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  1. #1
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    Rendering png sequence for After Effects

    I am trying to render a LW 8.5 scene as a series of 32 bit PNG images to create a "movie" file in After Effects using the PNG images. I rendered the LW scene with field rendering off. When I create a QuickTime movie in After Effects, and view same in Final Cut Pro, the object moving in the scene appears to have a "blurred" appearance - it isn't "crystal clear" like an animation in a typical commercial film. Using lower field dominance in AE seems to make the "blurriness" worse. I also tried using a higher frame rate in After Effects of 59.94 fps without any improvement in the movie rendered by AE.

    Can anyone offer advice/tips about how to make my animated movie image clearer? Thanks for any/all suggestions.
    Last edited by Bill K; 11-20-2005 at 12:35 AM.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill K
    I am trying to render a LW 8.5 scene as a series of 32 bit PNG images to create a "movie" file in After Effects using the PNG images. I rendered the LW scene with field rendering off. When I create a QuickTime movie in After Effects, and view same in Final Cut Pro, the object moving in the scene appears to have a "blurred" appearance - it isn't "crystal clear" like an animation in a typical commercial film. Using lower field dominance in AE seems to make the "blurriness" worse. I also tried using a higher frame rate in After Effects of 59.94 fps without any improvement in the movie rendered by AE.

    Can anyone offer advice/tips about how to make my animated movie image clearer? Thanks for any/all suggestions.
    It's completely unclear as to what you are doing, but it sounds like your footage interpretation inside AE just is not right. I'd also not use PNGs in general. There are known issues both with LW's PNG saver as well as AE's PNG I/O plugin.

    Mylenium
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  3. #3
    This is a witty caption geoff3dnz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill K
    I am trying to render a LW 8.5 scene as a series of 32 bit PNG images to create a "movie" file in After Effects using the PNG images. I rendered the LW scene with field rendering off. When I create a QuickTime movie in After Effects, and view same in Final Cut Pro, the object moving in the scene appears to have a "blurred" appearance - it isn't "crystal clear" like an animation in a typical commercial film. Using lower field dominance in AE seems to make the "blurriness" worse. I also tried using a higher frame rate in After Effects of 59.94 fps without any improvement in the movie rendered by AE.

    Can anyone offer advice/tips about how to make my animated movie image clearer? Thanks for any/all suggestions.
    First thing to check: when you load your image sequence into AE, do the images look ok when you scrub through / preview? If so, then you should take a look at what codec you are using to make the Quicktime movie - if you're using perhaps a DV codec or are overly compressing it, it will look pretty bad. (In the case of a DV codec, these often look bad / blurry on a computer monitor, but display fine on a TV).

    If the image sequence in AE still looks "blurry", then perhaps you have motion blur on in your Lightwave scene.

    Increasing the framerate won't do anything for quality - it will only make your movie play faster!
    geoff smith
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  4. #4
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    Thanks for your replies:

    I am working in LW 8.5 on a 3.4 GHz PC with 1 gig RAM and a nVidia Quadro 1400 Fx 128MB video card to create the files for the LW animation, and opening the images in After Effects 6.5 on a Mac 1.42 GHz dual processor with 1.5 gigs RAM with an ATI 64 MB video card. I chose png images as I could only get a png image to work for UV mapping a client's logo (background transparent) onto one of the objects. Motion blur in LW is off. Field dominance is off.

    I am using an Animation codec in AE to render a QuickTime movie on the Mac from the png images. I contacted Adobe in the past about "blurriness" problems on playback and Adobe advised using a higher frame rate for AE comps with animations that appear slightly blurry.


    When I "scrub" through the rendered AE movie, or view one of the single png images, everything is crystal clear. Playback on a Sony monitor with the movie file loaded in Final Cut Pro shows a slight blurriness on the object. I have tried rendering the movie file in AE with field dominance off, and also lower field dominance. I have also tried using frame rates of 29.97, 59.94, and 89.91 (for the AE comp with the moving object that appears "blurry" in the final movie), then nesting that comp into other AE comps with frame rates of 29.97 to complete the animation which is made up of another LW animation/AE comp, a + four other AE comp files.

    The final output plays fine, scrubs crystal clear; the one object appears slightly blurred no matter what I do.

    Thanks for your input - I will try using a 32-bit targa image sequence for the object I am having trouble with.

    Bill K

  5. #5
    This is a witty caption geoff3dnz's Avatar
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    Can you perhaps post a screencap of this "blurryness"? And a frame from the sequence (to see what it's supposed to look like)? It sounds all very strange...
    geoff smith
    www.geoff3d.com

  6. #6
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    I am trying another render with field dominance set to "lower" and using 32-bit Targa files instead of PNG images. I tried a "screen capture" from Final Cut - which looks just fine - it's the tv monitor picture that I do not like.

  7. #7
    I render PNG 32-bit files all the time (and have for years) in Lightwave. There is no quality difference between them and Targas. The only thing you need to watch out for when compositing in After Effects, is that the PNG sequence tends to import and automatically set the matte to Straight instead of Pre-multiplied.

    I started using PNGs years ago when our company began doing a lot of HD rendering and I wanted to find a way to get the file sizes down. I did tests between the different file formats and PNG, compared to Targa, tended to be about 1 megabyte per frame vs. about 5 to 6 megabytes per Targa frame. In almost all cases that was true (you should do your own tests). JPEG can be good also (set to the highest quality), but doesn't support the alpha channel.

  8. #8
    I use png's all the time too, in LW and AE, and have had fewer problems with it than almost anything. Much better than JPG, except maybe for the web.

    How does the Animation file look on the computers' monitor? It sounds like it's somewhere in the transiton to ntsc - something is set to 'preview' mode or something
    Confirmed -
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  9. #9
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    I rendered the LW scene as Targa files with the camera set to lower field first on my PC and brought the Targa images into After Effects on my Mac, creating a QuickTime movie using a PNG codec - the AE movie looks clear on my tv monitor when playing from the Final Cut timeline.

    Sometimes I get a better render from AE using something other than the Animation codec. I figured I might as well also try Targa RGB files for render output from LW. Everything works. Thanks to all for your input.

    Bill K

  10. #10
    I have a question... were you using Animation at 100% quality? That's the only way it's meant to be used -
    Confirmed -
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  11. #11
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    I was using Animation codec at 100% quality; it seems the file size is always bigger. Sometimes I have rendered AE files with an alpha channel that come out way better using a png codec.

    Bill K

 

 

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