Recording Scene Lagging

Community Beginner ,
Jan 25, 2018 Jan 25, 2018

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Hey Guys,

I am trying to record a scene with my puppet. Everything works fine if I'm testing out triggers and camera movements. However when I attempt play back any of my recordings, the app stops responding for a good 10 seconds for each action I try to attempt (IE adjusting trigger timings etc). I have unchecked the "red button" on all things I do not need, however it is still running extremely slow. Any tips on how I can help it to move faster?

Thank you!

Nic

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 26, 2018 Jan 26, 2018

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  1. What version are you running (shows in menu bar)?
  2. What are the pixel dimensions of your scene & puppet?
  3. How many scenes/puppets are in the project?
  4. What hardware are you running on?
  5. Can you post a screen recording showing the slowdown?

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Explorer ,
Apr 14, 2019 Apr 14, 2019

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Can you provide any general ideas? I'm getting the Mac spinning rainbow ball for 10-15 seconds after every tiny maneuver--even when just disabling the red "record" buttons.

I'm running the latest (v2.1), 608x702 pixels, just one scene, one puppet with five head positions (got rid of left and right body positions in the AI file to see if that made a difference--it didn't), late 2014 Mac Mini with Mojave 3 GHz Intel Core i7 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 Intel Iris 1536 MB). This started when I created a 30 minute scene (just one puppet), so I made a new project that's only 2 minutes to see if the problem was that the project was too long---same problem.

Just had a thought that maybe it was the auto-blink, so I disabled it...didn't make a difference. Tried reducing the frame rate from 30fps to 15--also no change. Tried clearing other Adobe caches and restarting CH. I only have the dragger behavior enabled. Tried changing the buffer size--had it set on 64 from the 30 minute project because the audio wasn't playing. Just tried it at 512, lost the audio again and still getting the spinning wheel.

Ok, I just opened up each one of the old projects--they had to update because they hadn't been opened in over a year, but even with the huge 3000x3000 file, I'm not getting the wheel. I can record a new animation and it plays back immediately. The 3000x3000 puppet only had three head views, but three body views with each having all three head views in its group (2.3mb AI file) and the new one has five head views (6.4mb with just frontal body; 6.7 mb with the left and right bodies--I had made a separate Head puppet inside CH to reduce the file size--from Emily Watts' suggestion). The file size seems like the most obvious reason, but I don't understand why only two more heads (and technically, it's four FEWER heads from the 3000x3000 file) would more than double the size of the AI file AND make CH run so slowly.

Is there a way to allocate more RAM to CH? Although I don't think that's the problem...but the fan keeps kicking on even though I'm not even doing anything with CH other than trying these ideas. Nothing else (except Chrome at the moment) is open.

Here's the answer for my issue: I made a new AI doc, copied and pasted the layers into it and saved it with the "PDF compatible file" turned off--that makes the file size only 700kb.

This message has taken me two hours to compose, FYI--testing all this stuff before posting. Someone (alank99101739 perhaps? ) really needs to compile an index of how-to guides and troubleshooting--I'm certain 90% of us spend the majority of our time searching for answers to simple problems. The oksamurai videos are great, but it's like searching for a needle in a haystack...you can't possibly remember which video talks about what issue. All the correct answers spread all over the forums and videos aren't the least bit helpful if you don't know how to ask the right question. Most of us creative types are big dummies who don't fully understand computers (how could I possibly have known that my AI file was so huge because of such a simple reason?). I'm pretty sure the purpose of CC is to get Adobe products into the hands of more creative people, but if those of us who are new to Adobe are spending most of our time trying to figure out why something doesn't work, the creativity gets crushed. Making the creative process super easy should be Adobe's number one priority, don't you think?

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Explorer ,
Apr 15, 2019 Apr 15, 2019

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Update: problem not solved after all, even after reducing the size of the puppet.

Other than the two additional head positions, the only other difference between this puppet and the 3000x3000 puppet that works fine is that I gave him a shirt and shorts, which I had to put on separate layers from the torso and legs. At this point, I guess I'm just going to have to deal with it. Already spent more time troubleshooting than I'd spend waiting for each move to render, or whatever it's doing.

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 15, 2019 Apr 15, 2019

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I was just doing some benchmarking late last week to understand a surprising performance test result and noticed that the Resolution popup in the Puppet section of the properties* panel can have a huge impact on scene load/refresh performance. Similarly, at some zoom levels, render as vector can have big performance (and memory usage) effects as well.

In hindsight, the result was not that surprising since the difference between 50% and 400% is 64x as many pixels (the percent is multiplying the edge and 2D pixel squares that).


One other thing that can affect AI is that if you name all the little pieces of the character in Illustrator, Ch will assume they are interesting enough to import as part of the visible/manipulatable part of the puppet's structure in the puppet panel and that can result in a lot of work to render out lots of little parts that then have to managed/rendered/composited together in the scene whereas a large hierarchy entirely formed of unnamed parts will come into Ch as a single layer that's already combined.

Anyway, just some ideas. If it still keeps tripping you up and you want to send me a sample from Activity Monitor when it is beachballing, I might be able to get an idea what it's so busy doing.

