"Best" resolution for animation

Started by cyphyr, April 28, 2010, 08:33:08 am

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cyphyr

So what do you guys think?

I've been pondering this for a while. I usually render at 720 x 405 (16:9) for animation (for stills this is not an issue, I'll render as high as I can get away with, time is less of a concern) but I know this is well below the resolution used in the "industry". As I understand it the industry standard is "720p" (ie 1280×720 ~ wiki link) and this is the bottom end of the standard. To render at that resolution will take over three times longer at the same detail levels (maybe longer as at a higher res more detail will become apparent or conversely a lack of detail will show). I'm not overly convinced I can justify all those extra render hours.

My animations are mostly for personal pleasure, showing off to friends (hehe!) and (and here's the crunch) hopefully eventually chasing down some work. In the old days bandwidth was an issue, hence the need for small file sizes, but that's really not the case any more. So what is the expectation? Should I be aiming to create full size animations or can I stay with the smaller older formats?

I'm part way through bringing several of my older computers back to life in an attempt to make a small render farm. That will give me two P4's at about 3ghz each (a Rock laptop and a dell desktop), a quad core Q9450 @2.66Ghz and a core 2 duo 6600 @2.4ghz. I'm thinking the P4's are just going to be a waste of electricity but everything else may give a useful contribution.

I think I've answered my own questions here (lol) but I'd be interested to hear others points of view.

Cheers

Richard
www.richardfraser.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/RichardFraserVFX/
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Ryzen 9 3900X @3.79Ghz, 64Gb (TG4 benchmark 6:20)
i7 5930K @3.5Ghz, 32Gb (TG4 benchmark 13.44)

Henry Blewer

The P4's will render at 1920 x 1080 in a time frame of 20 to 85 hours depending on the render settings, reflections, objects, etc. For some reason a 1280 x 720 image takes about 1/3 the time, even at high render settings.

For many demo purposes the 720 x 480 standard is fine. Even the P4 can do images in a reasonable time at this resolution. It won't be 30 frames and hour. But in the time that the others render more images, the P4's can contribute a second or two of anim frames.

Also remember that most newer graphics cards can upscale animation or video to high def very easily.
http://flickr.com/photos/njeneb/
Forget Tuesday; It's just Monday spelled with a T

Kadri

April 28, 2010, 09:32:53 am #2 Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 01:05:05 pm by Kadri
Cyphyr for finding work in the industry (freelance or other)  i think it is sometimes enough to render at 320 x 240 too.
What matters is the quality . I think in this regard you will have no problem  :)

So in the end the higher you render it will look nicer of course . I heard that Battlestar Galactica (the new series) was rendered in 1280×720 (half HD)
then upscaled to 1920 x 1080(full HD) . The industry does what it can get away mostly. Render times are sometimes really problematic .
I would try it with 1920x1080 (there is a frame rate issue too).
But when render times says something like 20 years or so , i would drastically choose smaller settings that suits me  ;D

chris_x422

Hi Richard,

My two penneth.

Most studios still view reels on dvd's not blu-ray, so in most situations standard def is fine (720x576) ( I'd do either 16:9 or 4:2 anamorphic) for a general reel.

We do broadcast work, and unless there are high specifications, we generally work at HD 720 and upres when needed.

It's also good practice sometimes, to set out on a project with job some job specifications and see how much you can eek out of terragen within your given render-time, frame range and resolution requirements.
Unless we have no choice, our maximum budget is about 1 hour per frame.

Chris


Henry Blewer

I would love 1 hour per frame renders! I was giving render times that I get using my P4.

chris_442 is right on from what I have experienced in the 1990's. I used S-VHS tapes for demos then. CD burners were much too expensive.
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Forget Tuesday; It's just Monday spelled with a T

cyphyr

Thanks for the replies guys :)
I feel much "safer"  in my assumptions now.
@ Chris, that surprises me somewhat, my "budget" is about 20min for a 720 x 450 terragen frame, up-scaled that's not so different from yours. My guess would have been that production houses would have lots of computers all rendering away on much longer time scales, maybe 4 hours per frame. I developed a few personal tricks for optimising an otherwise long static render down to something that works well for animation.
Now where did I put that network cable ... ...
:)
Richard
www.richardfraser.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/RichardFraserVFX/
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Ryzen 9 3900X @3.79Ghz, 64Gb (TG4 benchmark 6:20)
i7 5930K @3.5Ghz, 32Gb (TG4 benchmark 13.44)

chris_x422

QuoteMy guess would have been that production houses would have lots of computers all rendering away on much longer time scales, maybe 4 hours per frame


Obviously that will vary wildly from studio to studio, depending on available resources.
Usually though we have several shows in production at the same time, and several artists grappling for time on the farm, and believe me, you soon loose popularity points when your frames are hogging the farm and everyone else is trying to the their shots and tests out :)