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Painfully slow processing while using roto brush

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Chris Lauritzen
Painfully slow processing while using roto brush
on Feb 23, 2017 at 7:42:19 pm

The last time I used After Effects was back in in CS6 days. I subscribe to the Cloud just haven't used it. I'm somewhat proficient in Premiere and PhotoShop. I've got 16 gigs of RAM and an NVidia GPU. My OS is Windows 7.

I shoot interviews for use primarily on the web. My camera is a low end commercial Sony and I shoot in HDV. The main thing I would use AE for is to separate the interviewee from the background and then blur the background. I used the roto brush to create a mask. A simple two layer composite. Then I would export the clip into Premiere and add transitions and graphics. Pretty simple. Nothing fancy. These clips would run 20-seconds to three minutes. As I recall it all happened pretty quickly. But my client base changed so I stopped doing these.

The last couple of days I've been working on a 18-second clip trying to do the same thing in AE CC2017. I like to check the accuracy of the mask every second or so. However, it has gotten to the point where it is taking literally ten+ minutes to advance the mask processing even a few frames.

What am I doing wrong? I've watched tutorials and it all seems to happen much quicker. Of course they're usually using 5-second clips. Is 20-seconds too much for the new AE? Heaven forbid I should try to process a 3-minute clip. Thanks in advance for your help.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Painfully slow processing while using roto brush
on Feb 23, 2017 at 9:46:05 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Feb 23, 2017 at 11:40:58 pm

AE CC 2017 has only a handful of officially-recognized bugs. The rest can be considered "oddities" that bring work to a screeching halt, I guess.

People have chastised me for writing that it can be so bug-ridden that it's impossible for some unfortunate people to even use it and that Adobe really screwed the pooch when they released this most recent offering, you see.

AE CC 2015 isn't all that much better.

For my money -- and for your continued productivity and sanity -- I'd recommend using AE CC 2014. It's the most bug-free version in quite some time, it supports multiprocessing, and you can get it. I think it will perform a LOT faster for you.


Give it a whirl and see what you think.

I wouldn't delete AE CC 2017, but I WOULD plan on spending several days working to iron out its "oddities" in your particular mix of hardware, OS & AE. It won't be fun.

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


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Kevin Camp
Re: Painfully slow processing while using roto brush
on Feb 23, 2017 at 11:54:44 pm

you can also download CS6 as part of your CC subscription.

Kevin Camp
Art Director
KCPQ, KZJO & KRCW


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Chris Lauritzen
Re: Painfully slow processing while using roto brush
on Feb 24, 2017 at 12:13:31 am

Thanks Kevin and Dave. I was hoping for a silver bullet. But it sounds like you both agree that for something as basic as what I'm doing a previous version might be better. CS6 vs CC2014: any preference? I really hate to hear this. The programs that I use most often (Muse, Dreamweaver, Premiere, Photoshop) have come a long ways in the last few years.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Painfully slow processing while using roto brush
on Feb 24, 2017 at 1:06:49 am
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Feb 24, 2017 at 1:11:26 am

[Chris Lauritzen] "S6 vs CC2014: any preference?"

I'd go with CC 2014. Comparatively stabile and perhaps a bit faster than CS6.



[Chris Lauritzen] "The programs that I use most often (Muse, Dreamweaver, Premiere, Photoshop) have come a long ways in the last few years."

After Effects got WAAAY behind in the days of CS 3&4! While other developers were changing their code to reflect the times, Adobe refused to address the shortcomings of AE's 15-year-old (at the time) core code.

For the past few years, Adobe's been trying to play catch-up to the rest of the software world and it is NOT going well, smoothly nor speedily.

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


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Chris Lauritzen
Re: Painfully slow processing while using roto brush
on Feb 24, 2017 at 2:28:04 am

I notice that every time I make a correction in the roto brush mask it creates a new layer. By the time I'm 12 seconds into the clip I've literally got hundreds of layers. Can that be right? If so, no wonder it's so slow. I must be doing something wrong.


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