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After Effects CS5 Larger-Format Rendering Issues

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Stephen RutherfordAfter Effects CS5 Larger-Format Rendering Issues
by on Sep 20, 2010 at 9:02:16 pm

I am having issues with my render output from AE CS5... I work with live event video screens, some with really crazy resolutions (fascia boards).

The largest resolution screen that we have is 13,194 pixels wide. Historically, I have been able to render with no troubles. However, with CS5, the larger-width renders are getting messed up. The first 2500 pixels or so are good (from the left-hand side), but then it starts distorting as the image goes farther left.

Any ideas as to why something like this would happen?

Stephen Rutherford
Graphics Producer: Gale Force Media, CanesVision & Wolfpack TV
stephenr@carolinahurricanes.com
http://www.facebook.com/swrutherford
http://www.twitter.com/CVHD

CAROLINA HURRICANES: 2006 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!


Current System Configuration:
Intel i7 920 PC 2.67 GHz
Windows Vista Ultimate 64 Bit
12 GB DDR3 RAM
NVIDIA GeForceGTS 250 512MB DDR3

Adobe Production Premium CS4
3D Studio Max 2010


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Dave LaRondeRe: After Effects CS5 Larger-Format Rendering Issues
by on Sep 20, 2010 at 9:07:32 pm

You have a fair amount of RAM, but you can't go nuts with the multiprocessing:
http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2009/12/performance-tip-dont-starve-yo.h...

You shouldn't use Open GL to accelerate rendering, either: it rarely helps, and often hurts. RAM Previewing? You can use it.

But you run AE 9, and if you've got any video in these animations, you have to be really careful about the codecs of the footage. 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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Dave LaRondeRe: After Effects CS5 Larger-Format Rendering Issues
by on Sep 20, 2010 at 9:11:36 pm

Okay, I take back the stock answer. Apparently, I can't tell a 5 from a 4.

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


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Walter SoykaRe: After Effects CS5 Larger-Format Rendering Issues
by on Sep 20, 2010 at 9:07:51 pm

[Stephen Rutherford] "The largest resolution screen that we have is 13,194 pixels wide. Historically, I have been able to render with no troubles. However, with CS5, the larger-width renders are getting messed up. The first 2500 pixels or so are good (from the left-hand side), but then it starts distorting as the image goes farther left."

A couple questions:

Where precisely does the distortion start? Does it happen to be after 2560 pixels?

Have you updated to AE 10.0.1? It fixes a lot of bugs.

Are you rendering with OpenGL? If so, what happens if you disable it?

What format are you rendering to? Have you tried rendering to an image sequence?

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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Stephen RutherfordRe: After Effects CS5 Larger-Format Rendering Issues
by on Sep 20, 2010 at 10:15:14 pm

I actually didn't realize that OpenGL was a setting for final rendering; I thought it was only for previews...

Either way, it's off now :) Unfortunately, it didn't solve the render issue.

I am attempting to render Lossless, which is an uncompressed .avi on my platform...

The distortion begins at pixel 4048 and happens again at 8096 & 12144 (each 4048 apart...)

On the render output window, there is a warning message at the bottom of the output module settings that says there is a settings mismatch...



Clicking the warning icon gives the following dialog box....



Perhaps this is part of the issue? I do not WANT to re-size to 32 pixels tall, because the board is only 24 tall...

Just because it doesn't make sense doesn't mean it's not correct ;)

Is there a way to bypass this error?

Thanks for the prompt replies!

Stephen Rutherford
Graphics Producer: Gale Force Media, CanesVision & Wolfpack TV
stephenr@carolinahurricanes.com
http://www.facebook.com/swrutherford
http://www.twitter.com/CVHD

CAROLINA HURRICANES: 2006 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!


Current System Configuration:
Intel i7 920 PC 2.67 GHz
Windows Vista Ultimate 64 Bit
12 GB DDR3 RAM
NVIDIA GeForceGTS 250 512MB DDR3

Adobe Production Premium CS4
3D Studio Max 2010


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Walter SoykaRe: After Effects CS5 Larger-Format Rendering Issues
by on Sep 20, 2010 at 11:52:36 pm

I'd try rendering out to an image sequence to see if that renders undistorted. This will help us figure out where the problem lies.

Image rasters larger than 4K seems to be a problem for some containers and codecs. How do you actually deliver to the media server that feeds the board?

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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Todd KoprivaRe: After Effects CS5 Larger-Format Rendering Issues
by on Sep 21, 2010 at 6:45:46 am

Here's a thread where Tim Kurkoski (After Effects quality engineer) and I explain the output constraints in After Effects CS5 to someone with a very similar issue to what you're facing:
http://forums.adobe.com/message/2972883

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Stephen RutherfordRe: After Effects CS5 Larger-Format Rendering Issues
by on Sep 21, 2010 at 2:17:56 pm

@Todd: Thank you for the link. This is precisely my issue. Our stadium has various sizes of LED fascia boards from 13,194x24 down to 32x896. Obviously, the 32's aren't a problem...

