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Oh **** export time is going to take 320 hours. Is there a better way?

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Jeff RouricOh **** export time is going to take 320 hours. Is there a better way?
by on Aug 7, 2013 at 7:57:03 pm

Hi, you might remember me as the guy with the client who had that bad greenscreen footage for slo-mo video portraits. Well, what you didn't know is each of those portraits is 1-2 mins long (the whole thing has to be keyed, rotoscoped) (and I've gotten moderate success here, thanks guys)

And that there's a little over 40 of them. And they're supposed to be all strung together in a single movie at the end.

I did a 1920x1080 export "best settings" to quicktime h.264, just to check the whole thing, and the resulting file was 300ish MB. It took 4 hours to export out. That was one of the shortest ones, at a little less than a minute.

Does this mean that the final export (essentially 40 more of what I just did, all strung together as comps) is going to be a 12GB, 80min movie that takes 320 hours?!

And is there any other way?


My computer is not the greatest, 4GB ram, 2.8 ghz. So I'm going to do the final render on my client's computer, with 16GB. Is it still going to take about a week?? Is that reasonable?


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Dustin LawhornRe: Oh **** export time is going to take 320 hours. Is there a better way?
by on Aug 7, 2013 at 9:03:17 pm

it's the quicktime h.264 part of the conversion that is taking all of that time. Export as an image sequence. It will be lot faster and then take those image sequences later and put them into a quicktime h.264. Another advantage to going out to image sequences is that when you get a bad frame you only lose the bad frame. If you're going out to a video file, you'll get a failed render and no video for all of that rendering time.

-dl


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Ivan MylesRe: Oh **** export time is going to take 320 hours. Is there a better way?
by on Aug 8, 2013 at 2:12:14 am

[Dustin Lawhorn] "Another advantage to going out to image sequences is that when you get a bad frame you only lose the bad frame."

What is the best method to replace the bad frames? I have tried re-rendering individual DPX frames and placing them into the image sequence folder with the correct frame numbers, but the new frames are not recognized (they appear black). The only method that works for me is creating a new comp/timeline with the old and new DPX files, and then encoding another image sequence. It's faster then re-rendering all the effects in the original composition, but there's still a bit of work (and temporary storage space) required. Is there a better way to replace frames in an image sequence?


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Dustin LawhornRe: Oh **** export time is going to take 320 hours. Is there a better way?
by on Aug 8, 2013 at 4:58:00 am

Ivan,
Sorry for the late reply. I missed your reply somehow. But, here goes:

(Keep in mind that this workflow assumes that I’ve gone into the original “render settings” and changed the Time Span to “Work area only.”)

I usually “duplicate with file name” in the Render Queue*. Then, go into the comp and see if I can remedy the problem. Then, I try to render out the bad frame by making that one frame the “work area.’ That will force the new render to have the same name with a 001 or 01 addition to it. Check that frame out after it renders. Now, just lose the extra digits and add to the folder.

If the problem is more than one frame (and it WILL be), I’ve just taken the first steps in the problem-solving sequence that I usually follow. However, getting that one frame to render out correctly just saved me minutes (and sometimes hours) of figuring out what is going on with the others that are dropping. Besides, it’s always quicker rendering out 1 frame than rendering out 120 of them.

[* = I know it’s a little weird that I “duplicate” before problem solving; however, AE renders don’t really look at the comp until I hit the render button.]

As for the DPX part of your question, I tend to stick with the legacy formats for Image Sequence workflows right now: PNG, TIFF, JPEG (for previews and rough edits only), and PSDs. I really don't have a reason for that-I just know that older machines will be more likely to "understand" those older formats?

-dl


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Ivan MylesRe: Oh **** export time is going to take 320 hours. Is there a better way?
by on Aug 8, 2013 at 3:31:53 pm

Thank you for replying, Dustin. If I understand correctly, you are exporting the new frames into the same folder as the previously rendered image sequence, deleting the bad frames, and then changing the file names of the new frames to fit the correct point in the sequence. I will give that a try.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Oh **** export time is going to take 320 hours. Is there a better way?
by on Aug 7, 2013 at 9:21:47 pm

That, sir, is very tough to tell.

Assuming the AE project and all associated media files are transported smoothly to the client's computer, we know nothing about that machine, nor the ultimate use for these files. Both make a big difference in render times.

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


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Jeff RouricRe: Oh **** export time is going to take 320 hours. Is there a better way?
by on Aug 7, 2013 at 10:15:09 pm

Well for more details, the final thing is to be played on loop on a disembodied mac monitor acting as a hanging wall portrait, as one movie. And all I know about his computer is it has 16 GB of ram...

