FotoForm Troubleshooting

Kickstart Video Brands Online Forums Help Desk FotoForm FotoForm Troubleshooting

This topic contains 20 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  David Hawkins 2 years, 10 months ago.

Viewing 21 posts - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #12321

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Welcome to FotoForm Troubleshooting where you can read answers to FAQs and ask your own questions about the FotoForming process.

    #12460

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Ray via email – where’s the script/plugin?
    Problem: The zip file I downloaded from MD does not contain an AE script OR plugin file to install.
    What am I missing? thank you.

    Dave:
    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for your question. FotoForm is formatted as a template in the AE framework along with expressions to bring it together. It’s not conventional but I did it for several reasons, including dev time, cost, compatibility (going forward too), design aesthetics and control, and simplifying the UX by avoiding the need to move a plugin/script to the relevant folder (actually challenging for absolute beginners) and having the UI and FotoForm welcome message/help seen from the instant AE loads.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions.

    Kind regards,
    Dave

    andrespinilla on VideoHive regarding tutorials:
    great job really cool work!! is there a way to get the tutorials from 3dmybusiness?

    Dave:
    Thanks!

    The basic training is designed into each step of the template so you can learn as you go without losing focus – enable/disable help prompts.

    I could have made hours of video training for the product and still not answer all questions. I think most people want to get actively engaged building muscle memory rather than watching hours of passive video.

    Personally I just like to learn the basics and then get creative. I also provide 20 downloadable finished projects in the community forum where you can see the finished result and reverse engineer to understand.

    But that’s just my preferred way of learning and if you have any questions I’m happy to answer them in the forum which is linked to in the template.

    Have fun!

    Dave

    andrespinilla on VideoHive:
    thanks for the quick reply in fact my question is how to activate the layers for effects and tesselation I did once but could´nt do it again.. and on the help file just say it usually by default is disable but it doesn’t explain how to properly enable it

    thank you

    Dave:
    Hey Andre,

    Ah ok, this actually sounds like something I could make clearer in the next version. Here goes…

    Tessellation –

    On the left you’ll see a UI column with a camera projecting onto 8 squares – left of toolbar. Click on square 1 then enable in the effect controls which reveals all the settings for that layer of the FotoForm. This layer is nearest the camera as seen in the visual UI.

    Few other points: – You can add additional T-Maps via that effect control panel – Rinse and repeat with other layers – Consider dialling down the resolution as you introduce T-Maps. I’d recommend 1/4 res which speeds things up. You can set that below the viewer. [I’d also recommend the latest version of AE for software/speed improvements.]

    Effects –

    Layers enabled in tessellation will be pulled into the effects stage later on.

    Effects are the same principle. Click the appropriate toolbar icon in the custom UI, then work with the effect controls tab.

    The effect controls panel is essential for FotoForm which is why I started the template with interactive training to set it up. To make FotoForm easier and quicker to work with, I’d recommend assigning as much space to it as possible.

    Hope that helps!

    Best, Dave

    #12462

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    sevenblah on VideoHive:
    are there any tutorials on how to use this 🙁 i normally only use premiere and i am lost on how to get any kind of results 🙂 thanks.

    Dave:

    Hi Sevenblah!

    Welcome to After Effects 🙂 Have you accessed the free downloadable projects in the community forum? I find it’s far easier to work things out when you can go through each step, see that it’s already done, and reverse engineer it. Have you also enable all help prompts at each stage?

    If you have any specific questions you can fire those at me, no problem. Actually, this would be awesome because then I can consider it for the next version of FotoForm! This is only v1.0.

    If there’s enough demand I’ll make a video series, but when I was researching this product I found that most people just want to jump in with built-in prompts at each stage rather than watch videos passively.

    If you want to keep it simple, forget tessellation the first time around. By enabling just one T-Map in front of the camera and not moving it, the projection light hits only a single flat surface rather than hitting other T-Maps further back from the camera. This makes the result a little flatter, but it’s easier to work with.

