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Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue

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Todd JacobsenAnimating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Jan 13, 2012 at 6:18:59 pm

I'm slowly animating text counter-clockwise along a spiral path and in front of a white background. The text starts at center frame, emerging from behind a white solid and from the right so the words "reveal" themselves, and the text (a run-on sentence) grows larger in size as it winds around the spiral and moves toward the camera. Everything works nice and smooth in RAM previews, but whenever I render it out the movement shudders for a few frames in random spots. Not too often, maybe one to three times per render. Clearly enough to be annoying.

I have a feeling this might be one of those "DUH!" questions, but figured I'd throw it out anyway. Many thanks in advance.


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John CuevasRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Jan 13, 2012 at 6:29:28 pm

When you render, what kind of file are you creating and where are you watching this file.

For instance, I have a very capable computer for AE, but if I were to render a HD quicktime-animation and try to play it on my computer, it will stutter and stop...all the information will be there the CPU's just can't play it. Once I import the file into my NLE(Avid) it plays fine.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Todd JacobsenRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Jan 13, 2012 at 7:02:59 pm

Hi Johnny...thanks for the quick response.

I generally render out avi's and open them in QuickTime. And yeah, I'm watching them on the same computer I made them with. (I can only wish I had an Avid to know for sure if it's a machine issue.)

What's worse: this project is something that will be most likely seen over the internet, so there's really no guarantee it won't shudder anyway. I've posted sections of the project throughout the approval process for the client on YouTube, fully aware of the limitations of such an endeavor as this, and the imperfection(s) in this particular clip are embarrassing regardless.

None of the other clips over the 3:37 project have had the negative render issues this one always seems to have, either on my machine or on the internet.


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Todd JacobsenRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Jan 13, 2012 at 7:20:00 pm

(Sorry for the double post. I'm new to the forums.)


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Kevin ReinerRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Jan 13, 2012 at 6:42:52 pm

Is the shudder consistently in the same place each viewing?
What codec are you using?
What is your system config?

If its random, it might just be that your system can't decompress the final file fast enough for a smooth viewing.

If you compress your final file to a smaller format, does the playback smooth out?

-Kevin

Mac Pro 2 x 3 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
32GB Memory
Dual-channel 4Gb Fibre Channel PCI Express card
Dell Display (23" flat panel)
ATI Radeon HD 5770
AJA Kona LSi SD/HD capture card
Rourke 16 TB
Flanders 2460

SOFTWARE
Mac OS X 10.6.5
FCP 7
After Effects CS5
Boris Continuum
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Todd JacobsenRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Jan 13, 2012 at 7:17:42 pm

Hi Kevin,

Eighty percent of the time it happens in the same spot, but it's not limited to just that one spot.

I render out uncompressed (1920 X 1080) avi's, but usually stretch to 480 X 270 in the Render Queue for posting on YouTube. (See reply to Johnny's response.) I export Movie to QuickTime Movie using H264, and all the parameters YT suggests. A smaller compression doesn't smooth it out.

System config:

HP xw9300 Workstation
Dual Core AMD Opteron
Processor 285
2.59 GHz, 3.25 GB of RAM
NVIDIA Quadro FX 3450


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Kevin ReinerRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Jan 13, 2012 at 8:06:32 pm

The uncompressed avi files might be choking your system, especially if you're trying to watch them in quicktime. So it might be a playback problem.

Also, AE isn't the best for compressing. Can you go out uncompressed in QT and then compress it down to your youtube settings using a compression application?

And on a totally different note, try adding a little bit of motion blur to your animation. That often gets rid of judder.

Good Luck,
Reiner

Mac Pro 2 x 3 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
32GB Memory
Dual-channel 4Gb Fibre Channel PCI Express card
Dell Display (23" flat panel)
ATI Radeon HD 5770
AJA Kona LSi SD/HD capture card
Rourke 16 TB
Flanders 2460

SOFTWARE
Mac OS X 10.6.5
FCP 7
After Effects CS5
Boris Continuum
Sapphire Plug Ins
All Trapcode Plugs
Zaxwerks Invig


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Todd JacobsenRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Jan 13, 2012 at 8:30:10 pm

Thanks, Kevin...

