Numerous Issues with P4P

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I mentioned in prior posts that my camera is pointed about 3-5 degrees to the right and that my first video test, done inside in low light, had a strange artifact, but I wanted to do some actual flying outdoor to see how this thing is working and found some other things that are troubling. I'll put up a video either latter today or tomorrow, but for now let me list the issues and give some detail.

1. Camera is pointed 3-5 degrees to the right and IMU and gimbal calibration do not fix it.

2. Strange diagonal washing effect from top left to bottom right that resets every second, every 30 frames. I recorded at UHD 30fps and using D-log and H.265 with ISO1600 due to low light. Due to the low light indoors I wasn't expecting much but the diagonal washing effect that resets every 30 frames suggest some problem with either the dynamic range compression of D-log or the bitrate compression into H.265. The diagonal wash almost looks like a sheet of dirty glass is being pulled across the sensor diagonally.

3. I was able to make one outdoor flight today lasting about 18.5 minutes but when I tried to launch for the second flight the camera/gimbal would not complete the power on homing sequence. That is, the gimbal, instead of homing in about 5-10 seconds would not stop and continued tilting all the way up and all the way down for several minutes -- I powered off the drone to end the homing. I repowered the drone but same problem. I then shut everything down, the drone, the RC and the app then powered everything back on and still the same problem. OK, that cut short my trips so I packed up and went home. Once home I tried powering on again and this time the gimbal completed the homing sequence normally.

4. I downloaded the video I shot with my one and only flight today and the video is weird. First, I once again used H.265 and D-log but with outdoor lighting I was at ISO100, f/7.1 and a shutter speed of about 1/200. The histogram looked good with no clipping at either end. But, when viewing the video in PP on the Lumetri Scopes something really weird is going on. First, the sky to the right in the direction of the Sun is totally blown out but the max value I see in Lumetri is about 75IRE -- no where near the 100 clipping point. The black values are no lower than 13IRE with the bulk starting at more like 25IRE. So, from the Lumetri scopes the video looks like it should be just fine and is in agreement with the histogram I was while flying, but the sky is totally blown out.

5. In the shadow detail, most noticeable towards the end of the flight, I see a flickering effect not unlike the one I see in the shadow detail with my Inspire 1 Pro. And, like issue #2, the flickering is every second or every 30 frames. Additionally, I see a hint of the washing effect also from #2.

6. I had numerous FPV glitches on the screen with video drop outs and other artifacts -- I never went more than a quarter mile and had no obstructions between the RC and bird.

7. Towards the end of the video I see a 5 second portion of the video where the camera looks like it develops epilepsy with fast jumping side to side. When I single step the frames it gets even weirder -- it looks kind of like the video is jumping between the current point and the beginning of the video before take off. I will look at this closer as this may be weirdness with PP and not the fault of the P4P.

Again, I'll try to upload a video either latter tonight or tomorrow and will post a link here.

Sucks!


Brian
 
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You say Lumetri Scopes, so I will estimate that you use Premiere to edit. You have converted H265 footage to another format (like Cineform or ProRes) before add them to the timeline?

I read many times that Premiere have several issues with HEVC codecs...

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You say Lumetri Scopes, so I will estimate that you use Premiere to edit. You have converted H265 footage to another format (like Cineform or ProRes) before add them to the timeline?

I read many times that Premiere have several issues with HEVC codecs...

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No, I did not convert as was my understanding that PP could handle h.265 natively. I was planning to do the second flight using h.264 but the gimbal homing problem prevented that. I'll give it another shot this time using h.264 which is what I've been using with my Inspire 1 Pro.

The one second 30 frames reset problem with flickering is similar to the flickering in the shadow detail I get with the Inspire. Interestingly, the unedited video straight from the Inspire will have some of the shadow flickering but when you use curves or other contrast stretching techniques the flickering gets worse. As I play the video from within PP I can see the flickering in the Lumetri scopes as a kind of blossoming then shrinking every second or 30 frames.

The other thing I think I need to do is not use D-log and instead try Cinelike-D. What I think is happening is that the exposure was too high resulting in clipping in the sky area but the D-log compressed that down so the clipping point, instead of being 100IRE was brought down to about 75IRE and the histogram looked good.

