Animation clunker!

I have produced a real clunker somehow. The car file does what I want but really slowly in the Assembly window and when I render it, I get 162MB file. I can reduce the size, resolution, compression, and frame rate to reduce the avi file size to ONLY 30MB but that seems really bloated.

I am only doing little stick figures compared to the complex animations I see the folks here making so I think I must be doing things fundamentally wrong. I have a lot of spinning bits combined into hierarchys (families) that move around and connect with each other with one light source and no background.

Can someone take a look at this file and see where I could make it efficient? Apparently car files are not allowed for upload. What file format is possible?

Thanks.

Comments

  • SelinitaSelinita Posts: 789

    Hi,

    You can:

    • zip it and upload
    • change the file ext to txt and upload
    • use Dropbox or equivalent and post the link

    Regarding the size of your AVI - uncompressed, 720p, 4-seconds is around 260MB to give you an idea...


    Selina smiley

  • hrpschrdhrpschrd Posts: 155

    Thanks Selina!

    It sounds like most animations are hundreds of MB then?! What size are longer animations that I see by Carrara authors, many GB?

    Just for grins, here is my file as text. Let me know if it is readable.

    Bob

    txt
    txt
    connectedtest6.txt
    17K
  • hrpschrdhrpschrd Posts: 155

    An alternative is to render the animation in high resolution and then use a screen recorder (OBS Studio?) to make a smaller size recording of the animation played on my screen?

  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,274

    HI :)

    As Selina mentioned,. you're working with an "uncompressed" AVI file,. and those can be real chunky,. (also not the best way to work)

    you should render out your animation as "sequenced frames" (that's what film is).. :)

    Once you have all the frames,. then you can make those into a playable clip in a video editor,.

    you can then export the results in various formats which can also use a codec to compress the video, ...reducing the file size to something more managable. (maybe 10mb).

    MP4 (H:265) is a widely used format,. decent quality and good compression.

    One issue with rendering from carrara to a "movie" format is that if you spot an error,. it's a re-render the whole thing to fix it,.

    if you save a sequence of frames,. you can render any single frame (for errors) , you can also edit those frames individually, or as a batch,. in another image editing application or Combine with other sequences or effects to create a longer animation.

    You should be doing any "Post processing" work using the best quality images you have,. rather than using compressed video clips.

    There are a bunch of free Video editors available,. Hit film expresss,. and Black magic design have recently released the Beta of "Resolve" for free.

    Hope it helps :)

  • SelinitaSelinita Posts: 789
    edited April 17
    hrpschrd said:

    An alternative is to render the animation in high resolution and then use a screen recorder (OBS Studio?) to make a smaller size recording of the animation played on my screen?

    Bob,

    Too drastic and not necessary. Just do what 3DAGE suggests: export your animation as a series of image files and import the sequence into your favourite NLE video editor for final video output.

    On your point of the animation moving really slowly in the Assembly room this is because you have many, many cylinders moving in your scene and Carrara has to calculate where each one is at any given frame. At the start of your animation they are all moving rapidly and that takes a lot of calculation. From what I can see you have two basic shapes; an epoxide and a diamine which are then combined to form various chains... you could reduce the amount of calculation if you made these base shapes in either the vertex or spline rooms by a factor of 11.

    I also see that in the rendered video that 'd' and 'e' loose their cylindrical shape and just look like lines so why not construct these out of flat planes for the level of detail required - also a tremendous saving on calculation time?

    Hope this helps.


    ​Selina

    Post edited by Selinita on
  • SelinitaSelinita Posts: 789
    edited April 17

    ..Just so I know know what I'm talking about, here's a quick show with an epoxide constructed in the spline room and a diamine constructed in the vertex room with 3 simple combinations. You can use the Align tool (Ctrl+K) to help align them and turn on Collision Detection (VIEW : Use Collision Detection) also to get your shapes to abut beautifully.

    Hope this helps and you're not insulted by my 'experiment' you've done a lot of work on your show, Bob !


    Selina

    ED.png
    800 x 600 - 55K
    txt
    txt
    ED_Test.txt
    9K
    Post edited by Selinita on
  • hrpschrdhrpschrd Posts: 155

    Thanks very much Selina and 3DAGE! I suspected that I was probably doing things in, shall we say, an inefficient manner.

    I am a chemist so I don't have much time for animation but the simple results are very helpful in conveying the very different motions that microwaves create with molecules.

    It will take me some time to re-do the drawings and try sequencing. Looking forward to the obviously better results (above)!