I've added AE's built-in motion blur already, but now thinking maybe I should add CC Force Motion Blur to the precomp. Is that kind of what you were suggesting?

I'll have to try the "uncompressed in QT...compress down with compression app" to see if that works. I'll post back with results on both ideas.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Jan 13, 2012 at 11:14:11 pm

I haven't seen this point mentioned: don't use Open GL to accelerate rendering. If you have it on, turn it off and re-render. Then look at your completed H.264 for the web, and it should be smooth.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Todd JacobsenRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Jan 14, 2012 at 6:17:39 am

@Dave: Open GL never gets used in any of my renders, but thanks for checking in anyway...hoping you (and anyone else) might have some more advice.

Test results: I rendered out a full 1920 X 1080 .avi and used HandBrake for compression (output = 960 X 544 .mp4...my first compressed test was a 1920 X 1080 .mp4, but the clip hung and wouldn't even play!) and the initial problem persisted. So I added CC Force Motion Blur to the precomp, didn't futz with any of the settings within that effect, rendered full and then compressed the clip down to 960 X 544, just like before, and I still have the problem.

I've even tried rendering directly with H.264 instead of doing a full, uncompressed .avi. This made the problem even worse.

Thanking any (and every) one else who might have a solution.


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Kevin ReinerRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Jan 14, 2012 at 4:28:29 pm

Try this:

1 Precomp your whole master comp into another comp. Make that comp 960x540 and scale your master to fit.

2 Render that out to using the Quicktime animation codec.

3 You might not be able to play that file and it will be pretty big.

4 Now try compressing using .h264 960x540.

If you don't have luck with that, post what your settings are in handbrake. I am unfamiliar with that program.

-Reiner

Mac Pro 2 x 3 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
32GB Memory
Dual-channel 4Gb Fibre Channel PCI Express card
Dell Display (23" flat panel)
ATI Radeon HD 5770
AJA Kona LSi SD/HD capture card
Rourke 16 TB
Flanders 2460

SOFTWARE
Mac OS X 10.6.5
FCP 7
After Effects CS5
Boris Continuum
Sapphire Plug Ins
All Trapcode Plugs
Zaxwerks Invig


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Todd JacobsenRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Jan 14, 2012 at 7:08:44 pm

Many thanks...I'll post the results later today.


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Todd JacobsenRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Jan 15, 2012 at 2:30:08 am

No dice. Still stuttering.

The new QT movie, using the Animation codec, wasn't that large (75 mb); it played fine by itself. (I'm hoping this wasn't due to an error on my part in your "New Precomp" instructions.)



HandBrake settings...

Output Settings
Container: MP4 File
Large file size (box unchecked)
Web optimized (box checked)
iPod 5G support (box unchecked)

Picture
Source: 960 x 540
Anamorphic: Strict
Cropping: Automatic

Video Filters
All options set to "Off"
(Detelecine, Decomb, Deinterlace, Denoise, Deblock)

Video
Codec: H.264
Framerate: Same as source (29.97)
Quality set to "Avg Bitrate (kbps)= 600"
2-Pass Encoding (box checked)

Audio, Subtitles, Chapters
N/A

Advanced
Encoding:
Reference Frames=4
Maximum B-Frames=2
CABAC Entropy Coding (box checked)
8x8 Transform (box unchecked)
Weighted P-Frames (box checked)
Pyramidal B-Frames: Default(Normal)


Analysis:
Adaptive B-Frames: Default (Fast)
Adaptive Direct Mode: Default (Spatial)
Motion Estimation Method: Default (Hexagon)
Subpixel ME & Mode Decision: 6: RD in I/P-frames
Adaptive Quantization Strength, Psychovisual Rate Distortion: (Sliders set to 1/2 by default)
Partition Type: Default (most)
Trellis: Off
Deblocking: Both windows set to Default (0)


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Kevin ReinerRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Jan 15, 2012 at 7:03:08 pm

Is it the entire frame that is juddering or just the moving text? Would you be able to share the video. Might help to see it. Moving text is tricky. Maybe use a higher degree of motion blur?