Of course, if I have another issue with the gimbal I wont be able to fly and I'll have to return the P4P. Sadly, the quickest replacement might be to return the P4P and have them send me a new one, but getting a new one that wasn't rushed out the door could be a crap shoot. It might be better to have DJI fix it and return the same drone back to me, but that could take weeks or months this time of year.


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I've observed similar things about Dlog. In the past, I've never used dlog with my P4/Inspire, but I'd figure i'd test it out with the P4P as part of my comprehensive picture quality testing. The histogram during shooting and the vectorscope in FCPX (h.265 footage converted to prores using Kyno) show that the whole dynamic range of the scene is squeezed between 10 and 75 IRE. Interestingly, the same scene filmed in no color mode stretches from 0-110 IRE. Detail in the highlights and shadows is basically identical -- so I can only conclude that DLOG is not a true log mode at all. It's just taking the standard singnal and LINEARLY (rather than logarithmically) compressing it between 10 and 75 IRE. It looks like you don't actually gain any dynamic range, just a shittier image with less detail. I'm not going to bother with DLOG at all.

From what I can tell, the contrast setting does the exact same thing -- linearly compresses the range into which the information is recorded by shifting the white and black points without actually getting you more dynamic range. I wish I had a proper transmission step wedge strip to do a more accurate test...
 
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I've observed similar things about Dlog. In the past, I've never used dlog with my P4/Inspire, but I'd figure i'd test it out with the P4P as part of my comprehensive picture quality testing. The histogram during shooting and the vectorscope in FCPX (h.265 footage converted to prores using Kyno) show that the whole dynamic range of the scene is squeezed between 10 and 75 IRE. Interestingly, the same scene filmed in no color mode stretches from 0-110 IRE. Detail in the highlights and shadows is basically identical -- so I can only conclude that DLOG is not a true log mode at all. It's just taking the standard singnal and LINEARLY (rather than logarithmically) compressing it between 10 and 75 IRE. It looks like you don't actually gain any dynamic range, just a shittier image with less detail. I'm not going to bother with DLOG at all.

From what I can tell, the contrast setting does the exact same thing -- linearly compresses the range into which the information is recorded by shifting the white and black points without actually getting you more dynamic range. I wish I had a proper transmission step wedge strip to do a more accurate test...

Yeah, D-log looks like it's a waste so the question then become what color setting do you use. If, for example, you switch to D-Cinelike then what 'style' do you use. Normally you'd go with 'custom' and reduce the sharpening, contrast and saturation but if DJI can't do a proper gamma curve compression then what's the point.

So, I think I'll make another go of it the weekend and I'll try several different settings to get a handle on this better. Again, lets hope the gimbal doesn't **** the bed again...


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You bake-in the look you want in camera. I intend to go with the none color setting (The dcinelike and art profiles seem quite similar to none in terms of dynamic range, and I don't particularly like the color rendition, though I'll do a few more tests). I'll probably also leave contrast and saturation alone and maybe reduce sharpening to -1, maybe -2 (looking at my tests now).

In reality, I've been very happy with the none color setting with 0 0 0 on the P4. So long as you watch the histogram and have the zebras on so that you're aware of what parts of the image you're overexposing, I think you can get some great results that require minimal grading.

 
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Andrei V, since you seem to have a better understanding of things than most of the guys here I'd really like to see if we and perhaps a few others can't come up with a few settings that should be more useful to folks with an interest in getting the most form the camera. I'll continue to work on the video from today's work and I'll add to that with whatever settings make the most sense.

Just quickly looking using different color settings with D-log looking to be unusable that leaves D-Cinelike and None as the most likely candidates for preferred color setting. The other color settings appear to me to be more of the artistic or even garish type so not particularly useful. When I switch between D-Cinelike and None I can see the shadows are brighter and saturation a bit less in D-Cinelike. As to the "style" I'm leaning towards the 'custom' setting but I'm not sure what adjustments to make to that. In fact, I'm not sure what the three adjustments are: we have a triangle, a half filled circle, and a graduated box. They should involve contrast, sharpening and saturation, but I', not sure which symbol is which.


