Jerky playback on powerfull machine

  • **Hi all,
    We are a corporate company experimenting with multi-projector setups. We've purchased Isadora to use in our demo area on a new Mac Pro (64GB RAM, Dual FirePro D700 graphics cards, SSD drives, 8 core processor etc). On mavericks.

    So far we cannot play anything back successfully and need some help!

    The Mac can play back many HD content streams smoothly without issue (in QuickTime for example), but the same files won't play smoothly within Isadora. Playing 2 files simultaneously isn't even a starter (extremely jerky playback).

    We think this is something to do with the way system resources are being allocated to the program - the CPU load is minimal. Is there a way to increase the allocation? Are we doing something fundamentally wrong?

    Have tried every setting under the Preferences tab,

    Please let us know any other information you need to help with this?

    Cheers,  Ady

  • First we need to know what version Isadora you are using. Then what is the codec used for the mov's. If you do not know then get iMediaHUD. That will tell everything about the movie file.

    Also where do you see the CPU load? Isadora Status Window will tell more about Isadora processes.
    As you point out that you are corporate company you may want to hire professional to set up your system. That what CCs usually do.
  • Beta Platinum

    Didnt know about iMediaHUD, thats a nice one to have

  • Hi Vanakaru,

    Version: 1.3.1f06
    Various Codecs, doesn't seem to be much difference between h.264 or prores
    Have been monitoring system resources through OSX utilities - where would i  find the Status Window?
    Sorry what I meant was we are a Corporate Production company running live events,

    Thanks for any help!

  • Izzy Guru

    Download the pre-release:
    Convert videos to ProRes :)
    You will notice a bit difference. 
    Note: you will **not** have access to isadora 2.0 new features such as video mapping, etc but the playback engine is much better.

  • And when you get Isadora v.2(we are testing the beta right now) you can utilize AF features with great improvement on HD video playback.

    There is fair amount of reports on this forum about the new version and this section is good read meanwhile

  • @adytolson

    When playing HD content using H264 with Isadora 1.3.1f06, you will not get excellent performance; the bandwidth is just too high for the old rendering engine. That's why we'll soon release Isadora 2.0, which takes advantage of Apple's AVFoundation to give extremely smooth and reliable playback of multiple full res HD Movies. (Users with SSDs on their laptops have reported playing 8 full res HD [1920x1080] clips simultaneously.)
    If you wishget your hands on these features now, you can learn more about our early adopter program here:
    Best Wishes,

  • Many thanks all,

    I'll let you know how I get on this week.

    One other question:

    I've been running a Syphon output into other programs, but I seem to be limited to 1 stage output, which is fixed to one of the video outputs on the machine (1080)

    Is there a way of specifying the res of the Syphon output, or syphoning more than one stage space simultaneously?


  • Dear @adytolson,

    The "Syphon Stage Output" actor allows you to choose any of the six possible stages. There is not yet a super-elegant way to accomplish your goal. But for the moment, you can do the following:
    1) Open the Isadora preferences
    2) Set the "Preview Stage Size" to the desired resolution
    3) Enable a stage but ensure it is not associated with a valid display. For instance, if you have a two displays (the main one, and a second display which is your video projector) then you would set the "Place On" menu to "Display 3" which does not exist.
    4) Close the Preferences
    5) Choose **Output > Show Stages**
    When you show the stages, this new "extra" stage will appear in preview mode at the size specified by the "Preview Stage Size." You can then use the Syphon Stage Output actor to route this extra stage to some other program. You can even move of the edge of your main display so that just a sliver of it is visible... it will still send the entire image to Syphon.
    Hope that helps,

  • Great stuff, quick update to where we are:

    • Pro res 422 works OK with version 1.3, still not great. 4444 doesn't work.
    • Updated to version 2
    • Now Pro res 422 doesn't work well, but 4444 works great. Have managed to simultaneously playback 3 instances of a 4096x1080 video with pretty good results (although still not as good as 3 instances of Quicktime)

    So, are we on the right track in terms of Codecs? Is there an even better version to try? How about uncompressed Animation?

    Obviously we want to be completely comfortable with playback before we shell out for the 2.0 upgrade!

    @mark thanks for the Syphon output tip, great

  • As far as I understand the Animation codec will not be supported with AVFoundation. And will be obsolete in the future.

    I would try HAP as well. It does good job on Isadora v.1 and even better v.2 allowing extensive interactive manipulation. I did a installation running for 10 days with 6 layers reacting to sound(rotating, speed-up, zoom, position). Media was PNG pictures and HAP+(alpha) 1280x800\. My old MBP 4.1(2008) was able to run this just fine 30fps.
    I am a bit surprised that 422 was worse than 4444\. Time to run some tests.
    BTW if you do not do anything to the movies(manipulation like moving, rotating, stopping, scaling etc) the best performing codec is H264.