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After effects sluggish/barely functional in rotoscope, novice needs assistance, is my computer up for this?

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Arlo Ballard
After effects sluggish/barely functional in rotoscope, novice needs assistance, is my computer up for this?
on Apr 23, 2019 at 8:21:57 pm

Alrighty, I've used after effects before for simple stuff, but right now I am in the middle of some rotoscoping and it isn't going well. It's a relatively small project file with small media files. I have tried the project on the WD hard drive I was provided and then also on my internal SSD and have the same problem in both places. It will be sluggish even after I've cleaned the cache. The kind of sluggish where it takes like two minutes to call upon a single frame it's already supposedly rendered. The green bar will start over again even if I've made no changes with rotobrush. I've also tried putting the cache on the ssd and then putting it on the WD drive.

Here are some details about my computer.
I have Windows 10 home
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-5820K CPU @3.30 GHz
Installed RAM:
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 32.0 GB
Total Physical Memory 31.9 GB
Available Physical Memory 12.4 GB
Total Virtual Memory 49.9 GB
Available Virtual Memory 13.9 GB
System Type 64 bit operating system, x64-based processor
Graphics card: NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1070
Mother board: ASUS ROG STRIX X99 GAMING LGA 2011-v3 Intel X99 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 ATX Intel Motherboard
Hard drive: Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB (50gb free)

I am not too smart about After effects yet. I know the basics and I'm currently taking some online courses to improve, but none of those go in depth about trouble shooting. I've tried to watch tutorials and then change my preferences based on what folks recommended to make my system faster. I would like to be able to rotoscope functionally and so I am asking for help. You may have questions for me I don't know how to answer but I will do my best. I was thinking about taking it to a computer store and paying someone to make it run smoother, but even then I don't know if someone would be able to since it is pretty speedy in all other regards, so they would have to know specifically how to optimize it for AE. Part of me wonders if it is perhaps that my GFX card is the issue. I don't believe it is on Adobe's list of approved gfx cards.
Anyways, thanks for your time


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Mark Whitney
Re: After effects sluggish/barely functional in rotoscope, novice needs assistance, is my computer up for this?
on Apr 24, 2019 at 2:59:30 am

Wow Arlo. Only thing I can think of that others will ask is what file format & size are the sources? Maybe some sort of codec issue & doing a conversion or work with proxys is the way to go.

Get the latest card drivers if you haven't.


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Arlo Ballard
Re: After effects sluggish/barely functional in rotoscope, novice needs assistance, is my computer up for this?
on Apr 24, 2019 at 3:21:39 am

The file formats are mp4 and the sizes in video range from 5.5MB to 70MB. They are 1080p. I just ended up using a vimeo 1080p preset from encoder. I do have more than one comp in a project. I just feel like that couldn't be it though. In one project, I have about 5 comps. But they are so small and so short, and the only other asset is one background which is a jpeg file that I have no effects on. In addition to that, there is good contrast between the subjects and the background for rotoscope, so it shouldn't be that hard for AE to work.

For the proxy files, do you think it would make a difference? I have done that in premiere before for 4k videos, but I haven't done it in AE. Is it the same process where there is a button to switch the proxy on and off while you are working? Or is it a different workflow? Like I cope the roto effect onto the actual footage after I've rotoscoped the proxy?

For card drivers, do you mean for gfx card? I have that updated, but for all other drivers I'm clueless and have assumed they update on their own.

I just feel like I wonder if there is some sort of hardware software incompatibility, but I'm also not hip to this stuff. My premiere slows down too sometimes, but not as badly as this because I'm generally only doing color for effects. If i add a plug in like Neat video though, it slows down a lot. I just don't do that a lot.

Thanks so much Mark for your response! Much appreciated


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Mark Whitney
Re: After effects sluggish/barely functional in rotoscope, novice needs assistance, is my computer up for this?
on Apr 24, 2019 at 6:23:55 am

I'm not up on the latest by any stretch; still using CS6 but on new hardware. Had my fingers crossed mixing the old with the new, but it's been purring.

I generally don't use proxies either but just tossing that out as something to test. I'm sure one of the more tech savvy's here will chime in. It sounds as if you've checked & covered the basics though.

You could check the MP4's with mediainfo: http://MediaArea.net/MediaInfo

Maybe there's something odd that's not obvious. MP4's are supposed to be mainly a distribution format and can have key frames, etc. that goof with interpretation. Maybe check the Interpret footage too if you haven't already; make sure it looks normal.

Oh, which version of AE?


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Walter Soyka
Re: After effects sluggish/barely functional in rotoscope, novice needs assistance, is my computer up for this?
on Apr 24, 2019 at 4:02:12 pm

Rotobrush can be a little hard to figure out on your own. If you haven't already, I'd suggest you look over the documentation [link] and check out a few tutorials [link] that Adobe links to.

This one might be helpful to you, too:






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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