Resolve Timeline 4k Performance

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Al Spaeth

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Resolve Timeline 4k Performance

PostSat Apr 01, 2017 9:44 am

I gather many users are finding 4k a challenge with compressed camera codecs.
I'm considering a PC upgrade for my move to 4k.

I have been following Dave Dugdale who has made the switch from Adobe Premiere Pro to Resolve and has published a series of very informative videos for us "technically challenged" users here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpPnsOUPkWcukhWUVcTJvnA

"Why I Switched From Premiere Pro to Resolve for Editing and Color"


His latest video is an in depth look a Resolve vs P/Pro cc 4k timeline performance comparison

You will see he has upgraded his PC to what I consider a fairly potent desktop.
Adobe seems to currently have a performance advantage.

Desktop editing from DV days to HD was fairly painless as hardware followed Moore's law. Now with 4k and beyond, AVC and HEVC compression is testing the desktop limits for NLE software using long GOP codecs so I was introduced to the world of intermediate codecs like Cineform, GV HQX, and now Dnx. I do understand why they ease the timeline workload but it seems cumbersome having to decode files to low res proxies or much larger (10x) high res edit friendly codecs just to get realtime edit playback. As codecs appear to be mathematical I've often thought a GPU optimized might help as editing is still cpu bound and only effects have been gpu optimized.
I have no idea what a studio workflow must look like using pro cameras with RAW or low compression formats requiring huge storage and high transfer speeds. A 30 min 4k/UHD documentary for broadcast must be quite a challenge - then there's backup!

For those of us who can't afford such professional equipment or a $10-20K workstation the best explanation I have seen of why compressed camera codecs are challenging our desktop PCs is from Juan Salvo:

"Long GOP formats, or really any interframe codec, can be immensely taxing. In order to show frame 14 (lets say) the computer has to process out frames 1-13. That mean 14x the processing is required vs an intraframe codec (like prores or dnxhr) which only has to draw the required frame. In the case of say HD image with reasonably powerful gear, this can happen in a fairly effortless way. But for UHD images, that’s 4*14 the processing required for the equivalent HD frame in a intraframe codec. Or up to 56X the processing required. Additionally, AVC based codecs even on I frames (intact frames where the frame doesn’t depend on previous frames) are still more computationally taxing than the same raster in ProRes or DNxHR."

So the move to 4k from HD is four time the amount of data per frame - the compressed camera formats can need 56X more processing power to decode on the timeline!!

Juan also mentions BM are working on the problem.
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Al Spaeth

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Re: Resolve Timeline 4k Performance

PostSat Apr 01, 2017 9:58 am

Cameras use hardware compression and I wonder if NLE software might be able to use the hardware decompression in latest Intel CPUs to accelerate AVC/HEVC decoding on the timeline.
Magix, who now own Vegas, are claiming 360 4K 10 bit HEVC editing on a Kaby Lake CPU.
Here is a video from Intel:
"How Magix Made 4K 360 Video Editing Swift and Easy"


Here is more on the graphics hardware encode/decode capabilities.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/10959/intel-launches-7th-generation-kaby-lake-i7-7700k-i5-7600k-i3-7350k/6
Final render software encoding will be better quality than hardware but render speed is less important to most of us than smooth timeline editing.

In terms of performance here is an interesting Ryzen vs Intel benchmark for PremPro cc.
https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Premiere-Pro-CC-2017-AMD-Ryzen-7-1700X-1800X-Performance-909/

It would be interesting to see similar results with Resolve.

Al
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Resolve Timeline 4k Performance

PostSat Apr 01, 2017 11:13 am

Your quoted h264 decoding case is not very accurate (56x number makes no sense), but regardless of this, BM can do many things, you just have to be patient until their improve their code.

