12 Replies Latest reply on May 10, 2017 11:06 AM by Christ-Fowel

    Auto Import After Image Sequence Multi Machine Render to Render Queue QuickTime

    Christ-Fowel Level 1

      Hello,
      What I have set up is a Multi Machine Render on two computers. After they render out from AE as a Photoshop Image Sequence, I'd like After Effects to auto import the rendered image sequence to a comp to render back out as a QuickTime MOV file (Single Machine render).

       

      My thinking is, I'd like to be able to leave my computer while it renders and not have to come back to set up the second render. Instead come back to have everything completed.

       

      Thanks!

        • 2. Re: Auto Import After Image Sequence Multi Machine Render to Render Queue QuickTime
          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          I would recommend against using After Effects for this. If you are just taking an image sequence and making a deliverable out of it (or even a different production format), you should be using the Adobe Media Encoder. You can set up watch folders with it and everything.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 3. Re: Auto Import After Image Sequence Multi Machine Render to Render Queue QuickTime
            Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

            You don't need a script for this. You can do this with Post-Render Actions in the Render Queue:

            Basics of rendering and exporting in After Effects CC

             

            To specifically do what you're asking, to render an image sequence and then have that automatically sequence transcoded to a QuickTime file:

            1. Nest your original comp, Comp A into a new comp, Comp B. Make sure Comp B's frame dimensions, frame rate, and duration match Comp A. *** (There is an alternative method that may work better than nesting for some cases, see below.)
            2. Add Comp A to the Render Queue, set the Output Module to render to your chosen image sequence format. (TIFF, PSD, JPEG, etc.)
            3. In the Output Module settings, set Post-Render Action to Import & Replace Usage.
            4. Add Comp B to the Render Queue, set the Output Module to render your chosen movie file format. (QuickTime, etc.)
            5. Start the Render Queue.

             

            *** The downside of nesting your comp for these steps is that if Comp A is already in use by other comps, this method will globally replace all instances of it. You may not want that. To work around this, create a placeholder (File > Import > Placeholder; make sure it's the same dimensions, frame rate, and duration as Comp A), and put that in it's own comp (again, make sure the dimensions, frame rate, and duration are the same). This time, for step 3, instead of opening the Output Module Settings dialog to set the Post-Render Action, twirl open the Output Module settings in the Render Queue; here you'll see the Import & Replace Usage option with a little pickwhip - use the pickwhip to choose the placeholder.

             

            Other things to note about using Post-Render Actions to automatically transcode one output to another:

            • There was a bug in After Effects 13.5 though 14.1 where post-render actions did not evaluate until the entire render queue had completed, which breaks this workflow. That bug is fixed in After Effects 14.2 (the recent April 2017 release).
            • This works with multi-machine rendering, though only one machine can write the QuickTime file. (It sounds like you're already aware of this.)
            • You can also use Adobe Media Encoder to do the transcode work, but using a Watch Folder. This even works with image sequences, though if your frames take a long time to render you will want to adjust the value in AME's Preferences > General, so that it waits longer before assuming the render is complete. The default is only 0.2 minutes.
            1 person found this helpful
            • 4. Re: Auto Import After Image Sequence Multi Machine Render to Render Queue QuickTime
              Christ-Fowel Level 1

              Szalam,

              I'm getting that AME is faster then AEs Render Engine?

              So I should do what Adobe Staff has suggested with AME instead of AEs Render Engine?

               

              Adobe Staff,

              Thank you, this way worked!

              • 5. Re: Auto Import After Image Sequence Multi Machine Render to Render Queue QuickTime
                Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                It's not necessarily faster, but you can work in After Effects on a different project while AME churns away in the background. Or you could have a different machine in your office set to use AME on a watchfolder so your production machine doesn't even have to do that step.

                 

                It's really dependent on your workflow.

                • 6. Re: Auto Import After Image Sequence Multi Machine Render to Render Queue QuickTime
                  Christ-Fowel Level 1

                  This is my thinking on this....

                   

                  If I get AE or AME to Multi-Machine render my projects into a Image Sequence folder, that takes away all the power that goes into rendering all the effects, layers and all together. Now thats done, I get AE to render the already rendered Image Sequence into a QuickTime. Doing that second render would take way faster (On a single machine) as there are no effects or anything like that to be rendered. So the second one should just fly. All around this way should be faster, right?

                   

                  I didn't know that AME can also Multi-Machine Rendering, is that just as fast as rendering it with AE? Or is it just the connivence of being able to still work on AE while your project is rendering?

                  • 7. Re: Auto Import After Image Sequence Multi Machine Render to Render Queue QuickTime
                    Christ-Fowel Level 1

                    Also I'm a little confused what Adobe Staff meant when he/she wrote:
                    "...this method will globally replace all instances of it..."

                    • 8. Re: Auto Import After Image Sequence Multi Machine Render to Render Queue QuickTime
                      Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

                      Christ-Fowel  wrote

                       

                      I didn't know that AME can also Multi-Machine Rendering, is that just as fast as rendering it with AE? Or is it just the connivence of being able to still work on AE while your project is rendering?

                      AME does not have multi-machine rendering functionality. It does have Watch Folder rendering, but it's designed for use on a single machine, not multiple machines watching the same folder. (I suppose you could try setting multiple machines to watch the same folder, but they won't split up the rendering from a single source like After Effects can. Also, I can't predict what would happen if the the different machines try to render from the same source at the same time. Something bad would probably happen.)

                       

                      The convenience of AME is that it can render After Effects compositions in the background while you continue to work in After Effects.

                      • 9. Re: Auto Import After Image Sequence Multi Machine Render to Render Queue QuickTime
                        Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

                        Christ-Fowel  wrote

                         

                        Also I'm a little confused what Adobe Staff meant when he/she wrote:
                        "...this method will globally replace all instances of it..."

                        What I meant is that Post-Render Action: Replace Usage, if set to replace the rendered comp, will replace all instances of that comp in your project. Not just the instance created if you followed the instructions.

                         

                        Example: your Comp A is used in Comp B and Comp C. By rendering it with Replace Usage, Render A will replace Comp A inside of Comp B and Comp C.

                         

                        That may or may not be what you desire, which is why I described the alternate method of creating a placeholder.

                        • 10. Re: Auto Import After Image Sequence Multi Machine Render to Render Queue QuickTime
                          Christ-Fowel Level 1

                          Thank you for clarifying that for me. I understand what you mean by instances now. Instances are the "layers" in a comp.

                           

                          Not sure if I'm totally getting it or not, but when you said I wouldn't want the instances to be replace from your first steps and that you have a work around for that. That second idea you added is doing the same thing as the first but replacing the placeholder instance instead of the main comp? I'm just wondering why I wouldn't want to do it the first way instead of the second way? Am I loosing quality or is something happening to the comp that I'm not aware that will effect my output video? I've tried both and they both seems to come out the same way.

                           

                          Sorry for the confusion and I appreciate all your help!

                          • 11. Re: Auto Import After Image Sequence Multi Machine Render to Render Queue QuickTime
                            Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

                            It's not about quality.

                             

                            The second method is about flexibility. By creating a placeholder, you don't have to replace the original instances of your comp, you can replace the placeholder which can be a unique item for this purpose.

                             

                            The first method is probably fine for you. I described the second method because there can be cases where the first method is too limiting.

                            1 person found this helpful
                            • 12. Re: Auto Import After Image Sequence Multi Machine Render to Render Queue QuickTime
                              Christ-Fowel Level 1

                              I understand now. Thank you for all your help!