Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

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Pixelslayer

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Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostSun Nov 28, 2021 8:28 am

I have some digital footage (1200p, h.264, 15Mbps, ~45 minutes long, 5GB) that I'm having a great deal of trouble scrubbing through. Regular video players seem to have no issues playing the footage. However when I try to move the playhead to a new section of video in Resolve (or to be fair, kdenlive or pitivi as well) the editor grinds to a halt for about 2 minutes while it does ... something. I see a tremendous amount of CPU activity in Activity Monitor for those couple of minutes, and then I can play the footage normally.

If I then try to move the playhead, the scenario replays itself...over and over again. I've tried both on an old Mac Pro 2010 with 48GB of RAM, an M1 MacBook Air with 16GB of RAM, and tried some open source editors on a dual Xeon Linux workstation with 60GB of RAM. Same result in all three places. Why is this footage cursed?
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Uli Plank

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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostSun Nov 28, 2021 12:42 pm

What's the source? That footage might be VFR.
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Pixelslayer

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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostSun Nov 28, 2021 1:37 pm

The source of the video clip is OBS Studio. It was recorded with the "Apple Hardware Encoder" as per the OBS "Recording" tab. Now that I think about it, I usually use Quicktime to record this kind of footage rather than OBS, but I knew I was going to make a fairly lengthy video and wanted to avoid the usually large QT file sizes.
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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostSun Nov 28, 2021 3:01 pm

If you want to avoid problems when editing, use an external recorder. I've never seen trouble-free computer recordings, at least not longer ones.
I had no difficulties working with footage out of a regular camera with a Mac mini M1.
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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostSun Nov 28, 2021 3:25 pm

It's probably just very long GOP due to static on screen content. Transcode to ProRes or something for editing.

The comment about OBS / recording is non sense. As with everything, you just need to know what you are doing. OBS records straight to ProRes just fine if you want that.

In no way do you need to polute the planet further by using an external capture device. Just learn how things work.
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Pixelslayer

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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostSun Nov 28, 2021 5:14 pm

peterjackson wrote:It's probably just very long GOP due to static on screen content. Transcode to ProRes or something for editing.

The comment about OBS / recording is non sense. As with everything, you just need to know what you are doing. OBS records straight to ProRes just fine if you want that.

In no way do you need to polute the planet further by using an external capture device. Just learn how things work.

I did get this to work, but by skipping both OBS and the capture device. Quicktime recorded the footage I needed (shift-cmd-5) and I was able to scrub through it without issues. Looking at the capture properties I notice three differences: it is in a .mov container (original footage was in .mp4), the frame rate is twice as high (56 fps vs 30 fps) and the data rate is also nearly double (26Mbps vs 15 Mbps.) Both are recorded with h.264.

Would any of these differences account for the ease of editing the new footage? And excuse my ignorance (for I am an amateur) but I have no idea what GOP is. I'd also point out that I have limited SSD storage so large transcodes can present a problem for me.
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostMon Nov 29, 2021 1:57 am

H.264 and other highly-compressed codecs are intended as DELIVERY formats, not necessarily to be used for editing and final color. Using H.264 puts a lot of stress on the computer, since it has to de-compress the images and play them back at speed, in addition to applying all the processes Resolve requires. My advice is to transcode all the H.264 material to a simpler Proxy codec for your system, something visually-lossless like DNxHR SQ or ProRes 422HQ, and use that instead. You'll get much better performance that way.

The alternative is to use Optimized Media, which basically transcodes it all in the background. My preference is to do it manually, because then I can control where the files go and how they're named. Proxy Media can also work very effectively (and is preferred in some ways).
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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostMon Nov 29, 2021 2:04 am

@Eric
GOP means Group Of Pictures and is a very efficient, but also very complex method of compressing video. The main examples these days are H.264 and H.265, but both come in very different flavours. Some might be easier on your machine, others more demanding. ProRes, OTOH, like DNxHD/HR is a non-GOP format and easier.
You don't need a huge internal SSD, which are fast but also very pricey from Apple. The USB-C port is plenty fast enough for most video formats and external SSDs are far cheaper.
BTW, the container (mp4 vs. mov) shouldn't matter.

