Hi all -
I've been working on a long term timelapse project (been rolling 6+ months) and rendering the image sequence out of AE. All has been going well for months, the multi-frame rendering has been a huge help, until yesterday.
I added another 1600 frames onto the already 15,000+ frame long image sequence, and with the latest AE Beta Build, (v22.0.0 Build 60), the project immediately crashes on open.
This happens on my 10 core 2020 iMac running 10.15.7 (crashes on open) as well as my home built Windows 10 box (8 core i7, app freezes and unresponsive after opening same project). I'm working from a 10GigE Synology NAS.
If I open the project using the latest shipping build, v18.4.1, the project opens and renders no problem.
I have two guesses as to what's going on:
-Build 20 doesn't like something that worked previously, or
-now that I've exceded 16,384 frames (a power of 2), that's beyond some internal limit.
Actually, I just checked on that, and this link:
The maximum number of frames in a still-image sequence is 32,766.
...however, these are Nikon .nef RAW image files with .xmp metadata, so there's a sidecar file for every frame, and perhaps since that is involved, it is halving the max frame count.
I can still get work done, but it is drastically increasing my render times. I'm on deadline so I'm partway through what is estimated to be a 14+ hour long render (this after pre-rendering the NEFs to EXRs) so I can't chop up the footage and test.
Just thinking out loud, I'm figuring I can dupe the source folder, break it up into 2 parts, and rebuild with subcomps (there's all kinds of frame accurate edits, repositionings, there's motion tracking going on, etc) which will be a pain but possible.
In any case, can someone at Adobe confirm that the high frame count is the problem?
And also, IS THERE ANY WAY TO REINSTALL A PRIOR BETA VERSION - when I go into Creative Cloud app and try to install prior versions, it only offers prior versions of the release version, not prior betas.
Just did a test - I deleted the long, single image sequence from the project, Saved As, launched the beta, opened the project and...same problem - it crashed on opening the project.
Hmm. So there's now a number of shorter TIFF & EXR sequences in the project, but not one super long image sequence. So that's isn't the (sole) problem.
Hmm. Now I'm stumped, thinking I could work in the shipping version, Save As after deleting the suspected overly long image sequence, open that new version in the beta and render out using multi-frame rendering. But no go.
So I'm back to thinking the problem IS with the new beta, that it is breaking something that worked in prior versions of the beta...that I can't get back to. Sigh - I shoulda tested before I updated both machines. Been so good up to now...
Yeah, I think the length of the image sequence is the problem - I started a brand new project in the beta (Build 60), imported the super long image sequence, and immediate crash. Bummer. I'm going to split the sequence into 2 pieces and rebuild a bunch of stuff and hope I don't goof it up with all the splits, edits, and motion tracking.
THE LESSON HERE SEEMS TO BE: IMAGE SEQUENCES WITH SIDECAR DATA CAN'T EXCEED 16,384 FRAMES LONG.
I have done a lot of these kinds of timelapse projects and I always render them in sections. Sounds like you are adding images to existing image sequences or image sequences to esxisting comps to increase their length. I think that is a very bad idea for several reasons. You have to render things you have already rendered before again. Editing, even editing image sequences in Premiere Pro is always faster than trying to edit in After Effects. The only reason to ever have more than one shot in an AE comp is that you need to do a transition between two shots (not two frames but two shots) that cannot be done in an NLE.
If your final movie going to be one shot that lasts for hours I would still break up the shot into sections, render them, then combine them in Premiere Pro for delivery.
I have another suggestion, which won't help you with the current render. Because your images are RAW files from a Nikon camera they are probably bigger than your AE comp size. They may be bigger by a bunch. Rather than import as a Raw sequence in AE, do your camera raw adjustments on import, resize, then possibly color correct again, try exporting the image sequence from Lightroom after a Preset has been applied to the images and size them to match AE.
Another suggestion. Premiere Pro will import import image sequences and you can use Lightroom or Bridge to convert your RAW images into a PSD or 32bit TIFF file sized appropriately and render your movie out of Premiere Pro. The rendering will be at least twice as fast as using After Effects because of the way AE processes pixels one at a time.
