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Multi Disk Editing


EphraimP

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Specing the build for my next editing machine has been a good exercise in thinking about the editing process from a technical standpoint. We geek out over cameras and lenses all the time, but I spend at least 70-80 percent of my time in front of my monitor, not my viewfinder. So I think it's worth while to investigate every aspect of how to squeeze performance out of my computer and increase my editing efficiency.

That said, lately I've been using the ssd inside my laptop for program files and keeping my Premiere project files and assets on external ssds. My scratch files have bounced around between the two.  I know the recommendation is to edit on at least two drives and I've heard some people use three or more -- one for programs, one for working files and one for scratch files. I'd love to take a poll and see what's been most effective for other editors. 

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55 minutes ago, EphraimP said:

one for programs, one for working files and one for scratch files.

Confirmed.  You do not want to be directly accessing media on a big project using a slow hard drive with Premiere.  You can, but it's annoying.  Everything bogs down.  Just reading the media a large project holds can take a half hour with a slow drive.

However, here's the workaround my documentarian wife and I use:  Keep our source 4K footage on a cheap/slow external hard drive, make proxies of our footage, save said proxies to a SSD, and then edit from there.  You can use a 10 year old computer pretty effectively with this method.

My wife typically does rough cuts sitting in her lounge chair with her old laptop.  Edits fast and easy.  I'll do the final drafts, coloring, and rendering on the modestly beefed up PC.  None of our computer equipment is state of the art and we do just fine.

Using proxies is something all editing systems do, but (believe it or not) Premier handles the process more robustly than others.  Resolve, looking at you.

Proxy editing just allows so much more speed during the cutting process.  Just scanning the thumbnails alone makes this workflow worth it for us.  Every once in awhile we do a small project with maybe a few dozen shots and I won't bother with the proxy creation.  It works and is okay, but the speed of editing is diminished and a bit frustrating.

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14 minutes ago, fuzzynormal said:

Confirmed.  You do not want to be directly accessing media on a big project using a slow hard drive with Premiere.  You can, but it's annoying.  Everything bogs down.  Just reading the media a large project holds can take a half hour with a slow drive.

However, here's the workaround my documentarian wife and I use:  Keep our source 4K footage on a cheap/slow external hard drive, make proxies of our footage, save said proxies to a SSD, and then edit from there.  You can use a 10 year old computer pretty effectively with this method.

My wife typically does rough cuts sitting in her lounge chair with her old laptop.  Edits fast and easy.  I'll do the final drafts, coloring, and rendering on the modestly beefed up PC.  None of our computer equipment is state of the art and we do just fine.

Using proxies is something all editing systems do, but (believe it or not) Premier handles the process more robustly than others.  Resolve, looking at you.

Proxy editing just allows so much more speed during the cutting process.  Just scanning the thumbnails alone makes this workflow worth it for us.  Every once in awhile we do a small project with maybe a few dozen shots and I won't bother with the proxy creation.  It works and is okay, but the speed of editing is diminished and a bit frustrating.

I'm familiar with proxy workflows and have used them. My question here is really about making the best spec choice when building a new system. I'm going with a 500Gb NVMe for my boot/program drive and I could go with either a single 2TB NVMe drive for project files and scratch or, say, two additional 1TB drives (one for project files and one for scratch). I'm trying to find out which is the better choice.

Back to proxies for a second, the problem I have run into with them is working with h.265 4k 60p b-roll files in a 24p timeline. If I create proxies for the 60p files, they work great. But when I toggle proxies of to do renders or export, the in and out points have changed. The work-around I found was to work with the 60p frames in a separate 60p timeline, find my in and out points, color grade the footage and then render and export to a more manageable codec for use in my real project. That's kind of a pain in the ass. Lately I've just been converting my h.265 to ProRes before I add them to a project, which is less hassle but more storage intensive, especially if I keep the original h.265 files on a backup drive.

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7 hours ago, EphraimP said:

Seriously? To be able to slow down pans, tilts and other camera movements so they are smoother. Also, if I want a slow-motion look to make things appear dreamier. It's a super common technique.

No, I'm asking about mixing the footage/timeline fps.

I do slo mo too, but don't use 60p in a 24fps timeline.  But I know what you're talking about, perhaps.  When you try and use "interpret footage" Premiere proxies do fail to hold their in/out points.