-Reiner

Mac Pro 2 x 3 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
32GB Memory
Dual-channel 4Gb Fibre Channel PCI Express card
Dell Display (23" flat panel)
ATI Radeon HD 5770
AJA Kona LSi SD/HD capture card
Rourke 16 TB
Flanders 2460

SOFTWARE
Mac OS X 10.6.5
FCP 7
After Effects CS5
Boris Continuum
Sapphire Plug Ins
All Trapcode Plugs
Zaxwerks Invig


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Todd JacobsenRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Jan 15, 2012 at 10:07:45 pm

First off, thanks so much for all your help on this. Much appreciated.

To answer your question(s): It appeared as though it was just the text being affected. I did notice some horizontal banding happening in spots that caused the entire frame to be affected, but I know that's something completely different.

There's a new version up here on Vimeo for a very limited time (only 12 hours--let me know once you've seen it so I can take it down). This incorporates a new methodology that might have solved the issue. I'm not entirely sure yet.

When I created the original I was ecstatic--after what seemed like days of experimenting--that the result finally worked even remotely close to my initial concept. The big problem? The spiral was so far away in frame that I didn't want to move the camera any closer and take a chance on mucking the whole thing up. So I precomped everything, and repositioned and rescaled in the new comp so the words appeared to be emerging from the same spot in the frame. That new comp was then imported into another "final edit" project/timeline, where all the clips from the entire project reside.

Remember that the juddering seemed to happen about 80% of the time in the same spot? It was where a couple of scaling/positioning keys were in the new comp. Took me while to even think about looking there. (Like I said in my first post: "Duh.")

So last night I went back into the original composition--not the new comp, but the one off in the distance--and rendered out a full-res .avi. I brought that into QuickTime and Exported to QuickTime Movie (mostly to bring the size down from 4.5gb), and imported the new .mov into the final edit timeline. Using the scaling/positioning keys from the old "new comp," I repositioned everything. Then I rendered out a 1/4 size test, and the issue seems to have disappeared.

This morning, I rendered out a full-res 1920 X 1080 .avi and used HandBrake to generate a 1/2-sized 960 X 540 .mp4, the results being linked above. After viewing this more than a dozen times on Vimeo, I notice it judders only sometimes, but really only once or twice in the original offending spot. There have also been a few times where it doesn't judder even once throughout the length of the clip. Same thing with the original .mp4 on my computer.

How does it look on your end?


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Kevin ReinerRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Jan 16, 2012 at 3:04:04 am

Looks pretty good on my end. Movement like that will often introduce judder. You could increase the motion blur to help with that. The only other red flags that I see would be your bit rate on the .mp4 file. Youtube and vimeo are going to compress your file again, so you want to feed them as good of quality as you can get. Vimeo recommends 2000 kbps for standard definition or 5000 kbps for high definition video (not sure about youtube, but I'm sure its similar). So bumping up the bit rate might help the overall look and movement.

Check out vimeo's file settings here:

http://vimeo.com/help/compression

But overall it's looking pretty good. You're looking at it much closer than anyone else will, which is what you should do.

Good luck,
Reiner

Mac Pro 2 x 3 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
32GB Memory
Dual-channel 4Gb Fibre Channel PCI Express card
Dell Display (23" flat panel)
ATI Radeon HD 5770
AJA Kona LSi SD/HD capture card
Rourke 16 TB
Flanders 2460

SOFTWARE
Mac OS X 10.6.5
FCP 7
After Effects CS5
Boris Continuum
Sapphire Plug Ins
All Trapcode Plugs
Zaxwerks Invig


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Todd JacobsenRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Jan 16, 2012 at 4:07:37 am

Thanks again for all your help and advice, Kevin. I really appreciate it.

Todd


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Peter BerdovskyRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Sep 19, 2012 at 10:25:39 pm

I am having the same issues with text animated along a path.
Somehow I think it might be AE struggling with an ultra long text path (it's about a paragraph... a long one). I compress it real nice, and my fps reads solid 30+ on playback, but the text stutters. Nothing else in that composition does, just the text.

