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3rd day of rendering

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jack fox
3rd day of rendering
on Oct 6, 2010 at 6:02:20 pm

I have a 3 minute clip that I roto brushed (CS5) the actors pants and applied a smart blur effect to the selected area. The area is in every frame. I have a 27" iMac 2.93GHz Intel Core i7 (quad core) processor with 8MB level 3 cache that supports Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost, an ATI Radeon HD 5750 graphics processor with 1GB of GDDR5 memory, and 8 GB of internal memory. The mask rendered relatively quickly (less than 2 hours), but the Composition has been running continuously for 3 days now. Is there some trick, After Effects option or editing practice that can lessen the rendering time?

jmf


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Dave LaRonde
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 6, 2010 at 6:06:36 pm

I have a dual quad-core Mac Pro at work with 8 GB RAM on it.

I never, EVER use multiprocessing because I know I don't have enough memory in my machine to make it worthwhile. I suggest you do the same.

And turn off Open GL for rendering, too: it rarely helps, and often hurts.

HDV and DSLR footage still in their acquisition codecs also are toxic to AE if you don't have version 10.

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


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jack fox
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 6, 2010 at 6:18:23 pm

Would 16 GB of memory be enough?

Where do I turn off Open GL and multiprocessing?

I do have version 10.

jmf


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Dave LaRonde
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 6, 2010 at 6:23:19 pm

[jack fox] "Would 16 GB of memory be enough?"

Yeah, but you'll want to read this:
http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2010/10/please-try-recommended-memory-se...




[jack fox] "Where do I turn off Open GL and multiprocessing?"

In Preferences.

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


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jack fox
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 6, 2010 at 6:50:36 pm

Would it be okay to interrupt the rendering process to change the preference settings while leaving AE open and then continue rendering by hitting the space bar in AE?

jmf


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Dave LaRonde
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 6, 2010 at 7:18:13 pm

You can try hitting the stop button, but I still think you'd be stuck in the render window, and couldn't get to preferences.
You can twirl down the render progress button to see how far along you've come and judge accordingly.

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


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jack fox
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 6, 2010 at 7:20:37 pm

How do you twirl down the render process button to see progress?

jmf


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Dave LaRonde
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 6, 2010 at 7:21:44 pm

You're joking, of course.

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


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jack fox
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 6, 2010 at 7:29:24 pm

I guess I dropped my veil. The timeline shows the current segment progress with a red line and the overall with brackets. There is about 15 seconds left. I thought maybe I was missing something like a digital progress time.

jmf


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Kevin Camp
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 6, 2010 at 8:57:31 pm

how did you go about starting the render?

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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jack fox
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 6, 2010 at 9:12:27 pm

I imported a quicktime file, created a layer, used roto brush to create a selection in each frame, applied the smart blur, rendered the mask, put the layer in the composition, adjusted transparency, and began rendering the composition.

jmf


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Kevin Camp
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 6, 2010 at 9:22:44 pm

[jack fox] "and began rendering the composition."

that's the part i was curious about... did you choose composition>add to render queue (or 'make movie'), or did you choose file>export?

i was curious because either of those ways should show a progress bar for your render, and the render queue method should also show render progress time elapsed and estimated completion time...

you mentioned only seeing the timeline and what sounded like the current time indicator (the red line)... so i was just curious how you began the render process.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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jack fox
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 2:04:21 am

Used the composition>add to render queue, and no render progress time elapsed or estimated completion time.

jmf


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Wes Koetje
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 4:05:50 am

This may be obvious but did you hit start? I have walked away only to come back with out ever hitting that button


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jack fox
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 11:19:48 am

Here is a screen shot of the timeline. The progress was stopped while I took the screen shot, but prior to that and after there is an orange line sweeping (just above the timeline) and the video is moving frame by frame in super slow motion. Before stopping the render for the screen shot, the brackets were at 3:20 and now are at 2:39 after I hit the space bar.

jmf



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Walter Soyka
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 1:10:30 pm

[jack fox] "Before stopping the render for the screen shot, the brackets were at 3:20 and now are at 2:39 after I hit the space bar."

Hitting the space bar doesn't start a render; it starts a standard preview.

To render with the render queue, first you must add it to the render queue (as you have), then go to the render queue window, change any settings you need to, and hit the Render button.

Since you're new to After Effects, I'd recommend the following link, in which former documentation lead Todd Kopriva pulls together some important introductory materials:

http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2010/01/getting-started-with-after-eff.h...

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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jack fox
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 2:49:20 pm

Say I only added it to the render queue, would the composition viewer continue to move in slow motion (tying up all my processing power) while the orange bar is swiping on and off under the viewer and the red line in the timeline continues to move from left to right? Is that the action expected of the standard preview?

