What's the most less resource intensive way of creating animated videos?

New Here ,
Oct 04, 2020

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Hi,

 

I have MacBook Pro 13" 2017. It has 2.3 Ghz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 1536MB. I'm using After Effects 2018.

 

I'm learning to create animated videos. Mostly, I'm using character animation toolkits (e.g, https://videohive.net/item/character-animation-explainer-toolkit/23819644). It's got pre-made characters etc. and you are able to customise the character's appearance, their actions etc. 

 

So whenever I run this toolkit, my MacBook goes full fans, full CPU capacity etc. and everything becomes slow. So I don't think it would be possible for me to create entire animated scenes in one-go.

 

So I was wanted to ask you pro guys, what would be the best way to go about creating animations like this?

 

Here are my thoughts. Let's say, I'm creating a home scene where a man is washing dishes, a woman is mopping the floor and a child is jumping and playing. So I'm thinking I would first just put the background in, and create an animation of a man washing the dishes. Remove the background and export the animation of the man as a transparent video. The import it back in, put the background again, put the video of the man where he's supposed to go and then create the animation of the woman mopping the floor, then again remove the man's video and background and then export the woman's animation and keep doing it like this. And at the end, I would have a background and lots of exported video animations of each character which I would put back in to create the full scene and then finally export it all. 

 

Although, I know the most ideal way and hassle-free way would be to create the whole scene in one-go and then export it all but you'd need a pretty powerful computer for that.

 

If you guys can suggest better ways to create animations like these, please let me know.

TOPICS
Freeze or hang, How to, Import and export, Performance

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 04, 2020

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Fist suggestion: AE is not a video editor, don't try and make it one. Use AE to create shots that you render and edit in an NLE like Premiere Pro.

 

Second suggestion: Learn the Pencil Test - Ink and Paint workflow that Pixar, Disney, and all professionals use when doing character animation. The Pencil test is low resolution, maybe even skipping frames, no lighting, no texturing, minimum effects, versions of your work that you use to check the timing. I run my pencil tests with Preview set to skip 1 frame, Comp Panel resolution set to Auto and Magnification Ratio set to 50 or 25%, no effects or minimal effects, no lights if 3D layers are involved, no motion blur and I don't expect to get more than a few seconds of preview at a time. On complex projects, I even enable fast draft.

 

When the motion, blocking, staging, whatever you want to call it, works, I add the effects, lighting, motion blur and I check a few critical hero frames to make sure they look good. I don't run previews except for the occasional 10 or 20 frame previews required for figuring out a critical part of the scene, then I send the comp to the render cue using Render Garden or the AME to render an MP4 to use as a proof for the client, and I move on to the next shot. I never wait for renders. My average comp is under seven seconds, my average animated sequence is usually less than a minute, and the average film I cut is probably close to an hour.

 

This is exactly how the big studios work. Low-resolution test previews, approval of the scene, then the final coloring and lighting. Nobody works with full resolution full effects projects when they are trying to block an animated scene and make the action tell a story.

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