Friday, June 15, 2012

Odd eSATA Issue

Lacie's eSATA Hub
A client of mine is having an odd problem. He's using a 4TB G-RAID as an edit drive and we're connecting it to his iMac via eSATA using Lacie's eSATA Hub.  The hub converts the eSATA to Thunderbolt. We have a faster 4-drive eSATA RAID (from OWC) connected to the other eSATA port on this hub.  The OWC eSATA enclosure has had zero issues, but we're having problems with the G-RAID. 

If the computer and drives are off, and then we power on the drive, then the computer, the G-RAID mounts on the desktop each time without issue. But, if the computer is already on and we try to connect a SATA cable and turn the drive on, the G-RAID will not mount. So something, either in the G-RAID's controller board or something inside of the Lacie hub is preventing hot swapping.  (PS - hot swapping is having the computer turned on, plugging in a drive and powering it on. It should mount to the desktop.)

I began to do some digging to see if I could find any similar issues on the net. I did run across a few folks reporting issues with SATA connectivity using 4th generation G-RAIDS.  It just so happens my client's problematic drive is a 4th Generation G-RAID.  In a few of the cases the remedy was to update the drives for the SATA card. Unfortunately in our case, the Lacie is a driverless piece of hardware, so no update is available.

My client has one other 4th Gen G-RAID and it has the same problem.  We also tested with older G-Drives, also from G-Tech, and they hot-swap just fine.  We also have an
OWC Mercury Elite Pro and it has no problems hot swapping.  So it seems to be limited to 4th Gen G-RAIDs.

Thankfully we can at least get the G-RAID to work when we start everything up from power off.  However, there are times when hot swapping will come in handy, so I'm hoping a remedy is found soon.  

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Stu on CS6

There's always been a fairly noticeable difference between the way Premiere Pro performs on a system with a CUDA video card vs. Open CL thanks to the hardware acceleration CUDA owners receive over the basic software-only Open-CL gets.  Even with the recent additions of the Macbook Pro GPUs to the hardware acceleration, the balance of power is still very much in the direction of Nvidia and CUDA.  But the difference in performance between CUDA and Open CL with the ray tracing feature in After Effects is night and day different.  Hours vs. days in terms of render time!

Stu over at Prolost has a great write-up about this and really, in a sense, lets Adobe have it over this disparity.  As always, its a great post and the comments are just as interesting as well.  Please check it out.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hack your iMac!

Kanen Flowers found a way to beat Adobe to the punch by "hacking" Premiere Pro's OpenCL approved card list and adding the GPUs found in the latest (at least until June) iMacs.  So far Adobe has only allowed two GPUs found in the Macbook Pros to enjoy the wonders of hardware acceleration, but Flowers discovered simply adding the GPU model names of the ones found in the iMac to the list turned on hardware acceleration for iMac users.

I've actually tried the hack and found some glitches, especially with audio playback which caused crashes. While scrubbing the timeline, the audio would suddenly turn "cylony" and then the system would lock up and a kernel panic would ensue.  Since I reinstalled CS6 and never reengaged the hack, I haven't had those specific audio issues reoccur. Was it the hack or maybe just a funky install?  Who knows, but if you feel adventurous, give it a try.

Head over to Scruffy Thinking to find out more.

Bug Fixes for Premiere Pro CS6

Adobe has just updated Premiere Pro (along with After Effects) with a number of bug fixes and some added features.  I'm most interested in the OpenCL improvements they promise for the Macbook Pros (Thunderbolt models).  Adobe has yet to add the GPUs found in the latest iMacs to the OpenCL Mercury Playback Engine, but hopefully soon.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

No Underlining in After Effects?

Where's the Underline Button?
I'm late to the party on this one, but apparently you cannot underline text created in After Effects.  It's funny, but it's little things like this that really irritate me more than crashing apps.  Adobe has listed some workarounds but there not nearly as simple as a FREAKING UNDERLINE button!

You can find other ways to underline here.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

CS6 Blues Part 3 - Missing Audio Filters

The filter you are wanting to use has exited the building.

So far my experience with Premiere Pro CS6 has been less than stellar with frequent crashes, including the absolutely worse kind - the dreaded kernel panic. One of the crashes I have experienced is dealing with audio.  I have a project that has some noticeable room tone present in the interview bites. My producer wanted me to remove the noise if possible, so I wanted to give Audition a try at it. When I attempted to send to Audition using the command from within the NLE, Premiere Pro crashed.  It did it on the two occasions I tried it, and I didn't feel like trying a third time.

