Join Todd Kopriva for an in-depth discussion in this video Mercury Playback Engine: GPU acceleration, part of Premiere Pro CS6 New Features Overview.
Premier Pro CS6 includes several improvement in the GPU acceleration component of the Mercury Playback Engine. The term Mercury Playback Engine refers to several performance improvements in Premiere Pro CS5 and later. The components of these performance improvements include: Premier Pro being a 64 bit application, Premiere Pro being a multi threaded application and Premiere Pro using the GPU to accelerate some functions. The GPU is the Graphics Processing Unit, the processing unit on your graphics card.
In Premiere Pro CS5 and Premiere Pro CS5.5, the GPU acceleration was only available on certain cards using CUDA technology by Nvidia. In Premiere Pro CS6, the GPU acceleration is also available on certain products using Open CL technology. Specifically the cards for which the GPU is supported using open CL technology are the Radeon 6750 M and the Radeon 6770 M. These are the GPUs used in many versions of the Macbook Pro laptop, and in iMacs.
Let's look at some details of how you use the hardware acceleration in Premiere Pro. Go to Project > Project Settings > General. And here for renderer make sure that Mercury Playback Engine GPU acceleration is selected. If you have a card that provides this functionality this menu option will be available. If you don't, then the setting will say Mercury Playback Engine software only, and you will not be able to choose the GPU Acceleration option. If you're using a Macbook Pro, or iMac. Using one of the two cards with Open CL that provides the functionality. And you'll see Open CL here instead of Cuda.
I'll leave this at this setting, click OK. If you click this button, Accelerated Effects in the Effects panel, then the effects will be filtered to show only the effects that are GPU accelerated. There are two effects that are now accelerated in Premiere Pro CS6, that were not accelerated in previous versions. Actually, one of them is a new effect. That's the Warp Stabilizer effect. The Warp Stabilizer effect actually has several phases of processing.
The first is the analysis phase. And the second is the stabilization phase. It is only the stabilization phase that is accelerated using CUDA or Open CL. The other new effect that is accelerated is actually a video transition, and it's the push transition. If you're using open CL instead of CUDA, there are three effects that are not GPU accelerator that are accelorated by CUDA. And those are these three blur effects: directional blur, fast blur, and gausien blur.
And there's one difference. There's feature parody meaning, identical behavior between CUDA and Open CL on Premier Pro CS6. Another feature that is newly accelerated using the GPU is the Multi Camera mode. Let's take a quick look at how the GPU acceleration affects performance. Let's start in the Bike Race one project in the assets folder. And with zero one full sequence open, let's make a new Adjustment layer.
Go to File > New > Adjustment layer, set the defaults, drag the adjustment layer down unto the empty video layer on top. Move the current time indicator to the end of the sequence by pressing End. Select the end of the adjustment layer. And then press E to extend the edit to the current time indicator. And now, with this layer selected, let's add some effects. Actually, first, let's move the current time indicator, so that we can see the result of the effects, by not having it on a black frame.
There, I'll clear the search, so we can see all of our effects. And I'll just add several effects just to make it computationally difficult. I'll add, Extract and Gaussian blur and Tint, and RGB curves. There. Now, on Windows I'll press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and start the Task Manager.
And bring up the Performance tab, and then I'll apply my sequence. Actually, first I will mute the audio so that we don't have to hear the audio as we play this. And then I'll play my sequence. Now, notice we have the GPU Acceleration turned on. And our CPU's are hardly showing any utilization at all, because so much of the processing is being done by the GPU. The CPU's are left relatively idle.
Now, if I go to Project settings and choose General > Renderer > Mercury Playback Engine Software only. Click OK. Delete the preview files. Go back to the beginning of the sequence, and hit spacebar for play. Watch the CPU usage this time. Considerably higher. Jumping to 90% at one point and hovering in the thirties. So the CPU's are being used considerably more because they no longer have the GPU to rely on to do so much of the computation for the effects. I'll close the Task Manager and its performance tab. And now go back to Project > Project Settings > General. Turn the GPU acceleration back on.
Don't view the previews /g. Notice that we have a yellow render bar here. Which is Premiere Pro's way of telling that it thinks that it can play this back in real time without dropping any frames. Let's now apply an effect that is not GPU accelerated to see what happens. I'll turn off the accelerator effects. And I'll add a non GPU accelerated blur, the camera blur. Notice that as soon as I do so, the Render bar turns red, this is Premiere Pro sayign that it might not be able to play this back without renderign previews.
I'll go ahead and give this a shot, though. I'll hit the Spacebar to play. And notice that our dropped frame indicator is telling us that zero frames are being dropped. So just note that just because you have a red render bar, does mean necessarily that you won't get real time playback. It's just Premiere Pro's way of telling you that might not. So, now you can see the value of GPU acceleration in Premiere Pro. And also how premier pro cs6 has broadened this feature so it now encomposses more hardware including some cards that use open cl.
- User interface improvements
- Importing and sequence setup improvements
- Editing improvements
- Effect improvements
- Performance improvements
- Audio improvements
- Exporting improvements
- Miscellaneous new and removed features