    Really great help, thanks again.

    Bob 

  • hrpschrdhrpschrd Posts: 155

    There are a lot of sequenced frame options in Render. How do you choose?

  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,274

    depending on what you're rendering,. and how you intend working with that,. 

    sequenced JPG, or PNG (you can also enable alpha channel with png).

    you'd use (Render alpha channel) to make the black background area in your scene invisible,. which will allow you to composite your animation over a different background image/clip in a video editor.

    if you don't mind the black background,. JPG is fine. ,. or just straight PNG without the Alpha :)

    The "options" in the sequenced "file format" area,.  depend on the selected format,. ...the defaut settings are usually all that's needed.

    so,. just select JPG,. then in the "File name" area,. enable "named file" and click the button to select an output Folder,. and name your file,.

    Sequenced files are numbered,. eg: funclip_0001,. funclip_0002 etc,..  bear that in mind when you name the file.

    some format's,. such as Giff are pretty old now,. and have been surpassed by newer formats such a FLV or MP4 which have a higher quality/colour range with lower file sizes.

    Hope it helps ;)

  • hrpschrdhrpschrd Posts: 155

    3DAGE:

    I installed the beta of Resolve 15. I have imported the sequence files but it is not obvious to me where to go from here. 

  • SelinitaSelinita Posts: 789

    Hi,

    I'm not familiar with Resolve, but I am familiar with Vegas Pro, Premier and HitFilm... so my advice to you is look for the menu item that says RENDER and choose a render output option of mp4 or H.264. Secondly if this is not intuitive enough for you they is always YouTube's plethora of helpful tutorials just search for rendering in Resolve...

    Hope that helps...


    Selina

  • hrpschrdhrpschrd Posts: 155

    Nope, no RENDER option that i can see.. 3DAGE?

  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,274

    I have to admit that i've only brushed the surface with resolve ,.

     

    Down at the bottom of the screen you should see a "Deliver" icon,. that's the final output area,..

    you can select some basic "icon" options for youtube etc,. (or select "custom" if you know what you're doing)  then select the compression codec (eg:Mp4  H264)

    Select the destination folder,.

    Then add the comp to the render queue,. then hit render

    sorry, no pics,. mid render :)

  • hrpschrdhrpschrd Posts: 155

    First, my goal is to make a smaller animation file to put into PowerPoint. I have produced a smaller file by using splines (per Selina).

    I produced sequence.jpg files. Imported into a project in Resolve. Selected YouTube, although that is not where I want to put this. I chose the MP4 codec and selected the destination folder but can't seem to name the file. I now have "no jobs in queue so nothing happens when I select render. 

    Should I have chosen a different video editor that others use?

  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,274
    edited May 3

    it's probably just learning curve, but it is a Big chunk of software with multi-options everywhere,.. which can make things seem more complex than needed.

    there are probably more simplistic video compilers available,.. i think "virtualdub"  ( http://virtualdub.org/ ) is what some folks use,. it's also free.

    the Youtube and Vimeo  buttons are basically "preset" settings,. since the variation of formats and compression codecs can be initially bewildering,.

    there's always some trial and error involved to find the best quality/file size for your needs. so having presets helps :)

    Although it has those presets for youtube or vimeo or final cut,. it doesn't send/upload the file anywhere,. it just creates the file in a format ready for upload or further editing in another program.

    even after selecting a preset,. you can change those default settings,. eg: mp4 rather than quicktime.

    In the "deliver" area,. as long as you have something in the timeline, you should have options to select where that file is saved,. and a button to "Add to Render Queue"

    once that's done,. you should see it on the render list

    Note,. you can add your footage to the render queue several times , each with different options,. to see what that format, and that compression codec gives you

    Have a look in powerpoint to check what video formats it supports.

    Pic

    click for bigger pic

    resolve.jpg
    1680 x 1050 - 323K
    Post edited by 3DAGE on
  • mindsongmindsong Posts: 971

    Hey there,

    Almost all video editors I've used tend to call the output stage 'render', or 'export', and it's either under a 'burn DVD' sort of option (don't use for just a video file), or right under the usual 'file' menu (e.g. file->export).

    Resolve is very powerful, which means they may have buried the basic export under another 'file/save/export' function, so you may have to dig a bit.

