13 Replies Latest reply on Dec 10, 2008 11:47 AM by (Alisa_Placas)

    AE CS3 3D light glitches

      I've got a 2.5 dual G5, running AE CS3 Professional on a 10.4.11 OS.

      I've been getting weird glitches whenever I am moving a document in 3D space and have lights shining on it. It appears in the rendered animation as one frame where you can see the fields...a bunch of thin black lines.
      I cannot see it IN after effects, but only after it is rendered.

      I've posted about this before had got the advice to lessen the angle of the 3D tilt and to also try putting an empty adjustment layer above the 3D document layer. That fixed it...sometimes. Other times, I just removed the lights and used ellipses instead.

      Any idea where this glitch is coming from? I've been doing the same sort of lighted document moves for years and this issue only popped up since I've changed to CS3. Is it CS3? Or my old computer? Or the OS??
      The timing of the glitch will often vary from render to render. It is NOT always in the same place.

      Open GL is not enabled.

      I have 16 bit color depth. My color settings are HDTV (Rec. 709).
      I've tried rendering with different codecs and it shows up in the rendered animation regardless of the codec.
      It's incredibly hard to troubleshoot since it simply does not exist in the composition itself.

      It disappears if I turn the lights off, so it is definitely the lights and not just the 3D move.
      The z position of both the document and the light are not moving dramatically.

      I just tried rendering it with no fields and that did eliminate the glitch. But, my clients want interlaced quicktimes, so I need to figure out why this is happening.

      A Creative Cow guy gave me a work-around, but not a fix. He suggested posting on this forum because he thought it sounded like a bug.

      Any other thoughts?
        • 1. Re: AE CS3 3D light glitches
          Level 1
          Try this. Open up the composition settings and double the frame rate. Now go to the place where you're getting the glitch and take a look.

          If everything is fine open composition settings, go to advanced and select maintain frame rate when nested, and then drop this comp in a standard frame rate comp and render that one.

          Without actually seeing the composition this is the best that I can do. If you want to post the comp without footage I'll be glad to take a look.
          • 2. Re: AE CS3 3D light glitches
            Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
            >But, my clients want interlaced quicktimes, so I need to figure out
            >why this is happening.

            Definitely a damaged frame in your footage. At the point the layer disappears, AE will probably interpret the damaged clip as having a transparent Alpha. Doubling the frame rate as Rich suggested might provide a solution to the problem. Another is to pre-compose the footage and use time remapping. By creating additional keyframes around the critical frame and offsetting the time value to "hold" the frame, you may be able to repair your stuff. If you can verify that the footage is fine, check your shadow map resolution in the comp settings and also check for layer styles. The latter interferes with 3D rendering notably, so it's best to completely disable them for this kind of work and resort to conventional effects to create drop shadows, glows or whatever.

            • 3. Re: AE CS3 3D light glitches
              Level 1
              I'm not using video footage. They are still images that are animated in 3D space with lights on them.
              I'm not sure what my shadow map resolution should be. It is presently set to 'comp size.' I don't have 'casts shadows' enabled on my lights though. The only effect on the images is a fast blur.

              I just isolated an example in a test project so that I could upload it and now the light flicker is not there. of course! (I had mentioned that it appeared in different places in different renders)
              But, this is not the first time I've had this issue. But I know I never ran across this issue before I got AE CS3.

              My present work around is to simply not use lights and just create light and shadows with the RAM-friendlier ellipse mask.

              Should I just repost the next time it starts happening and see if I can upload an example?

              Thanks for the help!
              • 4. Re: AE CS3 3D light glitches
                Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
                Mmh, definitely provide an example if the issue occurs again. it always helps to diagnose such exotic conditions. Sorry for not correctly understanding your initial post... ;-)

                • 5. Re: AE CS3 3D light glitches
                  Level 1
                  It is happening again. This time without lights.
                  All I have is a 3D document, rotated away from camera and moving....not a huge move either.
                  There is an adjustment layer on top that is darkening the levels around the corners of the composition.

                  On rendering with fields, I keep getting small light flickers. They are in different spots on different renders.

