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Frustrated with Dynamic Link. Does it really just suck?

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Max Palmer
Frustrated with Dynamic Link. Does it really just suck?
on Nov 6, 2012 at 2:40:34 pm

Hi guys- I don't use Adobe Dynamic Link often between Premiere and AfterEffects, but the few times I have, it always seems like a terrible pain. My system seems to become awfully unstable, and slow. Does Dynamic Link use up a ton of ram when you have both programs open at once? I'm usually working on 720p projects, and I've got a Mac Pro 8 core with 8gb of ram.

What sort of workflow are the rest of you using when you are working between programs? Are you cutting all your footage in Premiere, and then just outputting a lossless file and loading it into AE?

Thanks.


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Tom Daigon
Re: Frustrated with Dynamic Link. Does it really just suck?
on Nov 6, 2012 at 2:48:41 pm

I use dynamic link a lot on CS6 and have no issues with it at all. That might be due to my machine configuration as seen below.

8GB of ram is rather small for HD work, but you might be experiencing issues for other reasons as well.

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com





(Best viewed at 1080P and full screen)
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
Dulce DQg2 16TB raid


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Vishesh Arora
Re: Frustrated with Dynamic Link. Does it really just suck?
on Nov 6, 2012 at 5:04:41 pm

Max

One should have at least 16 GB RAM for properly using AE's all features.

Vishesh Arora
3D and Motion Graphics Artist
Films Rajendra

Blog:
http://digieffects.wordpress.com

Demo Reel(3D):







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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Frustrated with Dynamic Link. Does it really just suck?
on Nov 6, 2012 at 5:20:28 pm

[Vishesh Arora] "One should have at least 16 GB RAM for properly using AE's all features."

It's not the amount of RAM in the system but the amount of RAM allocated to each core/thread which is assigned to AE that is crucial.

The 8-core Mac is essentially 16-cores, with hyperthreading. 32GB is the bare minimum for such a system.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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Darby Edelen
Re: Frustrated with Dynamic Link. Does it really just suck?
on Nov 7, 2012 at 6:00:06 am

[Roland R. Kahlenberg] "The 8-core Mac is essentially 16-cores, with hyperthreading. 32GB is the bare minimum for such a system."

I think AE would be okay-ish with 8GB of RAM just so long as he's not using Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously, that'll eat his machine alive.

With AE + PPro running that might be a different story.

RAM is definitely the easiest and most cost effective investment you can make to improve your workstation.

Darby Edelen


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Frustrated with Dynamic Link. Does it really just suck?
on Nov 6, 2012 at 5:00:00 pm

You do not have sufficient RAM to run both apps concurrently, in a productive manner. After you've initiated DL and you're in the linked-to app, close the initiating app.

DL works as a live link BUT does not require both apps to be open, concurrently. Links/Updates to the initiating app are updated as and when you switch to or open the initiating app.

Hopefully, you will have a more productive experience with the prescribed workflow.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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Walter Soyka
Re: Frustrated with Dynamic Link. Does it really just suck?
on Nov 6, 2012 at 6:03:30 pm

I agree with Tom, Vishesh, and Roland that 8 GB of RAM is too little. For maximum Ae performance, I generally recommend 3-4 GB per core, or 24 to 32 GB of RAM for your system.

Dynamic Link cannot use Ae's multiprocessing feature, so you may notice poorer performance when dynamic linking Ae comps into Premiere. I highly recommend caching Ae comps that you dynamic link into Premiere, so that Premiere (via DL and Ae) can pull from the cache instead of always re-rendering on the fly.

As for workflow suggestions, what is it that you are trying to accomplish?

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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Max Palmer
Re: Frustrated with Dynamic Link. Does it really just suck?
on Nov 6, 2012 at 7:08:16 pm

Well, I guess it does come down to RAM! My company will be getting us new machines soon anyway, so then I will get an opportunity to stuff it chock full of memory.

