PDA

View Full Version : Correct Proxy Usage?


rightclick
02-03-2010, 01:11 AM
Hi all,

I am working on a large composite in both res and file size and its killing AFX... 4K PSD with 100+ Layers! Yikes :surprised

I'm wondering - Would it be effective to save a copy of the PSD at 1/4 size and have AFX use that one as a proxy for the full rez file? Seems easier than creating a proxy for 100+ layers...

Other suggestions more than welcome of course =)

-John

ernpchan
02-03-2010, 03:36 AM
Do you need to use psd files? Why not save down to png files. They take up less resources in AE.

PaulDeSilva
02-03-2010, 05:12 AM
I believe he's using the PSD just for ease of use as all layers are in one file and he can just pull layers in AE. The PNG thing you suggesting is creating the "roto" work I think he's trying to avoid.

Yeah, what you said seems to make sense. It'll save you 3/4 of the ram anyway. I don't know how easy it is because the proxy has to be set. Hopefully you can select all the layers in AE and set the proxy to that 1/4 PSD. If you can't, it might not be worth the hassle of doing it individually for 100 layers.

If you're already in the middle of the AE work, the only other thing I could think of is to rename your original PSD and call the 1/4 one the name of the original. Then, in AE they would have the same animation but be scaled down 50%. So you would have to then scale all layers up 200%. If you have scaling animation then I have no idea how to get around that.

Mylenium
02-03-2010, 01:59 PM
Do you need to use psd files? Why not save down to png files. They take up less resources in AE.

Actually they don't. Like all Adobe apps, AE is not particularly good at handling PNGs. They can cause considerable slowdowns.

Mylenium

Mylenium
02-03-2010, 02:09 PM
If you're already in the middle of the AE work, the only other thing I could think of is to rename your original PSD and call the 1/4 one the name of the original. Then, in AE they would have the same animation but be scaled down 50%. So you would have to then scale all layers up 200%. If you have scaling animation then I have no idea how to get around that.

Na, that won't work. It will lead to a visually completely different result from properly proxying the files. Proxy's retain the original resolution info, replacing with a scaled item doesn't. This wreaks havoc with effects, masks and of course any transform animation, so it's not an option. I'm afraid it is really necessary to set aside those ten minutes and assign the proxies layer by layer...

Mylenium

ernpchan
02-03-2010, 04:09 PM
Actually they don't. Like all Adobe apps, AE is not particularly good at handling PNGs. They can cause considerable slowdowns.

Mylenium

Really I wasn't aware of that. So even though they look to take up less memory resources you wouldn't see an increase in performance? I'm interested in learning more about this.

Back to rightclick do you have anything that you can collapse down to a single layer?

rightclick
02-03-2010, 06:43 PM
Wow - thanks for all of the response!
I believe he's using the PSD just for ease of use as all layers are in one file and he can just pull layers in AE.
True. That was the idea anyways... :rolleyes:
Do you need to use psd files? Why not save down to png files. They take up less resources in AE.
Interesting PNG idea ernpchan - Im sure the total file size of 100+ PNGs would be less than the source PSD... although this also takes some time to set up.

Na, that won't work. It will lead to a visually completely different result from properly proxying the files. Proxy's retain the original resolution info, replacing with a scaled item doesn't. This wreaks havoc with effects, masks and of course any transform animation, so it's not an option. I'm afraid it is really necessary to set aside those ten minutes and assign the proxies layer by layer...
Also True, as I found out late last night. Perhaps this is a job for... AE Expressions? Or not.
Back to rightclick do you have anything that you can collapse down to a single layer?
Unfortunately the 100+ layer PSD is the result of collasping/rasterizing/cleaning the "source's source" lol. Mainly this is an issue b/c each layer sits on a unique Z-space within AFX, so there are still many many layers...
This is an Adobe direct quote from RTFM, if YKWIM :curious:
Proxy Any file used to temporarily replace a footage item, but most often a lower-resolution or still version of an existing footage item used to replace the original.
Maybe I need my coffee, but how do you use a lower resolution resolution version that's the same exact size (and not screw up positions)? Isn't video resolution dimension based via pixels, not based on DPI like print? :shrug:

ernpchan
02-03-2010, 06:53 PM
Unfortunately the 100+ layer PSD is the result of collasping/rasterizing/cleaning the "source's source" lol. Mainly this is an issue b/c each layer sits on a unique Z-space within AFX, so there are still many many layers...


