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Need advice to further reduce jitteriness in short photo animation

Apr 5, 2013 9:58 PM

What I have done so far:

 

In After Effects:

• Imported photo from Photoshop

• Animated its position from toes to head on the Timeline

• Rendered at Best Settings from within AE. Result too jerky, almost stobe-like, especially on diagonal edges of high contrast

• Recreated layer by adding Drift Over Time effect. Better, still jerky/strobey, but a little less so.

• On both layers, Motion Blur was turned onion general and on the layers themselves and enabled by the render settings.

• Motion Blur settings in the Advanced panel of the comp settings all maxed out except Shutter Angle, which just blurred the photo.

 

In Premier:

• Imported the rendered footage from AE

• Applied Warp Stabilizer effect. Settings: Smooth Motion, 100% Smoothness, Method: Subspace Warp. In Advanced: checked Detailed Analysis, Rolling Shutter Ripple, Enhanced Reduction.

 

Have all latest versions of software, on Mac OSX.7.5

 

This is the result. (it is a little sexy, but not porn or anything--barely PG-13, I'd say.) Watch in Full Screen Mode.

https://vimeo.com/63433068

 

I think it is still rather jittery, especially on the diagonal lines of her thigh and hip.

 

Is there anything else i can do? (evidently, Frame Blending does not work on still photos.)

 

Thanks!

--Carol Gunn

 

Gunn Graphics
Austin, TX
www.gunngraphics.biz
www.linkedin.com/in/carolgunn

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 5, 2013 3:02 PM   in reply to carolgunn

    • Imported photo from Photoshop

    • Animated its position from toes to head on the Timeline

     

    It's a still image, correct?   It doesn't move, correct?  If you wish to preserve the a head-to-toes shot, why would you have had to animate position?  Okay, you may have animated horizontal position, but scale and vertical position?  

     

    I'm not getting it because it sounds so straightforward.

     
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    Apr 5, 2013 3:31 PM   in reply to Dave LaRonde

    This project should just be a simple animate x position. That's it. The trick is to avoid a frame rate / pan speed stroboscopic effect.

     

    If you first render seemed jittery then you've either hit one of the critical panning speeds or your render was to a format that would not play back smoothly (uncompressed) on a normal system. All of the rest of the work you did was completely unnecessary. You were trying to put a bandaid on something that would not heal.

     

    What's the frame rate of the comp. 30 would be smoother than 24. I think your pan speed is right on the ragged edge of a critical speed. Try slowing down the move a bit. Also try and step through the rendered footage a frame at a time and see if there are any odd frames. If you have some you could have a disk cacke to render issue. I can't tell because I can't download your video to check it.

     

    I hope this helps.

     

    Please check out my article on avoiding motion judder in motion graphics. If your project is 24 or 25 fps it should take about seven seconds for something on the screen to cross the screen. Yours is a little slower than that and that could be part of the problem.

     
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    Apr 7, 2013 5:16 PM   in reply to carolgunn

    I'm not noticing any jitter on my end.  How are you viewing this comp once it's rendered and what render settings are you using?  A screenshot would help.  Also, I don't think Drift Over Time is the effect you want to cure jitter problems.  Motion blur on the other hand could help, but you should make sure you're using it correctly.  Check this tutorial on using Motion blur in after effects:

     

     

    Also, you can add the Warp Stabilizer effect in After Effects.  There's no need to go to Premiere for that.

     

    However, the warp stabilizer effect is predominately used for stabilizing live action clips.  Since your After Effects render looks like it's made up of a smooth two keyframe animation, using Warp Stabilizer probably won't change very much.

     
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    Apr 5, 2013 5:25 PM   in reply to BenjaminMarkus

    I agree with rick.  Read his article, check your frame rates and experiment with the speed.  Personally I think your movement is far too slow.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 13, 2013 11:56 PM   in reply to carolgunn

    Carol,

     

    I did a test panning over a 4.5k image texture at a similar timing as your project.  I animated one comp using standard keyrames and the other comp I exported with eases to see if that would affect the movement.  I then exported both comps by dragging them out of the After Effects project panel and into Adobe Media Encoder where I applied the Vimeo HD 1080p 29.97 preset.  When played them off the desktop both renders exhibited what could be considered a very slight jitter.  This also occurs in the vimeo playback with HD turned off and with HD turned on.  If this is in fact the same problem as what you're experiencing then I would encourage you to submit a bug report.  Also check the following page for more information on how to give feedback.

