringing things in and doing some rough editing. Its performance isn't good enough in my opinion to use for end-to-end processing on a complete project.

Strictly my opinion.
And one I share completely. Even with a VERY fast Quadro card.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 11:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Medico View Post
AMA is great for bringing things in and doing some rough editing. Its performance isn't good enough in my opinion to use for end-to-end processing on a complete project.

Strictly my opinion.
I guess it depends on the project and how you define "rough editing". Not that I'm a MAC fan boy, but the project we quick turn-arounded (I know really bad) for our NASA customer was edited on a 3 year old eight core MAC with 8 Gb memory off of a 4 Tb G-raid FW 800 and 75 AMA clips. We noticed a huge performance improvement moving to Snow Leopard and version 5. I'll do some tests on our much slower 3 year old HP notebook for "unfair but curious" comparison. :)

The test for me is how vulnerable are the AMA volume links if you move projects from computer to computer or open bins in other projects.

But, in my opinion the performace will improve over time as always. I just like the speed and flexibility of AMA.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 11:39 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by David Parks View Post
I guess it depends on the project and how you define "rough editing". Not that I'm a MAC fan boy, but the project we quick turn-arounded (I know really bad) for our NASA customer was edited on a 3 year old eight core MAC with 8 Gb memory off of a 4 Tb G-raid FW 800 and 75 AMA clips. We noticed a huge performance improvement moving to Snow Leopard and version 5. I'll do some tests on our much slower 3 year old HP notebook for "unfair but curious" comparison. :)

The test for me is how vulnerable are the AMA volume links if you move projects from computer to computer or open bins in other projects.

But, in my opinion the performace will improve over time as always. I just like the speed and flexibility of AMA.
What was the source footage? That is what we are saying here. Some sources work just fine. Others, not so much.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 01:03 PM   #14
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The source footage was 1080/24p XDCAM 35 Mbits per sec.
I need to get some 5D footage and do a test on the MAC.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 01:43 PM   #15
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MPEG2 performance with AMA is great. No problem there.

H264 as implemented on the 7d and 5d will bring most computers to their knees. The performance in MC5 is totally unsatisfactory for anything other than just playing clips. Then there are the colorspace conversion problems AMA linking or importing directly into MC. They are real, serious, and have not been fixed yet.

My advice for working with 5d and 7d footage is skip AMA completely (other than to maybe preview the footage). Do a transcode outside of Avid to an Avid native format then fast import. Otherwise you'll have crushed blacks and clipped whites.
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