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After Effects not using enough RAM.

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Amit ParekhAfter Effects not using enough RAM.
by on Sep 16, 2012 at 6:22:39 pm

Hi. I've got a really powerful computer (specs below) and I've started rendering something and it says "Est. Remain: 17 Hr, 21 Min". I looked in the bottom left and it says "RAM: 8% used of 31.9GB". I'm using Win7 Pro and using AE CS6 and I'm getting this issue. I have multi-processing enabled and I have AE only allowing 1 CPU and 3GB of RAM for other programs and its not using a lot of RAM. Please help me fix this as I don't have that much RAM for nothing.

Thanks in advance,
Ak.

-----------------
PC Specs:
i7 3770k (not OC)
32GB RAM
Win 7 Pro
HD 7950 (not OC)


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Dave LaRondeRe: After Effects not using enough RAM.
by on Sep 16, 2012 at 7:13:37 pm

Three questions:

1. What is the nature of the footage in the comp? Media container, resolution and codec, please.
2. What effects are being applied to this footage?
3. If working in 3D, please describe shat you're doing, the number of lights being used, and the material settings.

Many things other than the amount of memory affect AE render times.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Amit ParekhRe: After Effects not using enough RAM.
by on Sep 16, 2012 at 7:30:24 pm

Thanks for responding. Sorry in advance for the messy-ness of my reply. Okay, so:

I have no idea what a media container is but this is what I do know:

The footage is basically a video for my youtube channel. I make dubstep mixes and this video is different that the others because it's a collaboration for someone else so many more effects and images are being used. I'm using many images and effects (from BCC8 with Beat Reactor). Each track has its own image with effects on and there are 11 tracks (and 11 images). Each image fades in and out by changing the opacity and by animating a gaussian blur on a adjustment layer on top. However some images have been split and masks are on them. In total, there is:
- 1 mp3 file
- 2 adjustment layers
- 1 black solid
- 1 comp (which links to another comp elsewhere)
- and 16 image files (as individ. layers)

As I said, BCC8 has been used because of its "Beat Reactor" feature. Each image has 1 or more (maxiumum on 1 image is about 12) effects on it. The first has 12 (all BCC Rays Ring) and similar for the rest with similar light effects. Image 2 and 6 has an addition particle effect on it. Image 2 uses BCC Snow but no light effects and Image 8 uses around 4 BCC Light effects and a BCC Rain effect. In total, the video is 0;50;35;11 long (90971 frames @ 29.97fps). No 3D is being used and this is being done in 720p. Let me know if you need to know anything else. There are a lot of effects being used but I don't think it'll limit it down this much. It should still use more RAM than 8%, shouldn't it?

Ak.


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Dave LaRondeRe: After Effects not using enough RAM.
by on Sep 16, 2012 at 7:56:30 pm

T I think I understand what's going on. I won't make any guarantees of it, but there are a few things that I know will work:

First off, get rid of the mp3. Convert it aiff or wav. Mp3's don't work well in AE.

Then forget about adjustment layers for this project. Apply the effects to the layers themselves.

Third, give yourself a LOT more RAM and processors for things other than AE. It seems counter-intuitive, but it helps.

If you're using long-gop codecs like h.264 or mpeg, or media containers like mp4, know that they're long-gop and AE just takes longer to render them.

I haven't used Boris Continuum Complete, so I'm unsure how the render times for its effects compare to their AE counterparts.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Amit ParekhRe: After Effects not using enough RAM.
by on Sep 17, 2012 at 8:34:53 am

Currently at school but will try your tips once I am home. Thanks.

I'm using the adjustment layer to make life easier as I didn't want to add a Gaussian blur to every image layer as it would have got annoying.

I don't get what you mean by "give yourself a LOT more RAM and processors for things other than AE". Do you think its better if I turn off the multi-core processing thing and leave more RAM for other applications? How this this help? (just curious).

BCC8 is CPU intensive but it does a good job in what it does. Does what I want it to but some of it is a bit complex. Though, not as complex as the Trapcode series or pretty much anything from Red Giant. Well it is for me.

