Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Understanding system performance

From: Avid Media Composer 5 Essential Training

Video: Understanding system performance

Working with effects allows you to add a lot of interesting elements to your sequence, but it also takes a toll on your system. Keep in mind that every time you playback an effect, Media Composer is actually trying to play something back that isn't really there, whether it's a resize or reposition or a PIP or color effect, or a combination of everything. So, if you ever notice your system is struggling, there are several things you can do to help it out, so that it can playback the maximum amount of real-time effects.

Understanding system performance

Working with effects allows you to add a lot of interesting elements to your sequence, but it also takes a toll on your system. Keep in mind that every time you playback an effect, Media Composer is actually trying to play something back that isn't really there, whether it's a resize or reposition or a PIP or color effect, or a combination of everything. So, if you ever notice your system is struggling, there are several things you can do to help it out, so that it can playback the maximum amount of real-time effects.

Before trying to solve performance problems, it's important you first understand exactly how Media Composer works in regards to the media on the drives. Avid retrieves media from the drives really quickly, much faster than real time. So when you hit the Play button, Media Composer loads the clip or sequence, finds the media on the drives and then quickly fills a buffer full of video frames that comprise the media. This buffer, called a Spring Buffer, is a 10-second container that holds the media ready to be played. Now if you're playing just a few streams of video, the Spring Buffer stays full the entire time.

That is Media Composer is always able to fill the buffer faster than real time and the playback of media is very smooth. If you're playing back many streams of video, the Spring Buffer can't always stay totally full. Rather it's only partially full. And while you're not dropping frames yet, Media Composer gives you a warning that you might drop frames soon. This comes in the form of yellow and blue dashed lines in the timecode track. And if you're playing back too many streams, the Spring Buffer empties faster than it can fill.

This results in dropped frames, which come as red warning bars in the timecode track. This simply means you're not achieving real-time playback. So let's take a look at this sequence. It's a sequence that has a few effects in the beginning and keeps getting more and more. So let's go ahead and start playing and see when we start getting warning bars and when we start dropping frames. Let's go ahead and play. As you see, this HD media is playing back with no problems. Let's jump ahead to this section.

Okay, and let's zoom-in. You see them right here and also right here we have yellow warning bars and blue warning bars. Yellow means that you're computer processor is being taxed, and blue means that you're drives are being taxed and then red, it means that you're dropping frames. So this is giving you an indication of exactly what portion of the timeline is having issues. As we keep going down the sequence, we'll begin dropping more and more frames. I'll hit play at this last composite.

Okay, and again we're getting yellow dashed lines here saying, "I'm about to drop frames, I'm about to drop frames, I'm dropping them and again here, dropping them and so on." So it really is trying to play it back in real time and it tells you the exact points that it's having trouble. So, there's a couple of things you can do to help Media Composer out. One is to lower the Video Quality menu. Right now, we're in Draft Quality, which means that it's one-quarter-resolution frames traveling through the system as Media Composer takes them off the drives.

If I change it to Best Performance, that's changing it to 1/16th quality and this usually lets you play back many more effects in real time. Let's go ahead and play over this section in Best Performance. It looks like it played back with no problem. No warning bars except for just a few in the beginning. Let's go to our composite here that had a bunch of trouble and press Play. Okay, we had some really good luck there as well.

Again, just a couple of warning bars right here in the middle, right before where we're about to play all of these streams back at once saying "hey, I might drop frames pretty soon," but it actually didn't. All right, it's very good. Another thing some people do is switch to a standard definition flavor of their project format. So I can just switch from my 1080p to just my 23.976p NTSC. It goes to standard def and at Best Performance, it gets really blurry.

So I'm going to switch that back to Draft Quality and let's see how we do at this composite. So, in Draft Quality in standard def, we really didn't have any issues there and let's check here. And it looks like we're able to play that out as well. Okay, so whether you change your Video Quality setting or your Project Type, you have several options on being able to playback as many real time streams as possible.

