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Strobing Animation

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Stephen Smith
Strobing Animation
on Dec 15, 2010 at 6:43:53 pm

My animation is strobing real bad. I'm working in a 23.98 timeline. Here are my Project Settings:
Frame Size: 1920 x 1080, Aspect Ratio: Square, Compressor: XDCAM EX 1080p24

The motion graphics where created in a Motion file with the same project settings. My graphics with big text really strobe a lot. I feel as if there is one setting or codec or something that is wrong. I can't seem to figure out why it is strobing so bad. I understand 24fps strobe, but not as bad as my graphics are.

I'm viewing it on a broadcast monitor set to "AJA KonaLH 1080p23.98 8 Bit".

I took the same Motion project file and changed it's frame rate to 29.97 and then brought it into a new FCP project file set to the 29.97 frame rate and then the animation looks perfectly smooth. I took that 29.97 animation and ran it through Cinema Tools and conformed it to 23.98 and then brought it back into my 23.98 FCP timeline and it looks no different then the other animation. I can't figure out how to smooth this out.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: Strobing Animation
on Dec 15, 2010 at 7:40:27 pm

Maybe convert to motion JPEG or maybe use the animation codec out of Motion. Can you post a short video? Would like to see it when it strobes and when it doesn't.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Stephen Smith
Re: Strobing Animation
on Dec 15, 2010 at 7:57:24 pm

Jonathan,
I've tried a Animation codec export out of Motion and a Tiff image sequence and both look the same.

Here is the video:

Strobing Animation



Keep in mind that what you are looking at is small and that the strobing looks worse on a broadcast monitor and even worse on a projector playing blue ray.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: Strobing Animation
on Dec 16, 2010 at 2:59:51 pm

Out of curiosity, what is the graphic in the background? The newspaper graphic. What is the file format and filesize? In this case, it makes sense to look at everything. Also, what is the font and what type of font is the "Eyeston..." font? Shouldn't make a difference, but you never know. Maybe try a different graphic or font and see if it happens again.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Stephen Smith
Re: Strobing Animation
on Dec 17, 2010 at 7:08:25 pm

Jonathan,
The graphics in the background are multiple textures blended together. They are .jpeg files and they are 72dpi at something like 2000 pixels by 2000.

I have tried multiple fonts because my original font is skinner. All fonts seem to still strobe. So for the sample I posted online I used something real simple like Arial or something.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: Strobing Animation
on Dec 19, 2010 at 5:32:00 pm

Stephen, I was thinking more like is the font TrueType, Type 1, OpenType, etc. - I wasn't very clear Also, when you view the font in Fontbook or another FontViewer, are there any corrupt letters? Can you try rasterizing the graphics in photoshop or do you need something to change?

Also, back to the graphic - 2000x2000 px is pretty small, but is this a layered photoshop file? Does it need to be layered or can you flatten this to PNG or JPEG file? I'm thinking the strobing may just be a memory issue on your machine which you may be able to fix by rasterizing everything - I always thought vectors ate up more ram than raster.

One other thing: are you moving the camera past the object or the object past the camera? Try switching. Maybe that will help? Try slowing down/speeding up the animation and adjusting the timing in FCP - shoot quickly at 60fps and then retime to 30fps - try some typical cinematography-type techniques.

Finally, can you do the same project in After Effects? I know you are a Motion user, but I like to have both just in case one isn't working well.

I'm also making the assumption that this doesn't happen in any other project, either. If it is, it might be time to clear out basics like prefs, caches, kill apps/procs running in the background (check Activity Monitor for stray processes), especially watch for anything taking up more than a few % of CPU time. Make sure to watch for quicktime procs and if you come across one you don't recognize, try googling it to make sure it belongs. Make sure everything is at the current version(s) as well.

Hope this helps. -Jonathan

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Andy Neil
Re: Strobing Animation
on Dec 15, 2010 at 7:41:51 pm

Is field rendering active in the Motion file? I've noticed bad strobing issues when field rendering is enabled in a progressive project.

Andy

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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Stephen Smith
Re: Strobing Animation
on Dec 15, 2010 at 7:59:23 pm

Andy,
I've tried Field Rendering Off and I can't seem to stop the strobing. If you look at the video it looks like it has some field interlacing issue but my fields are set to None.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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Andy Neil
Re: Strobing Animation
on Dec 15, 2010 at 8:05:45 pm

When you exported the tiff sequence, did you see any ghosting in the stills? I wonder if the XDCam EX codec's compression doesn't handle that horizontal movement well.

Have you tried rendering out the project (or a small portion of it) in 32-bit float? I did a project once where I had intricate snowflakes in an emitter that looked horrible when rendered out. I ended up having to render them in 32-bit before the animation was smooth.

Andy

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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Sacha Thomas
Re: Strobing Animation
on Dec 17, 2010 at 5:36:37 pm

Could this have to do with the location of the graphic relative to the fields? I seem to remember that this was a tip (place graphics on odd fields if I remember right) from a COW or Macbreak Studio tutorial I watched, but I am not sure if it would apply in this case...just a straw at which to grasp


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Stephen Smith
Re: Strobing Animation
on Dec 17, 2010 at 6:38:28 pm

Andy,
There is no ghosting on the stills. They look very sharp.

I just ran a test to see what 32-bit float would look like. Change it to 32-bit in Motion. Brought the project file in FCP and changed the Sequence Settings Video Processing to "Render all YUV material in high-precision YUV." It looked better but still had bad strobing.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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Stephen Smith
Re: Strobing Animation
on Dec 17, 2010 at 6:40:50 pm

Sacha,
Thanks, I have had that problem where a clip is the wrong field order and looks bad and using the de-interlace filter in FCP makes it look normal. In this case I have fields set to None in Motion and FCP.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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Andy Neil
Re: Strobing Animation
on Dec 17, 2010 at 8:03:47 pm

What happens if you slow down the move? Sometimes if the movement in frame is an odd factor of the frame rate of the project, it doesn't play well.

I might also add a very slight motion blur. 16 samples and a shutter of 90 or less.

Andy

http://www.timesavertutorials.com


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