                  Again..I have never had this problem before I upgraded to CS3. Is CS3 unhappy with my dual G5 OSX.10.4.11?
                  • 6. Re: AE CS3 3D light glitches
                    (Steve_Patterson) Level 1
                    I'm not sure if it'll help, but, have you installed the 8.0.2 update?
                    • 7. Re: AE CS3 3D light glitches
                      Level 1
                      Yes. I have done that.
                      This had been only happening when I had a 3d light on the object. It would disappear if I got rid of the lights and lit the item with ellipse layers instead.
                      So, this is bad. My 'fix' is no longer working and I am now left with totally unreliable renders.
                      • 8. Re: AE CS3 3D light glitches
                        Level 1
                        I tried rendering on someone else's computer....a G6 with Leopard and CS3. The light flickers were gone.
                        Any idea WHAT in my system could be causing such a thing with CS3? I know I need a new computer, but I am having a baby in a few months and don't want to start my Apple Care Protection and new computer devaluation clock ticking until AFTER I come back from a maternity leave.

                        But I have another large job before then so this is something that needs to be resolved soon.

                        As of this week, my AE is now crashing on almost all renders. It does not give an error message. It simply starts a new render and the wheel spins and spins. AE does save a new project for me, but does not actually close. I have to force quit it. It always crashes at the beginning of a new one so that the new file exists but it is 0MB. When I reopen the project, that item in the render que says 'rendering' (but isn't) and does not say that it failed.

                        Here is the last entry in the logs:
                        "12/6/08 4:22:59 AM: Starting composition 0418-B.

                        Output To: Maxtor 250:Sarah Colt Productions:AVID:0418-B_1.mov"

                        It lists no error in the logs. It just stops.

                        I haven't been having problems with my other apps. I've run scripts, repaired the harddrive, cleared caches with cocktail, reset permissions, rebuilt external drives with Diskwarrior. My computer did boot up from the install disc and let me fix it, but it would not boot up from the diskwarrior disc and let me defragment it.
                        I don't know what else to try.

                        Am I experiencing a downward spiral failure of AE CS3 or of my computer altogether?
                        • 9. Re: AE CS3 3D light glitches
                          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
                          I would love to help, but I have no clue. The best guess I can come up with is that somehow your system libraries for image processing/ previews or QT have been messed up and that it's somehow interfering with your AE renders. Another reason could be Spotlight. Presumably your files are constantly being accessed while AE is at work and as the operating system updates its thumbnails and search index. Since somehow also Avid systems are involved, the question is, which version of QT and how the systems are integrated in the network or whatever. Could quite well be a problem with the CoDecs or general storage because the Avid is also permanently updating its media database, in particular if its tied into your Unity/ LANshare architecture...

                          • 10. Re: AE CS3 3D light glitches
                            Level 1
                            Luckily, I do not have an avid system so that is out of the mix. I am rendering avid files for someone else who is an online editor on an avid system.
                            Does that narrow it down any on where I could look for fixes?

                            Does it seem weird that my computer wouldn't allow me to launch on the Diskwarrior CD? The harddrive is only about 7% fragmented....but that still is A LOT of files. Should I try that again or would you think
                            'fragmented drive' is unrelated?
                            • 11. Re: AE CS3 3D light glitches
                              Level 1
                              To clarify...

                              Since updating to AE CS3:
                              The light glitches seem to only be happening randomly with moves on 3D layers.
                              The 2D compositions have been rendering fine.
                              Rendering out TIFF sequences instead of quicktimes seems to eliminate the light glitch issue though. so, something quicktime related. But, it does not seem to matter which codec, so all quicktime codecs.

                              The crashing on renders with no errors or reports is a newer issue.
                              It seems to be choking more on RAM...literally making sounds like the computer is working hard. I've been closing all other apps when I render and I didn't used to have to do that.
                              I do have 7GB of RAM though.

                              Thank you for your ideas
                              • 12. Re: AE CS3 3D light glitches
                                Jonas Hummelstrand Level 2
                                Random rendering glitches is often caused by AE's "Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously" that launches several hidden copies of itself. Each such instance can (in OS X) use 3.5 GB of RAM so if you can quickly use all available RAM with just two instances (OS X requires a bit of RAM as well.)

                                Turn that off in the preferences to see if both the disk swapping and the rendering glitches go away...

                                - Jonas Hummelstrand
                                • 13. Re: AE CS3 3D light glitches
                                  Level 1
                                  Frustrating. I had just turned that ON, hoping it would fix the render problem.
                                  I think I'm going to uninstall and reinstall the application.
                                  Thanks for the advice!