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After Effects Artifacts during "Make Movie" rendering

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Michael Menefee
After Effects Artifacts during "Make Movie" rendering
on Oct 27, 2009 at 9:05:00 pm

So I have been working with After Effects for some time now and have never run across this issue. Basically it renders in these glitches during final output.

This is After Effects CS4 with the most recent update, I am running Windows 7 RC, and I have the latest drivers installed for my video card.

This issue does not occur when using Vegas Video or any other video authoring program.

Here's an image of how it should look:




Here are some images of the artifacts I am getting:






I am also getting artifacts that are white noise in the same locations but on other frames.

FYI, the artifacts pictured above are from other compositions within the same project or compositions used as one of the smaller squares within the video. (just for a reference on where they came from)

This is killing me. I have to re-render every time this occurs and even then artifacts come up in different spots.


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Kevin Camp
Re: After Effects Artifacts during "Make Movie" rendering
on Oct 27, 2009 at 9:53:46 pm

i have to mention first that i wouldn't recommend using a version of operating system that is newer than the software that i want to run... updates are ok, but a full version newer is risky. that may or may not be the issue, just general advice.

what you might try, is choosing edit>purge>all before rendering. this should clear data from all the caches and hopefully get rid of what would seem to be cached image data.

another thing that can produce similar issues is using hdv, h.264, mpeg-2 or any codec that uses temporal (inter-frame, p-frame or b-frame) compression. this type of compression omits data from frames that is similar to data in neighboring frames and when ae tries to reconstruct the frame when rendering it can create bad frames. plus it really slows ae down.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Michael Menefee
Re: After Effects Artifacts during "Make Movie" rendering
on Oct 27, 2009 at 10:14:18 pm

Thanks for the reply Kevin.

Earlier today I tried your first suggestion (purging) and it appeared to work. I wasn't sure if it was a fluke or not. Haven't had to render any other projects since to test it out.

As to the codec, none was used. The images above where captured from an uncompressed .avi file.

Is there anything in the AE settings to have it automatically purge every so often? I don't remember sucha setting but thought I'd ask.

Any other suggestions would be appreciated. especially since I like to batch render in AE and having to purge after each "make movie" render would kill that.



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Kevin Camp
Re: After Effects Artifacts during "Make Movie" rendering
on Oct 28, 2009 at 2:54:05 pm

you could try the purge-every-xx-frames setting the 'secret' pref.

to get to the secret pref, hold shift while selecting any preference from the menu bar. then, from the preference window, when you select the pref dropdown, you should see 'secret' at the bottom.

select that one and then set the purge value to a value that is less than your renders... if they are all the same length (say 300 frames), then i would think that setting that value to 300 would work like running the purge all in between renders.

or, you could render one (do a purge all prior) and watch the 'ram usage' value in the render queue (towards the top-left of the render window) and look for when the ram value 'tops off' or holds (usually around 60%, but it can vary based on ram and settings). take note of the frame count when the render hits that point and set the purge frames value to a value below that. this would be to try and make sure that the cache gets purged before the ram cache fills up, hopefully avoiding the bad image data.

the negative of this method, is that using the purge frames setting can reduce performance (particularly with low/frequent purge values), but it should be faster than re-rendering.

another option is to render image sequences. it's much easier to fix/replace bad frames in an image sequence.


Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Michael Menefee
Re: After Effects Artifacts during "Make Movie" rendering
on Nov 3, 2009 at 1:21:52 pm

The purging, the secret preferences, etc. have not cured my issue here. This is juts KILLING me and my business. I cannot render out ANY of my recent projects from After Effects because of this issue.

You can blame it on the OS but AE ran fie on this OS before. You can say its my graphics card, again, its done fine before and no other programs have issues rendering, not at all.

Why is this happening?!?! (that's just me yelling into the sky)


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Michael Menefee
Re: After Effects Artifacts during "Make Movie" rendering
on Nov 3, 2009 at 3:49:42 pm

Something to add here. I can render out of After Effects in other formats wittout issue. I can even render to a .mov file using the "Animation" preset and it is fine.

The issue remains while rendering uncompressed .avi. And I needed .avi because of the odd resolution of 1360x768. Most other packages don't allow that resolution.


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Kevin Camp
Re: After Effects Artifacts during "Make Movie" rendering
on Nov 6, 2009 at 11:48:37 pm

hey michael,

since other formats are not effected, have you tried rendering a .mov then convert it to an .avi using a different piece of software? quicktime pro will do it, mpeg streamclip (free) may, adobe's media encoder probably will (but may have the same problem as ae)... i'm sure that there are dozens of others.

i know it's not the best workflow, but it would get things done. many conversion utilities are have batch processes, so you could render out everything you need, then set up a batch operation and walk away from it.

it would also tell you if the problem is specific with ae's export>avi (you mentioned using vegas, but i wasn't sure if that was exporting .avi).

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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