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Animation is shakey on playback!

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Animation is shakey on playback! 
By EFXFREAK on Feb 25, 2002 12:42 PM
Needs some help here guys,

I am running 3DS MAX 4.26 with the Pentium Enhancement feature on a P3 933 with 512 MB RAM &  Nvidia GeForce2 MX-400 64MB video card.

My animation has a complex camera path running in 500 frames at 15 fps. When we playback the animation in any of our view ports, it plays back shaky...all view ports except Perspective & Camera are viewed in Wire frame and the others in Smooth & Highlights. For awhile a thought it was the size of the objects and their Materials, so I ran a test in a new scene with the same size objects and complex camera path, tested perfect motion when played back in max but for some reason or another my main scene isn't.

I am also using the DIVIX Codec to lower the file size on my output render to .avi also seems to play shaky....what could I be doing wrong??...can anyone suggest a solution to this annoying dilemma?

Thanks in advance,

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Re: Animation is shakey on playback! 
By Yanni_Mac on Feb 25, 2002 03:18 PM
It seems that if you ran a test scene with the same camera path that it would give you the same results.  I need a little better explanation of the problem, but I will offer a few suggestions anyways.  First of all, are you just trying to render the scene in the viewport, because animation doesn't always play smoothly with max viewport renderer.  If you have a high poly count it will render slow, though it should run smoothly if you actually render the scene and output to .avi.  Also, does the test scene you rendered have the same number of polygons as the main scene, and is the camera path imported from the main scene.  If the camera isn't imported, try to import the working camera in the test scene into the main scene.  You can import the path with the camera.  Just delete everything except the camera in the test scene and choose file>merge and click on the main scene.  This may fix it.  Also look at the track view and check the interpolation of the keys in the animation.  sometimes if you just animate with the animate button(I don't know which you did) and not the track view, you will get unpredictable results if you don't mess with the interpolation.  This is probably not it, but if you render at 15fps the animation will not be smooth.  30fps is the norm for a lot of animations.  If you are well below that, your eye can detect this and the animation will not look extremely smooth.  Give me a little more in depth explanation and I might be able to help you.
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Re: Animation is shakey on playback! 
By EFXFREAK on Feb 25, 2002 04:31 PM
Hey thanks for the quick response to my inquiry!!!:)

Actually I didn't try merging the tested CAM & Path into my main scene...good idea! THX... I will try that. Now I belive i have around 93,000 faces to my scene or more and have used Optmize & Multi res to lower the polycount as much as possible without my materials looking grainy.I can't image there really being a poly issue if you have the system to handle it all, but I may be wrong on that...as far as output to .avi.  When I render my 500 frames with DIVIX Codec it took about close to 2 hours to finish...not bad...but any .avi file I seem to render also plays shaky.

Another thing is I didn't really use the same poy count for the tested scene, although I should of or it wouldn't of been a very good test, but what I was shooting for is that I thought it may of been an issue with how big the cammera path & Obj's were. If you can gather this I'll try and explain my camera path, here goes:

The CAM & Path is set inside of a half hollow torus object that i lofted along a curved path, I have a very detailed mechanical like object animated with IK. The camera starts looking downward at the mech oject(Verticly) and pulls away quiet far then curves back a little to travel back down twards the obj and swings around to the left in a half circle motion(Horizontally) finaly ending up infront of the MECH obj and pans upwards then stops....did you get all that!!:) So theres quiet a bit of motion here.

On the animating side...I used the ANIME BUTTON of course and double checked all my key frames in Track View and they seem to look fine, not sure if this is what you mean with interpolation and track view?

Well i think I've given you a book here, hopefully I gave you the extra info you needed to help me on this issue.

thanks again for all your help.

your awesome!!!

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Re: Animation is shakey on playback! 
By Baby_Face on Feb 26, 2002 05:39 PM
i take it u have rendered these avi's at 15 frames poer second as u said in the first post???  That would be the reason the avi playback is shaky as yanni mac said, u should render at at least 24 frames per second, i think pal is 24 and ntsc is 25, im not sure which way round it is. lol does it matter on a monitor?? hehe neway, i think 18 frames per second or less and the eye can easily pick it up as individual frames.

Hope that helps too
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Re: Animation is shakey on playback! 
By Yanni_Mac on Feb 27, 2002 10:39 AM
If your camera is moving fast along the path, it is probably going to look shaky if you rendered it at 15fps.  Maybe try to extend the animation a little, or just render at 30 fps.  Here is a little explanation of Interpolation.  Maybe not relevent to your animation, but nonetheless, a good concept to know.  Interpolation is the way the animation reacts between keys.  This is represented by function curves.  If you used a step function curve, the animation will not be smooth.  If you don't check your interpolation, the animation may not react in the way you intended it.  You can look at the interpolation in 2 ways.  Right click on a key, and click one of the options at the top of the menu(rotation, postion, etc.).  This will show the function curves. You can click on the curve and you will be able to choose a different type of function curve.  Another way is through the track view.  Click on a key, and then select function curves from the top menu.  You can edit these curves manually in the track veiw.  Oh yeah, you can do it in the motion panel too.  Click trajectories.  Again, this may not be the problem, but check out interpolation anyway.  It is a basic concept in computer animation and is neccesary to create realistic animations.
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Re: Animation is shakey on playback! 
By EFXFREAK on Feb 27, 2002 02:17 PM
In reply to Paul, yeah we tryed 15 fps at first and after some research and a little help from this AWESOME FORUM, we came to the conclusion of 25 fps or higher would be best and just for the record NTSC is actually 29.97 (30) fps....:)..just help'in. Also you have a good point of increasing the amount of frames in the scene (Currently 500 frames) I will look into that. But hey thanks for the help man...you RULE!

As for Yanni, i wasn't thinking to well on the interpolation, yeah my partner and I have experiance in the interpolation of keyframes...that feature is the greatest!!! thanks you for varifying this though...:)

As the end...we have decieded to over all lower the Screen res, increase the fps to 25 or higher and keep crank'in at the CODEC settings.

I appreciate all the helps guys....this forum is indeed the BEST!!!
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Re: Animation is shakey on playback! 
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