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Thread: Mac Hardware for AE and PP CS6

  1. #1

    Default Mac Hardware for AE and PP CS6

    Hello,

    I have a couple of questions that I hope you'll be able to answer in order to help me decide whether I could do with a hardware upgrade or if it's simply my workflow that needs improvement.

    I currently work on a MacBook Pro with the following specs:

    Processor: 2.2GHz Intel Core i7
    Memory: 8GB DDR3 RAM
    Graphcs: AMD Radeon HD 6750M 512MB
    Software: OS X Lion 10.7.4

    Basically, I do a lot of video editing with Premiere Pro and After Effects. A lot of my work involves linking compositions from After Effects into Premiere Pro for colour correction and the animation of titles and other assets. Sometimes I work solely with After Effects to create up to 10 minute long showreels or other animation-heavy projects.

    I try to leave the addition of titles and effects etc. to the end of the post-production process, but sometimes it's necessary to add them earlier on for the sake of keeping timing correct. Or if they are added at the end, I sometimes need to spend a little extra time working with them to make adjustments until I'm happy.

    With certain projects, I occasionally find myself dealing with incredible slowdown. I filmed a presentation recently which lasted 30 minutes, and the final output was simply the entire 30 minute clip placed into Premiere with some After Effects titles added to it on another video track.

    I found myself constantly waiting for Premiere to catch up with itself when jumping between points in the timeline (even before the AE compositions had been added). Is that a hardware issue, or is it simply because I was working with such a long video clip?

    I suppose what I'm asking is: at what point would I need a hardware upgrade from my current setup. What sort of work would you expect to be too much for a MacBook Pro of these specs? Or do you think it's more than adequate for what I've described, and I just need to work on my workflow?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by joobny View Post
    Hello,
    I found myself constantly waiting for Premiere to catch up with itself when jumping between points in the timeline (even before the AE compositions had been added). Is that a hardware issue, or is it simply because I was working with such a long video clip?

    I suppose what I'm asking is: at what point would I need a hardware upgrade from my current setup. What sort of work would you expect to be too much for a MacBook Pro of these specs? Or do you think it's more than adequate for what I've described, and I just need to work on my workflow?

    Thanks!
    What kind of footage (codec) are you working with? If it's AVCHD then CS6 has a new bug (introduced in CS6) with some AVCHD footage that can cause some significant lag - not just on Mac but on windows too. We're currently transcoding all AVCHD footage to ProRes for editing in CS6, something we didn't have to do for CS5.5!!!

    The spec you have should be quite sufficient, although if you have the possibility to upgrade the RAM to 16GB I would absolutely recommend it. The first thing I did with my new MBP (2.4Ghz i7) was install 16GB ram. It's fine for editing.

    If you are running both AE and PP at the same time then honestly, 8GB is not enough and you need to upgrade the RAM.

  3. #3

    Default

    I've got 16GB in total and I can use both Premier and After Effects,
    Windows uses 3-4
    After Effects Eats 8 when doing full 1080p HD render.
    That's 4 left for premier to play around with! If I only had 8 GB I would really struggle, even with just After Effects I still have to feed some RAM to the OS.

    Also you have not mentioned your storage solution, Please please please if your using a USB 2.0 drive as your video editing storage STOP!
    Could you share your current file storage solution? Also the entire workflow process would be useful, Do you transcode anyway? what is the source footage data rate? codec? ect.


    @David I'm still running cs5.5 for that purpose! I downloaded the trial, found the bug and did not buy into this version and won't be until they fix it
    I should not have to spend more time creating content when I have paid more for better performance.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bpotter908 View Post
    @David I'm still running cs5.5 for that purpose! I downloaded the trial, found the bug and did not buy into this version and won't be until they fix it
    I should not have to spend more time creating content when I have paid more for better performance.

    I hear ya! The reason we are using CS6 is because :

    1) We are using less and less AVCHD and more MXF files which work fine, and provided the AVCHD doesn't span clips it's not a real problem. So, we only need to transcode the spanned clips.

    2) The skimming features has allowed us to speed up the clip picking by two or three times at least. So overall editing is now faster.

    3) Having the stabiliser built in saves going to After Effects for the odd clip here and there. This also saves time (and unnecessary project complication).

    Otherwise, I guess we'd still be using 5.5 too

  5. #5

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    For my clients I rarely get the luxury of choice when it comes to cameras or codecs or even getting to decide before the shoot what standard we are shooting in ( pro-res or ect )
    I'd love to have a load of Aja boxes recording to SSD uncompressed HD pro-res but I'm so not on that level to do that for every client.

    Ah well, Maybe before Christmas they'll fix my niche and I'll join the CS6 crowd.

  6. #6

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    Hi all,

    Thanks a lot for the replies.

    I'm shooting with my Canon 550D DSLR, so the video codec is H264 and data rate 40-60MB/s. After shooting everything, my workflow involves transferring all the footage onto my 500GB hard drive (which has 40GB of free space just now). From there I import it all straight into Premiere, watch the clips back and rename them in the project panel so I can find them more easily. Then it's a case of dropping them into the source monitor to find chunks that I want to use, and drag them onto the timeline.

    I try to save adding any After Effects elements for the end of the editing process. I might import compositions for use as titles, or I could replace some of the clips in the Premiere timeline with an AE version that I've added colouring or other effects to.

    The one time that Premiere really struggled was when I filmed a 30 minute conference with a Flipcam HD. The final project was just a straightforward play-through of the conference with animated titles at the bottom of the screen to some up points that the speaker was making. Premiere struggled to keep up when I jumped to difference positions in the timeline. Unless I am having hardware issues, the only thing that I can think might have been the problem would be the sequence settings. When creating the project I think I used one of the DSLR presets and then when Premiere said there was a mismatch between my sequence settings and Flipcam footage, I just let it change to the correct settings itself.

    I'm pretty sure my Flipcam was recording in an H264 codec and a quick search online says the data rate is 9MB/s.

    If there's anything else I can fill you in on that might help then please let me know!

    Thanks a lot.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by joobny View Post
    From there I import it all straight into Premiere, watch the clips back and rename them in the project panel so I can find them more easily.
    If Premiere Pro were to say the files are offline after you renamed them (it could be because you move drive in the future), how would you know which physical file this relates to? Lots of people (mainly beginners) do this, but it's something we never do.

    Instead, use the metadata fields to find clips easily. There are lots of fields you can use, including Scene, Shot, Comments etc. If you open up the metadata panel you can even change fields on multiple files at the same time. You can also drag the columns around and order them to suit your needs. So, instead of renaming the file, add something to the scene or shot field and sort on that instead. This way, you have all the information you need to sort on and still preserve the original file name so it's easy to find / reconnect.

    Quote Originally Posted by joobny View Post
    The one time that Premiere really struggled was when I filmed a 30 minute conference with a Flipcam HD. The final project was just a straightforward play-through of the conference with animated titles at the bottom of the screen to some up points that the speaker was making. Premiere struggled to keep up when I jumped to difference positions in the timeline.
    CS6 introduced a bug where if the AVDHD (H264) file spans more than one 4GB file then it slows to a crawl, not just when skipping around but also playing and exporting. This didn't happen in CS5.5. I personally sent a project to the adobe engineers (who acknowledged it and agreed there was a problem) showing this problem and hopefully there will be a fix shortly.

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