11 Replies Latest reply on Aug 3, 2015 2:53 PM by Rick Gerard

    When I add my composition to the Adobe Media Encoder from After Effects, it renders out incorrectly?

    Carolyne O'Ryan

      Why is it that when I add my composition directly from after effects to the adobe media encoder, it renders out of the adobe media encoder incorrectly? By that I mean the video comes out a little scrambled- parts of it overlap other parts. Is this an issue with 'dynamic link'? Did I do something wrong? I'm working in CC.

        • 1. Re: When I add my composition to the Adobe Media Encoder from After Effects, it renders out incorrectly?
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Yes, you did something wrong, but we don't have any idea what because you did not tell us anything about your composition, show is a screenshot of the composition or give us any information that may help. The only thing I can guess is that you included a Ray-traced comp with 3D layers or that you have made so many changes that your ram preview in AE is giving you incorrect results.

          • 2. Re: When I add my composition to the Adobe Media Encoder from After Effects, it renders out incorrectly?
            Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            I also don't understand what you are saying. What do you mean by "parts of it overlap other parts"? A screen shot might help.

             

            What were your render settings in AME? (Format, Codec, data rate, etc.)

             

            What is in your AE comp? If footage, tell us what format, codec, etc. Tell us what effects were used too.

             

            What exact version number of AE CC are you using?

            • 3. Re: When I add my composition to the Adobe Media Encoder from After Effects, it renders out incorrectly?
              ojak Level 1

              Rick, although we do need more information to fully troubleshoot, I'd note that it may not be Carolyn's fault.  Media Encoder definitely (i.e. reproducibly) renders differently than After Effects in certain situations, like the way comp background colors are rendered and how alpha channels are handled.

               

              For example, I've seen rendered compositions (from After Effects CC 2015 on OSX) that contain pre-comped Solids which cause all sorts of bizarre rendering issues when rendered in Media Encoder, with issues that simply don't occur when rendering from within After Effects.  I suspect there is something broken in the dynamic linker, but obviously I don't know for sure.  Here are two renders using the exact same AE project and composition with a single pre-comp'ed solid:

               

              1. This is the correct After Effects rendered comp, rendered in AE:

               

              2. This is a Media Encoder render of the exact same After Effects comp (ME ignores AE composition background colors):

               

              This is a simple example, but clearly shows different results.  And it's easy to reproduce...

              • After Effects 2015.0.1, Build 13.5.1.48
              • Media Encoder 2015.0.1, Build 9.0.1.29

               

              Carolyn, one (non-ideal) way to work around this is to render out your AE comp with a lossless format, and then compress the properly rendered master movie using Media Encoder...  But ya, it's not ideal, since it kinda negates the ability to use Media Encoder as your primary background renderer, and you'll have to render everything twice.  I think it's your best option until the kinks with Media Encoder are worked out.

              • 4. Re: When I add my composition to the Adobe Media Encoder from After Effects, it renders out incorrectly?
                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                First, background color never renders. If you want something other than black then you have to put a solid on the bottom layer. Compressed formats like H.264 will not support alpha channels. Media players also do not support alpha channels. Sometimes the QT player or the Windows Media player will generate all kinds of weird stuff if you try and play a pre-multiplied alpha, but generally all media players display alpha as black.

                 

                I have had no problems with the AME at all in CC 2015. It's impossible to troubleshoot the problem with your comp because I don't know anything about the comp, the render settings, the settings in AME or anything else about the project. Post the project or at least post the settings and I'll try and reproduce the problem.

                • 5. Re: When I add my composition to the Adobe Media Encoder from After Effects, it renders out incorrectly?
                  ojak Level 1

                  Rick, the background most certainly does render, just look at the first video.  See Adobe docs at After Effects Help | Composition basics:

                  • "When you add one composition to another (nesting), the background color of the containing composition is preserved, and the background of the nested composition becomes transparent."

                  If what you're saying is true, and the documentation is actually incorrect (totally possible), then that means the rendered video above is exposing a bug in After Effects.  Either way, either AE or ME has a rendering bug, otherwise the above rendering outcome would be impossible to achieve.

