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Color Director 8 Efficiency Issue
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TimCh [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: May 04, 2018 01:17 Messages: 5 Offline
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Hi. I used the Color Director a while for color grading my drone video.

I usually apply LUT and adjust some HDR effect and color.

But no matter I use Intel i9 CPU or AMD Threadripper CPU.

Both of them CPU usage is not high (30~40% only) during the video output.

So I though is there any way to enhance it?

Or it is software issue?

Is there anybody face the same issue?

And does anyone has solution about this issue?

Please share with me, thanks.
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Charles0715 [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Jul 04, 2011 14:03 Messages: 5 Offline
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Quote Hi. I used the Color Director a while for color grading my drone video.

I usually apply LUT and adjust some HDR effect and color.

But no matter I use Intel i9 CPU or AMD Threadripper CPU.

Both of them CPU usage is not high (30~40% only) during the video output.

So I though is there any way to enhance it?

Or it is software issue?

Is there anybody face the same issue?

And does anyone has solution about this issue?

Please share with me, thanks.


I assume you are talking about slow rendering in ColorDirector 8 after applying color grading. I too have this issue and have elevated it to Tech Support. I'm using the Director Suite 365 subscription software, and ColorDirector is at least 16x slower than PowerDirector at rendering on my platform, which is a Ryzen 1700X eight core processor with 16 GB RAM and an nVidia 1070x GPU with 6 GB RAM. It doesn't seem like the GPU is being utilized in ColorDirector, whereas PowerDirector CPU and GPU usage is high, along with much speedier results in PowerDirector when using only simple color adjustments in PD. I believe this is a software issue. I've tried it with drone video as well as video from my Lumix G9, and the results are the same.
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TimCh [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: May 04, 2018 01:17 Messages: 5 Offline
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Yes! The ColorDirector8 is very slow, after apply color grading and some small HDR effect.
I try few times on my drone or sony camera 4k video, about 3 min video, I have to spend more than 3 hours for rendering.
By the way, my CPU is Ryzen 3960x with 64GB DDR4 memory and GTX 1060 6GB.
On my case, during rendering, the CPU usage only aroung 10~15 %, and GPU usage is around 20~30%.
So it seems ColorDirector does not use CPU or GPU as well.
Did you get any respond from the tech support?

Quote


I assume you are talking about slow rendering in ColorDirector 8 after applying color grading. I too have this issue and have elevated it to Tech Support. I'm using the Director Suite 365 subscription software, and ColorDirector is at least 16x slower than PowerDirector at rendering on my platform, which is a Ryzen 1700X eight core processor with 16 GB RAM and an nVidia 1070x GPU with 6 GB RAM. It doesn't seem like the GPU is being utilized in ColorDirector, whereas PowerDirector CPU and GPU usage is high, along with much speedier results in PowerDirector when using only simple color adjustments in PD. I believe this is a software issue. I've tried it with drone video as well as video from my Lumix G9, and the results are the same.
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Charles0715 [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Jul 04, 2011 14:03 Messages: 5 Offline
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Quote Yes! The ColorDirector8 is very slow, after apply color grading and some small HDR effect.
I try few times on my drone or sony camera 4k video, about 3 min video, I have to spend more than 3 hours for rendering.
By the way, my CPU is Ryzen 3960x with 64GB DDR4 memory and GTX 1060 6GB.
On my case, during rendering, the CPU usage only aroung 10~15 %, and GPU usage is around 20~30%.
So it seems ColorDirector does not use CPU or GPU as well.
Did you get any respond from the tech support?




Still waiting on tech support. They have been prompt in replies on a couple of earlier issues, so hoping to hear back in next couple of days. Earlier issues were unsolved and referred to their engineering team, and I'm guessing this will be the same. Will post a response when I get it.
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TimCh [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: May 04, 2018 01:17 Messages: 5 Offline
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Quote


Still waiting on tech support. They have been prompt in replies on a couple of earlier issues, so hoping to hear back in next couple of days. Earlier issues were unsolved and referred to their engineering team, and I'm guessing this will be the same. Will post a response when I get it.


Once you get any update from the support or engineering team, please let me know. Thanks.
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Hello YungTi and Charles0715,

Welcome, both of you, to the ColorDirector forum laughing

I can definitely confirm, without being able to explain, your observations.

Using a 51 second UHD clip from a DJI drone, I applied a LUT & HDR effect in different combinations to compare production time.



As you can see, it's not LUT application that's clogging up the works. Applying HDR only (with edge & glow set to 20), production time is almost 8x that when only a LUT is applied.

CPU & GPU use is also significantly down when HDR is applied.

PIX PhD CDR ADR DZ MVL PP Forum Moderator
PIX YouTube channel
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JL_JL [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: Arizona, USA Joined: Oct 01, 2006 20:01 Messages: 4425 Offline
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Quote Hello YungTi and Charles0715,

Welcome, both of you, to the ColorDirector forum laughing

I can definitely confirm, without being able to explain, your observations.

Using a 51 second UHD clip from a DJI drone, I applied a LUT & HDR effect in different combinations to compare production time.