Thanks for the link.

jmf


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Kevin Camp
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 3:30:07 pm

yes... that's exactly how a preview would behave. the yellow line is what ae displays as it is rendering a single frame for preview, the red line is the cti which marks where it is in the timeline.

what you'll want to do is add to render queue, then set the output module and where to save the file accordingly, then hit the render button at the top-right of the render queue to start the render.

as for why this render is taking such a ridiculously long time to render, we would need to know more about your footage. i have a feeling that you have hdv, mpeg2 or mpeg4 footage, and that may be what is really slowing after effects down.

if you can convert anything like that to a compression type that does not use temporal compression, after effects should handle that much better. codecs like dv, dvcprohd, prores, dnxhd, quicktime photo-jpeg, lossless animation or uncompressed will run much better in after effects.

do you know anything about the footage that you are using? where it came from (camera, nle)? if you can open it in quicktime or another player, you can usually find the codec. in quicktime, choose window>show inspector and it will have that information under format.

another way to speed up renders is to limit the area that is being effected. smart blur is fairly processor intensive, so if you can limit the area that it is processing to be jsut what you need then it will go faster... say you only need to smart blur a quarter of the frame, you may be able to apply smart blur to an adjustment layer that is 1/4 the screen size, using that rendered mask as a track matte for the adjustment layer and you processing time for that effect will be 4x faster.

also, as has been discussed, changing your memory & multiprocessing settings may help too. often users forget to leave enough ram for 'other processes' and restrict ram from import system processes which can then slow the whole system down.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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jack fox
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 4:00:50 pm

The render settings are shown in the image. The clip is a 23.98 quicktime export from FCP that AE recommended and then converted to 47.952.

jmf



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Kevin Camp
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 4:37:48 pm

[jack fox] "The clip is a 23.98 quicktime export from FCP that AE recommended and then converted to 47.952"

do you need to convert the frame rate to 47.952... i'm asking since that's a rather odd frame rate.

if ae just happened to think the footage was 47.952 and you know the frame rate is 23.98, then you should correct it by selecting the footage in the project window and choose file>interpret footage>main and enter 23.976 for the frame rate (that's the actual frame rate for 23.98 from fcp).

you'd also need to set the comp to the same frame rate (composition>comp settings). and you might need to conform the rendered matte footage too (using the interpret footage settings method above).

also, you won't want to render from ae to h.264, your iamge quality will be poor. for fcp, i'd recommend rendering to lossless animation, prores or quicktime photo-jpeg at at least 75%, then import to fcp, or use a compression utility to do a multipass compression to h.264.

and if you are using h.264 footage from fcp in ae, in the future, i'd recommend exporting from fcp as one of the above mentioned codecs... actually, i beleive that most fcp editors recommend working in fcp with prores settings when you are using h.264 footage, but you may want to inquire in the fcp forum for fcp-h.264 workflows.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Dave LaRonde
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 4:43:45 pm

[jack fox] "The clip is a 23.98 quicktime export from FCP that AE recommended and then converted to 47.952."

How on Earth did you come up with that bizarre, off-the-wall frame rate?

Your comp's resolution reveals you're working in NTSC video, and there are only TWO acceptable frame rates in NTSC: 29.97 and 23.976, the film frame rate, which requires adding 3:2 pulldown somewhere along the line to get the frame rate back to 29.97.

I get the feeling you approached this AE project with little or no prior exposure to the application, thinking something like, "How tough can After Effects really be?"

Guess what -- you've found out how tough it can be!

But it doesn't have to be that way... as long as you take it slow. If you decide to simply jump into the deep end of the pool -- if don't take the time to learn the basics of After Effects -- you will find yourself good and truly hosed, and that's where you find yourself right now. Considering you don't have a clue what you're doing other than having a good time with Rotobrush, I STRONGLY recommend going back to Square One.

Do the basics. Go over Todd Kopriva's recommendations for Getting Started In After Effects with a fine-tooth comb. Put in the grunt work. Learn about frame rates, interlacing and field order. Learn about the various codecs and how they affect your image. Learn how to use various types of keyframes. Play with the various effects and see what they do. Learn about track mattes, alpha channels and transparency.

Don't go straight for the fun stuff. As you've already learned, the path to the fun stuff is covered in broken glass... and you're barefoot.

Do it the right way, and you'll find that working in AE is infinitely rewarding. Do it the wrong way, and you'll experience little more than confusion and frustration.

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


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Gary Hazen
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 5:12:37 pm

This is the best thread ever. Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, Fox throws down a 47.952 frame rate. Awesome! I can't wait until we get into pixel aspect ratios, alpha channels or bit depth.

Sorry for the interruption. Carry on.