    I tried to make FotoForm as simple as possible, so a lot of the nuts and bolts are hidden layers – usually there are only a limited number of actions to choose from, but if you love AE and want to build a complete education in it, I’d recommend Andrew Kramer’s beginner series – http://www.videocopilot.net/basic/

    If you already use Premiere, you’re halfway there with an understanding of layers and such.

    Please consider writing the questions over in the community forum linked inside of FotoForm , because then it helps the rest of the community out when all the answers are in one place! 🙂

    Best, Dave

    #12464

    RaiBo
    Participant

    Hi, am I right that this does not work in AE CC2017?

    I’m getting several error messages.

    #12466

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Hi RaiBo, please copy/paste the error messages into a reply and I’ll look into it for you.

    Thanks!

    Regards,

    #12477

    [email protected]
    Participant

    Good Day! I just purchased the product and I am totally lost with how to get started. When I saw your video, it looked like there was some sort of UI but I just have a FotoForm folder with AE projects in it. Maybe I am missing something

    I admit I am new to this, but I need some help. I am good at figuring my way, as you suggest in your notes, but it seems I am totally missing something. Is there any documentation, getting started video, or anything usable?

    I really want to put your product to use, but I cannot figure out how to even get started.

    NOTE: I cannot open the sample files (like NYC) independently. I have to rename the User folder that sits off the original root folder in order for the file to open.

    BTW, using CC2017 and all files open fine.

    #12478

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Hi Brandon!

    Sorry for the difficulty, hopefully this reply can help.

    Have you enabled the help prompts for each section? This is explained how to do in the 3-step setup process when opening FotoForm. Every section has these overlays with all the steps you can follow to build momentum quickly.

    The other resource is the finished templates for really understanding the flow. As for the troubleshooting here, I couldn’t include the original project files in the forum because it’s public. With Videohive I can verify purchase codes before allowing access but for outside promotions that’s not possible. Sorry for the extra step needed, I know it’s not a great user experience, but I get a lot of non-customers signing up to the forum.

    As you say, the New York files need to be copied into the original rather than the other way around. [Otherwise AE doesn’t know where to look for the assets. For others reading this, please read “Quick_Instructions.txt” included in the finished project.]

    I didn’t create videos because when developing the product I polled older customers and learnt that quite a large number of folks want to stay hands-on in After Effects rather than watch videos passively outside of AE. I was thinking along the lines of building muscle memory with the prompts and finished projects [reverse engineering] which is how I learn best. Then forum questions could be the icing. BUT! A number of customers as well as yourself have said FotoForm is hard to get started with, so I will ramp up the help resources for version 2 of the product.

    If you have any other questions, let me know. Please be as specific as possible and I can be of more use. 🙂

    Best,
    Dave

    #54853

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Kylie via Contact Form:

    Hi Dave,
    I purchased the FotoForm package from Mighty Deals today and have downloaded it. I cannot find any way to actually install the product anywhere – what is the file I should be looking for to do this? All I can find is an afx template and project file, which takes me through the ‘help’ showing me how to use the product, but I cannot activate or find that product in any way. Please help! I am so looking forward to using this – but I am just sitting here scratching my head atm. Thanks again. I tried registering on your help site too, but I am not getting a password allocated to me, so I cannot log in.
    Look forward to hearing from you soon!

    Kylie

    Dave:
    Hi Kylie!

    Ok, let’s get you setup…

    Help site –

    Sorry you weren’t able to get into the support forum, the site was in development yesterday which probably didn’t help! Please try again and let me know if you have any more problems. I’ve had quite a few Mightydeals customers creating accounts, but if you can’t get it working I will look into it.

    Getting it to work –

    Ok, if you have got to the help section I imagine you’ve got After Effects 2014+ installed. Beyond the 3-stage introduction upon opening FotoForm in AE you can double-click the blue ‘Next’ button to get to each stage until the end render stage.

