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Adobe After Effects 40 x slower than Apple Motion - shock result

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Simon Ubsdell
Adobe After Effects 40 x slower than Apple Motion - shock result
on Jun 7, 2013 at 9:03:49 pm

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/378/2753

I had a chance to run a test. I took 6 ProResLT 1080p/23.98 clips and put them on a :10 timeline. Clips were scaled to 25%, spread around the screen in an irregular pattern and rotated on the Z axis. I applied a native (not third party) filter to each clip. These included glow, bulge distortion, gaussian blur, sepia, posterization and bad TV. I did a test this way and also with the whole group rotated in XYZ as a flat plane. I did this on the Group in Motion and using a null layer in AE.

I saw the same things you saw in terms of scrubbing through the timeline. Motion was more or less real-time. It got a bit choppier with the XYZ rotation. Interestingly, Motion would get choppier when the playback looped back to the start of the sequence and then played a second or third time. I rendered out to ProRes with and without the rotation of the whole, but that did not affect render times.

Plain vanilla renders. No lighting, motion blur or reflection effects. Render results were about :10 for Motion and 6 min. for After Effects.

Looks like I be working harder at liking Motion ;-)

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL


Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Steve Connor
Re: Adobe After Effects 40 x slower than Apple Motion - shock result
on Jun 7, 2013 at 11:36:21 pm

Us Motion users have known this for a while, every time I have to use AE for something it shocks me how slow it is

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Greg Andonian
Re: Adobe After Effects 40 x slower than Apple Motion - shock result
on Jun 8, 2013 at 8:46:41 am

[Simon Ubsdell] Render results were about :10 for Motion and 6 min. for After Effects.

I've never used Motion, but I know it leans heavily on the GPU for a lot of things. Is it using the GPU for exporting?

This reminds me of the difference I see exporting out of Premiere with and without Mercury enabled. It's not this dramatic, but then my GPU isn't exactly *supported* either...

The next version of AE should improve this somewhat, since you can send things to Media Encoder and render out in the background while you work on something else.

Of course, for THAT to work, you'd have to use the stupid Cloud. UGH...

Greg Andonian, a.k.a. Derek

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Walter Soyka
Re: Adobe After Effects 40 x slower than Apple Motion - shock result
on Jun 8, 2013 at 4:55:37 pm

[Greg Andonian] "The next version of AE should improve this somewhat, since you can send things to Media Encoder and render out in the background while you work on something else. Of course, for THAT to work, you'd have to use the stupid Cloud. UGH..."

AME on CS6 can do this, too. Just be aware that AME will not use multiprocessing, do it will usually be shower that rendering directly with Ae.

Lloyd Alvarez's BG_Render script is pretty helpful, too.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Adobe After Effects 40 x slower than Apple Motion - shock result
on Jun 8, 2013 at 6:08:33 pm

Although I work for Adobe and work with the AE team, I can add some perspective.

I like Motion, and was the first to demo it in Japan, of all things. I was an internal beta tester at Apple for Motion 4/FCP 7, working directly with the Motion and FCP teams. I banged on it for the better part of a year, providing feedback. I think many of you know I also wrote a book about FCP effects, was a long time trainer for Apple, and founder of FCPUG #1, SF Cutters.

My experience with AE is pretty deep too. I was pre-viz animator at Pixar on 2 features using AE. In 2010, I became an Adobe employee, writing Help docs and providing community support for the AE team for two versions. I am now in support for all DV products.

Motion is very quick when it comes to whipping up simple effects and motion graphics. The fact that it's GPU based makes it that way. However, once you add camera movement, oversized and/or multi-layered pre-comps, motion blur, masking, or anything requiring a complex RAM preview is where AE CS6 (and now After Effects CC) shines.

After Effects CS6 (and now CC) has some great time saving features you should know about when working (and performing tests). Things are radically different than in previous versions of After Effects. You now have the global performance cache, which includes the global RAM cache, persistent disk cache, and a faster graphics pipeline. No one has mentioned these awesome features in this thread and I thought you should be aware of them, if you are not already.

