ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS: Forum Expressions Tutorials Creative Cloud

Expectations for AE and the New Mac Pro

COW Forums : Adobe After Effects

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Scott ReusExpectations for AE and the New Mac Pro
by on Feb 18, 2014 at 4:33:36 am

Here are my specs:

Late 2013 Mac Pro
2.7 GHz 12-Core Intel Xeon E5
64 GB RAM (Apple)
Dual AMD FirePro D700
1 TB Internal HD
Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt 2 R4 (RAID 0 on 3 drives, Pass Thru on the 4th)
Dual 27" Apple Cinema Displays
OS X 10.9.1

Disk Cache is Enabled (and on the internal drive). RAM reserved for other applications is 4GB. Multi-Processing turned On. CPU's reserved for other applications is 4. RAM Allocation per background CPU is 2GB.

AE CC 12.2.1.5 (I also used AE 6 with similar results)

=

I recently got my new machine all set up and ready to rock. Yes, I knew my expectations were too high going into it. My 2008 MP was showing its age and I allowed myself to daydream about lighting fast RAM Previews and render times 10 times faster than what I was used to.

Sigh.

Now I'm a few days into my first job and I'm not sure if my expectations were wildly too high, or if there's just something wrong.

My comp is 1920x1080 and has a 116 pre-comps, plus matching control layers for each one- a product of using the Type Monkey and Layer Monkey scripts, which generate cool camera moves around 3d text/layers. In this case the pre-comps contain animated text, which follows a VO (kind of the whole point of the Type/Layer Monkey scripts).

RAM Previews seem to take a long time. Sometimes I hit 0 and nothing happens at all, then after 10, 20 seconds, it will suddenly start the process. When it finally does, it doesn't seem as fast as it should be. Now I'm back to my old tricks of turning off motion blur and DoF, etc.

It took 15 minutes to render 1 minute to ProRes (HQ).

Maybe the most troubling thing is this: Simply moving around the interface lags noticeably. At the very least I should be able to scroll up and down and move the Time Indicator around all willy-nilly, right? I can count to one-one-thousand and sometimes two or three or four-one-thousand before the time indicator snaps to. And of course, the faster I click, the more it falls behind. Really?

I guess my question is this: What should my expectations realistically be for this machine and AE? Is there something, anything (other than buying a PC), that I can do to make it faster? Has anyone else out there had similarly disappointing results on their new MP? Good results? Is it just my comp? Sorry, but simply flying a camera around a bunch of 3d text doesn't seem like it should be so back-breaking, right? No lights. No shadows. No DoF. No blur. Just a gradient BG and some 3d text- granted, a lot of 3d text, but still.... Is it the Type/Layer Monkey scripts? Does anyone have experience with them?

I don't know. I'm starting to lose it. Somebody set me straight... Thanks, -s


Return to posts index

Erik LindahlRe: Expectations for AE and the New Mac Pro
by on Feb 18, 2014 at 6:30:22 am

One thing to keep in mind is that RAM-previews only use one instance of AE as of CC. This is due to, I think, the multi-instances buggy nature and quite slow initiaiation. Hence in a worst-case scenario you're using maybe 10th of your machine. When doing renders it might be worth testing other setups for multi-rendering. 4-8 instances might be more efficient than say 12.

That said, single thread performance should be way better than the 2008 Xeons. I've noticed on our 2008 MacPro some things can "kill" the GUI-experience of AE. This tends to be certain filters and especially multiple instances of them. Color Finess is one of them I beilive. Other things can kill GUI-performance also. Perhaps semi complex 3D comps is one of them? This is due to an aintient architecture in AE where i believe the GUI-redraw thread is shared with the scene / comp redraw. This of course can cause a very nasty user experience (something Adobe REALLY should fix).

Never the less you should do some head to head tests perhaps. I can't imagine anything being slower on the new MacPro aside from RayTracing IF your old machine had a nVidia card. You should also experiment with what might be the cause of slow-downs. I've in the past noticed some filters do it, forcing me to deactivate them until final renders. The sad part is that the renders don't take crazy long, it's just the filters kill the GUI-experience.


Return to posts index

Scott ReusRe: Expectations for AE and the New Mac Pro
by on Feb 18, 2014 at 4:03:42 pm

Thanks for your reply, Erik. I had AMD cards on the last one, too, so I've never used ray-tracing. I've double and triple-checked, though, just to see if that's what was causing it. Of course, that would be too easy. I'll do some tests and see what happens.

It's hard to believe a machine this robust can't crunch through the GUI more efficiently. Or that AE is really that bad. That combined with the long RAM previews and my experience is almost identical to that of my 2008 MP... except I have a lot more desk space.

