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  • Frustrated with this codec workflow

    Posted by Ernest Rosado on May 3, 2023 at 4:03 pm

    I was given a spec project by a client and they like my work, so now I’m going to be getting these projects regularly, but I’d love some advice on improving my workflow to make this tenable.

    I’m given several hours of footage from multiple Canon R5’s in 8K, 10-bit 4:2:2 HEVC in Clog3, and I need to edit it all down to YouTube length (<20 minutes).

    These are multicam shoots, and I do need to use the full 8K for reframing and punch-ins.

    I’m on a Ryzen 9 5950X with 128GB of RAM with an RTX 3090.

    It took ONE WEEK to generate proxies. Like 6-and-a-half days where I could not use my computer for anything else.

    The editing itself took about 12 hours.

    Then rendering the final 18 minute video took 40 hours.

    I need to speed this up. Any ideas on what I can do?

    Mads Nybo jørgensen
    replied 1 year, 2 months ago
    2 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Mads Nybo jørgensen

    May 4, 2023 at 9:03 am

    Hey Ernest,

    On paper, the Hardware all looks good what you are using.

    However, 8K is a reasonable new format, and there is still a lot to be learned before it goes mainstream.

    On the Hardware, my initial thoughts would be:
    What HD/SSD drive set-up are you using?

    Have you done a test using a Intel or similar high-end processor?
    AMD is not using the same multi-threading, as Intel, which may cause the system to slow down.
    IMPORTANT: As many will rightfully say, there should be no difference in PPro whether using Intel or AMD! However, once you hit 8K, there is every chance that there could be a subtle difference, that when compounded across larger files, could have a large impact.

    Also, check the heat of our workstation, as if you are rendering for a week, you might be able to do a fry-up on the box itself, or at maybe find that slows it down too.

    On the project management side:
    Have you tried edit the 8K stream(s) as is, but reduced the play-back quality in the PPro viewer?

    Again, back to your drive set-up, is there a bottle-neck related to where you store your footage and project data?
    Your motherboard is only capable of doing soo much, before it generates a queue.
    If you really want to work in proxies, could you get hold of a secondary workstation to do that, whilst your main PC is working for you (don’t know where you are based, but there are options to rent powerful machines for that purpose, or maybe use a virtual cloud solution – although the latter would need a very big data pipe).

    Depending on your final delivery format, maybe it is much faster to “down-convert” your files to ProRes 4K, 2K or HD? And then insert and punch in on 8K clips where needed?

    Don’t know whether any of the above helps you.
    But hopefully it will help you speed up the process.


  • Ernest Rosado

    May 6, 2023 at 3:52 pm

    Hi Mads,

    I appreciate the reply. I am using an NVME Raid card to store the footage, so I don’t think there’s a bottleneck there. I haven’t tried editing on an Intel platform, but was told by the folks that shoot the video that nothing on the PC side can edit this footage and they’ve found that only the newer Macs can do it. That sounds fishy to me because I was always told PCs and Macs could do the same things.

    In any case, they sent me a link to a $8000 Mac Studio that there’s no way I can afford, especially after dropping $3000 dollars on this PC just last year.

    I haven’t tried resizing the footage, but wouldn’t that be just as slow as creating proxies (which are resized to 1080p for editing)?

    I might have to decline further work from this client just because of their codec choice.

    Thanks again for the reply, hope you’re having a nice weekend.

  • Mads Nybo jørgensen

    May 7, 2023 at 11:29 am

    Hey Ernest,

    I agree with you on the point that PC and Mac have similar capabilities, and the platform should not be a barrier (I run both, although not Mac Studio).

    This 8K association article is from 2020, but the hardware that Chris choose, is very close to your set-up:

    I have found some Raw Canon footage that I will download later and run a test on, just to get a feel for it.

    “they sent me a link to a $8000 Mac Studio that there’s
    no way I can afford”
    I hear your pain, but have to respectfully disagree.
    Keep in mind that your client is coming to you because they like your work.
    Like you, their alternative is to go to a bigger set-up, which they are trying to avoid. Not least as the cost will be much, much higher.

    The client can either do it themselves, which means more work for them.
    Or they could either enter into a long-term contract with you where they pay enough money upfront, for you to invest in the Mac Studio (if that is what they want you to do?).

    Or they could buy the box, and place it at your place – you’ll still need to pay your bills on electricity, and existing investment. So this arrangement won’t necessarily cost them less money, just they get a faster turn-around.

    The other way is to reduce expectations to match budgets – like cutting the project in 2K or 4K, and then later do an on-line in 8K, if that is the end requirement?

    “I haven’t tried resizing the footage, but wouldn’t that be just as slow as creating proxies (which are resized to 1080p for editing)?”

    Adobe, codecs and other factors works in mysterious ways that we are not meant to understand, or even try to question.

    Only way is to run tests, but if the Adobe media encoder can carry the meta-data across for time-code etc, then going to ProRes 2K or 4K might just be faster than watching paint dry on creating proxies inside Premiere Pro – there is sadly only one way to find out, which will take time and effort.

    If your client have the money, you should stick to them. If not, you should listen to the old Bull in the COW-shed – or China Shop (I know Ron won’t mind me saying this, although I can hear the wall crashing behind me as the horns are primed for my backside):

    Don’t give up, unless you feel that this is not a proposition that you can make a living out of.

    I went for a beer “exhibition” in South London yesterday, so anything that I have told you here should be taking with a pinch of salt, or 1/3 pint IPA…




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