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pnevai
03-29-2019, 09:59 AM
I have rendered out a scene for 6 hours and the resulting avi file is either reported as corrupted or totally blank when trying to play it of import it into an editing program. The resolution is 1280 X 720 full frames uncompressed. I have the final output set to animation in the buffers. Each frame shows up as it renders in the render window as the file progresses. Windows explorer claims the file is 1.5 gig, but when played back there is nothing there. Any Ideas? Oh it is lightwave 2018

Ma3rk
03-29-2019, 10:25 AM
Hard to say as it's most likely a codec issue and whatever your trying to view it with. Here's a small tool that can help diagnose:
https://mediaarea.net/en/MediaInfo

Also why it's best to use sequential frames when rendering; spot check after a few frames to make sure it's all correct. If you have a problem or a crash, you don't have to start over either.

If you have something like After Effects, take it into that & see if it's a color space issue (you might have rendered in linear color space for example).

pnevai
03-29-2019, 11:15 AM
Hard to say as it's most likely a codec issue and whatever your trying to view it with. Here's a small tool that can help diagnose:
https://mediaarea.net/en/MediaInfo

Also why it's best to use sequential frames when rendering; spot check after a few frames to make sure it's all correct. If you have a problem or a crash, you don't have to start over either.

If you have something like After Effects, take it into that & see if it's a color space issue (you might have rendered in linear color space for example).

After effects claims it is a unsupported format and media info comes back with no information other than the file size and a stream type as generic. As I mentioned I rendered it out at full frame uncompressed so it should not be a codec issue. I am doing it again using the Microsoft Video codec now. I really do not want to create a video with frame sequence as I have no way of compiling the sequence into video nor have any idea how to do this even if I do render out a sequence some how.

RebelHill
03-29-2019, 12:01 PM
Yeah... never render to animation, always to frames.

As for how to compile the sequence... use Afx... import like you would any image/video, and check the "sequence" box in the import dialog.

(Btw, when it comes to codec things/maybe broken videos... my rule of thumb is try it with VLC, if that wont play it, forget it)

MonroePoteet
03-29-2019, 12:52 PM
As recommended, I always render to frames, not an animation. The internal file formats of animations are sensitive to early aborts, corruption errors, and as you've found, losing the ENTIRE rendering.

To composite separate images (e.g. Final_Render.000, Final_Render.001, ... Final_Render.nnn), if I don't use Sony Vegas I use the open source utility, FFMPEG, available here:

https://ffmpeg.org/download.html

and I always put the FFMPEG.exe executable in the top-level C: folder for easy accessible.

FFMPEG has a VERY extensive command line interface, but the simplest command to composite an image sequence would be to first set your default folder to the location of the LW produced image sequence, and then in a Windows Command Prompt window, issue the command:

C:\FFMPEG -i "Final_Render%03d.png" MyAnimation.AVI

The -i indicates an input file / sequence, the %03d means a 3-digit, zero-filled integer, and the AVI indicates you want AVI output.

mTp

shrox
03-29-2019, 12:55 PM
Render to frames, not an animation file. Never render to an animation file. Never. Nyet.

prometheus
03-29-2019, 01:50 PM
Render to frames, not an animation file. Never render to an animation file. Never. Nyet.

Render to animation files Is a must, If you only have the discovery version:D Never is never an option. :)

I may actually upgrade before sunday ends, have some more extensive testing today and tommorow before I call it a day...and if I upgrade, I would never render to animation files;)
Se my latest cloud anim, rendered to animation..never had to compile the stuff either:)..but you should always ask yourself...do you feel lucky.

raymondtrace
03-29-2019, 02:23 PM
...use the open source utility, FFMPEG, available here:

https://ffmpeg.org/download.html

The documentation (https://docs.lightwave3d.com/lw2019/reference/rendering/rendering-and-compositing/render-properties/render-properties-output/render-properties-output-saving-animation) offers over 20-year-old advice (https://docs.lightwave3d.com/lw2019/reference/rendering/rendering-and-compositing/render-properties/render-properties-output/render-properties-output-saving-animation) of loading a recently rendered image sequence as a background in LW ...and then rendering that quickly to a video file.

I would imagine a custom python plugin bundled with ffmpeg could make this a one-click operation within LW...with no background image sequence required.

JohnMarchant
03-29-2019, 02:39 PM
The documentation (https://docs.lightwave3d.com/lw2019/reference/rendering/rendering-and-compositing/render-properties/render-properties-output/render-properties-output-saving-animation) offers over 20-year-old advice (https://docs.lightwave3d.com/lw2019/reference/rendering/rendering-and-compositing/render-properties/render-properties-output/render-properties-output-saving-animation) of loading a recently rendered image sequence as a background in LW ...and then rendering that quickly to a video file.