I guess what I'm trying to accomplish is taking my edited footage from a series of interviews, and exporting to AE for motion graphics and titles. From now though, I think I may just export from Premiere, which doesn't take too long, and then just bring the exported video files into AE. I don't ever use DL to go from AE to Premiere though. Do I have to worry about caching then?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Frustrated with Dynamic Link. Does it really just suck?
on Nov 6, 2012 at 10:05:59 pm

As a guy who used AE & FCP for years, you can export single frames from Premiere, import them into AE, and use the stills as a reference ONLY for the titles. Render them over transparent with an alpha channel, and plug 'em into the Premiere edit timeline.

Used to do it all the time.

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


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Walter Soyka
Re: Frustrated with Dynamic Link. Does it really just suck?
on Nov 6, 2012 at 10:06:37 pm

[Max Palmer] "I guess what I'm trying to accomplish is taking my edited footage from a series of interviews, and exporting to AE for motion graphics and titles. "

Titles are a good use for Dynamic Link. Depending on the title design and how it composites, you may be able to link the title (without the footage) from Ae into Pr, and lay it over the footage there.


[Max Palmer] "I don't ever use DL to go from AE to Premiere though. Do I have to worry about caching then?"

You can use Ae CS6's new caching features for a DL performance boost going from Ae to Pr. Cache from Pr to Ae does not apply (nor would it offer much if it did).

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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Vishesh Arora
Re: Frustrated with Dynamic Link. Does it really just suck?
on Nov 7, 2012 at 6:56:05 am

Roland

Thanks for the information about the RAM allocated to each core. But can you give me a link on this topic so that I can have a deep knowledge on it it works, etc.

Vishesh Arora
3D and Motion Graphics Artist
Films Rajendra

Blog:
http://digieffects.wordpress.com

Demo Reel(3D):







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Walter Soyka
Re: Frustrated with Dynamic Link. Does it really just suck?
on Nov 7, 2012 at 1:43:54 pm

[Vishesh Arora] "Thanks for the information about the RAM allocated to each core. But can you give me a link on this topic so that I can have a deep knowledge on it it works, etc."

Multiprocessing launches a separate instance of the After Effects renderer, and each instance is responsible for rendering a different frame. These separate processes cannot access each others' areas of memory, so each instance needs enough RAM to load its own copy any footage required, hold its own caches, hold its own intermediate renders and final output, and leave some working memory for the process.

Basically, imagine how RAM impacts performance with multi-processing turned off. If you allocated only 1 GB to Ae, it could cache much less, requiring more hard drive reads and providing much slower performance than if you had allocated 3 GB. This same logic applies to every instance of multiprocessing.

As you can imagine, there's a lot of duplication in RAM with this system, but it's a necessary evil due to the nature of the Ae renderer and protected memory schemes on modern operating systems.

As a whole, these multiple processes must not take up so much total system RAM that the operating system or other apps are completely starved of RAM, or else the OS will start swapping RAM out to virtual memory on the hard disk and slow everything to a crawl in the process.

Memory settings on RAM-constrained systems are important, because they let you balance the number of multiprocessing instances (CPUs) versus the amount of RAM each will get. While it's easy to assume that doing anything to increase the number of rendering CPUs will increase render performance, that's not necessarily the case. Some renders benefit from fewer CPUs with more RAM each while others benefit from more CPUs with less RAM. Lowering the RAM allocation per core while cranking the number of CPUs up can actually result in slower renders than turning multiprocessing off entirely.

There is no universal "best" memory setting; different comps will have different memory requirements, but the recommended settings linked below are a reasonably conservative starting point.

Here are a couple good blog entries on the topic from Todd Kopriva to read:

http://blogs.adobe.com/aftereffects/2009/12/performance-tip-dont-starve-yo....

http://blogs.adobe.com/aftereffects/2010/03/performance-tip-dont-oversched....

http://blogs.adobe.com/aftereffects/2010/10/please-try-recommended-memory-s...

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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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Frustrated with Dynamic Link. Does it really just suck?
on Nov 7, 2012 at 1:46:01 pm

Hi Vishesh, some good pieces of info can be had here -

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/digital-video-cs6/how-to-optimize-after-effects-c...