Chris and Trish Meyer's take on the Global Performance Cache on PVC: http://provideocoalition.com/cmg_keyframes/story/after_effects_cs6_preview/...

Rich Young compiles articles and videos on the AE Portal: http://provideocoalition.com/ryoung/story/cs6_global_performance_cache_what...

Watch this video by Todd Kopriva for further explanation:



Here's Brian Maffitt's take:



Optimizing hardware for AE CS6 by Brian Maffitt:



More performance enhancements in this video, also some cool workflows for working with ray-traced 3D comps:



I hope all of you that have access to After Effects CS6 (and CC when it comes out) will check out these features.

Cheers,
Kevin

Kevin Monahan
Social Support Lead
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Systems, Inc.
Follow Me on Twitter!

Kevin Monahan
Social Support Lead
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Systems, Inc.
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Adobe After Effects 40 x slower than Apple Motion - shock result
on Jun 8, 2013 at 6:47:59 pm

[Kevin Monahan] "After Effects CS6 (and now CC) has some great time saving features you should know about when working (and performing tests). Things are radically different than in previous versions of After Effects. You now have the global performance cache, which includes the global RAM cache, persistent disk cache, and a faster graphics pipeline. No one has mentioned these awesome features in this thread and I thought you should be aware of them, if you are not already."

All very cool stuff indeed but not entirely relevant to the test that Oliver did, unless I'm missing something.

The major factor that did influence the test though is one you don't mention for some reason and that's the fact that Motion is optimised for the ATI 5870 whereas this widely used card is not supported by Ae according to the literature. It would be interesting to see the results for this same simple test when using a card that is supported by Ae.

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Adobe After Effects 40 x slower than Apple Motion - shock result
on Jun 9, 2013 at 5:07:18 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "All very cool stuff indeed but not entirely relevant to the test that Oliver did, unless I'm missing something."

HI Simon,
Oliver's test can compare some very basic performance operations, sure. What I'm suggesting is that when you've got a nasty composite with complex effects, 3D extruded text, and hundreds of layers, and you need to make a change, it's much more painful to RAM preview that change in Motion, as it take more time in that case. When you get beyond some very basic comps, making changes and previewing changes more quickly is more important then rendering speed. It is for me anyway. Granted, a video editor in day to day operations might not have the same needs as someone specializing in compositing.

I'm comparing my experience with Motion 4 and AE CS6, so I may be missing any performance enhancements made in Motion 5. Has much changed between Motion 4 and Motion 5?

[Simon Ubsdell] "The major factor that did influence the test though is one you don't mention for some reason and that's the fact that Motion is optimised for the ATI 5870 whereas this widely used card is not supported by Ae according to the literature. It would be interesting to see the results for this same simple test when using a card that is supported by Ae."

The reason I didn't mention GPU processing is because, largely, AE is more dependent on CPUs and RAM, always has been. In AE CS6, we introduced the ray-traced 3D renderer, which allows extrusion of text, shape layers, and vector based files. This feature is accelerated by CUDA, found in NVIDIA cards. The ATI card works fine with AE, you just don't get fast processing with ray-traced 3D comps.

As far as typical performance goes, the GPU does not play the same role as it does in Motion. That's why it was not really mentioned.

Cheers,
Kevin

Kevin Monahan
Social Support Lead
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Systems, Inc.
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Adobe After Effects 40 x slower than Apple Motion - shock result
on Jun 9, 2013 at 6:01:14 pm

Hi Kevin

Thanks for helping to clarify all this.

