Author Archive: kmonahan

Avoid installing NVIDIA CUDA drivers on computers with AMD GPUs

CUDA

Note that the CUDA Driver Version is disabled in Mac OS X System Preferences since there is no NVIDIA card in this computer

Do you have a computer with AMD GPUs? If so, please ensure that you never install NVIDIA CUDA drivers to your system unless a CUDA card is installed. This can really confuse your computer, and will further cause applications to act erratically, even crash.

In addition to mistakenly installing NVIDIA CUDA drivers manually, you can also wrongly install these drivers via system migration. For example, system migration via Time Machine on Mac OS X can cause the issue. If you had the drivers installed on a previous computer and then migrated your system’s files to a new computer with only AMD drivers, you can get errors. If you swapped an AMD GPU into a system that previously had a NVIDIA CUDA card installed, these errors will occur. Certain applications can install CUDA drivers to computers, so you can get these errors that way, as well.

This issue happens primarily to Mac users. These users must remove CUDA drivers from their computer. To remove CUDA drivers from the Mac, go to “Mac HD/Library/Frameworks” and delete “CUDA.Framework.”

Update 3/28/14
For certain applications, such as Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve, CUDA drivers are automatically installed, even if you have AMD GPUs. CUDA must be installed in order for that application to launch. If other applications have issues, you may need to install a different version of the CUDA drivers. Currently, if you need to have CUDA software installed on AMD hardware, you can install the 5.5.28 CUDA drivers. In the future, consult support for the manufacturer for the correct CUDA driver version.

If CUDA drivers do not need to be installed, please do not install them. It’s best to not have CUDA drivers on non-CUDA hardware unless you absolutely need to, as in the case with Resolve.

Share on Facebook

Exporting media with an alpha channel in Premiere Pro

TransparencyRecently in the Twitter-verse, a user was getting frustrated that he could not export a clip with an alpha channel from Premiere Pro. Here is a tip I can share with you to make sure that the alpha channel is respected:

  1. Edit a clip into the Timeline.
  2. Make an effect that will create an alpha channel. Examples include:
    1. Crop
    2. Garbage Matte
    3. Motion > Scale (less than 100%)
    4. Track Matte Key
  3. Mark the clip’s In and Out points
  4. Export the clip via File > Export > Media
  5. In the export settings, make sure you choose a codec which supports the alpha channel, such as QuickTime ProRes 4444, PNG, or AVI None. You can tell if a codec supports an alpha channel by inspecting the bit depth settings for the codec in the Video tab, and then seeing if it has an option for 32 bit support.
    1. Under the Video tab in Basic Video Settings, check the Render at Maximum Depth box.
    2. Do one of the following:
      1. Choose 32 bit
      2. Click the radio button that says “32 bit”
      3. Check the box indicating “Include Alpha Channel”
  6. Export the media by clicking the Export or Queue button
  7. After the file is exported, import the media and place the clip on V2 over an existing clip. Check if your clip now carries transparency. It should!

I hope this blog post helps you in creating alpha channels in the clips you export.

Share on Facebook

Prevent crash on export with Premiere Pro CC & Adobe Media Encoder CC

Digital-Backdrop_smWhen you attempt to launch Adobe Media Encoder CC, or when you export from Adobe Premiere Pro CC via File > Export > Media, a crash occurs. This issue occurs on Mac OS X only.

The solution is to update the desktop Creative Cloud application. Sign in to the Creative Cloud desktop application to trigger the installation process. In some cases, it’s necessary to sign out and sign back in within the Creative Cloud desktop application to get this option.

Updating the Creative Cloud desktop application also fixes crashing on launch for the following applications:

  • Bridge CC
  • Edge Inspect CC
  • Scout CC

Updating the Creative Cloud desktop application provides fixes for other applications, as well. See the release notes here.

More details, including an alternate solution, can be found here: http://helpx.adobe.com/creative-cloud/kb/ame-premiere-crash-launch-export.html

Share on Facebook

Revert to a previous version of any Creative Cloud application

rollbackEver need to install a previous version of an Adobe Creative Cloud application? There is sometimes a need to do just this, and for a number of reasons. There might be a conflict in third party hardware, for example. Whatever your reason might be, this blog post aims to show you how to roll back to any Creative Cloud application you have installed on your computer. Here’s how:

  1. Uninstall the application from your computer using the application’s uninstaller. If you are not aware of their location, uninstallers reside in the same folder as your application.
  2. From the Creative Cloud desktop application, begin to install any Creative Cloud application by clicking the “Install” button.
  3. As soon as the application indicates it is “Updating”, click the “X” to cancel the process.
  4. This leaves applications at the same version when Creative Cloud was first launched.
  5. Go to the product updates site here http://www.adobe.com/downloads/updates.html and then install the version of the application that suits your needs.

I hope this blog answers your questions about how to roll back or revert to an earlier version of any Creative Cloud application.

