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Plexus - Line flicker

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Stuart SimpsonPlexus - Line flicker
by on Feb 7, 2016 at 8:09:57 pm

Hi guys,

I'm getting a verticle line flicker between just two points of a cube in plexus 2.0.10 in After Effects CC 2015.

I've solo-ed the Plexus layer, tried without DOF and different plexus line settings but the flicker (between thos two points ONLY) still stays.

The line remains stable if the line thickness is around 3 points but that looks ugly with what I'm doing and ideally it needs to stay at 0.5.

I thought it might be the distance setting for rendering the lines but that doesn't seem to effect the flicker. If I increase it so I'm connecting many more points that particular verticle line still flickers.

Any ideas much appreciated. This is driving me nuts and as usual this technology fail has happened on a deadline!


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Kalle KannistoRe: Plexus - Line flicker
by on Feb 8, 2016 at 7:30:07 am

A line that is a pixel wide (or less) and exactly horizontal or vertical has a great chance of flickering. If the line has to stay exactly vertical, try doubling the size of the comp, render it out and then re-size for final output. It should at least decrease the flickering.

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Stuart SimpsonRe: Plexus - Line flicker
by on Feb 8, 2016 at 9:09:33 am

Hi Kalle,

Thanks for the response, good idea! In the end I rotated the Plexus cube by 2.5 degrees on one axis which didn't effect the design and seemed to reduce the flicker enough.

I don't suppose you have any idea why this happens? Presumably this is something to do with the maths of how Plexus figures out the lines? I've not encountered this with some other line creation methods, for example path strokes before (when viewed within After effects on monitor displays).

All the best


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Dave LaRondeRe: Plexus - Line flicker
by on Feb 8, 2016 at 5:37:51 pm

I can't think of ANY application that can do well with extremely thin lines. Not a one. 2D, 3D, cheap, expensive... doesn't matter.

Okay, maybe they look good in Illustrator and Photoshop, but you're in AE for a reason -- you want things to move. That brings with it a different set of design sensibilities & precautions.

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

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Kalle KannistoRe: Plexus - Line flicker
by on Feb 9, 2016 at 11:31:11 am

Like Dave said, it's not a Plexus-related problem, it happens with any bitmap-based imaging application. It's got more to do with display technology than the software.

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Stuart SimpsonRe: Plexus - Line flicker
by on Feb 9, 2016 at 12:00:39 pm

Thanks guys. Over a decade of using AE in broadcast design I've been used to thinking of that all important intended end display, and yes those thin lines are a pain in traditional broadcast media!

However, end design and intended purpose aside - the reason I didn't think this was a display issue was that over a whole 3D grid of lines it was one section of a verticle line that had the flicker and it just didn't look like the artifacting I'd expect from a moving line, or for that matter any bunch of pixels. Perhaps a better description would be a pulse of ocillating thickness than a glitching flicker ;)

Interstingly moving a visually similar width line (so the same actual displayed pixels) at the same speed but created via a different method (stroke of a path say) didn't reproduce the same result. It not being down to depth of field or camera viewing simulation (which often causes that sort of problem) this made me think it's something to do with how Pleuxs is calculating the display width of the line?

Anyway... Problem patched with the work arounds above! Just interested to know in the background a bit as it might help solve problems in the future and the Plexus forum hadn't been much help :)

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Kalle KannistoRe: Plexus - Line flicker
by on Feb 9, 2016 at 8:12:15 pm

Ok, that certainly sounds like it is Plexus-related. Another thought -- this may or may not have anything to do with the issue at hand -- I had rendering glitches with Plexus on my workstation until I turned on GPU rendering. You can try turning that setting on of off (in Plexus settings) and see if it makes any difference.

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