    FWIW, not only is uncompressed AVI *huge* to save (e.g. a 100K frame in MP4/x264 might get up to 200 megs in uncompressed AVI. Not exaggerating! And... it usually plays back really slowly/stutters because the amount of data being read from the disk (gigs per second) gets in the way of the playback, esp. when reading from network shares, CD/DVDs, or thumb-drives!

    See 3DAGE's comments for good suggestions. MP4/x.264 is a good standard that most everyone can play, but windows WMV is probably more likely to be available and useable by anyone for output as well.

    I second the advice to render to a PNG sequence and then import/consolidate the images (lots of 'em :) in your editor. Many reasons why this seemingly hassle method is really a life-saver for options later.

    let us know how it goes!

    --ms

     

  • hrpschrdhrpschrd Posts: 155
    edited May 3

    Thanks mindsong. I am still a little lost on this process. I have generated a sequence rather than an avi. This is 179 jpg files and one cseqm file. I imported this list into Resolve but probably not correctly because it does not show up in the timeline and cannot be rendered.

    - how do you import a sequence of files into Resolve?

    - do you then render them (by 3dage hints)?

    - how is that converted into an animation file that I can import into PPT?

    This is assuming that Resolve is the best choice of "film editors" for an occasional file need. Maybe a simpler one is better?

    Post edited by hrpschrd on
  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,274
    edited May 3

    in the "Media" section,. go to FILE/ IMPORT FILE/ IMPORT MEDIA,. then browse to your files,. select all the sequenced image files (you don't need the cseqm file) (thats a sequence list (text)

    once you've selected your sequence of image  files,. you'll see the little clip,. drag that into the timeline area .

    you should now have a clip in the timeline.

    now go to the "deliver" area,. select your video output option (youtube, etc) ,. then click "add to render queue",. then click render.

    that will output a video file,. have a look at that file,. check the quality and file size,. if that's OK,. open powerpoint,. and import or embed the file in your document.

    in Resolve you can select different output options for your project,. and try different compression settings to get good quality and good compression.

    MP4 is one of the most popular formats for video, it has good quality and good compression,  it's also a streaming format, so it's good for web,. EG youtube etc.

    you can also select "custom" and choose AVI and select a compression codec and render that out,... if powerpoint requires an MS format

    hope it helps :)

     

    Post edited by 3DAGE on
  • mindsongmindsong Posts: 971
    edited May 3

    Resolve should be fine - it's powerful, but amazingly capable, but you just have to sort through more options to find your simple ones... Kinda like 'Word' vs 'notepad'. If you've already installed it, go with it, as it'll likely serve any need you'll ever have. I'm migrating to Resolve on my next project, so I'm right behind you on this one.

    It looks like Andy/3DAGE has hacked through the steps, so you're probably really close.

    FWIW, 179 frames is roughly 6 seconds at 30 frames per second, so don't be surprised if that's the clip length on the timeline. Resolve can easily slow it down to make it longer, if you can figure out where that function is (maybe look for slow-motion, time-stretch, or adjust speed/length in Resolve's help). You could lengthen it in Carrara and re-render as well, but that's probably not needed.

    If your target is powerpoint, I'd guess an AVI or ASF (yourfile.AVI or yourfile.ASF) file with the internal WMV format would be very compatible with powerpoint. Medium quality levels and '720p' (1280x720) would be a safe starting export for most presentations. (Use MP4 if you are sending the raw video file out to the world). For 6 seconds of video at those settings, it shouldn't be much bigger than 50-100 megs, I'd guess offhand. Then drag the exported AVI file into powerpoint and see if it works for your needs.

    ETA: in the video world, there are file format 'envelopes' like AVI, ASF, MOV, MKV, QT, MP4, ...  that *contain* content data of various formats like WMV or x264 (there are *many* internal formats). So, when exporting any video, that's why you have to pick the file-format/envlope first, then pick the internal formats that are available for the chosen envelope. Once you see this pattern, the choices become more understandable. These envelopes can contain multiple video files, sound formats, subtitles, etc.  Most of us don't use any of that stuff, but we still need to deal with the complexity.

    hope this makes sense,

    --ms

    (edits to clarify)

    Post edited by mindsong on
  • hrpschrdhrpschrd Posts: 155
    edited May 3

    OK, I created a large AVI and a small MP4. Only the MP4 pastes into PPT but the quality is very poor. I looked at the single frame rendered in CAR and it is poor too.

    I think I have a bigger problem. I made a simple spline model just like Selina did (above) and copied it 34 times and put spin on them.

