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CC 2014 RAM Previews take too long to Start processing

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Alex Zvyk
CC 2014 RAM Previews take too long to Start processing
on Dec 29, 2014 at 5:55:45 pm

CC 2014 RAM Previews: On my old AE CS5 (this same exact PC system), once I hit the RAM preview button, I could see the things moving (green dots over the footage) almost immediately.

In my new CC 2014 however, RAM Preview takes its sweet time before even the first dot starts moving (but after that, it processes with reasonable speed.)

So there's a delay of, I observe, about 10-15 seconds between the time I'm clicking on RAM Preview button, and the time AE CC 2014 seemingly starts crunching the numbers.

Why was CS5 faster?

Since I think I have exact same settings in CS5 vs CC 2014, it is strange to experience such long delay.

In all other aspects, CC 2014 seems actually livelier than CS5, but not with RAM Previews. What am I doing wrong?


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Todd Kopriva
Re: CC 2014 RAM Previews take too long to Start processing
on Dec 29, 2014 at 6:00:44 pm

Show a screenshot of your Memory & Multiprocessing preferences.

What operating system?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects product manager and curmudgeon
After Effects team blog
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Alex Zvyk
Re: CC 2014 RAM Previews take too long to Start processing
on Dec 29, 2014 at 6:33:49 pm

OS: Win 7 x64, CPU i7 970 @ 3.2GHz, Memory: 24GB, GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470

AE CC 2014 settings:



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Todd Kopriva
Re: CC 2014 RAM Previews take too long to Start processing
on Dec 29, 2014 at 6:38:53 pm

What happens if you mute audio in the Preview panel? (This question is getting at a possible problem in how audio is cached first before the video RAM preview begins.)

Does this occur with all compositions or just with compositions using expressions? (This question is getting at a possible problem in how expressions are pre-calculated when building a RAM preview.)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects product manager and curmudgeon
After Effects team blog
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Alex Zvyk
Re: CC 2014 RAM Previews take too long to Start processing
on Dec 29, 2014 at 7:11:07 pm

Wow. It absolutely was audio. Audio Muted, the CC 2014's RAM Previews now start as fast as CS5's (alas that old one did not seem to care about audio caching, but whatever works!)

About the settings I posted (please see snapshot in the previous post). Is it beneficial to have Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously checked for RAM Preview or not? (right now I have it only for Render Queue, which again I'm not sure is it a good idea or not... some say it actually may introduce problems or even be slower than linear frame-by-frame processing - what do you think?)


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Todd Kopriva
Re: CC 2014 RAM Previews take too long to Start processing
on Dec 29, 2014 at 7:25:31 pm

> Is it beneficial to have Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously checked for RAM Preview or not?


The reason that it's an option is that there is no right answer for all circumstances.

Try it on. Try it off. Use what works best for you under a given set of circumstances.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects product manager and curmudgeon
After Effects team blog
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Ian Mapleson
Re: CC 2014 RAM Previews take too long to Start processing
on Dec 30, 2014 at 11:16:51 am

Looking at the settings, I have a followup question: I'd read that it's normally
best to leave at least a couple of cores/threads reserved for other applications,
but Alex has that set to zero. What effect might this have in practice, ie. with
reserved CPUs = 0? Also, I see at the bottom it states the actual no. of CPUs
which will be used is thre - how is this number derived? I'd have thought with an
i7 970 it would still work ok with 4 or even 5 cores, leaving 1 for other tasks.

Or are these both akin to the RAM Preview checkbox, ie. the best settings varies
between scenes, etc.?

Ian.

--------
SGI Guru


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Dave LaRonde
Re: CC 2014 RAM Previews take too long to Start processing
on Dec 31, 2014 at 7:38:49 pm

It's bad practice to leave zero memory for other applications. Better to leave one-fourth of memory for other applications.

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


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Walter Soyka
Re: CC 2014 RAM Previews take too long to Start processing
on Dec 31, 2014 at 7:55:30 pm

[Ian Mapleson] "What effect might this have in practice, ie. with
reserved CPUs = 0?"


If you have enough RAM to feed all those CPUs, it can lead to overscheduled processors [link], which in turn leads to slower renders. In this case, you'd actually get faster renders by leaving a little capacity unused than you would by overusing what capacity you have.

Horrible car analogy: it's like stomping on the gas pedal when your car is stuck in the mud. The wheels are spinning, but the car's not going anywhere.

Remember, the goal is the fastest render (getting out of the mud quicker), not highest resource utilization (engine RPMs).


[Ian Mapleson] "I see at the bottom it states the actual no. of CPUs which will be used is thre - how is this number derived? I'd have thought with an i7 970 it would still work ok with 4 or even 5 cores, leaving 1 for other tasks."

This depends on your available RAM and minimum RAM allocation. To use 4 cores with a minimum allocation of 4 GB per background CPU, you need at least 16 GB of RAM available to Ae.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Alex Zvyk
Re: CC 2014 RAM Previews take too long to Start processing
on Dec 31, 2014 at 9:42:51 pm

Hey Walter, you wrote:

>>To use 4 cores with a minimum allocation of 4 GB per background CPU, you need at least 16 GB of RAM available to Ae.