    I think the best thing to do would be to install one of the finished projects inside the forum. Here’s a link for the Mountain FotoForm seen in the promotional video – https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0YEGMypE88HWThTcXhNQVNWYkk. It’s a reasonably simple FF, so loads and renders pretty quickly. The finished projects already have the stages opened so you get a quick birds-eye-view of how the entire product works!

    Once downloaded, replace the original AEP file with the mountain AEP file, and replace the original USER folder with the Mountain USER folder. It’s important you use the original folders otherwise FotoForm won’t be able to find all the files.

    In the forum there are 20 projects you can download. I included them for customers to reverse-engineer so they can immediately see how it all works, rather than through watching videos passively. 🙂

    One other tip –

    Another tip I gave a customer the other day was with the tessellation, which is perhaps the most difficult aspect of the product. It’s optional! Tessellation introduces 3D to the FotoForm but I recommend you keep it super simple in your first few projects. Tessellation ramps up the render time quite a bit. The quick help overlay will give you an idea of how this works but it basically means:

    1. Only enable tessellation for each photo layer you have via the effect controls – so you have a flat surface to catch the projection.

    2. But don’t go further than that. I.e. Adding additional t-maps and manipulating them
    Please let me know if you have any more questions, I can record a quick screencast if you want something visual. 🙂

    Best,
    Dave

    #54854

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Kylie via Contact Form:
    Hi Dave,
    I purchased the FotoForm package from Mighty Deals today and have downloaded it. I cannot find any way to actually install the product anywhere – what is the file I should be looking for to do this? All I can find is an afx template and project file, which takes me through the ‘help’ showing me how to use the product, but I cannot activate or find that product in any way. Please help! I am so looking forward to using this – but I am just sitting here scratching my head atm. Thanks again. I tried registering on your help site too, but I am not getting a password allocated to me, so I cannot log in.
    Look forward to hearing from you soon!

    Kylie

    Dave:
    Hi Kylie!

    Ok, let’s get you setup…

    Help site –

    Sorry you weren’t able to get into the support forum, the site was in development yesterday which probably didn’t help! Please try again and let me know if you have any more problems. I’ve had quite a few Mightydeals customers creating accounts, but if you can’t get it working I will look into it.

    Getting it to work –

    Ok, if you have got to the help section I imagine you’ve got After Effects 2014+ installed. Beyond the 3-stage introduction upon opening FotoForm in AE you can double-click the blue ‘Next’ button to get to each stage until the end render stage.

    I think the best thing to do would be to install one of the finished projects inside the forum. Here’s a link for the Mountain FotoForm seen in the promotional video – https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0YEGMypE88HWThTcXhNQVNWYkk. It’s a reasonably simple FF, so loads and renders pretty quickly. The finished projects already have the stages opened so you get a quick birds-eye-view of how the entire product works!

    Once downloaded, replace the original AEP file with the mountain AEP file, and replace the original USER folder with the Mountain USER folder. It’s important you use the original folders otherwise FotoForm won’t be able to find all the files.

    In the forum there are 20 projects you can download. I included them for customers to reverse-engineer so they can immediately see how it all works, rather than through watching videos passively. 🙂

    One other tip –

    Another tip I gave a customer the other day was with the tessellation, which is perhaps the most difficult aspect of the product. It’s optional! Tessellation introduces 3D to the FotoForm but I recommend you keep it super simple in your first few projects. Tessellation ramps up the render time quite a bit. The quick help overlay will give you an idea of how this works but it basically means:

    1. Only enable tessellation for each photo layer you have via the effect controls – so you have a flat surface to catch the projection.

    2. But don’t go further than that. I.e. Adding additional t-maps and manipulating them
    Please let me know if you have any more questions, I can record a quick screencast if you want something visual. 🙂

    Best,
    Dave

    #55733

    [email protected]
    Participant

    Dave… thanks for the reply… but I still am very unclear on how to actually use the application/template. I still am unclear if FotoForm is an application, or just a AE project, or what. All that I downloaded on purchase are project files. That’s it.

