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PC vs Mac render issue

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Olly LawerPC vs Mac render issue
by on Mar 15, 2014 at 8:47:25 am

Hi,

Our new PC seems to be creating some errors rendering where the same file rendered on a Mac causes no problems?

The glitch is in a watermark - there are no key frames on the watermark but it flickers on the export. It doesn't flicker on RAM preview. I know the file is OK as the Mac plays it out fine.

Any ideas?

Olly Lawer


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Walter SoykaRe: PC vs Mac render issue
by on Mar 15, 2014 at 12:31:37 pm

[Olly Lawer] "The glitch is in a watermark - there are no key frames on the watermark but it flickers on the export. It doesn't flicker on RAM preview. I know the file is OK as the Mac plays it out fine."

What exact version of Ae are you using? Are you RAM previewing at the same resolution that you're exporting? Are you using multiprocessing for renders but not for RAM preview, or are you using MP for both (or neither)?

What format are you rendering to?

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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Olly LawerRe: PC vs Mac render issue
by on Mar 15, 2014 at 12:40:48 pm

Hi Walter, thanks for your response. Answers below.

- What exact version of Ae are you using?

AE CC

- Are you RAM previewing at the same resolution that you're exporting?

No. We're doing a RAM preview at 1/2 resolution. Does this make a difference? Still, Mac doesn't have issue with the same file, but the PC does.

- Are you using multiprocessing for renders but not for RAM preview, or are you using MP for both (or neither)?

Both.

- What format are you rendering to?

QT MOV Animation Codec. We use this all the time and it's fine. Tho, we did have to buy QT pro on the PC to enable the same workflow as we use on the Mac.

Olly Lawer


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Walter SoykaRe: PC vs Mac render issue
by on Mar 15, 2014 at 1:09:50 pm

[Olly Lawer] "No. We're doing a RAM preview at 1/2 resolution. Does this make a difference? Still, Mac doesn't have issue with the same file, but the PC does."

It can make a difference, yes. The disk cache is resolution-dependent, so it's possible that if your cache is invalid, you wouldn't see it on a valid half-res render.

Do you have any effects applied to this layer? Are you sure you're up to the lastest version of any third-party effects?

What do you mean "Mac doesn't have issue with the same file, but the PC does?" Are you saying the Mac renders correctly and the PC does not, or the Mac plays back the rendered movie file correctly and the PC does not?

Also note that the disk cache is machine-dependent. I'd suggest you try purging RAM and clearing the disk cache as a troubleshooting step.


[Olly Lawer] "QT MOV Animation Codec. We use this all the time and it's fine. Tho, we did have to buy QT pro on the PC to enable the same workflow as we use on the Mac."

Something is wrong here -- an installation of QuickTime may be required, but QT Pro is not required to render from Ae to QuickTime Animation codec.

Do you have any anti-virus or firewall software on this machine? If so, is "Adobe QT32 Server.exe" permitted through?

Do you see the same thing if you render to another format, like a PSD sequence?

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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Olly LawerRe: PC vs Mac render issue
by on Mar 15, 2014 at 3:33:29 pm

- Do you have any effects applied to this layer?

Yes, an adjustment layer with a blur, but no key frames on the layer

- Are you sure you're up to the lastest version of any third-party effects?

Yes. We use Creative Cloud and everything is up to date - no third party effects.

- What do you mean "Mac doesn't have issue with the same file, but the PC does?" Are you saying the Mac renders correctly and the PC does not, or the Mac plays back the rendered movie file correctly and the PC does not?

Exactly right. We use Dropbox between machines. The exact same file with no changes renders fine with the Mac, but the PC renders a glitch.

The file played back glitches on both machines and plays fine on both machines - dependant on if we are playing back the with the PC rendered file or the Mac rendered file.

- Also note that the disk cache is machine-dependent. I'd suggest you try purging RAM and clearing the disk cache as a troubleshooting step.

Will do.

- Something is wrong here -- an installation of QuickTime may be required, but QT Pro is not required to render from Ae to QuickTime Animation codec.

When we got the PC, we had to install QT to render a MOV. Understandable. However, this MOV was not recognised by the Mac or the conversion software. So we paid for QT pro after some advice on here. Now the files play OK and are recognised on the Mac.

- Do you have any anti-virus or firewall software on this machine? If so, is "Adobe QT32 Server.exe" permitted through?

Yes we do - I'll check. I should note, all other renders have been glitch free on the PC.

Do you see the same thing if you render to another format, like a PSD sequence?

- not tired, but we can try

Olly Lawer


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Erik LindahlRe: PC vs Mac render issue
by on Mar 15, 2014 at 6:54:57 pm

A tip for rendering issues / glitches is to clear all caches before you render. This is done in one of the menus, edit or composition I think. It helps especially when doing a MP-render. A second tip is telling AE to "clear cache" during renders every X frames. This is turned on via a SECRET AE-preference pane.

Last resort is clearing all caches and turning MP-render off.

AE's new caching system is often good and aggressive but sometimes it screws up. The above has always fixed rendering issues for me at least.

