10 Replies Latest reply on Aug 12, 2009 8:26 AM by Victor Burgin

    Bottom to top "traveling" tearing(?) issue

    magnetofon Level 1



      I'm having this playback issue in AE CS3. I have a shape, or image or something very simple, which moving from left to right. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know... you might say. Rest assured, I've been researching this for a couple of days now. Posted and read forum topics over at creativecow.net, but I don't have a judder issue as most people describe it.


      When I play back a short basic animation every approximately 4.5 seconds a "traveling wave" like effect goes through the animation from bottom to top. Since it happens approximately 4.5 seconds, it means that it's separate from the animation itself, so it doesn't happen at the same locations. It changes. I thought it has to do something with the monitor refresh rate. But it's annoying that even if I output it to uncompressed QT or lossless AVI, it's still there.


      Since pictures say a 1000 words - or something rather - I've filmed my screen with my digital camera and uploaded to youtube. I have to say that on the LCD screen itself, the phenomena is much more pronounced then what you can see on the filmed result - because of low quality and compression, etc. But if you pay close attention, you can see it. Try to watch it in full screen and HD to see it somewhat better:




      I've also attached the avi file (3.75M - DivX - 640x480) which is not compressed as much as youtube. You can download at the end of the message.


      On the video at about 3, 8, 13, and 17 seconds you can see a "wave" traveling from bottom to top and you can see that the red star kind of "dancing" because of it. Again, I'd like to reiterate that it's really bad on the screen, so don't judge based on the video saying "it's barely visible".


      I've motion blur enabled but it has actually nothing to do with motion blur.


      I've read a lot of people complaining about judder and tearing, etc. It's kinda like tearing, but doen't happen towards the direction of motion. It happens only from bottom to top and only every about 4.5 seconds (which explains why you can see it on the youtube video at 3, 8, 13, and 17 seconds).


      A little about my setup and what I've tried to do so far.


      I have a Dell LCD monitor (E228WFP). First I didn't have the monitor driver installed (just the default Microsoft driver), but after installing the Dell driver, it made no difference what-so-ever. I see the same issue at work on a completely different, monitor, too.


      I've tried to change the refresh rate of the monitor. Not much choice. Either 59 or 60 Hz. So that didn't change a thing.


      I had the v185.85 nVidia driver installed (dated May 6, 2009). Checking the nVidia site, I've seen a new driver posted, so I've installed that (v186.18 dated July 2, 2009) which didn't help (my video card is nVidia 7900 GT/256M). I went back to an older driver just to test (v175.19 dated July 2nd, 2008). Same thing.


      In the nVidia control panel I've turned on various setting for AfterEffects, such as vertical sync, triple buffering, and threaded optimization (and any of these combinations). None of these helped.


      I am clueless at this point. Anyone have ideas?




      WinXP Pro SP2 - 32bit

      Intel Q9550 2.83GHz/quad core/4G

      AE CS3 (

      nVidia 7900 GT/256M (v186.18 - July 2, 2009)

      Dell E228WFP LCD using Dell monitor driver

        • 1. Re: Bottom to top "traveling" tearing(?) issue
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          Do you use OpenGL? If so, try to turn it off and see, if it behaves better. Also check, whether the Info palette actually states the correct framerate during playback or if it goes into not realtime. Just as well as a sync issue, it could be a more general problem in AE. If it's the sync, I would re-check the panel. Also you may wish to try with another monitor cable. Especially if you use VGA, there could be problems with poor signal quality causing this. I'd also check the monitor's menu. Some of them allow to adjust the refresh triming, which might also help.



          • 2. Re: Bottom to top "traveling" tearing(?) issue
            magnetofon Level 1

            No, OpenGL doesn't have any effect on it (whether it's on or off).


            I am connected through DVI.


            The info panel shows the correct 30fps rate, realtime. I can also render it at 60fps, and it still shows at realtime playback.


            Yes, I've tried the monitor's menu, but it's just a very simple monitor. Nothing fancy, so there's no timing adjustment on it - unfortunately.

            • 3. Re: Bottom to top "traveling" tearing(?) issue
              Victor Burgin



              Sorry this isn't a solution but, for what it's worth, I'm having exactly the same problem (I've looked at your .avi file) on a completely different system: Mac Pro 8-Core, Apple 30" display. It's driving me crazy. So this suggests you can rule out cable, etc., issues.


              Please post the solution if you find one.

              • 4. Re: Bottom to top "traveling" tearing(?) issue
                Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                Mmh, yeah, definitely sync/ redraw problems of some kind, but we never got to the bottom of this. What graphics card do you have in the machine? Do otehr apps expose any strange behaviors?



                • 5. Re: Bottom to top "traveling" tearing(?) issue
                  Victor Burgin Level 1

                  Graphics card is an NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 (512 MB VRAM), the Apple Cinema HD 2560 x 1600 is my only display.


                  I have not noticed strange behaviour with other applications, and do not encounter the "tearing" throughout my work with AE - only on simple horizontal pans across a high-definition still.

                  • 6. Re: Bottom to top "traveling" tearing(?) issue
                    magnetofon Level 1

                    I kind of given up on this already and moved on. Nobody had a solution to it. Reading articles on creativecow.net, they mainly mention that usually they try to avoid pure horizontal and/or vertical spans because of tearing. BUT, as my original post pointed out it only happens every 5 seconds or so and going from bottom to top. Which is kinda suspicious.


                    My only "real" solution is, that I usually reinstall my system every 6 months or so, just to make sure my system is free of junk and my registry is fresh. Maybe something in the system got dirty and once I reinstall it will improve. This is not much to go on though. 6 month is coming up shortly so I might see if it changes anything or not.


                    I also had thoughts about some service that runs in the background. Maybe every 5 seconds or so that service is doing some polling or some activity that makes the refresh react like this. Who knows. Just a theory.

                    • 7. Re: Bottom to top "traveling" tearing(?) issue
                      Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                      Mmh, well, if it's just on big image pans, it could well be an issue with loading and unloading the image from the respective buffers. Magnetofon has a point, though - strictly perpendicular motion never looks right on the computer, you can only truly verify it once it's rendered and viewed on the final output. Still, it remains ominous and should not happen...



                      • 8. Re: Bottom to top "traveling" tearing(?) issue
                        Victor Burgin Level 1

                        "Clean system" – I'm working on a new machine that I took delivery of only a couple of weeks ago, clean new drives freshly partitioned, etc.


                        "Avoid horizontal pans" – I've been making them for years without any problems until now.


                        The (lossless) render looks the same as the preview, final output will be from a computer to a video projector – so no great change there.


                        So, the only thing that has changed in my working life recently has been the new machine. I'll try to repeat the problem on my MacBook Pro when I'm a little less deadline challenged.

                        • 9. Re: Bottom to top "traveling" tearing(?) issue

                          I too have the same tearing issue.

                          My system is a rather fresh MacPro with eight cores, a 8800GT-card running on OS X 10.5.8.

                          I tried to disable hardware rendering, change caches ect, to no avail.


                          A solution would be nice no doubt.

                          • 10. Re: Bottom to top "traveling" tearing(?) issue
                            Victor Burgin Level 1

                            I've just copied my AE project from my Mac Pro to my MacBook Pro. Exactly the same "tearing" on both machines. I hope this may suggest something to some of the experts out there - or at least rule out some suspects.


                            I hope someone can come up with an answer - I'm in a deadline crunch and this is a looming disaster!