AND

http://blogs.adobe.com/aftereffects/2010/10/please-try-recommended-memory-s...

AND

The following info is taken from Adobe's Todd Kopriva in the following thread - http://forums.adobe.com/thread/734343?start=40&tstart=0
When you assign RAM to background processes for Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing, you choose from a small number of options in the RAM Allocation Per Background CPU menu. But you're not limited to the values in this menu. They are just presets. You can change these presets in the text preferences file.

For example, you could change the value for "MP - Allocation Per Background Process Preset V" to "4.000000" instead of "3.000000" to create a preset value of 4GB. Then, you could assign 4GB to each background process.

Here are the relevant lines of the text preferences file:

["MP - CS5 - 4"]
"MP - Allocation Per Background Process" = "1.500000"
"MP - Allocation Per Background Process Preset I" = "0.750000"
"MP - Allocation Per Background Process Preset II" = "1.000000"
"MP - Allocation Per Background Process Preset III" = "1.500000"
"MP - Allocation Per Background Process Preset IV" = "2.000000"
"MP - Allocation Per Background Process Preset V" = "3.000000"

For information about the preferences file, including its location, see this page:
http://help.adobe.com/en_US/aftereffects/cs/using/WS37cb61f8f3397d86-1 64c9f19127035dd253-8000.html

Keep in mind that Adobe doesn't officially support making changes to the text preferences file, so be sure to be careful about making changes, be sure to make a backup before you make changes, et cetera.


Todd's post provides info on how to change the Prefs File to increase the RAM Allocation for background processes. Take note that the list maxes out at five items. Thus, when editing the Prefs File, at the specified location, do not add to the list but rather change the values of the existing list to reflect your desired values.

These are good stuff to know but you should take note that the recommended settings for optimal performance may change in the future.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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Vishesh Arora
Re: Frustrated with Dynamic Link. Does it really just suck?
on Nov 8, 2012 at 7:27:56 am

Roland and Walter, Thanks for sharing the information about rendering process. I learned a lot today.
Thanks a lot!

Vishesh Arora
3D and Motion Graphics Artist
Films Rajendra

Blog:
http://digieffects.wordpress.com

Demo Reel(3D):







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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Frustrated with Dynamic Link. Does it really just suck?
on Nov 13, 2012 at 9:09:06 pm

I'd like to touch on the following which I posted in a related thread just a while ago - to help make this thread more complete.

The following AE Team's blog post is a good read on the topic. - http://blogs.adobe.com/aftereffects/2010/03/performance-tip-dont-oversched....

The best take-away message IMO is the following - "After Effects is a multithreaded application that can also use other forms of multiprocessing beyond just Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing". Seeing that you are having issues with RMFS, deselect MP (aka Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously) in AE's prefs dialog. Set aside some RAM for other applications. Such a setting will allow AE to manage its multi-threaded/multiple processing architecture on-the-fly.

If you have sufficient RAM, and the plugins you use support MP, then you should have similar, not necessarily better or worse, experience to having MP selected in the prefs dialog.

At issue is the conventional wisdom among AE users that multi-processing or working with multiple processors is only available via the Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously (RMFS) setting. This is of course incorrect.

Hopefully, folks that face issues with RMFS failing to take off will now find it reasonable and even correct, to simply switch off RMFS and to proceed with their work productively based on their project requirements and hardware.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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Walter Soyka
Re: Frustrated with Dynamic Link. Does it really just suck?
on Nov 14, 2012 at 6:36:54 am

[Roland R. Kahlenberg] "Hopefully, folks that face issues with RMFS failing to take off will now find it reasonable and even correct, to simply switch off RMFS and to proceed with their work productively based on their project requirements and hardware."

Yes, well-stated!

A lot of people focus on the wrong render metrics: CPU load or memory usage. The only metric that matters is render time.

A shorter render time with excess free system resources is far, far better than a longer render time on the same system due to overscheduled processors (fully loaded CPU) or RAM starvation (fully used memory).

The trick in optimizing render times is to eliminate bottlenecks, not to create them for the sake of "better" CPU or RAM metrics.

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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