@Peter
OBS can record nice constant frame rate footage if there is enough computing power left for it. But when the other programs running to be recorded, games in particular, are generating too much load, it'll record VFR. That means trouble in DR.
I'd be fine with ProRes, but where do you get that in OBS? I can only see x264. Or is that PC only?
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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostMon Nov 29, 2021 6:57 am

Uli Plank wrote:I'd be fine with ProRes, but where do you get that in OBS? I can only see x264. Or is that PC only?
Not PC only. You need to switch to Custom / ffmpeg output. I do that to record to DNxHR - which I chose over ProRes because ffmpeg's ProRes is reverse engineered so might theoretically not be exactly the same as the real codec. (Probably doesn't make any noticeable difference though.)

Image

Another option on macOS is iShowU Instant Advanced. It has native ProRes recording (422 or 4444), and also options for recording and displaying keystrokes and mouse clicks. Given it has native ProRes, I guess on M1 the ProRes would be HW accelerated (can't test that myself of course.)

Image

It's quite cheap ($39), and could be a good option for someone who wants quick and easy screen recordings to a high quality codec, without having to change advanced OBS settings. Especially if you want easy mouse/keyboard annotations.
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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostTue Nov 30, 2021 3:08 am

Thanks for all the information and tips! I'm still unsure why that particular piece of footage was so difficult to edit, but found one clue in OBS. This looks nothing like the OBS screens that I've seen in this thread.

Image 11-29-21 at 9.00 PM.jpeg
Image 11-29-21 at 9.00 PM.jpeg (130.24 KiB) Viewed 633 times


This is on a "Frankenmac", an old Mac Pro 2010 running Monterey with the help of some Hackintosh tools (OpenCore.) This also includes the option to enable hardware encoding with my video card (Radeon Vega 56.) Perhaps the hardware encoding is too efficient, so much so that efficient decoding while scrubbing is impossible? It did allow the game to run quite well despite simultaneously recording it on old hardware.

Perhaps I should continue to record with these settings, and then transcode to ProRes or another format? But the transcoding would add an extra step and a lot of thumb twiddling to my workflow.

At any rate, QT recording is effective if a bit of a space hog. I can continue to use that if nothing else pans out.
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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostTue Nov 30, 2021 4:36 am

Pixelslayer wrote:Thanks for all the information and tips! I'm still unsure why that particular piece of footage was so difficult to edit, but found one clue in OBS. This looks nothing like the OBS screens that I've seen in this thread.

OBS is giving you H.264 files, which -- as I said above -- are bad for post. Go look at the files on the media page and read the codec. Almost guaranteed, it's H.264 or an H.265 variant.

A lot of capture programs can only capture H.264, because it's a cheap, open source format that doesn't require any royalties and is relatively easy to create code for it. ProRes and DNxHD all have to be licensed, and it's a lot more trouble.
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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostTue Nov 30, 2021 5:07 am

iShowU seems to be a very good suggestion. I also couldn't find any setting to ProRes in OBS on the Mac, it looks like yours. As Marc wrote, it's H.264 or H.265.

But iShowU can record to ProRes. I didn't bother to try 4444, but ProRes 422 shows every little extra load on my M1 Pro, so it seems to use the hardware encoder. At first view I was disappointed to find out it records VFR, but there is an option in the program called "Fix frame durations after recording". It will take some space and time, but it's fully automated. The result is CFR and working just fine in DR.
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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostTue Nov 30, 2021 6:53 am

OBS:
- Settings -> Output
- Output Mode = Advanced
- Recording -> Type -> change from Standard to "Custom Output (FFMPEG)"

Image

Then it will look like my earlier screenshot.

You will need to manually configure it though, eg for ProRes you'd need Video Encoder = "prores_ks" and Encoder Settings = "profile=3 pix_fmt=yuv422p10le". Profile 3 is ProRes 422 HQ; profile is 0 (Proxy) to 5 (4444XQ).

Image

When I just tested ProRes in OBS it did work, however it used 100% of all CPU cores and OBS gave its "Overloaded" warning. If you want advanced OBS recording I would recommend sticking with DNxHR as per my earlier screenshot, because I know that works well.

By comparison, here's me using OBS to record UHD 60 FPS with 24bit PCM, in ProRes 422HQ:
Image

And in DNxHR HQ:
Image

Very manageable resource usage with DNxHR. I don't know why ProRes canes the system so hard.