[Kevin Monahan] "it's much more painful to RAM preview that change in Motion, as it take more time in that case. "

No question - especially since Motion's RAM preview still needs work. I can see that the "new" preview functions in AE have a huge benefit in a complex workflow - that's some pretty cool tech going on there by any standards. It's cutting edge ideas like that have always kept me hooked on Adobe products - let's hope we continue to see plenty more over the coming years ;-)

[Kevin Monahan] "I'm comparing my experience with Motion 4 and AE CS6, so I may be missing any performance enhancements made in Motion 5. Has much changed between Motion 4 and Motion 5? "

Yes, my experience is that there's been a seriously impressive performance hike with Motion 5. On the surface it may not look as though Apple have changed a great deal (beyond the rigging and publishing features of course which have rightly drawn a lot of interest) but there's been a huge reworking of everything else.

Not only has it now been completely rewritten as 64 bit, it's 32 bit float all the time, there's also the Color Sync-managed pipeline, plus some other significant under-the-hood speed enhancements that are all contributing to better real-time and rendering performance.

[Kevin Monahan] "The reason I didn't mention GPU processing is because, largely, AE is more dependent on CPUs and RAM, always has been. In AE CS6, we introduced the ray-traced 3D renderer, which allows extrusion of text, shape layers, and vector based files. This feature is accelerated by CUDA, found in NVIDIA cards. The ATI card works fine with AE, you just don't get fast processing with ray-traced 3D comps.

As far as typical performance goes, the GPU does not play the same role as it does in Motion. That's why it was not really mentioned."


Thanks for the explanation - I hadn't realised the the GPU would play such a small a part in this case. It still seems a shame to me that AE can't leverage more of the brute power of modern graphics cards.

All this does of course mean that Oliver's test results are essentially a fair illustration of the current state of play.

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Adobe After Effects 40 x slower than Apple Motion - shock result
on Jun 9, 2013 at 6:31:13 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "I hadn't realised the the GPU would play such a small a part in this case. It still seems a shame to me that AE can't leverage more of the brute power of modern graphics cards."

Hi Simon,
Thanks for the update on Motion 5.

The code for AE was written long before the power of GPUs could be leveraged. Who knows what will happen in the future, but for now, the power of AE resides in CPUs and lots and lots of RAM.

Cheers,
Kevin

Kevin Monahan
Social Support Lead
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Systems, Inc.
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Adobe After Effects 40 x slower than Apple Motion - shock result
on Jun 8, 2013 at 7:39:11 pm

[Kevin Monahan] "Motion is very quick when it comes to whipping up simple effects and motion graphics."

Quite clearly true, of course, but then Motion is also surprisingly good at whipping up complex effects and motion graphics, which I rather suspect your description is trying to disprove ;-)

Incidentally Motion is probably a lot faster, more capable and more stable than when you last used it back in the day. I used to find it pretty limiting - I don't now.

Of course, After Effects is just great also and also getting better all the time.

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Adobe After Effects 40 x slower than Apple Motion - shock result
on Jun 9, 2013 at 5:20:53 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Quite clearly true, of course, but then Motion is also surprisingly good at whipping up complex effects and motion graphics, which I rather suspect your description is trying to disprove ;-)"

HI Simon,
I'm not trying to disprove the wonderful things that Motion does well. I love the particles, behaviors, native effects, and more. Before I came to Adobe, I used Motion quite a lot. As I said before, I was one of the first people to demo Motion 1 when it came out.

What I'm suggesting is that when you have to RAM preview a Motion comp carrying hundreds of layers and groups, and then need to make a change, previewing once more requires you cache all the frames once more. With AE, only the layer with the change needs to be cached. That's a faster workflow, in my experience.

[Simon Ubsdell] "Incidentally Motion is probably a lot faster, more capable and more stable than when you last used it back in the day. I used to find it pretty limiting - I don't now."

Good to know. As I mentioned, my experience was with Motion 4, and before.

[Simon Ubsdell] "Of course, After Effects is just great also and also getting better all the time."

I agree, and thanks!

