Running Motion and After effects w/ 128mb of vram

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Budha, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. Budha

    Budha Guest

    I have a 2.2 Core2Duo w/ 128mb of vram w/ 4 gigs of memory.

    Is this going to be possible? I want to get these programs to start practicing on them, but I hear that I will be pushing my v card to the limit. I will only be doing small projects for 10 minute or less promos etc. There will be no massive projects/feature length films or effects. The motion/after effects clips will probably be less than 10-15 seconds long just to get the title or video effect that is needed.

    I basically just want to make cool titles, and possibly do some 3d stuff w/ words and video (i.e. spinning around etc like the motion promo video).

    Thanks for any input.
     
  2. eighteen_psi

    eighteen_psi Active Member

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    Pro mograph/video guy myself and AE is my bread and butter - you'll be fine.... You won't get real time interactivity in either program with complex effects in play, particularly AE (motion is a lot better at this). Motion is more GPU dependent, AE relies more on software rendering, IE CPU. Both apps require the use of RAM preview under many if not most circumstances. Motion allows more stuff going on for longer since it better leverages the GPU, but with lighting, motion blurs and other stuff in there it'll choke up too and you have to run RAM preview renders to see your work in real time.

    As far as 4GB, you'll be fine there too in just about any circumstance if you work efficiently. I still do HD work on the road on my 12" PB with 1.25GB and a POS FX5200, even with 10.5 + AE CS3, you just have to know how to work efficiently. After Effects has is set up to allow previews at half/quarter res, half/quarter frame rates, etc. and you can turn off/on layers as you need them to tweak your project.

    Pre-composing and pre-rendering elements is key as well, even if you have a beast of a machine. If you have a few elements of your project complete, lock them down by merging them into a composition and pre-rendering that. Then your machine only has to sling around a quicktime file rather than dynamically rendering, lighting, etc. all those layers.

    You can choke about any rig with after effects with inefficient setup though. Try to do 3D lighting and transforms on a couple dozen layers with motion blur and all that on, at HD+ resolution and I can bring my 3.0/16GB Mac Pro to its knees...thing is you never need to preview your entire sequence at full res/full frame rate. If you're tweaking motion, you probably need 1/4 res of less at full frame rate. If you're tweaking layout, you probably need quarter frame rate at full res, etc. Once you set up your shadows and motion blur as you like, you can turn those off as well...and both of those are very intensive to render. You can turn it all back on for your final renders obviously. Beyond that you can use half res/highly compressed proxy video like you would in an NLE if your source video (if you have any) is huge. Lots of workflow ways to make things scream even on shitty rigs...which yours isn't really.

    Cliffs: You'll be fine. Enjoy it :big grin:

    Oh. Do your layout outside of After Effects/motion when possible..set things up in Illustrator and/or Photoshop with well-labeled layers. Both apps can read these (after effects lets you import as a layered composition directly, with layer styles and blends intact if you want)...then you can just keyframe your shit and roll with it. Tweaking layout directly in AE is decidedly second rate.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008
  3. Budha

    Budha Guest

    Eighteen,

    thanks for the bad ass reply... should I really master photoshop first before getting into AE?

    I've gotten pretty good at FCP on my macbook pro, so I figured it is time to move on.
     
  4. eighteen_psi

    eighteen_psi Active Member

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    I don't know that you need to master anything. I always describe AE to people who haven't used is as "Keyframable Photoshop" or "Photoshop for Video" That belies its real power though, since you can do a hell of a lot more than just throw effects on video.

    A simple but powerful animation technique I use every day (but never used extensively until after school and a year or two of working) is to set something up in Illustrator, THEN animate it. For some reason I was bent on doing everything in AE, which is not only inefficient, its just stupid. And you'll never work that way as a pro if you have a team.

    At agencies, there might be an illustrator who feeds you assets to animate, but even if there aren't, I suggest learning to work that way now. Draw some shit in Illustrator, or get a premade vector from somewhere. Split the elements up into layers, IE, what you want to move around independent of the rest. When you bring that into After Effects as a 'composition' (not 'footage' you keep your layers. Then you can easily keyframe movement, '3D' spins, whatever you want on that stuff.

    Same thing works with Photoshop files. Adobe is trying to get things completely integrated...they're not there yet but close (CS4 takes another good step that way). I primarily edit in FCP myself (though I do love the new premiere)...but you could conceivably do something like:

    Lay out a huge illustrated scene in Illustrator,
    Apply blends, effects, photo mattes & paint in Photoshop,
    Integrate with video, green screen footage, animate the elements in After Effects
    Integrate with your edit in Premiere Pro
    Do a score in soundbooth
    Deliver to youtube with Flash
    Deliver to DVD with Encore
    Deliver 11ty sizes/formats/types of files however
    etc.

    And render all that in ONE queue, ONE time.

    If you try to do everything in AE you'll just be slower and more frustrated, and you'll develop habits that are hard to break later. Ask me how I know :o In spite of having functionality that parallels an illustration package, a photo editor, an NLE and a sound package, After Effects shouldn't generally be used for those things. Use it to do compositing, animation, effects, paint work, finishing...stuff it's GOOD at.

    As far as motion goes, it was a toy until the current release and I've been using AE for years....now it's quite powerful (though not nearly as much as AE). I'm passable with it (learning) and it integrates perfectly with FCP, DVDSP and Color. Don't let my lack of experience with it put you off, badass work can be done with it, I just haven't used it enough to speak to its workflow as a pro like I am with AE.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008

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