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Camera settings (setup for more efficient render)

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Rafael Braz
Camera settings (setup for more efficient render)
on Sep 4, 2019 at 6:01:41 pm


I'm using a still camera in a comp only in order to organize my 3d layers.
It's part of a huge project and the render is taking longer than I wanted to.
I know 3D enviroments plus motion blur increases the render time.
But I'm focusing on finding the "lowest" setup possible in order to render faster.
I tried using one node camera but I couldn't frame the scene the same way.

This is my current setup.

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Walter Soyka
Re: Camera settings (setup for more efficient render)
on Sep 4, 2019 at 6:56:43 pm

Depth of field is another render-time-increaser. It's tough to say what else to look into to speed up your renders without seeing your project.

If you have a reasonably powerful system, you might want to look into RenderGarden to speed up your final renders:

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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Rafael Braz
Re: Camera settings (setup for more efficient render)
on Sep 4, 2019 at 7:00:13 pm

I’ll check that out!
DOF is off btw.
The project is big and very complex, although I’ve everything possible already. Can’t share much cause it’s from my job.

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John Williams
Re: Camera settings (setup for more efficient render)
on Sep 5, 2019 at 9:43:05 am

Have you checked all your settings:

Is the render set to Classic 3D (Cinema 4D or Raytraced render will really slow things down)
What is the Shadow Map resolution (in the renderer options set to?)
What bit depth are you working at 8, 16, 32bit float (unless you're working on film on high end broadcast you don't need to work above 8bpc.
Is the Comp size the correct resolution for you (or is it a UHD comp for a standard HD export)

With DOF, you'll get a quicker renders if you add it manually as a series of adjustment layers using the GPU accelerated Gaussian Blur rather than inbuilt camera depth of field, but it sounds like you're not using this.

With motion blur, have you tried in the comp settings reducing the 'sample per frame' as the default level is only needed for big movements, if your motion blur is for smaller moves it will process quicker with fewer samples.

Generally with After Effects, if you're assets are uncompressed (ideally uncompressed TIF files) rather than compressed JPG's or compressed Quicktime/MPEG... movie files things will run a lot quicker as the software doesn't have to unpack and decode every frame.

Also, a big factor in speed can be the choice of effects you are using and the size of layers, i.e. if you are using a grain effect on a small image which is part of a large file (like a small layer from a large PSD) AE will often process the entire layer rather than just the visible pixels, so cropping things before bringing them into AE speeds things up for both working and rendering.

Finally, even if you don't have access to a render farm, you can run the After Effects Render Engine on every spare machine in your office (over night or at lunch) and get each machine to render a batch of frames (as it's always better to export a high quality image format for big renders rather than trying to make a movie file.) Then those images sequences can be combined (in AE or Premiere) and exported to whatever your delivery format it. I've had to use this countless times on heavy renders, especially ones using advanced 3d.

Hope something there provides some sort of performance / life improvements;)

John Williams

Soho Editors

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Rafael Braz
Re: Camera settings (setup for more efficient render)
on Sep 5, 2019 at 1:03:55 pm

thanks a lot for the complete answer!!!!

Yes, the render is set to classic 3D.

The shadow map is set to comp size. I'm not aware of this setting nor its impact or use. I don't use any kind of lights or shadows in my compositions whatsoever btw.

It's already set to 8 BPC.

I'm not using camera's DOF at all. I'm doing exactly what you said. I have an adjustment layer with Gaussian Blur to simulate DOF. I use it also in other layers, there's an expression that increases the blur amount as Z increases.

Not sure if the GPU accelerated one. Didn't know, I'll check that.

Recently I changed the samples per frame, working with 8 now, but the moves are not big, maybe I could reduce more.

I have PNG (need it for transparency) and H264 video assets. Should I change its format? It's possible.

I don't have this kind of knowledge so I always try to work with small files, maybe a bigger file with less decoding would be faster?

I'm not using any effects other than Gaussian Blur. All of my assets are exactly the size I need, no PSDs.

I have access to a render farm but we're facing some technical issues right now, so we're rendering on our own machines.

thanks, John, you're really helping :)

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