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Working with 4K - PROXY

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Kalyan Tagore
Working with 4K - PROXY
on Oct 3, 2015 at 2:16:03 pm

Hey all,

I've been working on a LOGO ANIMATION PROJECT. The output needs to be in 4K (2160 X 3840 - The video will be in 'Portrait' - Vertical). I am using 3DSMAX and AFTER EFFECTS.

I've tested working with 4K files to test if my computer is fast enough to handle it, its very slow to work with the HUGE FILE SIZES. I found a better way called 'PROXY' and it works fine.

MY QUERIES :

1. WHICH PROXY is better to work with : is it TGA Seq or QUICKTIME ?
2. Is it OK, if I set my PROXIES as very small size like quarter of the 4K size - LOW in quality - (But with ALPHA channel),
3. Even if i could work with the smaller files, if I apply effects - or split the layers - will all my 'EFFECTS' would be applied to the 4K files, when I want to render the output in FULL 4K RESOLUTION ?


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Eric Santiago
Re: Working with 4K - PROXY
on Oct 3, 2015 at 4:16:23 pm

Are you creating layers from scratch within AE or are you bringing in vectors from another source?
I work in 4K up to 6K in AE and the only slow down I get is when I try to incorporate RED files in multiple layers.

I also deal with Digital Signage of all sizes e.g. sports venues, events, etc...

Need to know more specs on your system too.

The only time I will deal with sequential files is if Im rendering out of Maya.
QT as proxy should be fine and I have experienced 4K proxy h264 editing on a 2008 MBP Uni.

All your fx needs will transfer over if of course that effect supports a high res (most do but Ive ran into some that top out at 17000 pixels).


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Kalyan Tagore
Re: Working with 4K - PROXY
on Oct 3, 2015 at 4:57:46 pm

Iam using Windows, I-5 processor, 8GB RAM. (BTW I rented this computer to finish this job). These all are I know.

Iam using 3DS MAX, Iam rendering the 3D objects in TGA seq in 4K.
So obviosly all the passes like AO, Reflection, Lighting, ZDepth will be in TGA.

I'd to create some Backgrounds in After effects itself. I render the BGS also first in 4K.

THen I composit all the Shots together, to get final output.
I am not sure if I am giving you enough info to answer my queries.

SO do you say, it is best to use a QT for a proxy and NOT TGA Seq?


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Eric Santiago
Re: Working with 4K - PROXY
on Oct 3, 2015 at 5:24:20 pm

It all depends on the I/O of your computer.
If it can handle the TGA sequential files in RAM preview then your fine.
But once you start duplicating layers, compositing masks then effects thats where you will see the hit on your system.
Without knowing what your applying its really up to your experience.
As a workflow I honestly keep everything at high res since I work in typical Xeon PC Workstations (Dell/BOXX) and a slew of new Mac Pros.
They all average 32GB RAM and the PCs are loaded with older NVIDIA cards.
The slow down is the drive your reading the files from.
I would maybe flatten some layers if your ready e.g. render all passes into one layer in a proxy QT.


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Kalyan Tagore
Re: Working with 4K - PROXY
on Oct 3, 2015 at 7:37:57 pm

*** 32GB RAM *** ??? woww, tht sounds awesom..

Thanx for the reply Eric. I'll try using QTS.


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James Paulley
Re: Working with 4K - PROXY
on Apr 18, 2018 at 4:11:33 pm

Hi Eric, what machine specs would you advise for animation for large 4k and 6k sizes (for big multi displays and signage etc). It's mostly animated Photoshop assets.


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Eric Santiago
Re: Working with 4K - PROXY
on Apr 18, 2018 at 4:39:21 pm

[James Paulley] "Hi Eric, what machine specs would you advise for animation for large 4k and 6k sizes (for big multi displays and signage etc). It's mostly animated Photoshop assets."

For Mac get the D700 with 64GB.
I have that for home and day job.
For PC, I had the pleasure of working on a HP Z840 with a 2GB video card (forgot the NVDIA type) and that too works wonders.
For After Effects you just need more RAM across the board.
But wouldn't hurt to work on a fast RAID.
I think CPU is needed for heavy calculations but dont think it helps with larger graphics.