Sometimes, however, you'll need a little extra help. So, in the next movie, we'll explore how to render effects for even smoother system performance.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Avid Media Composer 5 Essential Training
Avid Media Composer 5 Essential Training

74 video lessons · 8248 viewers

Ashley Kennedy
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 43s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 27s
  2. 22m 59s
    1. Understanding clips and media files
      2m 34s
    2. Understanding the Select Project window
      5m 40s
    3. Working in the Project window
      5m 35s
    4. Setting up and organizing a project
      5m 13s
    5. Saving and backing up
      3m 57s
  3. 50m 15s
    1. Using the Composer Monitor and the timeline
      6m 32s
    2. Adding shots using Splice
      5m 57s
    3. Adding shots using Overwrite
      7m 2s
    4. Removing shots using Extract and Lift
      4m 31s
    5. Using Extract/Splice Segment Mode to switch shots in the timeline
      5m 1s
    6. Using Lift/Overwrite Segment Mode to move shots in the timeline
      5m 59s
    7. Using direct timeline manipulation
      4m 6s
    8. Using subclips and subsequences
      3m 48s
    9. Adding and patching video tracks
      7m 19s
  4. 26m 39s
    1. Understanding trimming
      3m 42s
    2. Using A-side Single-Roller Trim to improve audio timing
      7m 59s
    3. Using B-side Single-Roller Trim to improve audio timing
      5m 41s
    4. Using Dual-Roller Trim to refine video
      6m 5s
    5. Using Ripple Trim and Overwrite Trim
      3m 12s
  5. 24m 8s
    1. Using the J-K-L keys for navigation
      4m 15s
    2. Using navigation shortcuts
      6m 26s
    3. Using the Command palette
      6m 4s
    4. Sorting and sifting clips
      7m 23s
  6. 20m 38s
    1. J-K-L trimming
      4m 11s
    2. On-the-fly trimming
      7m 18s
    3. Advanced trim methods: Slip mode
      5m 18s
    4. Advanced trim methods: Slide mode
      3m 51s
  7. 21m 33s
    1. Using the Audio tool to read audio levels
      6m 18s
    2. Using the Audio Mixer to adjust audio level and pan
      8m 27s
    3. Keyframing audio for intra-segment audio adjustments
      6m 48s
  8. 55m 23s
    1. Using Quick Transition effects
      5m 19s
    2. Using the Effects palette and the Effects Editor
      5m 21s
    3. Keyframing segment effects
      6m 0s
    4. Using nesting and auto-nesting
      5m 49s
    5. Saving effects templates
      5m 34s
    6. Building basic composites using vertical effects
      4m 53s
    7. Using the Picture-in-Picture effect
      6m 41s
    8. Creating basic motion effects
      5m 55s
    9. Using Timewarp
      5m 56s
    10. Using the Color effect
      3m 55s
  9. 9m 48s
    1. Understanding system performance
      5m 58s
    2. Rendering tracks
      3m 50s
  10. 20m 30s
    1. Analyzing footage for problems
      3m 8s
    2. Using the Y-Waveform monitor to set whites and blacks
      5m 34s
    3. Using the RGB Parade to correct color casts
      4m 42s
    4. Using the Vectorscope to improve skin tones
      3m 27s
    5. Correcting color automatically
      3m 39s
  11. 29m 16s
    1. Formatting and enhancing text using Avid Marquee
      6m 52s
    2. Using Marquee to apply shapes and gradients
      4m 23s
    3. Using title templates
      2m 40s
    4. Bringing a title into Media Composer
      3m 42s
    5. Revising the title
      2m 49s
    6. Creating rolling and crawling titles
      4m 40s
    7. Using Auto-Titler
      4m 10s
  12. 22m 3s
    1. Using the Capture tool
      5m 7s
    2. Capturing footage
      4m 26s
    3. Batch-capturing
      4m 46s
    4. Adjusting settings for import
      5m 7s
    5. Using AMA (Avid Media Access) for QuickTime imports
      2m 37s
  13. 16m 54s
    1. Understanding deletion types and cases
      3m 51s
    2. Performing bin deletion
      3m 17s
    3. Understanding the Media tool
      6m 17s
    4. Identifying and deleting media relatives and non-relatives
      3m 29s
  14. 15m 31s
    1. Understanding media delivery types
      2m 28s
    2. Preparing a sequence for digital cut to print to tape
      2m 48s
    3. Performing a digital cut
      5m 8s
    4. Exporting a QuickTime movie or QuickTime reference
      5m 7s
  15. 14m 39s
    1. Solving the offline media problem
      3m 58s
    2. Re-linking media
      2m 19s
    3. Solving Avid settings corruption
      4m 35s
    4. Using the Avid Attic to find and retrieve bins
      3m 47s
  16. 19s
    1. Goodbye
      19s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Avid Media Composer 5 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.