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Rendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously

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Matthew HerzelRendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously
by on Jul 8, 2014 at 2:35:24 pm

Ok, I have a massively bloated AE comp with 12 separate video clips which I'm trying to play simultaneously in a grid. When I render it out I'm getting what appear to be dropped frames in all of the clips at random points. Different exports and different codecs all have this issue, but different frames are dropped each time, leading me to believe it's not a problem with stray keyframes or the like. I sometimes have the same issue when I load up a RAM preview in AE, but not always, and again, not always at the same places in the timeline. Sometimes instead of appearing to be a dropped frame, a single frame of one of the other video clips is inserted.

Could this be an issue of processing power? (I'm running a 3.2 quad core MacPro with 8 gigs of ram.)
Could it be some kind of weird parenting/position data issue where the other video clips p data is getting screwed up for a single frame? (I do have a number of layers behind each video clip and some scaling, 3D movement, and rotation going on)
Some other kind of rookie mistake on my part?

I'm running out of ideas here so anything is helpful, thanks.

-Matt


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Brian CharlesRe: Rendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously
by on Jul 8, 2014 at 3:01:29 pm

My first thought is that the source video is may be compressed in a format that uses a long GOP and when After Effects tries to reconstitute the frames on render it introduces errors.

If that's the case try converting the video with Media Encoder to a format (eg: ProRes, DNxHD) which contains whole frames of data then replace the footage in your composition with the converted video.



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Michael SzalapskiRe: Rendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously
by on Jul 8, 2014 at 3:06:58 pm

We are going to need a lot more information [link] to help troubleshoot.
All of the info mentioned in that link could be useful to figure out the problem, but there are some things that are super-important to know:

  • Format and codec of the footage involved

  • Exact version number of AE down to the decimal point

  • Your computer specs

  • Memory and multiprocessing settings (if applicable)



- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Matthew HerzelRe: Rendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously
by on Jul 8, 2014 at 3:41:10 pm

Thanks for being willing to troubleshoot guys, here are some more specifics:

Running: AE CS6 11.0.2.11 on a MacPro 3.2 ghz quadcore, 8gigs ram, ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB, running OSX 10.8.5

Source footage: 1920x1080 Progressive h.264 Quicktime files out of a Canon 7D at 23.97 fps.

Quicktime Version 10.2 (603.17) installed.

No third party I/O software, just Adobe Creative Suite.

Not using OpenGL or the Ray Traced renderer, only classic 3D.

Render multiple frames simultaneously turned off.

The frame dropping, if that's what it is, happens both during RAM previews and after rendering out, but not consistently.

I've tried a number of codecs during export: h.264 compressed mpeg 4, h.264 compressed Quicktime, ProRes 422 Quicktime, and I'm trying a lossless export with Animation/Quicktime right now.


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Rendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously
by on Jul 8, 2014 at 3:46:45 pm

[Matthew Herzel] "Running: AE CS6 11.0.2.11"
Update! You are two major bug-fix updates behind. As of the last time I checked, the latest version of CS6 is 11.0.4.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Matthew HerzelRe: Rendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously
by on Jul 8, 2014 at 3:50:54 pm

Thanks I'm giving that a try!

-Matt


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Dave LaRondeRe: Rendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously
by on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:05:41 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:07:05 pm

And also know that the actual frame rate is 23.976... not 23.97. This could explain some of the dropped-frames issue.

So could that H.264 footage, which gives AE fits if the wrong combination of effects are applied to it.

It's too bad DSLR makers couldn't figure out a better codec for recording than stinkin' H.264. It may be an okay delivery codec, but it sucks as an acquisition codec.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Brian CharlesRe: Rendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously
by on Jul 8, 2014 at 4:01:03 pm

[Matthew Herzel] "I've tried a number of codecs during export: h.264 compressed mpeg 4, h.264 compressed Quicktime, ProRes 422 Quicktime, and I'm trying a lossless export with Animation/Quicktime right now."

Its not the export codec that causes the issue. It may be the H.264 ingest from the Canon. H.264 does not contain whole frames and so After Effects needs to generate them. Try converting these first to ProRes *then* replace them in the After Effects comp.



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Matthew HerzelRe: Rendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously
by on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:06:32 pm

Thanks Brian, I'm updating AE and if that doesn't do anything for me transcoding the source footage is the next thing I'll try. Much appreciated.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Rendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously
by on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:11:57 pm

AAAAAHHHHH!!!!! Stop right now!!!!

Never update software in the middle of a project!!!! Not EVER!

Okay, go ahead and do it if you like missed deadlines and problem-solving under pressure.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Matthew HerzelRe: Rendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously
by on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:20:54 pm

AH! Too late! Fingers crossed that I haven't screwed myself overmuch, as I like neither missed deadlines or problem-solving under pressure. Other than transcoding my source footage to prores and updating AE, anything else you can think of to try Dave, or is this project doomed?