So in my screen cap above there's 18GB available to AE, and 4GB allocated per CPU - shouldn't it then utilize 4 cores?

Yet it still says 3....


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Walter Soyka
Re: CC 2014 RAM Previews take too long to Start processing
on Jan 1, 2015 at 3:30:25 am

[Alex Zvyk] "So in my screen cap above there's 18GB available to AE, and 4GB allocated per CPU - shouldn't it then utilize 4 cores? Yet it still says 3...."

Not if that 18GB of RAM wasn't available to Ae when it started multiprocessing.

These RAM preferences control how much RAM Ae will ask for. They do not guarantee that RAM for Ae because they do not control RAM usage of the OS and other applications.

If you close Ae, quit all your open apps, and then relaunch Ae once everything else has shut down, you may have enough free RAM to get that fourth core going.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Alex Zvyk
Re: CC 2014 RAM Previews take too long to Start processing
on Jan 1, 2015 at 3:41:57 am

Thanks Walter, this is very helpful.

Happy New Year!


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Alex Zvyk
Re: CC 2014 RAM Previews take too long to Start processing
on Jan 2, 2015 at 5:25:39 am

Hey Walter, me again. Discovered Details button, which shows what current memory usage is, and looks like it is less than 1GB out of 24GB total.

AE is allowed to have 17.99GB according to Details tab.

With 4GB allocated per core, 4 cores should have taken 16GB, which is convincingly less than the 17.99GB allowed.

And yet, AE still reports only 3 cores used.

Sorry being anal, just would like to understand how this works. Right now looks like it still does not add up.



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Walter Soyka
Re: CC 2014 RAM Previews take too long to Start processing
on Jan 2, 2015 at 12:00:07 pm

The Details window elaborates on Ae's memory usage. It does not tell you anything about how much RAM the OS and other applications are using.

You have told Ae that it, together with Pr/Pl/AME/Sg/Ps, can use up to 18 GB of your total 24 GB of system RAM, and that it must allocate at least 4 GB per background process.

However, if other running applications have consumed more than 6 GB, there will not be 18 GB available to Ae. If you are using, say, 9 GB of RAM outside of Ae, then there will only be 15 GB of RAM left for Ae to take, which is enough for 3 background processes at 4 GB each, but not 4.

Additionally, I think (but am not positive) that Ae has some internal requirement for how fragmented the memory can be. If the memory is available, but in lots of small chunks instead of fewer bigger chunks, Ae may not be able to use it.

So how to get that fourth process running?

1) Get more system RAM (unless you've maxed out the motherboard)

2) Free up more RAM. Reboot, leave other applications closed, launch Ae.

3) Lower the RAM allocation per background CPU. Maybe you can get by with 3 GB per CPU instead of 4. You can also tweak what values are shown in the pulldown by editing the preference file -- just search for "Allocation Per Background Process" and you'll see the list of six presets -- so you could make this 3.5 GB or 3.75 GB if you wanted to.

On this last point, just note that some renders are more memory-intensive than they are CPU-intensive. In those cases, the best use of limited resources may be fewer CPUs running with more RAM. There is no one "correct" setting here.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Ian Mapleson
Re: CC 2014 RAM Previews take too long to Start processing
on Jan 2, 2015 at 1:12:45 pm

My main thought on this is that, with modern sw techniques now available, it really
ought to be possible to code the app so that it can learn by itself what the optimal
settings are as one's work progresses, in all sorts of ways.

For largely non-technical users (ie. those who cannot be expected to understand how
much RAM a particular scene might require to render), the most appropriate question
is likely to be, what are the generally overall best settings, and what are the
plus/minus consequences of deviating from these?

Really though, the app itself ought to be able to learn & adapt; the parameters that
controlled this process could be adjustable, but expecting every user to hard fix
these settings isn't realistic now, the whole process is too complicated and technical
IMO (eg. re your comment about fragmented memory).

Ian.

--------
SGI Guru


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Walter Soyka
Re: CC 2014 RAM Previews take too long to Start processing
on Jan 2, 2015 at 2:04:47 pm

Ian, I absolutely agree with you on all that. The way multiprocessing works is certainly naive, and not at all user-friendly. I don't love it (or even really like it), but it's what we have, so I'm trying to make the best use of it that I can, and help others do the same.

There's still tons of room for improvement, but looking at Ae's development over the last five years or so, I think Adobe has done some encouraging work on performance (64-bit, cache, background rendering, background analysis). About a year ago, then-product manager Steve Forde started a conversation with the community about performance [link] and got a lot of feedback, so the team is certainly aware of the continuing need for improvement here.

As always, I'd encourage you to share your feedback directly with the Ae team via feature requests [link]. The more specific you are about how you're working and how you'd like to work, the better. Every single one is read, logged, and tracked. It's a big ship and it turns a little slowly, but I do think the Ae team is very user-focused right now. Bug reports and feature requests are the best tool we have for influencing Ae's development.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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