An easier answer is...get what you can afford :)


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James Paulley
Re: Working with 4K - PROXY
on Apr 18, 2018 at 8:48:55 pm

Thanks! So you don't need lots of VRAM for large composition dimensions (4K, 6K etc)? Your HP workstation only had 2GB and that was fine? Will the Vega 56 in the iMac Pro be enough, it has 8GB?


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Steve Bentley
Re: Working with 4K - PROXY
on Apr 18, 2018 at 9:33:54 pm

We're routinely doing 20k pixel wide comps with only 4GB of vram on some machines. The thing is that you can only pack so much ram on a video card (at least in a sub $10k price range) and with larger comps there just won't be enough, period, so to fill the gap the graphic card starts chomping up system ram as its designed to.

While there are certain things that graphics cards do faster than what the system ram can do, there are so many things that glitch with AE and GPUs or have different looks with GPUs that in the end we find system ram more important for large files. And with any kind of serious compositing you are basically running on system ram anyway because the video ram got filled up on that first frame it rendered.
I've done 20k files with 16gb of system ram but its slow (lots of disk writes). So it is possible to do big comps with low levels in both system and vram, although you just can't go back once you jack the system to 128gb and jam a Titan XP in there. But even then the Titan only has 12gb of Vram (I know I know, its the new RX5, still...)



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James Paulley
Re: Working with 4K - PROXY
on Apr 19, 2018 at 10:39:32 am

So basically, even if you had a large amount of VRAM, like 16GB, AE would actually be using RAM for most stuff anyway, so the amount of VRAM isn't actually that important? I assume for 3D apps this is different as more VRAM allows faster loading of large textures?

I'm looking at an iMac Pro with 64GB RAM, Vega 56 and 10 core CPU, do you think that's a reasonable configuration?


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Steve Bentley
Re: Working with 4K - PROXY
on Apr 19, 2018 at 2:42:30 pm

I wouldn't say its not important. It really depends on what you are doing. The bigger you can go the better experience you are going to have. If you are doing logo animations, a bigger card will make a bigger difference. If you are doing 100+ layer deep effects shots, while it will help, you won't see the kind of difference you would with graphic based elements. If you preRender elements and then do your big composite with those prerendered elements, making those prerenders will run very fast, so again a bigger difference with this work flow. If you keep all your layers live with effects intact and have long timelines, a big card will have less of an impact.

The old adage still applies- get the biggest and fastest you can afford - once you drive that graphics card off the lot, it becomes obsolete.
I don't have a history with AMD/ATI cards in boxes (although, ironically we used to animate Ruby for them and do box art - with Nvidia's), but if you polled everyone here, I'll bet most would be Nvidia where AE is concerned. It may also be platform dependent. You may have a better time with one or the other on a specific platform. Do Mac's generally come with ATI or Nvidia? (We switched over a while ago so I'm not current on Mac architecture). If Apple prefers one brand over the other (they'd make their own by now if Jobs was still with us), they may have built their machines with a particular card in mind.



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Eric Santiago
Re: Working with 4K - PROXY
on Apr 19, 2018 at 3:23:54 pm

[Steve Bentley] " Do Mac's generally come with ATI or Nvidia? "

I use a new MacPro with AMD D700s.
I also have an HPZ240 for Maya and that has an NVIDIA 8GB.
My older MacPros are all NVIDIA QUADRO 4GBs.
So no NVIDIA on any new Macs.


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James Paulley
Re: Working with 4K - PROXY
on Apr 19, 2018 at 3:40:26 pm

Yeah, cool. Thanks for the explanation. I'm animating Photoshop assets in large compositions (4k, 6k). I'm looking at the iMac Pro and have budget to upgrade either the GPU to the Vega 64 OR the CPU to the 10 core. Do you have any advice? Thanks! https://www.apple.com/uk/shop/buy-mac/imac-pro?product=MQ2Y2B/A&step=config...


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Eric Santiago
Re: Working with 4K - PROXY
on Apr 19, 2018 at 3:21:27 pm

[James Paulley] "Thanks! So you don't need lots of VRAM for large composition dimensions (4K, 6K etc)? Your HP workstation only had 2GB and that was fine? Will the Vega 56 in the iMac Pro be enough, it has 8GB?"

Oh no, you need a lot but I was simply stating that I was doing fine with the HPZ840 config handed over for a few weeks.
I was doing 6K RED work on it and it handled well with an average of 3 to 5 nodes per clip.
However, the timeline setting is set to HD.


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