                  • 7. Re: When I add my composition to the Adobe Media Encoder from After Effects, it renders out incorrectly?
                    ojak Level 1

                    Rick, here's a zip file with the after effects project, and two movies rendered from the same comp (one in AE, and the other in ME) on the versions listed above:

                    • OSX
                    • After Effects 2015.0.1, Build 13.5.1.48
                    • Media Encoder 2015.0.1, Build 9.0.1.29
                    • 8. Re: When I add my composition to the Adobe Media Encoder from After Effects, it renders out incorrectly?
                      ojak Level 1

                      ojak wrote:

                       

                      Rick, the background most certainly does render, just look at the first video.  See Adobe docs at After Effects Help | Composition basics:

                      • "When you add one composition to another (nesting), the background color of the containing composition is preserved, and the background of the nested composition becomes transparent."

                      If what you're saying is true, and the documentation is actually incorrect (totally possible), then that means the rendered video above is exposing a bug in After Effects.  Either way, either AE or ME has a rendering bug, otherwise the above rendering outcome would be impossible to achieve.

                       

                      I'm guessing what's probably happening is that AE is rendering with pre-mulitiplied mattes, and ME is rendering with straight mattes.  Although I suppose it's correctable, this sort of behavior can cause a lot of confusion.

                      • 9. Re: When I add my composition to the Adobe Media Encoder from After Effects, it renders out incorrectly?
                        Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        I think you are misunderstanding what is said. When you add one composition to another, add a composition with a red background to a composition with a blue background, the red background goes away and the blue background is preserved, not the other way around. Turn on the transparency grid and you'll see the blue background disappears and you see transparency. It has always been this way ever since you were able to select a background color in AE nearly 20 years ago.

                         

                        When you render a lossless format without alpha and the color is set to pre-multiplied the BG color (red in your example) is pre-multiplied with the alpha giving you a red background in your lossless render. If you add your Main Comp to the AME and you have no option to pre-multiply the alpha channel so it is ignored and you end up with a black background. If you change the output settings in the AME to something like JPEG 2000 and 32bit or PNG 32bit you'll get a straight alpha channel, the industry standard, and a black background. If you pick a codec that does not support alpha channels then you just get a black background.

                         

                        I guess what I'm trying to say is that everything is working exactly as it was designed to work and the only reason that you are getting the red background from your comps background color when you render a lossless with pre-multiplied alpha is that the background color is pre-multiplied with the background. In a normal production pipeline the assumption is made that you want to preserve transparency throughout the production process. Pre-multiplying a background color is only useful in a very few scenarios. In more than 40 years making movies and creating special effects and composites (yes I have done this in a lab with film) I have never used a Pre-multiplied alpha using a colored background except in a classroom situation to demonstrate what it is. Here is how you can see with a pre-multiplied alpha is.:

                         

                        Rotate your nested comp 30º so you have some aliasing then try rendering your comp with the lossless with alpha preset and keep premultiplied turned on for the alpha channel. Carefully look at the aliased edges and you'll see some red mixed in to the edges. You could also just use the lossless setting and then render an alpha only, set the alpha only render as a track matte for the lossless render and you will see the red edges again. Use straight alpha and the edges go away. Here's what rendering Lossless with alpha and pre-multiplied gives you.

                         

                        Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 5.58.18 AM.png


                        So, assuming that you always want to preserve any transparency in the production pipeline everything is working as it should with one exception, The default settings for lossless with alpha should probably be for rendering straight alpha as the default so folks that are not familiar with the use of alpha channels and a standard production pipeline would not get caught. As I said in the first place, this isn't a bug, it's normal for a production pipeline. Not understanding how AE or any other compositing app handles alpha channels is what caught you. If you want a colored background, add a solid. The only reason to ever set a comp's background color to anything but black is for the rare occasion where you may want to throw some color in the alpha edges.

                        • 10. Re: When I add my composition to the Adobe Media Encoder from After Effects, it renders out incorrectly?
                          ojak Level 1

                          Rick, like I said in the previous post before your answer, it's clearly a matte multiplication issue.

                           

                          Please appreciate that Carolyne was simply asking a question, and I'd just suggest, earnestly, that you might just consider being a bit less dismissive ("yes, you did something wrong") and condescending ("not understanding how AE or any other compositing app handles alpha channels is what caught you") in your responses.  These forums are supposed to be a non-judgmental, friendly place to ask questions.  Anyhow, no hard feelings, it's just a tone thing I thought you might appreciate getting feedback on.   Cheers.

                          • 11. Re: When I add my composition to the Adobe Media Encoder from After Effects, it renders out incorrectly?
                            Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            I don't believe that explaining that someone is not understanding the way the After Effects rendering engine works is condescending.  It wouldn't hurt my feelings to be cold but I didn't understand something. I'm sorry you're offended. Too many people are offended by facts and not enough people examine opinions, especially their own.