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3D In AE?? Also a RAM question...

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Eddy Rose
3D In AE?? Also a RAM question...
on Oct 27, 2010 at 3:12:55 pm

So I just found out about Zaxwerks 3D Invigorator a few weeks ago and I was like "omg the power of simple 3D shapes is now mine to control in After Effects!!!"

For the first couple of days I'm kicking ass and taking names at work with my 3D story boards and initial 3D animations, but as the project evolved my comps started getting really big and heavy really fast. Before I knew it, I had to work in custom under quarter res, RAM previews were taking forever and I was looking at a 6 hour render for a 30 second comp (which isn't cool at the particular studio I'm working at).

In hindsight, there were a bunch of things I could have set up differently, ie smaller objects, lower res skins. And I'm not sure if I'm working on an optimal computer for this type of big project, Is 5 GB of RAM alot?

But what I'm really wondering is should I bother with 3D in AE? Or is it a pipe dream? Some people I've talked to shudder at the words 3D Invigorator like its the name of the devil.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: 3D In AE?? Also a RAM question...
on Oct 27, 2010 at 3:56:40 pm

Hello again, Eddy, I'm starting to feel like your personal AE consultant!
Let's take your queries one item at a time:


[Eddy Rose] "I'm not sure if I'm working on an optimal computer for this type of big project, Is 5 GB of RAM alot? "

Yipes! I'm surprised you can get anything done!

Consider this: I'm getting a new system for home, primarily for AE work. Everything will be in place in less than two weeks. I just wrote the check for memory: 24 GB. If I could have afforded more, I would have gotten more. AE is the ultimate RAM hog.

In your 5 GB situation, I would turn off multiprocessing and leave it off. You don't have anywhere near the memory necessary to use it effectively.




[Eddy Rose] "...should I bother with 3D in AE?"

Oh, yes, absolutely! I find 3D is especially good for animated typography. Other people will have additional arguments for it.






[Eddy Rose] "Some people I've talked to shudder at the words 3D Invigorator like its the name of the devil."

It's a very processing-intensive plugin. Lots of numbers to crunch. So it slows down renders: you might have noticed that yourself.
There are other things that will do that, too. For example, in a 3D comp with lots of layers that accept lights, cast shadows and use motion blur, the addition of multiple lights will send AE into an absolute crawl: you've just given it a TON of additional computation to do.

By the way, I'm extremely jealous of your ability to pick up the workings of Invigorator so quickly. I could never wrap my head around that thing.

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


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Michael Szalapski
Re: 3D In AE?? Also a RAM question...
on Oct 27, 2010 at 5:43:47 pm

I love Zaxwerks 3d Invigorator. But, as you've noticed, it is a bit of a render slowdown. (Although, it's faster for a lot of things than an actual 3d program would be.)

6 hours for a 30 second render is nowhere near the worst I've seen. If your studio wants 3d stuff, they're going to have to get used to render times being somewhat longer.
Now, if you're just doing a test render for animation and timing, set it at smaller resolutions and turn your Invigorator layer to draft quality.
That's what I do when working with it. Smaller resolution and draft quality to check timings, full resolution and best quality for checking how it looks. I keep tweaking with it until I know it's right, THEN I do one final render. The final render is usually the only one that has full resolution and full quality.
Smaller maps, turning off shadows, turning off motion blur, etc. are all useful ways to speed things up. Also, if you can live with an object not coming quite so close to the camera, move it back a bit. The closer an object is to the camera, the longer it takes to render.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: 3D In AE?? Also a RAM question...
on Oct 28, 2010 at 7:17:43 am

One thing I have to add- if you can try to pre-render - that always speeds up the workflow. I know it may not give you total control, and it's a pain if you have to go back and change something, but that's how most things where done a few years back and it works.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior Compositor/VFX Artist


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Eddy Rose
Re: 3D In AE?? Also a RAM question...
on Oct 28, 2010 at 2:51:14 pm

I've always wondered if AE worked like that. Good thing to know, thanks!


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Eddy Rose
Re: 3D In AE?? Also a RAM question...
on Oct 28, 2010 at 2:49:31 pm

[Michael Szalapski] "I love Zaxwerks 3d Invigorator."

Really? That makes me happy! My stupid c4d friends are always downing it!

[Michael Szalapski] "If your studio wants 3d stuff, they're going to have to get used to render times being somewhat longer."

my new motto is gonna be: "the cooler it looks the longer it'll take to render"

Thanks for the rest of the good advice, lotta stuff I'm going to do differently next time. It's awesome to find someone else who likes the plugin, no one else I know really uses it. Idk why, personally I think being able to make a 3d look in AE would be like having an ace up your sleeve.


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Eddy Rose
Re: 3D In AE?? Also a RAM question...
on Oct 28, 2010 at 2:33:32 pm

[Dave LaRonde] "Hello again, Eddy, I'm starting to feel like your personal AE consultant!"

lol <3 Well that's the cool thing about the cow, there are people who really know what they're talking about!

[Dave LaRonde] "Yipes! I'm surprised you can get anything done!"

I had a feeling 5 GB wasn't much! I've only recently started getting into the mechanics of computers, so I wasn't 100% sure. Well that tears it, I'm going to tell my boss that if he keeps wanting these fancy projects with smoke particles and 3D objects on the fly I need an upgrade.

[Dave LaRonde] "I find 3D is especially good for animated typography."

definitely! Type and graphics in 3D are awesome, I'd never question that. I was talking more along the lines of 3D shapes and actual 3D text.


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