What codec do you think would be best? I normally use Xvid and render as a .avi? Do you think something else will be better?

I'm okay with rendering for a long time but I'm baffled as to why AE is only using about 8% off the total RAM to offer. Nothing else is open too. Nothing CPU intensive (not chrome or any other programs. Just the basic Windows processes to run and AV).

I'm gonna need to use Trapcode Particular and Form soon. Maybe even Sound Keys. Do you know anywhere I could look to get some insight into how to use it? Thanks.

Thanks,
Ak.


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Dave LaRondeRe: After Effects not using enough RAM.
by on Sep 17, 2012 at 5:48:45 pm

You need to do a few things:

Forget about "easy" in after effects. doing things easier comes with experience, but by relying on an adjustment layer to make life easier, you're shooting yourself in the foot.

Look up memory and processor allocations in AE's online Help for guidance, or look at Todd Koriva's After Effects Region of Interest blogs on the topic on the Adobe web site; the gent literally wrote the book on AE documentation.

GET RID OF XVID! That thing is for high school kids. It stinks. Look at Cineform or Avid's free DnXHD codecs. Either is far better.

You said yourself that BCC is processor-intensive. Does it not then follow that the suite may not be RAM intensive, which is why you don't see much RAM being used?

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Amit ParekhRe: After Effects not using enough RAM.
by on Sep 17, 2012 at 6:00:08 pm

Okay thanks Dave. I have a question. Why am I shooting myself in the foot. What difference does it make? I'm just wondering.

Unable to do anything until the weekend or later in the week but thanks for all your help and I'll report back on how it goes.

BCC is processor-intensive but I was curious that, when rendering, no more than 8% of 32GB was being used. It was odd. But thanks anyway. You've been a great help and I'll through Xvid out the window.

Thanks,
Ak.


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Dave LaRondeRe: After Effects not using enough RAM.
by on Sep 17, 2012 at 6:08:42 pm

It's easier to copy & paste effects from layer to layer, then adjust the settings to meet the individual clip's needs than it is to create a boatload of keyframes to accomplish the same thing for those layers using an adjustment layer.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Amit ParekhRe: After Effects not using enough RAM.
by on Sep 18, 2012 at 2:43:04 pm

Okay thanks. By not doing that, does it affect render time or anything?


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Dave LaRondeRe: After Effects not using enough RAM.
by on Sep 18, 2012 at 2:54:28 pm

Not much at all, but it's a royal pain in the worst spot you can imagine to tweak all those hold keyframes if you ever need to change a layer's duration or rearrange layers along the timeline.

It's not the render time but the actual preparation time.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Amit ParekhRe: After Effects not using enough RAM.
by on Sep 18, 2012 at 3:02:10 pm

Okay I'll keep that in mind for future projects. Now I have a question. What codec should I use that compresses the video a lot because I need to render it as quick as I can but what codec should I use. This is going to be uploaded on YouTube anyway so it doesn't need to be perfect quality but I need it to be pretty damn tiny because my upload speed is rubbish. Normally Xvid is around 400mb - 700mb depending on the size but is there a codec that will make it really small but a relatively good quality. I'm probably asking for the impossible but is there anything close that can do as I need it to do?

Also, why not Xvid. Why is it so bad?

Thanks for everything,
Ak.


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Dave LaRondeRe: After Effects not using enough RAM.
by on Sep 18, 2012 at 4:14:03 pm

[Amit Parekh] "What codec should I use that compresses the video a lot because I need to render it as quick as I can but what codec should I use. "

When working in AE, you want to use as high-quality a codec as possible to retain image quality. Only when it's time to deliver do you compress to the delivery codec. Quicktime's H.264 is pretty good for that. Use Adobe Media Encoder or QT Pro for compression.

Xvid isn't a professional production, or intermediate, codec. It's lossy, making it a bad choice for AE work.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Amit ParekhRe: After Effects not using enough RAM.
by on Sep 18, 2012 at 4:52:32 pm

Okay, awesome. Thank you for all your help. I'll post again if I ever have more questions.


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