     


     

     

    I hope this helps

     
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    Apr 15, 2013 7:21 PM   in reply to carolgunn

    Carol,

     

    I'm not sure if it's a bug.  That's why I tried to recreate your problem and I asked if you thought it was the same issue.  If you're convinced that it is, then there's no harm in submitting a bug report.  I personally haven't seen this issue on the forums before, but that doesn't mean other people aren't having the same problem.  Unfortunately, I think there are too many other factors at stake here to pin it solely on After Effects.

     

    For example, I looked closely at several Vimeo videos from other users and I noticed a slight jitter on many of the videos especially when played back in HD and especially with horizontal movement.  This could be due to my bandwidth and might simply be a playback issue or there could be other issues at stake.  Personally I feel like the jitter is usually so subtle it doesn't bother me and I only see it when I'm looking for it.  I even checked several of my own 1080p HD videos I uploaded on my vimeo plus account and I can also see some jitter, but only if I'm looking for it. 

     

    Then again, I looked at your 6 second clip and it definitely looks jittery.  Does that have motion blur turned on?  If so, try it again using the default settings in the Advanced panel of your Composition Settings and turn off any frame blending.  I would also add ease ins and ease outs to your animation to see if that helps.  How are you rendering your H.264 video files out of After Effects?  Does your comp fps match the fps of your renders?  Are you rendering to a production codec first and then transcoding to H.264?  If so, how do these files play off of the desktop?  Have you successfully rendered to other formats that don't exhibit any jitter?  Also, you should never use After Effects to render H.264.  If you're rendering directly to H.264 for vimeo, you should use the vimeo presets in Adobe Media Encoder.

     

    If you've never used Adobe Media encoder to render an After Effects comp, the best way I've found is to open your comp in After Effects, right click the work area bar in the timeline and select "Trim Comp to Work Area:"

    Trim_Comp_To_Work_Area.png

    Then save your After Effects project and drag your comp into Adobe Media Encoder.  Then you can drag as many different presets onto the comp as you'd like or you can create your own custom presets.  When you're finished all you have to do is click Output File and tell Adobe Media Encoder where you want to save your renders.  Then you can quit After Effects and press the play button in the upper right hand corner of the Queue panel in Adobe Media Encoder to start your render.

    AME_Drag_Presets.png

    FYI, the reason why I select "Trim Comp to Work Area" first is because Adobe Media Encoder automatically has the Source Range set to render the Entire Composition.  So, if you've set up your work area in After Effects and you don't trim it before your drag over your comp, you could potentially end up rendering a bunch of black frames or a long unanimated section of video.  It's possible to set the Source Range to render only the Work Area in Adobe Media Encoder, but since it has to communicate with After Effects through Dynamic Link, it takes longer and you'll have to change it for every comp you want to render when it would be faster just to trim everything first in After Effects and drag all the comps over at once:

    AME_Work_Area.png

    Also, I thought I'd mention that I come from a traditional animation background and most of the time I tend to embrace the jittery movement in animation because I feel like it looks more organic.  In fact, I use the wiggler plug-in in After Effects all the time to add jitter, and I almost always end up tweaking the eases on keyframes in the graph editor in an attempt to do away with those perfectly smooth mechanical movements.  I'm not saying that this is something you should strive for and by all means the animation in a motion-graphics advertisements like the one you've created probably should be smooth, but it's interesting to think about the affect this kind of movment has on us.  For me, when I can tell that the keyframes have been interplated by a computer, I instantly feel disconnected from the animation and it becomes less visceral and authentic.  If you're curious feel free to take a look at my Hand-Drawn and Organic Looks Tutorials on my blog.  They cover several simple techniques for purposefuly creating jitter in After Effects animation and making it look more analog.