Share on Facebook

Trimming in the timeline with transitions applied in Premiere Pro CC

Place trim cursors in the area above and below a transition to trim with transitions remaining intact

Place trim cursors in the area above or below a transition to trim with transitions remaining intact

Did you know that you can use the trim tools on an edit point even if a transition has been applied? It’s not readily apparent in Premiere Pro CC, so I thought I’d write a quick blog to show you the trick.

In Premiere Pro CC, the icon for a transition is now larger than it has been in past versions. In Premiere Pro CS6, for example, there’s plenty of room to grab an edit point with any of the trim tools. You could then ripple or roll trim an edit and the transition would remain intact.

With Premiere Pro CC’s larger transition icon, you can’t click and drag on top of the icon as you might expect. It won’t work!

So, here’s the trick: move the cursor toward the upper third or lower third of the transition. Note that the tools are enabled in these areas. It is only in the middle-third of the transition where the tools are disabled.

Try it for yourself to get the full effect!Share on Facebook

Computer shuts down while using GPU intensive applications

CircuitsWhile working in certain applications which use the GPU for processing data, do you have trouble with your computer shutting down? No errors, no freezes, just shutting down? We have been seeing a few cases in support where customers are complaining about this. In doing some troubleshooting, we have found that it’s sometimes due to hardware issues related to internal hardware components.

Does your computer shut down right away, or soon after you started working? It is likely that you don’t have a large enough power supply unit (PSU) to handle the power consumption of the GPU. In fact, the GPU is definitely a resource hog when comparing it to other hardware components. With the literature that comes with each GPU is its power consumption. Make sure you take into account the added power your system will require when adding a new GPU. In many cases, you will need a newer, more powerful power supply. For more info, see this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_supply_unit_(computer)

If your computer shuts down after working with your applications after awhile, it might be due to inadequate cooling within the computer, exceeding the operating temperature limits. If the system gets too hot, heat emitting components like the CPU, hard drives, GPU, etc., might cause your computer to shut down. When adding a new hardware to your computer system, keep in mind the waste heat the components will emit. If this is the case, look into ways to cool the internal components of your computer down. See this article for an explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_cooling

If you are experiencing this issue or a related problem, please post in our forums here: forums.adobe.com

Share on Facebook

How to get text and graphics from After Effects into Premiere Pro

Replace with AE compAs an editor, I’ve never been totally satisfied with native NLE titling tools. Sure, they’re great for down and dirty lower thirds, but I always end up wanting to animate certain elements of a line of text or some graphics using a dedicated titler or motion graphics package. Using Premiere Pro, you can use dynamic link to get material from After Effects into Premiere Pro. Why not? After Effects is the single greatest tool for creating dynamic titles and motion graphics.

Most people looking to import text or graphics into Premiere Pro probably send the clip or clips to After Effects via the Replace with After Effects Composition command. I’m all about ease of use, and this is a pretty easy way to get this work done. However, there is one issue: I do not like text applied to my clip, I prefer to have text and graphics as separate entities. It gives me more flexibility to make changes to clips without having to redo the text and graphics. Other post-production workflows might require this for various reasons, as well.

How do you create text and graphics on their own so that they are not applied to the clip? You can use this trick:

  1. Edit an Adjustment Layer or Transparent Video  in a track above the clip.
  2. Right click (Windows) or Ctrl-click (Mac OS) on the clip or clips and choose “Replace with After Effects Composition.”
  3. Once in After Effects, create the text and/or graphics treatment.
    1. If you are using Transparent Video, delete that layer in After Effects
    2. If you are using an Adjustment Layer, it is not necessary to delete it.
  4. Save the After Effects composition.
  5. The text and/or graphics are now visible in the Premiere Pro sequence.

You now have a method for getting text and graphics into Premiere Pro using After Effects with the advantage of having them as separate clips, not embedded into clips.Share on Facebook

Reset After Effects Preferences

Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 12.01.44 PMWhen behavior in After Effects does not seem as expected, you can reset After Effects preferences as a simple troubleshooting step. From After Effects Help:

To restore default preference settings:

  • Press Ctrl+Alt+Shift (Windows) or Command+Option+Shift (Mac OS) while the application is starting.
  • A dialog box launches asking you if you want to delete your preferences file. Click OK.
  • To also restore default keyboard shortcuts, Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) the OK button.

Some personal notes:

  • After you delete preferences, new preferences are automatically rebuilt for After Effects.
  • Note: since you have deleted the preferences file, you may have to reset some of your preferences.
  • For terminology’s sake, resetting preferences, deleting preferences, trashing preferences, or simply, “trashing your prefs,” all mean the same thing.

Resetting After Effects prefernces  has gotten me out of many jams. Try it if After Effects is misbehaving.

More details on Preferences.

Share on Facebook

Downloading CS6 applications from Creative Cloud

Selecting version on CC WebsiteI’ve been getting requests from customers that are looking to download CS6 applications.

