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AE CS6 Render Times - I'm at a loss!

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Michael SchmuckerAE CS6 Render Times - I'm at a loss!
by on Jan 14, 2013 at 6:35:45 pm

Hello Everyone!

I'm dealing with some seriously horrible render-time issues in AE CS6. I know there's been many threads on this same subject, but I've spent the good part of a day on Adobe's help site, and creative cow forums, and I am just at a loss.

Here's some system info right off the bat:

MacPro
OS-X 10.7.5
Creative Suite 6
2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor
8GB ram
Nvidia GeForce GTX570 HD


I'm rendering a 3min 1080p AE animation. The render is resizing it to 720p. It's a fairly complex animation. But It's at 40hrs elapsed with about 6hour to go! And I'm hitting a deadline! There's one section of the render where it slows down the most. I have one composition with over 200 image layers in 2.5D, DOF and MotionBlur is on. I get why that might be a bit slower, but still, 40hrs!? Makes me think I'm not doing something right.

Memory & Multiprocessing settings: With 8GB of installed RAM, I have 2GB reserved for other applications. I have Multiprocessing turned on. AE sees 8 cores. I've reserved 2 cores for other applications. I've allocated 1.5 GB per background CPU.

After this render is finished, I have another one coming up of similar proportions, and I can't afford another 40hrs.

Here's the question: Can someone please A) Show me what I'm doing wrong, B) Point me to a good thread that will show me what I'm doing wrong, or C) Tell me that this is normal and that I just have to deal with it (not preferable). I'm also willing to shell out a little money is a RAM upgrade would solve my problem.

Thanks so much for taking the time to help out! You guys are the best!

-MICHAEL


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Walter SoykaRe: AE CS6 Render Times - I'm at a loss!
by on Jan 14, 2013 at 8:02:03 pm

How high is your CPU utilization during render (via Activity Monitor)?

The first thing I would try to do is disable multiprocessing.

When you are memory-constrained (and 8 GB can count as memory-constrained for Ae), then trying to use multiprocessing can actually slow your system down, because the computer must spend more time shuffling items in and out of RAM than it can actually rendering.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Michael SchmuckerRe: AE CS6 Render Times - I'm at a loss!
by on Jan 14, 2013 at 8:05:40 pm

Thanks for the quick response! The activity monitor doesn't look like it's using my CPUs to their fullest potential. I will try disabling multiprocessing on my next render. Will upgrading my RAM to 12GB and enabling multiprocessing make much of a noticeable difference? I might just do that if it's deemed worthwhile by the cow!


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Walter SoykaRe: AE CS6 Render Times - I'm at a loss!
by on Jan 14, 2013 at 8:16:23 pm

[Michael Schmucker] "Will upgrading my RAM to 12GB and enabling multiprocessing make much of a noticeable difference?"

For this project? Doubtful.

Ae really, really likes RAM. I'd shoot for 24-32 GB on a eight-thread system like yours (that leaves you some overhead for the OS and any other programs you may be running).

I'll put the RAM usage in context: a single 1920x1080 image at 8bpc is 7.9 MB. If you've got 200 stills, all at HD resolution, it requires ~1.6 GB of RAM, just to hold each single image in memory. That doesn't count any space in RAM for all the compositing and effects that actually has to happen.

Each instance of the multiprocessing renderer requires its own space in RAM, so if you're using 6 cores, you need 9.4 GB of RAM just to hold the stills.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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John CuevasRe: AE CS6 Render Times - I'm at a loss!
by on Jan 14, 2013 at 8:09:02 pm

200 layers with DOF and Motion blur is extremely taxing(not even taking into account the layer size of each of those images.)

First off, turn off multi-processing, you don't have the horsepower to really take advantage of it. At most you might be using 2 CPU's. For HD, IMO you need around 24GB(that's not exact science, it's an opinion) or RAM for multi-processing to be effective. Resizing probably isn't helping matters either.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Darby EdelenRe: AE CS6 Render Times - I'm at a loss!
by on Jan 14, 2013 at 8:12:40 pm

Generally I never use more than 1/2 of my cores for Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously.

Also, double check that you're using the older "Classic" 3D mode and not the Ray-traced Renderer (I doubt this is your issue).

Darby Edelen


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Michael SchmuckerRe: AE CS6 Render Times - I'm at a loss!
by on Jan 14, 2013 at 8:50:59 pm

Thanks guys! It's nice to finally get some straight answers. I'll look into upgrading my RAM to a more respectable level. In the mean time I'll disable multiprocessing and report back after my next render to see if it makes much of an improvement. Thanks so much!


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Tero AhlforsRe: AE CS6 Render Times - I'm at a loss!
by on Jan 15, 2013 at 7:37:23 am

What kind of images are you using at what size?


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