Preview quality sucks?

General Moho topics.

Moderators: Fahim, Distinct Sun, Víctor Paredes, erey, Belgarath, slowtiger

Post Reply
Tylermon
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:51 pm

Preview quality sucks?

Post by Tylermon » Mon Aug 24, 2015 2:57 am

I have been trying to decide on animation software to use. While I like the pricepoint and how bones/smartbone dials etc all work something has been bothering me.

That something is preview quality. Which I have everything turned on/set to best settings.
I have been able to make some animations and test things successfully on my own, then tried a few of the demo/provided animations.

It was then I noticed a major issue. I rendered the scenes and all of a sudden there are nice gradients, good details, everything was much cleaner and it is honestly an entirely different picture than what I was seeing in the editor.

If this is the case...how are people supposed to know what they are drawing and working on looks the way they want it if the final render and scene/editor/preview look so entirely different?

It makes me feel all or most of the provided tools in the software are useless at creating and editing art. One wont know how an animation or scene will honestly look until the final render/export. Do most people use external software for art creation and sort of blindly hope it looks the way they want while animating?
User avatar
synthsin75
Posts: 7211
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:20 pm
Location: Oklahoma
Contact:

Re: Preview quality sucks?

Post by synthsin75 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 3:41 am

Do you know that you can do spot renders (current frame)?
Tylermon
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:51 pm

Re: Preview quality sucks?

Post by Tylermon » Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:35 am

synthsin75 wrote:Do you know that you can do spot renders (current frame)?

Yes, but even that seems less than ideal. I am very used to a, what you see is what you get sort of workflow. I am genuinely curious how people are able to create and manage art on this program, or if they use external software to create their art.

It seems counterintuitive to have to re-render a frame every time you edit or do something if you want to see the results.

Is there any way to render in realtime? Or better yet, have the editor fully render what it should look like? I think it will be very hard for me to try and create and animate otherwise.

My system is more than capable of such things, so performance isnt a concern of mine.
hexacore i7 (12 threads 4.6ghz) and multiple dedicated graphics with 32gb of 1866mhz ram.
User avatar
funksmaname
Posts: 3112
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 11:31 am
Location: Nelson, New Zealand

Re: Preview quality sucks?

Post by funksmaname » Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:13 am

Hi Tylermon.
Honestly, it's not really an issue - it may seem more like one because you are looking at someone else's unfamiliar work and not work you created yourself and comparing the canvas to the render. I would argue that if you created that art you wouldn't miss the preview of everything. When working with animation, give me smooth playback/workflow over 'final quality' preview any day.

look at ANY pixar or similar making of type things, it takes SO LONG to render with fur, lighting, etc it would just be absolutely impossible to get any work done if you're relying on a final quality render in your canvas. I know that is a different beast but it illustrates my point.

you COULD create art in other programs, but AS is incredibly capable. It really depends on your style more than anything.

The only unforgivable still to be fixed bugbear is complex masking preview - that really CAN make the program unusable, but quite often there are ways around it.

If you decide AS isn't for you for this reason, I think you're really missing out, but at the end of the day... it might not be the one for you! :)
User avatar
synthsin75
Posts: 7211
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:20 pm
Location: Oklahoma
Contact:

Re: Preview quality sucks?

Post by synthsin75 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:47 am

Tylermon wrote:
synthsin75 wrote:Do you know that you can do spot renders (current frame)?

Yes, but even that seems less than ideal. I am very used to a, what you see is what you get sort of workflow. I am genuinely curious how people are able to create and manage art on this program, or if they use external software to create their art.

It seems counterintuitive to have to re-render a frame every time you edit or do something if you want to see the results.

Is there any way to render in realtime? Or better yet, have the editor fully render what it should look like? I think it will be very hard for me to try and create and animate otherwise.

My system is more than capable of such things, so performance isnt a concern of mine.
hexacore i7 (12 threads 4.6ghz) and multiple dedicated graphics with 32gb of 1866mhz ram.

Are you used to a fully WYSIWYG workflow in an animation software (or just something like photo/video editor)? If so, I'd be surprised if it were half as capable as AS. As Danny said, animation is much more about the motion, so timing is much more important than polish for the workspace preview. It sounds as if you haven't yet done any work in AS. If you had, you wouldn't be saying things like "re-render a frame every time you edit or do something". That is kinda ridiculous and complete unnecessary. Aside from rendering a frame taking all of one second, most final-render-critical changes will only occur in asset construction, not during animation.

If you have software that already accomplishes what you are expecting, you might be better served by it. The price-point of AS means that the limited development budget has to be prioritized, and a completely WYSIWYG workspace hasn't even made it into the top 50.
ernpchan
Posts: 154
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:18 pm
Contact:

Re: Preview quality sucks?

Post by ernpchan » Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:58 am

I'm curious as to what scenes are giving you a huge difference in WYSIWYG. I admit my experience with ASP is short but this hasn't been an issue for me. But I come from a 3d background so I'm used to having to do test renders. :D

Even a robust program like Harmony doesn't always give you WYSIWYG. If you forget to do an actual render preview, you'll go mad trying to dissect the node network trying to figure out why your workspace looks wrong.
My opinions and comments do not represent those of my employer.
http://www.ernestpchan.com
http://www.zazzle.com/gopuggo
User avatar
Greenlaw
Posts: 4583
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:45 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Preview quality sucks?