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Andrei V, since you seem to have a better understanding of things than most of the guys here I'd really like to see if we and perhaps a few others can't come up with a few settings that should be more useful to folks with an interest in getting the most form the camera. I'll continue to work on the video from today's work and I'll add to that with whatever settings make the most sense.

Just quickly looking using different color settings with D-log looking to be unusable that leaves D-Cinelike and None as the most likely candidates for preferred color setting. The other color settings appear to me to be more of the artistic or even garish type so not particularly useful. When I switch between D-Cinelike and None I can see the shadows are brighter and saturation a bit less in D-Cinelike. As to the "style" I'm leaning towards the 'custom' setting but I'm not sure what adjustments to make to that. In fact, I'm not sure what the three adjustments are: we have a triangle, a half filled circle, and a graduated box. They should involve contrast, sharpening and saturation, but I', not sure which symbol is which.


Brian
Brian -- the triangle is sharpening, half filled circle is contrast, and the other is saturation.

I agree that None, D-Cinelike and Art are the color settings most worth investigating further.

D-Cinelike does indeed lift the shadows (if you refer to the histogram or to a vectorscope), but as far as I can tell, it's not actually recording any more detail in the shadows than none -- it's just changing the black point so the darkest part of the image is now around 10 IRE instead of 0 IRE. So you're not recording any more information than in None, I think -- you're just squeezing the same information into a smaller portion of the 8 bit space that h.264/h.265 provides. So actually you're recording LESS gradations in the shadows than you would with none. If you then go back in post and increase the contrast to make your blacks black, you may introduce banding in the shadow parts of the image and your image will look no better than if you had used none in the first place.

I suggest you do an experiment. Record a fixed scene (i.e. drone on the ground, or whatever) using all the picture profiles you're interested in, then grade each clip to taste and see which one comes out nicer. You can repeat using individual variations of each of the three custom settings (sharpness, contrast, and saturation).

I've already done it for the "none" picture setting.

 
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Brian -- the triangle is sharpening, half filled circle is contrast, and the other is saturation.

I agree that None, D-Cinelike and Art are the color settings most worth investigating further.

D-Cinelike does indeed lift the shadows (if you refer to the histogram or to a vectorscope), but as far as I can tell, it's not actually recording any more detail in the shadows than none -- it's just changing the black point so the darkest part of the image is now around 10 IRE instead of 0 IRE. So you're not recording any more information than in None, I think -- you're just squeezing the same information into a smaller portion of the 8 bit space that h.264/h.265 provides. So actually you're recording LESS gradations in the shadows than you would with none. If you then go back in post and increase the contrast to make your blacks black, you may introduce banding in the shadow parts of the image and your image will look no better than if you had used none in the first place.

I suggest you do an experiment. Record a fixed scene (i.e. drone on the ground, or whatever) using all the picture profiles you're interested in, then grade each clip to taste and see which one comes out nicer. You can repeat using individual variations of each of the three custom settings (sharpness, contrast, and saturation).

I've already done it for the "none" picture setting.


Andrei, again, thanks for the feedback.

I figured out the symbols, I'd known them before but haven't played with them in quite a while. DJI's symbols are not the same as the Panasonic GH2 or G85 that I also have.

If what you're saying about D-log and D-Cinelike are true then DJI is utterly clueless about image processing in camera. I noted with D-log that it just seems to crush the values without using a gamma curve so is pointless. That being the case it seems likely that the other color methods are no more likely to use an actual gamma curve so none may well be the best choice.

If I can get out and the drone works I'll try to do a test using 'none' and 'D-Cinelike' as well as H.264 and H.265. H.265 should be the better codec but I'm not sure if PP is truly as compliant with H.265 as I was lead to believe. The other thing I notice with H.265 is that Windows Media Player (Win 10 box) will play it but very slowly -- taking about 25 seconds to play a 10 second clip. So, I may use H.264 for now and just hope the boost from 60Mbps to 100Mbps will be enough.

