Can I gain any advantage by checking or unchecking some of the options under Regeneration and Miscellaneous to improve render or file load performance?
I personally leave everything in Miscellaneous turned off, Except I leave 'disable quick switching turned on. I have not done any tests to see what affect it has, but my way of thinking is, the more things that are turned on in TC, the more work the cpu has to do, which could affect performance. As I navigate each compartment with anilab, Im thinking of splitting the overall design into scenes (if you like)
That is the approach I take (sort of). I have not used xref's, but when doing a long animation, I record I segments (scenes), much like they record movies in real life. They record in small scenes, and stitch them together afterwards. With AnimationLab, the last thing you want is to wait for 10 hours recording a movie only to find some faulty renderings at 6 hours. and have to start again (and, yes, that does occasionally happen).
I use layers to turn off things that will not be seen in a particular scene. and sometimes use the layer switch command to turn things on only when required. When recording, I tend to aim for about 2 to 3 hours at a time (actual time, not length of animation). though I have occasionally left an animation to render overnight. The amount of frames I use in each scene, depends on how long a single frame takes to render. What are any down sides to this approach?
The main downside, is in the planning stage. one has to ensure that camera position and especially lighting is correct when recording a new scene, once lighting is how you want it, don't alter it between recordings. The last thing you want is to record say 300 frames, then a second 300 frames, and find when stitched together, the second set is slightly brighter or darker then the first. This will probably not be much of a problem for your boat, going to different decks or rooms, which will naturally have different lighting. but can be a problem with mechanical stuff, when showing different views of the same objects. Finally Im using Movavi for videos, but the last time I did any video work I noticed the file size was huge even when I kept the resolution down and the capture window small.
They are big
But its not as simple as window size. There is a also the colour bits per pixel. with AVi you are talking 25 frames per second normally with bmp format of 24 bits per pixel. a single 1280 x 720 screen x 24 bits is around 2.7 MB per frame, x 25 frames per second = 67.5 MB per second of animation. The full colour part of the knife video I did is only 16 seconds but the AVI file is 1,082,712 KB. This size is reduced once saved as, for example an MP4, but AL cannot directly save as MP4, so the native full colour AVI from AL will always be large.What video editor are you using?
I still use one from years ago called Serif MoviePlus, but its no longer in development. I also have Corel VideoStudio which was on a cheap offer a coupe of years ago. Or are there any free online video converters?
I have only used the free 'Handbrake' video convertor. But normally I want to edit the video, or add some text, so most often I do use a video editing program.