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By Frame | v.s. | Realtime

Posted By Alon Dan 4 Years Ago
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Alon Dan
Alon Dan
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Hello All,
Before I'll try to explain my confusion, I must mention that I'm new to iClone and still learning.

OK, so... originally I came from 2D Animation (I'm a professional 2D Animator for many years), why I'm telling you this?
Simple, because in most cases I animate in 24 FPS (frame by frame... ) for the correct timing, sometimes in 25 or 30 if the client ask for it.

In my first attempt of animating a character in iClone 6 (using Character Creator), while the default settings are on realtime, everything works nice and smooth the FPS is always on 60 even when I attached so many props to the character while it's on the move.

I've noticed when I change:  "Realtime" to  "By Frame" everything still shows 60FPS but it moves much slower.
To my understanding "By Frame" is much more precise and recommended to physics calculations such as Hair, Cloth, and Dynamics in general...  and I'm planing to use all these.

Why am I confused?
I want my final render on 24fps, consider lipsync effects on specific parts on the timeline and more stuff I can't think about... but just think about a complete scene to render. so I'm not sure if the final render will look exactly like the Realtime mode (inside preview) or the By Frame...  since in preview they both show FPS: 60  which is realtime and not a final indication, I understand it just let me know that what I see as preview is not skipping frames, but it's confusing me which one to use to look EXACTLY like the final render?

My question is:
Should I work ONLY on "By Frame" mode in order to get the exact timing I see in iClone's preview?
or should I work with the "Realtime" mode? 

Can somebody explain me how should I "look" on the situation to get my 24fps run inside iClone exactly as it will be in the final render?

Thanks ahead for your patience and sorry about my bad English.

Rampa
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Go by the time indicators in the timeline. That's the only way you'll be accurate. Game engines run as fast as they can. Many game engines will run much higher than iClone does. The time markers and the output frame rate determine your final frame rate. The "by frame" runs the engine a bit slower for the physics, but has no effect on the timing of your clips.
Alon Dan
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rampa (12/14/2015)
Go by the time indicators in the timeline. That's the only way you'll be accurate. Game engines run as fast as they can. Many game engines will run much higher than iClone does. The time markers and the output frame rate determine your final frame rate. The "by frame" runs the engine a bit slower for the physics, but has no effect on the timing of your clips.


Thanks for the fast reply rampa! Smile
So... the "real" final timing I will get will be based on the "Realtime" mode?  
and the "By Frame" will be just to test physics?

because while I'm animating in iClone I need to know which of these modes I should based on consider timing, since I add lots of keyframes on the timeline manually.

Edited
4 Years Ago by Alon Dan
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Alon Dan (12/14/2015)
.........So... the "real" final timing I will get will be based on the "Realtime" mode?  
and the "By Frame" will be just to test physics?

because while I'm animating in iClone I need to know which of these modes I should based on consider timing, since I add lots of keyframes on the timeline manually.



The fps settings in iClone have been confusing users for a long time. My simple advice is to forget about it during production, and to concentrate on just the time. In the Project settings - Ctrl+Shift+P - you can set the timeline to display either Frames or Time.

Exporting a final video render from iClone is the only time that a user can select the desired number of fps - and then only when exporting an AVI file or an image sequence as mpg and wmv are restricted to 30 fps.

The Default Project is set at 1800 Frames, or 30 seconds. At 24 fps you would end up rendering 720 frames, either in an AVI or as an image sequence, and this is where things can get tricky in iClone when setting keyframes.

In this screen shot the timeline shows the Current Frame as 60 Frames:

https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/892b5e64-6e4e-4617-b314-3662.png

But the Time setting shows 00:00:59.

Here the Time setting shows 00:01:00

https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/15d3bee0-c20f-4746-9217-dcab.png

But the Current frame is 61.

Rendering an image sequence at 24 fps using either of the above Timeline cursor positions results in exactly 24 images.

Trying to get accurate frame settings for use in a final render at 24/25 fps is impossible in iClone due to the fact that the fractions of a second are locked to 60 frames, and not to any internationally recognised timecode setting using hh:mm:ss:ff:.

The only chance to obtain any sort of timing accuracy is to view the scene in "Realtime" mode, and setting keyframes while keeping a careful eye on the "Time" setting under the scene window.





Gerry



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Alon Dan
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Hey Gerry, thank you very much for your time and affort explaining this in details, I appreciate it a lot! Smile

I think the only reason for the confusion is that the actual speed of the animation is changing (slower in "By Frame") and when rendering... it's much faster.   
So it's not about how many frames pass on the timeline but more like the final result timing (faster / or 1:1 of what you see is what you get).
Usually when we work for clients at the studio we render image sequences so we won't lose quality and than we get into the edit and post. so render uncompressed AVI or image sequence is something I'm familiar with but... yeah, the all "Realtime" and game-engine way is very weird and different to work with compare to 2D Animation or even 3D animation rendering because it is what you see is what you get, I mean the preview timing not the final quality of the render.