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jack fox
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 6:18:04 pm

Thanks Gray, but I can't take all the credit. When I was creating a layer to use the roto brush, AE popped shot up a warning about using 23.976 and offered to change it to 47.952. Kevin overruled the machine, damned the torpedoes, and got me back on track. CS5 is not easy, but well worth the effort. Thanks all.

jmf


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Kevin Camp
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 6:34:54 pm

[jack fox] "ae shot up a warning about using 23.976 and offered to change it to 47.952"

that's an interesting message... i don't have cs5 (so, no rotobrush to troubleshoot)... the only thing i can think of is that rotobrush is giving you a suggestion based on an assumption that the footage was interlaced...

if the footage was interlaced, i can see that you should set the comp to double the framerate to see data from both fields, but 23.976 should be progressive, and ae should be interpreting it as such.

you may want to double check that for the footage using the interpret footage settings. the option to separate fields should be set to off unless the footage is interlaced... at that point there is probably something wrong in fcp or at least with the export settings in fcp.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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jack fox
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 6:47:57 pm

"lower field" was selected, so I changed it to off as you suggest.

Remove pull down was set to "off."

jmf


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jack fox
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 6:50:34 pm

After the change from lower field to off, I get this warning message:

"After Effects warning: Roto Brush will not render correctly because the source frame rate changed from 47.952 fps to 23.976 fps. To fix, change it back."

jmf


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jack fox
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 7:07:09 pm

When I change it back to "lower field" I do not get the warning.

jmf


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Kevin Camp
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 7:31:18 pm

at this point, if things look good in preview at 100% (like hard edges don't look a bit jaggy), i guess leave it set to separate-lower...

if things don't look as good as you think they should, you could try changing the setting an see how rotobrush renders... it may be fine, but i have no experience with it to draw from....

in the worst case scenario, you'll be redoing the rotobrush.

for future work, you'll want to figure out where the interlacing issue for 24p footage is coming from... it's possible that ae is just misinterpreting the fields setting, which is easy to correct. but if the fields are really in the footage, then there is probably a problem in your workflow in fcp.

it could be a capture problem, an export problem or possible a setup issue in fcp, or any other software that you may have used with the footage.

there can be a lot of pitfalls with 24p footage, and it can require a fairly strict workflow. ideally you'd shoot with a camera that natively records 24p to a file that fcp can import without a 3rd party transcoder. many cameras record 24p at 29.97, which will introduce a pulldown. if that's the case, you'd like to remove that pulldown at acquisition, so the rest of your workflow in working with the true progressive 23.976 (23.98, fcp) footage.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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jack fox
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 7:40:23 pm

I hit a snag, changing to lower make the composition viewer happy, but in the layer view another warning to use 47.952. So I'm back to the funny number. Is there a way to change the output fps for projects in the render queue? I'm about to try and render to see how long it takes.

jmf


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Kevin Camp
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 7:53:23 pm

[jack fox] "Is there a way to change the output fps for projects in the render queue?"

yep... click the render settings (actually, click the underlined word next to the render settings that probably says 'best') and you can set the frame rate to render.

alternately, you could just leave them and the odd frame rate, render it and bring that back into ae, drop it into a 23.976 comp and render that... it seems odd to do a two step like that, but since i can't tell you for sure that rotobrush will render as well if the render settings are set to half the comp's frame rate, it may be the better option if you need to get this done. if you want to experiment some, you could try it both ways and compare the final results.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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jack fox
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 7:57:11 pm

Okay, I simply changed the composition to 23.98 after the layer mask was rendered and I should be able to render/export as 23.98.

jmf


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Kevin Camp
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 8:07:04 pm

actually, you'll want to make those 23.976 fps... despite fcp saying that it is working in in 23.98 fps, it is really 23.976, and if you give it 23.98 fps material, it will cause it to have problems.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Dave LaRonde
Re: 3rd day of rendering
on Oct 7, 2010 at 7:51:16 pm

[Kevin Camp] "many cameras record 24p at 29.97, which will introduce a pulldown. if that's the case, you'd like to remove that pulldown at acquisition, so the rest of your workflow in working with the true progressive 23.976 (23.98, fcp) footage."

Aha! I thought this guy's name looked familiar, and you just reminded me why, Kevin!

A while back, he wrote asking why his 24pa footage from a panasonic DV camera was still at 29.97. It turned out that he had captured an entire tape, trying to use FCP's advanced pulldown removal capture preset. I explained why that was no good, and admonished him to capture individual shots only to get pulldown removal at capture.

He was worried about wear & tear on the camera, and he may have decided to skip recapturing the video. If that's true, he has:
  • 24PA DV footage still at 29.97
  • In a 23.976 FCP edit timeline
  • Exported either as the whole timeline (23.976, with the 2:3:3:2 cadence falling in various spots at the cuts) --OR --
  • Exported as individual clips, probably still at 29.97, but placed in a 23.976 AE comp

...and he wonders why he's having problems. You have infinitely more patience than I do, sir....

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


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