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So I'm the ONLY person who used Wireframe Previews?

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Shawn Marshall
So I'm the ONLY person who used Wireframe Previews?
on May 10, 2011 at 3:38:52 am

In several posts on this forum I've lamented the removal of the Wireframe Preview in AE CS5 and now CS5.5. Todd Kopriva's response was that no one used the feature so Adobe removed it in the 64 bit rewrite.

So, really, am I the only person who's missing that feature?

Now, I know computers are a lot faster than they were in 1997 when I first started using AE, but it's not like everything's real time yet, especially now that we're dealing with HD video. On a recent project that I had to complete in AE CS5 I had to slide in around 20 HD video boxes in 3D space, drift them across the screen, and then slide them off over the course of 6 seconds. A RAM preview of that took 1-2 minutes to complete (depending on whether I used Draft 3D or Open GL) at half resolution, grinding along as AE loaded up each frame of video for all 20 boxes. Tweaking one keyframe on one layer meant waiting around another minute or two for the RAM preview to churn away. Not an efficient way to work.

A wireframe preview would have taken around 10 seconds to give me a good idea of the basic motion of the boxes. I could easily tweak keyframes over and over with almost immediate feedback, and then once I was happy with the motion and timing I could run a RAM preview to see how it looked with the actual video in the boxes.

I can set Fast Previews to Wireframe and hit the space bar to play the layers as wireframes in real time, but you don't get the audio (at least I don't). You can't see mask or vector shapes that way either.

Are there any other approaches or workarounds I should be using to speed up this process?

I'm working on an 8 core Mac Pro (2 x 3.0 Ghz Quad Core Xeon Processors) circa 2008 with 10GB of RAM and an internal RAID 0 array that can read 165 MB/sec. It's not the latest and fastest, but it ain't too shabby.

Removing the Wireframe Preview will have a real adverse effect on my productivity in After Effects. That's one reason I'm still using AE CS4 for almost all of our projects.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. I have submitted these concerns to the Adobe feedback site.

Thanks for reading.

Shawn Marshall
Marshall Arts Motion Graphics


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Todd Kopriva
Re: So I'm the ONLY person who used Wireframe Previews?
on May 10, 2011 at 6:07:10 am

> A RAM preview of that took 1-2 minutes to complete (depending on whether I used Draft 3D or Open GL) at half resolution, grinding along as AE loaded up each frame of video for all 20 boxes. Tweaking one keyframe on one layer meant waiting around another minute or two for the RAM preview to churn away. Not an efficient way to work.

A wireframe preview would have taken around 10 seconds to give me a good idea of the basic motion of the boxes.


Then why not do your RAM preview at 1/8 resolution? If a RAM preview at half resolution took 2 minutes, then one at 1/8 resolution would take ~10 seconds, the same amount of time that you say the wireframe preview took.

If you're looking for ways to make things faster, including previews, there are a lot of tips here.

But to the point (again) of why some features were removed in the port to 64-bit: When rewriting everything for the 64-bit application, we had to re-evaluate every feature, since rewriting each feature was going to cost time and resources---time and resources that could otherwise be spent on other things. If we had rewritten wireframe preview for After Effects CS5, some other new or improved feature wouldn't have made it into After Effects CS5. We asked hundreds of people, and no one said that they wanted us to keep wireframe preview. You're the first person in more than a year that I've heard saying that they miss it or want it back---and this is now the third time that you've said it on this forum alone.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
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Shawn Marshall
Re: So I'm the ONLY person who used Wireframe Previews?
on May 10, 2011 at 8:41:37 am

Todd:

I wasn't under the impression that as a registered user of this forum there was a limit to how many times I could post about an issue that negatively impacted my workflow. So what if I've posted about this issue three times? The only responses I've received are from you, and I feel like you're trying to paint me as some sort of outlier disgruntled crackpot in your latest reply. "We asked HUNDREDS of people, and you're the ONLY ONE who misses the feature, and you've posted about it THREE TIMES."

OMG. Avert your eyes from my freakishness.

With this latest post I was hoping to hear from users who use the software professionally on a daily basis that don't work for Adobe. If I'm the lone voice in the wilderness on this, so be it, but I'd like to hear that from a few of those users.

After reading through the Adobe AE Forum thread about the 2.15 GB QT limit when rendering to network drives in CS5, a problem first reported almost a year ago and yet is still unresolved in AE CS5.5, I don't think my "trust, but verify" policy towards Adobe and After Effects is unwarranted.

Thank you.