Here's the DNxHR output file from OBS - confirmed as CFR 60FPS:
Code: Select all
General
Complete name                            : OBS.macOS.2021-11-30_08-25-58.mov
Format                                   : MPEG-4
Commercial name                          : DNxHR HQ
Format profile                           : QuickTime
Codec ID                                 : qt   0000.02 (qt  )
File size                                : 9.76 GiB
Duration                                 : 47 s 915 ms
Overall bit rate mode                    : Constant
Overall bit rate                         : 1 750 Mb/s
Writing application                      : Lavf58.29.100

Video
ID                                       : 1
Format                                   : VC-3
Commercial name                          : DNxHR HQ
Format version                           : Version 3
Format profile                           : RI@HQ
Codec ID                                 : AVdh
Codec ID/Info                            : Avid DNxHR
Duration                                 : 47 s 884 ms
Bit rate mode                            : Constant
Bit rate                                 : 1 748 Mb/s
Width                                    : 3 840 pixels
Height                                   : 2 160 pixels
Display aspect ratio                     : 16:9
Frame rate mode                          : Constant
Frame rate                               : 60.000 FPS
Color space                              : YUV
Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:2
Bit depth                                : 8 bits
Scan type                                : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 3.512
Stream size                              : 9.75 GiB (100%)

Audio
ID                                       : 2
Format                                   : PCM
Format settings                          : Little / Signed
Codec ID                                 : in24
Duration                                 : 47 s 915 ms
Bit rate mode                            : Constant
Bit rate                                 : 2 304 kb/s
Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
Channel layout                           : L R
Sampling rate                            : 48.0 kHz
Bit depth                                : 24 bits
Stream size                              : 13.2 MiB (0%)
Default                                  : Yes
Alternate group                          : 1


Or yes, another decent option on macOS is to buy iShowU Instant Advanced and get native ProRes 422 and 4444 encoding, which will be 'true' ProRes.

Shame iShowU is VFR, I hadn't noticed that (when I was using it I was recording at 60 FPS and putting it on a 30 FPS timeline in Resolve, so I guess that was automatically taking care of that for me). But yeah the auto reencode is fine I guess. I wonder why they do VFR - it surely can't be because the hardware can't keep up, because as you say it's using hardly any resources.
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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostTue Nov 30, 2021 9:04 am

Ah, regarding OBS and ProRes, I found that if you use ffmpeg's "prores" encoder, instead of "prores_ks", CPU usage is more reasonable. Still 3x higher than DNxHR though:

Image

That's with these settings:
Image

The reason I first chose prores_ks is that the ffmpeg Wiki says it gives the highest quality output (remember that the ffmpeg ProRes encoders are reverse-engineered, they don't use the original Apple code). I've never tested the differences in IQ personally.

So if you want to record ProRes 422HQ with OBS, it seems you'll need to ignore the advice to use _ks and use the default encoder instead. Example output file:
Code: Select all
General
Complete name                            : OBS.macOS.2021-11-30_08-54-11.mov
Format                                   : MPEG-4
Format profile                           : QuickTime
Codec ID                                 : qt   0000.02 (qt  )
File size                                : 5.06 GiB
Duration                                 : 46 s 379 ms
Overall bit rate mode                    : Constant
Overall bit rate                         : 937 Mb/s
Writing application                      : Lavf58.29.100

Video
ID                                       : 1
Format                                   : ProRes
Format version                           : Version 0
Format profile                           : 422 HQ
Codec ID                                 : apch
Duration                                 : 46 s 67 ms
Bit rate mode                            : Constant
Bit rate                                 : 940 Mb/s
Width                                    : 3 840 pixels
Height                                   : 2 160 pixels
Display aspect ratio                     : 16:9
Frame rate mode                          : Constant
Frame rate                               : 60.000 FPS
Color space                              : YUV
Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:2
Scan type                                : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 1.889
Stream size                              : 5.04 GiB (100%)
Writing library                          : fmpg
Color primaries                          : BT.709
Matrix coefficients                      : BT.709

Audio
ID                                       : 2
Format                                   : PCM
Format settings                          : Little / Signed
Codec ID                                 : in24
Duration                                 : 46 s 379 ms
Bit rate mode                            : Constant
Bit rate                                 : 2 304 kb/s
Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
Channel layout                           : L R
Sampling rate                            : 48.0 kHz
Bit depth                                : 24 bits
Stream size                              : 12.7 MiB (0%)
Default                                  : Yes
Alternate group                          : 1


