AE CS3 HD exported Quicktime playback stutters!
The Problem: After exporting our HD After Effects project to QuickTime the playback stutters just a bit. It will run along fine and then it jerks/hiccups. This happens at various times during playback. We have tried many different export settings but no luck. We would really appreciate some help with this. Thank you.
About our project: We are creating an intro animation for viewing on our computer monitor and for DVD. The movie will be made up of only High Res photos separated into several layers to create a 3D effect. We import the .psd files, add the layers to the timeline and check 3D layers. We create space between each layer on the z axis and then move a camera through the scene. The project dimensions are 1920 X 1080 and the photos are as big as 2000 px X 2000 px. The movie length is about 2:00 min.
Export Settings: File/Export QuickTime movie:
Compression Type: H.264
Frame Rate: Current (29.97)
Key Frames: Every 24 frames
Frame Reordering: Checked
Compressor Quality: Best
Encoding: Best quality (Multi-pass)
Data Rate: Automatic
Export Size Settings:
Dimensions: HD 1920 x 1080 16:9
Preserve aspect ratio using: Letterbox
Deinterlace source Video: Unchecked
Prepare for Internet Streaming: Unchecked
- Product - Adobe After Effects CS3 Pro
- Version - 18.104.22.168
- Hardware - Mac Pro - 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
- Graphic/Display Card - NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
- Memory - 4 GB MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM
- OS Version OS X 10.5.2
- Monitor - Cinema HD 30"
- Color Depth 32-bit color
- Resolution 2560 x 1600
The stutters are actually already in your animation, they are NOT being caused by playback issues.
You can see this by single frame advancing through your animation, you will quite often encounter frames where nothing changes when compared to the last frame, and you then get a jump on the next frame. This means frames are being dropped during rendering of the animation or the master file you are using has gone through some sort of frame rate conversion. Probably you have converted from 24 frames per second to 29.97 frames per second which requires repeating a number of frames/fields per second (5.97 frames) , these repeated frames will destroy the illusion of smooth motion.
Heres something you can try:
Check the original animation file by step framing through one frame at a time. Do you see frames that are exactly the same as the previous one? If the answer is yes... then you need to re render the animation, try doing it at the same frame rate you plan to output (29.97fps).
If the answer is NO... then just use the native framerate of that file to do the rest of your project. ie. DONT upsample the framerate to 29.97 or anything else.
The other option is (if the actual real time sync of the animation doesnt matter) to go back to your original animation file and just play the 24fps animation at 29.97 at one to one frame. So we discard the playback rate of the input file (24fps) and just display one frame of the input for each frame required at the output. This ensures that the motion will be smooth, (because we are not repeating frames to keep the duration the same) however it will be playing back slightly faster.
I happened to find this topic because I'm researching how to get smooth playback of quicktime movies on a desktop screen. Its actually proving incredibly hard. Even if you manage to create a master file that actually has your smooth animation in at 24fps... chances are Quicktime will frak it up for you... because it dynamically changes the framerate on playback to suit the display anyway.
If your on a Mac then your desktop is probably set to 60Hz (Which really means 59.94Hz). So re-rendering your 3d animation at 29.97 is probably your best chance at getting smooth motion in the final viewing.
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