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Jittering in 3D shot

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Alex KuzelickiJittering in 3D shot
by on Apr 28, 2011 at 5:31:57 am

Hi there,

I have a question about 3D in After Effects. Every now and then I get 'jittering' on artwork layers when I do even simple camera moves.

This happens mostly with artwork that has fine detail eg. a grungy texture, and seems to be more prevalent when layers are oriented at 90 degrees to the camera (lying flat).

I haven't been able to find a way to fix this, and usually I'm forced to use a different piece of artwork which isn't ideal.

The strange thing is that it's not consistent. Some finely-detailed, lying-flat layers render just fine with no jittering whatsoever.

Does anyone have any ideas how to solve this problem?

Would be appreciated. Thanks,


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Rob WhiteRe: Jittering in 3D shot
by on Apr 28, 2011 at 10:32:24 am

I commonly have this same problem. I think at this stage, we are using very high resolution things and our pro-sumer software just isn't keeping up with us. If the image you are using does not need to be the resolution that it's at you could try reducing that. I remember asking a similar Question and Mr. Laronde suggested to stay away from cameras and use the 2D world.

And I said...No. I just had to live with a couple choppy shots. Only nerds like us will care anyways.
Oh and our bosses...doh.

You could also try curving motion paths or speeding/slowing camera moves, slightly changing the focal point. There's some other settings kind of stuff I found a while ago, something with color space. I don't remember.

This is totally unhelpful, but I'm here for moral support.


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Alex KuzelickiRe: Jittering in 3D shot
by on Apr 28, 2011 at 2:30:20 pm

Hey Rob,

Thanks for the moral support. There's some comfort in knowing others are suffering too :)

I did some more research and found that besides the high-rez of images causing the jitter, another possible cause is having two layers too close together in 3D space... though that wasn't my particular problem. Maybe someone reading this might benefit though.

In the end, I did a bunch of tests with different blurs and was able to reduce the flicker - not totally - but to a level I can live with. Then I read Tudor's reply which confirmed the solution. Fast Blur works good.

Hopefully, this will help someone else with a similar problem.

Does Creative Cow have a 'knowledge bank' kind of thing? Like a list of solutions to common problems. I know you can search posts but it seems the same problems come up for a lot of people. Would be good to go to a page, look up "Jittering/Flickering" and get definitive solutions.

Can't complain with the help I've gotten from this site though. It's an awesome community.



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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Jittering in 3D shot
by on Apr 28, 2011 at 10:41:01 am

Most likely you encounter the jitter with fine detail because some of the artwork detail is close to a pixel or under. It's not the software but the resolution you're working at. The fix is usually applying a fast blur of anywhere from .3 to .7.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Alex KuzelickiRe: Jittering in 3D shot
by on Apr 28, 2011 at 2:38:52 pm

Hey Tudor,

Thanks for that suggestion. Was in the midst of trying different blurs when I read your reply. Your Fast Blur solution definitely reduced a lot of the flicker.

I have a Blackmagic card that lets me see 'everything' on my monitor which actually was a bad thing in this case.

The clip in question is only ever going to be seen on computer monitors, where it looks fine, so I've been spending lots of time trying to fix an irrelevant problem.

Then again... it's good to know how to fix things (for future reference).

Thanks for your helpful advice.



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Michael SzalapskiRe: Jittering in 3D shot
by on Apr 28, 2011 at 3:28:31 pm

If you were previewing through a Blackmagic card on a broadcast monitor, it's possible that you were also viewing artifacts of interlacing which is also a trickster when it comes to fine detail.

- 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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Alex KuzelickiRe: Jittering in 3D shot
by on Apr 29, 2011 at 7:22:11 pm

Hey Michael,

Good point. The footage is DVCPro 1080i, so that would make sense.

Cheers for that.


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