21 Replies Latest reply on Apr 4, 2016 6:33 PM by BartonGarrett256

    How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?

    adobeRAPES Level 1

      after effect error: crash while invoking effect plug-in (insert effect here) 

       

      After Effects crashing on me.  I'm using FIVE color correction adjustment layers and TWO time effects.  

       

      is there a particular order that i should place layers?  does it matter?

       

      trying to find out why the program crashes.

       

      after effect error: crash while invoking effect plug-in time blend

        • 1. Re: How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?
          Gutter-Fish Level 4

          Adjustment layers effect everything that's beneath them.  Try precomposing instead of using all the adjustment layers.  If it doesn't crash than that was the problem, adding a time effect to a time effect and adding color correction to color correction. 

          • 2. Re: How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?
            adobeRAPES Level 1

            thank you very much for the tip and quick response! 

             

            I'll use the precomps to clean this up.

            • 3. Re: How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              The only conceivable logical reason I can imagine for five color adjustment layers is that you have a different mask on each layer to adjust different areas of your composition. Unless you are isolating certain areas for each of the adjustment layers it doesn't make any sense at all to have more than one.

               

              When you start having problems take notes and make liberal use of pressing the u key twice with the problem layer selected so that you can see all the modified properties. Then start turning them off one at a time.

               

              If you have a saved composition that crashed then try engaging the caps lock key before you open that project and comp. Then select all the layers  and press the u key  twice to reveal all modified properties, then turn off all of the defects using the little FX icon, release the caps lock and start turning things on until you get the crash. That should get you started.

              • 4. Re: How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?
                adobeRAPES Level 1

                thank you for taking the time to offer some input. 

                 

                i did try the caps lock solution as a work around but didn't have any luck.  Adobe support advised i create a new comp then import the problem comp into the fresh one as work around and this is working... meaning no crash.   before, the program was just crashing the second it opened.

                 

                i'm using five different adjustment layers for different effect, i.e. color balance, exposure, hue sat, etc.

                 

                I've created two precomps, one for color adjustments, one for time adjustments.  however the changes made to the adjustment layers within the precomp aren't showing on the main comp.  i'm not sure how to refresh the main comp to reflect these changes or even see them in real time. 

                 

                just clicking buttons now and exploring menus....

                • 5. Re: How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?
                  adobeRAPES Level 1

                  bad news... after working with both the Adobe tech support work around and pre-comp solution for a couple hours After Effects has crashed again giving the original error message.  this disappoints me.  I guess I just wont use the plugin Time Blend which is sad because I really like the effect. 

                  • 7. Re: How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?
                    adobeRAPES Level 1

                    thanks!  i actually watched that yesterday... no luck. 

                     

                    i appreciate the suggestion though!

                    • 8. Re: How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?
                      Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Try creating a new comp that only contains the footage you want to apply Time Blend to then render a DI (digital intermediate)  to use in the rest of your project. It is always a good idea to render footage you Warp Stabilize, speed up or slow down, repair rolling shutter problems or apply other temporal effects to using a suitable 10 bit or better production codec. That should solve your problem.

                      • 9. Re: How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?
                        adobeRAPES Level 1

                        thank you very much!  that makes a lot of sense.  i would imagine the warp and speed effects to more intensive that other adjustments.

                        I successfully exported a handful of comps without issue after separating the time blend layer and also the auto levels adjustment layer.  the remaining four adjustment layers are color correction tools but not set to auto like the levels one.  so maybe there's a hiccup from asking just a little too much.

                        but all good for the time being.  I have a hundred more files to crank out so if i run into anymore trouble then i'll try your suggestion.  i haven't used warp yet, but I expect I'll give it a go since I use it in premiere quite a bit.

                         

                        thank you!

                        • 10. Re: How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?
                          adobeRAPES Level 1

                          sadly i've spent the last two hours sparring with crashing After Effects. 

                          I hoped to try the digital intermediate work around but that just crashed the program as well. 

                          I'm shocked this program cant handle what I'm doing.  these are timelapse photography sequences. 

                          100 jpegs with some basic color correction.  how can After Effects not handle such a simple task?

