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Slow render after switching to CC + Lion

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Greg Neumayer
Slow render after switching to CC + Lion
on Jul 17, 2013 at 5:40:54 pm

I know, I know. NEVER make system changes mid-project. But, someone sent me a CC file, which required me to step up to CC, AND update to Lion.

Now my 10 hr render is taking over 24hrs. (all other things have remained unchanged. It even imported my preferences)

I'm guessing they changed something in the way AE works with the OS, that is unfavorable for my aging machine.
Any input/advice/clues?


Thanks,
Greg


Specs (but bear in mind I haven't changed anything, so this is just for reference):
MacPro3,1 (dual quad-core) late 2008
Non Cuda
14GB RAm
Caches are all on a 240GB flash drive
AE is on the OSX drive (7200 RPM)
Project and Render are on 3rd drive (7200 rpm)

Antifreeze Design
http://www.antifreezedesign.com


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Todd Kopriva
Re: Slow render after switching to CC + Lion
on Jul 17, 2013 at 7:03:04 pm

> It even imported my preferences


Huh? There is no feature in After Effects for migrating preferences from one version to the next.

I think that you need to confirm that your preferences are as you intend, including in the Memory & Multiprocessing preferences.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Greg Neumayer
Re: Slow render after switching to CC + Lion
on Jul 17, 2013 at 7:46:33 pm

Indeed. Upon a double-check of my caches, they weren't set to where I thought I had them.

Unfortunately, this hasn't cleared up the issue.
It spends 80% of it's time on "Compressing and Writing".
What part of the render is really happening here? This suggests that a different codec would make all the difference in the world, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Is "compressing and writing" really only that?


Thanks,
Greg

Antifreeze Design
http://www.antifreezedesign.com


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Todd Kopriva
Re: Slow render after switching to CC + Lion
on Jul 17, 2013 at 7:57:20 pm

That refers to the encoding phase. You said that you had re-enabled the deprecated formats and were using those. Why not use Adobe Media Encoder, which is the recommended approach?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Greg Neumayer
Re: Slow render after switching to CC + Lion--use AME?
on Jul 17, 2013 at 9:13:48 pm

Hi Todd,
I'm not sure what you mean by
"you had re-enabled the deprecated formats"
Can you explain?

At any rate, the reason I don't render from AME is that (in CS6) it frequently crashed, and my understanding was that it didn't utilize the multiprocessor functions of AE. In short, I understood that it "could" do it, but the only benefit was that I could skip the intermediate render. I also felt like it spent far too much time on the front end establishing dynamic linking (or whatever it was doing).

That said, my experience may be outdated. Is AME the preferred way (by Adobe or by industry) to go when rendering AE?

Thanks,
Greg

Antifreeze Design
http://www.antifreezedesign.com


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Todd Kopriva
Re: Slow render after switching to CC + Lion--use AME?
on Jul 17, 2013 at 9:28:25 pm

Oops. I confused your post with another that I had just read, in which the person had re-enabled the H.264 exports out of After Effects, which are disabled by default in After Effects CC (12.0), because the output is much better from AME.

Yes, After Effects renders faster than Adobe Media Encoder, but Adobe Media Encoder encodes much faster and better. Rendering and encoding are the two phases of the exporting process. The ideal workflow is to use After Effects to render and export a single losslessly encoded master file to a watch folder, from which Adobe Media Encoder picks it up and encodes to all of your delivery formats.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Greg Neumayer
Compressing and Writing
on Jul 17, 2013 at 9:32:39 pm

Ah. Thanks.

Also noteworthy (or not):
I noticed that with multi-processor on, the info readout spends much of its time on "Compressing and Writing", but with it off, it's constantly blipping between layers and composites, etc. (much more like I would expect).

Do you think this is a slowdown in compression/writing caused by multiprocessing? Or do you think it's just a non-issue limitation of the info window trying to keep track of multiple processors?

Antifreeze Design
http://www.antifreezedesign.com


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Greg Neumayer
Re: Slow render after switching to CC + Lion
on Jul 17, 2013 at 9:45:39 pm

So, I haven't found the culprit yet, but here's what I've (roughly) evaluated without significant improvement (at least nothing close to the rendering performance I had in CS6. My render times have roughly doubled on this project):

No significant change:
Render in CS6 vs CC
Render to same Flash drive as cache (instead of 7500 rpm drive)
ProRes422 vs. DNxHD
Run Disk Util Repair Permissions (restart)
Run most everything in OnyX (restart)
1.5GB/cpu vs. 3GB/cpu

I've got 50% space available on my startup & apps drive.
Could having AE on my OSX drive be an issue?

I've got >200GB on my (dedicated) cache drive, but it does have some (25GB) temp referenced files in another folder. Could this cause an issue?

