Right now my company is working on producing shorts using Ch, but we're facing horrendous render times. The segments are generally no more than a couple of minutes each, but each render is taking multiple hours. While that isn't back breaking, it is inconvient, as our turnaround is weekly, and we need to look at passes. I feel like other adobe programs such as Animate, or even programs like Toon Boom Harmony don't face these sort of export times, so it could very well be cause by something like the heavy rig were using, or large BGs, or something along those lines. If anyone has faced similar export times I'd be interested to know if you've found out what's causing this.
The second part of my question is if anyone would have hardware upgrade suggestions. My boss feels like upgrading the CPU would yeild better results but I'm not tech savvy so I can't say. I don't have access to the specs that we're using for our PC, but plan on posting a screen shot of those come tomorrow.
Thanks in advance!
Resolution of the artwork makes a big difference to the render times. You need it good enough resolution to be able to zoom in without it looking pixelated (e.g. zoom in on face). So you could try using lower res images.
Profiles, more layers, etc all add to the weight of the puppet. (Something's don't make much difference.) You can also experiment (if you have the time) with creating special purpose puppets. E.g. I don't use the walk behavior or head turner, so I leave that all out then create separate puppets for different angles. Or create a separate puppet for particular scenes rather than add too much to the one central puppet. It keeps them lighter weight. And I use multiple shorter scenes so I can render one scene at a time, and only have to rerender that one scene if something needs adjusting.
I have no idea why the render times are so long. It makes no sense to me really. We have games doing live 3D renders with shadows and lighting - much more computationally intense.
Even though we're still working through it the insight helps. I doubt we can afford to streamline the rig at this point, so we'll have to try to buff the computer, but we'll keep this stuff in ming for the future!
Here are the specs for the computer were using, if there are any obvious upgrades needed please let me know!
Could you explain how you're exporting? Are you exporting directly through Media Encoder, using the PNG/WAV option, or running these through Dynamic Link to After Effects or Premiere?
Can you give the frame size and frame rate of your comps?
What's the general makeup of these comps?
The settings we're using through Media Encoder are thus:
I believe the frame size is 1920 x 1080, and the frame rate is 24FPS
The composition for the first scene is one character sandwiched between non-moving foreground and background elements. He has several multi-frame facial and arm animations and one physics based element whose properties are shared in all head poses (an up and down view) as to not interrupt the flow if it bobbing between main poses.
The composition for the second scene is that same character as a silhouette (head only) in front of a rigged BG that has opacity settings for the visemes so it becomes a different version of that same BG with each syllable.
EDIT: Only the second scene has multi hour renders, the first scene is somewhere between 0.5 - 1 hour)
Because there are so many things in your rig that could affect the speed, try this first: Export to an intermediate format instead of H.264. Try exporting to ProRes 422 and see how long that takes. Then convert that to H.264.
The export using Apple ProRes didn't reduce the export time. The thought right now is to try a newer, higher end PC to hope that solves the issue; the scene might just be too big, and I'm not sure we're in a place to streamline atm. I'll try exporting at a much lower resolution as a solution to the need for pass notes.
Appreciate the suggenstion though, Dave!
Y'know, I didn't read your specs properly. Yes, your processor is from 2012, a new computer will make this process significantly faster. I'd also get 32 GB of RAM and a decent, but not super expensive GPU. SSDs are faster to work off of than HDDs. A good setup is to have a fast SSD for your OS and applications, another fast SSD for your project files, then a spinning HDD that's larger, but slower for archiving or backups.
Dave, we'll do that!
Thanks very much for the advice all, it was a huge help!