    I have no idea what you mean by “three step process when you open FotoForm”. The only thing I can open is the Project Files. I also purchased through MightyDeals, like Kyle above. As you can see, Kyle has the same issues as I. We simply cannot figure out how to use your package.

    Would you consider doing a webex, goto meeting, or similar as a quick demo/getting started?

    I can chat offline if you’d like or you can email me individually if that is easier for you.

    Thanks
    Brandon
    brandonpmitchell at gmail dot com

    #55746

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Hey Brandon!

    I’ve started a new topic called screencasts here – http://3dmybusiness.com/forums/topic/screencasts-video-demos/#post-55744

    To be clear, FotoForm is an AE template within AE. This was done for compatibility going forward. So the UI you can see is all expression-based inside of AE rather than through HTML5 which is where software applications in AE are heading. If I was to create this template with HTML5, though, I’d need to hire a programmer with knowledge of both HTML5 and Adobe ExtendScript, and then hire him/her every time there is an update. Believe me, I considered going this route with FotoForm and decided it wasn’t a good use of my money/time when I could create the same thing with expressions.

    The first video shows the initial three steps very briefly, then from there it’s into Adobe Photoshop for prepping the photo assets as explainer by the help overlay in AE. Documentation is also included in the PSD file which the AE overlay links you to.

    If you need any other screencasts, let me know what you need specifically on the screencast thread and I’ll find the time to help you out.

    All the best,
    Dave

    #55981

    christd
    Participant

    well … have the same problems as the two guys before!
    normaly i have no problem with try and error but here … i got many expression fails! maybe the problem is that adobe updates after effects every time and so i actually use Version 2017.0 Version 14.0.0.207 …
    on mightydeals there is written “free updates*
    cause i got every time i open the project file and try to use this … maaaany expression errors!
    what do you think i should do?
    greetings from austria
    chris

    #55985

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Hi Chris!

    If you could get some screen-grabs of the errors I’ll look into for you.

    Regards,
    Dave

    #55986

    christd
    Participant

    hello dave, hmmm … i use german language and on PC

    so the first message i get is that the project file must convert from Version 13.5 (Macintosch 64)

    hmmm … didnt find a possibility here to upload a screenshot!

    #55987

    christd
    Participant
    #55988

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Hi Chris,

    That’s not an error message as far as I know, just a notification. Please list all the DropBox links together and I’ll look into all of them.

    I believe you can also add the URL of any web-hosted video/image and it will be embedded automatically in your post here. Perhaps for images the link needs to end in .jpg/.png? I’m not sure. Links are fine though. 🙂

    Best,

    #55990

    christd
    Participant

    yes i know that this is just a notification! but i think the problem is of the converting process! i will make screenshots and list it here … but please give me time until tomorrow 😀
    `good night

    #55991

    christd
    Participant

    is there a possibility to get a full overview of the errormessages except ot the orange line in the viewport?
    cause on the 05_Perspective there are 47 Error-Messages then in 06_Tesselation 216 Errormessages!

    #55995

    kyliesmith
    Participant

    Thanks David for your help so far – just curious as to ‘minimum requirements’ for this … I have a windows 7 machine with the 8 core processor and 16 gig of RAM – and its struggling. I use CC2014. What sort of a setup do you use? I am wondering if upgrading to 32 gig of RAM would have a significant difference, as even with Tesselation turned off, it is taking ages to render anything for preview, even at quarter res etc.

    Any tips appreciated!
    Thanks
    Kylie

    #55999

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Hi Kylie,

    More RAM wouldn’t likely help, annoyingly. There’s a link to a forum talking about this exact thing below. [Also regarding CC2014.] I’ll explain a little more in-depth about the performance levels in AE and why it’s only temporary.

