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Old Nov 19, 2013, 06:49 AM   #1
pwhitehead
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After Effects Ram Priview Question

I was working on a project in the office today until all hell broke loose. I had the VO and music track playing smoothly, things bouncing in and out with my music and VO. Thought things were going great, until i exported. I worked on this project for almost 6 hours and when i exported i noticed everything was out of sync, music wasnt going with video or transitions and text wasnt popping up where it was suppose to be.

After face rolling against my keyboard and doing export after export of different file types, h.642, apple pro res, mpeg 2, .mov i simply gave up until i noticed something and then it dawned on me.

When working on a project in after effects, you have your ram preview option where you can set it to full, half etc..

If i was doing a ram preview and syncing everything up at only half the ram preview, does it make sense that this would play a huge roll in the way things are being exported? Im checking here to double check, because i did a test and it worked out just fine.

I changed it to full ram preview and re lined my key frames and layers up to where i wanted them and what do u know it worked perfectly. Is this a workflow that should always be used and always keep the ram preview at full so i get the final preview of what its going to look like at the final exported video? This is very imported to me to be answered.
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Old Nov 19, 2013, 09:19 AM   #2
needfx
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in my experience, working with audio in after effects has always been a hassle.

good thing you managed to fix it up though, well done!
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Old Nov 19, 2013, 05:18 PM   #3
adamneer
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the RAM preview shouldn't affect your timing at all. what you might be experiencing could be due to the RAM preview in 1/2 res possibly not being clear enough to distinguish timing errors, whereas when seen in full res, you notice mistakes. you might also want to be sure that your video clips, audio and project file are all set to the same framerate. After Effects will automatically convert whatever your footage is to your comp settings, so if you're working with video that varies between 23.97, 24, or 29.97, you could potentially run into keyframing mistakes. ultimately though, there's really no reason not to keep your RAM preview settings on full. the whole point of the RAM preview is to preview your final output, whereas you can use the quick preview for 1/2 or even 1/4 res previews for initial timing and motion if your computer isn't fast enough to keep up with full res.

And yes, After Effects has a pretty terrible audio integration, which sucks since it is often a necessary evil. You would be well served to use the (.) to preview your audio upon first setting up your comp so you can set comp markers for important audio changes. Also, using the function "create keyframes from audio" can be helpful in creating a layer with sliders you can link expressions to that will animate based on the audio. there are also several plugins that are designed to better integrate audio, such as "SoundKeys" by RedGiant and "Beat Assistant" by Mamoworld. Check out aescripts.com for more on some of these.

----------

by the way, i had to laugh a bit when you mentioned how you had worked on the project for 6 hours. my After Effects projects tend to average around 120 hours of work. I've spent entire days on clips less than 4 seconds long...
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Old Nov 19, 2013, 06:42 PM   #4
pwhitehead
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Today I went over the project and kept it at full ram preview doing section by section at a time.. so it wasnt rendering the whole comp, but part by part. Keeping it all full while i was editing, and then going back to half when it was done to show the director worked just fine.. I dont know what the problem was that i ran into yesterday. It was just so aggravating going along with my project thinking everything was in sync, and when i did the final export things were all screwed up. I dont have an explanation what so ever..
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Old Nov 19, 2013, 09:40 PM   #5
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you might be interested to know that many people who work with AE will do final audio syncing in a separate program, whether its Premiere or FCP or any other NLE. It is sometimes much easier, or at least faster to import your AE generated video into Premiere, along with the source audio tracks and resync anything that doesn't quite match up. I've done this several times, just to correct exports where I forgot to uncheck a PreComp's audio box, causing the sound to either be missing or doubled, depending on whether i had the original audio track in the main comp. The rate stretch tool in Premiere is quite handy for adjusting a few frames out of synch. it wouldn't be ideal if you needed to do some major retiming, as you'd end up with pretty noticeable frame skipping, but plugins like Twixtor can do some magic in that area. And in any case, you'd still want to make sure you are doing your after effects work as close as possible to the timing of the audio track.
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Old Nov 20, 2013, 06:21 AM   #6
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With the way the industry is going, i'm trying to turn away from FCP 7 and make the transition to adobe products. Normally what i would do in final cut is i was lay my audio track and voice over down on the timeline. Then i would take a text solid from point A to point B and do a cut on the audio tracks at the A and B of the solid, then send to motion. The text solid would then be converted into a .motion file and ill do my thing in motion then round trip back to final cut and it worked perfectly. I guess the same thing needs to be done with after effects and premiere.

Being that i use a text solid in final cut pro as a reference A and B, would would you use in premiere? That reference A and B point for the In and Out, do i use a text sold? Is there another type of layer solid that will transfer over just fine to after affects and back again just like final cut and motion would?

I"m still trying to get the work flow down just right with premiere and after effects and any kind of workflow advice would be much appreciated.
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Old Nov 20, 2013, 08:33 AM   #7
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Although I don't know the type of material you're working on, but why start out in Premiere/FCP at all? Just go straight to AE.

Drop your audio track into a layer, then either use the "." and "*" keys to set markers in real time or just do it manually. This is how I've always done it.

(Unless I'm misunderstanding the way your using the "text solid")


I've always done my final audio mix in the NLE or Logic, but for timing graphics purposes it's perfectly fine within AE.
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Old Nov 21, 2013, 07:10 AM   #8
pwhitehead
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I'm using apple pro res 422 footage.. I normally used a text solid in motion because it was the only object and plant object that will auto convert to a .motion file and it was a good way for use of a placeholder. So if I'm trying to sync audio and video in after effects I should use * to set a marker and then use the . So I'm getting the audio marked in real time?
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Old Nov 21, 2013, 10:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwhitehead View Post
So if I'm trying to sync audio and video in after effects I should use * to set a marker and then use the . So I'm getting the audio marked in real time?

Pretty much. You just lay your audio track into your comp, press the "." key, which starts audio playback without video, and then hit the "*" key during playback to set markers where you'd like to sync video elements up later.

This pretty much eliminates the need to create reference video (at least in most cases). Plus you have the freedom to adjust and name markers if you'd like.

There are also plugins and scripts out there that can use the marker info, which could make parts of the process a hell of a lot easier.
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Old Nov 21, 2013, 11:14 AM   #10
pwhitehead
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Originally Posted by handsome pete View Post
Pretty much. You just lay your audio track into your comp, press the "." key, which starts audio playback without video, and then hit the "*" key during playback to set markers where you'd like to sync video elements up later.

This pretty much eliminates the need to create reference video (at least in most cases). Plus you have the freedom to adjust and name markers if you'd like.

There are also plugins and scripts out there that can use the marker info, which could make parts of the process a hell of a lot easier.
Another thing that's really interesting that i havent tried yet and i will with this new spot i need to do. I actually went to the creative cloud world tour in new york city and met jason levine from adobe tv who specializes in video production products for adobe. He actually told me in premiere if i wanted to set an in and out like i would do in final cut, since i cant use a text solid anymore. he suggested to use an adjustment layer inside premiere. not sure if this would work or if its possible, but its worth a shot.
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Old Nov 29, 2013, 11:52 PM   #11
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Honestly working in AE with multitrack audio is like hammer a nail into a wall with your bare hands...I'd do the audio work in a proper NLE or DAW and then use a stereo or mono sound track as reference in AE. Thats not to say its not possible in AE and I've done it but I've seen sync issues unroll in plenty of programs and it really is the worst.
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Old Dec 6, 2013, 02:00 PM   #12
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That happens quite often in After Effects, I edit with the audio waveform visible to line up gfx.
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