June 9, 2015

The New Version of OSX Will Greatly Improve Performance of Adobe CC Video Apps

Apple OSX El Capitan
At Apple's WWDC conference yesterday, the company announced updates for both its mobile and desktop operating systems. Of particular interest for filmmakers, however, is one new feature in OSX, which should drastically improve the performance of Adobe's video apps.

That feature is Apple's Metal API, which was originally designed for iOS 8, and which allows developers more direct access to GPU hardware. In theory, the new API will enable developers to optimize their GPU-intensive apps for notable boosts in rendering performance.

Adobe has already announced that it will be adopting the Metal framework for all of its Creative Cloud apps for OSX. It also announced that in its testing of After Effects, they saw impressive performance gains of roughly 8x when rendering. It's hard to say what exactly this will mean for the other video and photo apps in Adobe's CC suite, but any boosts in graphics performance are always welcome in my book.

If you're wondering what else is coming to OSX El Capitan, here's a quick summary video of the new features from TechnoBuffalo:

Apple also announced that it is working with other software companies such as The Foundry and AutoDesk to implement the Metal API. Like previous iterations of OSX, El Capitan will be a free upgrade and will likely be released to the public in Fall of 2015.     

Your Comment

19 Comments

I am still running 10.6.8. If the captain is going to be as unstable as Yosemite, I believe I'm going to be stock on a parallel time line.

I believe this will benefit the Imac user base, since it is not possible to upgrade your graphic card, this will allow faster render times for those who use 3d softwares for modeling, film, or video game development all together. But for play video games on a mac? ...oh ho ho boy.

June 9, 2015 at 7:24PM, Edited June 9, 7:31PM

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Edgar More
All
1326

Yosemite is really stable now (unlike when it first launched).

June 9, 2015 at 7:45PM

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Brad Jones
Director/Producer/Writer/Editor
674

haha, not through my experience. Still get constant weird glitches, freezes, crashes etc. Most unstable OS I've ever used. Turned me away from macs in general. I don't want another computer I spend thousands on to be useless in 5 years.

June 9, 2015 at 8:10PM

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Stephen Herron
Writer/Director
1814

My mid 2010 iMac runs perfectly on Yosemite, 16gb of ram and edit in CC all day everyday. Could your problems be related to hardware or software issues? I had a problem two years back with constant bugs and freezing, apparently I had fried my ram. Changed them out and no problems since. If you have problems with your Mac, take it to apple, that's why you pay the extra money and they will fix or replace it.

June 10, 2015 at 7:01AM, Edited June 10, 7:03AM

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this will not mean faster render times for 3D, since most of that is still done on the CPU...and GPU rendering is limited by the amount of RAM on the cards that can be accessed (I don't believe there are any cards for apple that can use more than 4GB) and this should all be watched very closely - since Apple's history with opengl is so terrible and many FX applications (autodesk, the foundry etc) use opengl there will be a very touchy transitional period....

June 9, 2015 at 8:01PM

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Michael Goldfarb
Senior Technical Director - Side Effects
306

I know everyone has different experiences and setups with stuff like this, but I haven't had too many issues with Yosemite and I run a hackintosh. I had one major issue with disk utility but that was when i upgraded from Mavericks. I did a fresh install after that no issues. I've been using it as my daily driver for work every day cutting in premiere cc and coloring in resolve. Now I did spend quite a long time doing my research, finding compatible parts and the initial setup with mavericks, but it was well worth it in my opinion, and if setup correctly it is faster than a real mac and much cheaper and more customizable.

June 9, 2015 at 8:28PM

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You might need to look at your hardware... I have 5 macs running Yosemite, 2 iMacs, a MacPro and two Macbooks all different ages and specs. All 0 problems.

June 18, 2015 at 2:43PM, Edited June 18, 2:43PM

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Kristjan Knigge
Director
81

Hmmmm, interesting. I wonder if the studio I work at will get an overhaul soon. I have to prepare myself for the craziness, I think.

June 9, 2015 at 10:50PM

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Donovan Vim Crony
Director, DP, Editor, VFX, Sci-Fi Lover
562

It's worth noting that the next release of After Effects will NOT use Metal. Todd Kopriva of Adobe publicly stated that the "8x" performance increase stated in the keynote referred only to selected tests. It's unlikely any of the Adobe apps in 2015 will use Metal. So while this is great news for the future, we won't be seeing these performance gains much--and probably not at all--in 2015.

June 9, 2015 at 11:27PM

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Benjamin Reichman
Post Supervisor/AE/Editor
320

That's what I was thinking. They're that fast at Adobe. Still very interesting.

June 10, 2015 at 12:59AM

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Gilles van Leeuwen
Filmmaker
356

Definitely exciting! And Adobe does move fast; it's just that they're just about to release this year's apps and it'll be months before El Capitan is ready anyway. So we'll have to wait at least one more release--or maybe several, depending on how hard it is to rewrite the portions of After Effects, Premiere, Media Encoder, etc. that need to be rewritten.

June 11, 2015 at 6:14PM

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Benjamin Reichman
Post Supervisor/AE/Editor
320

Double post.

June 11, 2015 at 6:14PM, Edited June 11, 6:14PM

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Benjamin Reichman
Post Supervisor/AE/Editor
320

@Benjamin

What is Metal exactly? Thanks.

June 11, 2015 at 2:30AM, Edited June 11, 2:30AM

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Daniel Falcon
Director, VFX artist
364

Daniel, Metal is Apple's new system for giving developers low-level access to the GPU. They offered a version of it for iOS first, and now it's coming to the Mac. I'm not a developer, but my impression is that Metal is kind of like Apple's version of Microsoft's DirectX (maybe a developer here can weigh in with more details). Basically, it should mean seriously impressive speedups in many graphically intensive operations...but only when software is rewritten to use it. Here's the official page: https://developer.apple.com/metal/

June 11, 2015 at 6:12PM

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Benjamin Reichman
Post Supervisor/AE/Editor
320

But, will it let me RAM preview the first 30 frames of an AE comp? That's the real question here? :) Link related. https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1625593

June 11, 2015 at 10:34AM

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I am just looking for resolution in the almost constant Finder issues in Yosemite 10.10.3. My external drives often don't respond quickly, if at all, and many times after shuffling files around, finder doesn't reflect the changes. Mildly infuriating.

June 11, 2015 at 10:52AM

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I've got a 2013 Mac Pro Trash Can and its dual GPU famously doesn't take advantage of Adobe--or Adobe famously doesn't take advantage of the Mac Pro's GPU, depending on who's side you're on. Will these performance gains (whenever they take place) help the performance of the Mac Pro TC?

June 11, 2015 at 4:23PM

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J Robbins
666

I wish I could go back to Tiger.

June 11, 2015 at 8:57PM

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Chris Santucci
Cinematographer
302

Didn't Apple announce "more direct access to the GPU" years ago with some other API?

June 16, 2015 at 4:19AM

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David Gurney
DP
2283