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Still unable to render scenes with lights after 16 GB ram upgrade

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maha mohtaseb
Still unable to render scenes with lights after 16 GB ram upgrade
on Jun 6, 2012 at 7:36:32 pm

I just upgraded to 16 GB on my macbook pro, and I'm seeing a huge improvement in speed/performance. However I'm still unable to render out a Comp that contains lights. I'm trying to export a 10 second Comp that uses 3 point lights (all of the objects accept light and cast shadows). In my comp there are 15 or so Collapsed precomps, and some text. When I go to render, the render queue says about 25 hours for a 10 second render (but there's no progress at all). Does anyone have a suggestion or know a way around this issue? Thanks in advance!

My MBP:

Processor Name: Intel Core i7
Processor Speed: 2.3 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 8 MB
Memory: 16 GB

Screenshot of my Video/Multiprocessing settings-

4252_screenshot20120606at3.10.58pm.png.zip


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Still unable to render scenes with lights after 16 GB ram upgrade
on Jun 6, 2012 at 8:33:50 pm

[maha mohtaseb] "I'm trying to export a 10 second Comp that uses 3 point lights (all of the objects accept light and cast shadows). In my comp there are 15 or so Collapsed precomps, and some text."

With settings like that, you're asking AE to do a huge amount of computation. The horizontal & vertical resolution of comps & precomps will also have a profound effect on the sheer number of pixels that need to be crunched... and we have no idea what that might be. 3D increases the effective number of pixels to be taken into account by a factor of 9. It easily could force AE to disk cache with only 2 gigs/core, and that would REALLY slow things down.

Run a test: reduce the number of cores used by AE and boost each core's RAM, then try turning multiprocessing OFF. Use the render queue -- don't export! -- and watch how long it takes each frame to render. There's a twirl-down for the comp in the render queue that will reveal the information.

Long story short: there are no hard and fast rules for processor & memory allocation. It depends on what you're doing. As you grow in experience, you get a feel for what you should use.

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


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maha mohtaseb
Re: Still unable to render scenes with lights after 16 GB ram upgrade
on Jun 11, 2012 at 10:37:25 pm

Thanks Dave, your input's always appreciated.Turning Multiprocessing off still takes a long 20 hours, but at least its actually moving (as opposed to 25 hours and no progress at all).
However it's still shocking, I've cut the scene down from 10 seconds to 4- so that's 20 hours for a 4 second scene using only 3 lights. I've been doing render tests for days without reaching a decent solution, still trying different things.

Interesting stuff you mentioned about the computation during render- "With settings like that, you're asking AE to do a huge amount of computation." Did you mean shadow casting and collapsing pre-comps settings? I can probably bring everything into the main, and do without the collapsed precomps- would that change anything?

Also for the first time ever, my render seems to pause when my computer goes into Sleep mode. When I "wake" the computer I notice the elapsed time is the same as just before the computer went into Sleep mode. So i have to change the settings for my computer not to "sleep". Never happened before this render. Sound a bit odd?


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Brian Charles
Re: Still unable to render scenes with lights after 16 GB ram upgrade
on Jun 6, 2012 at 8:56:31 pm

I suspect something other lack of RAM is the issue.

I have no trouble rendering with many lights on my MBP i7 also with 16 GB, nor on my MBP Core 2 with 8GB of RAM.

Its slow but not 25 hours. Check your Comps, what else have is going on, effects, dimension of footage, dimensions of final render, output module etc.

I'm pretty certain it isn't the lights.



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maha mohtaseb
Re: Still unable to render scenes with lights after 16 GB ram upgrade
on Jun 11, 2012 at 11:04:44 pm

Hi Brian,

Thanks for your input, I'm not really using much effects- The collapsed precomps contain mainly shape layers, text, and 1 or 2 vector artwork layers. Almost all layers in the main comp have an opacity of less than 100%. The 3 point lights have diffused shadow darkness, and all objects cast/accept shadows. All 3d layers in the main are motion blurred. I also have one adjustment layer at the very top using Magic Bullet Looks, but that's about it for effects.

You've mentioned "I have no trouble rendering with many lights on my MBP i7 also with 16 GB, nor on my MBP Core 2 with 8GB of RAM." Do your objects usually cast/accept shadows? I'm starting to think this problem's caused by layers accepting/casting shadows.

I still havent figured out a good render solution, but still doing different render tests.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Still unable to render scenes with lights after 16 GB ram upgrade
on Jun 11, 2012 at 11:31:19 pm

[maha mohtaseb] "I'm starting to think this problem's caused by layers accepting/casting shadows."

You could be very right. As a test, you can duplicate the master comp, and turn off the layers' accepts & casts shadows settings. Then set the work area to render a second of the duplicated comp and render. Observe the difference render time in the render queue.

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


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