Character Animator - very slow processing changes

Explorer ,
Mar 21, 2018 Mar 21, 2018

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I absolutely love Character Animator and have watched almost all of the tutorials posted by Okay Samurai.  However, I am in the process animating my second cartoon and it seems like even small changes (moving an anchor point or changing a fill color) of a puppet in Illustrator take around 3 minutes to import into my Character Animator project.  Perfecting a puppet rig and switching back and forth between the scene and rig mode also use few minutes or so each time to prepare the scene.  This becomes quite burdensome with a new puppet or complex scene.

What can I do to make my system process/run faster?  What are the minimum requirements for Character Animator, Illustrator, After Effects to run efficiently?

Currently, I have a Lenovo ThinkPad. Graphics card: Nvidia GEForce 940M version 3.13.1.30.  Processor: Intel Core i5-6200U CPU 2.3GHz and 7.89 GB of RAM.

If any other information is needed, please let me know.

Thank you

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LEGEND , Mar 21, 2018 Mar 21, 2018
Some suggestions in case useful...Are you using Character Animator with AfterEffects or Premier Pro with dynamic linking?  Several minutes to import AI/PSD file changes just into Character Animator does not sound right! Is the first cartoon still fast to edit? If so, then that suggests its something about the second cartoon. If both slow... ummm... Check your free memory - are you running out of memory? 8GB might be cutting it a bit fine If you have other programs running. I think there are some...

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LEGEND ,
Mar 21, 2018 Mar 21, 2018

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Some suggestions in case useful...

Are you using Character Animator with AfterEffects or Premier Pro with dynamic linking?  Several minutes to import AI/PSD file changes just into Character Animator does not sound right!

  • Is the first cartoon still fast to edit? If so, then that suggests its something about the second cartoon. If both slow... ummm...
  • Check your free memory - are you running out of memory? 8GB might be cutting it a bit fine If you have other programs running.
  • I think there are some “resolution” settings somewhere - check to make sure these have not been set to something silly. (Maybe the files being created are higher resolution than your fast cartoon??)

Personally I avoid using dynamic linking of Character Animator into Premier Pro and/or After Effects. It works, but I found it much slower. Instead I try to do as much as possible in Character Animator and export video files directly from there. I think PP and AE render out the puppet fully, whereas In Character Animator you can do all the editing and see an approximation of the final result (the approximation runs much faster however, so its great for editing).

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Explorer ,
Mar 23, 2018 Mar 23, 2018

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Thank you for your reply.  While I believe my memory may be part of the problem, I went back and reran some of the scenes from my first cartoon and you were right, they do run faster.  I'm sure my scenes are more complicated now as I'm learning to use the program, but in this second cartoon I also made duplicates of a main puppet for rigging purposes, and perhaps that is causing my issues as well. 

I just started using AE, so I will take your advice and export video files from Character Animator, then add effects to the finalized version in AE.

Thank you

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LEGEND ,
Mar 23, 2018 Mar 23, 2018

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"Advice" may be too strong - "suggestion to try as a comparison" would make me feel better. My laptop does not have flashy graphics chips, so struggles at times. For me, exporting videos make it more usable because of machine power. I do however use dynamic linking at times. For the workflow I follow, I found exporting videos gave me more control - editing was faster, but I took on more burden keeping things coordinated. So I suggest trying both approaches and see what works better.

If you export videos, be aware you can export PNG sequences, but you get lots of files. I found QuickTime GoPro CineForm RGB with Alpha (the "with alpha" means the video supports transparencies) better because you get one movie file. I recall it being faster to work with on my laptop, I suspect because it did not have to load lots of individual files.

But once you settle on a way of working that works for you, stick to it! I tried a few variations - I know dynamic linking works hugely better on my desktop (top of the line GPU, lots of RAM, more CPUs etc), so its not the feature is broken, just if you run out of CPU etc you can really notice it.

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Explorer ,
Mar 24, 2018 Mar 24, 2018

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AE definitely works faster without dynamic linking.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that enlarging the properties of my scenes width and height will permit easy addition of effects later.

Now I'm looking into buying a new computer for animating.  Do you mind telling me which GPU you use?  I'm also considering a Wacom touchpad for drawing, have you had any experience with their product?

Thank you again!

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LEGEND ,
Mar 24, 2018 Mar 24, 2018

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I would suggest starting a new topic asking for best hardware set people have found. I suspect answer will be as many fast cores and fastest GPU and big memory with SSD etc as you can afford! 😉

But it I don’t have any special knowledge here. My desktop has 32gb ram, gtx 1080, 4 core i7. I got it for VR. Wacom I hear of a lot, but zero experience with it. This is just a hobby For me.

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Explorer ,
Mar 24, 2018 Mar 24, 2018

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A hobby for me as well, but having fun with it.  Thank you for your help!

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LEGEND ,
Mar 24, 2018 Mar 24, 2018

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I find both fun and frustrating. I finally got one episode done (working on the next ones now). I am just publishing on YouTube. http://extra-ordinary.tv/ (direct link: Friendship (Extra Ordinary, Episode 1) - YouTube ) - bible verse based series for kids. It's been really interesting going through all the stages from script to voice acting to drawing artwork to animation to music and sound effects. Apart from time required, my biggest delay has been finding some friends to do character voices!

Love to see if you produce something! I find it very interesting all the different styles people have. There are some very creative people out there!

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Explorer ,
Mar 25, 2018 Mar 25, 2018

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Definitely concur with fun and frustrating!  I really enjoyed your video.  Great attention to detail on the characters and a wonderful way to convey an educational message to kids.  In fact, adults could learn from it too! 

I am just publishing on YouTube now as well.  I am animating children's songs my parents wrote and made recordings of years ago.  Here is the link for my cartoon:

Jelly Jamboree - YouTube

Thanks for sharing

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LEGEND ,
Mar 25, 2018 Mar 25, 2018

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Nice! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 04, 2020 Dec 04, 2020

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Thx for sharing guys! i too am having issues. maybe there are more layers to my CH breakdown rig? IDK. but chaging the viseems are taking way longer. any thoughts on what i can do to speed up the processing? all other CH's are working fine. heres what ive been working on. www.sparepartscartoon.com

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LEGEND ,
Dec 04, 2020 Dec 04, 2020

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I think there were some previous posts people shared what slowed things down the most, but basically number of layers, number of draggers, number of dangles, number of cycle layers, etc as well as the size/resolution of the image all can contribute to things slowing down. I sometimes create a new puppet for different custom usages just to avoid making the one puppet too complex.

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New Here ,
Mar 27, 2022 Mar 27, 2022

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I've got my issues solved

 

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