The flickering issue with the 30 frame or 1 second reset appears to me to be related to the IPB with an I-frame reset every second (30 frames) and substantial drift between the I-frames causing the flickering effect. DJI is out of there league with cameras and they need to partner with someone that knows what they're doing.


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You bake-in the look you want in camera. I intend to go with the none color setting (The dcinelike and art profiles seem quite similar to none in terms of dynamic range, and I don't particularly like the color rendition, though I'll do a few more tests). I'll probably also leave contrast and saturation alone and maybe reduce sharpening to -1, maybe -2 (looking at my tests now).

In reality, I've been very happy with the none color setting with 0 0 0 on the P4. So long as you watch the histogram and have the zebras on so that you're aware of what parts of the image you're overexposing, I think you can get some great results that require minimal grading.

Where did you find the komodo dragon, and how did you know they were going to mate?
 
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Where did you find the komodo dragon, and how did you know they were going to mate?
Hehe -- in Komodo. (Well, actually the south of Rinca island). I had no idea they were going to try mating. Just happened to be at the right place at the right time I guess. Though I don't think they were actually mating.
 
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Andrei, again, thanks for the feedback.

I figured out the symbols, I'd known them before but haven't played with them in quite a while. DJI's symbols are not the same as the Panasonic GH2 or G85 that I also have.

If what you're saying about D-log and D-Cinelike are true then DJI is utterly clueless about image processing in camera. I noted with D-log that it just seems to crush the values without using a gamma curve so is pointless. That being the case it seems likely that the other color methods are no more likely to use an actual gamma curve so none may well be the best choice.

If I can get out and the drone works I'll try to do a test using 'none' and 'D-Cinelike' as well as H.264 and H.265. H.265 should be the better codec but I'm not sure if PP is truly as compliant with H.265 as I was lead to believe. The other thing I notice with H.265 is that Windows Media Player (Win 10 box) will play it but very slowly -- taking about 25 seconds to play a 10 second clip. So, I may use H.264 for now and just hope the boost from 60Mbps to 100Mbps will be enough.

The flickering issue with the 30 frame or 1 second reset appears to me to be related to the IPB with an I-frame reset every second (30 frames) and substantial drift between the I-frames causing the flickering effect. DJI is out of there league with cameras and they need to partner with someone that knows what they're doing.


Brian
Don't hold your breath re: h.265 -- perhaps in really complex scenes with a lot of movement you'll see a difference, but I didn't see much of one filming swaying trees. Most likely, h.265 plays slowly for you because your computer has no hardware acceleration for h.265 decoding and/or the software you're using doesn't take advantage of it. Only pretty recent Intel processors have built-in h.265 decoders. So yeah.. for the time being, h.265 is probably more trouble than its worth. It's good that DJI offers it as an option rather than making it the only choice.

Is the flickering issue also apparent with h.264 footage? I need to go out and do a real test flight. So far I've only filmed with the camera on the ground :D

I'm kind of at a loss as to what DJI is trying to do with the different color modes, but tend to agree (to some extent) regarding their video encoding efforts so far. I was actually excited about the Inspire 2, but now I think I'll wait and see how the prores footage looks like. Maybe they'll implement a proper log gamma for prores?
 
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Hehe -- in Komodo. (Well, actually the south of Rinca island). I had no idea they were going to try mating. Just happened to be at the right place at the right time I guess. Though I don't think they were actually mating.
Nice! Perfect timing! Those are some amazing shots! It was like a back to back Pirates of the Carribean movie intro.

As an average phantom enthusiast, I appreciate any help when it comes to phantom videos/photography. As you know, most people base their settings off the information on youtube. Since it seems like you have some great insights regarding filming, can you, and/ or raptorman aka Brian, please create a short video for the best settings?

D log was what I considered the best to shoot at because I didn't know any better, so your help will greatly be appreciated.
 
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You bake-in the look you want in camera. I intend to go with the none color setting (The dcinelike and art profiles seem quite similar to none in terms of dynamic range, and I don't particularly like the color rendition, though I'll do a few more tests). I'll probably also leave contrast and saturation alone and maybe reduce sharpening to -1, maybe -2 (looking at my tests now).

