6 Replies Latest reply on Apr 8, 2008 11:22 PM by Mylenium

    New To AE from Motion (FCP) - timeline and other questions (PREVIEW)

      Okay, so like your normal person, I just install and open a template and delve into it seeing what can happen.

      So far, I learned that you need an update for macbook pro (opengl), no problem, downloaded and all is fine.

      However, I did notice something that coming from a Motion POV, I am not used to....
      If I open a template, I notice that the time line plays back about 200 milliseconds or 5 seconds to play about 1 second of video. Is there a way to make it realtime? Also, it seems as if it needs to be rendered when you play back on the timeline (green bar). Is there a way to play in realtime? Surely the newer Macs are fast enough to play back in realtime.

      Last, for now, what is the best training for this application? Lynda.com, books, other video resources?

      Thanks.
        • 1. Re: New To AE from Motion (FCP) - timeline and other questions (PREVIEW)
          Ko Maruyama User Group Manager
          After Effects uses the RAM to preview your composite. Sometimes the composites can be 100s of layers (and nested layers) deep. The green bar shows AE caching to RAM.
          • 2. Re: New To AE from Motion (FCP) - timeline and other questions (PREVIEW)
            bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3
            Motion's leverage of the OS core is one of the things that makes it so cool. but as soon as you get over your perceived limitations and learn how to drive AE, I doubt you'll return quickly to motion except for certain tasks.

            However, yours is one of the first posts we've seen going Motion to AE. Usually it's guys like me whining in the Motion forums about why can't Motion be like AE?

            Stick with it, get some of the books by Trish and Chris Meyer. Post your questions.

            bogiesan
            • 3. Re: New To AE from Motion (FCP) - timeline and other questions (PREVIEW)
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
              >Surely the newer Macs are fast enough to play back in realtime.

              No, they aren't. Your assumption is based on a misperception. Even Motion is not always realtime, especially as soon as you use more than a handful of layers (in case you never noticed: it too has a RAM preview option for exactly these scenarios). That aside, your point is moot: you could have a single layer in your comp in AE with a timewarp effect and it could slow to a crawl while on the other hand you could have a million particles floating around and still play faster than realtime. It all depends on what you are doing and as they say "your mileage may vary". Simply accept how AE works and get used to it. You will quickly find that it outperforms Motion in several areas in terms of flexibility and dealing with complex projects at the cost of being software-centric and thus not guaranteed realtime. For reference, get the Meyer books. They are established sources of knowledge and do a good job of teaching you all the basics of AE. Also check out free resources like Andrew Kramers site, Maltaanon and several others. This should keep you busy for a while. If you are looking for more advanced techniques and commercial tutorial suppliers, check Lynda, Total Training and The Anvel.

              Mylenium
              • 4. Re: New To AE from Motion (FCP) - timeline and other questions (PREVIEW)
                Todd_Kopriva Level 8
                See the "Preview video and audio" section of After Effects Help on the Web for instructions on using RAM preview.

                See the "Resources" section for links to various resources for learning to use After Effects. There's also a whole sub-forum on this topic right here:

                http://www.adobeforums.com/webx/.3bc251cb/

                I may be biased, but I think that you'll find that the After Effects Help document on the Web is actually, well, helpful. If it's not, leave a comment at the bottom of any Help page to tell us what's missing or unclear.
                • 5. Re: New To AE from Motion (FCP) - timeline and other questions (PREVIEW)
                  Level 1
                  Thanks..

                  Well I tried using various settings and it still takes quite a bit of time.

                  Today, I opened the spider template and noticed a few things.

                  I If I do a preview say 5 seconds in, it turns the bar green but the previous rendered to RAM bar (from 1-5 seconds), is lost. So if it goes to RAM and you move the timeline, you lose any previous rendered view? I think that makes sense since it is going to RAM. Nonetheless, regardless of the settings, I could not get it to play in realtime at all.

                  I I tried exporting the Spider template and the 10 second spot looked like (I stopped it), was going to take more than 30 minutes or so to render. Surely this can't be the case is it? This is a newer Macbook Pro, Firewire/eSata hard drive.

                  Just trying to figure out the best way to get it to play in realtime so I can see my work, then, trying to figure out the best way to export a quick version so I can see the finished product as soon as possible. I know it has to be a setting or two, or three, as I would think that we have come a long way (time vs rendering vs waiting) from the days of the G4 Avid edit bays (2001), where the editor had to leave for 40 minutes to render a few minutes of footage.

                  Thanks for your patience.
                  • 6. Re: New To AE from Motion (FCP) - timeline and other questions (PREVIEW)
                    Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
                    >I think that makes sense since it is going to RAM.

                    Yes, it does. To not "loose" the frames, enable the disk cache. This will dump frames that cannot be held in RAM, so they are available for spacebar playback and faster generation of successive RAM previews

                    >Nonetheless, regardless of the settings, I could not get it to play in >realtime at all.

                    Check the info panel and see if indeed it is as you say. If the issue persists, search this forum. There is tons of things that can screw RT abilities from incorrect graphics card configs to audio or certain QT CoDecs.

                    >Surely this can't be the case is it?

                    It can. Once more: you are letting your confusion get in the way of seeing things for what they are. AE is a program that still does most of its stuff in software running on the CPU, not your graphics card like it does in Motion. It functions on different principles. Effects have to explicitly be written to use hardware acceleration, which only a limited number of them do and then again, they will revert to software-only mode if you stack a number of effects that exhaust your graphics card resources or combine them with non-accelerated effects.

                    This is no different than what happens in Motion when you use a given number of layers with blendmodes, distortion effects etc.. that can no longer be processed in realtime. At that point it actually behaves much worse than AE since it lacks the fallback software routines. It seems, that you just never work with anything remotely complex and thus never have reached that point, which would explain your disappointment and frustrations with AE. If you are not willing to understand the conceptual differences, it will forever be that way.

                    I can only once more urge you to not see as a replacement for Motion as a background and title generator, but as a flexible, resolution independent compositing and effects package that does so much more, but at the cost of buying this flexibility with more generalised, software-only routines. You may see this differently and never use AE as deeply as some other people, but this is just how it is.

                    Mylenium