    I used 320x240, 72dpi, 18fps. Is that why? Too many objects? (really??)

    txt
    txt
    splineepoxyV.txt
    4K
    Post edited by hrpschrd on
  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,274

    In the pic above,.  two post back,. you should have an option to browse to where you want the output video file to be created,.

    that location appears at the bottom of each of the "steps" in the pic,.

    that should be where the file is located

    I normally just save the file to my desktop,. then I can find it,  move it, rename it , or whatever i need.

    if you're on windows , sometimes you need to refresh the folder to see new files (F5)

    Resolve is a huge beast, and what we're doing here isn't touching most of what it does,. and i get that it's a confusing,even intimidating process and a tough learning curve, but i think it'll be worth it.

     

     

  • hrpschrdhrpschrd Posts: 155

    I used the spline room to make a much simpler drawing than connecting individual objects (thanks Selina). Now, unless I use 1080 size rendering I am getting really pixelated images! Why is this? I really like the spline method.

    txt
    txt
    splineepoxyVfewer.txt
    4K
  • SelinitaSelinita Posts: 789

    Hi hrpschrd,

    When you save an image sequence to jpg it is a compressed format and if you then further compress these into an mp4 video you'll only get a very poor pixelated film. It is better to save your images to png; a far superior format to begin with, then you can save to a compressed format without too much detail being lost.

    Hope that helps,


    ​Selina

  • hrpschrdhrpschrd Posts: 155

    Hi Selina;

    Actually it is worse than that. You can see in the attachment that I made 15 copies of the same spline drawing and for some reason they are very low resolution compared to yours. Rendering one image even with PNG is very pixellated. Something fundamental is wrong.

  • SelinitaSelinita Posts: 789
    edited May 4

    Hi hrpschrd,

    Ok, I can see where your problem lies; in the Render Room:

    1. Unclick Global Illumination -Sky Light, you're not using it
    2. Increase the AntiAliasing to Best

    ..in the Assemble Room, under Scene:

    1. Change Ambient, Basic Brightness to 0%

    Also to note that the closer you move your camera to the subject the better the viewing experience...


    image

    Post edited by Selinita on
  • mindsongmindsong Posts: 971
    edited May 4
    hrpschrd said:

    OK, I created a large AVI and a small MP4. Only the MP4 pastes into PPT but the quality is very poor. I looked at the single frame rendered in CAR and it is poor too.

    I think I have a bigger problem. I made a simple spline model just like Selina did (above) and copied it 34 times and put spin on them.

    I used 320x240, 72dpi, 18fps. Is that why? Too many objects? (really??)

    @Selina is hitting the main problem - yay.

    I do believe that 320x240 is pretty small for the base renders. Try 800x600, 1280x720, or even 1920x1080 - PNGs for your base render sequences, and then experiment with saving back down to the smaller sizes on the output export/ from resolve until you find that nice sweet spot for powerpoint. You are getting really close to nailing it here. If the originals are too small/graining, there's nothing much that the video editing side can do to restore detail that was lost from the initial renders. I could be wrong, but I can't imagine anything smaller than 640x480 for this sort of line-work is going to work well for you. FWIW, 18fps should be fine for this sort of animation, and it should compress *really* well.

    cheers,

    --ms

    Post edited by mindsong on
  • hrpschrdhrpschrd Posts: 155
    edited May 6

    Ok, you guys are all awesome! The more I learn this stuff the more fun it is and more useful I hope it becomes.

    i now have a 2MB much higher quality file that works beautifully. One question: For some reason the clip has black borders left and right (like letterboxing). How do I remove those before rendering? I see the Trim menu but it is not very obvious.

    Post edited by hrpschrd on
  • SelinitaSelinita Posts: 789

    Hi,

    This is due to a difference in frame size aspect ratio between your image sequence out of Carrara and the render template in your NLE (non-linear editor, ie 'Resolve').

    You have three main choices (there are others):

    1. Re-render from Carrara using the same aspect ratio 16:9, 4:3 (ie width to height ratio 1280 to 720 is 16:9 also known as 720p) to match the resolve template
    2. Change the frame size in resolve to match the aspect ratio of your images sequences
    3. Scale the images to fit the size though this will result in the top and bottom of your images getting clipped and not the best option unless you are rendering out at a smaller size anyway.

    Hope that helps,


    Selina

  • hrpschrdhrpschrd Posts: 155
    edited May 7

    Does anyone know how to change the frame size in Resolve to match the 1.33:1 of Carrara?

    Post edited by hrpschrd on
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