     

    All aesthetics aside, After Effects should be able to create the smooth movement you're looking for without much trouble, so please get back to us with anymore information or screen shots that you think could help us help you.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 8:25 PM   in reply to carolgunn

    That could be your problem.  30fps is not a video frame rate.  It can be confusing but usually when it says 30fps it means 29.97 because 29.97 is a standard video frame rate.  If part of your footage was at 30fps and then got changed to 29.97 or vice versa there could cause problems later on.  In After Effects I like to work at progressive frame rates like 24 and 30 because it shows the whole frames.  However whenever I render I always remember to click "best settings" and change 24 to 23.976 and 30 to 29.97 because those are the standard video frame rates in North America.  My advice is to go back and render everything out at 29.976 and leave the Vimeo HD 720p 29.976 preset as it is.  Normally you shouldn't have to change those.  Also when vimeo converted your 60fps clip to 30fps it actually converted it to 29.976.  I don't think pythagorean theorem or the X,Y value settings are your problem.  If you collect the files and upload the project, I might be able to have a better look at the issue.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 10:55 PM   in reply to carolgunn

    There are lots of free web storage sites. I love DropBox and have started putting all my public sample files up there. The account is free.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 11:31 PM   in reply to BenjaminMarkus

    Ben, I took a very careful look at your two videos and the slight judder you see is a result of stroboscopic effects caused by movement and frame rate. No bug, just a problem that has plagued film makers since they started panning a movie camera. There's a whole section in two of my cinematographer handbooks about critical panning speeds with focal length, panning speed and frame rate tables. The lower the frame rate the more prevalent the problem.

     

    Carol, I downloaded  your test video and looked at it a frame at a time. If you check your MP4 file you'll see that each frame advances by in even increments. I'm not seeing any strobbing at 30 fps or if I change the playback to 29.97 but at 24 there is a definite motion judder caused by the interaction of the frame rate, the motion on the screen and the refresh rate of my monitor. If I change the refresh rate of the monitor from 60HZ to 75HZ I get a different strobbing effect at 24 fps.

     

    Sometimes the Vimeo player will skip a frame or two on the first play. There may be a bug there, but the second sample you rendered plays back perfectly after downloading at it's native 30 fps with the monitor refresh rate set to 60HZ.

     

    Don't you just love motion graphics. Slow is always harder to pull of than fast. Just wait until you try and do something perfect for an IMAX screen. That's another kettle of fish.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2013 10:06 AM   in reply to BenjaminMarkus

    My advice is to go back and render everything out at 29.976 and leave the Vimeo HD 720p 29.976 preset as it is.  Normally you shouldn't have to change those.  Also when vimeo converted your 60fps clip to 30fps it actually converted it to 29.976...

     

    Oops, you gotta watch them decimal fractions!  From the statement above, I'm not sure if you actually mean 29.97 or 23.976.  29.976 doesn't exist!

     

    If only the Powers That Be in NTSC-Land could have made arrangements to make HD video actually 30 and 60 fps. 

     

    How tough could it be to incorporate a gizmo to drop a frame every now and then into an HD-to-SD converter so Aunt Minnie could still use her 27-inch Sony from the 80's?

     
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    Apr 18, 2013 11:55 AM   in reply to carolgunn

    Carol, the 64022083 video is the one that I downloaded and checked. The best place to check for smooth playback is with your media player. Even multiples of the frame rate don't guarantee a smooth playback but it's a good place to start. There's actually a fairly large speed range that should work, it's just when you start getting close to the retinal retention, screen refresh rate, frame rate critical combination that things start jittering.

     

    The jittery playback on Vimeo, especially if the jitter comes at different times in the shot, probably comes from a combination of playback errors. Playing videos off any streaming source is subject to hiccups now and then. GOP compression doesn't help either. Both Vimeo's player and YouTube's player are quite good but they suffer from the same problem of serving up an occasional random frame rate and then skipping a GOP segment to catch up. The more system resources you have and the faster your connection the better.

     

    The real trick with this kind of animation and with hiding critical panning speed problems is to have more than one plane moving. That's hard to do with stills but if you put a graphic in front of the Photo that traveled at a different speed the brain would be tricked into thinking things are smoother. The same thing happens with a film camera shooting big panorama shot. Put something in the shot like a car that you can track and the brain thinks that the whole shot is working. Leave out the car and the shot becomes impossible to watch without getting a headache.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2013 6:53 PM   in reply to carolgunn

    Very nice. A horizontal move followed by a vertical is always tough to time. You did a nice job.

     
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    Apr 18, 2013 9:46 PM   in reply to carolgunn

    Thank you. goooooood

     
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