How to improve my Render times?

john-mollaghan wrote on 1/4/2017, 5:35 AM

Any tips on how to speed up my Render times in Vegas 14 Pro?

Up until recently I was editing footage that was 1440*1080 50i, mostly out to DVD (MPEG2)

Now with the new camera the footage is 1920*1080 50p, so it takes a LOT longer to render and I am now only rendering for Mediazilla/USB so I render out to MP4 format @ 10Mbps.

All tips on project settings, render settings greatly appreciated. It is taking around 12 hours to render a 2.5 hour project.




Musicvid wrote on 1/4/2017, 6:39 AM

The dominant factor in render speed is still your CPU.

Sounds like you might be a dual-core holdout. Most people would find that tedious for encoding h264 at hd resolutions.

Post system specs, project and render settings, and all the effects and generated media on your timeline in order to receive more specific guidance.

3POINT wrote on 1/4/2017, 6:47 AM

I use for 1080p50 renders the following customized Sony AVC rendertemplate, which gives a relative fast (depending on your CPU) high quality MP4 format output.

WayneW wrote on 1/4/2017, 10:31 PM

John, have you tried Vegas2Handbrake? Handbrake uses the X264 implementation of H264, which allows you to focus on output of a constant quality rather than constant bitrate. You can also adjust the relationship between encoding speed and file size, so in your case you could set the encoding speed to ultrafast. Yes, this will result in a larger file (higher bitrate), but you will not sacrifice any quality. In fact, you will still achieve better quality at any given bitrate than the Sony or MainConcept AVC CODECs.

Alternatively, you could install the x264vfw CODEC and use this from within Vegas to obtain the same results. However, the Handbrake rendering engine is excellent and takes maximum advantage of your CPU, whereas the the one in Vegas, by comparison, does not.

john-mollaghan wrote on 1/5/2017, 3:54 AM

Hi Wayne, I tried the x264vfw CODEC from within Vegas itself. If seems to work and seems to render a bit quicker, HOWEVER the audio is not properly in synch with the video in the output file, so it's not really usable.

Could you please share the settings you use with rendering using the x264vfx codec with the Video for Windows setting in Vegas?


john-mollaghan wrote on 1/5/2017, 4:26 AM

I have sorted out the synch issue (there is a zero latency setting in the codec).

I don't think I will use this codec though, it seems to have a lot less contrast that what I get from the Sony AVC preset in Vegas. I might just stick with that.

Is there any way to get the same output from vfw as the Sony AVC?



WayneW wrote on 1/5/2017, 5:26 AM

I seldom use x264vfw, as I prefer to send the entire rendering process to Handbrake. I often have projects over an hour long and find this saves a lot of time, as the Handbrake rendering engine is just so much better. There are also other benefits. I often make use of the NLMeans denoising, HE-AAC audio encoding and (occasionally) some of the advanced settings, none of which are available in x264vfw.

In terms of the change in contrast, perhaps this is related to the colorspace setting. I'm sure someone else will have better advice in this respect. What CRF setting did you use, by the way? Perhaps decreasing this incrementally will also help. Depending on the content and resolution, I usually use somewhere between 18 and 23. I find below 18 one only gets minor quality improvement while the bitrates increase dramatically. Usually above 23 there is a perceptible drop in quality.


Editor17958 wrote on 1/5/2017, 9:01 PM

If the x264vfw output looks "washed out", is what you mean by a contrast issue, then its probably a levels issue. I've noticed similar behavior when rendering with stuff like SonyAVC (which seems to do it automatically) versus something else.

If you're not doing any levels conversion your footage may be coming out at the wrong levels for your intended display device. If your issue looks similar to this, then levels may be the problem when rendering through Video For Windows codecs.

Editor17958 wrote on 1/5/2017, 9:02 PM

haha ok wow gonna assume the forum crippled the quality on that, but the important thing is to look at the lighting differences not so much the picture quality. lmao

john_dennis wrote on 1/5/2017, 10:44 PM

"...gonna assume the forum crippled the quality on that"

If you use an image editor to put both screen shots into the same photo, the difference should be apparent in spite of any manipulation by the forum. 

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NickHope wrote on 1/6/2017, 2:58 AM
I don't think I will use this codec though, it seems to have a lot less contrast that what I get from the Sony AVC preset in Vegas. I might just stick with that.

Is there any way to get the same output from vfw as the Sony AVC?

I have no experience of Mediazilla, and I don't know what player you're using to play off USB. Here are some observations and suggestions for delivering Vegas2Handbrake vs x264vfw to YouTube and you might find that much of this theory also applies to your playback scenario too. Point 3 probably directly answers your question.

  1. f you upload an x264vfw .avi render (whether YUV or RGB) to YouTube, the final result at playback after they transcode the file will have the same luminance as the Vegas preview window.
  2. If you upload a Vegas2Handbrake x264 or SonyAVC .mp4 render to YouTube, the final result at playback has more contrast than the Vegas preview window.
  3. If you want the x264vfw render to have the same luminance on YouTube as the Vegas2Handbrake or SonyAVC renders, add a Sony or VEGAS Levels FX as a video output FX with the Studio RGB to Computer RGB preset. Bear in mind that this may well clip your whites, blacks or both (losing highlight or shadow detail to plain black or white), depending on the luminance of your video.
  4. If you want the Vegas preview window to have the same luminance as a Vegas2Handbrake x264 or SonyAVC render will look on YouTube, I recommend you install SeMW Extensions. Enable its Preview levels extension (Tools menu > Extensions), which will put a new drop-down menu above the Vegas preview window. In that drop-down menu choose "PC". You can safely render with that set, as it applies to preview only.

However, having tested this fairly thoroughly today, I found that x264vfw is a bad choice for YouTube upload because you get a significant colour shift. It's not immediately obvious on lots of footage, but skin tones will change slightly and if you render a Belle Nuit test chart and upload it you'll see a big shift in the green and magenta. I guess what's happening is that YouTube may be using Rec.601 instead of Rec.709 when it receives the x264vfw file. Bit of a wild guess though.

Having said that I think x264vfw at high quality settings would make a pretty good near-lossless 8-bit intermediate for bringing back to the Vegas timeline, especially if you change the colorspace to RGB (which results in a file nearly 3 times as big as YUV). It would be interesting to compare with MagicYUV, Cineform, XAVC-Intra etc..

Musicvid wrote on 1/6/2017, 4:57 AM

x264 has a lossless mode using RF=0 and hi10p profile. Judging from the file sizes it may well be all i-frame. On the Belle-nuit it holds up quite well next to the ones you mentioned.

If Vegas now supports hi10p 422 (does it?), the superior Decomb and Lanczos scaling available in HB make it an interesting candidate for intermediate processing through the Vegas2Handbrake pipeline.

Even without hi10p support, 8 bit 420 at RF=1 in HB is awfully good. In fact, 10- to 8- bit conversion in Handbrake is much cleaner with less visible banding.

With that, I have taken this thread completely off topic, because the workflow is anything but fast.

If someone has the time to see if this works in V14. . . .