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EXTREME Lag in AE Clone Stamp Tool CC 2017

Explorer ,
Oct 06, 2017

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Hello,

I am using the tool to restore picture in 2k film scans by painting out dirt on the image using the CST (clone stamp tool), and it is quite successful. I've been doing this for years on hundreds of TV shows, but I am finding that the greater the number of CST fixes on a layer, the more sluggish to tool gets - the longer it takes to stop painting when I lift my finger off the button or release the pen pressure on the tablet, which can take up to 3 minutes, thus my productivity grinds to a halt.  I only get 4 hrs to clean a series Main Title sequence, and this software hang-up is costing me money and time - 9hrs in and only 5% through the sequence.

Experience tells me that, the more CST strokes there are on a layer, the worse it gets, so I break my image sequences up into shots (thanks to Magnum script), but I still cannot get through the opening shot of 354 frames (on frame 36) that has been broken into smaller layers. I cannot Split the layers further up once I start CST because the source layers get screwed up after the split (sometime, I sample the PREV layer because it has already been cleaned up).  This MT seq. is getting the full treatment, but I have 50 eps of spot fixes to complete, and I need a working fix for this ASAP.

FYI: the first layer of the sequence has over 3,000 CST strokes; layer 2 currently has 554 CST strokes, and it's lagging just as bad.  The lag seems to start when I start using previously cleaned frames as source for the CST when there is a high cumulative number of strokes.

Is there anything I can do to increase the response time of the software as it gets stuck? I need to paint from within a frame or neighboring frames, so the AE CST is my best bet.

Thanks,

-CS

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EXTREME Lag in AE Clone Stamp Tool CC 2017

Explorer ,
Oct 06, 2017

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Hello,

I am using the tool to restore picture in 2k film scans by painting out dirt on the image using the CST (clone stamp tool), and it is quite successful. I've been doing this for years on hundreds of TV shows, but I am finding that the greater the number of CST fixes on a layer, the more sluggish to tool gets - the longer it takes to stop painting when I lift my finger off the button or release the pen pressure on the tablet, which can take up to 3 minutes, thus my productivity grinds to a halt.  I only get 4 hrs to clean a series Main Title sequence, and this software hang-up is costing me money and time - 9hrs in and only 5% through the sequence.

Experience tells me that, the more CST strokes there are on a layer, the worse it gets, so I break my image sequences up into shots (thanks to Magnum script), but I still cannot get through the opening shot of 354 frames (on frame 36) that has been broken into smaller layers. I cannot Split the layers further up once I start CST because the source layers get screwed up after the split (sometime, I sample the PREV layer because it has already been cleaned up).  This MT seq. is getting the full treatment, but I have 50 eps of spot fixes to complete, and I need a working fix for this ASAP.

FYI: the first layer of the sequence has over 3,000 CST strokes; layer 2 currently has 554 CST strokes, and it's lagging just as bad.  The lag seems to start when I start using previously cleaned frames as source for the CST when there is a high cumulative number of strokes.

Is there anything I can do to increase the response time of the software as it gets stuck? I need to paint from within a frame or neighboring frames, so the AE CST is my best bet.

Thanks,

-CS

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Oct 06, 2017 1
Most Valuable Participant ,
Oct 06, 2017

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since you have been doing this for years, let me ask you this: what is different in your current setup than in previous setups that worked? is it the resolution? maybe the compression? different Ae Version?

clone/paint stamp is notorious for being sluggish the more you advance in paint strokes, this is maybe a limitation of the software you have to work around it.

I would at least try to disable layer cache in the secret menu.

you can also try doing this in photoshop video timeline and see how it handles it:

drag your video to photoshop or import as normal and use good old clone stamp tool, healing brush tool or spot healing brush tool, even content aware!

(if you don't have to deal with temporal inconsistencies, it can be a great tool to work on video)

one last thought, if you are doing a lot of restoration of video, in the future you may want to try different software that are dedicated to deal with that like pfclean

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Oct 06, 2017 0
Explorer ,
Oct 06, 2017

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1. Thanks for helping!

2. I have PFClean, but AE user for 17yrs vs PFClean 5 weeks, so I go to what I know best when on a budget and fast turn-around. Granted, I will need to learn this aspect of the toolset in PFC, but not at this time.

3. Previous jobs with this workflow were not as intense - 3k strokes in 21 frames; like most film scans of opticals from the 60's, they start out riddled with dirt printed into the optical (not physical traces of dirt on this element, it was cleaned first), but as the film progresses, the dirt is less frequent, so less to clean.  I have experienced this sluggishness before, hence the splitting of layers into smaller manageable pieces, usually on a shot-by-shot basis, but with this amount of dirt, the layers need to be even shorter.

4. I have turned off the layer caching as suggested. I will follow up after some use.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Oct 06, 2017

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I would try the photoshop solution too. if you need more control you can work in frame animation mode instead of video timeline mode, this will make a layer out of every frame you got. it's a more complex workflow but gives you the most control and you can work in the familiar layer structure of photoshop. using photoshop to do digital cleanup is more common than you would expect.

on behind the scenes of the amazing video of "Witch Doctor" (01:49) you can see them painting frame by frame in photoshop to clean up the rig. they actually did one frame at a time (not layers), I think they could have been more efficient by using the timeline and photoshop layers (thus having a playback option to see the progress) like I demonstrate some of this technique here: Rotoscoping Techniques - Photoshop & After Effects on Vimeo. having said that, today if I had the same project I deal with in the tutorial, I think I would have tried the easy way first - video timeline I suggested earlier and not frame animation timeline.

of course the disadvantage of using photoshop for digital video cleanup is that it's nearly impossible to create temporal consistency (you got 23-30 fps and you need to make them look the same as you progress along time). but if you are cleaning dust and scratches or using the clone stamp any way on a frame by frame setup, you may find it the perfect tool because it offers the state of the art photoshop brushes.

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Oct 06, 2017 0
Explorer ,
Oct 10, 2017

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One more thing I've noticed...the lag is entirely related to sampling previous frames, When I sample ahead, it works great. The only issue is that the dirt is everywhere, so a clean source is a better source.  If only the "look-back render" of the CST feature was limited to the "Source Time Shift" amount, i.e. if I am only looking back 2 frames, it only uses the paint strokes from 2 frames back as a brush source.

The client is very happy with the clean-up, so I will keep on keepin on and save leaning the new PFClean tools for next week.

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Oct 10, 2017 0
Adobe Employee ,
Nov 22, 2017

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Hey there C.Salmassy,

Have you solved your issue? It sounds like you have, but you may have discovered a bug. Can you file it here?

Thanks,
Kevin

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Nov 22, 2017 0
New Here ,
Nov 30, 2017

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If you doing offset timing, I'm finding that a really fast way to achieve the same result is to have the identical clip below the layer your working on and offset forward or back. Then instead of using the stamp tool just use the brush tool in "Alpha" only. This will punch a hole to reveal the layer below.

I hope that works for you!

Steve

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Nov 30, 2017 0
Engaged ,
Oct 07, 2020

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Did you ever get this fixed?  I've started using clone stamp tool to remove some unwanted parts of video, but getting serious lagging where I have cumulative brush strokes.  Not sure what the best way is to fix it as it's causing serious delays for me right now.  Wondered about exported what I have so far and starting again, and exporting every time it gets too laggy?

 

Regards, 5Diraptor - "If the design isn't about the dream, it's meaningless"

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Oct 07, 2020 0