Hitfilm Performance - Hardware and File Type Questions

I've been trying to figure out ways to make my system more efficient when using Hitfilm as I find it frustrating when using many layers of effects to not be able to see things happen over x number of keyframes a little more 'smoothly' it tends to jump keyframes or take a long time to process the next frame. One thing I really enjoy about AE is the RAM preview, however, it's not HF and I love HF lol.
From my understanding Hitfilm uses the GPU to render the scene on the fly. That being said my video card isn't the greatest.
Current Computer Specs:
AMD x6 1055T - 2.8GHZ
AMD 5770 1GB Video Card
12GB of RAM
However, after trying to read the codec/compression thread I started to wonder if some of the stock footage I use isn't in the correct codec and would that affect my system's performance? I often use stock from Action Essentials 2 - does any one else have less than smooth playback of these files within Hitfilm? Do I need to change them into another file type?
I don't mind upgrading my video card to something newer but at the end of the day I want to make sure I'm editing/compositing in the correct file format to make sure everything is efficient as possible.
Thanks in advance!
OP

Comments

  • Do you have the 2k or 720p version of AE2? The 2k will of course be slower.
    I have seen some slowdown when layering up lots of stock clips. You could maybe try converting them to simple mp4s, or DNxHD to see if they perform any better.
    Implementing previewing-style features is definitely something we want to look into in a future version of the software, although it is a pretty big job - and we want to make sure we do it right.
  • Thanks for the reply!
    I'm using the 2k Version. In most scenes I've got about 6 layers going.
    Would I take the stock footage put it into Hitfilm and render it out as an mp4? Would that lower the overall quality of the effect?
  • edited April 2012

    Thanks for the reply!
    I'm using the 2k Version. In most scenes I've got about 6 layers going.
    Would I take the stock footage put it into HitFilm and render it out as an mp4? Would that lower the overall quality of the effect?

    As Simon mentioned, the 2K version of Action Essentials 2, can really slow down even a good powerful system when you start adding lots of layers. I only have the 720p version (Got if before the 2K came out) and it works pretty well.
    I am not sure I understand the second part of your query, but if you are asking if rendering out the effect as an MP4 and then importing it into your NLE to which it will be rendered out again in your final video, then possibly, there may be a slight degradation, but I never notice it on my video's when I do it, but my primary audience is on the internet. So, for the internet or YouTube it should be fine, in theory however, each time you re-compress a file to make it smaller you lose some quality so your results may vary especially if you are making something for the big screen.
    If you are asking if you can take the Action Essentials 2 file (which has an alpha channel) and render that out as an MP4 to make it smaller in size to edit with, then the answer is "no" as exporting an MP4 in HitFilm does not support alpha channels. In fact I am not sure that any file that is exported as an MP4 can have an active alpha channel, but I could be wrong. Hope this helps
    Todd
  • Thanks Todd.
    It seems at the end of the day with the number of layers I'm using I need to get a better video card. It's painful the amount of delay between each frame just to view what I've done.
    Hopefully the new GTX 670 ti comes out soon >.<

  • Thanks Todd.
    It seems at the end of the day with the number of layers I'm using I need to get a better video card. It's painful the amount of delay between each frame just to view what I've done.
    Hopefully the new GTX 670 ti comes out soon >.<

    Yea even my card can get bogged down and it is decent. Unfortunetly, the 8GB of system memory I have are not used in the same way as AE, which works faster on my machine, but costs a whole lot more money. Been real Happy with HitFilm, but still getting occasional video card timeouts, but that is an Nvidia problem not HitFilm as it occasionally happens when using photoshop as well.
    Todd

  • Yea even my card can get bogged down and it is decent. Unfortunetly, the 8GB of system memory I have are not used in the same way as AE, which works faster on my machine, but costs a whole lot more money. Been real Happy with HitFilm, but still getting occasional video card timeouts, but that is an Nvidia problem not HitFilm as it occasionally happens when using photoshop as well.
    Todd

    Hmm you bring up an interesting point.
    Based on your experiences then, HF is more reliant on the memory of the GPU than the RAM of the computer?
  • Yes, while a balanced system is important, the GPU is usually the primary factor in terms of performance.

  • Yes, while a balanced system is important, the GPU is usually the primary factor in terms of performance.

    Is there a way to see how much of the video RAM is being used at any given time?
    Curious if I should be investing in a video card with greater than 2GB of RAM or not. Furthermore, as mentioned in the Benchmark thread, has anyone done tests with a non gaming card or workstation class card?
  • There are free tools available for looking at GPU memory. (http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/). Unfortunately, they do not seem to work with AMD/ATI GPUs.
    Typically, a newer (faster) GPU will have a larger performance improvement than purchasing a GPU with more than 2GB of RAM.
  • Just tested the latest GPU-z (v0.6.0), which now shows the memory usage for the AMD GPU correctly.

  • Just tested the latest GPU-z (v0.6.0), which now shows the memory usage for the AMD GPU correctly.

    Much appreciated! Thank you for the link and heads up for this tool :)
  • So with the new GTX 680 and 670's released there has been a lot of information related to how these perform exceptionally well for gaming. However, non gaming work there has been some talk about these new GPU's being worse than the previous GTX 580.
    Does anyone know if this is true?
    Would a Hitfilm Staff member be able to shed some light on what makes a video card good in relation to Hitfilm? I'm in the process of building a new computer and am really unsure what is the best option to look for in a gaming card that I'll be using for working with Hitfilm. Currently, looking at the GTX 580, GTX 670, GTX 680, AMD 7970.
    Have you guys had a chance to test out the new 600 series cards with Hitfilm?

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