Moving to 64-bit

Starting with the 0.9.21 release, all of Notch is finally available as 64 bit — read about what this means for you as a Notch user.

The Notch engine has supported both 64 and 32-bits block exports since the beginning, but with the release of 0.9.21 we are bringing full 64-bit capabilities to Notch Builder as well.

64-bit allows for significantly larger data sets, such as 3D models and animation, textures, images and audio. The hard limit of 3 GB for 32-bit applications meant users were limited in the size of projects they could create and the assets they could use. Trying to exceed that limit would cause problems and instability.

With 64-bit, those limits are now gone.

While there are numerous positive aspects with moving to 64-bit, there’s one key area where this will have temporary negative effects: video imports.

Let’s rewind a little bit …

Back in 2016, Apple announced that it was dropping support for QuickTime on Windows. This included their SDK for developers, as well as any plans for a future 64-bit version. At the time, there were many negative reactions from the media industry, but as long as most software kept chugging along without much trouble, the outcry quickly died away.

It wasn’t until cornerstone apps like the Adobe Creative Suite switched to 64-bit that the issue really came to light. Adobe users were no longer able to import and export the wide range of QuickTime legacy codecs they were used to, leaving them with a smaller subset of native supported codecs and the need to purchase and use 3rd party codec products such as AfterCodecs and others.

While software that uses the QuickTime SDK are in the same boat, we’ve decided to take a slightly different approach to solving this for our users.

How it’ll work in Notch

In the 64-bit version of Notch Builder you can export to all QuickTime codecs through a nifty set of 64-bit to 32-bit magic. Well, not magic: we’ve essentially created a 32-bit bridge that connects the two, so you don’t have to worry about it.

However, you’ll only be able to read native QuickTime codecs that Notch supports, which at the time of writing are:

  • Animation
  • PhotoJPEG
  • HAP / HAPQ / HAP Alpha
  • NotchLC (See below for details)

In addition to those codecs, support for AVI and image sequences will of course continue to work as both input and output formats as you’re used to. We’re continually evaluating new and improved codecs for use with Notch, and this list might be expanded in the future.

32-bit legacy support

We will continue to ship and support the 32-bit version of Notch Builder for the time being. It is still being used by our media server partners, and we know better than to try to predict with 100% certainty when and how the industry changes.

However, unless there is some specific reason for sticking with the 32-bit version of Notch Builder, we urge all of our users to start migrating to the 64-bit version. Every week, we learn of some project that starts to touch the memory limit associated with running in 32-bit, and that limit is all but erased in the 64-bit version.

TL:DR; 64-bit: faster, roomier, future. 32-bit: slower, cramped, past.

What’s NotchLC?

We have made a new video codec, specifically designed for motion graphics. Its design parameters are great playback performance and compression levels without sacrificing quality. NotchLC is available in the 0.9.21 release of Notch.

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