I'll have to take a look to see if there are any rebel keyframes in there... but I somehow suspect a flaw in the animation algorithm.



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Peter BerdovskyRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Sep 19, 2012 at 10:33:14 pm

Found this post, about AE video JUDDER
Avoiding Judder in Motion Graphics

Will try some of the suggestions here.
Sadly enough, the author seems to think that some of it is just plainly inevitable :(

http://kb2.adobe.com/community/publishing/908/cpsid_90843.html



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Kevin ReinerRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Sep 20, 2012 at 2:43:43 am

Hello Peter,

That article you posted pretty much touched on all the causes and possible solutions. Its less of an AE problem than it is a physics problem. You just have to understand the problem and know how to best apply the fixes.

Can you post the video or a stripped down version of your project, and we can take a look? Does your animation have to be at the exact length you have it now? Sometimes just stretching it out a handful of frames can help.

-Kevin

Mac Pro 2 x 3 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
32GB Memory
Dual-channel 4Gb Fibre Channel PCI Express card
Dell Display (23" flat panel)
ATI Radeon HD 5770
AJA Kona LSi SD/HD capture card
Rourke 16 TB
Flanders 2460

SOFTWARE
Mac OS X 10.6.5
FCP 7
After Effects CS5
Boris Continuum
Sapphire Plug Ins
All Trapcode Plugs
Zaxwerks Invig


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Peter BerdovskyRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Sep 20, 2012 at 3:07:57 am

Will try to record a tiny sample / post it over here tomorrow. I stretched it by 2 already... it's not helping at all. It's a 4,500 pixels wide video (as a master) for a mapped video installation where text crawls along the wall tiles. I think the fact that the text path is so long adds to the stutter (personal feelings, totally not grounded in reality). And, as the article said, the physics of it all. But it's really dizzying to the eye, almost like it goes back in time one frame then jumps forward. I tried motion blur / etc.

But yeah, will bite into it tomorrow full on and send you a small playable sample.



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Peter BerdovskyRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Sep 21, 2012 at 12:26:39 am

Crap :)
I just reviewed the entire sequence on a fast computer... And it looks fine and smooth enough on my LCD monitor viewed at 100% size. I thought I saw it skip on this display as well, but not this time...

BUT - viewing it on a different compression / platform brought the judders back.
Check out this vimeo upload:
https://vimeo.com/49865328
password: judder

It totally stutters on playback for me in a similar way it did during the install test.

So I am just kind of confused... really confused :(



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Peter BerdovskyRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Sep 21, 2012 at 3:34:40 am

In addition, it jutters when I watch this vimeo clip on one display but not on another one?
Oh god this is annoying.

Watching this with a friend on two displays - we are both seeing the same thing - judder on one display but not the other. Same video streaming from the web. I actually think the display is the same refresh rate, but not sure...



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Kevin ReinerRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Sep 21, 2012 at 1:56:20 pm

It is not juddering on my end. This might be a compression problem. What application are you using for compression? What are your settings?

-Kevin

Mac Pro 2 x 3 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
32GB Memory
Dual-channel 4Gb Fibre Channel PCI Express card
Dell Display (23" flat panel)
ATI Radeon HD 5770
AJA Kona LSi SD/HD capture card
Rourke 16 TB
Flanders 2460

SOFTWARE
Mac OS X 10.6.5
FCP 7
After Effects CS5
Boris Continuum
Sapphire Plug Ins
All Trapcode Plugs
Zaxwerks Invig


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Peter BerdovskyRe: Animating text on a spiral, and I'm having a render issue
by on Sep 21, 2012 at 4:14:42 pm

For this demo, I used Photojpeg compression, 80% setting, uploaded to Vimeo Plus, not sure what they use on their end, maybe H264?

But yes - the weird thing is - it judders for me when viewed on my laptop, but not when I view it on an external monitor on my Mac Pro. My laptop is really fast - so I don't really see how it's a playback speed issue... Would love to put my finger on a fix here....



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