Embedding Layers of Composite Shots

The project I have been working on involves many unique layers that have been bunched into different "baked" composite shots in an attempt to avoid a software slowdown and also to keep my workflow neater. My question is am I slowing down the exporting process by embedding these layers together into many embedded composite shots that are used in another main composite shot? For this roughly 1 minute in length shot the exporting time takes around a minimum of 2 hours with just about any exporting settings.  When I try to continue this embedding loop even further by embedding the already embedded composite shots together into one layer the exporting time increases significantly more to around 9 hours. I know this sounds a lot like the movie Inception lol but I am just curious as to why this is occurring so any knowledge or advice would be greatly appreciated!


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited December 2016

    Sure. This might not be 100% correct as an explanation, but it's close enough. 

    At the moment, I'm assuming your composite shots are embedded in 2D mode. This would also apply to Comp Shots as 3D planes. 3D unrolled is a bit different... So, when Hitfilm renders a frame it starts at the bottom of the layer stack and works it's way up, calculating and rendering each layer as it goes. However, when it, hits an embedded comp, it has to "hold" the main shot, and go render out the  embedded shot to bring that data back into the main. If that embedded comp has more embedded comps in it then it has to keep taking "side trips." The reason for this is that an (2D) embedded composite shot is basically being treated like a video file, therefore it has to be rendered out before the main comp can use it. 

    Now, embedding Composite Shots is a great way to organize things for neater timelines, and sometimes needs to be done to have certain techniques work, but to speed up workflow and final render you'll need to proxy embedded Composite Shots amd make certain proxies are being used for final output.

    Now without knowing your project or layer structure I can't advise which embedded shots to proxy, but proxying out the most complex embeds will speed final render. 

    I had a fairly recent project with an estimated 14 hour render for one minute of footage. I proxied the one embedded comp with 17 projector effects in it--the proxy took 2 hours. But reduced final render time to 2 hours. 4 hours is a lot fewer than 14.

  • Ok thanks Triem that makes complete sense! I do have some several 3d unrolled layers so should I try proxying those first before any complex embedded 3d planes? Anyways, I will take what you told me and give it a go and let you know if it helped or not soon. 

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