Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Robbed in College; What Didn't They Tell You About Video Assembly?

Have you ever felt that you were robbed in college? I was certainly robbed.

Click for larger picture
There are a lot of important things that my media rendering prof. failed to tell me. And one of the most important is that even though Photoshop and Premiere seem to have unlimited numbers of layers that are available, you shouldn’t make it your goal in life to try to use as many as you can.

“Why is this?” you might ask. Well, thanks for asking and here’s the answer. Because the more layers you use, the longer it takes your machine to render and the larger the footprint on your hard drive and storage media the file takes up.

Even though it might mean much faster assembling of a video on the Premiere time line if you simply keep stacking scenes all the way to the moon with a fast and dirty transition dissolve between each one, your 35 clips will add up to over a hundred layers (channels) if most of them average over two clips per scene. When rendering that video, the Adobe Media Encoder that automatically opens adjacent to Premiere when you click the short cut CTL+M has to look at and handle each channel (layer) even though there’s mostly nothing in them. You’ll find yourself spending hours slicing and moving things out of those upper 75 layers in order to dump the unnecessary MBs of useless, empty channels.

The better way is to try to keep the stack as low as possible. I have been working on a 3 minute video for
Dell M6600 Mobile Video Production Work Station. Main editing suite
used by Specialized Media, Kelso, Washington.
one of my clients and even though there are many scenes and their corresponding fade-to-white transitions, the 18 scenes with 75 separate clips only stacked 16 layers high with 3 audio trax.

This allowed my machine* to render the video at 3MB/Sec in less than the 3 minute finished production.
If your computer keeps hanging up every time you try to render, be sure to look at your timeline assembly work flow for one of the problems to fix.

There’s a good handful of other functions that can also hang up your machine in playback, pre-rendering and rendering, so feel free to contact me with any questions and comments.
Thanks for reading.

* My machine is a late model Dell M6600 Vid Prod Mobile Work Station. It’s very fast.
§  Professional AMD discrete graphics with 4GB of dedicated memory

§  DDR3 memory; 16GB of 1600MHz