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Can't output HDTV 1080 comp--deadline approaching

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Monica NolanCan't output HDTV 1080 comp--deadline approaching
by on Sep 10, 2010 at 8:46:02 am

I've been trying to output a comp, and I get error messages and weird artifacting.

The comp: HDTV 1080 square pixels, 29.97. It is slightly over a minute and is composed almost entirely of art produced in photoshop or illustrator. There is a couple seconds of hd footage at the beginning and the end. A fair amount of layers and nested comps, but most of it is pretty basic. Oh and there's some audio.

My system: CS4 Suite on a mac quad core OS X 10.5.8, quicktime 7.6.6.

Render Settings: Full, 1920x1080, lossless, animation codec, upperfield first.

Probably irrelevant: I originally created the animation at 1280 x 720 and scaled it up to 1920x1080 using scripts>file>scale (thanks again Walter S.)

The problem: I get an error message everytime the render reaches a large moving background image (two textured jpegs offset, repositioned). The error message: "Compress sequence frame () returned invalid dataSize for Animation." I tried outputting a section with the background turned off and it worked (although later I noticed artifacting). I tried just outputting the background and I got the same error message.

What I've tried: The background jpegs were client supplied, so I tried resaving them, copying them etc. to see if there was something funky about them. No change in the problem. I did a search and found the error code in a database, which suggested updating or reinstalling quicktime or the codec. I searched the Cow forums and came up with some rare instances of this error message and no clear solutions (one person moved their codecs to their desktop)

Now I'm starting to wonder:

1) Is this HD comp to big for my computer to handle? I'm wondering this because of the odd artifacting--blurs and shadows look like double images when you still frame the quicktime, and sometimes even when it's playing.

2) Is it the large (2200x1600), detailed jpegs creating the subtle background movement?

3) Is it corrupted quicktime/codec? In which case is there a site or could someone tell me how to uninstall quicktime, because I'm not strong on troubleshooting software, and a brief web search gave me no answers, but suggested lots of potential problems. I don't even know where my codecs are, or what will happen if I move them around.

I apologize for the length, and I appreciate greatly anyone who has even read this all through. Thanks in advance for any suggestions or advice.

Monica


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Dave LaRondeRe: Can't output HDTV 1080 comp--deadline approaching
by on Sep 10, 2010 at 4:35:01 pm

[Monica Nolan] "I've been trying to output a comp, and I get error messages and weird artifacting.

The comp: HDTV 1080 square pixels, 29.97. It is slightly over a minute and is composed almost entirely of art produced in photoshop or illustrator. There is a couple seconds of hd footage at the beginning and the end. A fair amount of layers and nested comps, but most of it is pretty basic. Oh and there's some audio.
My system: CS4 Suite on a mac quad core OS X 10.5.8, quicktime 7.6.6.
Render Settings: Full, 1920x1080, lossless, animation codec, upperfield first."


It could be a lot of things. It's tough to put a finger on just one:
  • Using Open GL to accelerate renders? Don't -- just turn it off.
  • Using multiprocessing? If you don't have at least 12GB RAM it isn't worth using, so turn it off, too.
  • Using any compressed audio in this project? Convert it to wav or aiff files. AE HATES compressed audio.
  • And here's another common cause of AE weirdness from way out in left field: the VIDEO footage. No fooling: Before AE 10, it was a pretty big deal. Read On
:
Dave's Stock Answer #1:

If the footage you imported into AE is any kind of the following -- footage in an HDV acquisition codec, MPEG1, MPEG2, AVCHD, mp4, mts, m2t, H.261 or H.264 -- you need to convert it to a different codec.

These kinds of footage use temporal, or interframe compression. They have keyframes at regular intervals, containing complete frame information. However, the frames in between do NOT have complete information. Interframe codecs toss out duplicated information.

In order to maintain peak rendering efficiency, AE needs complete information for each and every frame. But because these kinds of footage contain only partial information, AE freaks out, resulting in a wide variety of problems.

I'm a Mac guy, so I like to convert to Quicktime movies in the Animation or PNG codecs; both are lossless. I'll use Apple's Compressor, Adobe Media Encoder or Quicktime Pro to do it.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Walter SoykaRe: Can't output HDTV 1080 comp--deadline approaching
by on Sep 10, 2010 at 5:33:05 pm

What do the artifacts look like? Can you post a screen shot?

Can you precompose and pre-render the background?

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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Monica NolanRe: Can't output HDTV 1080 comp--deadline approaching
by on Sep 10, 2010 at 6:37:51 pm

Thanks Dave & Walter for your quick responses.

The situation is worse this morning--can't play through my comp to make changes. Audio stops and starts, and seems out of sync. I just threw away my preferences and retried, no change.

Dave: multiprocessing was off. I just turned off the Open GL. There are two audio files: VO (aiff) and music (wav). I don't know how the .mov file I'm using was produced, but it's 1920x1080 square 29.97--364 mb for 33 seconds. Does that file size say h.264?? I'm inclined to think that's not the source of the problem, as the render has output that, and then stopped and given me the error message when it reached the background jpegs.

Walter: I precomposed the background but did not prerender it. I'll try that next.

Here's a screen shot of the artifacting: That is supposed to be an arrow with a shadow, and the blue dot is supposed to be inside the box, not floating in space. this was produced after I turned off the background.



Question: should I stop thinking the cause is my computer not having enough horsepower? Or is that still on the table?

