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Old June 10th, 2009, 01:47 PM   #1
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Problem encoding AVCHD to H.264

Using xppro with quad core AMD (Phenom 9600) and 2 gb RAM with RAID0 (2 1TBHD's).

I converted the AVCHD files from SONY XR520v to CIN AVI Progressive with HDlink. THen using the cineform 1920x1080 preset with Premiere CS3 I created a timeline with a couple of title overlays created same size as Quicktime (to get the alpha channel).

I successfully rendered out an MPEG2 file from this timeline as DVD sized file which worked fine with ENcore to create a playing wide screen DVD.

However, when I tried to render out an H.264 1280x720 Progressive file to put on Vimeo, it wouldn't render.
The exact problems are, 1. I used the Adobe Media Encoder and set it to H.264 with the appropriate size and Progressive
2. THe render appears to go normally ie AME appears to be rendering the whole thing.
3. However, generally, at the end there is an "unknown error".
4. Checking the file in My Computer, the file only has about 500KB and it won't play in the quicktime player (Buffer overrun detected).
5. Interestingly, I can successfully render a five minute portion of the timeline, but 10 minutes or more gives the above error.
6. I tried turning off the Hyperthreading switch (in the Export -Movie area) even though I'm not sure this applies to the AME and the same thing happens with a ten minute portion of the 24 minute clip.
7. CHecking with task manager during the H.264 run, all four cores are used at 99%.

I realize this is one of those problems, which is too complicated to explain adequately, but any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
John Rich
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Old June 10th, 2009, 08:36 PM   #2
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John,

I've had good luck using the the "quicktime" option as opposed to the"h.264" export option.

Then within the quicktime format select h.264 compression.

Hopefully this helps.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #3
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Devin,

Thanks for the reply. However, I'm not sure where the quicktime Option is. If I'm using the Adobe Media Encoder, under Format I don't have a quicktime option. Also, if I'm using Export- Movie -Settings, I don't have a quicktime option.

John
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Old June 15th, 2009, 06:15 PM   #4
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I think the problem is with AME/PPro and XP/2GB RAM.
I frequently (it was the bane of my existence) had problems rendering an entire movie from the timeline. It would render however far, then run out of system resources and fail. This was such a major problem for me that I would break a longer project into separate 10-12 minute projects- just like Hollywood film reels. When finished, I would render out all of the separate projects into CF.avis and import the “reels” into a new CF “Assembly” project for final assembly and further transcoding of the entire movie to delivery format
Workarounds:
1) Render the timeline to a master CF.avi movie. (Export movie>select Cineform Compressor> 1920x1080, 30p, etc.) If AME won’t render the whole timeline without failing, then render it in 5 min, or shorter, pieces- whatever it takes.
2) Open a new CF “Assembly” PPro project and import the CF.avi movie(s) & put them on the timeline.
3) Now use AME to transcode to the format you desire.
The nuisance of all of this is why I switched to 64 bit OS, big RAM (12GB), and CS4. CF is finally getting PHD4 up to speed for CS4 and I am actually editing a project with it. It looks like it’s going to solve all of these problems once they get the final PHD4 released.
(fingers crossed) ;-)
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Old June 17th, 2009, 10:23 AM   #5
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Bob,

Thanks for your usual thorough explanation. I've tried this. I encoded the original file in sections as you suggested and then imported the sections into another project.

I then tried to encode using AME from 1920 30p to 1280 30p and while I was able to do more (12 min vs 5 before I did this), the encoding still fails half way through the 25 min file.

I'll try adding another cooling fan to the computer, but I'm not optimistic there.



Maybe it's the 1280 final size that's the problem, although I am using that at Vimeo's suggestion to create a HD type file for their site.

Did you ever use the H.264 from AME to encode from 1920 to 1280. I remember your saying you used Procoder 3 for encoding, so perhaps you used this successfully. If so I suppose I could try Procoder 3. The only problem is, I can't get the full Cin avi file out of Premiere.

I've still got a support ticket open.

Thanks again for your suggestions.

John
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Old June 17th, 2009, 02:22 PM   #6
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Bob,

I know I've seen this somewhere before, but I didn't think of it until now.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 * Optimize rendering for available memory

I just changed the optimize rendering from "performance" to "memory" and the whole thing just rendered out fine. Even though this is for CS4, it seemed to work with my CS3.

I haven't checked to see if this works with Export-Make Movie or not, but that might solve my having to render the timeline out in increments.

I guess support can mark my ticket as "solved".

Thanks again for your help,
John
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Old June 17th, 2009, 08:16 PM   #7
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I should have mentioned that, but didn’t think of it.
If you are doing anything with HD footage and have limited RAM because of 32 bit OS, you should always optimize for memory rather than performance- true for CS2, 3, and 4.
Even with that, you may still run into the same problems with lengthy timeline renders- if so, my prior suggestions will allow you to work around the limitations.
I might also add that the CF part of CF/CS3 is pretty bulletproof. If you run into problems editing, rendering, etc., you can be almost 100% sure it’s related to CS3 + the limited resources of XP 32 bit, and not a defect or problem with CF per se.
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