Performance and Stability: Our Highest Priority

Delivering ongoing improvements for the Adobe Creative Cloud video & audio applications

Audio and video editing

Hardware acceleration means faster exports on macOS and Windows.

by Eric Philpott

posted on 05-19-2020

Improving the performance and stability of our software is our top priority. Over the past year we have stepped up our engineering efforts in these areas to ensure our users get results. The changes we’ve made include a shift to more frequent updates, allowing our teams to iterate faster, and introducing the public Beta program that expands our test base and incorporates user engagement and feedback within the development process.

A cadence of regular updates

And this is just the beginning. We will provide regular updates to our community so please bookmark this page if you would like to stay in the know and follow our progress. Here’s a look at what we’ve been up to.

Stability

We pride ourselves on offering professional video applications that run on a wide range of systems across platforms with broad format support. This makes applications like Premiere Pro and After Effects powerful, flexible and highly extensible. At the same time, that flexibility brings the risk of stability issues with unique workflows and configurations across hardware, software, operating systems and GPU. The changes we have been making in our development process are allowing us to address these issues systematically.

The result has been a steady pace of release-over-release improvements over the past 18 months. Analytics allow us to prioritize fixes which will have the most positive impact. Public Beta is speeding up the process and ensures that we remain focused on the areas that matter most to our users.

The System Compatibility Report in Premiere Pro

It’s important to note that stability issues do not affect all users equally. We’ve done extensive research into crash statistics and causes. A large percentage of problems stem from insufficient hardware specs or out-of-date drivers. While an advanced application like Premiere Pro has an answer for almost every workflow question, we recognize that it shouldn’t require expert knowledge for a user to keep their system running smoothly.

The System Compatibility Report in Premiere Pro.

Last year we introduced the System Compatibility Report in Premiere Pro, which identifies problems with out-of-date drivers. Since we launched this feature, many of our users have been able to take advantage of this information. We will continue to develop reporting capabilities to help our users keep their systems in shape while we also continue to make our applications less susceptible to driver issues in the first place.

Performance

Real-world performance is based on a combination of factors, including file formats, project complexity, and workflow. For video production, performance is highly dependent on hardware capabilities. We post detailed system requirements for Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, Character Animator, Adobe Media Encoder, and Premiere Rush. For system upgrades we have a hardware recommendations guide for Premiere Pro and After Effects, including specific configurations from hardware partners like Dell, HP, and Puget Systems.

Performance can be measured in areas like playback (decoding), exporting (encoding), UI responsiveness, and how fast individual features work. Below are some of the areas we have been working to push performance, with examples from recent updates.

Improving playback

File formats can impact performance. For example, heavily compressed codecs like H.264 and H.265 (HEVC) are demanding processor-intensive formats for post-production. To accelerate playback of these codecs we have already implemented hardware decoding for macOS and Intel Quick Sync Video on Windows, in collaboration with Intel. We plan to do more and H.264 and HEVC playback performance remain priorities for us.

We’ve made gains in playback performance for other formats, including Apple ProRes codecs. We typically measure playback performance based on the number of streams that Premiere Pro can playback simultaneously at HD and 4K (UHD) resolutions.

This graph shows the number of ProRes 422 HQ streams which the current and previous versions of Premiere Pro can playback, tested on HP desktop and mobile workstations.

Faster export

With the latest releases of Premiere Pro and After Effects we now offer hardware encoding for the H.264 and HEVC formats across the full range of macOS and Windows systems. With new support for NVIDIA and AMD GPUs on Windows, Premiere Pro leverages hardware-acceleration to speed up encoding on those systems.

Export speed gains using hardware-based encoding. With the addition of AMD and NVIDIA support on Windows, hardware encoding is now available across all modern macOS and PC systems. See more HP performance data showing the benefits of GPU-acceleration.

Optimizing features: Faster Auto Reframe

Advanced features like Content-Aware Fill in After Effects and Auto Reframe in Premiere Pro are processor- and memory-intensive. Engineering and algorithmic optimizations have allowed us to refine how the features work their magic, resulting in meaningful speed gains. Last year we were able to make Content-Aware Fill twice as fast. This year we have accomplished similar performance gains with Auto Reframe.

Auto Reframe in Premiere Pro uses Adobe Sensei AI to reposition video within different aspect ratios. The feature is now twice as fast.

Ensuring quality for the long term: public Beta

Our public Beta, launched earlier this year, allows interested users to run parallel installations of pre-release builds of our video and audio applications. This provides a much broader test base of real-world system configurations and creates a platform for users to engage with our product teams, providing ongoing feedback on bug fixes and features.

As part of our ongoing commitment to performance and stability, we’ll continue to share our progress and activities in this blog post. We’re dedicated to delivering applications and features that meet the real-world needs of video professionals and social video creators to maximize their creativity, wherever they are working. Find out what’s new in the latest release of the Creative Cloud video apps.

Hardware Recommendations for Premiere Pro and After Effects.

Topics: Video & Audio, Media & Entertainment, News

Products: Premiere Pro, Creative Cloud