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andrenavarre says
What’s your guess?
  • Maximum: ? >> max render time the buyer would accept
  • Medium: ? >> average render time of project files
  • Ideal: ? >> what would be considered the best

seconds or minutes/frame…

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GhosTeam says

Well what is the item?
It is in 3D space? how many layers? effects? depth of field? resolution?
Plugins? Particular, Optical Flares, Form..? How advanced does it look?
What I mean is a client evaluates both the looks of the project and the render time…If it’s a simple project with no plugins, 10 seconds long that renders in 30 minutes…it’s not ideal.
But if it’s using Form for example and has amazing 3D look and depth..it’s worth the 30min wait…

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felt_tips Volunteer moderator says

I think GhosTeam’s pretty much said it… It’s very much about ‘bang for buck’, so to speak… or visual impact vs render time.

I’d say that for a standard, minute long project in HD, that anything up to 8 hours is acceptable. If it’s longer, there’d need to be a good reason why.

For instance, After Effects faked 3D (especially where a lot of lights and depth of field are involved) can get very time consuming. Particle systems with a very high number of particles too.

And of course there are various unknowns from the client’s side… speed of computer, version of After Effects. It’s one of the reasons I’m dropping CS4 too. For complex projects, render times would sometimes go through the roof, simply because CS4 is a 32 bit program, not 64 bit.

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EFEKT_Studio says

I’m having a lot of bad ratings because of my last project. Render time is quite huge for FullHD. Even I made an extra tutorial to explain to buyers how to set up proxy for their images, but still some of them are having extra long render time. That’s the sacrifice you need to make in order to have DOF, motion blur, additional special effects, color and levels correction, grain, blur, sharpen, and 3 minute project :D:D

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felt_tips Volunteer moderator says

I’m having a lot of bad ratings because of my last project. Render time is quite huge for FullHD. Even I made an extra tutorial to explain to buyers how to set up proxy for their images, but still some of them are having extra long render time. That’s the sacrifice you need to make in order to have DOF, motion blur, additional special effects, color and levels correction, grain, blur, sharpen, and 3 minute project :D:D

I would be inclined with projects like that to make the default version have rather lower settings than the full version. The full version then becomes the higher option if you’ve got time to render.

Incidentally, proxies won’t help you much if it’s DOF etc. that’s the problem. A proxy doesn’t much change the nature of that type of calculation. You need to make very sure that you get your shadow map settings just right, that you use exactly the optimal DOF settings… and you need to tell your clients about the Draft 3D switch. This little toggle button is instrumental in being able to work on complex 3D scenes at all.

Color and levels correction are a cheap calculation. So are blur and sharpen. Use Noise HLS Auto instead of Grain. It’s not quite so rich in features or authentic, but it provides a similar effect at a fraction of the processor cost.

In terms of 3D, as I mentioned, the DOF will be the killer. But other killers will be lights with diffuse shadows, the presence of lots of different lights. Try to minimize these things.

Oh… and don’t use CS4.

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felt_tips Volunteer moderator says

Just had a look at your project. I’m guessing that’s all one big comp right? And I guess that users are just using massive images.

Get ‘em to optimize their images to a certain size, otherwise this will also be a killer.

I’m not sure of the calculation overhead, but it wouldn’t be difficult to put a short expression on each of the image’s opacity property which calculates whether they’re on screen or not at a given time and turns them on or off accordingly.

The script below is sort of simplified, because it only checks if any of the four corners are on screen. It should cover your needs. Otherwise, you’d need to get the intersection point of each side of the image with the screen edges too, as well as checking whether the image straddles the screen… but then you’re talking about a fair bit of expression overhead.

var onScreen = false;
var screenDims = [thisComp.width, thisComp.height];
var uL = [0,0], uR = [thisLayer.source.width, 0], lL = [0, thisLayer.source.height], lR = [thisLayer.source.width, thisLayer.source.height];
var CoordsL = [uL, uR, lL, lR];
var CoordsScr = [thisLayer.toComp(uL), thisLayer.toComp(uR), thisLayer.toComp(lL), thisLayer.toComp(lR)];
for (var i in CoordsScr) {
    if(CoordsScr[i][0]>=0 && CoordsScr[i]<=screenDims[0] && CoordsScr[i][1]>=0 && Coords[i][1]<= screenDims[1]) {
       onScreen = true; break;
    }
}
onScreen ? 100 : 0;
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andrenavarre says

Awesome responses. I’m wondering what to do when I get purchasers who say:
“My computer crashes. It can’t be my computer’s fault because it has 2 gigs of ram”
Then I suggest using the CS6 trial and I get back:
“I can’t use it because my computer is 32 bit”

Felt I think you’re right, it may be time to ditch CS4… soon

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