I worked in a year and a half long project in a when AE was a baby. My son, a guide, the director and I packed in on horses laden with motion control gear and a big camera to the back country on the east side of Glacer National Park every two weeks. We shot a motion control timelapse with one frame every 30 seconds following the sun from sunrise to sunset while panning the camera. The camera location was set the previous year and we poured concrete markers with bolts installed so we could position the camera accurately for every trip. Eventually all of the time lapse sequences were combined in a five minute movie that started showing the eastern view as the sun rose and the snow melted, the wild flowers blommed, the aspen trees grew leaves, then by the time the camera was pointing south and the sun whas high in the sky the summer started to fade, the leaves turned and the snow fell as we reached the west view and the sun set. Into that shot final shot we somposited a live action shot of Bart the Bear meandering through a greenscreen stage so the final shot had a bear walking from east to west as the snow melted and the wild flowers blommed to sunset as the winter snow snow fell. Every image sequence was processed and rendered as soon as we got back. The 20 or so rendered movies were combined in a single project so we could dissolve between the season changes. That final rendered movie was used as the background source for the composite with Bart. The project would have been nearly impossible to do if we had tried to combine everything into one composite at one time.
I just ran a test on a 1200 frame image sequence shot on a Sony A7 SII. Converted the RAW files to a PSD Image Sequence, resized the images to 4K width using Lightroom, Imported into Premiere Pro as a PSD image sequence set to 30 fps, and the footage previewed perfectly and rendered me a ProRez 444 file of the resulting 40-second movie in a little over 2 minutes. It took all of 15 minutes to do the whole project. I'm using a basic M1 Mac Mini with only 8GB of ram. I started a render of the same image sequence from AE using the AME to the same format and it took AE nearly two minutes to render the first 4 seconds. I'd try using Premiere Pro to render your image sequences. If you don't need effects that can only be done in AE, or if you can add them later, your total time on the project is going to be reduced significantly.
I totally agree on the speed issues! I considered doing this in Resolve, but I've been using AE since the CoSA days and feel more comfortable with AE's toolsets, and while I've been using Resolve as a color tool for years, I haven't done any serious compositing with it.
Also, yes the source frames are definitely bigger - 36MP for a a static 1080p and moving 2160p deliverable (the 1080p I've been doing as you suggested, just rendering the new bits and assembling in Premiere).
Hi Rick, I appreciate you taking the time to answer at length.
I am adding images to existing sequences. In general I'd agree with not re-rendering that which you've already rendered, but here's some salient details:
-I'm trimming out frames when I've had to re-compose or adjust (I'm filming something that moves, albeit slowly)
-I'm having to do motion tracking to stabilize the shot
-then I'm adding a slow digital pedestal move after it has been stabilized - I know the end point, but I don't know how many frames it'll take to get there (we're waiting for a particular thing to happen, we've already gone months longer than originally estimated)
-I have pre-rendered the RAW files to EXR or TIFFs to save render time, but I kept the NEFs in there as a verification/time register to make sure the pre-rendered frames are in alignment with the source material
-I definitely agree an NLE is a faster rendering process, but I needed AE for repositioning, stabilizing, and adding the pedestal move. This isn't a simple assembly
-color correction has already been done via Lightroom with metadata
-That big composite sounds wonderful; I do motion control shots as well and have thought of trying something like what you did but haven't had the project to try it yet.
OK the plot thickens -
-I did the delete prefs trick of holding down Shift-Option-Command at launch and clicking OK to deleting prefs, then re-setting all my preferences manually
-doing more tests, this time in the Build 60 beta, importing a 341 frame long NEF sequence - CRASHES - it imports, then as soon as it draws a preview frame, it crashes
-so the problem is NOT long sequences, the problem is long NEF sequences - or is it?
-imported an EXR sequence, and it also crashed. I'm going to uninstall, delete prefs, and re-install and see if that fixes anything.
OK my problem is way, way more fundamental - when I make a new project in the AE beta, add any kind of art (NEF sequence, EXR sequence, even a single PNG) then try to view it, it crashes the app.
It was a problem with the beta as it updated/installed. I took off, nuked the entire site from orbit. It was the only way to be sure.
(uninstalled EVERYTHING Adobe. Cut to Gary Oldman in The Professional shouting EVERYONE!!!!!)
Reinstalled, then it worked. sigh.