Speaking of the above issue I'd love the option to "clear all caches before composition rendering" in the output module. It would save me some headaches.


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Olly LawerRe: PC vs Mac render issue
by on Mar 15, 2014 at 7:11:53 pm

Great. Thank you.

So tell me about this secret menu?!?! ;)

Olly Lawer


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Olly LawerRe: PC vs Mac render issue
by on Mar 15, 2014 at 7:34:59 pm

Cool. Tho does it slow down render a lot? Kinda enjoying very quick renders compared to iMac!

Olly Lawer


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Erik LindahlRe: PC vs Mac render issue
by on Mar 15, 2014 at 7:54:45 pm

It really depends. Some renders will be affected more than others. Primarily turning multi-processor rendering off will decrease speed by a lot (of course depending on host system).


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Walter SoykaRe: PC vs Mac render issue
by on Mar 17, 2014 at 1:55:56 am

I find the secret menu items to be almost entirely unnecessary in all 64-bit editions of Ae (CS5 and later). They were quite helpful in 32-bit versions which were very limited in RAM access, where the RAM requirements for the caches could actually interfere with rendering.

Also, I only recommend clearing the caches when you're running into trouble; otherwise, they can be very useful. If you were doing RAM previews at full resolution instead of half-res, then you'd see the same cached results in your previews as you would in your renders, and you'd know immediately if there were any problem (which is possible but relatively rare) that would necessitate clearing the cache.

Making smart use of the disk cache can be a big time saver, preventing you from rendering and re-rendering the same frames over and over again as you work and as you render final output.

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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Olly LawerRe: PC vs Mac render issue
by on Mar 17, 2014 at 9:03:49 am

OK, so it appears the error happens in Full Res RAM preview too...

Cleared Cache and Database.

Error still happens.

Doesn't happen with the same file on the Mac.

I'm completely flummoxed.

Olly Lawer


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Walter SoykaRe: PC vs Mac render issue
by on Mar 17, 2014 at 6:48:11 pm

Does it make a difference if you turn off multiprocessing? (Not suggesting that's a real-world solution, just trying to figure out what's going on.)

Any chance you can upload a reduced project?

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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EricBowenRe: PC vs Mac render issue
by on Mar 18, 2014 at 10:39:47 pm

What happens if you render to PNG or another sequence of still format?

Eric-ADK
Tech Manager
support@adkvideoediting.com


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Olly LawerRe: PC vs Mac render issue
by on Mar 20, 2014 at 9:18:34 pm

OK so we tried a PNG sequence. The problem was even more apparent. We tried no MP and the issue was the same.

So we took off effects one by one and we solved the issue.

Still doesn't explain why it works on Mac but not PC. To be honest, it's been a nightmare. The PC does weird things that the Mac just doesn't do - I now get the saying "Macs just work"!

The latest error is:



We needed another machine and just ordered a 12 core Mac Pro. It'll be interesting to see the difference!

Thank you for your help btw - always appreciated.

Olly Lawer


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EricBowenRe: PC vs Mac render issue
by on Mar 21, 2014 at 9:27:01 pm

The Asio and WDM mentioned there is the Audio driver. Asio is the Pro Audio based driver module type and WDM is Windows Audio. OSX uses Core Audio which is a completely different implementation. You have something wrong with your audio files. Check any effects on the audio or make sure your sample rate for the comp matches the audio media sample rate.

Eric-ADK
Tech Manager
support@adkvideoediting.com


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Walter SoykaRe: PC vs Mac render issue
by on Mar 25, 2014 at 7:15:43 pm

[Olly Lawer] "Still doesn't explain why it works on Mac but not PC. To be honest, it's been a nightmare. The PC does weird things that the Mac just doesn't do - I now get the saying "Macs just work"!"

I know this probably isn't terribly helpful, but what you are seeing is in no way normal. I moved my business away from Macs only onto both PCs and Macs two years ago and it's been my experience that PCs "just work" as well as Macs do, and that Macs can have the same kind of head-scratching frustrations that people normally attrivbute to PCs. I've found our PCs (all HPs) to be extremely reliable and we have never had any output incompatibilities or output errors as you have described.

Looking back at your series of posts, I think there is something seriously wrong with your system, particularly related to QuickTime -- as you said that installing QuickTime Pro fixed a problem that it should not have.

In other words, it's with some irony that I suggest the source of your PC problems may be Apple.

I'd suggest uninstalling QuickTime, then uninstalling Creative Cloud. Re-install QuickTime, then re-install Creative Cloud.

Another possibility may be some kind of third-party firewall that's interfering with your system's internal network stack, which is used for interprocess communication between 64-bit Ae and 32-bit QuickTime.

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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Olly LawerRe: PC vs Mac render issue
by on Apr 10, 2014 at 9:48:19 am

Sorry for the delay.

I think the issue seems to be related to saving directly to the Dropbox folder. When we save to the desktop, we don't see a problem. Just windows glitching with Dropbox I think...

Olly Lawer


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