Join Jeff I. Greenberg for an in-depth discussion in this video Mercury Playback Engine benefits, system design, and minimal rendering, part of Migrating from Final Cut Pro 7 to Premiere Pro CC (2014).
- One of the craziest things about Premiere Pro is the Mercury Playback Engine, and yes, it's a little bit of marketing speak but it also really allows you almost a totally transcodeless workflow. There are some transcode based workflows, say if your system isn't fast enough, say if you're working at 4K, but for most of us we can just hit the ground running with almost any format. That's because of the Mercury Playback Engine. I want to talk about a couple of things that make Mercury Playback Engine so powerful. First is, that it's a 64-bit engine.
The 64-bit engine is what allows it to push so much processing power through your system. It's been really rewritten from the old, old, old Premiere. Recommended is about two to three gigs per core you have on your system. Since this happens to be a four core system, it actually has eight cores virtually, This machine, this is an i7 with 16 gigs of RAM. This is really configured pretty well for optimal playback. Along with that, you want really fast drives, particularly for your cache files.
We're going to talk in a little bit about how to, in the next movie, about adjusting key preferences, about where to put those cache files, but fast drives are really important for this. The last and probably the best part of Premiere Pro, if you have a fast enough video card, if you've got a card that's got at least 1GB, you get a whole bunch of effects for free. That's part of what makes the Mercury Engine so powerful. When you look at my timeline, if you're a Final Cut user, you'll notice that there's some yellow on the timeline, some red, some green. I'm going to go to this red section right here and I'm just going to hit "play." I'm really not worried about whether or not it drops frames.
It's probably not going to. Red means it might drop frames. Yellow means it should be okay. Green means it's a render file, and this is totally different from Final Cut. This is because of the Mercury Playback Engine. I just want to show you a tweak with this. I'm going to turn off the video card extract acceleration it does. I'm going to go to the File menu, I'm going to go down here to Project Settings, and you'll see there's a General here, and underneath this General, is this Renderer, and you'll see that you've got the Mercury Playback Engine here.
When you have the chance, you want to pick CUDA over OpenCL if you have both of those choices. If you don't, you're just going to choose Software Only Engine, and to give you a difference, it's usually for the things that gives you acceleration, it's anywhere from six to 10 times faster processed through the video card. CUDA is going to be a little bit faster than OpenCL, and certainly faster by about 30 percent if you install a CUDA driver from Nvidia site on your Macintosh. I'm going to go ahead and turn this into a Software Only Engine, and I'm going to say ok, and you'll see there's a lot more red on my timeline.
It's going to say, "Do you want to delete your previews?" I'm going to say, "go ahead," lot more red. Here's a red section right up here. I'm going to just play that back. You'll see it's not dropping frames. Is there a way we can see how it can show us whether or not it's dropping frames? Sure can, take a look over on the program window, There's a wrench, that wrench allows us to get to settings, and the setting I'd like to show you is towards the bottom, and it happens to be called, "Show Dropped Frame Indicator." So even though I'm running one, this exact system without the benefit of my video card acceleration, I'll hit play, and you'll see it's still green.
It's not dropping any frames whatsoever, and that's part of the beauty of what makes this Mercury Playback Engine so important. If I did see a dropping frames, one consideration I might make here is to go to the switch that says 1/2, and drop it to 1/4. The idea here is that this is playing back footage and showing you every other pixel. But it's only doing it while it's playing back. When you're paused, it's always showing you the full resolution.
- Setting up a new project in Premiere Pro
- Using the Media Browser for better importing
- Importing Final Cut Pro projects and sequences
- Navigating the Timeline
- Editing directly from bins
- Replacing clips
- Using Premiere Pro's Trim mode and JKL trimming
- Adding transitions
- Adjusting clip and track audio levels
- Adding, copying, pasting, and removing effects
- Correcting color
- Creating titles
- Exporting with the Adobe Media Encoder
- Using the Smart Rendering Codec for super-fast exports