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3D camera workflow question

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Jim Turner3D camera workflow question
by on Sep 1, 2016 at 3:08:19 am

Hi all. I'm starting a new project in AE and running into a problem. I think I may be setting up my entire project wrong, and am hoping someone can point me in a better direction.

TL;DR: my composition is enormous and I'm running out of memory.

I want a static frame with a number of images in front of a large background plate. The camera will zip around the frame, zooming into and away from different images, while the background plate creates a cool parallax effect. Pretty standard stuff. I want the final product to be 1920x1080.

So I created a composition ten times that size: 19200x10800, to accommodate the enormous background plate. I created the background in Photoshop and exported as a huge PNG, and then created a bunch of regular size (1920x1080) images to populate the frame. In AE I created a camera and did some tests, and everything was working fine, if slowly, until I tried my first test render. The render failed with the error: "Memory allocation of 6.2GB exceeds internal limits. Decrease the memory requirements for the rendering of this frame...."

A little googling and a little humility suggest that I'm going about this all wrong, but I don't know how else to make it work. The images need to be 1920x1080 so they'll look crisp in closeup, and the background plate needs to be separated from them in order to create the parallax effect, and that means it needs to be huge in order to fill the frame when the camera pulls back. What am I missing?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!


PS - Under Render Settings, I tried setting the resolution to "Render every 10 pixels horizontally/vertically." That worked, except the rendered movie was super jagged. I also tried Output Module -> Resize to 1920x1080, and crop to "Use Region of Interest;" same memory error.

After Effects CC 2015.0
iMac 3.5 GHz Quad-core i7, 32GB RAM

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Tero AhlforsRe: 3D camera workflow question
by on Sep 1, 2016 at 6:14:29 am

[Jim Turner] " I want the final product to be 1920x1080."

Then you should be working in a 1920x1080 comp with all the layers set so you can do your camera moves in that. 19200x10800 resolution is absolutely insane for any use.

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: 3D camera workflow question
by on Sep 1, 2016 at 6:44:56 am

Like Tero said, 1920x1080 should be the comp size you're working at. As far as the background plate goes, you may not need to have it so large. Since it should be far back it should not be crisp and in focus, so you may get away with a much smaller image enlarged in AE using the scale controls. Also, you can try to use the detail preserving upscale effect to get a bigger plate.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Jim TurnerRe: 3D camera workflow question
by on Sep 1, 2016 at 11:46:48 am

Ok, thanks, I think I got it!

I thought that if I created a 1920x1080 comp, and then backed up the camera, it would reveal the edges of the comp; hence the enormous comp. What I didn't realize is that AE would keep generating pixels to accommodate the entire field of view.

I now have a 1920x1080 comp, with my 1920x1080 assets, plus the (same) enormous background plate. I pushed the plate waaay back in the z axis (16,000 px), and pulled the camera waaaay forward in the z axis (-200,000 px), left the assets at 0 px, and everything seems to be working out.


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