Options to Increase Render Speeds?

questions about practical use of Neat Video, examples of use
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:03 pm

Options to Increase Render Speeds?

Post by pkorver »

Great product. Although render times for HD content can be painfully slow to the point that I may not be able to use it practically. Here's an example of a 1 minute HD clip that took 34 minutes to render on a newish, speedy MacPro workstation:

System Specs:
MacPro Tower Intel
2 x 3Ghz Quad Core Xenon ("8-core" processor)
4GB RAM (677MHz)
Final Cut Pro 6.0.5

Clip Specs:
Codec: 1080p 23.98 10-Bit ProRes 422 HQ
Sequence Settings: Same as codec, 10-Bit Pro Res 422 HQ
Sequence "Video Processing" Settings: Render 10-Bit High-Precision YUV
Length of Clip: 1 minute exactly

Neat Video NR Settings:
Software Version: NV Pro 2.5 for Intel Mac
"Basic" NR Settings: Lum=40, Chrom=90, Sharp=10
Temporal Filter Radius = 1
Temporal Filter Threshold = 100 / default
Adaptive Filtration = unchecked / none
Adaptive Filtration = 100 / default

I am new to using the product but is a 38:1 render time normal? Also... during render I checked Apple's "Activity Monitor" and it only looked like the app was using about 40-50% of my available CPUs. Can this be optimized at all? Would using an RGB or 10-Bit Uncompressed Quicktime be faster than 10-Bit Pro Res? Can the app be run as a line command to a render farm? Help! I'd love to use the product but there must be some way to make it faster.



Posts: 2474
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 4:12 pm

Post by NVTeam »

I think it could be faster on that hardware, something like 15-25:1, though 677MHz gives me some doubts. For 8 cores that is somewhat low.

Regarding the changes in filter options, you can reduce the temporal filter radius (leading to lower filtration quality), set some of the noise reduction amounts (in the intra-frame filter settings) to 0%, disable high quality filtration, disable very low freq filter. All that may somewhat speed up processing at expense of filtration quality.

Also, try to reduce the precision in the FCP video processing settings, this may speed up rendering.

Regarding the codecs, we observed that FCP's own speed could significantly vary depending on the input codecs (up to 5 times). Usually, QT codecs make FCP work significantly faster than other codecs. That directly affects the overal processing speed.

You can try this simple test: create a test project with one short HD clip and render it as is, without any filters. Then add the FCP Echo filter and render again. Compare the render times in these two cases. The time with Echo will be longer, perhaps even several times longer, even though the Echo filter itself is in fact very simple and fast. The slowdown happens not in Echo itself, but in the FCP who is reading the input clip to provide Echo with input data. Depending on type of input clip (of its codec), this slowdown may be different. By comparing this slowdown for several types of input clips, you can identify the types that work fastest. Then you can use them in actual projects to render will highest speed.

Also, if you can also run After Effects I recommend to try rendering the same clip in both AE and FCP for speed comparison. To compare apples to apples please make sure you use the Demo versions of the Neat Video in each case, or the speed will be different because different editions of NV filters will process different amount of video data (Demo edition processes limited area in HD frames).

Neat Video plug-in for Final Cut is a plug-in, so unfortunately it cannot be used as a command line tool. Neat Video plug-in for After Effects can be used on AE nodes in render farms. And I guess the same should be possible with FCP too, though I haven't tried that. So, even if it cannot currently be used as a command line tool, it may still be possible to run it on a render farm.

Hope this helps,

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