View Full Version : Rendering disaster - please help

Steve Warner
04-19-2002, 07:24 AM
Hi all! This has happened a number of times and I still can't figure it out so I'm hoping someone can provide some direction.

I set up my anim just the way I want. Everything looks great. Test renders look fantastic. I then pull up the Render Preferences. Set all the defaults (Raytracing, AutoFrame Advance, etc.) I check the Save Anim button. AVI. Set my options for the codec I want. Give the file a name, and finally hit F10. The render status window comes up. Rendering... Antialising... Saving... More rendering and so on.

Several hours later: Rendering's done. The render window disappears. I go to the place the file is and... it's only 5k. Double click and Windows Media player can't open the file.

This happens whether I have the Show Rendering In Progress on or not. And the strange thing is this: If I go back and do it again, there's a 50/50 chance I'll either get the same result or it will go ahead and render.

I've hit the point where I start rendering, let it churn a few frames out and then stop everything to make sure it's really doing it.

I shouldn't have to be doing this, should I? Anyone else experience this? Any ideas on how to correct it? I'm not doing anything differently. Just sometimes it works and others it does not.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions!


Rabid pitbull
04-19-2002, 08:06 AM
yikes that sounds horrible, i can say i never had that happen. have you added any new software lately, or had any terrible crashes? it sounds like time to run norton utillities or whatever you got like that. maybe a conflict of some kind. memory error? if you dont get a answer here you should post over at newtek and see if they can help you out.

good luck, oh yeah let us know what the cause is when you figure it out.

04-19-2002, 08:14 AM
I know this isn't the solution you were hoping for. BUT- you really should render to an image sequence if at all possible. This way if you crash or whatever, you will still have whatever has rendered. Also you can experiment with codecs or save out in two or more completely different formats. It is just MUCH more flexible and safe to render to frames for anything other than a quick/small test render.

You will have to have a program like AfterEffects or Premier though.

But say so if this is a problem for you. Someone else should be able to tell you how to get the AVIs to render properly.

Good Luck :)

edit: I just saw Rabid's suggestions. Sounds like a good idea to me as well :)

Steve Warner
04-19-2002, 08:16 AM
To tell you the truth, this was happening on my Win2000 machine and is still happening now that I've built a new system with WinXP. When I rebuilt the system, I made sure to keep it clean. Photoshop, After Effects, Illustrator and a few other apps were installed, but nothing out of the ordinary.

I do usually render final anims that go out for broadcast as image sequences and finish them in After Effects. But I just switched jobs about 8 months ago and am now producing multimedia training materials, which means that the most efficient use of time is to render directly to an AVI file. :shrug:

Thanks for the suggestions! Please keep them coming!

04-19-2002, 01:33 PM
Did u try changing the codec used to built animation ?
Try Divx or cinepak for example ...

it works fine on my computer ...

And as someone said before, render your anims in frames ... and create the movie after ... that's the best way to do it !

04-19-2002, 02:03 PM
i normally render all my anims in tga sequences and then build em up with VIRTUALDUB (it's a small free ultra powerful software for video conversion and things like that)

divx gets the best quality if you encode in 2 pass mode (that means it does one pass where it just reads the animation and "thinks" on the best way to compress it and the second one where it actually DOES the compression)
in lw, you can set avi saving in divx, but you'll get crappy quality or too big files or nothing at all...
otherwise try using standard codecs like ms-video 1 or indeo or cinepak...
other weird codecs cannot be saved frame by frame (like lw does) and have to be a complete frames set to work properly.

if you dont wanna image sequences, render in ms- video 1 at 100% quality (that's almost as good as uncompressed) and then convert the avi in virtualdub to the codec you want (you can merge or split avis with virtualdub too and if you check DIRECT STREAM COPY it does it so fast you dont even know it started....)

i used premiere to do all this kind of little operation, but virtualdub is way faster and with better results.

04-19-2002, 07:45 PM
Dies is right it's the codec, I was at one time getting that exact same problem so now I do most of my compressing in Vertual Dub and havent had a problem since.

04-19-2002, 07:58 PM
I've never found the time it takes to load the images into After Effects and render the output to be a real time intensive activity.

I'd highly recommend that you output single images and use After Effects. Outputting to avis is obviously not more efficient given the amount of time you already wasted with the problems you've encountered.

The problem you have with the avi output is probably codec based and likely has to do with your choice of an output resolution (i.e. 640x480 etc) that your chosen codec doesn't support.

Try playing with the codec and output res settings and set your animation length to something short like 15 frames and try rendering until it gives you an avi that works.

Steve Warner
04-19-2002, 08:03 PM
Thanks guys!

I have tried to render AVIs with both the Microsoft MPEG-4 v2 and DivX 4 codecs. It looks like that might be the problem. I didn't know that DivX couldn't save frame by frame, and that's the codec I used last night. I have only used MS Video-1 a few times, and while each was successful, I have avoided it because of the low quality and large file sizes. I do have Virtual Dub, and know that it's a fantastic program, so it looks like I'll have to render out the still image sequences and go that route. Still, if anyone knows of a decent codec that can do frame-by-frame encoding with good quality, I'd love to hear about it!

Thanks again to everyone for your help!


04-28-2002, 11:19 PM
This is a very good thread to read, especially for the newbies and those of us just beginning to learn the more technical side of rendering....... and the good advice on rendering to frames and using after effects.

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