                          • 11. Re: How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?
                            Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            How big are the files? Did you import as an image sequence. Most newbies that do time-lapse fails to prepare the files properly for video. I suspect that may be the case. Workflow details please. Just a little FYI I recently exported a 1200 frame DNG sequence from Lightroom and ran the image sequence through AE as a 4K comp and everything worked just fine because the original 24 MP images were resized to 4K before I started trying to call them video. Your time-lapse is probably not working in AE because of user error.

                             

                            One more point. Temporal effects like time warp can get into trouble if there is not a uniform and predictable change in the pixels in the image sequence. If there is too much difference between frames the calculation time can go through the roof as the predictions of pixel movement become more difficult. Without knowing your exact workflow and being able to analyze the footage you are trying to use in your time-lapse it's impossible to pinpoint the problem but I'm guessing that you are importing images that are way bigger than a standard video frame and that the time-lapse footage has a lot of differences in each frame.

                            • 12. Re: How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?
                              Gutter-Fish Level 4

                              It's likely your frustration is misdirected.  I'm interested to know why you are "shocked"  that AE cannot handle what you are doing.  Do you know WHAT you are doing?   What information have you provided to Adobe support for them to help troubleshoot.  Maybe you should provide that info here?  Screenshots of how you've set up your comp?  Relevant details about your images/setting/procedure?  Relevant details about your software versions?  System specs?  Not that that info would help ME help you but before you start being outraged at the shortcomings of After Effects maybe you should be sure that the problem is is indeed the software and not just your inexperience in using it?

                               

                              It's just as unlikely that AE cannot "handle" what you are WANTING to do as it is that Adobe is raping you.  I'm just saying. A little humility can go a long way.

                              • 13. Re: How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?
                                adobeRAPES Level 1

                                thanks for responding.  I used your DI suggestion and think this should do the trick.  I think the image sequence couldn't handle the time adjustments or auto levels.  I applied these two layers then exported 10 bit .movs.  I'll finish up on those instead of jpeg image sequences. 

                                 

                                appreciate your help!

                                • 14. Re: How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?
                                  adobeRAPES Level 1

                                  AE choked on time and auto adjustments applied to an image sequence with five color correction adjustment layers.  I removed the color adjustment layers then tried to export .movs with just the time and auto adjustments but AE produced a handful of error messages.   so just removing the adjustment layers didn't help, the conflicts were baked into the each comp. starting over with fresh projects / comps seems to be working now.  I'm hoping I can apply the color correction to the .movs without any trouble. 

                                  • 15. Re: How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?
                                    Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    Running auto levels on time-lapse is probably going to cause more problems that it solves. It's like trying to shoot time-lapse with auto exposure. It always makes a mess. I've been doing time-lapse for more than 40 years. One of my projects involved packing into Glacier Park in Montana from the first time we could get in with the horses in the spring to the last trip when we couldn't get through the snow. One trip every two weeks to the same camera position, filming sunrise to sunset using a modified motorized geared head, on 35mm film ending up with footage that saw the sun come up in the east over snow the snow covered scene, the snow melt, the spring grass and wild flowers bloom, the leaves fill the trees then turn gold and fall off and snow cover the ground as the sun set in one 90 second shot. The trick to making the shot work is that the modified 35mm Mitchell film camera was set at f11 for the entire shoot and the shutter was open for 1/2 second and the lens had an ND 12 filter on it so we had exactly the same exposure settings for every frame no matter what the weather. The only thing we had to do to control the light was make sure that the sun came through the clouds on every day we shot. Unfortunately the client didn't release the completed project so I don't have a copy of the biggest time lapse project of my life. (get it in writing so you don't loose access to your work).

                                     

                                    I also worked on a project for Tangerine Dream that involved a lot of long exposure time-lapse and time shifted aerial photography. Same deal, lock the exposure and let the scene change in front of you. You can find the Tangerine Dream project here: Tangerine Dream - Canyon Dreams [1987] - YouTube

                                    • 16. Re: How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?
                                      adobeRAPES Level 1

                                      wow, that sounds incredible!  and about as challenging as it gets.  I'll check out Tangerine- really nice visuals at first glance.  shame about the Montana shot..

