I am trying to work out the optimal way to use Character Animator, After Effects, and Premier Pro. It works, but it is extremely laggy (initially scrubbing plays audio but no images - after rendering and scrubbing for say 10 mins, I get one frame in 10 appearing during playback. The more I do the better it gets, but every edit of the master files seems to flush any caches. What is the best way to link the products up with good preview performance?
I am on a dual core i7 Skylake processor with 16GB RAM, SSD, Indtel 520 graphics chip - a Microsoft Surface Pro. Not the best, but not bad either.
What I current do is I have a Character Animator scene. It displays properly in Character Animator. I drag and drop the scene object from Character Animator UI into the Premier Pro project to set up dynamic linking. (I do not drag across the PNG files.) It appears in the Premier Pro project, showing its dynamically linked. I place the clip on the Premier Pro timeline. I start playing - I can hear the audio track perfectly, but the picture does not come up. The screen is black. I try scrubbing through the video - its all black.
I repeat using an After Effects scene (created from a Character Animator scene). Same behavior. Maybe one frame comes up occasionally.
In Premier Pro I render the project. The MP4 file plays correctly with all the video and sound present. So its all there, but I cannot scrub to help with trimming scenes etc in Premier Pro. I have to render the whole video and then guess the adjustments to make.
I go back and try scrubbing again. A few images will come up. Its like it is super laggy, but better. I position the cursor and wait around 15 seconds and that image will come up. Playing the video will update a frame for every 10 seconds or so video (so very jumpy, not smooth). The more I do, the less laggy it is. I assume therefore it is rendering in the background. But this is like 30 minutes after use with no file changes, just scrubbing etc. I then played again from the start in Premier Pro. Two video updates for a whole 30 second sequence.
Should I give up on dynamic linking? Is there some flag to set for better caching and scrubbing performance? It is pretty bad not being able to use scrubbing in Premier Pro.
Thanks for any advice!
How does it do if you just let it play from the beginning? Dynamic links to Ae and Pr need to start rendering from the first frame in order to guarantee consistent results when asked for later frames. Jumping around rapidly, especially further into the scene might cause a lot of churn before it manages to service the requests.
There's probably more we could do to cache things in a way that invalidates more selectively, but that will require some really careful thought and management of data dependencies for the behaviors Ch uses to render.
Can you break up the scene into shorter segments and link them individually? That might reduce the amount of rebuilding when it starts over after a change. If they are in the same project, changes may still invalidate all of them, but at least it will only need to rerender the segments supporting the section you are in instead of all of them.
What are the pixel dimensions and frame rate of your Ch scene?