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TOPIC: FCPX, Motion and After Effects resolution limit

FCPX, Motion and After Effects resolution limit 26 Aug 2017 19:26 #90108

  • BStoddard
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What is the resolution limit of FCPX, Motion and AE? I am trying to make a frame that is 22,000 pixels by 2160. It seems to act properly on the timeline, (sometimes green) but upon export (share) is black only.

I have an eclipsed sun that is moving through the frame from left to right and take about 22,000 pixels to master.

Brad

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FCPX, Motion and After Effects resolution limit 27 Aug 2017 11:00 #90112

  • ronny courtens
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FCP X, Motion 5 and AE can all handle jumbo-sized images, theoretically up to 30.000 x 30.000 pixels.

In the real world the maximum resolution you can handle is limited by your hardware. The higher the resolution of your image, the more RAM and GPU power you will need to process the pixels. If you get green frames in your export, this probably means your GPU cannot handle the resolution. Let me explain this with an example.

This is a 30.000 x 3.000 pano image running on a 22.000 x 2.160 timeline in FCP X on a MBP with 16GB Ram and a 2GB VRAM GPU. The pano runs perfectly on the timeline, even using Better Quality:



But when I render the timeline, the image turns green:



The same thing happens when I export the timeline. This means that the graphics card in this computer cannot handle this frame size for rendering or export. When I modify the frame size of my timeline to 15.278 x 1500 pixels everything plays smoothly, no green frames during playback or rendering, and the video exports perfectly:





I have tried the same thing with Motion 5 and AE on the same computer. With Motion 5 I got exactly the same results, which is logical as FP X and Motion use the same render engine. With AE I could export the 22.000 x 2164 timeline, but only when rendering on the CPU and using lots of RAM for frame buffering. This took 30 minutes for a 30" timeline, while FCP X and Motion did the same job in less than a minute.

Conclusion: Working with large frame sizes is no problem in any of these apps. Exporting large frame sizes in FCP X/Motion is limited to what your GPU can handle, unless you are prepared to render via the CPU/RAM in AE and lose a lot of time. So the real question is: do you really need to export to a 22.000 x 2.164 pixel video?

- Ronny
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