I would imagine a custom python plugin bundled with ffmpeg could make this a one-click operation within LW...with no background image sequence required.

Maybe something for Olivers OD Tools

Ma3rk
03-29-2019, 02:43 PM
After effects claims it is a unsupported format and media info comes back with no information other than the file size and a stream type as generic. As I mentioned I rendered it out at full frame uncompressed so it should not be a codec issue. I am doing it again using the Microsoft Video codec now. I really do not want to create a video with frame sequence as I have no way of compiling the sequence into video nor have any idea how to do this even if I do render out a sequence some how.

Ummm, if you said you have After Effetcts, you have a means of easily making frame sequences into whatever video format you'd like.

pnevai
03-29-2019, 07:43 PM
As recommended, I always render to frames, not an animation. The internal file formats of animations are sensitive to early aborts, corruption errors, and as you've found, losing the ENTIRE rendering.

To composite separate images (e.g. Final_Render.000, Final_Render.001, ... Final_Render.nnn), if I don't use Sony Vegas I use the open source utility, FFMPEG, available here:

https://ffmpeg.org/download.html

and I always put the FFMPEG.exe executable in the top-level C: folder for easy accessible.

FFMPEG has a VERY extensive command line interface, but the simplest command to composite an image sequence would be to first set your default folder to the location of the LW produced image sequence, and then in a Windows Command Prompt window, issue the command:

C:\FFMPEG -i "Final_Render%03d.png" MyAnimation.AVI

The -i indicates an input file / sequence, the %03d means a 3-digit, zero-filled integer, and the AVI indicates you want AVI output.

mTp

Ok so I went in and changed the render co;or space to SRGB and using the Microsoft Video 1 codec, but I am also having it output Individual PNG frames. I really wanted uncompressed frames but it is looking like Lightwave cannot do that? I suppose premier can assemble a image sequence?

Ma3rk
03-29-2019, 08:27 PM
If you research the png format, you'll find that it is mathematically lossless & that's probably what your really looking for. The 32bit version can have a transparency layer, a bit different than an alpha but works the same. AE and Premiere both can import sequences & treat them as a single clip, not a thousand individual files.

prometheus
03-30-2019, 08:17 AM
Quite easy to download a free Davinci resolve edition or fusion, both can compile the pngs and export out, with fusion it requires you to know nodes, Davinci Resolve is easier, just import the png files to the media pool in Davinci Resolve, then drag it to the timeline, in the bottom you have various stage sections such as Media/Edit/Color/Fairlight/Deliver click on deliver and you will have presets for youtube, vimeo or manually set the codec you desire.

Click on add to render cue and you will get a window to choose location on your computer, then you have the start render button to the right at the bottom..click on that and it will start to render out the compilation to your choosen format.

vncnt
03-30-2019, 12:36 PM
I have rendered out a scene for 6 hours and the resulting avi file is either reported as corrupted or totally blank when trying to play it of import it into an editing program. The resolution is 1280 X 720 full frames uncompressed. I have the final output set to animation in the buffers. Each frame shows up as it renders in the render window as the file progresses. Windows explorer claims the file is 1.5 gig, but when played back there is nothing there. Any Ideas? Oh it is lightwave 2018

If you render to "uncompressed" there is no "codec".
So your problem can never be a "codec issue".
It is more likely that it is a problem of Lightwave.

Try to open your corrupted file with (freeware) VirtualDub.
http://www.virtualdub.org/

If the problem is a "corrupted index", VirtualDub should be able to reconstruct it, so you´ll be able to save it to another AVI file or a BMP/PNG/JPG/TGA sequence. Lightwave does this quite often.

If animation can be rendered very fast (as in "not a big risk"), I still prefer AVI for previews because it´s supported by many Windows applications and they are much faster to handle than a directory/map with a lot of numbered (EXR, PNG, etc) files.

Microsoft should update the AVI specifications to a more modern version.
Especially since Quicktime is not supported anymore on Windows platforms.

shrox
03-30-2019, 04:51 PM
Render to animation files Is a must, If you only have the discovery version:D Never is never an option. :)

I may actually upgrade before sunday ends, have some more extensive testing today and tommorow before I call it a day...and if I upgrade, I would never render to animation files;)
Se my latest cloud anim, rendered to animation..never had to compile the stuff either:)..but you should always ask yourself...do you feel lucky.

