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Am I going crazy?

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Tim Bentley
Am I going crazy?
on Feb 5, 2013 at 8:09:27 pm

Hi all - I've spent most of the day keyframing a camera across a very wide (13488px x 200px) illustrator vector - it takes an hour or 3, as the keyframes are precisely synched to a music track, which has around 250 markers, which each correspond to a camera position. I have now done this process 5 times - each time I do it, I save it and don't touch it again. Every single time, when I have come back to the composition 10 minutes later, the keyframes have drifted out of place - only the very last one is still in place, and most of rest are 10 - 50px out on the x axis (the camera only moves along the x-axis), with a couple of bunches of ten or so keyframes still in the correct place. The last two times, the camera and its null have been locked IMMEDIATELY, the illustrator file in the comp is never unlocked, the illustrator file on my computer is locked - the whole thing is chained down like an angry pitbull. I have checked EVERYTHING - does anyone have any idea at all what could be causing this??? I just don't think I can bear it happening a sixth time, it'll be like that bit in Videodrome.

The ONLY thing I can think it might be is the 13488 x 200 illustrator file, which has been behaving a little oddly - it's almost the size of the drawing area (not the artboard), and each time I've made a small change, it hasn't reloaded correctly in AE. I'm not an expert in illustrator, and it may be a mistake there (I might have checked the 'stretch slightly in random places when used in AE' box, for example).

I know that most of these kind of questions are down to some dozy mistake, but I use AE every day, and I really don't think there can be any 'idiot' answer.

Thank you!


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chris brett
Re: Am I going crazy?
on Feb 5, 2013 at 8:35:51 pm

Hi Tim --- well maybe dont be too hard on yourself cos sometimes it can be the app. ........


----- once I had a .tif file that kept jumping out of position when I played the job back and to solve this I took the image into PS and converted it to a .tga file.


Therefore I reckon it might be worth doing the same -- convert the file format to something else and try again -- ( I tend to go for .tga files as I always think of them as native video format files but probably it makes no difference )

----------- all the best -----chris --




=============================


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Tim Bentley
Re: Am I going crazy?
on Feb 5, 2013 at 9:38:38 pm

Thanks for your reply - I need it to be continuously asterised, so my options are a bit limited (the 200px height fills an HD1080 frame). I had exported an .eps version as a backup to replace the AI file with if it misbehaved, but the .eps file hadn't retained the same size (it came in at 13115 x 143 pixels - probably because it doesn't include the artboard) and was slightly smaller - either way, it was messy and I'd prefer to keep the file AI, and editable in AI (I don't like illustrator as it always behaves the opposite way I expect it to, although illustrator probably feels the same about me). I'm actually going to give it one more go - some nice music and it might actually be kind of soothing. If it doesn't work I'll write another post asking if there's an illustrator plugin which lets you punch its face in.

I'm starting to think it might be a stupid mistake on my part...


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Darby Edelen
Re: Am I going crazy?
on Feb 6, 2013 at 6:06:29 am

Sounds like there's some sort of black voodoo at work here. Sorry I can't be of more help with your specific question.

What I would recommend is to break your illustrator file into several different layers if at all possible. AE will generally be happier with several small layers than one huge layer. That may not fix your issue, but it may improve your life in unexpected ways (no guarantees).

Darby Edelen


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Tim Bentley
Re: Am I going crazy?
on Feb 6, 2013 at 10:17:44 am

Thanks for your thoughts, in the end I put it down to dark forces as well - the project is saved on a drive which was once used by the ancient Indians as a burial ground for old OS 9 applications...

It definitely needs continuously rasterising - the vector (in spite of being twice the size of my apartment) is effectively scaled up to around 500% by the camera position. Out of interest, I've often wondered wether there's any reason not to make continuously rasterised vectors quite small (natively - ie in illustrator) and then scaling them up in AE? Instinctively I always try to make them the same size as their actual scale in the comp, but does AE prefer the smaller, scaled-up vector, or one closer to the actual size (or doesn't it matter)?

After two more attempts it all seems to be OK - I agree that the enormous layer isn't helping, and in fact a one or two pixel difference in the rasterising might have produced the unwanted scaling / stretching effect. There's a few expressions I'll have to rewrite but I'm going to see wether it's feasible to break it down into segments or, failing that, to break my laptop down into segments.

Thanks agan for your help.


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Darby Edelen
Re: Am I going crazy?
on Feb 6, 2013 at 4:06:03 pm

[Tim Bentley] "Instinctively I always try to make them the same size as their actual scale in the comp, but does AE prefer the smaller, scaled-up vector, or one closer to the actual size (or doesn't it matter)?"

This shouldn't matter. When a layer is being continuously rasterized whatever size it's scaled to represents the pixel data that needs to be stored in memory.

However, when you have limits on the amount of data that can be stored in memory (e.g. with render multiple frames simultaneously, or before AE was 64-bit) it is best to break large layers into separate smaller layers. This is not as big of a deal as it used to be, but may still provide performance/stability/mental health improvements.

Darby Edelen


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Tim Bentley
Re: Am I going crazy?
on Feb 6, 2013 at 4:42:50 pm

That's always what I'd assumed, but it's good to have it confirmed - I tend to have the illustrator artboard set to the comp size just to make the whole interplay a bit more manageable, but as you say there isn't really any need. In the end I chopped the layer into several smaller layers as you suggested - I think I heard after effects whisper a quiet 'thank you'...


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chris brett
Re: Am I going crazy?
on Feb 6, 2013 at 9:52:33 am

-- one last thought -

-- you sure you need continuous raster on ?

-------- if you are only moving in the x axis I would have thought its not required -


- if not then suggest again you reformat the file - thats of course if Darby's suggestion draws a blank


----chris----


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