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PD 16 preview stuck while editing 4K
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JensX [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Jul 31, 2019 14:17 Messages: 6 Offline
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Hello,


unfortunately it is not possible to edit 4K footage without the preview getting stuck.
It seems that the GPU is not used at all (utilization ~1-2%), whilst the CPU reaches up to 100%.

I did several things to solve this:



  • tweak NVIDIA System control

  • activate/disable hardware acceleration

  • choose PD16 with high performance in Windows graphic settings



My System Specs:


NVIDIA Geforce GT 730 (version 26.21.14.3086)
AMD A10-7890K Radeon R7, 12 Compute Cores 4C+8G (version 10.0.17134.765)
120 GB SSD disk
1TB Datadisk
16 GB RAM
Powerdirector 16 (Version 16.0.3424.0)


Maybe my system is to weak for this task, but I am a bit surprised that the GPU is not used.
Does somebody have a clue what I could change in order to fix this?

Thanks in advance and regards,
Jens
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PowerDirector Tutorials
Member Private Message Location: Tennessee Joined: Sep 29, 2014 20:25 Messages: 135 Online
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Download handbrake which is free and convert to h.264 then try to edit
https://handbrake.fr/
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JensX [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Jul 31, 2019 14:17 Messages: 6 Offline
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Hello,

thank you. I will give that a try.

BR,
Jens
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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 3729 Offline
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Quote Hello,
unfortunately it is not possible to edit 4K footage without the preview getting stuck.
It seems that the GPU is not used at all (utilization ~1-2%), whilst the CPU reaches up to 100%.

The GPU typically isn't used very much when editing, unless there are GPU-specific edits.

You can turn on shadow files and let PD create lower resolution versions of your clips, but to see the full benefit you'll need to wait until the little yellow icons on your Media Library clips turn green.

The benefit of using shadow files is that PD will use the low resolution files for editing but will produce using the full resolutions clips. The downside is that it may take a long time to generate the shadow files, and there's no easy way to force PD to prioritize the process.

Another option is to use VirtualDub2 and an intermediate codec like MagicYUV to create decoded, full resolution clips that PD can easily work with in real time. Creating MagicYUV files is much quicker than waiting for PD to create shadow files, but the downside is that their file sizes may be 10x - 20x larger than the original clips. As long as you have room on your SSD, though, that would be the quickest option.

I've attached the project settings file for VDub2. All you need to do is load that project, then open the clip you want to convert and use Save Video... to create the MagicYUV .AVI file.
 Filename
MagicYUV.vdproject
[Disk]
 Description
VDub2 MYUV settings
 Filesize
1 Kbytes
 Downloaded:
22 time(s)
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JensX [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Jul 31, 2019 14:17 Messages: 6 Offline
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Hello,

Thank you for your detailed answer.
It do work with enabling the shadow files as you said, but it is very slow.

I will also try with MagicYUV.

Thanks and regards,
Jens
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Steve Mitchell [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Nov 09, 2016 21:21 Messages: 6 Offline
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Always use proxy files when editing - do not use shadow files created by PowerDirector (PD). My current workflow involves using ffmpeg. Here's a cheat sheet to get you going.

1. Download ffmpeg (open source) from www.ffmpeg.org .

2. Use ffmpeg on the command line to create a proxy file (in the \bin folder), for example if ffmpeg is downloaded to the root of your C drive:


  • Start > Run > cmd (for access to the command line)

  • cd \my_videos (where your videos are located)

  • "c:\ffmpeg-4.1.4-win64-static\bin\ffmpeg.exe" -i sample_video.MP4 -vf scale="640:360" -preset ultrafast proxy-sample_video.MP4 (folder may be different depending on the version)


This will create a proxy file at 640x360 resolution. I find it's roughly 2% of the file size of 4K files. You can read up on ffmpeg on other settings, but this tells ffmpeg the input file ( -i ), the resolution ( -vf scale="" ), the quality ( -preset ) and the output file name. Note: If this resolution is too low just change the settings while keeping the horizontal/vertical ratios the same.

3. Run PD and edit your video using the proxy file (in this case proxy-sample_video.MP4).

4. Save your project and exit.

5. Rename proxy-sample_video.MP4 (e.g., to real_proxy-sample_video.MP4).

6. Rename sample_video.MP4 to proxy-sample_video.MP4 (PD will not know the difference).

7. Open your PD project and render your edited video.

8. When exiting, you can rename the files back to the original names (e.g., sample_video.MP4/proxy-sample_video.MP4).


From my experience this is far better than using PD shadow files and you don't get the same type of lag. I regularly edit four 40-50GB 4K video files in the Multicam Designer, sometimes files are over 90GB each. I can't use PD without creating proxy files.
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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 3729 Offline
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Thanks for the detailed post, although I think it's too strong of a statement to say "do not use" shadow files. They are a great solution for many people, but the have their drawbacks - along with every other workflow.

The biggest drawback is that users have no control over how long it will take PD to finish generating them, and many don't wait (or know that they should wait) for the yellow icons on the media library clips to turn green. Once that's done however, the user never has to take any additional steps to produce the full quality video.

The biggest drawback of using MagicYUV or another intermediate codec is that the file sizes are huge, because the converted AVI files are uncompressed. In your example of (4) 50GB 4K clips, the MYUV versions might need more than 1TB of SSD space, and that makes them impractical for some people. If space is available, though, PD easily works with those streams in full resolution and there are no additional steps to produce a final video.

Your approach has many more steps both before and after editing to get the full quality video. That's because you're duplicating how PD makes shadow files, and you have to do each step manually instead of allowing PD do all the work. I'm sure it's quicker to get started than waiting for shadow files, but you're also stuck with the problem of working with low resolution clips the entire time.

For many projects, that isn't much of an issue, but if you're making critical edits, like masking and overlaying clips where edges have to be perfectly aligned, you may not be able to achieve the right alignment at all because moving a 640x360 clip just 1 pixel is the same as moving a 4K image 6-7 pixels. There's no in-between, and no way to move the final image by 3 pixels, for example.

Like I said, each of these three workflows have pros and cons, and there really aren't any right or wrong choices. I encourage PD users to look at each project upfront and think about the kind of edits they'll be making before choosing one of these helpful options.
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Steve Mitchell [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Nov 09, 2016 21:21 Messages: 6 Offline
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The pros for using ffmpeg:


  • Versatility in proxy file creation - see the man page, documentation, etc. for options available

  • Does not require use of PD (multiple benefits)

  • Can be done on another machine or multiple machines if with multiple files

  • Provides completion status updates (and you can pipe standard output/error to a log file in linux easily, etc.)

  • Is available on other platforms (i.e. Linux)

  • Free/open source

  • Easy to install/use once you know the options



The cons for using this workflow:


  • Having to create proxy files (though is negated by the need to create shadow files)

  • Having to rename files, enter/exit PD, etc.



I don't have benchmark statistics on whether ffmpeg is faster. This is by no means the only workflow or necessarily the best. I just find it's much easier and doesn't tie up the CPU on my main computer.

It's a good point that you make about one's use case. I edit live performances (mainly music performances) so don't have the same requirements of others. But with ffmpeg you can recode to 1080p, lower frame rate, etc. so still have a high quality proxy file that is faster to load than an original 4K file.
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