Cheers,
Kevin

Kevin Monahan
Social Support Lead
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Systems, Inc.
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Sandeep Sajeev
Re: Adobe After Effects 40 x slower than Apple Motion - shock result
on Jun 9, 2013 at 6:38:48 am

[Kevin Monahan] Motion is very quick when it comes to whipping up simple effects and motion graphics. The fact that it's GPU based makes it that way. However, once you add camera movement, oversized and/or multi-layered pre-comps, motion blur, masking, or anything requiring a complex RAM preview is where AE CS6 (and now After Effects CC) shines

I'm getting good performance out of motion on projects with all of the above techniques. And I'm able to tweak parameters etc while the project plays back - not in real time perhaps, the more you add, but still at a good enough fps to make it a workable method. This is just not possible in AE as of now.

Saying it's quick/good for simple stuff is really damning it with faint praise. And wildly inaccurate. I remember when it came out back in the day and promised real time playback - it crapped out on anything that required more than a couple of behaviours, and i never got real time playback when using filters - but this new version is a different beast.
I am even getting blazing fast performance on a 3 year old iMac...on the newer ones it screams.

AE may have more power user features - but I'm no longer that sure about this either as I haven't been an AE power user for a while. But I will say this - I use Smoke and supervise a lot of agency driven Flame sessions - it blows AD's boxes out of the water for motion graphics work. And the Keyer in Motion pisses all over the Master Keyer in Smoke/Flame, which for years was generally regarded as best in class. I no longer use Smoke for any titling, I don't have to mess about with lights and flares to create particle systems and I don't use Paint for shapes. I just go straight into Motion and it's a much more pleasant and interactive experience - clients love being able to see their feedback incorporated quickly, and it makes the sessions more productive and collaborative. In Flame sessions, I always recommend (now) that we send motion graphics to Motion, but there is never anyone who knows how to use it well, so then it becomes a case of 'sending it to AE or keeping it in Flame' and that's a decision that's generally driven strictly by cost and time.

That is the reality. It may not be a widely accepted or acknowledged reality for various reasons - but if you are looking for a motion graphics tool then Motion is unlikely to let you down.


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Adobe After Effects 40 x slower than Apple Motion - shock result
on Jun 9, 2013 at 5:27:41 pm

[Sandeep Sajeev] "I'm getting good performance out of motion on projects with all of the above techniques. And I'm able to tweak parameters etc while the project plays back - not in real time perhaps, the more you add, but still at a good enough fps to make it a workable method. This is just not possible in AE as of now. "

Hi Sandeep,
You never have to RAM preview complex compositions? That's when I see the performance of AE pull away from Motion.

[Sandeep Sajeev] "I haven't been an AE power user for a while. "

Please check out AE CS6 and AE CC, it has a lot faster workflows and is more powerful than previous versions.

[Sandeep Sajeev] "but this new version is a different beast."

Thanks, I'll check it out. As I said, my experience is with Motion 4 and before.

Cheers,
Kevin

Kevin Monahan
Social Support Lead
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Systems, Inc.
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Adobe After Effects 40 x slower than Apple Motion - shock result
on Jun 9, 2013 at 7:44:41 pm

[Sandeep Sajeev] "I'm getting good performance out of motion on projects with all of the above techniques. And I'm able to tweak parameters etc while the project plays back - not in real time perhaps, the more you add, but still at a good enough fps to make it a workable method."

I'd second that as a general rule.

The real-time playback means that it's possible to work very substantially faster in a lot of everyday cases than would be possible in Ae.

Most of the time, like you, I simply set the timeline to loop playback and I can tweak any parameter I want, and even add assets, and of course adjust linked effects and so on, entirely on the fly without playback faltering in any significant way - and you can't really get much faster than that.

[Sandeep Sajeev] "I just go straight into Motion and it's a much more pleasant and interactive experience - clients love being able to see their feedback incorporated quickly, and it makes the sessions more productive and collaborative ... That is the reality. It may not be a widely accepted or acknowledged reality for various reasons - but if you are looking for a motion graphics tool then Motion is unlikely to let you down."

That's a very impressive endorsement with which needless to say I can't help agreeing!

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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