Unfortunately, the "prores" encoder can't handle 444 encoding, so it doesn't support ProRes 4444. If you want that, prores_ks is the only option - meaning it will max out the CPU, which probably isn't tenable for screen recording.
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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostTue Nov 30, 2021 9:15 am

Thanks for the detailed description, I could make it work now.
Yes, it puts a pretty heavy load on my machine too, even at HD only. No overload warning with that, but 6 of the performance cores are getting pretty busy. DNxHR is far less demanding, so I'd second to use that (CFR too).
In my experience there is no significant difference in IQ.
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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostTue Nov 30, 2021 9:38 am

Personally I'd say:
- If you want ProRes, buy and use iShowU Instant Advanced (macOS only);
- If you want to use OBS, then set ffmpeg to encode in DNxHR.

I've been screen recording in OBS to DNxHR HQ for some months and it works very well.

iShowU Instant is easier for a new user to get going though, and if you really want ProRes, it's definitely the best option - despite the VFR. It also has easy-to-use and good looking keyboard and mouse reporting, You can set all that up in OBS as well, but it requires more work and investigation on the part of the user.

One potentially big downside of OBS recording on macOS is that there's no built in way to record the desktop audio. That's another benefit of iShowU Instant: it includes a special driver for recording your desktop audio as you screen record.

Personally I enable desktop audio recording in OBS using Loopback, a very powerful and cool audio routing app - but it's also rather expensive if all you want it for is desktop audio recording ($99 + tax).

iShowU's desktop recording facility is quite useful. In fact, in the past guides to OBS recording on macOS actually recommended downloading the iShowU desktop audio recording driver, so you could get desktop audio recorded in OBS as well. But that driver only works up to Catalina.

For Big Sur and later, the makers of iShowU released a separate paid-for app called SWB Audio App. Or if you buy iShowU Instant it comes with the same audio driver, which I think will still work in OBS as well.

So to record desktop audio in OBS on Big Sur or later, you need to either buy SWB Audio App ($12/year), iShowU Instant ($39), or Loopback.
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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostTue Nov 30, 2021 9:54 am

And for those with M1 machines: iShowU is native.
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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostTue Nov 30, 2021 5:25 pm

Maybe I find the time to write a guide at some point, but the bottom line is:

* No, don't use Advanced FFMPEG Output
* Install StreamFX (https://github.com/Xaymar/obs-StreamFX/ ... tag/0.10.1) which bundles new releases of Xaymar's FFMPEG encoders (https://github.com/Xaymar/obs-ffmpeg-encoder).
* Select Apple Prores
* Exclusively record to MKV in OBS and do not use it's function to remux to MP4. MP4 is currently broken in OBS and will result in the VFR horror stories you can read here all day. Bring the MKV in Resolve.
* OBS does record constant framerate since September 2013. The VFR issues is due to MP4 container implementation in FFMPEG or individual codecs.

1080 30p ProRes 4444 HQ recording takes about 4% CPU on my system.

Hope that helps a bit.
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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostTue Nov 30, 2021 5:27 pm

Oh nice, thanks Peter. I remember looking at that 6 months or so ago, then forgetting about it because it didn't support macOS. But now it does! Nice.

I'll give that a go this evening.
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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostTue Nov 30, 2021 5:30 pm

Also consider to use https://obsproject.com/forum/resources/ ... cord.1285/ so you can record individual sources, like gameplay and camera separately.

I use this with NVENC h264 444 lossless as consumer Nvidia GPUs give you 3 NVENC session. All with close to zero CPU or GPU impact nothing else is competing for the NVENC chip.

Use ProRes if you want to... I prefer h264 444 lossless with tight GOPs. Best of all worlds, fast hardware encoding, fast seeking in Resolve.
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Uli Plank

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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostWed Dec 01, 2021 12:56 am

Thanks for the heads up, Peter. I also passed it when there was no MacOS version yet. I installed it right away.

Unfortunately, I doesn't look the same here (yes, latest OBS, 27.1.3). When set to Standard 8as in your screen shot), I don't get other encoders offered. If I switch from Standard to Custom Output, I don't get that button Open Manual, neither the pull-down menu for the new codecs. I tried switching to English with the same result.

