After Effects setup
I am new to AE I started messing around with incorporating 3d text in to footage (Fringe like), and after playing around with some of the basic settings (disabling OpenGl, going into the Secret preference changing the purge setting, latest was with multithreading).
However after some tweaks 12sec of footage is taking 20hrs to render (at least it doesn't freeze like it did at first.
I would appreciate pointers also I was thinking of using a separate (from the OS) SSD for keeping the footage and rendering only.
A 20-hour render for 12 secs means something is definitely wrong unless that 12 secs includes hundreds of layers of HD footage with many complex effects, masks, 3D layers, lights, cameras, time-remaps, etc. and you're trying to render that on an Amiga from the 1980s.
The point is that you didn't give any of the info that would allow someone to get an idea of where the problem may be. For example, system specs, project settings, source footage type, etc.
That said, keep in mind there's a reason the Sechret Settings are secret. And, yes, it's always a good idea to have separate drives for sources and renders, neither of which should be the system drive.
System specs are
Windows 7 professional 64bit
i7 M620 @2.67Ghz up to 3.37Ghz
Nvidia GeForce gt 425M
And I have the Intel integrated graphics which are off for AF
Essentially the footage is 13.7Mb of 12sec clipping in AVCHD Video (.m2ts)
Of which I create a movement tracking point of real perspective (position &rotation are checked) which I link with a 3d Text created in Photoshop CS5 extended (with the repousse feature), once imported and selected it reveal three items of which two I copy along side of footage (not the camera) and link up with the Null object that had the tracking info. At this stage moving the 3d object is next to impossible it's taking forever to do anything I manually have to change the position and now the render process tells me 21hrs. Which I'm actually going thru because I'm interested in the outcome. By the way the Af in beginning uses 74% of RAM and 34% of CPU now after 5hrs same CPU but RAM is at 35% and I'm doing other things on this machine since it does not effect the render process at all.
The original RAM settings were leaving 1.5GB for other apps I did change that to 2GB turned off OpenGl and as mentioned before the secret settings the only plus is that it's not freezing anymore (that is what I got from the Adobe forum).
bringing a ps 3d file into ae will definitely hurt performance... it would seem that ae is not well designed to render 3d models, which is probably why they haven't incorporated a similar ability to create 3d mesh directly in ae -- actually it's the only reason i can think of, it seems absurd that you would need to create 3d mesh in ps to animate in ae.. [rant over].
however, if you are only seeing 35% cpu activity, my guess is that there are some setting issues. todd kopriva had posted what i might call recommended starting point settings for multiprocessing & memory for cs5. you might want to take a look at that:
i have found that leaving more ram for other apps (namely the system) and that lowering the minimum ram per cpu can help increase performance for many comps. i'm currently using todd's suggest ram for other apps value, which helps performance particularly on longer renders (it reduces the system resorting to ram disk/disk caching), but i found lower the minimum ram per cpu to around 1gb helped increase cpu levels for most comps. i'm not saying to use my settings, but just that these are my findings.
also, converting your avchd to lossless animation, or quicktime photo-jpeg should also help performance. avchd has a fair amount of decode processing overhead, and despite everything i hear about cs5 and codecs like avchd, mpeg-2, etc. i still avoid using them as intermediate codecs. note, that changing the codec should not have as profound of an impact as getting those cpu levels up to 80-90%, but it may help with that crashing issue that caused you to resort to force-purge frames.
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW
The system specs are Windows 7 proffesional 64bit, i7 620M @2.67Ghz up to 3.37Ghz 8Gb RAM with Nvidi GeForce Gt 425M
Essetialy I was using 13.7Mb 12sec clip of AVCHD Video (.m2ts)which had motion tracked and combined with a 3d text from photoshop CS5 extended (repousse feature)using the camera tool is next to impossible at this point changing possition only by manual settings not pointer. Rendering has been going for 11hrs and 5,19 sec are done. This is not the first attempt.