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Suddenly slow render times - How to troubleshoot?

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Shawn McGrath
Suddenly slow render times - How to troubleshoot?
on Sep 17, 2010 at 4:44:26 pm

I’m just getting started with AE and having a blast. I’ve recently had something strange occur and I’m wondering about the steps I should go through to troubleshoot it.

Machine specs:
Windows 7 64-bit
I7 950 processor
Adobe After Effects CS5 (
(2) nVidia GTX 275

Symptom: Very slow rendering times of a comp I’ve been working on. Comp length is 23 seconds. It has 6 Particular 2.1 layers but only limited particles per layer (like 300). When I rendered all 23 seconds yesterday morning, it took 32 minutes. I turned my computer off last night and when I attempt to render again this morning it’s extremely slow and the estimate is 9 hours.
I haven’t touched any multiprocessor or OpenGL settings.

On Wednesday (the day before my 32 minute render), I updated both Adobe AE and my nVidia drivers. Prior to this, I was receiving a bunch of OpenGL errors when editing this comp. It crashed several times on Tuesday night. After I updated AE and my video card drivers, the crashing has stopped.

Could something be corrupt with my comp? How do I troubleshoot this?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Suddenly slow render times - How to troubleshoot?
on Sep 17, 2010 at 5:38:27 pm

First thing: turn off Open GL for rendering and LEAVE IT OFF. You gain almost nothing by rendering using Open GL acceleration in AE, and you stand to lose a lot by leaving it on.

Then, make sure you leave a couple of processors and a couple gigs of memory for other applications.

Keep in mind that as a 64-bit application, AE 10 can use all the memory on your machine, no matter how much you've got... and 12 GB isn't exactly a world-record amount of RAM.

YOU have to tell AE to cool its jets.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Shawn McGrath
Re: Suddenly slow render times - How to troubleshoot?
on Sep 18, 2010 at 3:39:17 am

Thanks for your suggestions. Great advice. I'll look into bumping up my RAM to 24GB.

After doing some more playing around, I went back to an earlier version of my comp and added the same effects that existed in my final version. What is strange is that this new version will now render in about 30 minutes (instead of the 9 hours). This leads me to believe that something is corrupted in my file.

Is this 'normal' for AEP files to become corrupted like this? If so, what techniques can be used to uncorrupted them?


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David Johnson
Re: Suddenly slow render times - How to troubleshoot?
on Sep 18, 2010 at 6:07:36 pm

Maybe the project is in fact corrupt, but it may also be that there's something different between the original project and the new one ... most likely within the first few things that you did right before the problem arose (effect stacking order, project settings, etc.).

AE projects rarely become corrupted and, when one does, I'm not aware of a way to "un-corrupt" it, but importing a problem AE project into a new AE project can sometimes avoid total loss of work.

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