8 Replies Latest reply on Oct 8, 2016 12:48 AM by Jonashoholt

    After Effects -> Media Encoder render fail

    Jonashoholt

      Dear Adobe,

       

      I'm editing timelapses in After Effects and rendering them through Media Encoder, but I keep encountering an issue when rendering.
      See screenshot below:
      Unavngivet.jpg

       

      the preview windows shows a "test-frame" ( i dont know what its called) and the outputted file is not usable, since it shows the same picture.
      I import RAW files (14-bit from Canon 5D Mk3) as a sequence into after effects and colorgrade them, add sharpening, deflickering etc.
      I then choose file -> Export -> Add to Media Encoder render queue.
      My rendering settings in Media Encoder are:
      Format:Quicktime
      Codec: Go Pro Cineform RGBA 12-bit
      Framerate: 29,97
      Resolution: 5760 x 3840 (max res for Canon 5D3)
      Im running on a PC, Win 10, i7 Multi-core, 64GB RAM, 7200Rpm Harddive, Geforce 980 GTX w/Cuda

       

      I've tried nesting in After Effects (dragging my comp into a sub-comp) and that helps sometimes, but most times the renderer seem to be stuck.

       

      Hope you can help me with this issue

       

      Best,
      Jonas Høholt

        • 1. Re: After Effects -> Media Encoder render fail
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          First - your files are WAY too big for a normal movie. I would use Lightroom to export DNG or do your color grading and then export JPG or PNG images that have been resized to the somewhere close to the right size for your final movie. You need to consider where the movie will be played back. If you are going for web distribution then your final render should be a maximum of 4K and an MP4. About 99% of the time it is faster and more efficient to turn your original images into a PNG or JPEG 2000 sequence and import into Premiere Pro and then render either a digital intermediate (DI) using a suitable production codec (Cineform - the format you are using, is OK and I use it a lot) or just render your MP4 directly. I don't have time to research the standards for Cinform but I suspect that it has recommended frame sizes and your image size may not be supported. I use it all the time for up to 4K at standard video frame sizes.

           

          If you really need these larger frame sizes to do some pan and scan work on your time lapse the I'd suggest rendering an easy to handle image sequence and then doing your final work in AE or Premiere Pro at a standard frame size and rate.

          • 2. Re: After Effects -> Media Encoder render fail
            Jonashoholt Level 1

            So what you are telling me, is that the RAW-files (5760x3840) are simply too big for After Effects to handle when exporting to Cineform?
            It's strange, cause I've seen people do 8K Cineform RGBA 12-bit output from After Effects with BIG Raw-files (from Sony A7RII or 5DSR) without problems.

             

            I prefer to import the RAW files into After Effects since I have way more power when doing shadow/highlight recovery and heavy noise reduction on night sky timelapses shot with high ISO's. The Jpegs or DNG simply doesnt have all the needed information to make a top quality sequence when I need to recover highlights and do heavy noise reduction, deflickering etc.

             

            I also prefer to render out at maximum resolution to have more freedom when editing in Premiere. And since the 5D3 can deliver a 5K file, I really would like to also output a 5K file from After Effects.


            Of course I plan for a compressed 4K MP4 file when doing the final export in Premiere, but the high data file the Cineform provides, is nice to have until I make the final render in Premiere.

             

            I hope others have a solution to this.

            • 3. Re: After Effects -> Media Encoder render fail
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              I didn't look up the Cineform specs. Most codecs have specific frame sizes that they require. I do not know if this is the case with Cineform. You'll have to do the research. I have not worked 8K yet. Most is 4K and HD.

               

              No matter what size you decide to use RAW files take way longer to render than a standard image sequence so I'd use Lightroom to export a sized to your desired size image sequence from the raw files. This will remove a great deal of the processing overhead. At least that has been my experience.

              • 4. Re: After Effects -> Media Encoder render fail
                Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional
                I'm editing timelapses in After Effects and rendering them through Media Encoder, but I keep encountering an issue when rendering. the preview windows shows a "test-frame" ( i dont know what its called) and the outputted file is not usable, since it shows the same picture.

                you are seeing a placeholder for a missing frame. see that you are loading them from your hard drive and not external device or network. try to render just a small part and see what happens. this is not supposed to be related to a codec.it appears that Ae your frames are not being previewed properly. reload your sequence, examine if it's just on some frames or the whole way through. also if you are using 2015.3, try the Queue in AME in the Render Queue - this will make sure you export your composition to AME with your render settings.

