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  • Adam Behringer

    Seattle, Washington USA

    Adam is the founder of BEEDOCS, an artisan software company that makes great timeline software for Mac OS X.

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Export Performance Update

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Each week Elise and I meet to discuss our observations of customer support trends and feedback. Over the past few weeks we have noticed quite a few concerns about the performance of 3D movie exports. So that is what I have been focussing my development efforts on.

In a release last week, we improved the export performance a little. Later today we will release v2.9.3 which further improves the speed of 3D movie exports. Since I have been measuring the performance of different types of exports I put it together in a chart for you to see and comment on.

There are two charts. The first is a comparison of variety of export types on my MacPro (PDF). The second chart is the same exports measured on my MacBook (PDF).

Performance chart for recent released of Bee Docs Timeline 3D

I would like you to note three things in the chart...

The first thing to note is that setting Motion Blur to "best" slows down the export by about a factor of 10x. We built the Motion Blur feature at the request of two customers who were using the software in film and television broadcasting. We wouldn't normally build a professional feature for so narrow an audience but obviously we love the exposure that these types of customers can bring to the software. All that to say, you should probably leave Motion Blur off (the default) but if you insist upon using it then I would suggestion saving it until you are rendering a final draft of your timeline.

The second thing to note is that there was one particular combination of settings (the Keynote export at the default slide size with Motion Blur turned on) that really blew up the export time. It is literally off the chart. This combo also sometimes resulted in flickering images in the final movie. Observant customers sometimes noted very low usage of their CPU too.

This was my fault. I was sending the graphics card (GPU) images too big for it to handle at that particular export size. It is now fixed in v2.9.3. Thanks to those who had the patience to carefully describe their experience so that I could find and fix this.

Third thing to note is that the exports are getting faster over the past 3 releases. In particular, the exports without blur are very fast now. For example, the Apple TV setting which is a nice general purpose export takes 24 seconds for an 8 event timeline with photos on my MacPro.

I've been doing some more radical optimizations for the major 2010 release which will further optimize the export performance but I wanted to get all the less invasive improvements our to you as soon as possible. As always, we would like to know how things are working for you. Thanks!

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Mark A. CowanOctober 22, 2009 2:20 PM

Adam and Elise,

Thanks for keeping us informed. I love your program.

Anonymous Michael FlowerOctober 22, 2009 3:18 PM

"I've been doing some more radical optimizations for the major 2010 release..."

I'm looking forward to what you have in store for us. It's always intriguing to guess where you might be headed next.

Blogger nikonaddictOctober 25, 2009 12:29 PM

Thanks for the update! The "Export to Keynote" function is now incredibly fast! I make two or three Keynote presentations a week and could not live without Timeline. You don't know how great the program is until make a presentation to a group of PowerPoint users and watch their jaws drop the first time they see Timeline in action. I take great delight in telling them this is a Macintosh only product!

Anonymous AnonymousOctober 29, 2009 10:15 AM

Thank your for addressing the export issue. I too had niticed a very slow performance. Hopefully, it will improve and keep improving.

One thought; I use the Elgato Turbo 264 HD. Couldn't you just include/open-up that codec?

I have no idea about code but it seems to me that that is exactly what the Elgato stick was made for. That it can be used as a codec.

Great app, your Timeline 3D!

Anonymous AnonymousNovember 06, 2009 6:11 PM

I must be doing something wrong because the export time for me is hours not minutes. The rendering seems to get "stuck" on an event, different each time. My timeline has small photos and 9 events.

I have a 6 month old Macbook Pro and Leopard.

Just downloaded 3D software today. Is there a forum that can help?

Frustrated in Long Beach.

Blogger Adam BehringerNovember 06, 2009 6:19 PM

Anonymous - If your render times are way off from this chart it is probably a specific issue with your timeline or a conflict with a 3rd party plug-in. Send us an e-mail at info@beedocs.com and we'll try to help you solve it. Thanks!

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