Finally got the plugin working, but there are issues...

Finally got the plugin working, but there are issues...

You may have seen a post from me a little earlier, in which I was struggling to get the QuickSync plugin working.

After A LOT of playing around I found that due to the IntelMSDKExporter.prm plugin, Premiere was trying to load the following libraries:

  • dxva2.dll
  • d3d9.dll
  • d3d8hk.dll
  • ippac-7.0.dll

I resolved these issues by downloading and installing:

  • Microsoft Windows SDK 6.1 update (~1.5 GB)
  • Microsoft Windows 7 SDK (~1.5 GB)
  • Intel Integrated Performance Primitives SDK x64 (~300 MB) - Trial of software which needs to be purchased.

Once these were installed I then found Premiere was trying to use the following DLL's

  • ippmsg.dll
  • libiomp5md.dll

The good news (of sorts) is that these are included in the Intel IPP SDK - Unfortunately they were not included in the system path when the SDK was installed, so I have to add the following paths:

  • C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Intel\\ComposerXE-2011\\redist\\intel64\\compiler
  • C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Intel\\ComposerXE-2011\\redist\\intel64\\ipp\\1033

So another try, and I found that this time the following DLL was missing:

  • libimalloc.dll

This file relates to the Intel Math Kernel Library (another SDK that will need to be purchased, although a trial is available).

So after installing four SDK's (at nearly 4GB), two of which are only trial products, this plugin is starting to seem anything but simple.

Is this really what is required to use QuickSync encoding? - It seems extremely complex, and I can't imagine the avergae Premiere Pro user having the knowledge (or patience) to fix these various issues.

At the very least, the list of prerequisits should be listed on the plugin download page, and preferably an install package which includes the required runtime libraries. I have been left completely conused by the various license agreements I have had to look at, as to whether or not it's possible to provide these libraries as a separate runtime package.

Anwway....

The good news is that after a lot of time, effort, downloading and installing I managed to get this working.

The bad news is that I am very disapointed by the results. I will let you judge for yourself below in a moment, but I just wasnted to share my disappointment with this. I opted for a H67 motherboard (Intel HD graphics) over a P67 (Overclocking) due to the possibilities of hardware based h264 encoding, with the theory that I could let the CPU handle the video effects processing and the GPU handle the h264 encoding of various Premiere Pro porjects.

Alas, I am stuck with a chip that allows overclocking, but a motherboard that prevents it, coupled with a disapointing feature which convinced me to go down the H67 route. I honestly feel short changed by the whole affair, since it now seems that the extra power possible from overclocking a P67 would more than make up for not being able to use "not so quick to instal" QuickSync video encoding.

Intel - if I have made mistakes here I apologise completely and I look forward to seeing what I have done wrong and how it can be fixed. If however this is the current state of the plugin then could you please do provide me with a solution to turn me in to a happy customer.

Many thanks

Matt

... And now the results (all of these images have been resized for the forum - click to open in full)

Below - Original - 1440x1080 1.333 Pixel aspect radio
\\/ \\/ \\/

Below - QuickSync - 8mbps vbr, Highest quality, 1440x1080 @ 1.333 pixel aspect ratio
Processed at about 70fps and 40% CPU
You can see the colours are crushed and over saturated, the pixel aspect ratio is incorrect and something strange has happened to th interlacing (the correct, and specified 'upper field first' has not been honored, and interestingly the Adobe Media Encoder log file states "The source was deinterlaced" - which it doesn't say for the correctly interlaced MainConcept transcode).
\\/ \\/ \\/

Below - Mainconept - 8mbps vbr, 1440x1080 @ 1.333 pixel aspect ratio
Prcessed at about 50fps with 90% CPU usage (H67 with i5-2500K).
As you can see it looks pretty good.
\\/ \\/ \\/

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Last post
For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.

Hi Matt,Thanks for your feedback.

Let's first discuss the dependency issues you encountered.

The dxva2.dll, d3d9.dll, d3d8thk.dll are all part of a standard Win7 install. No need to install any additional SDKs or packages.

Regarding "ippac-7.0.dll". This issue stems from a recent release build change accidentally linking in the dynamic IPP libraryfor the audio component. The other dependent DLLs you mentioned in your post are all pulled in from that dynamic DLL.This is certainly our fault, we will work on new build using proper static library ASAP, making it available on WhatIf, likely sometime tomorrow.

To address your concerns. There should be no additional packages needing install, unless you are interested in usingthe plug-in SW encode path, as stated on the WhatIf page, which requires install of the Intel Media SDK package. I apologize for the time you spent installing the unnecessary packages.

On a side note. If you are a developer wanting to develop your own application using Intel Media SDK then you do have to install,aside from the Media SDK, SDKs such as Microsoft Windows SDK.

Now, let's address the encoding results you encounter.
First of all, since this is a plug-in, it has some inherent limitations. For instance, color space conversions are required to alignwith the Adobe supported color spaces, frame resizing done by Premier core using CPU, frame surface copies.All of these have an impact on performance and CPU load. However, compared to many pure CPU workloads the prototype usingIntel QuickSync will showcase better performance.
Optimal performance will not be achieved unless Intel Media SDK is natively integrated allowing elimination of many or all of thebottlenecks described above. Note that many of the Intel QuickSync benchmarks published in connection to the platform launch arefor tightly integrated transcode products.

