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After effects installation, Harddrives & Rendering

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Josh Brine
After effects installation, Harddrives & Rendering
on Sep 15, 2016 at 4:05:08 pm

Hi All,

Is this the best installation for Creative cloud in terms of speed and rendering

256SSD w/ Windows & CC installed

internal 2TB Hard drive, Used to WRITE, (all renders etc will go to this drive)
Internal 1TB Hard drive used for Cache

External Raid, RAID5 (connected via USB3) contains all Active and Archived projects, contains all assets etc. (Drobo w/ seagate barracuda)

My current specs are

Intel i7 Quad Core Enhanced Performance Processor (4.4 Ghz)

16GB DDR4-2133 (2 - 8GB DIMMS) (Purchasing 16gigs more ram)

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 4GB

256GB SSD M.2 PCIe Drive

2TB 7,200rpm SATA 6Gb/s


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Dave LaRonde
Re: After effects installation, Harddrives & Rendering
on Sep 15, 2016 at 5:23:29 pm

A Solid State Drive for the Caches will be faster than the 1TB drive.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Josh Brine
Re: After effects installation, Harddrives & Rendering
on Sep 15, 2016 at 5:44:05 pm

good to know thanks.

im guessing AE will be writing to and reading from the cache for playback etc? so it makes sense to be fast. would 256gb SSD be adequate in your opinion?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: After effects installation, Harddrives & Rendering
on Sep 15, 2016 at 7:27:36 pm

It depends on the sorts of projects you'll do and your level of tolerance for purging the caches.... not that it's difficult to do.

To color grade a feature-length movie in 8K eats up the caches a lot faster than a 30-second spot in HD.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Walter Soyka
Re: After effects installation, Harddrives & Rendering
on Sep 15, 2016 at 9:44:55 pm

[Josh Brine] "im guessing AE will be writing to and reading from the cache for playback etc? so it makes sense to be fast. would 256gb SSD be adequate in your opinion?"

Yes. Faster is better, and bigger is better. The limit is your budget.

Ae caches not only your final rendered frames, but also the individual renders for each layer in your composite, when caching is faster than re-rendering.

Consider a 10-layer animation that is 900 (30 seconds at 30 fps) frames long. It will cache 900 rendered frames of the composition, but it can also cache 900 frames for each individual layer for up to 9,900 frames total. Why store so many frames? This way, when you make a change to one of those layers but not the other nine, Ae can read the 9 layers back from the cache to use for the final composite instead of re-rendering them all.

Additionally, each of these layer-frames is lossless and uncompressed. Fully caching this 10-layer, 30 second animation, at 1920x1080 and 8bpc, would consume about 76 GB of disk space. Of course, as you make tweaks, many more layer-frames will be cached. 256 GB can go pretty quickly.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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