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Continuous Rasterization of vectors inside nested comps

Mar 16, 2011 1:16 PM

Hi everyone, thanks for your responses to previous queries.

 

I have a problem with vectors:

 

I've got a bunch of comps that contain vectors animating. Inside the comps, the vectors are set to "continuously rasterize" which means that they come out nice and smooth no matter what the size.

 

But I need to use these comps inside a larger composition, and I'm moving the whole comp around the screen with motion blur on it.

 

But when the comp is set to "Collapse Transformations", motion blur is disabled. If I turn off "Collapse Transformations", it appears to over-ride the settings inside the comp, so none of the vectors are smooth. They all look like pixel-based images that have been scaled up. Horrible.

 

I don't get it. I need those vectors to be crystal smooth, but I need the whole comp to have motion blur. How do I achieve this?

 

This is a 2D question, I'm not using any 3D at all. I've read the relevant sections on Continuous Rasterization and on Collapsing Transforms and, as is the case with so much of this Adobe documentation that I'm being referred to, it does not address my specific case, though I can't imagine it's that uncommon.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Tom

 

PS: I can't denormalize the hierarchy because of the way the animation has to work - the animation itself is hierarchical, therefore the content must be structured in a smiliar hierarchy in order to work (think moons orbiting planets orbiting the sun)

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 16, 2011 1:35 PM   in reply to tomaugerdotcom

    what happens if you use CC Force Motion Blur?

     

    bogiesan

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 17, 2011 12:25 AM   in reply to bogiesan-xSdJwH

    Make sure that you have motion blur enabled in the pre-comps. That should do it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 17, 2011 7:49 AM   in reply to Rick Gerard

    Rick Gerard wrote:

     

    Make sure that you have motion blur enabled in the pre-comps. That should do it.

     

    I inferred this statement to mean he'd already tried that.

     

    >  But when the comp is set to "Collapse Transformations", motion blur is disabled. If I turn off "Collapse Transformations", it appears to over-ride the settings inside the comp, so none of the vectors are smooth. They all look like pixel-based images that have been scaled up. Horrible.

    >>

     

    Misread?

     

    bogiesan

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 17, 2011 10:52 AM   in reply to tomaugerdotcom

    In your given example, I think the most expedient answer will be for you to split your cursor layer in the pre-comp.  One layer for when you expect Motion Blur to be off, one layer for on which has the Motion Blur switch enabled.

     

    > I think I'm trying to understand why "Continuous Rasterization" doesn't  work inside a comp unless collapse transformations is turned on; and why  once collapse transformations is turned on, motion blur no longer  works?

     

    I assume you've read the description in After Effects Help about what the Collapse Transformation control does?

     

    Continuous Rasterization and Collapse Transformations do essentially the same thing but to different layer types, which is why they share a switch.  That thing is to tell After Effects to apply the transformations to the layer source before rasterization, instead of after.

     

    In the case of Collapse Transformations, the best way to think about it is that the layers of the pre-comp are elevated to the level of the parent comp.  Comp-level switches in the pre-comp are ignored, so if you were to have Motion Blur applied in the pre-comp it would turn off.  Comp-level switches in the parent comp are applied to the layers in the pre-comp.  So if you have Motion Blur on for the layer in the pre-comp, but not enabled for the pre-comp, you won't see it, same as if you had a layer in the parent comp that had Motion Blur turned on.

     

    That's a bit to wrap the brain around, so here's some practical examples, which you could create yourself if you want to follow along.  We'll assume a Pre-Comp containing a rotating Star shape layer, and this Pre-Comp is nested inside a Parent Comp.

     

    For:

         Star layer: Motion Blur On

         Pre-comp: Motion Blur comp switch On

         Pre-comp layer in Parent comp: Collapse Transformations Off

         Parent comp: Motion Blur Off

    Resulting view of Parent comp: Star rotation is motion blurred.

     

    For:

         Star layer: Motion Blur On

         Pre-comp: Motion Blur comp switch Off

         Pre-comp layer in Parent comp: Collapse Transformations Off

         Parent comp: Motion Blur Off

    Resulting view of Parent comp: Star rotation is NOT motion blurred.