FWIW, I'll use 50fps in a 25fps timeline and just slow my clips by 50% using the "speed" function rather than "interpret footage," and this avoids the problem.  Or, 60p in a 30fps timeline. As long as the timeline is half of the source footage, works great.  As long as your footage rate is divisible by the timeline rate.  Another alternative is to shoot slow-mo in camera at whatever frame rate you plan to edit in.  Of course, you need a camera that does that, however.

Since learning non-linear editing so long ago I was pretty much locked into having footage match timeline; there wasn't a choice in the early versions -- as to muck with frame rates made NTSC footage look ridiculous.  I guess it's just a"rule" I stuck to.

At any rate, how I capture footage is something that doesn't cost me anything, whereas building a beast-mode PC to handle 4K editing natively is not something I'm keen on spending my money on.

However you go, good luck.

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Wtf, "everyone" shoots 60p and drops it into 23.976 timeline for slomo and it works fine... I do it all the time, and I'm pretty sure everyone else does too... 

Im using 1 ssd for os and programs, 1 nvme for scratch, and 2 more nvme for source footage.

When I built this machine (original threadripper, 64gb ram) I thought it would be smooth sailing for editing. I used the good stuff too. Nope. 4k thumbnails still take time to load and playback is not always smooth in resolve.  I don't know where the bottle neck is but IMO if nothing has changed, the premium for nvme is not worth it over ssd.  The only thing good about nvme is the number of drives I can have.  I have 8 drives currently mounted. 3 ssd, 3 nvme, 2 HDD.

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59 minutes ago, scotchtape said:

Wtf, "everyone" shoots 60p and drops it into 23.976 timeline for slomo and it works fine... I do it all the time, and I'm pretty sure everyone else does too... 

Im using 1 ssd for os and programs, 1 nvme for scratch, and 2 more nvme for source footage.

When I built this machine (original threadripper, 64gb ram) I thought it would be smooth sailing for editing. I used the good stuff too. Nope. 4k thumbnails still take time to load and playback is not always smooth in resolve.  I don't know where the bottle neck is but IMO if nothing has changed, the premium for nvme is not worth it over ssd.  The only thing good about nvme is the number of drives I can have.  I have 8 drives currently mounted. 3 ssd, 3 nvme, 2 HDD.

Interesting. What ram speed and what GPU are you using? 

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1 hour ago, scotchtape said:

Wtf, "everyone" shoots 60p and drops it into 23.976 timeline for slomo and it works fine... I do it all the time, and I'm pretty sure everyone else does too...

+1 for 60P dropped in at 23.98 timeline.

Other than that, it's true that you should ideally have 3 disks (1 for OS/app, 1 for editing files, 1 for app cache file). It's easy to do with the price of SSD these days. SATA SSD are more than enough for file storage when latency is not an issue.

In any case I always work with proxies and my relative old computer still works fine. Generating proxy is such a game changers and it makes the entire process much more efficient even with the initial encoding phase. Unless you need a monster editing machine for time sensitive projects, using proxy is the solution.
 

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2 hours ago, scotchtape said:

Wtf, "everyone" shoots 60p and drops it into 23.976 timeline for slomo and it works fine.

Well, FWIW, I don't like to drop 60p into a 24fps timeline because, like the OP said, if you switch on "interpret footage" to make a clip slow-mo, Premiere mucks up the proxy in/out point, and proxies are my workflow.  So, not everybody.

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On 2/12/2020 at 9:13 AM, fuzzynormal said:

Using proxies is something all editing systems do, but (believe it or not) Premier handles the process more robustly than others.  Resolve, looking at you.

+1 for proxies, which cut like butter on almost any hardware.

Yeah, Resolve really could do with looking at their proxy setup.  I have to use a manual online/offline setup that is cumbersome and complicated because their integrated proxy engine doesn't include sound in the proxy files, so if you have many tracks or if you have a slower hdd with the source footage then sometimes the playback jumps as it waits to go load the sound from all the clips.  Also, which is what annoys me, if you disconnect from the source files then you get no audio at all.

I used to hear that people would have issues with their proxies getting all messed up and there being no way to fix them apart from deleting them and rendering them again, but I don't hear that much any more.  

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