Shawn Marshall
Marshall Arts Motion Graphics


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Walter Soyka
Re: So I'm the ONLY person who used Wireframe Previews?
on May 10, 2011 at 3:44:26 pm

[Shawn Marshall] "With this latest post I was hoping to hear from users who use the software professionally on a daily basis that don't work for Adobe. If I'm the lone voice in the wilderness on this, so be it, but I'd like to hear that from a few of those users."

You heard from me. See my other response in this thread -- proxies are a reasonable and workable solution.

A lot of my work is for very high resolution, large scale blended projection systems -- sometimes 7 or 8 times the raster size of a single HD frame -- so I share your sensitivity to preview times. I often recommend proxies, region of interest, and very low resolution and skipped frames for Shift-RAM preview as techniques to speed up previews.

I do very occasionally use the Wireframe fast preview, but for the most part, wireframe previews are useless to me because I use a lot of generative effects (versus straight compositing). I find proxies a lot more useful, as even a low-res proxy will give me an idea of where generated imagery sits within its layer.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Damien Ivan
Re: So I'm the ONLY person who used Wireframe Previews?
on Aug 10, 2012 at 9:19:22 pm

Not to be rude, but maybe the reason that so few people used it was that it was so bad that it was avoided as much as possible? Instead of removing the feature, maybe it should have been made better? My main gripe before was that the RAM preview version of the wireframes looked different from the non-RAM-preview wireframes, making it frequently unusable for testing movement.

I understand the nature of time constraints in software development; and I'll admit that I'm only noticing its removal today, but that doesn't change the fact that I wish it still worked. =


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Walter Soyka
Re: So I'm the ONLY person who used Wireframe Previews?
on May 10, 2011 at 11:33:57 am

[Shawn Marshall] "On a recent project that I had to complete in AE CS5 I had to slide in around 20 HD video boxes in 3D space, drift them across the screen, and then slide them off over the course of 6 seconds. A RAM preview of that took 1-2 minutes to complete (depending on whether I used Draft 3D or Open GL) at half resolution, grinding along as AE loaded up each frame of video for all 20 boxes. Tweaking one keyframe on one layer meant waiting around another minute or two for the RAM preview to churn away. Not an efficient way to work... Are there any other approaches or workarounds I should be using to speed up this process?"

I'd create still proxies [link] of all those movies. Draft 3D with still proxies should render very quickly.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Shawn Marshall
Re: So I'm the ONLY person who used Wireframe Previews?
on May 10, 2011 at 5:15:16 pm

Hi Walter:

Thanks for the replies; I appreciate it. The proxy idea is one I'd considered, and I'll play around with that approach next time this issue comes up.

Maybe it's just that the nature of our work (which is mainly corporate stuff that often relies on energetic motion) that makes me more sensitive to the removal of wireframe previews than most other users who focus more on effects and compositing.

As I wrote earlier, I've been using After Effects since around 1996 or 1997. It's the foundation of our business. So to me, it's weird to have (what I thought was) a fundamental functionality excised from the program in CS5 and not replaced with something better. I felt the same way when they forced the graph editor on us and removed the ability to adjust the keyframe velocities within the main timeline (with each layer.) Having to open and close the graph editor every time I want to adjust a velocity curve negatively impacts my efficiency.

Thanks again.

Shawn Marshall
Marshall Arts Motion Graphics


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Walter Soyka
Re: So I'm the ONLY person who used Wireframe Previews?
on May 10, 2011 at 5:59:00 pm

I agree with you about some of the changes and extra keystrokes. I hate extra keystrokes!

Maybe you already know it, but the shortcut for the Graph Editor is Shift-F3.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Shawn Marshall
Re: So I'm the ONLY person who used Wireframe Previews?
on May 10, 2011 at 7:43:44 pm

I'll try to remember that shortcut. I do use Shift-F4 a lot to bring up the parenting options.

Another efficiency nit. I've never understood why invoking the Graph Editor counts as an Undo-at least through CS5 (don't know about CS5.5). Why does that count as a "Composition Switch"? Just turning the Graph Editor on or off doesn't change anything in the composition.

Thanks.

Shawn Marshall
Marshall Arts Motion Graphics


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Simon Smith
Re: So I'm the ONLY person who used Wireframe Previews?
on Oct 22, 2011 at 1:57:29 am

I use them to - All the time. I'm often working in 3d environments with about 1000+ layers.

This sucks soooooooooooo much.

I bet they only asked motion graphics artists who are simply moving text around a frame.

Vent Vent Vent Vent Vent.....

AFX - you're lucky you're so good looking - please please please put it back in the next version.


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