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Old October 9th, 2008, 12:11 PM   #1
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Slow 'Motion' II

I've recently entered my brains into learning Motion a little more in depth and it's a great program for the most part.
Unfortunately, more often that not, it can crawl to an absolute standstill when the even the slightest 'quirky' task is executed. A case in point: I have a still image (png/jpg - not particularly large) with a subject that I have masked. This mask is then asked to perform a certain behaviour (a 'shiver' for example) whilst the rest of the image remains stationary.
This one task seems to work ok for a while before slowing Motion down to an absolute crawl...in fact any preview is unviewable (having to preview footage by exporting as a QT file...hardly an ideal workflow!)
I've trashed prefs, restarted Motion, rebooted the mac...to no avail. I've closed timelines and project tabs down and viewed the files (usually very short too...10-20 second clips) in quarter quality renders (sub youtube!!)
It's frustrating because occasionally it all flows quite nicely.
I'm wondering if it's my Mac which is just not up to the job, but the net is awash with similar stories regarding Motion.
I'm using an intel iMac 2.33Ghz proc, 2gb ram, Nvidia 7600 GT graphics card...and everything else runs very well (FCS suite running HDV material, Logic Pro)...it's just Motion :(

I'm considering upgrading, sooner rather than later, to FCS2 - but I'm not entirely convinced now that Motion 3 (with it's souped up engine) will a wise move considering the current issues.
AE apparantly doesn't really run into these noted problems (although this may be due to AE not rendering clips till completion...don't quote me on that!).

So...highly annoying at the moment...it's put some projects back due to it, well, not performing at all.
I'm wondering if there's any indication, from what I've written, if I might be able to fix any of these issues (are behaviours on images for example best left out unless you're running a '8 core quadramac' etc)? Alternatively are there any fixes tips I could attempt to get Motion running correctly (reinstall?).

Apoligies if all that's a little long winded...essentially my Motion is a snail with influenza.

Cheers.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 09:46 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by David Scattergood View Post
having to preview footage by exporting as a QT file...hardly an ideal workflow!... AE apparantly doesn't really run into these noted problems (although this may be due to AE not rendering clips till completion...don't quote me on that!)
Let's assume there's nothing wrong with the Graphics card, and that it has more than 127 MB of VRAM (64 MB doesn't quite cut it, but it will 'sort of work' IIRC).

I abandoned After Effects at about 6.5 in favour of Motion. I had been a Motion Graphics guy from 3.1 to 6.0, then found my work seemed more about effect and transition based editing than Motion Graphics. And now I use Motion 3, but the previous versions were unworkable for me. So that's my caveat lector warning.

After Effects is not a real-time Motion Graphics application. A real-time Motion Graphics application is a bit like a light weight road roller - almost a non sequitur. The AE workflow was ever thus: you're spending huge amounts of time rendering little movies of small parts of your magnum opus to get a general feel. It's like painting a picture through a magnifying glass.

Let's fast forward to Motion. You may be dialling in too much resolution and too much quality whilst previewing your work. Set the resolution to half or quarter, dial the quality back a bit. Think about better ways to achieving the effects you're wanting (Ripple's Deep Dive is good for this). Some filters are not using the Graphics Processing Unit because they're old tech, or written as hacks. Your Mac has incredible horsepower, but the plug ins need the right harness or you get to pull your own cart.
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Old October 15th, 2008, 07:41 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Matt Daviss View Post
Let's assume there's nothing wrong with the Graphics card, and that it has more than 127 MB of VRAM (64 MB doesn't quite cut it, but it will 'sort of work' IIRC).

I abandoned After Effects at about 6.5 in favour of Motion. I had been a Motion Graphics guy from 3.1 to 6.0, then found my work seemed more about effect and transition based editing than Motion Graphics. And now I use Motion 3, but the previous versions were unworkable for me. So that's my caveat lector warning.

After Effects is not a real-time Motion Graphics application. A real-time Motion Graphics application is a bit like a light weight road roller - almost a non sequitur. The AE workflow was ever thus: you're spending huge amounts of time rendering little movies of small parts of your magnum opus to get a general feel. It's like painting a picture through a magnifying glass.

Let's fast forward to Motion. You may be dialling in too much resolution and too much quality whilst previewing your work. Set the resolution to half or quarter, dial the quality back a bit. Think about better ways to achieving the effects you're wanting (Ripple's Deep Dive is good for this). Some filters are not using the Graphics Processing Unit because they're old tech, or written as hacks. Your Mac has incredible horsepower, but the plug ins need the right harness or you get to pull your own cart.
(Sorry Matt - only just spotted your reply).

Interesting point re the plug ins Matt.
I have however altered the resolution and quality (dropping it to it's lowest possible level - hence the sub youtube, pixelated footage I was working with). This however made no difference whatsoever to the clip. It's really just a mask over a photograph (subject in a subway - the subject has been layer masked which then 'vibrates' (ripple effect) whilst the rest of the image remains stationary). I've noticed a few 'ever-so-slightly' taxing effects bring Motion to it's knees - and it's the only program on this fairly powerful machine which do so. It really can stall to the point where it is barely usable and having to export out to a Mov file every time I need to view the results (which can be every minute or so!) just ins't workable.
I'm worried that, although I like the feel of Motion, an upgrade to Motion 3 will cause even more issues unless it is indeed old tech plug ins not working so well with the GPU and these may be resolved in Motion 3?
I've had a few crashes in Motion this morning...I think the least I can do is try a reinstall?

I also see a lot of work using AE, which in turns leads clients to ask for 'that effect' whether it's 3D titling in the moving background, or splashes of frivolous and 'organic' canvas artistry (although I suspect the 3D titling-tracking moving images can be achieved in Motion 3?). I'd certainly like to invest a little time getting to know it, but I can imagine the learning curve (if you were to get 'deep' into AE) being rather steep.
Thanks Matt.
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