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Activity Forums Adobe After Effects Dropped frames in render, can't find the culprit

  • Dropped frames in render, can't find the culprit

    Posted by Dan Thompson on August 31, 2023 at 4:34 pm

    I have 10 visually similar projects (lyric videos) that are finished and ready for rendering, they each take about 6 hours to render.

    Unfortunately almost every render ends up having some dropped frames or other visual anomalies (like the image is suddenly “jumping” or “blinking”), I’ve only managed to render 2 good projects so far.

    I can’t seem to figure out why it happens.

    The project is 4K 60 FPS, rendering to ProRes (full quality/”best” settings). The dropped frames happen in different amounts and places on each render.

    I’ve tried with and without GPU acceleration, no difference.

    I’m rendering through the night without any other app opened.

    Inside the AE project everything works perfectly.

    Drive has enough free space.

    Clearing all cache before each render.

    PC specs: AE 2022, Win 10, Ryzen 7900X, 32GB DDR5, RTX 3060Ti, SN850, no overclocking.

    Any ideas?


    Brie Clayton replied 3 weeks, 3 days ago 5 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • Walter Soyka

    August 31, 2023 at 7:51 pm

    Are you using any footage elements in your comp? If yes, what codec are they? It may help to translate H.264 footage to ProRes first.

    Do you have multi-frame rendering enabled? If yes, are all your third-party plugins up-to-date to support MFR? It may help to update plug-ins or disable MFR.

  • Dan Thompson

    August 31, 2023 at 8:21 pm

    There’s one footage file that’s used as an overlay effect, its very minor and I’ve used it in other projects before with no issues, but I’ll try to encode it to ProRes first.

    I do have multi frame rendering on, but I have no third party plugins at all.

    I’ll update here tomorrow, thanks!

  • Eric Santiago

    August 31, 2023 at 11:48 pm

    A stupid workaround would be to render in static frames to find out if the issue persists.

    Maybe the mixed codecs are not playing nice with the final framerate/codec?

    Walter’s suggestion is always the first step when dealing with multi-codec/framerate sources.

  • Dan Thompson

    September 2, 2023 at 9:20 pm

    Hey guys, just tried replacing the H.264 with ProRes, unfortunately that didn’t make a difference.

    Any other ideas?

  • Dan Thompson

    September 4, 2023 at 5:17 am

    Another update, I tried rendering with multi frame rendering disabled.

    It took over 15 hours, but at least it didn’t have any dropped frames.

    Though I’m not sure if it solved the problem or I just got “lucky” with that specific render.

    Any other ideas I can try? 15 hours render time is a bit of a problem for me.


  • John Cuevas

    September 5, 2023 at 4:37 pm

    If it takes 15 hours to render that way-assuming everything is okay with your computer-I’d render everything to a PNG sequence. That way if you need to replace anything, have missing frames, you can just fix the areas where there are issues. That way you don’t have to rerender the entire thing every time. Once everything is all good, you can take your PNG sequence and rerender it to an animation codec.

  • Dan Thompson

    September 5, 2023 at 5:13 pm

    Just finished another 15 hours render and it came out without any issues, so it seems like multi frame rendering is indeed the cause of the problem unfortunately.

    I’ll try rendering to a PNG sequence, from what I understand it should be somewhat faster as well.

    I do have one question though, the entire project is just a single scene and it has a bunch of wiggle expressions, will those give the exact same values over multiple renders?

    If not then the cut will be visible.


  • John Cuevas

    September 5, 2023 at 8:51 pm

    The expression will produce the same result over multiple renders.

    Expressions can take up a lot of time when rendering. If you are good with the results, you can always right click on properties with expressions, go to the keyframe asst and “Convert Expressions to Keyframes”. That should save you a ton of time.

    If you need to adjust later, you can delete those keyframes and turn the expression back on and make changes.

  • Dan Thompson

    September 5, 2023 at 10:49 pm

    Wow I did not know that, and I think you might’ve just saved me so much time!

    The reason my render is so slow is because I have this complicated custom script that gets progressively heavier on the CPU the further you are in the timeline.

    I have a feeling it’s also what makes the multi frame rendering fail.

    I was wondering if there’s a way to just calculate the values ahead of time but I haven’t looked too it!

    Anyway I’ve tried converting this expression to keyframes, it literally took an hour lol!

    I’ve now turned multi frame rendering back on in hopes that the issue is gone.

    I’ve tried rendering as a PNG sequence but the estimated render time just kept going up and was already reporting more than 6 hours.

    Anyway so now I’m back to ProRes with multi frame rendering, hoping that it’ll turn out flawless!

    I’ll update again when it’s done.

    Thank you!

  • Dan Thompson

    September 6, 2023 at 12:57 pm

    Alright so the new render was done in about 2 hours and no issues whatsoever!

    Problem solved! Thank you so much!

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