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Random jitter in bevels or flares

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Larry Adlon
Random jitter in bevels or flares
on Sep 13, 2013 at 6:44:36 pm

Another one of my mysteries... I'm working on this one project (the same one from my previous posts), which has about 140 layers, some of which are precomps), and once in a while, I'll do a render where I see some odd behavior.

One of the bottom-most layers (a background element) has a Layer Style bevel applied to it, and at certain points, it appears that the width of the bevel would fluctuate. In one case, it seemed to coincide with an upper layer that was using Particular (with the particles done as image sprites).

I've since got rid of that one particle layer, but in my latest render, I'm seeing the flickering again.

Seems that it was something like a CPU/RAM overload, although I'm running with 32 gigs of RAM and an i7 processor. It wasn't like the particle layer was VISUALLY interfering with the layer it was above, but instead it was more like it was battling for resources, even though I can't imagine why.

The new render has a new issue, where I have to little flares (using Optical Flares), which are behaving just fine up to a point, and then they both seem to jump a pixel over randomly... similar to the bevel jitter in the previous render).

Any ideas what this might be? Again, my guess is some kind of resource struggle, even though it shouldn't (and AE says it's only using at most 8% of the 32 gigs of RAM).

Although both issues are differnt (bevel width jitter vs flare position jitter), they both seem to be similar in their rate, and possibly what is causing them.

Win7 Pro / i7 / 32gigs RAM
AE CS6


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Walter Soyka
Re: Random jitter in bevels or flares
on Sep 13, 2013 at 7:07:55 pm

[Larry Adlon] "One of the bottom-most layers (a background element) has a Layer Style bevel applied to it, and at certain points, it appears that the width of the bevel would fluctuate. In one case, it seemed to coincide with an upper layer that was using Particular (with the particles done as image sprites)."

This may be a cache error. Does everything look normal if you clear the disk cache and purge all memory?

There were a few cache-related bugs in the earlier releases. Make sure you're up to date on Ae (latest CS6 is 11.0.2), Particular (2.2), and Optical Flares (1.3.3?).

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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Larry Adlon
Re: Random jitter in bevels or flares
on Sep 13, 2013 at 8:06:34 pm

Plugins like Particular definitely have some cache issues with CS6. Doing a preview render would often result in some cached frames being used rather than it being re-rendered, even though the settings were changed, so you'd get jittering particles (jumping from new renders vs old renders).

Interesting... I isolated a section where the flares were jittering (shifting down and right about 1-2 pixels at regular rhythm), and cleared the memory and re-rendered. No change.

I cleared the disk cache and database and re-rendered. No change.

Tried everything, and no change.

THEN, I turned off multiple-frames, and tried it again. Now it worked. So, something to do with using multiple CPUs... Almost like one of them was doing things differently.

I would have thought it had SOMETHING to do with multi-CPU rendering, as that would explain the regular rhythm of it. Hrmmm... So, now how do I get it to work with multi-CPU rendering again? I have to play around with that some more. May be able to just re-render the affected areas. That's why I'm rendering sequential frames rather than a movie file. I can re-render areas (as well as stop/start the render).


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Walter Soyka
Re: Random jitter in bevels or flares
on Sep 14, 2013 at 1:42:24 am

[Larry Adlon] "THEN, I turned off multiple-frames, and tried it again. Now it worked. So, something to do with using multiple CPUs... Almost like one of them was doing things differently."

Curious. Does it make a difference if Optical Flares is set to render on the GPU or not?

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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Larry Adlon
Re: Random jitter in bevels or flares
on Sep 14, 2013 at 3:42:11 am

I tried rendering it again (with multi-CPU), and it rendered fine. Odd... since it rendered with the jitter just previous to that. But, hey, I'll take it!


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