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Advice to speed up rendering significantly?

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Isaac Someah-Kwaw
Advice to speed up rendering significantly?
on May 9, 2016 at 8:36:26 pm

Hi all,

I'm ready to do the final render for a project, but Media Encoder is giving me horribly long render estimates.

The project is a somewhat complex music visualizer for Youtube, and as such, I will be putting out 3-5 minute videos fairly routinely. I'm sure you can see why a 30+ hour render estimate just isn't realistic for my purposes.

Much of the inner workings of the project have already been prerendered into PNG sequences, except for the elements that interact with the audio. One of my thoughts was to try rendering the entire project to a PNG sequence, import back into after effects, add the audio, and then render to H.264, and at first it seemed promising. The initial estimate for the PNG sequence was stuck on 8 hours for a while. So I closed everything else down,and let AME run overnight. But when I came back to check my progress, the render time had skyrocketed back into the 30+ hour range.

Ideally, It'd be nice if I could render the entire dry visualizer loop once as an intermediate video file, and then add all the interactive lighting/glowing effects to that rendered loop file. That would eliminate more of the expressions and effects I used to create the loop, and I also wouldn't be forced double render for every new video, since I'd have a template file. The problem with that is, the look and feel of the project rely very much on z-space, and as far as I know, there isn't any kind of z-buffer capability, like in Particular, that I could use to trick the lights into interacting with the flat video as if it still had z-depth.

I'm wondering if there were any other methods I could use, or render settings recommended that cloud bring the render times down significantly. Even around the 8 hour window would be far more workable for me.


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Advice to speed up rendering significantly?
on May 9, 2016 at 9:06:28 pm

Is your composition set to use the ray-traced renderer or the standard renderer? Ray-traced will take much longer in AME.

What, exact, version of AE are you using? Sometimes things will render more quickly out of AE CC 2014's render queue (into an intermediate format like an image sequence) and then you'd bring that into Premiere to put it with the audio and encode your H.264

What are your computer specs?

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Isaac Someah-Kwaw
Re: Advice to speed up rendering significantly?
on May 9, 2016 at 9:50:34 pm

- Yeah ray-traced 3D is disabled.

- I'm using AE CC 2015.2


I have an Acer Aspire V3 laptop:

-Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4702MQ CPU @ 2.20GHz (8 CPUs), ~2.2GHz
-24gb ram
-Intel(R) HD Graphics 4600
-Windows 10
-214gb SSD for the OS and main programs
-2TB HDD for storage


I did just try rendering as a JPEG sequence, and the estimate did stay around the 8-9 hour range, albeit I only let it render for a minute or two. So if all else fails, I think I can make that work, despite the quality loss


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Advice to speed up rendering significantly?
on May 9, 2016 at 9:52:13 pm

With those specs, try rendering in CC 2014 with multiprocessing enabled. It might be significantly faster.

You can open projects created in AE CC 2015 with AE CC 2014 with no problems.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Isaac Someah-Kwaw
Re: Advice to speed up rendering significantly?
on May 9, 2016 at 10:26:14 pm

Thanks, I'll have to give that a try


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hanna dean
Re: Advice to speed up rendering significantly?
on May 9, 2016 at 10:32:22 pm

is it possible u can upload your projects so i can test the rendering speed on my machine


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Isaac Someah-Kwaw
Re: Advice to speed up rendering significantly?
on May 9, 2016 at 11:01:08 pm

To be honest I'd rather not, at least not immediately. The music playing is actually self-made content that I will also be hosting on my soon-to-be-released website. Maybe it's an unnecessary precaution, or just force of habit, but I've been keeping everything I've been working on pretty much confidential for the past...3 years lol. I won't mind uploading it though, if any other recommendations don't end up working for me


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Richard Herd
Re: Advice to speed up rendering significantly?
on May 9, 2016 at 9:38:13 pm

Dan Ebberts said this a few days ago about loops: https://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/227/32538


[Isaac Someah-Kwaw] "I could use to trick the lights into interacting with the flat video as if it still had z-depth."

do you mean like a volumetric light effect?


