19 Replies Latest reply: Apr 12, 2012 11:19 AM by JesseHarris RSS

    Time Remapped Dolly Shot, Smooth in AE, but Jerky in Rendering

    JesseHarris Community Member

      Hi,

       

      My workflow:  Canon h.264 original footage transcoded to ProRes 4444 in Compressor.  Imported to HD project in AE, footage time remapped to smooth out uneveness in dolly speed, with Frame Blending turned on.  AE 5.5 Mac OS 10.6

       

      My question is that the ram preview  below is relatively smooth, but when I exported a PR4444 sequence to FCP, once in the timeline it's jerky and stutters. (Forgive the sloppy mask, it's now fixed).  The stutters and jerks also appear when playing the 4444 clip back in QT10, and Vimeo.

       

      Any suggestions?  Pixel Motion needed?

       

      http://vimeo.com/39895088

       

      Jesse

        • 1. Re: Time Remapped Dolly Shot, Smooth in AE, but Jerky in Rendering
          bogiesan Community Member

          Plays perfectly smooth for me. There's a bit of a travelling bump at 0:08:15. What sloppy mask? 

          A jerky playback in a timeline is always caused by the timeline requiring more processing than it can do in real time.

          • 2. Re: Time Remapped Dolly Shot, Smooth in AE, but Jerky in Rendering
            JesseHarris Community Member

            The bump was part of the uneven speed of the dolly, shoulda' seen it before   Yes I'm aware of the timeline issues, and had hoped that once exported/rendered out of fcp that it would go away.  The above link was a Vimeo compressed RAM preview out of AE And that plays smoothly!.  Not out of fcp however. 

             

            Would it help to see what it looks like out of fcp on Vimeo?  Do you think this is because of the heaviness of the 4444 clip?

             

            Do you see anything wrong with my workflow? 

             

            Thanks!

            • 3. Re: Time Remapped Dolly Shot, Smooth in AE, but Jerky in Rendering
              bogiesan Community Member

              > My question is that the ram preview  below is relatively smooth, but when I exported a PR4444 sequence to FCP, once in the timeline it's jerky and stutters. (Forgive the sloppy mask, it's now fixed).  The stutters and jerks also appear when playing the 4444 clip back in QT10, and Vimeo.<

               

              Depends on what your set up is in FCP. I'm going to assume you know what you're doing in FCP as far as how to set sequences properly and you know the limitations of your machine.

               

              > Yes I'm aware of the timeline issues, and had hoped that once exported/rendered out of fcp that it would go away.  The above link was a Vimeo compressed RAM preview out of AE And that plays smoothly!.  Not out of fcp however. <

               

              Well, exporting out of FCP is not really part of this equation. If you export to the codec you're using for your playback of the finished project, say, H.264 or MP4 or MPEG2, the clip will play perfectly within the capabilites of your machine and the player app you are using.

               

              > Would it help to see what it looks like out of fcp on Vimeo? <

               

              Nope. The vimeo clip will always play fine because, regardless of what it started out as, when you upload to vimeo it is transocded to the vimeo-friendly codec.

               

              > Do you think this is because of the heaviness of the 4444 clip?<

               

              Not liekly. Heavy, maybe, but ProRes is designed to be used without issues in FCP on Macs in Quicktime. One uses 4444 only if one needs the alpha. If you don't need the alpha, any of the 422s will work fine. I didn't see the mask you mentioned so I don't know why you're using 4444. It is not often that 4444 cannot be played in FCP unless the pixel dimensions are just too large or you've chosen a weird frame rate. In that case, the clip must be heavily processed before it can fit the timeline's settings.

               

              I find the time remapping and motion smoothing capabilites of Apple Motion's optical flow functions are completely adequate for all but the most extreme screwups encountered while shooting.

               

              Message was edited by: bogiesan

              • 4. Re: Time Remapped Dolly Shot, Smooth in AE, but Jerky in Rendering
                JesseHarris Community Member

                Thanks for your thorough answers and valuable information!

                 

                I guess the crux of the my question is why the RAM preview out of AE plays smoothly on Vimeo, (the link you watched) - and the same clip exported out of fcp does not!