Follow these instructions to get previous versions of Adobe Creative Suite software:

http://helpx.adobe.com/creative-cloud/kb/download-previous-versions-creative-applications.html

If you are looking to download CS6 applications or trials for CS6, you can download the applications here:

http://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/policy-pricing/cs6-product-downloads.html

Share on Facebook

Enabling CUDA for Premiere Pro and After Effects in the MacBook Pro Retina

OpenCL

Premiere Pro Project Settings

Just the other day, I became the lucky recipient of a brand new MacBook Pro Retina as my new work laptop. Nice! I’m sure many of you know what I was thinking–Mercury Playback Engine support! The GPU is also supported for hardware acceleration when creating ray-traced 3D compositions in After Effects, as well. More on that a bit later.

Premiere Pro
Upon launching Premiere Pro CC (lightning fast, by the way!), I noticed that only OpenCL processing was available in Project Settings > Video Rendering and Playback > Renderer. With the NVIDIA 650M GPU, I expected to see CUDA processing available, as well, as this video card supports both OpenCL and CUDA processing. I did not.

Note: Having access to both CUDA and OpenCL processing in Premiere Pro is only available in Mac OS X. The NVIDIA 650M will only support CUDA in Windows.

This is not a Premiere Pro issue, it is because CUDA drivers are not natively installed in your shiny new MacBook Pro. You need to do that in order for CUDA processing to work with the Mercury Playback Engine. For these drivers, go to the NVIDIA site:

I found the most current driver, along with an archive of earlier drivers, here: http://www.nvidia.com/object/mac-driver-archive.html

CUDA

CUDA System Preferences – Mac OS X

CUDA 650M

Premiere Pro Project Settings

Download the driver and install it. After installation, check Apple > System Preferences for the CUDA control panel. Click on the control panel to access the controls. You can update the CUDA driver  here, if there is one available. All CUDA updates can be accessed from the control panel, so it’s a good habit to check it periodically.

To enable CUDA processing for the Mercury Playback Engine, first restart Premiere Pro. Then, head to File > Project Settings (note: for CS6 users, Project Settings are in the Project menu) to see if you have installed it.

You should now have access to CUDA processing for the Mercury Playback Engine, as shown (left).

If you are still having trouble enabling CUDA, the MacBook Pro is not seeing your NVIDIA card. You have two video cards in a MacBook Pro Retina, the NVIDIA 650M and the Intel HD Graphics 4000 built in card. I feel it is important to force the MacBook Pro Retina to use the NVIDIA 650M at all times so that it does not switch to the Intel card unnecessarily.

To do this, choose the Apple menu > System Preferences > Energy Saver and disable the Automatic Graphics Switching checkbox. That will ensure you are using the NVIDIA card at all times.

After Effects

The NVIDIA 650M in the MacBook Pro Retina is supported to accelerate ray-traced 3D compositions in After Effects, however, this is not recommended. Unfortunately, the NVIDIA 650M has barely enough VRAM to support acceleration for ray-traced 3D compositions. See this forum post by Todd Kopriva for details: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1326404?tstart=0

That said, users will probably try to enable acceleration in their MacBook Pro Retina anyway.

If you still want to enable CUDA processing despite potential problems you may run into, launch After Effects to make sure that the application is seeing your NVIDIA 650M. If you launch After Effects and get a Warning dialog box, the application is not seeing your GPU. The reason is that the video card may have too many other resources trying to use the VRAM (like other applications, web browsers, or connected hardware), therefore, After Effects will not enable the card because there is not enough VRAM available.

NO CUDA

After Effects Warning dialog box

If this happens, click OK in the dialog box, and close After Effects. Close other applications, web browsers, and disconnect any hardware device reliant upon the GPU. Then, restart After Effects. Note if you get the Warning dialog box when inspecting Preferences.

If CUDA is still disabled, reboot the MacBook Pro Retina, and then relaunch the application. CUDA should now be enabled.

You can ensure that CUDA is enabled by checking the GPU Information dialog box.

To view the GPU information dialog box, choose Preferences > Preview, and then press the GPU Information button to launch the dialog box.

GPU OK

After Effects GPU Information

If CUDA information is available, then you will now have access to the benefits of CUDA.

For best performance, choose System Preferences > Energy Saver from the Apple menu. Click the Power Adapter button and disable Automatic Graphics Switching, and then close System Preferences.

If you continually are running out of VRAM when using hardware acceleration for ray-traced 3D rendering, it may be a better idea to do this on a computer with a NVIDIA card that has more VRAM.

Adobe Media Encoder
Adobe Media Encoder also utilizes GPU acceleration for encoding certain items. After launching the application, look in the Queue panel and inspect the menu at the bottom of the panel. There you should see some familiar choices for GPU acceleration. If CUDA processing is not available, try closing other applications and any web browsers which take up GPU resources. If that does not work, restart the MacBook Pro and CUDA processing should again be available.

I hope this article helps you troubleshoot problems you may be having enabling the NVIDIA 650M for CUDA processing in Adobe video applications.

Share on Facebook