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What am I doing wrong?

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Anthony Mesa
What am I doing wrong?
on Oct 10, 2017 at 8:46:36 pm

Hello everyone, I am new to the community. I have been googling different questions for years now, and have always been lead here by google about half of the time. anyways, i have been working on a massive project, my biggest one yet, and i have hit a wall. i am not sure if it is software or hardware, but here is some info:

(2) Intel Xeon CPU E5-2650 v4 @2.2GHz Processors
(1) NVIDIA Quadro M5000 w/ 8gb Mem
64 Gb of RAM
2 SATA hard drives, one 300 Gb and another 500 Gb

I am trying to render a project in AE that uses 4 layers of Element 3D (a collective 20 - 30 million vertices between the four layers), motion blur, depth of field, camera movement, textured objects, eased keyframes, and like 6 lights.

even with my current specs i cant even open up AE for more than 30 to 40 seconds before AE begins not responding and going in and out, and if i ever do even make it close to rendering it just sits there on 1 frame and never renders anything (then the Open CL eventually gives me an error that it "cant communicate with the display driver" or that it is "unable to recover from a kernel exception".

my computer has 24 cores (which i understand doesn't really help that much given that Adobe removed multiprocessing) but even when the project starts to render i only hit about 5% utilization (even though it shows 2.20+ Ghz when 2.20 is supposed to be the max).

I honestly am kinda dumbfounded and kind of mad. Is my project too much for the computer? how am i supposed to get it rendered? i worked very hard on this, and my boss is expecting it to be exported in the coming month.

does anyone know where the disconnect might be or what i can do to help remedy the situation?

what do professional VFX editors do when exporting a massive project?

If anyone sees this and replies, thank you for your help, and if this thread exists elsewhere, i apologize, just point me in the right direction and i will be on my way.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: What am I doing wrong?
on Oct 10, 2017 at 10:49:17 pm

When AE chokes on me, I prerender individual layers (if possible). That how they did it in Days Of Yore, and it's still a viable option.

Its prime benefit -- AE only has to render a limited amount of stuff, cutting render time and making it possible for things to get rendered! When done prerendering, AE behaves for more speedily.

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


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Eric Santiago
Re: What am I doing wrong?
on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:30:50 pm

[Dave LaRonde] "When AE chokes on me, I prerender individual layers (if possible). That how they did it in Days Of Yore, and it's still a viable option. "

To date, I still push the "Days of Yore" mantra on these young uns ☺

I am not sure where these kids are getting their training, they seem to think its all one button now...well actually it is if you hang at AEScripts ;)


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Walter Soyka
Re: What am I doing wrong?
on Oct 11, 2017 at 9:56:55 am

Your project sounds pretty Element- and GPU-intensive. You've got 4 layers of Element plus Ae itself contending for GPU resources. You might consider setting Ae's acceleration to "Mercury Software Only" (CPU) in your project settings, instead of OpenCL (GPU).

You might also check your graphics drivers and make sure they're up to date to see if that helps with the errors.

Pre-rendering individual layers as Dave suggests will also help to lighten the load; you'd only have one instance of Element hitting the GPU at a time.

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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Anthony Mesa
Re: What am I doing wrong?
on Oct 11, 2017 at 1:59:33 pm

Thank you guys for the insight! I woke up this morning with an idea coupled with what you guys told me, and i started bringing the DOF and motion blur settings down or off so i could use some masks to add it in later after i rendered but then i found my solution, i had "full render" on in the render settings where before i had "Preview".

the preview settings don't look bad, but apparently the full render mode on element with that many vertices is pretty detrimental to my graphics capabilities. now it works, and moving forward i will keep you guys' advice in mind. instead of having a layer with 10,000 vertices I will try making (in effect) 10 layers with 1,000 vertices.

Now when you guys mention pre rendering layers and then compositing the finals together, I am somewhat confused. do you mean exporting the layers in the render queue individually and then placing them back together in a composition or is there another way that i am not aware of? I have heard of the pre rendering method before to make things run faster but I was never aware how it worked and i never properly understood how it worked.

thank you guys so much for the help, it is humbling to actually have a talk with you guys, i have been reading threads of your advice for years now!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: What am I doing wrong?
on Oct 11, 2017 at 5:15:00 pm

[Anthony Mesa] "do you mean exporting the layers in the render queue individually and then placing them back together in a composition or is there another way that i am not aware of? I have heard of the pre rendering method before to make things run faster but I was never aware how it worked and i never properly understood how it worke"

Yes. That is precisely what we mean. But you must be careful to consider exactly what to prerender. For example, you must bear in mind that a layer with a blend mode applied to it will affect every other layer below it in the timeline.

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


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