-Matt


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Dave LaRondeRe: Rendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously
by on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:29:20 pm

Well, one thing's for sure: DO NOT OPEN THE CURRENT PROJECT IN THE NEW VERSION OF AE. You want to fool around with the project in the new version? Fool around with a copy.

And I, for one, would ALWAYS transcode to a better codec than H.264 for AE work. There are just too many things that can go wrong with it, and I see the minor problems of time and larger file size as cheap insurance to avoid problems later on.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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EricBowenRe: Rendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously
by on Jul 8, 2014 at 9:03:21 pm

Keep in mind 8GB of ram is not enough for Quad core CPU and AE. The memory management alone can cause random issues when data has to constantly re-cache to complete frame data on ram preview or export. I would suggest you get 16GB soon which will also help your performance with such complex comps. Comp complexity is one of the major factors to the dynamic amount of ram you require per frame. AE's caching models though will only cache based on the amount of ram available that is not in use by the OS or graphics. This will lead to frame buffer corruption at times when the compositing of frame data cannot process all of the layers into that frame correctly with the amount of ram available. Also remember the player being used to decode the media also require ram to do so. This is often outside of the ram the AE render engine/player requires.

Eric-ADK
Tech Manager
support@adkvideoediting.com


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Rendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously
by on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:21:00 pm

[Dave LaRonde] Okay, go ahead and do it if you like missed deadlines and problem-solving under pressure."

Dave, he's already having problems. This is probably a solution to the problem. (Although, transcoding the source footage to a production codec would also be likely to solve the issue.)

I grant that updating software in the middle of a project is usually not a good move (and it's certainly not good to do major point updates and definitely a bad idea to do entire version updates), but this is a minor point update that was mostly bug-fixes and some of the issues that were fixed are issues that he is experiencing. 11.0.4 has been out for quite a while and there have been very few problems with it

But yeah, if Matthew's deadline is today, I'd just transcode the source footage first.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Rendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously
by on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:31:50 pm

Oh, I thought the guy was going from AE 11 to AE 12 , or AE 12 to AE 13... which some people have found painful.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Walter SoykaRe: Rendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously
by on Jul 8, 2014 at 9:43:06 pm

[Dave LaRonde] "Oh, I thought the guy was going from AE 11 to AE 12 , or AE 12 to AE 13..."

When a newer version of Ae opens a project from an older version, it saves it as "Original Filename [converted].aep" -- this protects you from accidentally saving over your old project file with a newer project format that can't be read by previous versions.

But your point to not manually save over the old project is well-made!

Also, while we're on the topic, use Increment and Save often instead of just saving all the time to give yourself a history of changes to the project.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Matthew HerzelRe: Rendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously
by on Jul 9, 2014 at 1:08:34 pm

Thank you everyone for the suggestions. I'm not sure if it was a bug that the AE update fixed, or if it was just having trouble with the h.264 footage, but after transcoding to prores the export came out beautifully! I'm not a very experienced editor so this was a good learning opportunity. Transcoding to prores was a standard part of my workflow when I was editing in Final Cut, but since moving to Adobe I was under the impression that Premiere and AE worked played much better with compressed footage. Obviously AE doesn't, and I'll be transcoding my source footage from now on!

-Matt


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Dave LaRondeRe: Rendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously
by on Jul 9, 2014 at 5:13:14 pm

Well, here's the deal about H.264 footage and AE: it will work well enough for simple stuff.
But when you start doing thing like Rotobrush, Warp Stabilizer, and just about ANY effect that has something to do with the manipulation of time or frame rate, AE will start bogging down.
These things require AE to look backward & forward in time, but H.264 footage doesn't store its image information as separate, discrete frames--it'll have partial frame information. This means AE has to go through the additional chore of rebuilding the missing information from the frames, and THEN looking backwards & forwards in time.
So in the long run, it's a lot easier to transcode out of H.264 into a different codec like ProRes, Animation or PNG in Quicktime. Then that chore is done ONCE, and AE can concentrate on more pressing matters.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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EricBowenRe: Rendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously
by on Jul 9, 2014 at 5:16:08 pm

The partial frame data and referencing of complete frames with long GOP also requires more data caching in ram. Complete frames can be segmented in ram and cached much easier based on the amount of system ram available. This is why the anomalies occur on partial frame codecs and not on full frame codecs but are not consistent as to when they occur.

Eric-ADK
Tech Manager
support@adkvideoediting.com


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Matthew HerzelRe: Rendering Issues in AE Comp with multiple video clips playing simultaneously
by on Jul 9, 2014 at 7:50:26 pm

Thanks again Dave and Eric, I appreciate the explanations. I've kind of backed into editing work from a different background and all along the way you Creative Cow guys (and Lynda.com) have been my saviors!

-Matt


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