Thanks so much,

Monica


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Dave LaRondeRe: Can't output HDTV 1080 comp--deadline approaching
by on Sep 10, 2010 at 7:22:50 pm

[Monica Nolan] "Does that file size say h.264?? I'm inclined to think that's not the source of the problem..."

If that's what you see at the top of the project window when you highlight the footage, it very well COULD be the problem! You say you see flashes and whatnot at cuts in the footage, and to me that means you really ought to convert it as I describe above.





[Monica Nolan] " should I stop thinking the cause is my computer not having enough horsepower? Or is that still on the table?"

Still on the table, because you haven't told us how much memory you have, and whether you have other applications open -- which you shouldn't. For the time being, no internet surfing, emails or iTunes for you.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Walter SoykaRe: Can't output HDTV 1080 comp--deadline approaching
by on Sep 10, 2010 at 7:23:15 pm

[Monica Nolan] "The situation is worse this morning--can't play through my comp to make changes. Audio stops and starts, and seems out of sync. I just threw away my preferences and retried, no change."

How are you playing the comp? Standard preview (spacebar) or RAM preview (0 on numeric keypad)?

[Monica Nolan] "I just turned off the Open GL."

Good.

[Monica Nolan] "1920x1080 square 29.97--364 mb for 33 seconds. Does that file size say h.264?"

What does it say in the project panel when you select the footage? It should identify the compressor for you.

[Monica Nolan] "Here's a screen shot of the artifacting: That is supposed to be an arrow with a shadow, and the blue dot is supposed to be inside the box, not floating in space."

Is the dot also supposed to be perfectly round, or is it supposed to be an oval as we see here? It might a pixel aspect ratio issue. What is the source of the dot? A file, or a shape layer? Does it look this in the comp as well as the output? Can we get a screenshot of your AE user interface showing the problem?

[Monica Nolan] "Question: should I stop thinking the cause is my computer not having enough horsepower? Or is that still on the table?"

How much RAM do you have?

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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Monica NolanRe: Can't output HDTV 1080 comp--deadline approaching
by on Sep 10, 2010 at 8:02:06 pm

How are you playing the comp? Standard preview (spacebar) or RAM preview (0 on numeric keypad)?

I'm using RAM preview. I need to hear the audio to change the animation timing.

What does it say in the project panel when you select the footage? It should identify the compressor for you.

It says: HDTV (rec 709)

Is the dot also supposed to be perfectly round, or is it supposed to be an oval as we see here? It might a pixel aspect ratio issue. What is the source of the dot? A file, or a shape layer? Does it look this in the comp as well as the output? Can we get a screenshot of your AE user interface showing the problem?

The dot is supposed to be round. It doesn't look like that in the comp--at least not this morning (that output was late last night and at that point I shut down and went to bed). The source file is a layer in a many layered .psd file I imported as a composition. Perhaps I should mention here that I've output several times to show the client and have the usual back and forth. It's only since yesterday that the program began acting up. When I was still working in 1280x720 I output fullsize with the animation codec and used compressor to shrink the file size. When I began having problems I could still output the 1920x1080 file size using the animation compressor with resolution set to half.

How much RAM do you have?

4 gigs.

Thanks again for your time. At this point it's so buggy I'm thinking of reinstalling or downloading a trial version of CS5. Any suggestions appreciated.

Monica


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Monica NolanRe: Can't output HDTV 1080 comp--deadline approaching
by on Sep 10, 2010 at 10:18:55 pm

Walter--I tried pre-rendering a nested comp and then outputting a small section of the pre-rendered, nested comp over the blue background and for the first time it worked at 1920x1080, animation codec. However the test section didn't really play beyond the first fade up--more like it was jumping forward, freeze framing, jumping forward.

Thoughts???

Thanks,

Monica


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Walter SoykaRe: Can't output HDTV 1080 comp--deadline approaching
by on Sep 11, 2010 at 1:25:24 am

[Monica Nolan] "Walter--I tried pre-rendering a nested comp and then outputting a small section of the pre-rendered, nested comp over the blue background and for the first time it worked at 1920x1080, animation codec. However the test section didn't really play beyond the first fade up--more like it was jumping forward, freeze framing, jumping forward. Thoughts???"

If you're watching it in Quicktime Player, there's no need to worry. The animation codec is well-suited as an intermediate format because it's lossless -- but very few computers can play it back in real time, as the data rate is very, very high.

Once you've pre-rendered, you should be able to RAM preview in AE and see your work in real time.

Alternately, drop your animation-codec render into Compressor and make a playback-friendly encode.

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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Monica NolanRe: Can't output HDTV 1080 comp--deadline approaching
by on Sep 16, 2010 at 7:23:25 am

Here's what I ended up doing:

going back to a 1280x720 comp and working in that for the back and forth with client. Pre-rendering that background and other subcomps was indeed key to being able to ram preview.

Since I think we're (finally) close to outputting, I scaled up my comp, scaled up a few of the subcomps where it seemed to make a difference (collapse transformations not playing well with motion blur etc) and output a 20 second test, which looks pretty good (looking at still frames in QT and following Walter's advice and compressing it to watch it through).

I also found this site about speeding up AE performance helpful:
http://help.adobe.com/en_US/AfterEffects/9.0/WSF13D6BED-C53B-408a-B2D6-C8B4...

And this discussion made me resolve to get more ram!
http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/202/884887#884895

Thanks cowies.


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