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Basic motion "jumps" in AE

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Andrew Matthews
Basic motion "jumps" in AE
on Jul 6, 2012 at 6:51:09 pm

Here's my problem:

I've got two black solids with Venetian Blinds effects on them at 50% transition completion, both 50% opacity, one slightly scaled up for variation. Then I keyframed a simple movement of each moving horizontally in opposite directions to make a nice overlay of shifting bands of shadow to put on top of another comp.

But for some reason, AE is having real difficulty rendering this simple movement. It jumps and stutters like crazy, getting worse each time you play it. Whether playing in the viewer or rendering out to a QT file, whether I make small adjustments to the motion paths, or change any other settings, it can't play it smoothly.

I'm on an Intel MacPro, running Snow Leopard and AE CS5. OpenGL is off.

If anyone has any ideas, let me know! Seems like such a simple thing to do. Thanks!


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Walter Soyka
Re: Basic motion "jumps" in AE
on Jul 7, 2012 at 2:07:56 pm

[Andrew Matthews] "But for some reason, AE is having real difficulty rendering this simple movement. It jumps and stutters like crazy, getting worse each time you play it. Whether playing in the viewer or rendering out to a QT file, whether I make small adjustments to the motion paths, or change any other settings, it can't play it smoothly."

In AE, are you using RAM preview [link] (hit the zero key on the numeric keypad on the right side of your keyboard), or just pressing the space bar to play? Nothing is real-time in AE, and everything must be rendered to RAM before you can see a real-time preview.

In QuickTime Player, it is normal to see stuttering if you're trying to play back lossless renders. AE's default lossless output module generates an intermediate file that is designed for additional post-production use, not direct playback. These files are generally huge, with very high data rates, and very few computers can play them back in real time without stuttering. For more, see this Adobe FAQ [link]: Why is my output file huge, and why doesn't it play back smoothly in a media player?

To help you choose a more suitable format for your needs, see the related Adobe FAQ [link]: What is the best format for rendering and exporting from After Effects?

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
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Andrew Matthews
Re: Basic motion "jumps" in AE
on Jul 9, 2012 at 9:58:21 pm

Thanks for your input, but that's really not the case. I've completed RAM previews, rendered out to different ProRes codec at different resolutions, with no difference. It seems that there's just something about this particular movement that confuses AE.

In fact, I've since tried some different tactics, and it seems to have something to do with the Venetian Blinds effect. Whenever I try to apply motion to a solid with a Venetian Blind effect, I get these jerks and jumps. I've got a lot more complicated motions and effects going on elsewhere in the project, and they render fine. What's up with Venetian Blinds??!!


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