I'm new here so hello everyone, I'm Gerry from The Netherlands, 44 year old, male, and trying to get my project produced for over a week now
I have the following situation:
PC: MSI X58 Pro-E, Intel i7 950, ATi HD5850, Windows XP SP3, 6GB memory of which only 3GB visible (yeah I know ), latest drivers of everything, etc. Dxdiag attached.PD: PD10 Ultra, patch 1424cCamera: Panasonic HDC-TM900, PAL version
I shot a lot of footage on vacation in New Zealand, and after coming back I searched for a good program to compile parts of that footage, and photos, into a nice movie with transitions, title, etc. Power Director had the best papers IMO, so I purchased it.
Have spent a lot of time authoring my movie, which was nice to do with PD; the UI is intuitive and offers plenty of functionality to do whatever you like. I actually enjoyed making the movie even though it took ages, but seeing all the footage and discovering the possibilities of PD was a pleasure. Some minor frustrations every now and then, like when using PD for a while, previews first have to render before they play, whereas after starting up fresh it always plays previews without having to wait. BTW does anybody know why this is? Cache memory getting full?
Anyway, movie authoring is finished, movie is 2 hrs 37 mins, and now I've been trying for a week to get it produced. I want to produce it to 1080p50 with minimal quality loss. I think I've read all related posts on the forum and tried all suggestions, but I'm still not successful. Here's my experience of the past week, and current status:
First attempt I clicked Intelligent SVRT, it suggested two 1080p50 profiles, one with 25.5Mbps video and one with 26.3Mbps. I chose 25.5 and left it running overnight. It got to 45 mins (movie time) and it crashed (don't remember whether it was BSOD or reboot). The file was rendered with SVRT largely (Single IDR enabled), and has transition artifacts (couple of black frames) at the transition from SVRT to rendering (strange since most of you seem to have problems in the reverse). I thought it could have something to do with cross fades instead of overlap fades, so I made a second version of the project with only overlap fades. BTW I also saw that a small number of clips (2 or 3 out of maybe 100) had been rendered in a "frozen" state, just the first frame after the transition is there, and then it stays like that until the next transition. Audio is continuing during that freeze.Second attempt I tried 26.3Mbps with overlap fades, and this one got to only 13 mins after which it also crashed. For the rest same results as first attempt: transition problems and frozen clips.Third attempt tried 25.5 Mbps with overlap fades: 6 mins crash or program freeze, don't remember. Same problems in the result. The program freeze: program is still alive but rendering has stopped. In most cases a process called CES_CacheAgent is occupying 13% (sic; ?) of CPU, but no changes in memory use. PDR10.exe has 0% CPU use and no change in memory use. In some other attempts I've also seen no CES_CacheAgent after a program freeze, but PDR10.exe is occupying 1 or 2% of CPU.Fourth attempt: disabled Fast rendering / SVRT, 25.5Mbps with cross fades. Got to 24 minutes. No transition problems, but still some frozen clips.Fifth attempt: also disabled "remove blocking" (in preferences and in the profile), chose 26.3Mbps again, project with cross fades. Got to almost 26 mins, same result.Sixth attempt: bumped up the min and max bitrates in the profile. Got to 1h 3min! No transition problems, but some frozen clips (1 or 2).Seventh attempt: I remembered I did not install Quicktime when installing PD. Quicktime is only used by Smartsound, which I didn't/don't use. But I read on the forum that it may cause problems, so I installed it (extracted from the PD installer). I also disabled Shadow Files, and made sure to delete all existing ones from the hard drive. Only got to 4 mins.Eighth attempt: changed BIOS settings to the "BIOS failsafe" values. No Crash anymore!!! Also changed GOP structure from M=2, N=29 to M=3, N=22. I actually wanted N=24, same as the original clips from the camera, but the structure IBBPBBPBBPBBPBBPBBPBBPBB yields 22: PD seems only capable of GOPs ending in a P frame. Got to 14 mins, after which it freezes (stops rendering).Further attempts: various combinations of GOP structure, dynamic GOP yes/no, overlap or cross fades, different bitrates, CAVLC instead of CABAC, update of Quicktime, even safer BIOS settings (Intel cstate disabled, phase control disabled, spread spectrum disabled), ran memory and CPU stress tests only to find that even the stress test applications were getting tired. Heck I even tried rendering in Windows safe mode to rule out any interference from certain drivers, and I tried disabling the Realtek audio driver because someone on the forum reported it solved his problem. I pushed bitrate down to 20Mbps with no luck, PD still freezes after a while. I tried various speedquality settings: all the above is setting 8, I tried 7 and 6, but the latter already yields a lot of quality loss. I tried rendering to the PD-supplied 720p profile, and to 1080p25 (adapted profile), both freeze after a while. Best result I had was with GOP sizes 2:29 (same as the custom profile that Intelligent SVRT originally suggests), dynamic GOP disabled, 26.3Mbps (video bitrate 26314344), min and max bitrates increased (from default 0 and 28000000 to 22500000 and 32000000), overlap fades, and SVRT and SSE-unblocking disabled. Got to 1h 47 mins, with only 3 clips frozen.Last attempt I did was to completely uninstall PD (control panel followed by CLCleaner just in case), reboot, reinstall including Quicktime, and try again with the most successful settings as before. Freeze at 14 mins.
I did not use GPU acceleration (not supported by PD under Windows XP), and I did not use hardware encoding (not supported either and I know it produces bad quality results).
I monitored CPU and memory usage during PD's work: CPU has its 8 cores busy, but only at about 30 to 50%. Physical memory use never gets above 2.2 GB, most of the time it's around 1.8 GB. I did not see anything unusual around a freeze. I am convinced that it is not my system's capacity that is the problem. I can have Handbrake running a batch with around 95% continuous CPU usage with no problem at all.
In fact, that is what I'm doing right now: while I'm typing away, Handbrake is converting all my clips to 15Mbps. Then I'm going to try again to produce the project (I tested and I can use the transcoded files, even though they're MKV, as drop-in replacements for the .MTS files by renaming them). Not that I'll stop if that works, since quality will take a hit, I just want to know if it then fully renders.
Ideally, SVRT would work without transition problems. I understand that the artifacts are due to timestamp problems, and that some players do not seem to have be bothered by them and do not show the artifacts. So far I have only tested on VLC on my PC. My Popcorn Hour cannot handle L4.2 (but a future player I buy will :
so to test with it I'd have to convert with Handbrake, which means I'd actually be testing with Handbrake. I'll do that and see what happens.
Does anybody know a remuxer or even a "recoder"/converter that handles the timestamp mismatches well, without artifacts?
I would very much appreciate your feedback. Suggestions to make it work are more than welcome. I will probably try splitting up my project at points where an SVRT transition artifact is not a problem, produce those separately without SVRT, and then import them into a new project that I'll render with SVRT.
Is there anybody out there that has successfully produced a real project, not just some test clips but a 2+ hr project with video from a TM900, photos, titles, transitions (different ones, 2D and 3D-like), background music, changes in volume in both background music and main track, trimmed and multi-trimmed parts, magic motion effects on photos, sped up video, and perhaps even an audio dub here and there?