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Emitter movie lenght

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Geoff Vane
Emitter movie lenght
on Nov 14, 2005 at 5:06:57 pm

Hi there,

I need to place a large amount of moving silhouets on screen.

It would be simple, if I could use only one big avi of 2 minutes, and illusion would choose a random begin frame for all particles that fill the screen.

However, as I expected, a large AVI as an emitter cripples the program.

This leads to my question: How large can an emitter be? (in time, Mb, height x width)
Knowing this could make particle work more predictable...


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Elvis Deane
Re: Emitter movie lenght
on Nov 15, 2005 at 11:52:12 pm

An emitter shape can be up to 2048x2048 in pI3 and you can assign each particle to start with a different frame (just check Random Start Frame), but here are some things to consider when making emitter shapes...

The larger the image/video's size, the more memory it will eat up. If the video clip you want to use as a shape is 640x480, keep in mind that pI will most likely resize it down to 512x256 (emitter shapes have to be either 64x64, 128x128, 256x128, etc.)

If your project is going to be 640x480 and each particle will only take up a tiny portion of the stage, there's probably no need to use shapes that are the size of the stage or larger. You'll probably be able to get away with using 128x128 pixel shapes.

Each frame of a sequence has to be loaded in ram when it's a shape. So if you have a two minute clip at 30fps, you're eating up a lot of ram (which is probably what is making pI hang on you). You can skip every second frame when you import the clip as a shape, and that will ease the burden quite a bit.

--
Elvis Deane!
The particleIllusion FAQ
particleIllusion Resources and tutorial CD
Astounding Adventures


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Geoff Vane
Re: Emitter movie lenght
on Nov 16, 2005 at 4:06:33 pm

Thank you so far Elvis,

But I need your help to really push PIL3 to the limits in terms of emiter size and length.

Looking at the taskmanager I find under physical memory the total memory, the available memory and the system cache.

Could you -for example- tell me which percentage of which memory count, the size of an emiter avi can be? (say 80% of the available memory or so)

If I know how to calculate things, I can push the limits without having to try many options.


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Elvis Deane
Re: Emitter movie lenght
on Nov 16, 2005 at 7:51:49 pm

I'm really not an expert on this area of pI, but after reading over the Memory Considerations part of the Help file (it's in Tutorial 3 under the Change Shape Page portion), it seems that the ram used for shapes is your video card's ram.

So if you have a background video playing in your scene as well, one thing you might try to see if it'll speed things up is to check the box in the OpenGL tab of the Preferences that says Don't use texture RAM for BG images. This (at least in my thinking) should stick any backgrounds on the regular ram, and free up some video ram for textures.

You may want to read over Memory Considerations, as it might spark some ideas on how to deal with your particular shape clip.

--
Elvis Deane!
The particleIllusion FAQ
particleIllusion Resources and tutorial CD
Astounding Adventures


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Alan Lorence
Re: Emitter movie lenght
on Nov 16, 2005 at 9:29:28 pm

Elvis is right -- it's not system memory that is the issue, it's video memory.

Here are some tips to maximize your performance:

1) have a very small library loaded. I suggest "blank.iel".

2) make your movie as small as possible -- 256x256 is ok, but I'd stay away from 512x512 or bigger. Don't include a lot of wasted space in the movie. If it's of a person walking (you indicated something like that), then crop it to its smallest size -- 128 wide by 512 tall for instance.

3) Import it as greyscale as opposed to full-color. This will save MUCH memory.

4) If you really don't need a 2-minute movie (3600 frames?), then use as short as possible.

The only way to know what the upper limits are is to try it.



Alan.
wondertouch


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