Never!

jwiede
03-30-2019, 06:25 PM
Microsoft should update the AVI specifications to a more modern version.
Especially since Quicktime is not supported anymore on Windows platforms.

With the advent of more advanced MP4 (and such) standardized "composite stream envelope" formats, the need for AVI (and Quicktime) and other proprietary envelope formats kind of disappeared. They're still useful for certain kinds of animation work, but even there standard codecs into standard envelopes ensures that most anything can read it. Even the big video editing pkgs now generally wrap their proprietary lossless/minimal-loss codecs' streams in standardized envelope formats. It also helps that even modern cameras now have hw support for processing/wrapping data into standard envelope formats, rather than just raw video stream formats like early digital-output cameras.

prometheus
03-31-2019, 06:48 AM
Never!

To little words to argument :) If in discovery mode, render to animation Was and Is a must..I couldn´t showcase the animation if it weren´t for the option to save preview quicktime, it has no option to save to image sequences, that was my case :)
For anyone else ..Serious and with full versions..image seuences is a given workflow, though I still use the save preview when having a vpr preview animation going on, just for fast feedback on how it would look like in some cases and previewing the stuff in fusion.

Once the preview is made within Lightwave VPR, it doesn´t really matter if it would crash or get corrupted, I wouldn´t save any time by going back and render out to images, note..this is with the exception that the preview is already made, the preview system for vpr is strictly Animation files and not image files.
If you weré to go with the workflow of using low res images and render out for previews, that is a completely different thing, which also requires compilation processing after the render.

Was about to upgrade to 2019 today..However, I have some issues with my card and the bank to resolve.

shrox
04-01-2019, 10:50 AM
To little words to argument :)...

I stand by my monolith, one word statement.

vncnt
04-01-2019, 01:37 PM
With the advent of more advanced MP4 (and such) standardized "composite stream envelope" formats, the need for AVI (and Quicktime) and other proprietary envelope formats kind of disappeared. They're still useful for certain kinds of animation work, but even there standard codecs into standard envelopes ensures that most anything can read it. Even the big video editing pkgs now generally wrap their proprietary lossless/minimal-loss codecs' streams in standardized envelope formats. It also helps that even modern cameras now have hw support for processing/wrapping data into standard envelope formats, rather than just raw video stream formats like early digital-output cameras.

Too many times the import of mp4/hevc files fails without a warning or explanation or alternative.
If I drag mp4/hevc files to Fusion 9, more than 50% of those files are rejected. For some reason that is never reported.
VLC media player also rejects mp4/hevc files that play fine in other applications.
Vegas Pro 14...16 is unable to process mp4/hevc files correctly that have variable frame rate.
Layout doesn't read or write mp4/hevc files at all.
Resolve reads some AVI and ditched writing to AVI.

Encoding to mp4/hevc requires cpu/gpu overhead and parameter tweaking to get best results.
Many applications fail to support all verions, tiers, levels, chroma sub sampling, bits/ch, rgb/yuv, long GOP / intra frames only, etc.

Something common is missing.
To me this is not progress.

raymondtrace
04-01-2019, 02:24 PM
...this is not progress.

The incompatibilities you cite are due to progress...and the struggle for every reader/player to keep up with ever-evolving codecs. This is another of the many reasons why rendering to sequential image files is preferred. Save the video compression for the last step in production, right before the customer receives the product.

Working with image sequences is not difficult. Here's an excellent [freely licensed] preview tool for image sequences: http://djv.sourceforge.net/

BeeVee
04-01-2019, 02:56 PM
And I'm going to add it to the Getting Started with Rendering page in the docs too (https://docs.lightwave3d.com/display/LW2018/Getting+Started+with+Rendering). It already says to make sure you save everything before you hit F10, but this needs adding too :)

B

rdolishny
04-01-2019, 07:19 PM
OMG you didn't render out as an AVI did you?!? Always render out frames for this exact reason.

vncnt
04-02-2019, 01:24 AM
The incompatibilities you cite are due to progress...and the struggle for every reader/player to keep up with ever-evolving codecs. This is another of the many reasons why rendering to sequential image files is preferred. Save the video compression for the last step in production, right before the customer receives the product.

Working with image sequences is not difficult. Here's an excellent [freely licensed] preview tool for image sequences: http://djv.sourceforge.net/
Thanks for the link. DJV_view seems to be very useful for preview. I'll download it this morning.

I still wish that LW could support dragging entire directories into image fields, just like in Fusion.
That would make the handling of image sequences a lot faster.

The handling of image sequences by the OS, virus scanner, or FTP could use improvement too.
These programs almost choke when dealing with 25.000 large files in one directory.