                 

                Rick told you this:

                About 99% of the time it is faster and more efficient to turn your original images into a PNG or JPEG 2000 sequence and import into Premiere Pro and then render either a digital intermediate (DI) using a suitable production codec (Cineform - the format you are using, is OK and I use it a lot) or just render your MP4 directly.

                If you use PNG sequence 16 bit you will get all the information. it's a reliable codec and most importantly it's a sequence render - if something is wrong, can render again just that segment. you can use "skip existing files" if the render stopped for any reason. it's the most reliable codec I know. I recommend using it to render through Ae.  it will be slow to render but fast to edit and fast to render from premiere.

                • 5. Re: After Effects -> Media Encoder render fail
                  Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Roei accurately pointed out that you had a missing frame in your sequence. That's why you are getting the color bar place holder. I should have mentioned that. I still strongly suspect that if you export a properly named image sequence from Lightroom or even bridge in a suitable file format - tiff, png, jpeg 2000 (also a 16 bit format that supports alpha channels) tga, or even PSD you'll have a much better time rendering the final movie with either the AME through Premiere Pro or AE, or through AE's render cue and output module. I wouldn't ever render an other than standard frame size movie to a digital intermediate. If I have really complex projects that are going to require several seconds or even several minutes to render I always go to an image sequence first because you can use an image sequence in any 3D, Editing or compositing app to further refine your shot and as Roei pointed out, if you crash or get a couple of fouled up frames, they are easy to fix and you don't have to re-render the whole thing.

                  • 6. Re: After Effects -> Media Encoder render fail
                    Jonashoholt Level 1

                    My problem here is not render time. I got the patience and the time needed for the CPU to chew its way through the RAW files.

                     

                    When I work on my sequence in After Effects there are no missing frames, and there are no missing frames in my folder.

                     

                    However, I tried to nest the composition two times (drag the comp into a sub comp two times in a row) and that seem to work around the problem sometimes, but not always.
                    Do you have any idea if there is a bug in Media Encoder that causes it to fail with certain effects (since I have to nest the compositions to make it work) ?
                    I use Neat Video Noise Reduction plugin and GB Deflicker plugin, but the missing frame preview screen seems to show up even when just applying simple effects like regular sharpening or curves.

                    • 7. Re: After Effects -> Media Encoder render fail
                      Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

                      When I work on my sequence in After Effects there are no missing frames, and there are no missing frames in my folder.

                      Png sequence? what about it? you will probably get more predictable results if you stay native

                       

                       

                      Do you have any idea if there is a bug in Media Encoder that causes it to fail with certain effects (since I have to nest the compositions to make it work) ?

                       

                      it could be. maybe you are the one to find it. but we can't know for sure until you run many tests. what happens with other formats, maybe it's just the Cineform 12bit with high rez sequences.

                      I use Neat Video Noise Reduction plugin and GB Deflicker plugin, but the missing frame preview screen seems to show up even when just applying simple effects like regular sharpening or curves.

                      I have used both recently with no problems on high resolution (4K) and had not encountered any problems related to what you are experiencing.

                      • 8. Re: After Effects -> Media Encoder render fail
                        Jonashoholt Level 1

                        I've now been trying using Tiff, Jpeg and DNGs as my timelapses sequences (simply by color grading in Lightroom and exporting them, and then import to After Effects). The Media Encoder seem to work much better with these files. It renders out in Cineform 12-bit every time with no problems.
                        With the RAW files directly from camera however, the Media Encoder still have unpredictable behavior, and I often have to nest my composition two or three times before it will allow me to export a usable file (and not showing the "missing frame" in the preview window in ME).
                        And changing the rsolution doesn't seem to help either. I've been using both 5760 x 3840 (full res from my 5D3) and 5184 x 3456 (full res from my 7D) and the same issue occurs.
                        So the conclusion may be that Media Encoder can have problems with exporting RAW files from After Effects into Cineform files.
                        I will try and do some more testing, and hopefully I will find a solution some day.

                         

                        Thanks for your help.
                        Jonas