Mercury Playback a Champion on Unsupported GPUs & First Thoughts on CS6

I upgraded to Adobe Master Collection CS6 yesterday and thought I’d share a few thoughts and tips I’ve gathered so far. And I’m aware of how cheesy this post’s title is, it’s ok. Eventually the Queen references will die, no thanks to me. I’m sorry.

It’s important to note that I was previously on CS4 and OSX Lion. After Effects and Photoshop crashed daily and refused to quit so force quitting them was a daily chore. After upgrading, I have had absolutely no issues in this area with CS6. So already my quality of life has improved.

I use After Effects a lot, so I played around with putting CS6 through some rigors. I’m not sure how fast it really is, but to me it seems like it’s screaming fast. The Global Performance Cache is really doing what they said it would do. I was having a freaking field day moving a solid around my comp’s timeline, watching the bar stay green over everything but where I placed the solid, then become green again after moving the solid. Wee! The RAM previews are fast, and so much easier to work with now that I can take full advantage of all my RAM.

I ran into some issues with the 3D ray tracing. I have a mid-2010 Macbook Pro, so my Nvidia GPU is not technically supported. When I tried to do some simple extruding, I got an out of memory error for ray tracing. However, I was alerted to the fact that through an unsupported “hack”…no, let’s call it a nudge – through this little nudge, I can enable CUDA GPU support. Found on the Adobe forum, it’s pretty much the same as the procedure for CS5, if you’ve done it before. So I did it, everything is working fine, and I now have Mercury Playback Engine as an option on my Renderer in Premiere. No more ray tracer errors in After Effects, though it doesn’t run super quick, it doesn’t toss an error instead of letting me play. Overall, the Mercury Playback Engine is performing really well for me and my measly GPU!

Speaking of Premiere, I didn’t really do much with it other than look at it. I did make a couple of cuts with the source material I usually work with, just to make sure it was working. Looks fine, and I like the big source and record windows I guess. Remember I’m historically concerned about using Premiere. I might use it more later. Maybe.

I opened all the apps in the suite just to check them out. Audition looks like the most promising app I’ve never used before. I like the enhancements to Illustrator and Photoshop. Speedgrade looks sorta-familiar-sorta-foreign.

I also just found perhaps my favorite new thing in Photoshop a moment ago. This is awesome considering I hit command-H in there ALL THE EFFING TIME. This may have been introduced in CS5 or 5.5, but it’s new-to-me and just made me happy: