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Project is slow

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Mark Hatch
Project is slow
on Sep 13, 2010 at 8:20:44 pm

When I say slow, I'm not referring to rendering speeds. Quite simply, when I try to do things in the project window, it seems to take several seconds to accomplish. These "things" I'm referring to are clicking in the project window or twirling down a folder to view it's contents or grabbing footage to drag into the composition. Pretty basic things. Sometimes it even takes 15-25 seconds just to accomplish any of these things. Most of the time, I get a beach ball after a few seconds.

Crazy thing is that after clicking on the arrow to view the folders contents, and waiting 15-25 seconds for the contents to show up, I can do it over and over and they disappear and come back instantly, as I'm used to. But if I go work in a composition for a few seconds, then return to do that again in the project window, then the same lag occurs.

Now, here is what my project looks like:

After Effects CS4
About 60 compositions (mostly HD 1920x1080)
About 30 footage items (All are ProRes 4444. Half are 4k and the other half are 2k and all of them have proxies set to 1k)

Admittedly, this is the first time I have used proxies. But I created them using the "Create Proxy" function that adds the footage to the render queue with proxy settings. They seem to be working okay. I have tried another computer, but it is having the same problem.

Sometimes, after I move something in the composition, I hit undo and it takes several seconds (15-25) to revert. The render is not taking that long, just the time to get it back where it was. Once it is back, it only takes a second to render.
Anyone seen this before? Is it the 4k media causing this? The proxies? Is this just the way it's going to be?
Thanks.

Mark Hatch
Cosmic Pictures


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Project is slow
on Sep 13, 2010 at 8:28:28 pm

[Mark Hatch] "Is this just the way it's going to be?"

We can't give you a straight answer: we need to know your machine's OS and how much memory and storage you have installed on it.

But you're right in thinking that 4K files aren't doing AE any favors. I bet we can off suggestions to help speed things up.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Mark Hatch
Re: Project is slow
on Sep 13, 2010 at 8:32:00 pm

Sorry. Forgot to include that.

8-core Intel 3 GHz
16 GB of RAM

Also, the footage is 23.976 and so are the comps. And the main reason I did ProRes 4444 is because it is green screen material and I have rendered out the keyed footage to hopefully speed things up.

Mark Hatch
Cosmic Pictures


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Mark Hatch
Re: Project is slow
on Sep 13, 2010 at 8:33:33 pm

forgot the OS and storage...

OS 10.6.4 with Apple Xsan

Mark Hatch
Cosmic Pictures


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Project is slow
on Sep 13, 2010 at 8:40:01 pm

And RAM, too! What kind of processors on this Mac? How much RAM?

RAM's crucial to know because AE uses so much of it.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Mark Hatch
Re: Project is slow
on Sep 13, 2010 at 8:53:13 pm

Sorry, I included that in my first reply. Here it is...

8-core Intel 3 GHz (Xeon, I believe. Early 2008.)
16 GB of RAM

Also, the footage is 23.976 and so are the comps. And the main reason I did ProRes 4444 is because it is green screen material and I have rendered out the keyed footage to hopefully speed things up.

Mark Hatch
Cosmic Pictures


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Project is slow
on Sep 13, 2010 at 9:13:58 pm

Here's what I think is happening: you're using multiprocessing in AE to speed up rendering, but in doing so the OS is starving for RAM. So try this:

Change the AE multiprocessing settings to use only 6 cores. Assign 2-2.25 GB RAM to those 6 cores. Then the OS can run and AE can, too. See how it works out.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Project is slow
on Sep 13, 2010 at 9:22:30 pm

Oh, and here's some light reading that might help, too:
http://forums.adobe.com/thread/543440

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Brian Yarnell
Re: Project is slow
on Sep 13, 2010 at 9:23:11 pm

You can try rendering your proxy footage as image strings as opposed to QT's. I find that large QT's eat up a lot of memory in AE as opposed to image strings, which seem to be slightly friendlier.


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Mark Hatch
Re: Project is slow
on Sep 13, 2010 at 10:02:11 pm

Thanks for the help guys.

Brian, I haven't tried your advice yet, but I will. Dave, I've read those links you sent and tried some of them. I think they are helping, but I've run into a strange issue that may be new or not because I don't recall trying it before.

As I mentioned, doing basic things have been very slow for me. For instance, dropping footage (Footage that has a Proxy) into a composition, takes about 25 seconds of beach balling to even show up on my mouse so I can start to drag it to the composition. So, after changing those processor settings that Dave recommended, I restarted and tried it again. Seemed to work fine. So I did another one. That one also worked fine.

I tried about 5 of them that all worked okay, then I hit save. After the save, I tried the sixth one and it had the 25-second lag again. So did all of the ones after that. So I did a Purge All and I was back to normal. Then when I did a save again, things got worse again. Does this mean anything? Do I need to drop down to 5 processors? (I'll try that.) Do I need to stop saving so much? :-)
Thanks.

Mark Hatch
Cosmic Pictures


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Todd Kopriva
Re: Project is slow
on Sep 13, 2010 at 10:07:51 pm

When I see reports of such pervasive lags, I suspect extremely aggressive antivirus/security software. There are programs that examine every read and write and reeeeeeeeaaaaalllly slow things down.

Another possibility is a conflict with Wacom drivers. We fixed that in CS5, but it persists in CS4 (for now, *hint* *hint*).

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Mark Hatch
Re: Project is slow
on Sep 13, 2010 at 10:28:17 pm

Uninstalled the Wacom and still didn't help. Thanks for the idea.

This "hitting save" issue really seems to be my problem. I have now dropped multi processing down to 4 processors, leaving 4 for other applications and leaving 5 GB of RAM for other applications. 2.09 GB of RAM for the 4 I am using for After Effects. Once I make any change to the project and then hit save, the very next thing I try takes a long time. Like 25 seconds. Even going to the Purge All takes 25 seconds. Good thing is that once I hit it, it makes things fast again.

Strange?

Mark Hatch
Cosmic Pictures


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Ed Purver
Re: Project is slow
on Jan 15, 2011 at 5:26:47 pm

You probably figured this out months ago, but I was experiencing exactly the same issues as you (project window very very slow after saving) and I solved it by just turning off 'render frames simultaneously' in memory preferences when I'm working in the project (and then turning it back on when I'm ready to render).


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