Any idea?
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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostWed Dec 01, 2021 6:55 am

Yeah I've got the same problem. No new encoders added. I have StreamFX in the menu, and the welcome screen. But no change to encoders:

Image

I guess must be a macOS issue. I'm going to raise it to the StreamFX guys.
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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostWed Dec 01, 2021 9:01 am

TheBloke wrote:Yeah I've got the same problem. No new encoders added. I have StreamFX in the menu, and the welcome screen. But no change to encoders:

Image

I guess must be a macOS issue. I'm going to raise it to the StreamFX guys.
Talk to Xaymar on Discord. He's super responsive.
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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostWed Dec 01, 2021 11:21 am

OK I've spoken to Xaymar and none of the ffmpeg encoders are available in StreamFX on macOS. They were incorrectly marked on the Wiki.

He claims it's not even possible to do it on macOS, which doesn't make sense to me.

Image

He initially didn't seem to be aware that OBS on macOS already has custom ffmpeg so I think he's not very familiar with macOS.

He went on to say that his encoders just wrap ffmpeg, so he wouldn't expect it to perform any differently to a working "Custom ffmpeg" option. He said:
Image

So perhaps it wouldn't have made a difference even if it did work.

Never mind, I'll stick with DNxHR HQ from OBS. Thanks anyway - StreamFX may be useful for other things.
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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostWed Jan 19, 2022 2:12 pm

Amazing news for us macOS users.. ffmpeg 5.0, just released (OK, a few days ago now), supports VideoToolbox ProRes!

Especially excellent for you Uli, because it means HW accelerated ProRes encode from ffmpeg!

No HW encode for me, but the ability to use VT's encoder should mean I now have 100% standards-compliant/compatible ProRes, with full support for all variants (from Proxy to 4444 XQ), in ffmpeg:
Code: Select all
 $ ffmpeg -h encoder=prores_videotoolbox
Encoder prores_videotoolbox [VideoToolbox ProRes Encoder]:
    General capabilities: dr1 delay hardware
    Threading capabilities: none
    Supported pixel formats: videotoolbox_vld yuv420p nv12 ayuv64le uyvy422 p010le nv16 p210le nv24 p410le bgra
prores_videotoolbox AVOptions:
  -profile           <int64>      E..V....... Profile (from -99 to 5) (default auto)
     auto                         E..V....... Automatically determine based on input format
     proxy                        E..V....... ProRes 422 Proxy
     lt                           E..V....... ProRes 422 LT
     standard                     E..V....... ProRes 422
     hq                           E..V....... ProRes 422 HQ
     4444                         E..V....... ProRes 4444
     xq                           E..V....... ProRes 4444 XQ
  -allow_sw          <boolean>    E..V....... Allow software encoding (default false)
  -require_sw        <boolean>    E..V....... Require software encoding (default false)
  -realtime          <boolean>    E..V....... Hint that encoding should happen in real-time if not faster (e.g. capturing from camera). (default false)
  -frames_before     <boolean>    E..V....... Other frames will come before the frames in this session. This helps smooth concatenation issues. (default false)
  -frames_after      <boolean>    E..V....... Other frames will come after the frames in this session. This helps smooth concatenation issues. (default false)
I did some tests, and encoding 1080p H264 to 422HQ ran at 175 FPS, and encoding 1080P 422 HQ to 422 standard gave me 327 FPS. That's using software encoding of course, as I have no HW accelerated ProRes capabilities. Running the H264 -> 422HQ encode clearly shows macOS's encoder doing most of the work:
Image

But doing 422HQ -> 422, at double the FPS, shows ffmpeg using a significant amount of CPU:
Image

The speeds I'm getting from ffmpeg are a lot slower than Resolve can render the same files: rendering a 1080p 422 HQ clip to 422 in Resolve gives me 600 - 620 FPS, close to double what ffmpeg does.

But just having 'real' ProRes in ffmpeg is already a huge benefit, so no complaints.

Especially as it should theoretically mean I can configure OBS to do the same, and thus screen record in ProRes 422 HQ from OBS, hopefully at a reasonable CPU cost. I've not tried that yet because OBS hasn't been updated to ffmpeg 5.0 and I assumed I couldn't just link it in as ffmpeg 5 is on API version 59.x. But I'll experiment with that sometime. Maybe I can compile OBS from source, linked to the latest ffmpeg.
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Re: Great deal of trouble scrubbing footage

PostWed Jan 19, 2022 3:21 pm

Now that's great news!
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