                                       

                                      several tutorials advised 'auto levels > temporal smoothing' to even out flickering.  I've been using it generously but maybe those tutorials intended temporal smoothing as a rescue operation rather than general practice.  my exposures are now more consistent than when I started but I also capture a lot of urban scenes with headlights and even reflected light affecting each frame.  I have a big batch of night time material ahead, maybe I'll give the auto levels a break and see how it looks.  its the only auto feature I use anywhere so I wont mind cutting it out of the workflow at all!

                                       

                                      thanks again

                                      • 17. Re: How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?
                                        Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                        The next time you shoot nighttime time-lapse try setting your exposure time to about 1 second or longer and make sure everything is manual. If you ever shoot time-lapse of water like the ocean or a waterfall, do the same thing. Long exposures. This will blur the motion and visually create a much more stunning result. It's also a lot easier to control the speed of the time lapse when you have more frames. Time-lapse of folks moving down a sidewalk for example is nearly impossible to make look good because people tend to disappear from the frame unless you are shooting one frame every one or two seconds. Exposure times for that kind of shot need to be shorter but 1/60 of a second is probably too fast. I've done time-lapse where the shutter and the interval were both 10 seconds. IOW a 10 second exposure followed immediately by another. The results are magical. Check out this article: http://prestonkanak.com/2013/03/11/long-exposure-time-lapse-photography-pushing-the-medium /

                                         

                                        Look at this video from my friend Richard Harrington (a true photoshop master and teacher)

                                        • 18. Re: How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?
                                          adobeRAPES Level 1

                                          thats really neat, thank you for sharing.  I'd like to shoot waterfalls one day.  I have a vari ND but no waterfalls nearby

                                          I've never tried pedestrians on sidewalks either but now I'm curious to give it a shot.  I tried a ten second interval my first time out and loved the result but never went that long again. I think it was a three hour time investment.  the shot was dramatic with clouds flying over a building and I wouldn't mind trying another long setup in the future.  overall, timelapse can be hit or miss.  some shots don't quite turn out while others turn out better than expected.  its a fun endeavor.  I appreciate all these great tips.  thank you!

                                          • 19. Re: How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?
                                            BartonGarrett256 Level 2

                                            I'm no expert but do a fair bit of timelapse. I do all the image cleanup in Lr, it's Camera Raw with a better interface and is much more batch friendly. I size and renumber using the export function.  If I'm shooting with a long lens and get movement I've learned the hard way to never use Warp Stabilizer, just the older tracker with two points.  There are a couple of plug ins that Richard Harrington reccomends, Granite Bay comes to mind. Check out his titles on Lynda.com, they are worth watching. 

                                            • 20. Re: How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?
                                              adobeRAPES Level 1

                                              thanks for you input! 

                                               

                                              I basically follow the same workflow and also enjoy Harrington's videos on Lynda.  I process via camera RAW then renumber in bridge.  I haven't used lightroom for years but thats a good idea.  I'll play around with it.  I'll check out granite bay too.  my flicker isnt so much of a problem that I'm looking for plugins but its good to know whats out there. 

                                               

                                              thank you!!

                                              • 21. Re: How should After Effects adjustment layers be ordered?
                                                BartonGarrett256 Level 2

                                                No worries, good luck.  I don't use Granite Bay either, but there is a lot more than just de-flicker available these days, they have ramps and other bells and whistles, it might save you all those adjustment layers, and there are a couple of providers. 

                                                 

                                                Try Lr, it's much much better at batch processing image strings than Ps, Assuming you are doing the same thing to all the images.  The export function is the best, just rename starting with a number that is not zero.

                                                 

                                                  I keep all my timelapses on a separate catalog and dedicated hard drive as I shoot a lot of 42MB raws, and  then export into Ae at near the size I need for the piece.

                                                 

                                                I only go into Ps if I need to pull out a bird or something episodic which I do by pulling three sequential images into Ps as layers and cloning in the pixels from the image above or below to replace the object. I have had bad luck with the Lr healing brush for time lapses, you are really blending the image on either side of the target, I find it's better to use pixels from the image before or after.