I've been editing with smaller proxies, to get the motions lined up and a rough greenscreen down. That phase is over and the final phase of working on the full res MTS files is here. I changed the greenscreen settings around because keying a highly compressed small proxy != keying full res data. I bring a batch onto my computer, work on them as their own file, then delete the media from my computer, then bring a new batch. Once the final part of lining them up and fading them into each other is here, I'm just going to bring in the project files as compositions, without the source footage linked to it, and line them up as the project file, then hand the project file over to him, have him relink them and export.

I'll try the image sequence thing, see how that affects the time. Once they're images, how do you make them into a movie? Won't it have to render them all back into a movie anyway?

Thank god this has no sound.


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Dustin LawhornRe: Oh **** export time is going to take 320 hours. Is there a better way?
by on Aug 7, 2013 at 11:07:13 pm

[Jeff Rouric] "I'll try the image sequence thing, see how that affects the time. Once they're images, how do you make them into a movie? Won't it have to render them all back into a movie anyway?

Thank god this has no sound."


It should not change the time of your timeline. Basically, each frame becomes an image file with an automatic incremental number. The image files all occupy a folder with whatever name you gave it in the Render Queue. i.e. "GroovySloMoVideo_0001.png", "GroovySloMoVideo_0002.png" and so on...

Yes, you would eventually be rendering all of those back into a video file. But it's still faster and safer to use Image Sequences when dealing with these really serious keying projects. Although this isn't the best explanation of this topic it's a quick enough read to give you a sense of why it's better: http://www.captaingraphics.net/blog/item/33-image-sequence-vs-movie-what-sh...
I'm not associated with that site or anything.

I've had many a render fail when going out to a video file directly that wasted hours of rendering time. When you go out to image files for each frame, you can see exactly which frame stopped the render. That makes problem-solving your project so much easier!

Another upside of dealing with Image Sequences is they are Render Farm friendly and you never know when you can get another computer to render stuff while you're working on another part of the video... From experience I can tell you that setting up render farms with Adobe is not as painful as setting up render farms for Blender.

-dl


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Jeff RouricRe: Oh **** export time is going to take 320 hours. Is there a better way?
by on Aug 7, 2013 at 11:29:21 pm

Hahah, messing around with Blender is a hobby of mine recently, so that last part you said scares me. I don't have near enough money to set up any farms though, and though he's so rich he can hang a mac monitor on his wall as a picture, he doesn't want to put that kind of money into this project. Ideally he would like each one to take only an hour at most (he a producer) and to get the entire thing done in a day. Ha. No.

I experimented with image sequences (PNG) and I have to thank you, this is going to be a lifesaver. It seems like it's still going to take the same amount of time to export as PNGs as it will to go straight to H.264, AND the file size (of the folder) is going to be so much bigger, BUT this way, if the render breaks (and if it's gotta sit there for 2 weeks, I'm sure it will) we have a certain point of frames to start from, and don't have to redo it all. Also if I'm not mistaken, we can break the export into smaller chunks with the work area right? Then just put all the frames back together at the end, which seems to take only seconds - minutes to do.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Oh **** export time is going to take 320 hours. Is there a better way?
by on Aug 7, 2013 at 11:44:02 pm

If you render image sequences, yes: you will have to then render them into movies. If you have audio with the files, it would be a separate export. And THEN you have to match the audio back up with the video, and THEN render the movie. There just isn't any convenient, automated way to do 40-some-odd clips.

I wish you luck.

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


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Dustin LawhornRe: Oh **** export time is going to take 320 hours. Is there a better way?
by on Aug 8, 2013 at 12:47:53 am

[Dave LaRonde] "There just isn't any convenient, automated way to do 40-some-odd clips."

Now, THAT should be a feature request!

-dl


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Tero AhlforsRe: Oh **** export time is going to take 320 hours. Is there a better way?
by on Aug 8, 2013 at 4:34:27 am

[Jeff Rouric] "My computer is not the greatest"

...aaaand you're trying to work with AVCHD in AE and rendering it straight out to H.264. There you go.


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Jeff RouricRe: Oh **** export time is going to take 320 hours. Is there a better way?
by on Aug 8, 2013 at 7:51:23 am

What SHOULD I be doing, Tero? Convert everything to ProRes? That would be an extra step that could take days. It took 3 days on my client's good computer to convert the full res MTS files from 1920x1080 MTS to 640x360 smaller proxies. And I don't know if that would export faster once they ARE ProRes. I'm just going with what he gave me


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Ivan MylesRe: Oh **** export time is going to take 320 hours. Is there a better way?
by on Aug 8, 2013 at 3:47:24 pm

[Jeff Rouric] "What SHOULD I be doing"

The general theme of the previous posts is to render and compress in two stages: export to an image sequence or other high bitrate intermediate format, and then transcode the exported file(s) to H.264.


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