I'm rendering to (and the proj is located on) a 2TB SATAII 7200rpm drive with 40GB available. This is plenty for the render, but is not a lot compared to the whole drive. Could this cause any issues? (no caches, apps, or OS on this drive)

Thanks for your input.
-Greg

Antifreeze Design
http://www.antifreezedesign.com


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EricBowen
Re: Slow render after switching to CC + Lion
on Jul 17, 2013 at 10:14:02 pm

Mechanical HDD's start slowing down once you exceed 60% volume capacity. Once you are beyond 80 to 90% the performance has dropped to 60% or less of what the drive is capable off. I suggest you get that drive cleaned out or media moved off. If this is an archive drive then move to a clean drive for renders. SSD drives do not have this limitation and the latency is allot lower. you can have multiple file reads and writes to SSD's without losing performance. If the Cache drive is greater than 50% utilized capacity, then get that cleaned out as well. What do you have your Multiprocessor settings to in AE CC including ram allocation?

Eric-ADK
Tech Manager


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Greg Neumayer
Re: Slow render after switching to CC + Lion
on Jul 17, 2013 at 10:18:16 pm

Yeah, the next step is clearly making more space, but it doesn't necessarily explain the sudden change when going to Lion the other day.


I've tried a few different MP settings, but right now I've got:
Installed 14GB
Reserved for others: 3GB

CPUs: 8
Reserved for others: 2
RAM for Bkgnd: 1.5GB
(Actual CPUs to be used:6)

I also tried Ram:3GB, (actual to be used:2)

Antifreeze Design
http://www.antifreezedesign.com


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EricBowen
Re: Slow render after switching to CC + Lion
on Jul 17, 2013 at 10:33:29 pm

Actually yes it does. Adobe changes their caching models for codecs especially with new versions. That is very common now days as new codecs are releasing along with new flavors of codecs. You need to take the drive latency out of the equation. There is also the expected rate of data by the file writer which also changes and can cause the process to slow down considerably especially since the frame caching will be effected by the expected data rate the drive can handle. I would really suggest you get that sorted out.

Change the ram per thread to .75GB. 14GB is really low for a Dual Xeon 8 Core system with AE. Any reason your not running 4GB modules?

Eric-ADK
Tech Manager


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Greg Neumayer
Re: Slow render after switching to CC + Lion
on Jul 17, 2013 at 10:42:35 pm

Eric,
There's no particular reason for me not to get more memory, if it will help.

Beyond that, other than making sure I'm not over-filling my drives, what do you suggest as far as "sorting out" frame caching and data rates/drivers? I'm in unfamiliar territory there. Are you saying the software's expectation of hardware has moved beyond my hardware and I'd need to have a different drive configuration/upgrade to get back to previous render speeds? What would that look like?

Thanks,
Greg

Antifreeze Design
http://www.antifreezedesign.com


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EricBowen
Re: Slow render after switching to CC + Lion
on Jul 17, 2013 at 10:57:23 pm

Number 1 factor with AE and render performance is available ram space and CPU/Threads usable. Those are intertwined as Adobe assigns ram blocks per thread for the frame by frame rendering. This means the caching model used by the player is going reference the codec used and the available ram space. That will be the initialization resources used. The more ram you have the greater amount of Frames AE will grab immediately to start processing frame data. If you increase your ram significantly then that would significantly effect that and the overall render performance. Then comes the data rate the drives can handle starting out and as the render process continues. This will fluctuate but will fluctuate far more with drives close to 100% capacity. That is because the latency on drive requests ie read and write requests significantly increases as the locations for data are spread out over the platter. This tells the application writer which is writing the format files to let the processing application know the data rate it can handle is slowing down. The Processing application will slow down to compensate since ram is limited. This will change the amount of frames cached at one time. If you take a clean HDD or an SSD drive which has latency in microseconds then the file writer will write the data as fast as the application can get it processed. So ideally a SSD drive is perfect for renders but if you cant do that a clean mechanical drive will do provided the codec data rate and data processing doesn't exceed what the drive can handle. A 2 drive raid 0 is another way to achieve the same performance for render. However anymore an SSD would be ideal since they are so cheap and renders rarely if ever exceed their size.

Summary
Get 24 to 32GB of ram with 32GB the real number you want with 8 Cores.

Clean out Render drive completely or get an SSD render drive. Another option is raid 0 but difficult with mac Pro config space.

Eric-ADK
Tech Manager


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Greg Neumayer
Re: Slow render after switching to CC + Lion
on Jul 17, 2013 at 11:04:06 pm

Thanks!
I was holding out for the new macs, but a suped-up 'mature' mac is always useful around here too, I suppose.

Antifreeze Design
http://www.antifreezedesign.com


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Slow render after switching to CC + Lion
on Jul 18, 2013 at 4:31:37 am

Are you rendering a 3D comp and is the raytracing engine on? Because if that is accidentally on and you don't have no GPU acceleration it will be slloooooooooowwww.


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Greg Neumayer
Re: Slow render after switching to CC + Lion
on Jul 18, 2013 at 4:48:54 am

Oh, man. You're not kidding. I made that mistake once. Unfortunately, I've checked all my cameras already and ruled that out. Also wondered if it was the iris used, but that change (from pentagon to fast rect) seemed negligible.

The really frustrating thing is this computer's getting old enough (5 yrs) that upgrades cost twice what they should just because it's getting 'rare'. Wish I had bought more ram 2 years ago...

Holding my breath until the black garbage can is released,
-Greg

Antifreeze Design
http://www.antifreezedesign.com


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