@Walter: As for delivery, I am networked to the computers that host the files and play them back. I have historically rendered the .avi straight through the network onto the computer that will host the file and am then able to play the file back with no issues.

Under the tight deadlines that we work under, it has always been advantageous for me to be able to render the uncompressed .avi as it is the final file type needed for playback. Rendering intermediate stills or Quicktime files to be "flipped" later just adds time I do not have.

Unfortunately, I can not get into too much detail today, as we have a pre-season hockey game tonight; our first of the year. I will try to update tomorrow with more information about my workflow.

I do appreciate the follow ups, especially from those who know the back-stage parts of the program that I've grown to love over the years :)

Stephen Rutherford
Graphics Producer: Gale Force Media, CanesVision & Wolfpack TV
stephenr@carolinahurricanes.com
http://www.facebook.com/swrutherford
http://www.twitter.com/CVHD

CAROLINA HURRICANES: 2006 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!


Current System Configuration:
Intel i7 920 PC 2.67 GHz
Windows Vista Ultimate 64 Bit
12 GB DDR3 RAM
NVIDIA GeForceGTS 250 512MB DDR3

Adobe Production Premium CS5/CS4/CS3
3D Studio Max 2011/2010/2009


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Stephen RutherfordRe: After Effects CS5 Larger-Format Rendering Issues
by on Sep 21, 2010 at 2:34:22 pm

I just tried the image sequence trick. It did work.

I rendered the 13,194 x 24 file to a PhotoShop Sequence in the Render Queue, then brought that into the V7000 Sequence Designer program (we're using Daktronics video boards) and imported the .psd into the proprietary "sequence" file that the V7000 Display program can use.

Sorry for the brand names, it's just easier to speak in specifics.

It was a single frame image, but worked fine. For animated files, I'm not sure if the Sequence Designer can take multiple frames and compile them into a single sequence... That will be on my end, though...

If I was reading the forum correctly, Quicktime should be able to output the necessary file type, correct? If so, I do have a file-flipping program that I can use if necessary.

Thankfully, I do still have CS4 on my machine, so I'm not completely dead in the water. I will just need to determine which projects need the .avi utilization and ust CS4 to render these projects.

For arena/stadium content producers everywhere, can we please look at addressing this as either an update, patch or something for CS6?

Thanks!

Stephen Rutherford
Graphics Producer: Gale Force Media, CanesVision & Wolfpack TV
stephenr@carolinahurricanes.com
http://www.facebook.com/swrutherford
http://www.twitter.com/CVHD

CAROLINA HURRICANES: 2006 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!


Current System Configuration:
Intel i7 920 PC 2.67 GHz
Windows Vista Ultimate 64 Bit
12 GB DDR3 RAM
NVIDIA GeForceGTS 250 512MB DDR3

Adobe Production Premium CS5/CS4/CS3
3D Studio Max 2011/2010/2009


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Dave LaRondeRe: After Effects CS5 Larger-Format Rendering Issues
by on Sep 21, 2010 at 3:44:38 pm

[Stephen Rutherford] "If I was reading the forum correctly, Quicktime should be able to output the necessary file type, correct?"

Yes, but you're not necessarily limited to Quicktime.

It sounds like your playback unit can handle image sequences with no problems. There are a bunch you can use -- many with much smaller file sizes than a Photoshop sequence -- and you might mind them better for your purposes.

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


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Stephen RutherfordRe: After Effects CS5 Larger-Format Rendering Issues
by on Sep 21, 2010 at 4:19:54 pm

Daktronics has a little different meaning to "sequence" than does After Effects. It's difficult for the V7000 program to ingest multiple images quickly (i.e.--jpg sequence, tga sequence, bmp sequence...).

It can, however, dissect an .avi and put it into it's own .SQ7 file type, sequencing "frames" every 1/30th of a second... Again, that will be an issue I need to work through on my end...

I'm just trying to get the full story on the .avi output from CS5 for now :)

Stephen Rutherford
Graphics Producer: Gale Force Media, CanesVision & Wolfpack TV
stephenr@carolinahurricanes.com
http://www.facebook.com/swrutherford
http://www.twitter.com/CVHD

CAROLINA HURRICANES: 2006 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!


Current System Configuration:
Intel i7 920 PC 2.67 GHz
Windows Vista Ultimate 64 Bit
12 GB DDR3 RAM
NVIDIA GeForceGTS 250 512MB DDR3

Adobe Production Premium CS5/CS4/CS3
3D Studio Max 2011/2010/2009


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Gary HazenRe: After Effects CS5 Larger-Format Rendering Issues
by on Sep 21, 2010 at 5:35:49 pm

I would use the QT render > AVI conversion workaround. Sure, it stinks that you have to use a workaround because of the 32 pixel restriction. But it beats the heck out of using DAK's clunky sequence designer.

I hope Adobe fixes the size restriction with the next version. The use of LED facia boards is expanding well beyond stadium use.


