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(For performance) Many Shape Layers vs Single Layer vs Precompose. /And also expressions

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tiago alves
(For performance) Many Shape Layers vs Single Layer vs Precompose. /And also expressions
on Nov 27, 2019 at 3:23:52 pm

Hello, guys.
At my work, we use After Effects to animate characters.
usually we make about 2:30 minutes animations, (but once a year, there is an animation that have 20:00 minutes).

We use a lot of character (usually, that kind of animation has about 13 scenes, that display 1 or 2 characters each).

My question is about performance, because, after the 4th scene, After Effects get too slow.

Knowing this, which option is better to optimize perfomance.
- The less layers you have, the better (for example, for the head it's better to have a single layer, with contents like eyes, eyebrow, nose, mouth, etc).
- The more Layers, the better (A layer for the head, another to left eye, other to right eye, mouth, etc).
- Making Layers and then grouping them up in precompositions (like, making a precompose for the head, and inside this composition, there would be a layer for the head, nose, etc).


do the expressions take a lot processing ? (I usually do expressions with the head, for example, like "Wiggle", or for the leg, LoopOut("cycle"))
In that case, is it better to convert expressions to keyframe?


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Max Haller
Re: (For performance) Many Shape Layers vs Single Layer vs Precompose. /And also expressions
on Dec 2, 2019 at 8:18:35 pm

Expressions have to be computed on each frame so that is probably weighing the project down. The less layers the quicker it should run. You said after about 4 scenes the project starts running slow, so maybe use multiple projects that have less than 4 scenes each and combine at the end if you need to.


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