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Re: New Desktop For After Effects

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Michael Szalapski
Re: New Desktop For After Effects
on Aug 22, 2018 at 3:54:05 pm

[Andrew Somers] "AE used to multithread, it went away only because they are changing the render system and are "supposed" to be bringing multithreading back in a better way........ but apparently not yet."

I'd like to correct a bit of this.

AE did not "used to multithread". It used to render multiple frames simultaneously which (while it may seem the same) is a totally different thing.

Rendering multiple frames simultaneously (RMFS) would use multiple cores on a machine - each rendering their own frame. This did make some scenes render faster, but it had a number of annoying bugs and "gotchas" that would often cause some fun forum threads. (You needed to seed the random number for wiggle expressions or it would be random between cores and Particular's shading would flicker - for just a couple of examples.) Plus, some effects weren't compatible with it at all and so - even if the effect was only used for a few frames, RMFS would be disabled and you'd be rendering on one core for the whole comp.

As opposed to that, as of CC 2015, After Effects is actually multithreaded in ways we could never have dreamed of in the past. The UI and renderer are now running on separate processing threads. This means that you can keep working in AE even while the comp window is trying to render an image. I've found this makes it much snappier to work with. Also, a number of effects in AE do render multithreaded. The latest update significantly improved the multithreading of the grain effects which are all much faster now (depending on your CPU, of course), the C4D renderer is fully multithreaded (for the 3d geometry it's creating), and the Camera Shake Deblur effect is multithreaded - to name a few.

Does that make sense? AE's building a new architecture that is genuinely multithreaded as opposed to the old hack that worked in a lot of situations, but was buggy.

[Andrew Somers] "The AE Ray Tracer WILL take advantage of your CUDA cores, but the ray tracer is of limited use."

That's true. AE's ray-traced renderer is considered dead by the AE team and isn't receiving any more development or support. (It doesn't work with the latest NVIDIA cards, for example.)

HOWEVER, each version of AE adds more and more GPU-accelerated effects that will make use of CUDA. For example, Fractal Noise (an effect I use in virtually every project) is significantly faster even on my old GPUs in my home rig.

[Andrew Somers] "Nevertheless, your CUDA cores will go great with OCTANE or REDSHIFT which are physical raytracers that work with C4D, and run amazing on CUDA."

Yes. Also in Cycles 4D! (My favorite because it works seamlessly with X-Particles, has the best node-editor of any third-party renderer, and can also render on the CPU [which means you can look-dev on your machine with GPUs and then send it to a render far to CPU render].)

Omar, if you plan to use a third-party GPU renderer with Cinema 4D, then I would not recommend dual Xeon processors at all. Get a single, high clock speed, processor and a really good GPU or two (or four...but not on your budget 😉 ). A lot of stuff in C4D is also single-threaded, so if your renderer in C4D isn't using the CPU, all those cores in a dual Xeon system won't be doing you any good.

[Andrew Somers] "BUT ALSO, I *only* use versions of After Effects that ARE still multithreaded. And I absolutely will not upgrade until Adobe fixes this issue."
I hope my post has helped clear some of this up for you, Andrew. The current versions of AE are significantly more multi-threaded compared to the old version you're using. Yes, certain types of projects will render faster in the older version, but more and more of my projects render faster in the newest release with proper multithreading and GPU-accelerated effects. Plus, with the faster interactivity, I can work much faster in new versions of AE than the old ones too.

Also, some of the new features like Master Properties can save you literally DAYS of work (depending on the kind of work you do). Seriously, Master Properties is a huge game-changer. If you don't see the advantage of it, I'm happy to go into lots of details about Master Properties. I love love love love love this feature.

Similarly, another game-changer is the ability of effects to reference the effects and masks of other layers without precomposing them. (For example, if you're using Fractal Noise to drive a Displacement Map effect, you don't have to precomp the layer with Fractal Noise anymore.) I've saved hours of time on some projects not having to dive in and out of precomps.

You can install the newest version of AE without removing your older version (just make sure when you click update that you twirl down the "advanced options" in the window that comes up and untick the "Remove older versions" option).
I'd highly recommend you try out some of the things I mentioned (Master Properties, GPU-accelerated effects, the ability for effects that reference other layers to get them post-masks and effects, the new Camera Shake Deblur effect, etc.) and maybe some of the other things I didn't mention (the improved puppet tool, new expression error system, etc.) and see how you like them and think about how they could impact your work. It can't hurt and it might really help you! ☺

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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