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Isaac Someah-Kwaw
Re: Advice to speed up rendering significantly?
on May 9, 2016 at 10:25:05 pm

Yeah I'm sure that plays a colossal role in why the render is taking so long. There are 6 primary elements in the main composition that utilize a variation of one of Dan's loop expressions that makes the elements hover in circles. Additionally, these elements all use Video Copilot's Saber plugin. Each instance of Saber is controlled by an expression that causes their Glow intensity to interact with the audio in alternating increments. It operates in a similar fashion to how the position expression does. On top of that, each element is accompanied by a point light, that utilizes the same position and light intensity expressions, so that the environment around each glowing element appear to be affected by it's glow.

I tried to prerender these elements to 30 second PNG sequence loops, so that I could at least eliminate the the position expressions. But the problem with that is, in order to use Sabre with the PNG sequence files, I'm forced to auto trace the entire duration of the work area for each Sequence file, as opposed to a single frame as I was doing prior. And from what I can tell, running Sabre in this way actually causes After effects to run even slower, though I never tested a final render using that method. On top of that, that still leaves the glow/lighting expressions running, as well as the position expressions for the point lights.

And to answer your last question, it's not really volumetric lighting that is my aim, but rather what I was describing in the first paragraph. I just want the light being cast from each of the glowing elements to interact with their surrounding environment in a realistic fashion. And being that the position of each floating element has a z-position ranging anywhere from 300 to 5000, idk how I could mimic the lighting realistically using a prerendered video that doesn't have any z-Depth


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Chris Wright
Re: Advice to speed up rendering significantly?
on May 10, 2016 at 4:09:49 am
Last Edited By Chris Wright on May 10, 2016 at 4:35:01 am

take all the prerendered PNG's and turn them into Tiff(LZW compression off). Render final comp as Tiff. all PNG's use deflate and hog cpu resources for renders. Also, they are not thread safe so multiprocessing is effectively disabled. There is not much documentation on this such as also using element 3d that disables multiprocessing. Other culprits are denoise and neatvideo.

https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1308203

hyperthreading
https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1265732



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Isaac Someah-Kwaw
Re: Advice to speed up rendering significantly?
on May 11, 2016 at 10:52:55 pm

-So I've been experimenting with Michael and Chris's suggestions.

-I tried multiprocessor rendering in CC 2014, but it was giving me even bigger initial estimates than CC 2015 and AME were.

- So then I went and re-rendered all of the PNG sequence layers in the project as uncompressed TIFFs. I'll say off top that the huge file sizes make this an unrealistic option in the long run. I tested rendering with these settings, and I'm not sure if there was a noticeable improvement in rendering times.

- I also looked into disabling hyperthreading, but just my luck, it would appear that my laptop doesn't allow for it to be disabled.


-I did stumble over a promising option in the BG renderer script. I purchased it and have been testing out rendering with multiple instances of it running. It certainly made the PNG to TIFF conversion much faster. I'm currently trying this option with the final Render to TIFF. I launched around 30 instances of BG rendererer earlier. So far, it IS rendering quicker, But..... It's been 7 hours and it's just now getting to the 1 minute mark in what is a 5 minute project. Half of the renderers I launched quit after about 2 hours because of errors, but I still have 14 running.

-The real problem is the time it takes to render one frame. It's taking about 3 minutes per frame on average, and 4-7 frames per minute between the different instances. Is there another format I could use that would still make quality results, but at a much faster pace?


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Isaac Someah-Kwaw
Re: Advice to speed up rendering significantly?
on May 12, 2016 at 2:38:31 am

After more observation, it looks I've fallen for a placebo effect of sorts. Turns out that the more instances of BG renderer I open, the longer it takes for each instance to render frames. Using 6 instances of BG renderer operates with not much better efficiency than using two. About 4-7 frames per minute...


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