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  • Grainy shadows when applying diffusion

  • Mikael Björnson

    October 6, 2016 at 11:09 am

    I’m using a tracked camera, light + shadow catcher to paste titles onto a drone-filmed background. After a lot of tweaking, the animation, shadow length and taxt alignment is acceptable. But the shadow diffusion appears quite grainy, which makes it look strange when the clip is running. Why is that? Is there a way for me to make the diffusion smooth? It looks smooth in all the tutorials I have googled.

    As such:

  • Walter Soyka

    October 6, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    It is always helpful to show your entire UI.

    Maybe your shadow catcher’s blend mode is set to Dissolve? Maybe you’re using the ray-tracing renderer and the quality is set too low?

    Walter Soyka
    Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
    Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
    @keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]

  • Mikael Björnson

    October 6, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    Yes, the raytracing quality was set to 2. I’m new to CC. What is a reasonable value to set? When I increase it to 10, my machine (a Macbook Pro 2.9 GHz with 8 GB RAM) freezes up. I suppose I’m doing something fundamentally wrong and need to go back to setttings?

  • Walter Soyka

    October 6, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Bump it up until the graininess goes away, or switch to the Classic 3D renderer if you don’t need specific ray-tracing renderer features.

    Ray-tracing is a computationally-intensive process, often measured in seconds or minutes per frame instead of frames per second. Ae’s ray-tracer is exceptionally slow unless you have an appropriate NVIDIA card for hardware acceleration, in which case it’s only kind of slow.

    FYI, going forward in future releases, the ray-tracing renderer will be replaced by the C4D renderer:
    https://blogs.adobe.com/creativecloud/whats-coming-next-for-after-effects-cc/?segment=dva

    Walter Soyka
    Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
    Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
    @keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]

  • Mikael Björnson

    October 7, 2016 at 10:46 am

    Great! Thanks. I’m new to ray-tracing, having jumped from CS5 to CC. For this pretty basic shadowing effect, I don’t need it. It just freezes up my computer completely. Problem solved, many thanks!

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