     

    For:

         Star layer: Motion Blur On

         Pre-comp: Motion Blur comp switch On

         Pre-comp layer in Parent comp:Collapse Transformations On

         Parent comp: Motion Blur Off

    Resulting view of Parent comp: Star rotation is NOT motion blurred.

     

    For:

         Star layer: Motion Blur On

         Pre-comp: Motion Blur comp switch Off

         Pre-comp layer in Parent comp: Collapse Transformations On

         Parent comp: Motion Blur On

    Resulting view of Parent comp: Star rotation is motion blurred.

     

    For:

         Star layer: Motion Blur On

         Pre-comp: Motion Blur comp switch On

         Pre-comp layer in Parent comp: Collapse Transformations On

         Parent comp: Motion Blur On

    Resulting view of Parent comp: Star rotation is motion blurred.

     

    Using the above examples, you can see that when Collapse Transformations is on for the Pre-comp layer, the state of the Pre-comp's Motion Blur switch does not matter.  All that matters is that the Parent comp has the Motion Blur switch enabled, and that the Star layer inside the pre-comp has Motion Blur enabled.

     

    Also note that we are completely ignoring the state of the Motion Blur switch for the Pre-comp layer inside the Parent comp.  This will only come into play if you apply a transformation to that layer, and is both disabled and ignored if Collapse Transformations is enabled for that layer.

     

    Clear as mud?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 25, 2011 12:49 PM   in reply to tomaugerdotcom

    > How is this even possible, given that the second layer was cloned from the first?

     

    See the last paragraph of my previous response.  When Collapse Transformations is enabled for a pre-comp layer, the state of Motion Blur is irrelevant to the rendering order.  Thus the switch itself is disabled.  Remember that with CT off, the entire pre-comp layer is rendered before AE does anything else with it.  With CT on, it's the individual layers inside of that pre-comp that get rendered instead of the pre-comp as a whole, thus any comp-level switches are irrelevant.

     

    Initially, I think you misunderstood my suggestion. Your best bet would be to split the layer inside the pre-comp that you need to have multiple MB states.  Splitting the pre-comp layer doesn't help in this situation because it still sets the MB state at a level above where your problem is.  Your MB issue is at the layer level, not the comp level, so address it there.

     

    AE's rendering order is a complicated mechanism, yes.  Difficult to understand.  That's the nature of the beast, and also some of the inherent power of After Effects.  (One could argue here that node-based compositing would be more efficient.  For this given case they may be right.  But nodal compositing makes different tradeoffs than AE's nested layer-based model.  These are different tools for different jobs.)

     

    To better understand AE's rendering order and why it does what it does, I highly recommend Chris and Trish Meyers' Creating Motion Graphics books and blogs.  The books especially; they are the bible for AE's mechanical layout.

     

    Oh, and if I could make a little request- because this topic gets easily confusing, and the langauge to describe it difficult to accurately form, please post some screenshots or an example AEP for future questions.  Helpful both for me and for others. Graphic representations are always appreciated, and ease the pretzel-like transformation required to create a mental model from the words.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 25, 2011 3:42 PM   in reply to tomaugerdotcom

    >Does this make sense to you?

     

    Er... No.  Now would be a good time for a screenshot.

     

    What's not clear to me is what types of layers these are (pre-comps, footage, solids) and the state of the switches (which gets more complex if they're pre-comps).

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2013 10:20 AM   in reply to tomaugerdotcom

    This isn't exactly the topic I was looking for, and I'm very late to the party, but for humanity's sake I'd like to add my input as I recently experienced the same sort of problem. My suggestion is to take the cursor out of the screenshot precomp, and animate it in the "main" composition. Of course that means you need to have the cursor parented to the artwork so that it'll mimic the movement, and when you want everything to blur, fake it with cc motion blur or a directional fast blur.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 26, 2014 3:30 PM   in reply to tomaugerdotcom

    I have figured out a way to achieve Constantly rasterize/Collapse Layers ON and have access to Quality and Motion Blur.

    Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 5.28.21 PM.png

     

    Turn on the Constantly rasterize option and normaly it would put a dash in the quality and motion blur box. Now add a mask to the layer, in my case I didn't need a mask so I made a subtract mask outside the visible area of the comp. Once you have a mask the dashes will be removed and you can add quality settings and Motion Blur.

     
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