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Faster Frame Preview

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Noah Murad
Faster Frame Preview
on Feb 9, 2012 at 10:13:29 pm

I have been working on a project with a lot of expressions, and now, even with a proxy on the main video, quarter quality, and layer soloing, the frame preview still takes almost ten seconds to re-render every time I make a small adjustment.
I'm not working on the best computer (at all, I've got a dual-core and a quarter-Gig of dedicated vidRAM), but I'm wondering why changing a soloed layer with only two expressions takes so long to render one single frame for my previewing.
For example, rotating a particular layer of 8 particles takes 5 seconds in my current project (with two expressions, but the layer is solo and quarter quality), and happens immediately in a fresh project at full quality, but no expressions.
How can I fix this to speed up this horrible workflow? Thanks.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Faster Frame Preview
on Feb 9, 2012 at 10:47:41 pm

Can you tell us more about the expressions?

Without anything else to go on here, my guess is they're cascading [link] -- meaning one may rely on the results of other expressions before it. This really pushes up render times.

If this is the case, it may be possible to rewrite the expressions so they don't cascade.

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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Noah Murad
Re: Faster Frame Preview
on Feb 9, 2012 at 11:03:26 pm

they both casecade to one other expression if that helps, but would that make render times that much more? I am only trying to preview one frame, do the expressions get recalculated every time I make an adjustment even if I do not change the time?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Faster Frame Preview
on Feb 10, 2012 at 2:21:47 pm

[Noah Murad] "they both casecade to one other expression if that helps"

Does that expression cascade somewhere else? If you have a chain of expressions, it can really hurt performance. Expressions are calculated on every frame and they have no memory of what's been calculated before.

Say you have an expression on layer 1, then an expression on layer 2 that relies on the expression in layer 1, then an expression on layer 3 that relies on layer 2.

When AE renders layer 1, it calculates the expression for layer 1. When AE renders layer 2, it calculates the expression for layers 1 and 2. When AE renders layer 3, it calculates the expression for layers 1, 2, and 3. You can imagine how this adds up.


[Noah Murad] "I am only trying to preview one frame, do the expressions get recalculated every time I make an adjustment even if I do not change the time?"

Yes. The expressions will be calculated as above each time the frame is rendered.

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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