This guide will help you improve preview performance in Alight Motion, reducing the feeling of lag that can happen when playing or scrolling a project before it is exported.
In order to allow our users complete freedom to create sophisticated projects, Alight Motion imposes very few hard limits on what you can do in a project. However, although exporting is unaffected, mobile devices sometimes have a hard time keeping up when previewing complex creations.
We are always working hard to improve performance, but because of the flexibility of Alight Motion, it will always be possible to create projects that are more than the device can handle and therefore slow in preview. This guide offers some tips to help you improve preview performance.
Enable Low Quality Preview (Android Only)
Low Quality Preview reduces the resolution of the preview without affecting the exported video. A lower resolution means significantly less pixels to draw during preview, which can improve preview performance at the expense of visual clarity when previewing your creation.
How to: Low Quality Preview can be turned on or off in Alight Motion Settings.
Please know that this feature is not applicable to iPhones or iPads due to different underlying performance issues.
Avoid Ultra High-Resolution Projects
Resolutions over 1080p, such as 1440p and 4k, can put a significant strain on even powerful devices. Consider your viewer demographic when creating video, and don’t use higher resolutions than your need for your target audience. For example, if you're primarily posting on Instagram where videos are automatically downscaled, 720p may be sufficient.
Use Appropriate Source Video Resolution and Frame Rate
Video recorded in high resolutions or at high frame rates takes longer to decode, which can impact performance. Of course, lower resolution video doesn’t look as good. When recording video, choose a resolution and frame rate similar to that of the project where you plan to use it. If using pre-recorded video, consider converting it to a lower resolution before using it in your project.
Needlessly high resolution video will just hurt performance and take up extra storage space. For example, in most cases using 4k 60fps video in a 1080p 30fps project will reduce preview performance without yielding higher quality results. The exception would be if you plan to use effects to magnify part of the video: In this case, you may want to work in a higher resolution for your source media.
Make Performance-Based Choices
Some features or effects in Alight Motion place a heavier burden on your device than others. In many cases, alternative features are available that will give better preview performance while yielding very similar results. For example, Stroke is more performant than Broder.
Use Heavy (Computationally Expensive) Features and Effects Judiciously
Some features and effects are more complex for your device to compute, and can slow down the preview. Using a few of these in your project generally won’t cause problems, but applying these features/effects to many layers at the same point in time on the timeline can hurt preview performance. For effects/features with a strength, size, or radius setting, higher settings will hurt performance more; lower settings will improve performance.
Use the following features/effects in moderation for best results:
- Shadow (especially with large settings for “Size”)
- Glow & Inner Glow
- Contour Gradient & Contour Lines
- Smooth Bevel
- Matte Choker
- Blurs (Directional, Radial, Lens, Mask, Motion)
- Long Shadow
- Radial Shadow
Use the Visibility Icon to Turn Layers Off
Next to every layer, there is a visibility icon (shaped like an eye) that can be used to turn off the visibility of a layer. When turned off, the layer does not need to be rendered on screen, and therefore reduces the strain on your device. When having performance issues, we suggest using this visibility setting to try to determine where performance issues may arise, and keeping layers you don't immediately need turned off until export to improve performance.
Manage Your Audio Settings (Android Only)
On Android devices, in the side menu when you enter the app, there is a menu item labelled Audio Resampling. This setting controls the quality of the audio in the project. If you are having issues with audio, such as stuttering audio, or audio that is not keeping up with the video, we suggest setting the resampling to Low while editing, and then to High or Ultra during export. This way you will receive the best performance while editing, but the best quality during export.
Summary / How to Contact Support
We’re always working hard to improve performance in Alight Motion, but we can use your help to identify opportunities for further optimization—or places were we can improve this guide.
If none of the above suggestions solve your performance issues, please feel free to contact email@example.com. You will receive an automatic reply, with instructions on how to proceed to human support. Human replies are typically given in 2-3 business days.
Please include a screenshot of your Alight Motion “About” screen, as well as detailed information about the project where you are experiencing performance problems (let us know what kind of media you used in the project, and what effects you have applied).