Look at this for example:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=57891

this is one of the cool ways of editing 4K streams on low spec machine.
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Al Spaeth

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Re: Resolve Timeline 4k Performance

PostSat Apr 01, 2017 12:21 pm

Hi Andrew
Re Cineform
I don't understand the different implementations between Adobe and BM.
Suggest you contact Jake Segraves, Technical Support Manager, CineForm | GoPro support@cineform.com
Jake is extremely helpful and I know he was responsible for the Adobe implementation and I think he may have been involved in Resolve as well.
What was your "low spec" machine in the post??

h.264 decoding was a quote (Juan is also a forum member) - not my maths - what figure did you calculate as an estimate of increased cpu workload??
http://liftgammagain.com/forum/index.php?threads/gtx-1080-ti-did-not-solve-my-playback-lag-problem-in-resolve.8587/
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Resolve Timeline 4k Performance

PostSat Apr 01, 2017 1:35 pm

Al Spaeth wrote:For those of us who can't afford such professional equipment or a $10-20K workstation the best explanation I have seen of why compressed camera codecs are challenging our desktop PCs is from Juan Salvo:

"Long GOP formats, or really any interframe codec, can be immensely taxing. In order to show frame 14 (lets say) the computer has to process out frames 1-13. That mean 14x the processing is required vs an intraframe codec (like prores or dnxhr) which only has to draw the required frame. In the case of say HD image with reasonably powerful gear, this can happen in a fairly effortless way. But for UHD images, that’s 4*14 the processing required for the equivalent HD frame in a intraframe codec. Or up to 56X the processing required. Additionally, AVC based codecs even on I frames (intact frames where the frame doesn’t depend on previous frames) are still more computationally taxing than the same raster in ProRes or DNxHR."


More precise answer is: in some cases it may have to decode all preceding frames, so quite many if GOP is long, but for typical streams from cameras it's not the case. They use fixed GOP structure (without pyramid B frames and other advanced h264 features), so in this case you need to decode only I frame+ preceding P frames in worse case scenario, when you jump to B frame. For 30 frames GOP it will be 11 frames, or anything below this. For P frame it will be only I frame, so it's varies a lot, depending where you put your cursor.
This also explains why sometimes people who use x264 without specific parameters have problems. x264 by default uses very long GOPs (250 frames) with all h264 advanced features, so this is very seeking unfriendly. If you plan to use x264 for transcoding and later use this stream for editing you have to take control over parameters, not just run default setting in ffmpeg or Handbrake (which is 95% cases). You can actually make it "very" seeking friendly.
Last edited by Andrew Kolakowski on Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Resolve Timeline 4k Performance

PostSat Apr 01, 2017 1:58 pm

Al Spaeth wrote:Hi Andrew
Re Cineform
I don't understand the different implementations between Adobe and BM.
Suggest you contact Jake Segraves, Technical Support Manager, CineForm | GoPro support@cineform.com
Jake is extremely helpful and I know he was responsible for the Adobe implementation and I think he may have been involved in Resolve as well.
What was your "low spec" machine in the post??

h.264 decoding was a quote (Juan is also a forum member) - not my maths - what figure did you calculate as an estimate of increased cpu workload??
http://liftgammagain.com/forum/index.php?threads/gtx-1080-ti-did-not-solve-my-playback-lag-problem-in-resolve.8587/


You need to know key difference between Cineform and most other codecs.
Cineform is wavelet based, which is very different approach when it comes to compression compared to DCT based codecs (ProRes, DNxHD, MPEG2, h264,...).
You can read about it, but key point is that wavelet based codecs can be decoded at lower resolutions (very easily) and this lower resolution decoding happens at very core of the codec and most important massively reduces needed decoding power. For DCT based codecs it's not that easy to write such a decoder, so almost no one does it (I think Apple done for FCP and ProRes).
Answering your question: when you choose 1/4 resolution in Adobe preview it means not only effects and all processing (after decoding source file) is done at 1/4 resolution but also actual Cineform decoding.
When you now look at ProRes, regardless of your preview resolution setting it's always decoded at full resolution, which makes huge difference (my machine is no near fast enough for this).
Resolve does not have such a ability at all, even for Cineform. This is very similar like dropping debayering resolution, which also can save a lot of resources.
If we could for Cineform RAW drop decoding resolution and debayering to 1/4 this would mean that 4K streams are not a problem anymore :) This should be also possible for RED as it's JPEG2000 based which also uses wavelet technology.

