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H.264 Renders really REALLY slow.

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Simon Roughan
H.264 Renders really REALLY slow.
on Mar 12, 2014 at 2:08:04 pm

Hello All,
Ive been having to render more and more stuff out as HD H.264, and the render times are atrocious.
Ive given up on trying to get it to render straight out of AE, as it always crashes when making a Quicktime H.264. So now I'm trying to export to media encoder, and do it there.
A three and a half minute film is showing me it will take 54 hours.
The comp is not particularly complex, a couple of pre-comps with jpegs and videos, a ray traced comp so I can curve a pre-comp, HD 720p .mp4 material is also in there...
Has anyone an idea whats up with this`?
My machine specs...
Adobe CC, updated.
HP Z820 workstation, Dual Xeon E5 processors-32 threads, 64 gigs RAM,
Nvidia Maximus setup (Quadro 6000 and a Tesla C-2075)
I think I have enough under the hood that this job shouldn't be a problem.
Any help appreciated.

You know I'm born to lose, and gambling is for fools, but that's the way I like it, baby. I don't want to live forever!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: H.264 Renders really REALLY slow.
on Mar 12, 2014 at 4:25:36 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Mar 12, 2014 at 5:10:03 pm

Three things stand out to me that are slowing you down:
  • Mp4 footage in comps: AE has to look backward & forward in time to reconstruct the current video frame. Using that kind of footage is a time-waster.
  • Ray tracing: this is the worst offender of the lot. Even under the best of circumstances, ray tracing takes a long, long time.
  • Rendering to h.264: it's not the speediest way to render, and AE doesn't even do a good job of it. But from a time standpoint, it's the least of your worries. If your third-party cards aren't capable of meeting AE requirements for Cuda-accelerated ray tracing, or a driver isn't right, or it isn't selected in AE, ray traced renders will be glacially slow.


Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: H.264 Renders really REALLY slow.
on Mar 13, 2014 at 1:07:00 am

I'm not 100% certain but AME doesn't take advantage of GPU processing when a ray-tracing comp is rendered in AE.

Additionally, rendering out H264 via AME, from an AE comp will require AME to first render, internally, an uncompressed version of the comp and then using this file to render a H264 version. IOW, there is no direct route from AE to H264, via AME.

You should render out a high-quality movie from directly AE. Then use the resultant movie, in AME, to render to H264.


HTH
RoRK
Latest AE Workshop - MoGraph Intensity - Shapes & Text

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects CS6 ACE/ACI


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Simon Roughan
Re: H.264 Renders really REALLY slow.
on Mar 13, 2014 at 9:41:52 am

Thanks heaps for the tips guys, I will play around a bit now with the comps..
mfg
Simon

You know I'm born to lose, and gambling is for fools, but that's the way I like it, baby. I don't want to live forever!


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Simon Roughan
Re: H.264 Renders really REALLY slow.
on Mar 13, 2014 at 4:16:43 pm

HI Guys, I hope you see this Post!
Just one more quick question.
Are you saying the best workflow that you know to get HD out of After Effects is first to render the film as Upper Field First, and a Lossless Quicktime, say Animation Codec? Then taking that Quicktime into AME and making deliverables that way?
Thanks for your time
mfg
Simon

You know I'm born to lose, and gambling is for fools, but that's the way I like it, baby. I don't want to live forever!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: H.264 Renders really REALLY slow.
on Mar 13, 2014 at 6:10:09 pm

Upper field first? It depends on the what you're delivering. 1920x1080? Yes. 1280x720? Absolutely not: 720 isn't interlaced.

And depending on your setup, Animation may not be the #1 choice. ProRes 422 or HQ might be better... as might DNxHD at highest quality.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Simon Roughan
Re: H.264 Renders really REALLY slow.
on Mar 14, 2014 at 8:44:00 am
Last Edited By Simon Roughan on Mar 14, 2014 at 8:51:40 am

Hi Dave,
I left this thing overnight to render, got in this morning to find this message:

This is the main reason I have trouble with rendering HD in AE, and end up having to export sequence to AME.
AE always has these strange crashes halfway through. It had already rendered for 46 mins and had made a 3.5 gig file before it broke down with this strange "output module failed" message. Oh well....
I will re-render now with a tiff sequence, then import it into AE and then try to render a Quicktime.

On Edit:
I can render SD Quicktimes without a problem.

You know I'm born to lose, and gambling is for fools, but that's the way I like it, baby. I don't want to live forever!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: H.264 Renders really REALLY slow.
on Mar 14, 2014 at 3:57:48 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Mar 14, 2014 at 3:58:45 pm

You may be bumping into the 4 gig file size limit inherent in FAT32 disk formatting. You need to check the disk to which you're rendering, and if necessary, re-format the disk. What's the formatting called? HTFS? NDFS? Something like that.

Obviously, you'll have to archive any files you want to keep if you have to re-format.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Simon Roughan
Re: H.264 Renders really REALLY slow.
on Mar 14, 2014 at 4:28:30 pm

No, the drive is NDFS. The size is not the problem, its the codec. Somehow, Animation doesnt want to play the game. I tried with the Black magic 10 bit codec, and with the YUV 4:2:2 and they both worked. But when I try with Animation, it always breaks down. Well at least now I know.
Thanks again for the time you take to answer.
mfg
Simon.

You know I'm born to lose, and gambling is for fools, but that's the way I like it, baby. I don't want to live forever!


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