DT

* shown if you select the puppet in the project panel or rig module's puppet panel, not the timeline

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 15, 2019 Apr 15, 2019

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Minor clarification: the chart might provide the misleading idea that render as vector is faster than 200 or 400 sizes, but at a high zoom level (or high scene resolution), render as vector can result in even larger textures that are way slower than 400 even.

DT

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Explorer ,
Apr 15, 2019 Apr 15, 2019

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Thanks Dan--I did both---changed all unnecessarily named paths to <path> and reduced the resolution to 100%. It's working better now, although when I bump it back up to 200% it slows down, so it's possible changing the name didn't do anything to help. If anything changes, I'll post

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 15, 2019 Apr 15, 2019

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Good to know. You may find you want to use 50% for heavy editing and then only bump it back up to get the quality you want for export. Anyway, glad it at least seems to help!

DT

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Explorer ,
Apr 15, 2019 Apr 15, 2019

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Guess I spoke too soon. I had to quit CH to restart the computer for a hard drive install and when I opened it back up, now I can't get any audio, no matter what buffer size I choose (also tried going from two monitors to just one) and I'm getting the beachball again. The only thing I did was quit and reopen (and I restarted the computer). I tried dropping the res down to 50%, quitting CH and restarting again, turning the audio input to off. Going to try restarting the computer once more and unplug the webcam.

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Explorer ,
Apr 15, 2019 Apr 15, 2019

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Okay, I tried restarting the computer, unplugging the webcam, creating a new scene and creating a new project. Still no audio and it starts beachballing when I disable the Lip Sync record button (beachballs after each record disable). I wonder if it could be something with the shared heads, but I hate to try that out---I don't want to have to re-rig the whole puppet unless it couldn't be anything else.

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Explorer ,
Apr 15, 2019 Apr 15, 2019

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Created a new scene, this time with the puppet without walk cycle--so it just has the frontal view and no shared heads--it does have five head positions, though. The audio is back on (previously it would play during playback, but not while recording--in case I didn't make that clear in my previous comment), but now the record scene window is stuck in the corner so I can only see a portion of the head unless I make the whole window super small. Replace one problem with another.....

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Explorer ,
Apr 16, 2019 Apr 16, 2019

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Update: I abandoned the 3 view (walk cycle) puppet for now and created a whole new project with just the frontal view (five head positions) puppet. I also unnamed everything that didn't need to be named. Thought I could leave the items within the mouth viseme layers named, but quickly found out that if you have the word "face" in any item, the Face behavior gets messed up. Other than that hiccup, everything is moving pretty well now. Almost instantaneous playback after recording.

It's becoming more and more evident that naming layers and items (or making sure to NOT name them) is one of, if not THE primary reason(s) for errors, slowdowns and glitches.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 14, 2019 Apr 14, 2019

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I have a blog where I write up tips and tricks I think useful that I did not work out from the official manuals at the time. It also has a post that links off to some tutorials I have. https://extra-ordinary.tv/behind-the-scenes/  One episode also links off to YouTube channel. (Beware, CH has been upgraded since I wrote some of the early blog posts.)

The wookie YouTube series is pretty slow but takes a photo of a puppet from scratch. I recorded EVERYTHING I did because (1) no missing steps to get stuck on, and (2) it was faster to do and this is just a hobby. So fast-forwarding through the videoes is recommended ;-).  I was going to have a go at a similar series for Illustrator, but work got busy so I have not done as much recently. This was a bit of fun The Silly Dilly Song - YouTube  - but my main series has been stalled for ages. Sad. (I may actually unsubscribe from the software soon and wait until I get free time again.)

But back to your problem. Does other software normally run fine on your machine? If so I would check the size of the artwork files or report back on the number of layers in the AI file. Is it running out of memory and thrashing? Or are all the files on a network mounted file system that just makes it run slower? CH hits the disk pretty hard I think.

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Explorer ,
Apr 14, 2019 Apr 14, 2019

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Thanks for the links--I'll check them out when I get a little extra time.

It's definitely time to upgrade my machine, but as old as it is, it has plenty of RAM and processor. Ableton runs like a dream. It's really just the Adobe apps that don't perform well.

I did figure out how to make the AI file smaller (uncheck "save as PDF compatible"--went from 6.7mb to 875kb). That helped, but it's still glitching after recording an animation--not for ten seconds, but it isn't instantaneous as it is with the older AI file of the same puppet.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 15, 2019 Apr 15, 2019

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I assume changing the resolution won’t impact Postiion X/Y and Anchor X/Y etc values? I would hate to record a full scene only to find changing the resolution affects all the coordinates! Might be worth a test before going too far ... just to be sure 😉

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LEGEND ,
Apr 18, 2019 Apr 18, 2019

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Any layer with tag names in them get auto tagged. Maybe the problem is there were many layers tagged with Face, and the program uses up a lot of memory per Face tagged layer. (Even if you remove the tags, they get added back in if you edit the artwork as the artwork is re-imported.) So yes, avoiding the special tag names in layer names is important.

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