My test was done on i5 dual core laptop!
3x4.6K 4:4:4 Cineform streams which I could edit without a problem (even as multicam). Quite impressive!
No need for any proxies, optimised media, smart cache etc. This is more important for editing, but grading could also benefit. Once done you export which is done at full resolution.

I know David who wrote Cineform codec.
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Al Spaeth

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Re: Resolve Timeline 4k Performance

PostSat Apr 01, 2017 5:36 pm

Thanks Andrew
Seems nothing is as simple as it might appear - like h.264 and Cineform.
I'm slowly learning more about the complex world of codecs so thanks for those informative comments.

I mis-understood the level of implementation as my intro to Cineform with Jake's assistance was my first attempt at trying an intermediate codec some time ago. Some NLEs (not Resolve) that support VFW will edit and play Cineform AVI files in the timeline better than h.264 camera files as long as the codec is installed - even though they have no Cineform support. Then my challenge was finding a way to convert my MTS files to Cineform which free GP Studio can't do. Jake suggested I try Resolve as a free converter and that's all I used it for until 12.5. I also tried the free GV HQX codec which also worked. I actually found the fastest codec (on my 4 core i5 ;) ) was Magic YUV for 4k realtime editing - but it doesn't work in Resolve.
Oddly enough if I render my UHD clips out to Cineform in Resolve and re-import back in to my media, the Cineform clip plays smoother for the Cineform clip than the Optimized Media playback using DNxHR HQ quarter resolution.

I digress (might be old age) Dave acknowledges that Optimized Media works on his system but is comparing timeline performance of his original camera files to Premiere.

Your i5 laptop video is amazing. I assume you have put your suggestions to BM support - any response?
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Resolve Timeline 4k Performance

PostSat Apr 01, 2017 5:41 pm

I didn't- they read forum. They have enough ideas, but not enough time and resources to implement them :)
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Resolve Timeline 4k Performance

PostSat Apr 01, 2017 5:54 pm

Al Spaeth wrote:I mis-understood the level of implementation as my intro to Cineform with Jake's assistance was my first attempt at trying an intermediate codec some time ago. Some NLEs (not Resolve) that support VFW will edit and play Cineform AVI files in the timeline better than h.264 camera files as long as the codec is installed - even though they have no Cineform support.


Overall you want to avoid vfw, diretchsow, QT engine route for supporting codec as they are not very reliable. You want direct low level integration (like Premiere or Resolve) using codecs API/SDK. This way you have full control, can optimise paths and make sure things work as they should.

If you want to convert typical (up to 4:2:2 10bit ) format to Cineform you can use VirtualDub FilterMod+ Cineofrm vfw codec installed. You just have to make sure you have pixel format set to v210 in Vdub settings to preserve 10bit path. It uses ffmpg based importer, so it supports many formats, including things like 10bit h264 4:2:2 MP4s.

Other way is AME which works quite well for Cineform conversions.
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Al Spaeth

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Re: Resolve Timeline 4k Performance

PostSat Apr 01, 2017 10:55 pm

Thanks Andrew,

Sounds like BM should speak to Jake about Adobe implementation. I know they are working on performance but if the Adobe implementation (API/SDK?) can enable Resolve editing on an i5 laptop surely that's the way to go???

If I understand you correctly, I should convert my h.264 camera files to Cineform before edit. Unfortunately, Cineform is not one of the Optimized Media options.
AME is obviously the best option but pricey for me.

Thanks for Vdub Filter Mod info.
Can it batch convert to Cineform?
Is the Cineform codec version that downloads with GoPro Studio OK?
What pixel format should I use if my source is only 8 bit??
Is there any way to produce the Cineform 1/4 resolution as per your example for reduced timeline decoding power? How will it effect render output quality?