                 

                I am far from an expert, using 4444 was something I've read here as being a good codec to use in an FCP -> AE -> FCP workflow.  Actually the posts were about using Animation or png sequences, but they wouldn't play on my fairly robust system.  Mac Pro, 4 x 2.66mhz, 16 gigs of ram.

                 

                Also not an expert at fcp, still learning, but I did try keyframing the speed of the dolly with variable speed in fcp timeline, (right-clicking the clip, choosing vary speed etc.  It did not look good at all!  Is there something better by actually going to Motion?  An area I'm not familiar with except as how it relates to clips in the Timeline.

                 

                Many thanks again.

                • 5. Re: Time Remapped Dolly Shot, Smooth in AE, but Jerky in Rendering
                  bogiesan Community Member

                  Explore the optical flow options in Apple Motion, forget time remapping in FCP.

                  I do not understand the referfence you have made to the two different clips not playing. If a clip uploaded to vimeo plays incorreclty, you muste determine fi the original file is not good, the upload was no good or out of spec, the vimeo-encode is not good, your connection is ot good or there's some other fluke involved. Only after you determine where the playba k issue lies can you then begin to explore any of th may cuases for the file to have failed.

                   

                  ProRes 4444 is fabulous but you need to spend some time in the Apple docos for the codec family.

                  • 6. Re: Time Remapped Dolly Shot, Smooth in AE, but Jerky in Rendering
                    JesseHarris Community Member

                         >If a clip uploaded to vimeo plays incorreclty, you muste determine fi the original file is not good, the upload was no good or out of spec, the vimeo-encode is not good, your connection is ot good or there's some other fluke involved.<

                     

                     

                    This is my point; (sorry for any confusion) 

                     

                    The RAM Preview of my time remapped AE comp ,http://vimeo.com/39895088 rendered out of AE and compressed in Compressor by a proven Vimeo setting (I use it all successfully all the time) plays fine in Vimeo. 

                     

                    The same AE comp rendered at 4444, placed in FCP timeline then compressed by the same Vimeo setting is jerky and stutters when played back in Vimeo.

                     

                    Any ideas?

                     

                    Thanks for pointing me down the Motion path, I'll give that a try.

                    • 7. Re: Time Remapped Dolly Shot, Smooth in AE, but Jerky in Rendering
                      Dave LaRonde Community Member

                      JesseHarris wrote:

                      The RAM Preview of my time remapped AE comp... rendered out of AE and compressed in Compressor by a proven Vimeo setting (I use it all successfully all the time) plays fine in Vimeo.

                       

                      The same AE comp rendered at 4444, placed in FCP timeline then compressed by the same Vimeo setting is jerky and stutters when played back in Vimeo.

                       

                       

                      It sounds like you saved your RAM Preview, and used the AE Render Queue for the ProRes 4444 version.  A common reason for a disparity like this is using Open GL to accelerate AE renders.  If that's true, turn it off and try the render again.

                       

                      Incidentally, unless you need ProRes 4444 for its alpha channel support, ProRes 422 will be just fine.

                      • 8. Re: Time Remapped Dolly Shot, Smooth in AE, but Jerky in Rendering
                        JesseHarris Community Member

                        I can confirm Open g/l is OFF!  And was off during all renders.  I have never had it turned on, since my early newbie days!  Thanks to this forum :-)  (now I'm in my later newbie stage!)

                         

                        This is s strange phenomenon isn't it?  I am very puzzled.  Any other ideas??

                         

                        I have read here that 4444 is like component video, none, or very little compression.  And that 422 while very good is more similar to composite video... 

                         

                        Jesse

                        • 9. Re: Time Remapped Dolly Shot, Smooth in AE, but Jerky in Rendering
                          JesseHarris Community Member

                          At the risk of testing everyone's patience; I still am completely puzzled by my issues.  I will attempt to clarify!

                           

                          This is the original 422 ProRes footage transcoded from 5DmkII original.

                           

                          http://vimeo.com/38924188

                           

                          This is the RAM Preview output from my AE comp, Time Remapping applied, (original footage h264 transcoded to 4444 ProRes in Compressor and worked on in AE comp)  This is the result I'm happy with!