In reality, I've been very happy with the none color setting with 0 0 0 on the P4. So long as you watch the histogram and have the zebras on so that you're aware of what parts of the image you're overexposing, I think you can get some great results that require minimal grading.

These video is truly amazing! Place, footage, grading, is one of the best vídeos I can see in a Phantom. Congrats! Will be very helpful if you share the pre and post (settings before start recording about color, sharpness, contrast, saturation)

On topic: Please try with transcoding H265 to ProRes before add them to the timeline and share your results. I have seen videos where H265 vs H264 are very superior (both at 100Mbps) because they can retain more detail and less artifacts.

Maybe H265 4K 30FPS and then transcode to another "edit friendly format" it's the way to go. Color grading is another story that merely an entire chapter of tests, if D-Log are the same thing that "None" in DR terms, I'm going to feel like an idiot.

I really like to buy P4P because the quality video footage are stunning vs olders Phantoms, but I need to be sure that I will not enter in a world of bugs and early cooked firmwares with lots of troubles. I live in Argentina and if I buy a P4P in my travel to USA and carry with me back to my country, I don't have return or refund option, but the footage that I have seen from P4P has blow my mind and I need one right now!!!!

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Don't hold your breath re: h.265 -- perhaps in really complex scenes with a lot of movement you'll see a difference, but I didn't see much of one filming swaying trees. Most likely, h.265 plays slowly for you because your computer has no hardware acceleration for h.265 decoding and/or the software you're using doesn't take advantage of it. Only pretty recent Intel processors have built-in h.265 decoders. So yeah.. for the time being, h.265 is probably more trouble than its worth. It's good that DJI offers it as an option rather than making it the only choice.

Is the flickering issue also apparent with h.264 footage? I need to go out and do a real test flight. So far I've only filmed with the camera on the ground :D

I'm kind of at a loss as to what DJI is trying to do with the different color modes, but tend to agree (to some extent) regarding their video encoding efforts so far. I was actually excited about the Inspire 2, but now I think I'll wait and see how the prores footage looks like. Maybe they'll implement a proper log gamma for prores?
First, my PC was built, by me, in January of this year and is a pretty decent system with an i7-5820K CPU OC'd to 4.4GHz. My GPU is an even better EVGA GeForce 980Ti Hydro that is also OC'd a bit. I have 32GB of DDR4 running at 3200 and a Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD for my main Boot/OS/App drive that also serves as scratch for PP and PS. My main storage drives are WD Black 6TB -- I have two of them. My monitor is a BenQ 32" 4K version running at 60fps at 4K. Lastly, I am running Windows 10 Home from a clean install. So, all in all, a pretty decent box.

Yes, the flickering effect I mentioned with the Inspire 1 Pro happens using H.264. I need to look into the color and style settings I've been using with it as the recent experience with the P4P has me wondering even more about DJI's ability to handle both dynamic compression (D-log) as well as data rate compression (H.264/H.265). I just wish I didn't have to travel 50 miles or so to be outside of the MANY no fly zones in the SLC area where I live.

I think I'll hold off posting the video I promised until after I fly again tomorrow so I can include testing with H.264 and switching to D-Cinelike and None. As always, gimbal homing could be the hold up.


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You bake-in the look you want in camera. I intend to go with the none color setting (The dcinelike and art profiles seem quite similar to none in terms of dynamic range, and I don't particularly like the color rendition, though I'll do a few more tests). I'll probably also leave contrast and saturation alone and maybe reduce sharpening to -1, maybe -2 (looking at my tests now).

In reality, I've been very happy with the none color setting with 0 0 0 on the P4. So long as you watch the histogram and have the zebras on so that you're aware of what parts of the image you're overexposing, I think you can get some great results that require minimal grading.

Incredible footage and edit man! Where is this location?
 
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First, my PC was built, by me, in January of this year and is a pretty decent system with an i7-5820K CPU OC'd to 4.4GHz. My GPU is an even better EVGA GeForce 980Ti Hydro that is also OC'd a bit. I have 32GB of DDR4 running at 3200 and a Samsung 950 Pro M.2 SSD for my main Boot/OS/App drive that also serves as scratch for PP and PS. My main storage drives are WD Black 6TB -- I have two of them. My monitor is a BenQ 32" 4K version running at 60fps at 4K. Lastly, I am running Windows 10 Home from a clean install. So, all in all, a pretty decent box.

