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Standard (spacebar) Vs. RAM (0) Previews

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Jared Gardner
Standard (spacebar) Vs. RAM (0) Previews
on Jun 28, 2011 at 11:52:54 pm

I understand that pressing 0 on the keypad will render your timeline in full resolution/framerate into your ram. However, I'm not so sure about the standard SpaceBar preview. I heard someone say that your ram correlates to how good the standard/spacebar preview is, so that kind of makes me think it is also a ram preview.

So to clarify, is the spacebar method also a ram preview, or is using spacebar basically a 'render in real time' preview that plays back as good as your PC possibly can?

Let me get a bonus question in here: if using a cuda/MPE card, are both the spacebar and 0 preview methods sped up, and if so, does that mean I could probably get away with just the spacebar preview?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Standard (spacebar) Vs. RAM (0) Previews
on Jun 29, 2011 at 1:00:44 am

[Jared Gardner] "So to clarify, is the spacebar method also a ram preview, or is using spacebar basically a 'render in real time' preview that plays back as good as your PC possibly can?"

Right. Standard preview [link] will render frames and play cached frames as fast as it can, without audio or any guarantee for real time playback.

RAM preview mixes your audio, renders your comp (according to the current and RAM preview settings), saves the frames in RAM, and plays them back in real time. It's limited by the amount of RAM you have available.


[Jared Gardner] "Let me get a bonus question in here: if using a cuda/MPE card, are both the spacebar and 0 preview methods sped up, and if so, does that mean I could probably get away with just the spacebar preview?"

No. AE renders on the CPU only; it does not render on the GPU via CUDA like Premiere Pro does.

Adobe has a great page in the documentation on improving performance [link] -- it outlines a lot of settings you can change, features you can use, and workflows you can follow for speeding up your AE work.

Personally, I find standard (spacebar) preview pretty useless. I use very low-quality settings for Shift-RAM preview (quarter res or lower, skipping at least every 1 or 2 frames) to get better preview performance, and high-quality settings for regular RAM preview for a more accurate preview.

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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Steve Roberts
Re: Standard (spacebar) Vs. RAM (0) Previews
on Jun 29, 2011 at 1:43:49 am

Yeah. I've only found spacebar previews useful for watching a selected camera layer move wireframe-like. Not much call for that, though it's good for showing camera-motion concepts to students.



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Jared Gardner
Re: Standard (spacebar) Vs. RAM (0) Previews
on Jun 29, 2011 at 2:21:16 am

Thank you both, cleared it up perfectly. I accidentally typed After Effects about the cuda/mpe feature. What I meant to say for the bonus question was about Premiere Pro. Does what I mentioned apply to Premiere Pro? It would be nice if both the standard/spacebar and 0/keypad previews were rendered with the help of mpe in Premiere.

By the way, one more thing and I'll have this down perfectly: when you say that the spacebar also uses cached frames, is the cache actually put into your ram, or is cache more like something Premiere temporarily stores on your hard drive?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Standard (spacebar) Vs. RAM (0) Previews
on Jun 29, 2011 at 4:48:15 pm

[Jared Gardner] "By the way, one more thing and I'll have this down perfectly: when you say that the spacebar also uses cached frames, is the cache actually put into your ram, or is cache more like something Premiere temporarily stores on your hard drive?"

AE caches frames in RAM, as well as to disk. If reading the disk cache is faster than simply rendering the frame on the fly, AE should be reading it from disk.


[Jared Gardner] "Does what I mentioned apply to Premiere Pro? It would be nice if both the standard/spacebar and 0/keypad previews were rendered with the help of mpe in Premiere."

I am just getting into Premiere, but from what I understand, preview works totally differently. Premiere will play what it can in real-time; if you render to disk, it will play back the rendered media files. There is no RAM preview. Premiere effects can be accelerated by the MPE, but dynamically-linked AE sequences will not be.

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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Todd Kopriva
Re: Standard (spacebar) Vs. RAM (0) Previews
on Jun 30, 2011 at 7:56:01 am

This page and the pages that it points to contain all the detail that you're likely to ever need on what Premiere Pro does with CUDA:
"CUDA, Mercury Playback Engine, and Adobe Premiere Pro"

There's detailed information about rendering preview files and real-time playback in Premiere Pro here:
"Red, yellow, and green render bars and what they mean"

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
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