As you can see, it's not LUT application that's clogging up the works. Applying HDR only (with edge & glow set to 20), production time is almost 8x that when only a LUT is applied.

CPU & GPU use is also significantly down when HDR is applied.

PIX

PIX, just a quick question, how long does it take for your simulation above with nothing applied, using the same encoding scheme, my guess 17 or 28 seconds?

Jeff

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at Feb 02. 2020 17:38

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Hello Jeff,

You've alerted me to an error in the table I posted above. Production was to AVC .MP4 3840x2160 25fps @ 100Mbps - not HEVC. The dangers of copying & pasting embarassed

Your assessment of production time without any adjustments made is accurate (enough). It was just a tick over 19 seconds, with GPU at ~20% & CPU ~50%, using the same clip & the same production profile.

PIX PhD CDR ADR DZ MVL PP Forum Moderator
PIX YouTube channel
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Charles0715 [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Jul 04, 2011 14:03 Messages: 5 Offline
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Quote Hello YungTi and Charles0715,

Welcome, both of you, to the ColorDirector forum laughing

I can definitely confirm, without being able to explain, your observations.

Using a 51 second UHD clip from a DJI drone, I applied a LUT & HDR effect in different combinations to compare production time.



As you can see, it's not LUT application that's clogging up the works. Applying HDR only (with edge & glow set to 20), production time is almost 8x that when only a LUT is applied.

CPU & GPU use is also significantly down when HDR is applied.

PIX


That's great info, and indicates to me that the overall problem is with the ColorDirector 8 software and how it handles rendering. It mirrors my own experience with different ColorDirector presets on a short clip, causing a lengthy rendering with corresponding low utilization of the CPU and GPU. I'm still waiting to hear back from tech support.

So, what platform are you running on?

Thanks!
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The PC I used for the test above is:

CPU: Intel i9-7900X @ 3.30GHz, 10 cores
RAM: 64 GB
GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti
OS: Windows 10 Home

PIX PhD CDR ADR DZ MVL PP Forum Moderator
PIX YouTube channel
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Charles0715 [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Jul 04, 2011 14:03 Messages: 5 Offline
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I heard back from tech support finally late today. Unfortunately, this time they did not seem to understand the problem, even though I stated it very clearly. They were trying to tell me to render the previews to speed up the display, and were trying to tell me how hard it is for ColorDirector to render these high quality video clips, especially with inadequate hardware. Of course, no mention of the point that I had made regarding low utilization of CPU and GPU along with the long rendering times. Seems like if one had inadequate hardware, the CPU and GPU would be maxed out, rather than loafing along. Also, I had given them my hardware platform, which is certainly up to the task when the CPU and GPU are being substantially utilized. The others contributing to this thread sure as heck have substantial hardware capability, even better than mine, so that is NOT the problem, especially since the test shown by PIX demonstrates that hardware utilization goes down at the same time the rendering task difficulty seems to increase.

I'm beginning to believe that ColorDirector has some fundamental design/implementation flaw that is causing this, perhaps related to some recent Windows 10 or nVidia driver updates, but who knows?

I'm getting ready to download Davinci Resolve (free version) to see how it stacks up. I love the way ColorDirector works for color grading (like Lightroom for video), but I hate these long rendering times that stretch into hours for clips only a few minutes long. And, why buy expensive hardware to run this when the software doesn't seem capable of utilizing it?

Hope tech support can come back with some better answers. I gave them the link to this thread but you all may want to weigh in with another trouble ticket.
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Members,

I decided to compare results using two different PCs, using the i9-7900X above and a very inadequate i7-920. The results weren't surprising. I've included Jeff's "No Adjustment" suggestion for reference.

In the tables below, the results for the i9-7900X are in blue & those for the i7-920 are in green. The GTX260 installed in the i7 PC wasn't available for hardware acceleration.



The two clips & the LUT used in these tests are available for download, should you wish to do comparison tests on your PC.

PIX PhD CDR ADR DZ MVL PP Forum Moderator
PIX YouTube channel
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Charles0715 [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Jul 04, 2011 14:03 Messages: 5 Offline
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Quote Members,

I decided to compare results using two different PCs, using the i9-7900X above and a very inadequate i7-920. The results weren't surprising. I've included Jeff's "No Adjustment" suggestion for reference.

In the tables below, the results for the i9-7900X are in blue & those for the i7-920 are in green. The GTX260 installed in the i7 PC wasn't available for hardware acceleration.



The two clips & the LUT used in these tests are available for download, should you wish to do comparison tests on your PC.

PIX


Very interesting results. Thanks for posting these. What is surprising is that the CPU utilization isn't higher for the inadequate machine as the presumed rendering difficulty goes up.

AFter I went back to tech support and posted a link to this thread, they responded with this:

"Per current program design, ColorDirector does not utilize hardware processing as much as the basic color adjustment features that are included in PowerDirector even though some color adjustment options are similar.
Our engineering team keeps enhancing the software performance between ColorDirector versions. For this concern and your video, it has been escalated to the engineering team as a product improvement reference."

So, we are apparently stuck with this until some later release when software performance will be improved.