To address the Pixel aspect ratio and interlace content issue you're observing we will need some more time to look into the code.It is possible that there are some bugs in the prototype implementation.It's hard to make a proper visual quality judgment between encoder outputs, but I doubt that Intel Quick Sync H.264 on highest quality level is comparableto quality of default MainConcept H.264 settings. As of now, to my knowledge, we do not have any public data comparing MainConcept quality toIntel Quick Syncquality.
Thanks,Petter

Hi again Matt,

I have uploaded a new set of binaries fixing the IPP DLL issue.

Regarding pixel aspect ratio (PAR). I honestly believe the
MainConcept encoder is the root of the issue here. If you compare the available
PAR settings for the MainConcept MPEG2 encoder to the MainConcept H.264 encoder
you will see that the MPEG2 encoder specifies Widescreen 16:9 as 1.0 (square
pixels). My guess is that the MainConcept H.264 Widescreen setting does the
same thing, thus the result. If you try the MainConcept H.264 encoder option
with the other available PAR options they all do what is expected. Basically,
it does not seem that there is a way to specify 1.33 PAR for the MainConcept
H.264 encoder. I suggest comparing square pixel setting instead.

Regarding interlace field issue. Looking through the code the
issue seems related to the way the plug-in interacts with Adobe to retrieve (render)
each frame. There is likely an error in the way this part is configured. As of
now I have no solution but will continue to explore the code.
You can navigate around this issue by using progressive content
and timeline instead.

Thanks.

Hi Petter

Thanks for your follow up - I am glad you were are to accept responsilitiy for the issue regarding the IPP DLL's, although I think it is unfortunate given my clear dissatisfaction with the plugin and information provided by your organisation on the associated pages, that you did not feel the need to apologise in any way for the considerable inconvenice caused.

Having recently purchased the i5 chip this was a new installation of Windows 7 - and I agree it looks as though those .dll's are present within the operating system, however they did not seem to be registred or in the system path - in which case can you verify that the plugin should work out the box with a fresh Win7 install?

I don't completely follow your points regarding PAR and the MainConcept plugin, but the bottom line is that the output from MC h264 1440x1080 set to "Widescreen 16:9" is stretched to the correct aspect ratio in every player I have tested (mplayer, WMP, VLC). However the QuickSync output displays incorrectly in all circumstances. Please note, since the source material is 1440x1080 with a widescreen PAR, it makes very little sense to transcode this video to a square pixel aspect ratio, unless the playback device / software requires it (which in my cause of archiving old HDV footage doesn't).

This is compounded by the deinterlacing issue, which makes it impossible to retain any interlacing. Since I am trying to preserve as much of the original footage as possible I would like to keep the original interlacing standard (upper field first). I appreciate your suggestion that using progressive content and would certainly welcome Intel providing me with a professional progresive scan video camera to replace my Sony Z5 which shoots HDV (1080i).

One final point regarding image quality, I think it is a shame that you are already setting your aspiartions so low as to not aiming to match an established software product. I feel strongly that the lower quality nature of the renders whcih can be achieved through QuickSync should be made clear on the plguin information/download page. I feel that I have been misled as to the capabiltiies of this processor and associated software and accordingly will be seeking a refund for my H67 motherboard from my supplier under the UK Sales of Goods Act - on the grounds that it is not fit for purpose.

Ultimately no video professional is going to be inticed by a mediocre increase in transcoding frame rates at the expense of image quality, tedious work arounds for audio processing, lack of control over interlacing and the requirement to change their video camera to suit their edit suite output plugin.

I wish you all the best of the future development on the plugin, but I have grave concerns over the advantages this is ever likely to provide. Especially since I suspect a software based encoder with quality settings set to a minimum will probably surpass QuickSync in terms of speed and quality.

Regards

Matt

Hi Matt,
Im sorry to hear about your dissatisfaction. Please read my first
response post again, there is clearly an apology there. The effort you spent on
finding a solution for yourself is commendable, but let's be reasonable, you
did not have to go through the process of downloading and installing all the
packages, a simple forum post such as your first one would have saved you the
effort then just waiting for the update.

Please understand, this is a prototype, we (Intel) have no plans
of productizing an Adobe plug-in at this point. We are not claiming full
feature set etc. If the performance and/or quality is not on par with your
expectations we certainly appreciate your feedback and we will try to improve
the solution, but as described before, since we are using the Adobe SDK (the
currently available 3rd party developervehicle for Premiere products),
there are inherent limitations (as described in earlier post) to what can be
done as far as performance without native integration.

Since this new Intel platform was launched there are several ISVs
working on solutions supporting HW encode such as Arcsoft, Cyberlink and
MainConcept. The performance using these natively integrated Intel Quick Sync products
are great, and we expect the performance from these products will also improve
with time. Unfortunately I cannot share any of Adobe's plans in this area.

http://www.arcsoft.com/intouch/intelsnbconsumer/
http://www.cyberlink.com/stat/events/OptimizeforIntel/index.jsp
http://www.mainconcept.com/products/partner-products/intel.html
http://www.intel.com/technology/quicksynch/index.htm

This solution was posted on our WhatIf website indicating the fact
that this is prototype and not a product. If you were looking for a strengthened,
fully performance optimized and full featured product, Intel What If is not the
appropriate site. I apologize for any misunderstanding. Instead check out the
products referred to above before considering returning your purchase.

I will continue to look at the interlace and PAR issues you have
encountered.

Again, we appreciate your feedback,
Have a good day,
Thanks,
Petter

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