You are correct with codecs. The problem is that we are getting used to rely on these codecs for ingest, intermediates and archive.

To resolve the danger of incompatibility, in my opinion the OS should take back control with uncompressed formats (without clever codecs) with a flexible number of channels (RGBAD...), in a wide dynamic range, with a broad range of legal frame-rates.
This allows the OS to handle clip based media transfer between every application.

Uncompressed RGBA AVI has saved my deadlines more than once.
It's simply not 'just' another codec.

jbrookes
04-09-2019, 01:30 PM
.TGA is another good uncompressed file format.

jwiede
04-12-2019, 05:58 PM
To resolve the danger of incompatibility, in my opinion the OS should take back control with uncompressed formats (without clever codecs) with a flexible number of channels (RGBAD...), in a wide dynamic range, with a broad range of legal frame-rates.

The cameras, hardware and editing/manipulation pkgs are what basically drive all those formats' adoptions/usage/popularity. The OS side can do whatever they want, but if it isn't what the camera and editing apps producers want to use (and/or doesn't satisfy their wants/needs), it won't be adopted or used widely in those markets.

vncnt
04-13-2019, 08:40 AM
Acquisition formats have different priorities compared to the universal fat pipelines between multiple applications.
It's still not too late if Microsoft understands the difference.

jwiede
04-13-2019, 02:10 PM
Acquisition formats have different priorities compared to the universal fat pipelines between multiple applications.
It's still not too late if Microsoft understands the difference.

They do, but many of the relevant fingers are also quite burned from certain past efforts, so who knows.

vncnt
04-14-2019, 03:17 AM
Hmm, I wonder if AviSynth could be helpful to create a flexible virtual AVI experience for me by encapsulating image sequences, then adding a header file and an index file. Maybe some additional conversion tools to glue the binary image files of any type into a single container to bypass the slow handling of all these files by the OS.

It seems that AviSynth is still alive. Their latest stable build is 3 months old according to Wiki.

I'll dive into this, maybe later this week.

MonroePoteet
04-14-2019, 01:06 PM
As I mentioned previously, I use the open source utility FFMPEG to convert image sequences to video files using a little utility I wrote to format the command line (see below). You may want to take a look at this posting:

https://superuser.com/questions/347433/how-to-create-an-uncompressed-avi-from-a-series-of-1000s-of-png-images-using-ff

which gives a really excellent description of "Uncompressed", "Lossless", "Effectively Lossless", "Perceptually Lossless" types of encoding and the various command-line parameters used to produce these with FFMPEG from an input sequence, and why the other compressed forms might be acceptable.

To get a lossless MOV or AVI output file, here the table of output options from the article:



$ ffmpeg -i frame%04d.png -c:v r10k output.mov
...or... -c:v r210 output.mov
...or... -c:v v410 output.mov
...or... -c:v v408 output.mov
...or... -c:v v308 output.mov
...or... -c:v ayuv output.avi

I use a little Windows utility I wrote to construct and execute the FFMPEG command line for the conversion, attached below, with the user interface:

144748

It allows you to type in additional FFMPEG command-line switches, and if you really, REALLY want an uncompressed AVI file from a sequence of images, you could select the AVI output type, then type in:

-c: ayuv

into the FFMPeg Switches box:

144747

Note that the output of this is 145.2MB while the original PNG sequence of files (which is a Lossless compression algorithm) are only 42.6MB, so FFMPEG will do exactly what you ask and take a Losslessly-compressed PNG sequence, uncompress each frame, and package it into a huge AVI file.

Probably worth at least experimenting with the Lossless and other options. Make sure LW can load the resulting animation file(s) before commiting, though!

Good luck!
mTp

vncnt
04-14-2019, 11:54 PM
Conversion is not my/our problem. This is about the format.

The problem is that we need fat pipelines (float), easy to handle (single file), transfer quickly (a bunch of files generates way too much overhead during ftp or copy/move), platform independent (avi vs mov), with native support in Lightwave (input + output) and other media applications, multi-channel, and play real-tme and in-sync without a glitch on any media player on your computer.

Numbered image files are not the final solution.

raymondtrace
04-15-2019, 07:41 AM
...The handling of image sequences by the OS, virus scanner, or FTP could use improvement too. These programs almost choke when dealing with 25.000 large files in one directory...

There are some remedies for these issues.


configure your working folder to be excluded from live virus scanning and other file change monitoring (such as backup utilities...you can have that scan for changes after you're done working).
configure the OS to not generate file preview icons in your working folder.
upgrade your disks
upgrade your network/switchers
keep a proxy video in the same folder as the image sequence