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Slow Render Speeds for Time Displacement HD

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John HsuSlow Render Speeds for Time Displacement HD
by on Aug 13, 2013 at 10:08:11 pm

So earlier this year I posted about having really long render times using the time displacement filter and Roland was able to help me get a good understanding of the filter and streamline things pretty good for SD video:

Now I'm trying to use HD video and the render times have increased WAY more than I imagined.

Here are the 2 different project setups for SD and HD, I used the same displacement map for each one, a pre-composed layer with a simple black to white ramp effect.

SD Composition:
  • 640 x 480
  • ~5000 frames
  • 30 fps
  • 16 bit color space
  • ----
  • 16 second displacement
  • 30 frames/sec resolution

HD Composition:
  • 1280 x 720
  • ~5000 frames
  • 30 fps
  • 16 bit color space
  • ----
  • 24 second displacement
  • 30 frames/sec resolution

Render times with multiprocessing on
  • SD Composition: ~15 min
  • HD Composition: ~15 hours!

Screenshots of my memory and media preferences:

Of course I was expecting longer render times, but 15 hours for what only took 15 min in SD?

If anyone has any insight or hardware suggestions please let me know. Here are my system specs:
  • Adobe After Effects CS6 (v11.0.0.378)
  • Intel i7-3770
  • 3.4GHz
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570
  • 4 core (8 virtual)
  • 16 GB RAM
  • Windows 7

Side note, I ran the slashcam benchmark and I got a 69 sec result:

For the full list:

If anyone is looking for the CS6 benchmark file here's the link:

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Walter SoykaRe: Slow Render Speeds for Time Displacement HD
by on Aug 14, 2013 at 12:18:43 am

Your 1080x720 HD frame (is that actually correct?) is 2.5x larger than your 640x480 SD frame -- that means each frame requires 2.5x more memory to store. With time displacement accessing multiple frames, it pushes up your memory requirements for rendering a single frame very quickly.

You may get faster results by increasing the RAM allocation per background process. Even though this will mean fewer cores actually working, each will have access to more RAM so your overall render may be faster. That's the first thing I'd try.

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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Todd KoprivaRe: Slow Render Speeds for Time Displacement HD
by on Aug 14, 2013 at 12:32:24 am

> Adobe After Effects CS6 (v11.0.0.378)

First, install the updates. You're missing many, many crucial bug fixes.


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

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John HsuRe: Slow Render Speeds for Time Displacement HD
by on Aug 15, 2013 at 4:26:17 am

So I actually went ahead and upgraded to After Effects CC, figured might as well try it out while I'm at it.

I tried different variations of memory & multiprocessing settings, and I have to say the best render time I got was closing all other applications and maxing out the memory and multiprocessing settings:

After all things said and done render time went down to 12 hours:

When I increased RAM reserved for other applications, CPUs reserved for other applications, and RAM allocation per background CPU 1 notch, it increased render times to 22 hours.

It's good to figure out my work-flow for now, I guess I'll just stick to SD while I'm experimenting, but for future reference any suggestions on how to prioritize hardware upgrades and realistic expectations for render time improvements?

Benchmarks are useful, but any suggestions on how to identify bottlenecks with performance? CPU, RAM, Hard Drive Speed, RAID Setup? I guess also in respect to processing this type of filter.

Any input is appreciated.

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