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Performance Issues: AE CS6

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Randy Rubin
Performance Issues: AE CS6
on Jul 21, 2013 at 8:56:10 pm

Hi All,

Hoping to get some assistance in understanding the performance of my machine. I custom built the system this past year, and am a bit frustrated with my After Effects performance when animating motion graphics. My specs are below:

3970x (currently no OC)
2x 256GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD OS
4x3TB Raid 10 Media drive
2x 128 Samsung 840 Pro AE Cache
64GB 2133mhz ram
Quadro 4000
GTX 680 4GB

Settings:
3GB/CPU
11 Actual CPUs Used
4GB reserved for other Apps
100GB Cache on Cache SSD
Project File is on OS SSD
Media on Raid

I am currently animating a project that, depending on the comp, contains around 35 illustrator layers. Once I keyframe everything, I pre-comp the layers and create a camera/orbit null. Make the layers 3D and animate the camera. I then add motion blur. The RAM preview times are frustrating, as is the lag when I am tweaking layer/camera position. It doesn't feel smooth, and sometimes is so slow it can hinder my work.

The only properties I have keyframed are position and opacity.

It is taking me somewhere near 12 minutes for a RAM preview around 30 seconds in length.

Is this the expected performance for this machine?

PS: My Quadro is set up as main GPU and GTX 680 is Cuda processor for other apps.

Thanks!


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Ridley Walker
Re: Performance Issues: AE CS6
on Jul 21, 2013 at 9:12:15 pm

This does seem suspiciously slow for the machine you describe depending on the resolution and frame rate of the Composition, assuming you're attempting to RAM preview full resolution without skipping frames and that you're working 1920x1080 and not 4k resolution.

Motion blur may be the culprit as it is computationally expensive, I generally only turn it on to check the look and then turn it off as I'm working, then make sure its on for renders. It can severely slow down workflow.

You should look to see where the bottleneck is, see what's happening with RAM, disk activity, and processor activity during the RAM preview to isolate the cause of the slowdown.


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Randy Rubin
Re: Performance Issues: AE CS6
on Jul 21, 2013 at 9:19:38 pm

hmm thanks for the input. Should I move my conformed Media Cache to the SSD Cache drive as well?

Also, I may have gotten myself in over my head. I moved from the Mac OS platform after waiting too long for a Mac Pro. Any tips on what I should be looking for? During a render my CPU is at 100% (which makes me think the CPU is the bottleneck..) and Memory usage gets way up there.

Thanks,
Randy


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Randy Rubin
Re: Performance Issues: AE CS6
on Jul 21, 2013 at 9:20:11 pm

And yes I am working at full resolution 1920x1080.


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Ridley Walker
Re: Performance Issues: AE CS6
on Jul 21, 2013 at 9:25:39 pm

I'm a Mac user and not certain how you check memory paging on Windows. I'd be looking for the equivalent of Activity Monitor for feedback.

Your RAID should be more than fast enough for your media. If your project uses only vector based files and no video, there isn't an issue with transcoding or the like.

What happens when you disable Motion Blur for RAM preview?


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Randy Rubin
Re: Performance Issues: AE CS6
on Jul 21, 2013 at 9:32:37 pm

Just did a test. Here are the specs:

4:06 Seconds of Footage
Pre-Comp fully cached
no motion blur
3 Camera moves
Full Resolution

RAM Preview Render: ~1:30:00


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Ridley Walker
Re: Performance Issues: AE CS6
on Jul 21, 2013 at 10:27:34 pm

You may have allocated too much RAM to After Effects. Cut down the number of cores available to AE, Todd Kopriva's advice is that 8 cores is optimal.

See: http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/2/1033810

I'm on a 12 core / 24 thread MacPro with 64GB or RAM, allocated 12 cores to AE with 3GB RAM each, 12 cores free for other apps.




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Randy Rubin
Re: Performance Issues: AE CS6
on Jul 21, 2013 at 10:45:43 pm

hmm I just allocated 8GB of RAM to other applications. Still have about 5 GB per core (3GB limit for AE), I'll see how things go.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Performance Issues: AE CS6
on Jul 22, 2013 at 12:36:51 pm

[Randy Rubin] "During a render my CPU is at 100% (which makes me think the CPU is the bottleneck..)/I>

If your CPU usage is maxed out, then yes, the CPU is the bottleneck.

First question: is your composition using the Classic 3D renderer, or the ray-tracing renderer? The ray tracer is slow, so I wouldn't use it unless you specifically need one of its features.

If you are already using the Classic 3D renderer, I'd suggest you make some workflow adjustments. Temporarily disable motion blur while you work. Use Shift-RAM Preview with lower settings (half resolution, skipping frames). Cache, prerender, or proxy heavy precomps.

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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Randy Rubin
Re: Performance Issues: AE CS6
on Jul 22, 2013 at 1:49:44 pm

It is the Classic 3D renderer. I ended up doing exactly as you suggested last night - adjusted workflow. I lowered resolution, and turned off motion blur while working. This made things much smoother.

I had some issues with the media cache though. I created a SSD Raid specifically for the media cache and allotted 100GB of space. Is there a way for my comps to automatically cache or do I have to manually push ctrl+return every time I make a tweak? The cache was finicky and sometimes wouldn't render in the background. If I started to work, the render would stop all together.

I miscalculated when I built my machine, should have gone for the dual xeons.

Appreciate the help.


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