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Slow RAM Preview in Motion 5

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Justin MrkvaSlow RAM Preview in Motion 5
by on Jan 11, 2013 at 8:20:33 pm

I'm running Motion on an older system (MacBook Pro 2.53 Core 2 Duo with the old 9400M GPU, 8 GB RAM with an SSD) and playback performance is understandably slow.

However, doing a RAM preview usually only hits maybe 15-20 FPS, even with Motion being the only thing running.

Now, I know this comp isn't going to give me anything near realtime performance in normal work in Motion. But for a RAM preview, everything's been rendered, so shouldn't it be basically the same as playing back any old video? It seems like RAM preview should have no trouble playing back at 24, 30, or even 60 fps, but apparently that's not the case.

Just to be clear, I disabled all overlays (3D overlays, safe zone, etc.) to see if compositing those was the problem but the preview still plays back at the same, less than realtime speed.

Any suggestions?


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AJ RobinsonRe: Slow RAM Preview in Motion 5
by on Jan 11, 2013 at 8:41:33 pm

Here are some things to speed up your render speed.

Always restart your computer before and after using Motion.
Reset the N-ram and P-ram
. If you don't know what that is, look here http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379. Click on resetting Nram/Pram

Note:
If you are using video footage, make sure it's format is compatible with Motion. What I mean by that is that is Motion prefers that format. Try converting your videos to Apple formats, such as Apple Intermediate Codec, or Apple Animation, as they work best with Apple products.

Turn the quality down to draft.
Turn the render quality to quarter.

Try unchecking or checking Dynamic rendering. Sometimes it helps.
You can also uncheck certain things such as Shadows, reflections, and stuff like that.

Note: It will always be slow if you are working in 3D, particle emitters, 3D replicators and the like.

There's not much you can do to speed up the process, expect for upgrading your computer. Since it's on and older system, it's not gonna work as well.

Hopefully somebody else has some more advice. . .

~AJ


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Justin MrkvaRe: Slow RAM Preview in Motion 5
by on Jan 11, 2013 at 9:05:17 pm

Thanks for the advice, I've already done those. Quarter/draft/everything off, using ProRes422 footage, no particles, etc... on a simple project with just the video and maybe 1 or 2 effects I can get 30fps, but anything more starts to bog down.

I'm less concerned with the time taken to generate the preview, though, as the fact that, despite it having been rendered to RAM, it still seems to slow down trying to play it back. Render quality or complexity of the project shouldn't make a difference, it's just playing back an image sequence. Instead, complex projects slow down the RAM preview's playback frame rate, even with everything in the project deselected (to avoid drawing extra things in the window). It seems to defy logic.

I also have the little preview panes in the Layers list disabled, in case anyone is wondering.


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Mark SpencerRe: Slow RAM Preview in Motion 5
by on Jan 11, 2013 at 9:07:11 pm

I certainly wouldn't use Apple Intermediate or Animation codecs, there is no reason for that at all. The fact is that Motion's RAM preview playback just doesn't work the way it's supposed to (IMHO of course). It *should* play in real time after rendering but often it just doesn't.

--
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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Justin MrkvaRe: Slow RAM Preview in Motion 5
by on Jan 11, 2013 at 9:17:24 pm

That's what I figured unfortunately, I was hoping there was something that could be done about it though. I'll probably send a bug report to Apple when I get the chance.

As for Motion not doing what you'd expect, I just discovered a glitch where I RAM-previewed, re-enabled the effect, re-exported, and the resulting render didn't include the effect. So it's doing some sort of caching but then not refreshing. C'mon, Apple!

Also, MacBreak Studio is awesome. You've probably heard of it... ;)


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AJ RobinsonRe: Slow RAM Preview in Motion 5
by on Jan 11, 2013 at 9:49:23 pm

Hey Mark why not? I've been using those for like a year and I've always been getting fast render time and real playback.

~AJ


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AJ RobinsonRe: Slow RAM Preview in Motion 5
by on Jan 11, 2013 at 9:50:46 pm

Yeah, and Motions Ram Preview is terrible. Makes the video slower.

~AJ


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Justin MrkvaRe: Slow RAM Preview in Motion 5
by on Jan 11, 2013 at 9:52:58 pm

So you're saying you actually get better performance without the RAM preview?


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Jason WatsonRe: Slow RAM Preview in Motion 5
by on Jan 12, 2013 at 6:47:35 am

I've always had poor experience with RAM preview in Motion. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I've also had the experience of the real-time playback having better performance than the RAM preview.

In some of the earlier versions of Motion you could sometimes trick it into giving you a good RAM preview by slightly adjusting one parameter on one of the layers. Sometimes it would work, at least for me.

You might also try RAM previewing a very short segment and see if that helps at all. In my experience it's still a mixed bag.

I'd be hard-pressed to say why it does this as well. I suspect it has something to do with how it still plays back in real time within the RAM preview. In AE, for example, as far as I know a RAM preview will only play with audio from the designated in point (and if you play from a different spot you lose the audio preview), whereas in Motion it is in-point agnostic for simultaneous video/audio playback. Part of me wonders if that has any effect on the RAM preview performance.


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Justin MrkvaRe: Slow RAM Preview in Motion 5
by on Jan 12, 2013 at 7:01:30 am

An interesting question, although my project has no audio, so it shouldn't affect it...


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AJ RobinsonRe: Slow RAM Preview in Motion 5
by on Jan 12, 2013 at 6:23:59 pm

Well yes, It works a lot better without rendering the RAM playback. At least for me. Once the RAM preview is created, the FPS is soo low it's not even workable. I just have to change something to un-render it. I think Apple did a bad job with the RAM preview.

~AJ


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