Post by Greenlaw » Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:56 am

I agree...working with a proxy display mode while animating and doing occasional spot check renders is fairly common across many 2D and 3D animation packages throughout the industry. While it would be nice to have full WYSIWYG capabilities all the time, I usually don't find it necessary.

In fact, some programs I use do give you the option to work with fully wizzy (Harmony's Preview mode and LightWave's VPR come to mind,) but, IMO, they're usually too slow to animate interactively with so I only enable them occasionally and for a brief time.

Usually, just one or two spot renders is all I need before I animate. From there, I feel I can trust the proxy displays to be accurate enough until the next major texture, masking, drawing or shading fx change--then I just run another quick spot check and move on.

G.
D.R. Greenlaw
Artist/Partner - Little Green Dog | Little Green Dog Channel on Vimeo | Greenlaw's Demo Reel 2019 Edtion
Lead Digital Animator, Dreamworks Animation

Image
Tylermon
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:51 pm

Re: Preview quality sucks?

Post by Tylermon » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:26 am

I guess my issue is that when creating characters and art assets I am seeing a huge roadblock.

I understand animation wise i wont care so much what things look like. Once the art is how you want it most of my concerns are gone.

But when drawing and creating art and assets to animate, This is the part that holds my concerns. I cant trust the preview and editing interface in my art/asset creation which seems like a potentially major setback. And this is where I am interested how others are creating their art assets. What I would hope for is accurate frame by frame(or at least keyframes) that I can see and know for certain thats what they look like as I am editing.

One of the animations I looked at was of some girl in a dress. She looked fairly blocky, had no smooth color transitions, and face especially, all completely transformed once rendered. Things severely rounded out and smoothed out. Blocky cheeks all of a sudden were smooth and had gradient blushes etc.

I also have a rather powerful pc. Hexacore i7(12threads 4.6ghz) 32gb 1866mhz ram and a decent gpu.
So most software I work with I can turn up render settings and am used to working with higher detail levels.

Now, I intend to work 100% in 2d. And Have never had 2d software hold back on what I see.

I think, when looking at anime studio I expected accurate frame by frame editing. I can understand a preview animation being limited. but editing was a huge and unpleasant surprise.
ernpchan
Posts: 154
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:18 pm
Contact:

Re: Preview quality sucks?

Post by ernpchan » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:39 am

Can you post screen grabs of what you're seeing? The disconnect of what you're making and ultimately seeing sounds pretty wide which is odd.
My opinions and comments do not represent those of my employer.
http://www.ernestpchan.com
http://www.zazzle.com/gopuggo
User avatar
slowtiger
Posts: 5454
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:53 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany
Contact:

Re: Preview quality sucks?

Post by slowtiger » Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:29 am

After nearly 25 yrs working with computers I don't even think about differencs between preview and render. It's just a normal part of the game in all programs. I don't trust previews in terms of perfect colour, that's what renders are for.

If you're used to Photoshop, just remember that this is an exception. All other software, especially in animation, is optimized for speed.
AS 9.5 MacPro Quadcore 3GHz 16GB RAM OS 10.6.8 Quicktime 7.6.6
AS 11 MacPro 12core 3GHz 32GB RAM OS 10.11 Quicktime 10.7.3
User avatar
Greenlaw
Posts: 4583
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:45 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Preview quality sucks?

Post by Greenlaw » Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:04 am

I had to check for myself because I couldn't recall seeing that much of a difference between the interactive display quality and final render quality in ASP. Here are some comparisons from two projects I created in the last year or so.

Image

Image

The only real difference I notice is the lack of style fx. In the upper example I'm using a highlight style fx and in the lower example I'm using a drop shadow style fx, which do not appear in the interactive display but do show up in the final renderings. But that didn't affect my ability to animate the scenes.

However, the differences you're describing sound way more extreme than this. I think I need to see an example to understand.

G.
D.R. Greenlaw
Artist/Partner - Little Green Dog | Little Green Dog Channel on Vimeo | Greenlaw's Demo Reel 2019 Edtion
Lead Digital Animator, Dreamworks Animation

Image
User avatar
synthsin75
Posts: 7211
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:20 pm
Location: Oklahoma
Contact:

Re: Preview quality sucks?

Post by synthsin75 » Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:35 am

Tylermon wrote:I also have a rather powerful pc. Hexacore i7(12threads 4.6ghz) 32gb 1866mhz ram and a decent gpu.
So most software I work with I can turn up render settings and am used to working with higher detail levels.

Now, I intend to work 100% in 2d. And Have never had 2d software hold back on what I see.

I think, when looking at anime studio I expected accurate frame by frame editing. I can understand a preview animation being limited. but editing was a huge and unpleasant surprise.
Then you probably need to tell us what software you are comparing. If you've been "used to working with higher detail levels" and "never had 2d software hold back on what I see" then we need to know what is giving you these results so we can judge how it compares to working in AS.

Also, not sure what you mean by "I expected accurate frame by frame editing". Accuracy has little to do with the workspace/render difference.
User avatar
3deeguy
Posts: 691
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:54 pm
Location: Poughkeepsie NY
Contact:

Re: Preview quality sucks?

Post by 3deeguy » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:28 pm

I know I'm missing something but I do 'current-frame' renders quite a bit Ctrl + R. I export a ton of short clips Ctrl + E.
I name all of my trial exports "test" so that my previous trials are overwritten.
I only use the best quality for the final export which takes time.
Cheers, Larry
Post Reply