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Ghost layers / "Motion to Forces"

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Troy GradyGhost layers / "Motion to Forces"
by on Nov 19, 2012 at 11:57:16 pm

Hi All-

Wanted to check in about a bug we see repeatedly, for which we have no workaround: disappearing layers. This is when certain layers in a project -- typically a project we've been working on for a while -- suddenly become collapsed and nameless. They can't be disclosed/opened, selected, or deselected.

The content within these "ghost layers", as we've taken to calling them, still seems to display and render correctly. However the project itself becomes progressively more unstable, and further work in the project usually produces unexpected crashes. A few extreme cases of this have caused projects to crash so frequently that they become, for all practical intents, unrecoverable.

We haven't come up with a workaround to completely rid a project of ghost layers once the begin appearing. By closing and reopening the project, the ghosts sometimes disappear, and the layers become editable again. This is usually temporary, and ghosts will return in future sessions.

Sometimes copying layers to a new project stops the issue, or at least delays it. However this doesn't always work, as copying will frequently cause a crash. In these extreme cases, we've settled for the close-and-reopen method. Failing that, we've just abandoned the project entirely and rebuilt from scratch.

Btw, ghost layers are frequently accompanied by behviors called "Motion to Forces" that appear randomly in the layers palette, replacing other legitimate behaviors. Once "Motion to Forces" start appearing, ghost layers aren't far behind.

So… this project file instability is probably our number one issue with Motion. It's an interesting feeling, to say the least, working on a platform that may drop out from under you at any moment. Having to rebuild projects from scratch is a big problem. Of course we keep versioned backups, but sometimes the ghost layers issue extends father back in time then you think, so there's almost always lost work involved.

Has anyone else experienced this, and do we have any workarounds?

Thanks!


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Mark SpencerRe: Ghost layers / "Motion to Forces"
by on Nov 20, 2012 at 12:01:48 am

Bizarre. What version of Motion?

--
Mark Spencer
Freelance Producer/Editor/Motion Graphics Artist
Apple-certified Master Trainer
Author, Motion 4 from Peachpit Press
http://www.applemotion.net


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Don EitnerRe: Ghost layers / "Motion to Forces"
by on Nov 20, 2012 at 12:27:56 am

Not to speak on Andy Neil's behalf, but a quick Google search turned up an issue from 2010 (with Motion 4.0.3) with the same "Motion to Forces" behaviors (https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2589492?start=0&tstart=0) where Andy gave some advice which worked for the user.


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Troy GradyRe: Ghost layers / "Motion to Forces"
by on Nov 20, 2012 at 12:37:10 am

Thanks guys-

Mark -- Every version of Motion we've used since 2009, including the most recent update!

Don --Thanks for the heads up. It does seem like project file corruption, but in our case it is frequently so bad that copying layers no longer works, and simply causes a crash.

Admittedly we do a *ton* of complicated 3D stuff in Motion, and the project files get large quickly. This is no excuse for instability at a fundamental level though, but it may explain why we see it more often than others do. As a result, we compartmentalize across multiple project files whenever possible to minimize bloat, and are nearly OCD in our backup habits.


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Mark SpencerRe: Ghost layers / "Motion to Forces"
by on Nov 20, 2012 at 12:38:46 am

So I assume you have trashed your preferences files - since you are on Motion 5, it's a snap to simply trash the app and reinstall from the App store. If it's been every version, and always on the same hardware, then I'd suspect something in the hardware - but the problem sure sounds like a file corruption issue.

--
Mark Spencer
Freelance Producer/Editor/Motion Graphics Artist
Apple-certified Master Trainer
Author, Motion 4 from Peachpit Press
http://www.applemotion.net


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Troy GradyRe: Ghost layers / "Motion to Forces"
by on Nov 20, 2012 at 12:40:14 am

It appears to be project-file specific, but we'll trash the prefs for old time's sake. Beggars can't be choosers at this point!


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Alex GollnerRe: Ghost layers / "Motion to Forces"
by on Nov 22, 2012 at 11:32:08 am

Over at the Apple Support forum someone had a different problem that evolved to having ghost layers.

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4505042?tstart=0

Things got better when they logged in using a new user account,


@alex4d

___________________________________________________
Alexandre Gollner,
Editor, Zone 2-North West, London

alex4d on twitter, facebook, .wordpress.com & .com


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Troy GradyRe: Ghost layers / "Motion to Forces"
by on Nov 22, 2012 at 5:34:53 pm

Interesting find, thanks Alex! I've never seen anyone mention the ghost layers issue before -- and actually call them "ghost" layers, no less. Will look into this. But yes, that screenshot is precisely the issue I'm describing.


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Stojan StojanovicRe: Ghost layers / "Motion to Forces"
by on Sep 18, 2013 at 12:34:45 pm

This solved my same problem.

https://discussions.apple.com/message/21303497#21303497%2321303497

Cheers


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Troy GradyRe: Ghost layers / "Motion to Forces"
by on Sep 25, 2013 at 3:44:48 pm

Good find, thanks. This worked a couple times and didn't work another time. This is still a huge bug in Motion that occasionally makes project files unusable and I really wish they'd squash it. Tough to file a report for because it's so sporadic but will see about doing so.


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