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AE / Mac Pro speed issue for Stop Motion Project with large images

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Stephen OngAE / Mac Pro speed issue for Stop Motion Project with large images
by on Jan 15, 2015 at 2:19:28 pm

Hi I'm new here but have been lurking around for a long time. Just been reading a few posts about machines for AE but looking for any suggestions as to what i might need to invest in.

Recently I've been working on a film that was stop motion and required 3,000 images of 20MB, jpegs were shot on a 5D at full res about 5000px wide, we used the big files to crop in on things which was needed throughout the film. Working on a Mac Pro this was fairly slow, we also would've preferred to use the RAW files for colouring afterwards, instead of re-saving out all the JPEGS, however using the RAW killed the Mac Pro...

Mac Pro
6 cores, 3.5ghz,
512GB SSD,
64GB RAM,
External Lacie SSD 256GB as media cache, connected via Thunderbolt, added it in preferences.

Photograph files are all stored on a regular Lacie rugged connected via Thunderbolt, the AE project file is also stored on this same Lacie.

I had preferences set up for multi-processing, keeping 16GB free for the remainder of the system and 6GB RAM for background processes per core.

I'm not an expert when it comes to settings so maybe I've messed this up on setting up,
We've been having to work at half-res and it takes about 5-10 minutes to render out the 1 minute sequence, the media cache seems to be working but only uses 20GB even though I have it set to 256GB, so when we hop to different parts of the project (even though they haven't changed) it appears un-cached and we have to render it again.

It's not great for when the director wants to review we can't scrub through and edit quickly, it's very time consuming.

Is it the settings I have?
Or maybe just the Mac Pros aren't cut out for animation? usually the Pro is used for 4k edits.
If so can anyone recommend a spec for a PC setup that might be able to handle future stop motion projects?

Thanks in advance!


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Chris WrightRe: AE / Mac Pro speed issue for Stop Motion Project with large images
by on Jan 15, 2015 at 4:25:30 pm
Last Edited By Chris Wright on Jan 15, 2015 at 6:55:12 pm

um,, the external usb only can read at 190mb/sec. That is very very slow. Next time you should use thunderbolt 2, m.2 ssd, raid, or little proxies then you could even work with RAW.


"As with the RAM cache, After Effects only uses the cache to store a frame if it’s faster to retrieve a frame from the cache than to rerender the frame."


adobe tips
http://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/using/improve-performance.html


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Stephen OngRe: AE / Mac Pro speed issue for Stop Motion Project with large images
by on Jan 15, 2015 at 4:56:28 pm

I'm not using an external USB anywhere, not sure where you read that.

I'm using an external HDD drive with a thunderbolt for the photos and an external SSD with thunderbolt for the media cache.


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Chris WrightRe: AE / Mac Pro speed issue for Stop Motion Project with large images
by on Jan 15, 2015 at 8:49:09 pm
Last Edited By Chris Wright on Jan 15, 2015 at 9:03:30 pm

sorry for the typo, i meant to say thunderbolt 2 is much faster than thunderbolt 1.

-The disk cache is not used for RAM previews.
Standard preview (commonly called spacebar play) plays video in the active Composition, Layer, or Footage panel from the current time. Standard preview does not play audio.

Standard previews play at a speed as close to the speed of real time as possible. However, for complex compositions, the speed of the preview may be much less than real-time speed.


"After Effects does not cache frames that require little time to render. Frames remain uncompressed in the image cache."
http://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/using/memory-storage.html#main-pars_he...

you also need to check your Maximum Disk Cache Size setting.
In After Effects CS6, the default disk cache size is set to 10% of the volume's total size, which 250gb at 10% = 25gb
is the exact size limit you are experiencing.

and maybe you have secret-purge every x frames turned on!


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Walter SoykaRe: AE / Mac Pro speed issue for Stop Motion Project with large images
by on Jan 15, 2015 at 5:09:53 pm

Outside of RAM preview, Ae is not designed for real-time anything. If you are reviewing editorial, you might want to work Pr into your workflow.

If you want to force a comp into the cache, you can use the Composition > Cache work area in background command. You might also consider setting "Disk cache" from "Read only" to "Current settings" in the render settings to allow Ae to write to the disk cache during renders, too.

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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Stephen OngRe: AE / Mac Pro speed issue for Stop Motion Project with large images
by on Jan 15, 2015 at 5:27:22 pm

Thanks Walter,

We aren't expecting real-time, just every time we head back to a previously cached sequence it seems to need to re-render completely, which takes around 5 minutes, even though it had already been cached (the blue) previously. I'm going to try the force caching you suggested, this is why i'm surprised the SSD has only used 25GB on the project, even though it's been set to use the full drive, thought maybe it could cache a whole project as it was, then re-cache frames when I shift individual frames around,

Cached areas will RAM preview in well under a minute, which is fine just annoying that these disappear after a while.

Would having the project on separate disk to the photos help? Maybe having all three on separate SSDs, we have a few SSDs available?

I guess the other solution is we charge more days next time for rendering downtime!


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Walter SoykaRe: AE / Mac Pro speed issue for Stop Motion Project with large images
by on Jan 15, 2015 at 5:46:15 pm

What else is on the disk with the cache? How much space is free? Do you have any caches from previous versions of After Effects?

Separating the project from the media won't make much difference, but separating them both from the cache is important.

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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Stephen OngRe: AE / Mac Pro speed issue for Stop Motion Project with large images
by on Jan 15, 2015 at 5:57:53 pm

100GB free, it does prompt me that there isn't enough space when I open up AE, but I think this is because it's eaten into some of the 256GB max I've set.
Would it just assume it shouldn't write to cache as there's tons of RAM but my multi-processing settings are set up incorrectly so it's taking a while?

I've been reading through the Adobe settings and am keeping aside around a quarter of my RAM for other things, then assigning the remaining RAM assigned across the background processes. Not going crazy and assigning everything to AE and starving the machine.


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