Anyways, that's why I needed to know what to based my timing while animating inside iClone.
I guess the Realtime is more likely what I need to work with and not "By Frame" but I may be wrong because I didn't work with a massive heavy scene that may drop frames.
wires
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@sw00000p

The OP needs to know how to get accurate timing of keyframes when producing/rendering a scene that will be finished at 24 fps, nothing to do with games. His main question - if you take the time to read his post - concerns getting the correct timing during production by viewing the scene "By Frame" or in "Realtime" to determine keyframe placement.

Gerry



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Rampa
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The preview runs in real-time. The output runs the same as "By Frame". It is not real-time. The real-time will skip frames to keep up with the timing, so you may experience "jumps". This akin to any 3d game bogging down with really complex scenes. Real-time frame rates are variable. The timing is what is considered "real" in this case.

Using "By Frame" is useful if you have a lot of physics in your scene, and you need to have it run smoothly in the preview as your working. You would need it to run smoothly if your baking the physics, for instance. The output render is always "By Frame", so if you never bake physics, you actually don't need to worry about it.

Running in "By Frame" does not change the timing of your project. It just makes the preview slower.
Alon Dan
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Thanks everybody! Smile
I've read everything you've said (sorry for the late reply).
Please remember: my questions may sound stupid, but I'm NEW to iclone and I'm still learning... so please be patience if possible, I appreciate any reply. you guys are more than awesome! BigGrin

In conclusion (I hope), my understanding is that "Realtime" Mode is more accurate to the exact TIMING I will get on the final rendered version.
Even if it will drop frames, the timing will be accurate from X point to other X point on the timeline, right?

The "By Frame" is slowing down because it will not drop any frames (great for physics and heavy calculations). BUT it is not accurate consider the exact accurate timing I will see when I will play the final render.

Did I get it right?  
My question related to the FINAL render ACCURATE TIMING while animating inside iClone compare to what I will see on the final rendered version.


Rampa
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Running in "By Frame" or real-time makes absolutely zero difference to the final output.  The output is always "By Frame" and at the frame rate specified in the output panel. This does not mean your movie will be output at 30 FPS. The timeline markings reflect the default settings of 30 FPS. The preview is often able to update much faster than that. My Preview frame rate is almost always slightly above 60 FPS. That is twice what my designated output is. The actual generating of output happens at about 15 frames per second, and can be much lower depending on scene complexity.

The preview can be real-time or "By Frame" The timing of your movie does not change based on that setting. The more accurate part we are talking about is for the physics calculations of the preview. The preview being when you hit the play button, or the space bar.

Being an experienced 2D animator already, you have an advantage in that you already are good at timing your movements. Smile Your getting head wrapped around it.
Edited
4 Years Ago by rampa
Alon Dan
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rampa (12/15/2015)
Running in "By Frame" or real-time makes absolutely zero difference to the final output.  The output is always "By Frame" and at the frame rate specified in the output panel. This does not mean your movie will be output at 30 FPS. The timeline markings reflect the default settings of 30 FPS. The preview is often able to update much faster than that. My Preview frame rate is almost always slightly above 60 FPS. That is twice what my designated output is. The actual generating of output happens at about 15 frames per second, and can be much lower depending on scene complexity.

The preview can be real-time or "By Frame" The timing of your movie does not change based on that setting. The more accurate part we are talking about is for the physics calculations of the preview. The preview being when you hit the play button, or the space bar.

Being an experienced 2D animator already, you have an advantage in that you already are good at timing your movements. Smile Your getting head wrapped around it.


I understand that the output framerate is what I select on the Render tab (which 30 by default) and nothing to do with the preview while animating.
But the reason the accurate is important for me is... if I will animate a complicated scene (lots of keys on the timeline) and it will take X seconds while I preview inside Iclone.
Will this animated scene will be the exact time when I will render it out?  or it will be slower? faster?  (play the final .AVI file or image sequence in edit / post software)

That's where the confusion comes, I'm asking this from your experience with Heavy scenes with physics or not... just "killing iClone" to it's limits since I'm not there yet...   will the output (final render) be the exact same accurate time as in the preview (skip frames or not it doesn't matter in my case because it's a preview) But, timing "should" be the same for me when I animate an action and know it should take X seconds at the final result.

Thanks again for helping! Smile

Edited
4 Years Ago by Alon Dan



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