Meanwhile, I downloaded Davinci Resolve, figured out how to do a little color grading on a 25 second 4K 30fps test clip and rendered at 4K using H.264. Using ColorDirector with only a single color preset applied, the 25 second clip took over 3 minutes to render, whereas the same clip with similar color grading applied in Davinci Resolve took 35 seconds. The biggest difference was that Davinci Resolve showed CPU utilization approaching 100%, whereas it was about 30% in ColorDirector. GPU utilization was around 20% in Davinci Resolve versus no more than 10% in ColorDirector. Clearly ColorDirector needs a major upgrade!! Only immediate problem I see with Davinci Resolve is the steep learning curve required, and it doesn't yet support H.265 rendering (in the free version), which is supported in PD and CD.
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TimCh [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: May 04, 2018 01:17 Messages: 5 Offline
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Thanks for comapring test. This is waht I though, the ColorDirector CPU utiliation efficiency is so bad.

Even we have a good hardware, but the ColorDirector just not able to utilize it well.

So cause the hardware upgrage not improving the color grading speed.

I hope Cyberlink can fix this issue sooner. Otherwise color grading is so time consuming.

Looking forward to see the solution. Thanks guys.

Quote


Very interesting results. Thanks for posting these. What is surprising is that the CPU utilization isn't higher for the inadequate machine as the presumed rendering difficulty goes up.

AFter I went back to tech support and posted a link to this thread, they responded with this:

"Per current program design, ColorDirector does not utilize hardware processing as much as the basic color adjustment features that are included in PowerDirector even though some color adjustment options are similar.
Our engineering team keeps enhancing the software performance between ColorDirector versions. For this concern and your video, it has been escalated to the engineering team as a product improvement reference."

So, we are apparently stuck with this until some later release when software performance will be improved.

Meanwhile, I downloaded Davinci Resolve, figured out how to do a little color grading on a 25 second 4K 30fps test clip and rendered at 4K using H.264. Using ColorDirector with only a single color preset applied, the 25 second clip took over 3 minutes to render, whereas the same clip with similar color grading applied in Davinci Resolve took 35 seconds. The biggest difference was that Davinci Resolve showed CPU utilization approaching 100%, whereas it was about 30% in ColorDirector. GPU utilization was around 20% in Davinci Resolve versus no more than 10% in ColorDirector. Clearly ColorDirector needs a major upgrade!! Only immediate problem I see with Davinci Resolve is the steep learning curve required, and it doesn't yet support H.265 rendering (in the free version), which is supported in PD and CD.
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Munro Flyer [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Mar 25, 2020 11:25 Messages: 7 Offline
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Hi Guy’s I am having the same issues with very slow rendering times on a 2 minute video. I have done some tests and came to the same conclusion as you that color director has some very serious flaws. Here is my PC spec.
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
MSI MPG X570 Gaming Edge Motherboard
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super Windforce 8MB
Corsair Vengeance LPX Black 32GB 3600MHz Ryzen Tuned
I work off a M.2 ssd 250GB drive

I have run these tests and the results are surprising, here are a few setting i use in Prefrence Settings. Under Hardware Acceleration i have (Enable Nvidia Cuda Technology to speed up video effect preview/render) ticked. and (Enable Hardware Decoding) ticked. Under Produce i have (Render Video Blocky Artifacts) ticked and (Reduce Video Noise when using MPEG1 MPEG2 and H.264 encoders) ticked, the other 2 under H.264 AVC are unticked.

So Test One is a 01.51 length bare clip with Hardware Video Encoder on (SVRT is grayed out) and the render time was 00.31sec
Test 2: As above plus 4sec Basic title with a 2 color gradient, render time 00.36sec
Test 3: As above plus Effect (Conjure Right) and fade, render time 00.36sec
Test 4: As above plus End title, 2 color gradient and Fade, render time 00.37sec
Test 5: As above plus Fade in/out effect on main clip, render time 01.37sec
Test 6: As above plus main clip time reduced by 41sec (done in Video Speed Designer) render time 00.43sec
Test 7: As above plus Color correction done in (ColorDirector) A little Exposure and Contrast on the + side A little Brightest, and Midtone on the - side Clarity and Vibrance on the + side and in the Saturation Channel Magenta and Green on the + side. Render Time 07.37sec
Test 8: As above plus an MP3 track form Epidemic Sound with a 8sec Fade Out, render time 07.35

As you can see there is not much difference from test 1-4 it goes up a bit in test 5 by 1 minute and in test 6 the time is down but this is probably due to the video now being 41 seconds shorter.

Now test 7 is where we see the big difference, render has shot up by 7 minutes 6 seconds, so it seems to be the color correction in color director is the thing that’s slowing things down dramatically, and in test 8 for some strange reason after adding a music track the render time goes down 2 seconds.

I also have done the same test in Davinci Resolve 16 free version and it rendered the video in about 1minute 45sec a huge difference. I used to use davinci but could never get use to the color wheels, scopes etc, I took out the powerdirector 18 365 subscription because lots of people were recommending it because of its speed, I’m feeling kinda cheated now.
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