Does anybody else out there with a new Mac Pro have some AE experiences they can share? Specifically with the GUI, RAM previews or rendering? Rock solid? Fast? Slow? I'm not sure if I should reinstall everything or just lower my expectations back down to where they were in 2008...

Thanks, -s


Return to posts index


Walter SoykaRe: Expectations for AE and the New Mac Pro
by on Feb 18, 2014 at 3:17:33 pm

I think your multiprocessing settings are too aggressive. You can experiment a bit, but my general suggestion is leave a quarter of available RAM to other apps, and half of available CPUs on hyperthreaded systems. For you, that'd be 16 GB to other apps and 12 cores to other processes.

More from Adobe here:
http://forums.adobe.com/message/2475693

This may speed up your renders a little bit, but it will not have much effect on interactions, as Erik noted.

It is possible to use MP for RAM previews, though this is not the default. If you have it enabled, starting the RAM preview will take a while before any progress can be amde as all the background instances of the renderer must start up and load the project, media, and caches.

The Ae team is currently taking a good, hard look at performance:
http://blogs.adobe.com/aftereffects/2014/01/happy-new-year-and-a-question.h...

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


Return to posts index

Scott ReusRe: Expectations for AE and the New Mac Pro
by on Feb 18, 2014 at 4:32:18 pm

Thanks Walter, I will definitely take your advice on that. The link about optimum memory settings was great, better than what I found on my own. I really hope they do address speed in 2014.

[Walter Soyka] "It is possible to use MP for RAM previews, though this is not the default. If you have it enabled, starting the RAM preview will take a while before any progress can be amde as all the background instances of the renderer must start up and load the project, media, and caches."

Where do I change this in the preferences? It sounds like one of my issues...

Cheers, -s


Return to posts index

Walter SoykaRe: Expectations for AE and the New Mac Pro
by on Feb 18, 2014 at 4:42:57 pm

[Scott Reus] "Where do I change this in the preferences? It sounds like one of my issues..."

Preferences > Memory & Multiprocessing...

In the "After Effects Multiprocessing" section, there are two checkboxes. "Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously" enables multiprocessing. "Only for Render Queue, not for RAM Preview" when checked disables MP for RAM preview. When unchecked, MP applies for both the render queue and RAM preview.

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


Return to posts index


Scott ReusRe: Expectations for AE and the New Mac Pro
by on Feb 18, 2014 at 5:11:32 pm

Right, gotcha. Yes, Multiple-Frames checked, Only for Render Queue not checked.

I just tried to RAM Preview 5 seconds of the comp. There are maybe 20 active layers in those 5 seconds, half of them control layers, the rest 3d text with a camera. No lights. No motion blur. It took 10 seconds to begin the RAM Preview. Once it started it was quick. With motion blur turned on, though, the RAM Preview didn't start 40+ seconds, and once it did, it was not quick.

This is not normal, right? Shouldn't I expect speed with this set up?

I used to work with a lady that could break computers just by being near them. I think I may have caught what she had. -s


Return to posts index

Walter SoykaRe: Expectations for AE and the New Mac Pro
by on Feb 18, 2014 at 6:36:52 pm

[Scott Reus] "Right, gotcha. Yes, Multiple-Frames checked, Only for Render Queue not checked. I just tried to RAM Preview 5 seconds of the comp. There are maybe 20 active layers in those 5 seconds, half of them control layers, the rest 3d text with a camera. No lights. No motion blur. It took 10 seconds to begin the RAM Preview. Once it started it was quick. With motion blur turned on, though, the RAM Preview didn't start 40+ seconds, and once it did, it was not quick."

Look at the Info panel. It probably says "Initializing Background Processes. This may take some time."

If you uncheck "Only for Render Queue" in preferences, your RAM previews will start processing almost immediately, but Ae will not use multiprocessing to accelerate them once they begin. It is a tradeoff.

Motion blur is a render hog.

Although your nMP is significantly faster than your 2008 MP, Ae is still not a real-time application. Even on brand-new and very powerful machines, the Improve performance page [link] is still relevant.

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


Return to posts index

EricBowenRe: Expectations for AE and the New Mac Pro
by on Feb 18, 2014 at 8:46:02 pm
Last Edited By EricBowen on Feb 18, 2014 at 8:47:09 pm

Move the comp to your OS drive and check the ram Preview again just as a test to see how long the indexing takes. Input commands like interface options and keyframes are single threaded only. Those according to Adobe cannot be predicted well enough to program for efficient threading. That means you can quickly queue out the CPU interrupts on 1 core with those. I suspect that is what your scripts are doing if you have allot going at once. Also I normally don't leave any CPU's left for background processing with other applications and don't see that behavior. However Windows gives you the ability to give background processes priority as a global setting which probably alleviates that. Unfortunately the nMpro's are not ideal for AE because those 2 GPU modules don't help at all. Really a PC is better for AE at this point since you can get 2 CPU's instead. Your render times are not really that bad for AE with that many layers.