In terms of Resolve performance and your h.264 quality info in another thread you may have saved me a small fortune in my next 4k desktop upgrade with a Cineform input/output workflow using a consumer i7-7700k and improve my h.264 output quality using Handbrake - if I understand it all correctly???
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Resolve Timeline 4k Performance

PostSat Apr 01, 2017 11:21 pm

Resolve already has low level Cineform integration. It just needs update regarding what is supported (as Cineform is more "free" now, e.g. 444 mode on Mac). Things like low resolution decoding is also fairly easy to do, as this is provided by Cineform decoder- you just need to link Resolve resolution switch with CF decoder switch. This should be fairly easy to do for BM. Adding some special support for Cineform RAW, where it would be detected and treated as any other RAW format (with debayer settings etc) would be cool.


Can it batch convert to Cineform? Yes, just google how to batch in Vdub.
Is the Cineform codec version that downloads with GoPro Studio OK? Yes
What pixel format should I use if my source is only 8 bit?? YUY2 for anything 8bit and v210 for 10bit.
Is there any way to produce the Cineform 1/4 resolution as per your example for reduced timeline decoding power? How will it effect render output quality? When you re-size your file during conversion then this is permanent loss. This is not the way how wavelet lower resolution decoding works. In this case source files are always full resolution and you just (in simple words) choose at what resolution you want to decode it- 1/2, 1/4, 1/8....This is like having many different resolution files in 1 and just picking one based on your need. On PC you can for example choose eg. 1/4 resolution in CF decoder and then when you play file in WMP or MPC-HC it will be decoded at 1/4th resolution reducing decoding needs. This is wavelet codec beauty! In Resolve this can be done only by BM update.
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Al Spaeth

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Re: Resolve Timeline 4k Performance

PostSat Apr 01, 2017 11:38 pm

Got it - thanks Andrew :)
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Al Spaeth

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Re: Resolve Timeline 4k Performance

PostThu Apr 20, 2017 9:44 am

Just an update on timeline AVC/HEVC hardware decoding for edit using Intel GPUs.
Edius 8 seems to have made some progress here:

EDIUS.NET Podcast - Intel Quick Sync support


"EDIUS 8.5 is coming very soon and will bring among other thing H.265 decoding and higher H.264 encoding quality - also with Quick Sync. Just a few days left before NAB-Show opens on Monday. We will report directly from Las Vegas"

Video was unfortunately done on a Gen 4 cpu but the latest Gen 7 Kaby Lake has even more potential.
""Intel claims that Kaby Lake-U/Y can handle up to eight 4Kp30 AVC and HEVC decodes simultaneously. HEVC decode support is rated at 4Kp60 up to 120 Mbps"
""The major feature change in the Kaby Lake-U/Y media engine is the availability of full hardware acceleration for encode and decode of 4K HEVC Main10 profile videos. This is in contrast to Skylake, which can support HEVC Main10 decode up to 4Kp30, but does so using a “hybrid” process that spreads out the workload over the CPU, the GPU’s media processors, and the GPU’s shader cores. As a result, not only can Kaby Lake process more HEVC profiles in fixed function hardware than before, but it can do so at a fraction of the power and with much better throughput."

I accept that software encoding will probably always produce better quality rendering - but for those of us editing 4k AVC and soon HEVC is it really necessary to transcode to much larger file sizes using Optimized Media just to get a smooth timeline with a high quality preview image if hardware decoding can do it realtime?

I think this approach has merit - will be interesting to see the response at NAB.
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Al Spaeth

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Re: Resolve Timeline 4k Performance

PostFri Apr 21, 2017 9:48 pm

4k Desktop under $1000 ??
$998 AMD RYZEN 4K video editing BEAST! Premiere & Resolve
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John Paines

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Re: Resolve Timeline 4k Performance

PostFri Apr 21, 2017 10:03 pm

You can't conclude much from that video, since he didn't test timeline responsiveness. Being able to play 4K material without dropped frames won't help you if clip access and editing is unacceptably slow.
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Al Spaeth

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Re: Resolve Timeline 4k Performance

PostSat Apr 22, 2017 5:38 am

John Paines wrote:You can't conclude much from that video, since he didn't test timeline responsiveness. Being able to play 4K material without dropped frames won't help you if clip access and editing is unacceptably slow.


Agreed John - It's the first info I've see on Resolve with Ryzen. Lots of unanswered questions but it might be worth further testing.
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