Enligh is not my native language so bare with me please.
I have an iMac Pro 3,2 GHz Intel Xeon W 8 cores and 64Gb of RAM.
The Graphic Card is a Radeon Pro Vega 56 8 Go.
Not the fastest setup out there but it's not the slowest neither.
So far I used to use After Effects for my motion graphic projects. But I decided to give Motion 5.5 a try. And I like it very much.
However, something bugs me a lot: With small to medium projects, Motion previews faster and cleaner than AE, which is cool, but past a certain threshold, on heavy duty projects with which both are having a hard time, AE has a clear edge.
The reason is that whatever I throw to AE, it might have to pre-cache in RAM for a while but eventually, it will read in real time my sequence on the timeline just fine. I will always be able to preview my sequence as it was intended.
With Motion, when the sequence is heavy, whatever I do in order to optimize the preview, it won't read it at its nominal speed. Pre-caching in RAM (command + R) doesn't seem to help much. I will gain some FPS but just a handful, really. Nominal speed is out of question. All I can see is a slow motion/lagging animation which prevents me from working efficiently.
I don't blame the app per se. I work in 4K at 60fps. Which is a lot. I know that.
But still, AE is getting there eventually, Motion isn't.
And even at 30 FPS, which is a standard online, I only gain a few frames per seconds, but it's not much better in terms of playback anyway.
So here is my question:
MotionVFX has a frame rate converter for Apple Motion called MFPSConverter. vimeo.com/35329262
Have some of you already tried this?
Do you think I could work a whole project at a low(er) frame rate and when the project is over, increase the FPS at once without getting any artifacts (issues with tweens, keyframes, animation curves, transitions, etc..)?
If this can work, it would be a game changer in terms of workflow (and horsepower). I could work comfortably a lower FPS and then, when it's finished, convert at a higher one that would smooth things out as a final touch. But it seems way too good and über convenient to be true.
Of course, I could give it a try on my own, and I will but even though it would work with a handful of test cases, I can't be positive it always will and I don't wan't to spend dozens of hours on projects to see that I have to do re-do them all over again eventually because the conversion was not accurate after all.
MotionVFX have amazing products but they don't communicate much about them and I can't seem to find anything relevant about this converter online. So it's hard to tell if it's just a tool to could occasionally fix a problem or if it can be integrated as the final part of any workflow to speed up the process without sacrificing the final quality.
I change frame rates for Motion Templates manually **all the time** (I don't need mFPSConverter).
First: back up your template file (just in case of mistakes — otherwise this technique works very well). [Once you get the hang of this, you can skip this step.]
If you have BBEdit, you can right click on the template file you want to change the frame rate of and select Open File in BBedit from the Services menu. (I recommend BBEdit — 1) it's free [don't sign up for in-app purchases] and 2) it doesn't affect file types when editing and saving.) If you don't have BBEdit, use a text editor you're sure will safely re-save your template in it's original format.
A Motion Template is an XML file - looks a whole lot like HTML. If you're familiar with dealing with "tags":
Search (Command-F) for "ntsc". Change that value to 0 [it is NEVER needed in a template file].
Right above the NTSC tag entry, there will be the framerate tag:
Change the 60 to 30 (or any other frame rate that Motion supports).
Look up another couple of lines for duration, example:
and change the duration to the #of seconds (project length) times the new frame rate. Most templates are 10 seconds long, so 30 x 10 = 300 frames:
Only change the number values. Do not change any of the tags or their location (line and spacing formatting) in the file.
You don't even have to restart Motion, when you go back into it, you will find in the Project Inspector that the framerate and duration has been updated. (You may occasionally get a dialog saying the template was changed by another app, or something like that — Ignore.)
Now, if you go from one frame rate to a higher frame rate, you will run into an issue where the objects won't be long enough to fit the project length. You will need to set the playhead on the last frame and set new Out Points for each object/layer that doesn't quite fill the range. Be careful not to lengthen layers that are are supposed to be short in time, specifically, if you have single frame layers setting up an animation for a clone layer, and the clone layers supplying frames for a replicator that animates those specific sources. (Stuff like that).
In the case of Behaviors that allow setting the Start and End times of animations (as well as frame count lengths), those will have to be readjusted based on the new duration of the project.
None of this stuff is hard to do, just a little tedious and you have to PAY ATTENTION! I'm pretty sure that mFPSConverter doesn't take care of these details for you anyway. It's easy to write a script to make the framerate conversion for you, but all these other fine points are practically impossible to handle without some kind of advanced AI.
BTW, except in very few cases (Replicator animations of clone layers mentioned above) and things like Motion Blur, there is very little reason to use any frame rate higher than 10FPS in Motion when preparing templates. Make sure Allow Subframe keyframing is on in Preferences. FCPX conforms Motion templates to the project frame rate used for your storyline. This will help your development in Motion considerably and if, at the end, you need more FPS, you'll know how to add them when you need them!