                           

                          http://vimeo.com/39895088

                           

                          This is an compressed export from the 4444 ProRes footage out of AE, inserted in FCP timeline.  Why is this clip not looking like my RAM Preview?  The speed change after Time Remapping is evident, but it stutters! Please help!

                           

                          http://vimeo.com/40109916

                           

                          Thanks again for your patience and help.

                           

                          Jesse

                          • 10. Re: Time Remapped Dolly Shot, Smooth in AE, but Jerky in Rendering
                            Dave LaRonde Community Member

                            JesseHarris wrote:

                            is is the RAM Preview output from my AE comp, Time Remapping applied, (original footage h264 transcoded to 4444 ProRes in Compressor and worked on in AE comp)  This is the result I'm happy with!

                             

                             

                            You can select the codec to use for RAM Previews; when you save the preview, it saves in that codec.  What are you using?  Think you can use it for rendering?

                            • 11. Re: Time Remapped Dolly Shot, Smooth in AE, but Jerky in Rendering
                              JesseHarris Community Member

                              Great point!  How and where would I confirm that?  I looked in Preferences under Previews and the codec doesn't appear there...

                               

                              Thank you!

                               

                              Jesse

                              • 12. Re: Time Remapped Dolly Shot, Smooth in AE, but Jerky in Rendering
                                Dave LaRonde Community Member

                                You'll find the current defaults in the Output Module templates.  You'll have to look for it; I forget where it's located in AE 10.5.

                                • 13. Re: Time Remapped Dolly Shot, Smooth in AE, but Jerky in Rendering
                                  JesseHarris Community Member

                                  http://help.adobe.com/en_US/aftereffects/cs/using/WS3878526689cb91655866c1103a4f2dff7-79db a.html

                                   

                                  In the Render Queue, click Output Module!  Mine is set to Animation. Spatial Quality: 100

                                   

                                  Follow-up question:  If I output my full HD AE comp in Animation won't I have to transcode it to a ProRes format afterwards?  And will I run into the same issue I speak of above?

                                   

                                  Thanks very much!

                                  • 14. Re: Time Remapped Dolly Shot, Smooth in AE, but Jerky in Rendering
                                    Dave LaRonde Community Member

                                    If you have ProRes 4444, I'd bet you also run Final Cut Pro 7.  FCP will re-render the Animation files... and the problem may manifest itself again, sorry to say.

                                     

                                    If it does, you'll have to go through your entire workflow to check FRAME RATES.  An extremely common problem comes if you shoot 24p and edit in a 29.97 timeline.

                                     

                                    Another common problem comes from assigning the wrong frame rate in AE.  You see, FCP LIES -- lies, I say! -- when it uses 23.98 to refer to the frame rate of 24p.  It's actually 23.976.  If you made the mistake of making a 23.98 AE comp, change the frame rate to 23.976 and the problem goes away.

                                     

                                    So to summarize frame rates:

                                     

                                    24p=23.976

                                    30=29.97

                                    60=59.94

                                     

                                    Not knowing the correct frame rates'll kill you every time.

                                    • 15. Re: Time Remapped Dolly Shot, Smooth in AE, but Jerky in Rendering
                                      JesseHarris Community Member

                                      Yes I do, and I swear this will be the last project in FCP!  Premiere here I come.

                                       

                                      The original footage is 29.97 h264 out of a 5DMKII, I'm editing in a 29.97 HD timeline in fcp - I am 29.97 all the way through!

                                       

                                      So what's the deal?  Actually I didn't post it, but when I watched the 4444 ProRes render out of AE in QT10 it stuttered the same way as the others.  (I did not upload that clip to Vimeo however).  Does that give you any further clues?

                                       

                                      My machine should be robust enough to play in QT;  Mac Pro, 4/8 x 2.66 with 16 gigs RAM, 10.6.4, AE 5.5

                                       

                                      I tried Bogiesan's suggestion to work in Motion with Optical Flow and although I've never worked with Motion before I found basic instructions here:  http://www.ehow.com/how_8655598_use-fcp-motion-stabilize-footage.html  It didn't work properly, not smoothing the jerks and stutters.

