Movie Texture Vs Flipbook? Pros and Cons.

Hey everyone, quick question. I was in the process of planning out making a relatively complicated particle effect, but I am unsure how to proceed. I am going to be having a fairly intricate ground effect as part of it, but there are three ways I could do this that I know of but I would like to know what the pro’s and con’s of the ways are.

I am going to be making the effect in After Effects, but I could either:

Render out the effect as a video, use the new Media Framework to turn it into a video texture and use that in the particle system (there would only be 1-3 particles using the texture in this method). This method would yield the best looking results, I imagine.
Render out the effect as a flipbook. This would either result in a severely decreased quality result due to having to shrink it down to fit multiple frames on a texture. OR I would have to use a huge texture and still have a relative loss in quality.
Or, I render out a single part of a single frame, use that as a static texture, and then have a whole mess of nodes in the material to try and fake the correct movement, as well as having to spawn a bunch of this particle to mimic the effect I want.

Really, I know that I want to use a video file, but I am wondering what problems I am going to face if I try to do so. Will the effect be too big of a draw on processing power? Will the video file be too intensive of a resource to draw up quickly? Is a single particle with movie texture less of a drain than many particles with flipbooks? Am I worrying to much? All the important questions.

Any help would be appreciated!

no advice at all?

Hey Knobbynobbes -

First I am suggesting you stick with the Flipbook I think higher end systems might be ok at running the effect you are after but the memory (storage and streaming) requirements for the movie are unnecessarily CPU taxing and your programmers will eventually have you remove it.

Also we have a great VFX Optimization Guide, which can help you track down ways to make your VFX run smoothly while not being too taxing.

Thank You

Eric Ketchum