ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS: Forum Expressions Tutorials Creative Cloud

multiscreen and cameras/lights etc

COW Forums : Adobe After Effects

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Danielle Kunitzmultiscreen and cameras/lights etc
by on Mar 31, 2011 at 3:20:24 pm

I've created multiscreen projects in AE CS5 but never using the z-space with cameras and lights.

Is this possible, and are there any special considerations when attempting this? Our project could be 4 screens, 7680x1080 (total) pixels in size. Thanks very much for any advice.


Return to posts index

Dave LaRondeRe: multiscreen and cameras/lights etc
by on Mar 31, 2011 at 3:29:51 pm

Well, the render time will go up by a LOT. You may have to turn off multiprocessing if you use it, or cut back on the number of processors you normally use in multiprocessing to allocate more memory to each processor.

If you don't already do so, I recommend prerendering the entire huge comp (preferably over night), importing the resulting file, and making your multiscreen comps. The renders will go lickety-split.

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


Return to posts index

Walter SoykaRe: multiscreen and cameras/lights etc
by on Mar 31, 2011 at 3:55:39 pm

[Dave LaRonde] "Well, the render time will go up by a LOT. You may have to turn off multiprocessing if you use it, or cut back on the number of processors you normally use in multiprocessing to allocate more memory to each processor. If you don't already do so, I recommend prerendering the entire huge comp (preferably over night), importing the resulting file, and making your multiscreen comps. The renders will go lickety-split."

This is great advice!

Personally, I use image sequences for large-format projects like this. That way, if only a portion of the comp needs a change, I only need to re-render the affected frames. If you use movies, you must re-render the entire comp, no matter how small the change is.

Here's an old post of mine with performance tips for working in large comps, updated with links to the CS5 documentation:



There's an outstanding page on Improving performance in the After Effects help system, which includes all the features I'll mention below and many others.

Here are some After Effects features—some common, some often-overlooked—that I rely on when working with larger comps:

  • Multiprocessing: if you have a multi-core system and at least 2-4 GB of RAM per core, you can enable multiprocessing. After Effects will launch multiple copies of its renderer to processing multiple frames simultaneously.

  • Zoom and resolution: these go hand-in-hand. You can reduce your preview resolution to save processing time and RAM.

  • Caps Lock: when on, Caps Lock disables rendering for preview.

  • Draft 3D, frame blending, and motion blur: toggle these to speed up previews. For render, you'll will want probably want Draft 3D off, and you may want frame blending and motion blur on, but they are all render-intensive, so you can save time by toggling them for working and preview.

  • Proxies and pre-rendering: allow you to render out a complex pre-comp, save it to disk, and refer to the footage on disk instead of re-rendering. Once I get a pre-comp working well, I'll proxy it so I don't have to continually re-render it during previews while working on other elements. You can use proxies with a wide variety of settings: simple stills, draft-quality renders, or high-quality renders. If you use proxies instead of pre-renders, make sure you change your render settings in the render queue to use proxies.

  • Region of Interest: allows you to select a smaller section of the comp to preview; saves on processing time and RAM usage.

  • Shift-RAM preview: allows you to choose different setting for RAM preview (0 on the numeric keypad) and Shift-RAM preview (Shift-0 on the numeric keypad). I use regular RAM preview for high quality previews so I can see detail in my work, but I use Shift-RAM preview at quarter or eighth resolution, skipping at least every other frame, so I can quickly see the overall effect.



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


Return to posts index


Danielle KunitzRe: multiscreen and cameras/lights etc
by on Apr 4, 2011 at 6:57:32 pm

Merci, kind gents! Much appreciated as always.


Return to posts index

Walter SoykaRe: multiscreen and cameras/lights etc
by on Mar 31, 2011 at 3:42:19 pm

[Danielle Kunitz] "I've created multiscreen projects in AE CS5 but never using the z-space with cameras and lights. Is this possible, and are there any special considerations when attempting this? Our project could be 4 screens, 7680x1080 (total) pixels in size. Thanks very much for any advice."

AE imposes the same limits on 2D and 3D comps, so there aren't any special technical considerations.

Creatively, it's worth keeping in mind that the canvas is dramatically wider than it is tall, so especially long or short lenses will feel different than they do with a more traditional frame size. There will be practically no perspective distortion as objects move up and down within the camera's field of view, but there will be perspective distortion as objects move side to side.

I'd also add that some faster camera moves that play well in a traditional viewing size may be overwhelming with four large screens in front of your viewers.

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


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]