Eric-ADK
Tech Manager
support@adkvideoediting.com


Return to posts index


Erik LindahlRe: Expectations for AE and the New Mac Pro
by on Feb 18, 2014 at 8:52:26 pm

The issue with AE is a lot of stuff scales poorly or misbehaves with multi-instance rending. I'm not sure a massive 24 core machine is the solution in AE's current state.

Where Adobe to magically solve this I'd agree. But currently… Not so sure. Some projects scale perfectly, others not very well at all. And this wouldn't solve AE's sometimes horrible GUI-performance.

AMD vs nVidia cards is more a non-issue unless you're talking raytracing but that's a very small part of most AE users usage I'd imagine and won't fix anything for the OP sadly.

With this said I can say AE CC 12.2 feels a lot more "rapid" on a fairly maxed out 2012 iMac vs a 2008 MacPro probably due to much faster single-thread performance. I'd imagine a 2013 MacPro feels roughly like this iMac (perhaps the 12-core doesn't as it's got a somewhat lower speed, the others should scale quite well in single-thread).


Return to posts index

Todd KoprivaRe: Expectations for AE and the New Mac Pro
by on Feb 18, 2014 at 10:32:25 pm

See my response to your related questions here:
http://forums.adobe.com/message/6133701#6133701

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


Return to posts index

Gates BradleyRe: Expectations for AE and the New Mac Pro
by on Mar 31, 2014 at 8:00:14 pm

Also, you said that you have 116 pre-comps? That is your issue, right there, I suspect.

It's not apples to apples, but I recently worked on a 4K AE project using a completely tricked out PC made by AMD themselves (it was a commercial for their products). 3 GPUs crossfired, their beefiest processors, and 24 GB of RAM, with everything firing on SSDs. I had about 96 layers, I think, in my timeline, and I was getting massively slow RAM previews, whereas my colleague was working on the same project (albeit with a different AE project file) with a 2012 MBP and was having much better results than I.

It seems AE really doesn't like you to go over a certain amount of layers. Not sure why, exactly, and I'm not sure where the cutoff is, but once I pre-rendered a handful of layers my results improved dramatically.

I know this isn't a total fix for you, but hopefully it sheds some light on the situation.


Return to posts index


Erik LindahlRe: Expectations for AE and the New Mac Pro
by on Mar 31, 2014 at 8:22:33 pm

One major problem is AE. As I understand it the entire app runs in basically one thread, so a complex multi-layer, multi-comp project will at some point overwhelm the computer. I've seen this far to many times lately. Actually rendering out will be vasty faster than ram-previewing - I think - due to the app doesn't have to concider GUI-redraws and user interaction calls to the same degree.

Not a fix but an explanation. I do hear Adobe is focusing a lot of performance right now. Maybe NAB will bring something?


Return to posts index

Scott ReusRe: Expectations for AE and the New Mac Pro
by on Apr 1, 2014 at 11:27:01 am

It was definitely the amount of pre-comps that was killing it. I just went back and checked, and there were over 300 layers. I always thought that only the layers being displayed demanded the horsepower- and so the amount of other layers wouldn't matter- but that's apparently not the case. I've completed several other smaller jobs and they were all pretty zippy, and definitely faster than my 2008 MacPro. :)

Pre-rendering definitely helps. And the multiprocessing settings that Walter recommend made a big difference, too.

I actually received an email directly from an Adobe rep after my similar post on the We Want A New Mac Pro FB page. Lou Borella, the site's owner, was able to hook that up for me. He mentioned as well that they will be focussing on performance in the upcoming year, and said, specifically, they were looking to separate the render thread from the UI thread, which is great. I look forward to that update alone.

Thanks again, everyone, for your responses.


Return to posts index

Mark LinthicumRe: Expectations for AE and the New Mac Pro
by on Apr 28, 2014 at 1:45:57 am

AE is very inefficient! A clunky piece of crap you might say.

try cloning a clip in the same location for 12 frames using -1 frame for the source, you will see how pathetic it is. Adobe has been focused on features for the last few years, ignoring performance! Very frustrating especially on the MAC. Lets hope the New Mac Pro changes this, primer seems to be making headway, now how about AE Adobe?

Thanks, Mark


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]