Yes, the flickering effect I mentioned with the Inspire 1 Pro happens using H.264. I need to look into the color and style settings I've been using with it as the recent experience with the P4P has me wondering even more about DJI's ability to handle both dynamic compression (D-log) as well as data rate compression (H.264/H.265). I just wish I didn't have to travel 50 miles or so to be outside of the MANY no fly zones in the SLC area where I live.

I think I'll hold off posting the video I promised until after I fly again tomorrow so I can include testing with H.264 and switching to D-Cinelike and None. As always, gimbal homing could be the hold up.


Brian
Hmmm.. the 980Ti does have an ASIC for h.265 encoding/decoding, as should your CPU. So if the playback of h.265 footage is stuttering on your system, it's likely because the software you're using isn't properly taking advantage of the hardware acceleration. For example, on the Macbook Pro I'm using, DaVinci Resolve and Adobe Premiere don't use hardware acceleration for h.264 decoding/encoding, whereas Final Cut Pro X does -- making h.264 footage much smoother to edit in FCPX.
 
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Incredible footage and edit man! Where is this location?
About 50% of the footage in my showreel comes from Komodo National Park/Flores Island in Indonesia. There's other clips from Tubbataha Reefs National Park in the Philippines, Guilin/Yangshuo in China, Dubrovnik in Croatia and Mostar in Bosnia. Oh, and some shots from San Marino, Tuscany and Venice.
 
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These video is truly amazing! Place, footage, grading, is one of the best vídeos I can see in a Phantom. Congrats! Will be very helpful if you share the pre and post (settings before start recording about color, sharpness, contrast, saturation)

On topic: Please try with transcoding H265 to ProRes before add them to the timeline and share your results. I have seen videos where H265 vs H264 are very superior (both at 100Mbps) because they can retain more detail and less artifacts.

Maybe H265 4K 30FPS and then transcode to another "edit friendly format" it's the way to go. Color grading is another story that merely an entire chapter of tests, if D-Log are the same thing that "None" in DR terms, I'm going to feel like an idiot.

I really like to buy P4P because the quality video footage are stunning vs olders Phantoms, but I need to be sure that I will not enter in a world of bugs and early cooked firmwares with lots of troubles. I live in Argentina and if I buy a P4P in my travel to USA and carry with me back to my country, I don't have return or refund option, but the footage that I have seen from P4P has blow my mind and I need one right now!!!!

Enviado desde mi Nexus 6P mediante Tapatalk
The H265 was transcoded to Prores before editing (FCPX doesn't handle h265 footage natively). Not that transcoding can increase the quality of the video, it can only decrease it if the codec you're transcoding to compresses it too heavily. I'm using Prores422, so that shouldn't be the case here. Besides, the H264 footage was similarly transcoded, so it should be an even playing field.

I'm going to post a more comprehensive h264 vs h265 comparison later, but, honestly, I think you have to pixel peep pretty hard to notice any difference even in the most demanding conditions.
 
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Hmmm.. the 980Ti does have an ASIC for h.265 encoding/decoding, as should your CPU. So if the playback of h.265 footage is stuttering on your system, it's likely because the software you're using isn't properly taking advantage of the hardware acceleration. For example, on the Macbook Pro I'm using, DaVinci Resolve and Adobe Premiere don't use hardware acceleration for h.264 decoding/encoding, whereas Final Cut Pro X does -- making h.264 footage much smoother to edit in FCPX.
For as much money as Adobe is making off the CC stuff you'd think they'd spend a little more time adding hardware acceleration to more of there effects and playback. I can play H.264 and H.265 files in PP but running at 4K the performance while scrubbing is nothing to write home about. I recently picked up a Panasonic 4K M43 camera, the G85, and PP has audio issues while playing the video in the Source monitor and sometimes in the Program monitor. As a company Adobe sucks, but PP is pretty good as a cutter even with the spotty scrubbing and acceleration support.


Brian
 
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