What about in your AE project...are there areas of your project that you know you're "done" with? Say you have a complicated fancy BG comp that you know you're done with you could render that out as a single movie file and use that as footage instead.

PaulDeSilva
02-03-2010, 07:15 PM
In reference to the lower resolution question, if you create a proxy for a footage item (video or image), after effects will automatically scale it to fit the source. A 1024x1024 image that you've proxied with a 512x 512 image will look exactly the same in After Effects in terms of position and all the animation you've done. It will simply be lower resolution as though you changed the composition viewer resolution to half.

The benefit is greater than that though as you can also use any compression you want on the proxy. It could be a really awful jpeg or something. So, if your 1024 PSD is 10MB, you could probably use a jpeg that's highly compressed at something like 500K which is an enormous RAM saver!

From what everybody has said so far, it seems that you'll have to suck it up and create proxies per layer in After Effects.

ernpchan
02-03-2010, 07:22 PM
This might help you through the proxy creation process.
http://aescripts.com/createproxies/

rightclick
02-03-2010, 07:24 PM
For sure - Once a layer has been treated it will be proxied. However one problem I have when working in this comp is simply navigating through the layer stack and seeing how their animation corresponds as a whole. I don't particularly enjoy that when ticking layer visibility with proxies I have to also turn off the proxy in the project panel... but I guess that's the point of using a proxy?

Would this be an acceptable approach? ...Import large PSD into AFX - source comp size becomes 4K. Turn off all but a few layers and begin to animate and proxy them. After initial animations precomp the 4K comp into a new comp equal to final output size (1920x1080) and begin camera animation and final polish?

ernpchan
02-03-2010, 07:53 PM
Would this be an acceptable approach? ...Import large PSD into AFX - source comp size becomes 4K. Turn off all but a few layers and begin to animate and proxy them. After initial animations precomp the 4K comp into a new comp equal to final output size (1920x1080) and begin camera animation and final polish?

Yeah that could work. It sounds like you need to chop up your workflow so you can stay sane. Work on sections individually if you can.

Divide and conquer.

rightclick
02-03-2010, 09:12 PM
Id found the CreateProxies Script from the very helpful aecripts.com a few days ago and while not perfect it does a pretty good job of automating parts of the process - WAY better than 1x1 :cool:

Yeah, I guess its just a beastly comp with gnarly teeth and I need to plan my attack accordingly and beat it out in parts as you suggest. If I come up with anything more innovative than brute force Ill post it here for others to find... lol

Thanks for the help peeps! :beer:

suztv
02-05-2010, 04:43 PM
I seems as though you would benefit from an improved AE workflow as well as using solo layers, shy layers and possibly a few AE scripts (Zorro the layer tagger is a great one (http://aescripts.com/zorro-the-layer-tagger/)). Also naming your layers and color coding them within AE will help tremendously.

As far as using a LR proxy still bitmap - I don't normally do that, however if there are several components that I animate I do pre-compose them and proxy those or do a pre-render.

When concepting or creating a Storyboard I usually use smart objects and keep the source material as large as possible. Once I've finalized my storyboard and know how big I need that image I save it at the resolution in either a transparent PSD or TGA with alpha channel format. If your PSD comp is that large perhaps you could look at the assets and determine what you really need... There are several ways to save on RAM and processing issues - flatten or merge files if they aren't moving or are backgrounds. For shapes, lines etc - I usually create shapes etc within AfterEffects - the only thing being pulled out of my PSD comp really is type (plus a few necessary images) and then once in AE I convert it. Honestly - unless it's a background, once I'm in AE I do not open Photoshop again simply because AfterEffects can do a majority of what I need. When I pull files from photoshop into AfterEffect I usually will only have at the most about 10-15 layers (to start - I create bunches more in the comp).

A good resource on AE workflow is www.videocopilot.net. The way Andrew Kramer works and sets up his files should give you some indication as to how you would approach a large project etc.

http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/proxies_and_workflow_tips/

I know I rambled on - and a lot of it may not help your current issue but hopefully you can take what you learned on this project and apply it to others in the future.

CGTalk Moderation
02-05-2010, 04:43 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.