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Todd KoprivaRe: After Effects CS5 Larger-Format Rendering Issues
by on Sep 21, 2010 at 5:40:07 pm

> I hope Adobe fixes the size restriction with the next version.


This conversation and the one on the Adobe forum that I pointed you to are making it pretty clear that we need to consider this LED display workflow and its requirement for AVI files with smaller dimenstions. I won't make any specific promises about specific future versions, but I will tell you that this is on our radar. Thanks for being so detailed and patient in explaining the workflow so that we know what needs to be done.

If you want to make absolutely sure, you can file a bug-report/feature-request explaining exactly what you need to have changed

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Eric SantiagoRe: After Effects CS5 Larger-Format Rendering Issues
by on Feb 3, 2011 at 6:58:19 pm

Its February 2011, is this still an issue?
We got around this by using MainConcept MPEG Encoder.
It only works for us since 99% of our output is for Digital Signage MPG2. However at times (which is today) I need to export an Uncompressed Quicktime from After Effects CS5.
Seriously is this fixed yet?


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Stephen RutherfordRe: After Effects CS5 Larger-Format Rendering Issues
by on Feb 3, 2011 at 8:34:47 pm

This is a reply I recieved after submitting a bug report with Adobe:

==========
Thanks for filing this bug.

We have reproduced the problem.

In my testing, the bug behavior is limited to two conditions:
- The horizontal dimension of the composition is greater than 4095 pixels.
- The vertical dimension of the composition is less than the minimum required height for the format. For AVI the value is 32 pixels; for QuickTime and most other formats the value is 16 pixels.

My best recommendation for a workaround is to render to QuickTime and then transcode to AVI using After Effects CS4 or earlier.

About the format constraints, which are new to After Effects CS5: they were added to solve the problem that previous versions of After Effects could pass parameters to the exporter modules that weren’t legal for the format. That could cause bad renders or render failures. Most of the constraints imposed by this new mechanism come from the format specifications and are not arbitrary. A more thorough description is available here:
http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2010/06/output-module-constraints-in-a.h...

The problem with the constraints that you’re working around, that the minimum size constraints for AVI aren’t small enough for your workflow, is actually a different problem from the constraint logic itself. Those values are simply fixed, and while I’m sure that the programmer who chose those values had a reason, I understand why they seem arbitrary.

This will be fixed in a future release of After Effects. AVI and QuickTime will have lower minimum size constraints.

The After Effects team has heard this complaint from you and several other customers creating content for stadium screens. Before we released CS5 I don’t think we understood how After Effects was used in the stadium screen workflow. The feedback we’ve gotten from customers like yourself has been very helpful.

There’s a convoluted explanation for why these particular limits exist for AVI and QuickTIme in After Effects CS5. The short version of the story is that CS5 needed 64-bit versions of the exporters, which were provided by Adobe Media Encoder, but their primary client is Premiere Pro, where two-digit frame sizes are uncommon. The After Effects team discovered the high minimum size constraints, but because we didn’t understand your particular workflow we made a bad assumption that the values were not a problem.

Ultimately, my apologies for the inconvenience caused by these two problems. We really do appreciate that you took the time to file the bug and express how the changes in After Effects CS5 impact your workflow.

==========

Basically, it will not be fixed in CS5, but in CS6... hopefully we'll get a discount on it since it didn't work for us ;)

Stephen Rutherford
Graphics Producer: Gale Force Media, CanesVision & Wolfpack TV
stephenr@carolinahurricanes.com
http://www.facebook.com/swrutherford
http://www.twitter.com/CVHD

CAROLINA HURRICANES: 2006 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!


Current System Configuration:
Intel i7 920 PC 2.67 GHz
Windows Vista Ultimate 64 Bit
12 GB DDR3 RAM
NVIDIA GeForceGTS 250 512MB DDR3

Adobe Production Premium CS5/CS4/CS3
3D Studio Max 2011/2010/2009


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Stephen RutherfordRe: After Effects CS5 Larger-Format Rendering Issues
by on Sep 21, 2010 at 5:43:59 pm

Dak's design and display tools are clunky, for sure! It's just what we have to work with :)

I certainly appreciate all of the responses. It helps me realize that I'm not going 100% insane here ;)

@Todd: I thank you for listening and offering assitance! You have helped me realize that Adobe is more than just a software manufacturer, but you are really concerned with the people who spend their lives working with your product. Thanks for listening!

Stephen Rutherford
Graphics Producer: Gale Force Media, CanesVision & Wolfpack TV
stephenr@carolinahurricanes.com
http://www.facebook.com/swrutherford
http://www.twitter.com/CVHD

CAROLINA HURRICANES: 2006 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!


Current System Configuration:
Intel i7 920 PC 2.67 GHz
Windows Vista Ultimate 64 Bit
12 GB DDR3 RAM
NVIDIA GeForceGTS 250 512MB DDR3

Adobe Production Premium CS5/CS4/CS3
3D Studio Max 2011/2010/2009


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