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Engine Updates Abandoned

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Craig Wall
Engine Updates Abandoned
on Oct 16, 2018 at 2:12:52 pm

Another year of meager 'updates' and again Adobe's once-promised fully mutli-threaded support still no closer to reality. I think it's safe to say at this point that it won't ever happen.

Life is full of funny particles.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Engine Updates Abandoned
on Oct 16, 2018 at 3:58:23 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Oct 16, 2018 at 5:59:28 pm

Hey, that's not something that's new & sexy.

Why on Earth would Adobe do something that's actually practical & useful for every single user?

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


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Walter Soyka
Re: Engine Updates Abandoned
on Oct 17, 2018 at 1:39:20 pm

[Craig Wall] "Another year of meager 'updates' and again Adobe's once-promised fully mutli-threaded support still no closer to reality. I think it's safe to say at this point that it won't ever happen."

Adobe promised better performance, and every release since 2015 has had some kind of performance improvement. After separating the renderer and the UI with CC 2015 for better interactive performance, Adobe is now working on better render performance with GPU acceleration. Each of the last 6 releases of Ae (every major release since CC 2015.3, v13.8) has put more effects and rendering work onto the GPU. (And the latest release has an all-new, faster expression engine, too, to speed up slow, expression-heavy projects.)

Ae actually is multithreaded (the renderer and the UI are now completely separated, a number of effects are heavily multithreaded, the CINEMA 4D renderer is multithreaded, etc.). They removed the "Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously" feature because it had some serious limitations. Because it was running multiple renderer instances, each needed their own memory pool, it was easy to run into GPU contention, etc. If you want "Render multiple frames simultaneously" back -- and sometimes I absolutely do, too! -- take a look at Mekajiki's RenderGarden [link].


[Dave LaRonde] "Hey, that's not something that's new & sexy. Why on Earth would Adobe do something that's actually practical & useful for every single user?"

More smaller releases (versus fewer, bigger releases) means that there's no one version of Ae that will be earth-shattering for all of the many different ways people use Ae. But looking over the last few years of development, we've seen quite a lot of improvement.

I don't know what you're looking for, Dave, but we're using practical and useful Ae features like Lumetri color, master properties, the keyboard shortcut editor, effect input layer options, compositing options, Refine Edge / Refine Soft Matte / Key Cleaner, and expression access to path properties -- not to mention the "boring, little" things like layer snapping, spring-loaded folders, mask mode selection during drawing, render name tokens, property links, the command to move the anchor point to the center of a layer's content, and automatically-trimmed precomp durations.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list -- just the features I can think of off the top of my head that have been especially beneficial to us in our work.

Do I want more? Of course I do. We're working with real time engines that vastly exceed Ae on performance, but we keep coming back to Ae for its stability, its design tools, its enormous third-party ecosystem, and its Swiss-Army-knife flexibility.

I think that Adobe needs to hear criticism, so that they keep pushing and making their products better. I think Craig's concern that Ae is still not fast enough is well-founded. I don't understand sarcastically dismissing all the work that's been done over the last few years. From the differences in our experiences with Ae, sometimes I wonder if we're even using the same application! What exactly is it you'd like to see in Ae?

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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Eric Santiago
Re: Engine Updates Abandoned
on Oct 17, 2018 at 1:59:23 pm

I can't agree that after CC 2014, the performance is better using AE and PPro :P
Too much to negatives to bother with.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Engine Updates Abandoned
on Oct 17, 2018 at 2:13:11 pm

[Eric Santiago] "I can't agree that after CC 2014, the performance is better using AE and PPro :P Too much to negatives to bother with."

I think I need to clarify, because I largely agree with you! My final renders on Ae CC 2018 (without Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously) are slower than Ae CC 2014 (with RMFS and a big workstation with lots of CPU cores and lots of RAM).

My point is more that my renders on Ae CC 2018 are faster than my renders on Ae CC 2015 were.

Ae CC 2014 was carrying a lot of technical debt -- two decades of architectural decisions that had to be changed to allow modernization going forward. That's what Ae CC 2015 was; the first step of a significant architectural update (which has also seen significant rework since then).

Now that we're 25 years into multimedia on computers, a lot of applications have this exact problem. Some just give up and start over, like FCP7 vs FCPX, or old-school Premiere vs Premiere Pro). Some rewrite the core with major UX changes, like Resolve or Flame. Some rewrite the core a piece at a time, like Avid Media Composer or Ae. And some don't make it at all, like Avid/SoftImage DS or XSi.

I wish that work were going faster, but there has been continual under-the-hood progress on the engine, without affecting compatibility or flipping the table on the Ae UX. I appreciate that, and I hope Adobe continues with what they've started.

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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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Engine Updates Abandoned
on Oct 17, 2018 at 4:16:59 pm

Also Adobe had a poll about this and the choices were 1) More features 2) Complete rewrite that will take time but will use modern hardware features and will be faster in the long run. The users chose the latter.


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