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Yuri Nikitin
(@yuri)
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Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 7
24/01/2021 9:48 am  

After having been a ProShow Producer user for years, I have decided to give Photopia a try and installed a trial copy for Photopia Director.

Found a strange thing that while producing the final video, application would not use any GPU resources for hardware acceleration of the encoding. Tried H.264 export with various resolutions (FHD and UHD), quality settings and frame rates at no luck. All time it's CPU-based rendering, GPU load is 0.

Acceleration checkbox in Publish/Video file dialogue window is checked (I assume by default), and text reads "Enable hardware encoding using NVIDIA NVENC.

Graphics card is NVIDIA Quattro P620 which supports all kinds of H.264 and H.265 hardware acceleration, I have just installed latest driver package. Tried acceleration with Cyberlink PowerDirector on UHD H.264 and H.265: works like a charm, GPU is used at full.

Please advise: do I need to invoke some hidden settings to make Photopia Director use HVENC?

Thank you.


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Joshua
(@joshua)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1048
28/01/2021 3:50 pm  

There are no additional options for enabling hardware accelerated video encoding. It's either 'on' or it's 'off', and in this case the 'on' setting doesn't appear to be working properly. We'll make sure this issue gets escalated so our developers can take a look and fix whatever is going on. Thank you.


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Yuri Nikitin
(@yuri)
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Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 7
28/01/2021 7:18 pm  

Great, thank you @joshua. Please let me know if I can provide you with any needed details such as log files or system configuration information.

I made a little research and found that Photopia used FFMPEG.EXE for encoding, and the version shipped with Photopia Creator (I subscribed to Creator eventually) was rather old, from 2017. I downloaded a fresh copy, compiled with all hardware encoding libraries, and replaced old EXE file. No luck, GPU utilisation zero.

Unchecking and checking "Enable hardware encoding" checkbox does not help either.


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Yuri Nikitin
(@yuri)
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Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 7
01/02/2021 7:42 am  

@joshua, after upgrade to 1.0.619 I see that Photopia has started to use GPU-based encoding. However, GPU load is still low: not more than 19% with a 4K 60p Extreme Quality rendering. As a comparison, Cyberlink PowerDirector loads GPU at full 100 percent.

Windows Task Manager shows that Photopia Creator invokes FFMPEG.EXE for rendering, and it's a 32-bit process. Why does a 64-bit host app call a 32-bit process? That may be one of the reasons for low GPU utilisation.

Please replace obsolete 32-bit version of FFMPEG.EXE in the Photopia installation package with the latest 64-bit one, compiled with all modern hardware encoding libraries. Thank you.


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Joshua
(@joshua)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1048
01/02/2021 2:27 pm  

@yuri

I know there are plans to integrate a 64-bit version of FFMPEG in the future, primarily as it relates to adding support for 8K video output, although I don't have an ETA on that change. It's also not clear what impact that change will have on video encoding speeds as our software works a bit differently than most video editors (like PowerDirector), which tend to have a shorter output pipeline and thus benefit more from GPU offloading.


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Yuri Nikitin
(@yuri)
Member
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 7
01/02/2021 5:18 pm  

Thank you @joshua. Looking forward to seeing better rendering throughput then. I realise that rendering pipeline of slideshow software is different than that of a "regular" video editor, so we should not expect similar results, but even 50% of GPU utilisation would help a lot.

Also, as I mentioned on Feature Request forum, H.265 (HEVC) encoding is of high demand, as it creates smaller but better video files.


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Yuri Nikitin
(@yuri)
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Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 7
08/02/2021 7:09 pm  

An interesting observation. Rendering UHD 4K 60 fps at Extreme Quality produces different results with and without hardware encoding (NVENC).

With NVENC off (CPU-only rendering), resulting file reports 120 Mbps bit rate, while with NVENC on the bit rate in produced H.264 file reaches enormous 433 Mbps, and the file is three times larger that in former case.

As Photopia does not provide any direct control on the bit rate, that may be a bug.


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Joshua
(@joshua)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1048
25/02/2021 9:46 pm  

@yuri

Thank you for this report. I'll make sure it gets to the right people for a closer look.


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