As an alternative, I found the DeNoiser audio filter within Premiere Pro and gave it a try. The results were great.  But some time later, while scrubbing the timeline, Premiere Pro caused a kernel panic.  It was as if Adobe was hellbent on preventing me from removing noise from my audio!  Upon restarting the project, I received an error message that the filter was missing!  I never realized a plugin could just go offline without willfully deleting it. The filter is still present and available to use, but once I apply it to clips in this project, the error occurs.  Deleting the filter from the clips allows me to continue editing.

Searching the Adobe forums revealed my issue and the circumstances that can lead to such an error.  It turns out that if you imported from a Final Cut Pro XML file, which I did, this problem can occur.  Apparently if you recreate the project from scratch within Premiere Pro, the error will not occur.   So there appears to be an issue with the way Premiere Pro is interpreting the audio from within the Final Cut Pro XML file.

Ultimately this is going to be a problem for me because two of my main editing clients are producers who do their own rough cuts in Final Cut Pro.  So if I want to edit these projects in Premiere, I have to go the XML route.  Being able to send to Audition, or use the what-seems-to-be wonderful Denoiser filter, are features of Premiere Pro I'd like to have at my disposal.   I'll be keeping an eye on this forum thread to see if Adobe can offer a remedy.

For a workaround, I exported the audio I needed to be cleaned as an AIFF file and opened up in Audition.  I ran the noise remover, saved and imported the AIFF back in to the project and synced it to my timeline. I would prefer to send it to Audition and "round trip it" back in to Premiere Pro, but I can at least do it this way for the time being.

The thread to keep an eye on his here.

Where's My Stuff? - CS6 Blues Part 2

I'm knocking out the simplest, less frustrating issues first.  And this one has been fixed! When you download your apps from Creative Cloud, you will notice that the extra content, stuff I rarely use but stuff I want to be there because I'm paying for it, is missing from Encore and Premiere Pro.  A week after Creative Cloud was released, Adobe has finally provided links to download this material.

You can get yo grabby hands on it here.

Friday, May 18, 2012

CS6 Blues - Part 1

Okay, so nothing's been happening here for a while but I'm finally motivated to post again.  I have been trying out Adobe's CS6 suite of software and running in to a number of problems.  I'm going to try and document these issues over the next week or so.

Here's my first issue - Adobe Creative Cloud offers 20 gigs of cloud storage.  I've uploaded a file I edited that contains Dewolfe Music.  My client has a subscription to this service.  It's completely legit for us to use it.  But for whatever reason, Creative Cloud flags the file as containing copyrighted material.  But, unlike YouTube which usually allows your video to continue to be used with the usual link provided to purchase copyrighted music, Creative Cloud instead simply allows you to do NOTHING with your file.  You cannot play it back nor share it.  As it stands I cannot share my video work I've created with Adobe's software!

But searching through Adobe's forums reveas a very sweet thing when you're having issues - others who have the exact same problem!  Unfortunately no remedy as of yet and perhaps its as simple as Adobe not flipping the switch to turn on video sharing.  People have run in to this problem with absolutely no music used in their pieces, so I'm hoping we'll see this feature turned on in a few days.  However, the first post was from days ago with no response from Adobe, so that's slightly disconcerting.

Here's the link: Adobe Creative Cloud Forum

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Another New AVCHD-based Camera

Sony has released the new NEX FS 100, an AVCHD camera that seems to be aiming its sites on Panasonic's AF100 with its large sensor (S35), ability to interchange lenses, real video controls on camera like iris, gain and volume control as well as XLR audio inputs.  There is already some varying opinion on how good or mediocre this camera might be.

Here is a clip from FSTOP Academy with their positive review:

And on the more negative size is this rather in-depth look from DVuser. This reviewer was definitely not blown away by the camera's feel, build, etc.  But he does compliment the quality of the video.

The FS 100 features its LCD screen on top of the camera body which is a bit unusual, but depending on how you use it/shoot with it, it might be placed in the right spot.  I'm used to the side LCD screen, so it might take some getting use to.  And like the AF100, the FS100 only has 8-bit 4:2:2 out of the camera via HDMI.  This at least allows you to bypass the AVCHD processing in-camera, but many will be yearning for 10-bit out.  The FS100 also allows you to screw-on a hand grip with a built-in mic as well as a eyepiece viewfinder to make the camera have a more traditional video camera feel and form factor.

Here's more information from the ProVideo Coalition. 

So here's another contender in the battle for "combine the DOF abilities of a DSLR but with the ergonomics and controls of a real video camera".  It will be interesting to play with one of these at NAB.