    TLDR

    There’s still a lot of ‘old’ code in AE holding performance back like effects that FotoForm needs to use which weren’t originally developed to utilise 8 [even 2!] cores. This is changing, though. For example with the fast blur which now defaults to gaussian blur in CC2017 and uses the GPU for speed. CC2014 is still the king for multi-core processing but it’s far from perfect. The biggest impact on performance, though, is the ray-traced renderer, but this will soon be replaced with the C4D Standard renderer.

    Not so TLDR version

    There are two challenges here:

    1. Multi-processing.
    Not every aspect [effects/expressions/general tasks] employs multiple cores efficiently. Some expressions even take the render down to one core! Basically, the AE team are working hard to update the entire framework but negotiating that against building new ‘shiny things’ that will bring the new punters in. I tried to stay as lean as possible for FotoForm, but some of the older architecture was used to get it working. [The ray-traced renderer perhaps being the best example.]

    2. Ray-traced rendering
    FotoForm uses projection to get its effect and the only way get a sharp projection is to use the ray-traced renderer – a horribly optimised engine for AE which has only been developed – it seems – for Nvidia cards with CUDA cores. If you use AMD, the performance is clawed back. This is perhaps the main performance drawback – unless you have CUDA enabled. The C4D Standard renderer is the answer to this but it still isn’t quite there yet. The classic 3D renderer is well optimised, but reduces projection resolution a big amount. I’ve tested the standard renderer in the new CC2017 and we’re about 75% of the way there in my estimation [to it replacing the ray traced renderer as per the listed features when comparing them in composition settings].

    This thread I read a while back is really insightful for multi-processing [and RAM amount], and applies to CC2014:
    https://forums.creativecow.net/thread/2/1063916

    Here’s a quote:
    ”As Dave says, there are a lot of things that break multiprocessing. Even some expressions can drag you down to single core processing!”

    Ironically 2014 still takes the cake for multi-processing, perhaps the reason you still use it. I was hoping 2017 would be the big return to multi-processing but it looks like the architecture update is a hell of a lot bigger than we thought.

    While 2014 is the the workhorse for multi-processing, this CC2014 review from Puget Systems is really helpful too – https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Adobe-After-Effects-CC-2014-Multi-Core-Performance-716/#Conclusion

    Here’s a quote:
    “One other factor to keep in mind is that while AE 2014 is pretty good at utilizing multiple CPU cores when rendering and scrubbing the timeline, many other tasks in AE are not multi-threaded at all. Things like opening projects, importing videos, and saving projects do not see any benefit to having more cores. Because of this, having a CPU with a relatively high operating frequency is still very important for general responsiveness of the program.”

    As I said to another customer, we’re in a position where AE is the only product capable of doing a bunch of motion graphics [all things considered, FotoForm could perhaps be built in C4D but it would be nowhere near as user-friendly], but a lot of the product still hails from 10+ years ago.

    In a nutshell, when the standard renderer replaces the ray-traced engine, user experience before the renderer will get a big boost, as well as improving the render time. There are other slow-downs like the older effects and expressions, and even the number of t-maps you enable, but the engine is the big one. Until then, we’re sort of stuck with an awesome program that’s held back a little by it’s past.

    I’m sorry for the render times but it’s just a case of waiting I’m afraid – I rendered my trailer FotoForms overnight in pro res and made them web-ready in Media Encoder during the day.

    Regards,
    Dave

    #56004

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Kylie,

    This evening I’m going to do a little testing and see if I can produce a stable ‘classic 3D’ version of FotoForm. This would give the entire UX a significant speed boost in everything from FotoForming to rendering, but perhaps at the expense of projection sharpness.

    I’ll do some testing to see whether we get much artifacting, but let me know whether you’d be interested.

    Have a good day!

    Regards,
    Dave

    UPDATE:
    Faster C3D version of FotoForm now available in v1.2! Find out more here.

Viewing 21 posts - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.