This Seems to have started when I tried to get animations from studio into bryce. They didn’t play back right but now neither do they if made in bryce. Is there some other dialog I’m missing to check? I really only see “output module” in the render animation dialog. Document size is normal.
OK, there are two issues here: animation compatibility between Bryce and Studio, and animation playback. I can’t give any advice on the former. But I do know that playback of a rendered-out animation, in ANY player, is separate and distinct from any compatibility issues.
So… There might be compatibility issue with Bryce/Studio on your comp. BUT… Once your animation is rendered, that issue is not carried with it. The animation is a series of screenshots, basically. Screenshots don’t contain paths, mesh matrices or lighting settings, let alone texture info. There might be colour errors in the rendered out animation. There might be mesh inconsistencies, due to an error in the Bryce or Studio file. A frame in the timeline might have turned completely green, due to a codec error or even a render engine bug. But none of that should affect playback: once all the computation has been done, the animation’s just a high-speed slideshow.
I’d like you to try three things. They’re all based on my opinion that Windows Media Player is crap.
1) Adjust your document size to 640 pixels wide, 480 pixels high, 15fps, and do a wireframe render animation your scene (go through the normal render animation sequence, but hold SHIFT down when you click the tick that starts the rendering process). This renders out your animation as wireframe only, and it’ll render REALLY quickly. It doesn’t matter if your composition doesn’t look right - we’re just testing playback.
2) Do the above, but change your frame rate to either 25 or 30fps.
3) Do the above, but check your codec in the output section. If that stupid Windows-only color schema is selected, choose something useful.
Let us know if they play successfully.
I’ve run into problems with WMP in the past, and several older versions of Quicktime players. They often only like playing video with specific pixel dimensions: 640x480 (VGA), 720x576 (PAL), 720x480 (NTSC), 800x600 (SVGA), 1280x720 (720p). Also, they only like using specific frame rates: 12, 15, 24, 25, 29.97, 30. But the most significant detail is the document size. Document sizes / frame rates outside of those listed can cause the player to interpret the video (using their own proprietary software) in strange and crazy ways.
That’s why I recommend the following export options for animation output:
Document sizes (pixels):
640x480, 720x576, 720x480, 1280x720 (or if you’re really keen, 1920x1080 for 1080p)
Frame rates: 12, 15, 24, 25, 30 (be aware: high frame rates and large doc sizes may be difficult to play back smoothly)
Format from Bryce:
Windows: AVI Movie, Uncompressed. Click the Edit button to check you have not added any codec to it.
Mac: Quicktime Movie (.mov). You should use either Animation or Apple Intermediate Codec at full quality for this.
These export options will result in very large, but full quality, movies. Keep these as your masters.
Use MPEG Streamclip (or similar) to convert your uncompressed movies to MP4 format, H.264 codec. For most uses, 60-70% compression should be fine, uncheck any interlacing options, kill any sound options.
There are many other successful post-processing export options through a format player/converter like MPEG Streamclip. All I’m trying to do here is give bare-bones, basic, works-everytime solution that’s good to work from raw output to YouTube acceptance. Stray from this golden path at your peril!