                                       

                                      AND I confirmed frame blending is on in my AE comp!  What is Pixel Motion?  Is there another interpolation effect in AE I could smooth with?

                                       

                                       

                                      Thanks for your input - any further ideas about how to maintain the Time Remap work I did in AE throughout my workflow?

                                       

                                      Best,

                                      Jesse

                                      • 16. Re: Time Remapped Dolly Shot, Smooth in AE, but Jerky in Rendering
                                        Dave LaRonde Community Member

                                        Here's my last suggestion, and after this I'm out of answers.

                                         

                                        Put the ProRes 4444 file you rendered in AE in FCP.  For both the imported clip from AE and edit timeline, check to make sure each is set to a field order (incorrectly called field dominance in FCP) of None.  You check & change the clip if necessary in the FCP Browser.  You check & change the edit timeline in the Sequence Settings.

                                         

                                        Incidentally, ProRes 4444 is ONLY necessary if you need transparency: it supports alpha channels.  For everything else, normal ProRes 422 is just fine.  You gain precisely ZERO additional image quality by transcoding to 4444 instead of 422.  You DO gain much larger file sizes, and if that's your goal, please continue the practice.

                                         

                                        To see any kind of image degradation whatsoever in 422, you would have to re-render a clip six times over.  I can think of no workflow where that would occur.

                                        • 17. Re: Time Remapped Dolly Shot, Smooth in AE, but Jerky in Rendering
                                          JesseHarris Community Member

                                          Thanks very much, and I'm reading you 10 x 10 about 4444 :-) 

                                           

                                          However I tried your suggestion:  my sequence already had a Field Dominance of None - I right-clicked in the Browser and changed the dominance from Upper to None.  Unfortunately it didn't seem to affect the clip.  I also tried the Field Shift filter, none, +1, -1 which didn't work either.  I also exported out of fcp using compressor to see if that had an effect as the clip altough changed in the Browser didn't require a render in the Timeline.  That also didn't work.

                                           

                                          I also tried exporting it selecting Frame Controls and choosing Progressive, (the other choices were Upper and Lower)

                                           

                                          I tried as well re-intrepting the footage in the AE comp to None, Lower and Upper, and that removed all my Time Remapping work, (obviously I guess)

                                           

                                          I also tried rendering the comp to an Animation QT, as that was what played well in the RAM Preview!  The clip wouldn't even play in QT, too beefy.  I then tried converting that Animation to 422PR, to no avail the same darned stutter I originally experienced. (with progressive chosen)

                                           

                                          I think I also tried a myriad of other iterations and now my brain is so scrambled that I forget what I did...

                                           

                                          I know you're tapped Dave, and I appreciate the brain power dedicated to my issue, but this dolly shot is an important ending to my documentary as it's features the aquarium finished and in all it's glory! 

                                           

                                          If anyone else has any ideas I'd love to hear them...!

                                           

                                          Thanks,

                                           

                                          Jesse

                                          • 18. Re: Time Remapped Dolly Shot, Smooth in AE, but Jerky in Rendering
                                            Dave LaRonde Community Member

                                            ...I tried your suggestion:  my sequence already had a Field Dominance of None - I right-clicked in the Browser and changed the dominance from Upper to None.  Unfortunately it didn't seem to affect the clip.

                                             

                                            After you correct the field order, you need to put the clip back into the timeline.  The changes don't carry through automatically to the clip that's already in the timeline. 

                                             

                                            Field order issues with progressive ProRes footage rendered in AE are a known issue. 

                                            Apparently this was a Final Cut Pro thread from the very beginning, because it never was an After Effects thread.

                                            • 19. Re: Time Remapped Dolly Shot, Smooth in AE, but Jerky in Rendering
                                              JesseHarris Community Member

                                              My apologies for it becoming a fcp thread!  However in my defense I believed it was an AE issue at the onset.

                                               

                                              I had already put the Dominance-corrected clip in the timeline as you mention above, and honestly there may be a slight improvement, but it still doesn't play with the smoothness of the Time Remapped AE RAM Preview I've mentioned above.  I'll live with it.

                                               

                                              Thanks very much for your time.

                                               

                                              Best,

                                               

                                              Jesse