Ram Preview in AE


#1

Hello creative people! How are you all doing? It’s kinda cold in NYC and drinking a hot chocolate at my office (located at Starbucks, lol)

I have a question about RAM Preview in AE:

Scenario
Sometimes when working with projects, I want to preview my work with the audio file included. When I use the spacebar on my keyboard, I have no sound so I have to go with the RAM Preview option. One problem I have is that I can only preview as many seconds as Memory Ram I got on my PC. So I can only preview like 25 seconds in average of a project.

I found myself editing with audio with Premiere, but there are some camera moves I want to preview in AE when syncing with the music for example.

Questions

  1. When I do the RAM Preview in AE, it starts from the beginning. How do I RAM Preview at 25:23 secons for example?

  2. Let’s say I got a project of 5 minutes. How do you guys preview the whole thing? Is on this cases when I need a proxy?

As usually, thanks for the help. Have an awesome monday!


#2

Wow, you must have been having a bit of a hard time working with AE if you didn’t know all the RAM preview options. I RAM preview about every 4 seconds. :slight_smile:

Heree they are…

If you’ve got a five minute project, unless you’ve got some absurd amount of RAM, you’re going to have to render a low res version out and look at it in Quicktime player. I usually render 5 or 6 of these out over the course of a big project. They act as good reference. Sometimes it’s a good idea to put a text layer on too which shows the timecode.

On a Macintosh, you can scrub the audio. Hold down the command key and scrub along the timeline. If you hold down alt and command, you scrub just the audio without the picture updating and if you hold down just alt, you can scrub along the time line with nothing updating. I’m not sure if you can also do this on Windows though…maybe do a search for scrub audio After Effects in Google.

If you want to preview audio from where the playback head is, just press the . (period) key on your numeric keypad or select Composition -> Preview -> Audio (CS4). You can preview from the current time or the whole work area, I think.

If you want to ram preview just a section of your composition, there’s two ways.

  1. Move the playback head to where you want the preview to start. Press B on your keyboard. Now move it to where you want it to end and press N on your keyboard. You’ll notice that the beginning and end of the work area jump to the playback head when you press these keys. Now you’ll just RAM preview what’s in the work area.

(Incidentally, the four most useful keyboard shortcuts in AE… select layer, alt [ trims the layer in point to current time alt ] trims layer out point to current time, [ jumps layer in point to current time, ] jumps layer out point to current time. These will save you years of your life)

  1. In the time controls panel, there’s options for both the ordinary ram preview (0 on the numeric keypad) and the shift-ram preview (which is when you either click the ram preview button or hit the 0 on the numeric pad with shift held down). You can set each up to be different. I usually set my shift RAM preview to preview from the current time. You can also set up the RAM preview to preview at a lower resolution than what you’re working in which saves RAM and gives you a longer preview. And you can elect to only render every nth frame, skipping out lots of the frames, but still giving you an idea of movement.

Hope that helps.

-f.


#3

You can scrub audio in Windows… the whole deal on previewing in AE is here over at Adobe…

http://help.adobe.com/en_US/AfterEffects/9.0/WS3878526689cb91655866c1103906c6dea-7ec9a.html

and in Spanish… :wink:

http://help.adobe.com/es_ES/AfterEffects/9.0/WS3878526689cb91655866c1103906c6dea-7ec9a.html

You also might want to look at the ROI aswell (region of interest) that’s also a good way to get a longer RAM preview… details at the link above.

-felt.


#4

Ben,

I just love you so much! :wink:

I usually render 5 or 6 of these out over the course of a big project. They act as good reference. Sometimes it’s a good idea to put a text layer on too which shows the timecode.

I’ve trying to figure out the projects previews for a while, and that’s why I asked here. I do render a low res version of my projects to work on details but you mention something new for me: Adding a timecode layer. Do you add this with an expression, right?

(Incidentally, the four most useful keyboard shortcuts in AE… select layer, alt [ trims the layer in point to current time alt ] trims layer out point to current time, [ jumps layer in point to current time, ] jumps layer out point to current time. These will save you years of your life)

These are real savings!

you’re working in which saves RAM and gives you a longer preview. And you can elect to only render every nth frame, skipping out lots of the frames, but still giving you an idea of movement.


I was checking out this options before but never understand them at all. The thing is that when you go to the Help or the Adobe site, things are not clear sometimes. When you explain them here, you should be giving classes in the AE University… :wink:

Thanks for the links on the scrubbing audio too. Very helpful. Didnt know that. Sometimes I get to the point where I think I’m mastering AE just to figure it out there is still too much to learn…

I will give these a try tomorrow on a project Im working with now, and come back here with more questions, thanks Ben for your help. If you ever come by NYC, let me know. The Chocolate Milk glass is on me! (I cannot say the beer is on me 'cuz I dont drink) lol… :wink:


#5

Burnt in timecode’s easier than that (although you can do it with expressions on a text layer if you’re a sucker for punishment)

create a black solid layer.

then

CS3

Go to Effect -> Text -> Numbers

Then set the parameter to timecode.

Now either use a mask on the layer to make it into a small black box with the timecode in it, or alternatively set the layer transfer mode to Add

CS4

As above, or just go Effect -> Text -> Timecode


Looking forward to that chocolate milk when I’m next in NYC! Can I have a dash of whisky in mine? :wink:

-felt.