Best file format for optimized playback

I am working on a UHD 4k ProRes4444XQ project. Footage is on a local RAID and the computer has 32GB-64GB of RAM. The playback is really bad and caching does not seem to be working.

Is there a better proxy format that Mocha is optimized to read ( exr, jpg, 1/2 rez jpg, etc )?

Is Mocha sharing the cache with After Effects or having a redundant cache? If redundant then do I need to free up “RAM reserved for other applications” in the AE preferences to allow Mocha to cache?

Thank you,

There is, let me tag @martinb on this one.

Hi, sorry to jump in on this but i’ve been meaning to ask a similar question,
When Boris are creating & developing these programs is there as mentioned a format that the programs are optimized to read, Is there one no1 goto format that is the starting point that the developers use first before all other formats? If you were to test a Boris program which format would you try first?

I have noticed I’ve had issues with many apps when the AE cache_frames_when_idle is on with a big project, that can be turned off in AE composition>preview. It might not be the problem, but worth mentioning

@Shane_Barrell Yes, we specifically ask users to turn this option off for this very reason:

To answer your specific question, we do cache data, but it relies first on reading information from After Effects. Depending on your version, Mocha is a separate process and by default tries to use up to 80% of system memory. You may be better reducing that in Preferences to 50% so After Effects has more to cache with.

  • How long is the sequence?
  • What are the specific versions of Mocha and AE you’re using?
  • What is the RAM and disk allocation you have for the cache?

To answer the broader question:
In general, we recommend either ProRes or DNxHD for clip playback. Otherwise direct image sequences are the way to go.
Compressed formats like MP4 or H264 take longer to read due to the random access nature of the format.

When working as a plugin, Mocha’s playback performance does somewhat rely on the host providing the frames, so if there is a caching issue on the host side, we will not get the frames quickly.

@Gid.Joiner Overall we usually start with sequences when developing, which are the most reliable format, especially on Linux.
TIF, DPX, EXR, etc. are the standard as they are container-independent and don’t require special decoders (well, EXR is a little problematic, but we adhere to the standards).
Personally, I use MP4 all the time for general QA because that’s what the broader customer base starts with, but I prefer to use sequences or ProRes in my day-to-day work.

1 Like

This is all very helpful.

What about the RAM allocation question - Does Mocha AE/PRO and After Effects share the RAM from the AE preferences when RAM caching image sequences? Or should I increase “RAM reserved for other applications” when using a large sequence?

Thank you,

You should increase the RAM for other applications.
If After Effects is using the information for its own caching, that’s less RAM Mocha can use for playback. While Mocha is a plugin, it’s a separate process when the UI is open, so they are not tied together by AE’s memory allocation.

Having said that, you shouldn’t need that much for playback unless you’re doing a very long sequence, so I’ll ask again in case you missed it:

  • How long is the sequence?
  • What are the specific versions of Mocha and AE you’re using?
  • What system is this on?
  • What is the current RAM and disk allocation you have set?

Thankyou :+1: