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John NelsonAE4 settings
by on Jul 23, 2015 at 6:12:49 pm

I’ve been working on a four minute piece all week. It’s divided into comp segments with 3D, shadows, cameras, lights, blurs, audio and a few others I can’t remember at the moment. Before nesting the comps into a final piece I rendered them to see if all was well. The three major comp segments, each is one minute or slightly more, took nearly an hour to render (each). At the time of render only itunes was running. At this writing, the final comp rendering indicates total time will be five hours or more.

And, since it is currently running, I can’t provide all the setting preferences (I should have done that beforehand). The output is to be mpeg4.

My mac pro came with eight cores and has thirty six gigs of ram. The graphics card is ATI Radeon HD 5770. I also use Apple’s twenty three inch cinema displays, if that maybe a factor.

Without the settings information (will provide that in an update) available is there any way of suggesting what they ‘might be’? I notice on the bottom of the rendering screen it is using eleven percent + or - of three gigs of ram. I would think it should be much more. But that’s why I’m here asking questions to those with a greater understanding of rendering. I tried yesterday to read the manual on settings for ram and rendering until my eyes glazed over.

As always, Thanks for your suggestions.

http://www.o_m_productions@yahoo.com


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Richard HerdRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 23, 2015 at 9:45:42 pm

Turn on activity monitor and look at the network tab. Select the Data option, at the bottom, in the middle. Then Window > CPU History; CPU Usage.

In After Effects > Preferences > Memory & Multiprocessing (What are your settings there?)

AE > Preferences > Media & Disk Cache (What are your settings there?)


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John NelsonRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 23, 2015 at 11:54:22 pm

Hi Richard,

It's late here on the island so I will check the stats and report back tomorrow.

Thank you very much for your quick reply.

John

http://www.o_m_productions@yahoo.com


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John NelsonRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 24, 2015 at 10:39:03 am

Here are the screen grabs. Thanks.







http://www.o_m_productions@yahoo.com


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Kevin CampRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 24, 2015 at 6:40:39 pm

looking at your screen shots, either you have an effect of an expression that is disabling 'render multiple frames simultaneously', or your settings are preventing it from working well.

if you can see the 'info' panel in ae when you start a render, it will tell you if rmfs is turned off for some reason (effects or expression) when you start a render. if it does say that, then you might try disabling refs in the preferences (though i don't know if that would help).

your rmfs settings look pretty good, though i think you should set the cpus reserved for other apps to 8 (i'm assuming you have only 8 physical cores, with 8 more being logical/hyperthreaded cores). that may allow you to assign more ram to each core, though cs4 may be limited to 2gb per core. also, ae will still use as many cores as it can for multi-threaded process so you'll typically see the logical cores get used quite a bit, so don't think you are losing out on performance.

i'd also try quitting all other open apps to leave as much ram as possible for ae.

Kevin Camp
Art Director
KCPQ, KZJO & KRCW


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John NelsonRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 24, 2015 at 7:36:33 pm

Thanks again. Not sure what 'info' panel, other than the render panel itself, to open. If cpu's are at 4, upping it to 8 won't make it slower? Sorry. It makes me crazy trying to figure this out. Also, on the cache screen, is 3000 enough to leave for other apps? And I am able to set the per core use to 2.09. But I haven't re-rendered yet.

http://www.o_m_productions@yahoo.com


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Kevin CampRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 24, 2015 at 8:15:21 pm

the info panel is usually in the upper-right corner of the ae workspace, but it might be behind another tab (like audio). when you first start a render it can often display what ae is doing... with rmfs it will usually say 'saving project' as it saves an instance of the project to load into available cpus, or it might say that rmfs was disabled due to some reason.

as for the cpus to leave for other apps, i think you have a mac that is similar to mine (Mac Pro 4.1, early 2009 -- you can check 'about this mac' to see). these machines have 8 physical cores, apple often referred to them as dual quad-core. with hyper threading it looks like 16 cores. one of the general rules-of-thumb for setting up rmfs is to tell ae to use only the physical cores. also, due to some overhead in managing all those cores, you won't see much of any performance gain past 10 cores anyway.

and like i said, ae will still use the other cores for any process that are natively multi-threaded, and not reliant on rmfs (which is quite a bit even in cs4), so you're not really losing performance and could actually gain performance due to having more ram for the other cpus.

as for the disk cache, i think you're fine. i typically leave disk caching off... adobe says that after effects will only cache frames that take longer to render than to cache, but it's been my experience that with standard/mechanical/spinning (how about non-ssd) drives, that disk caching often slows things down, though i don't think it's a major contributor to your problem.

if rendering with rmfs is still slow, you might try disabling it and see if that helps. as i said before, many process are already multithreaded, so it may help to have more ram available for caching.

Kevin Camp
Art Director
KCPQ, KZJO & KRCW


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Richard HerdRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 24, 2015 at 8:42:01 pm

[Kevin Camp] "that disk caching often slows things down"

Unless it is Dynamic Link. In that case, Cache Work Area in Background and PP will use those frames too. Very speedy!

EDIT: iff pp and ae are set to the same cache folder, and even more speed is gained if the folder is not the media drive, not the system drive, like a thunderbolt SSD.


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Kevin CampRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 24, 2015 at 10:53:28 pm

this is the old disk caching setup (cs4), where when ae runs out of ram, it starts caching data stored in ram to disk. and with spinning hard disks, i've found it often slows things down... and this may be when it combines with the system also caching to disk.

the new media caching/background rendering is very useful.

Kevin Camp
Art Director
KCPQ, KZJO & KRCW


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Richard HerdRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 27, 2015 at 10:10:00 pm

[Kevin Camp] "when ae runs out of ram"

But really, we will all 99% of the time run out of ram. It's after effects and we have masks, effects, transforms, camera layers, lights...the whole thing. In order to not run out of ram, we'd need quite the computer.


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John NelsonRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 27, 2015 at 11:39:30 pm

Thanks again Richard,

Somehow I felt 36 gigs of ram would satisfy ae's hunger. So why does it only show it's using 12% of 3 gigs in the render screen?

Just finished the 4 minute piece, after another 5 hour render at medium quality. The first 5 hour render was at best quality. I'm confused. But then, I stay that way most of the time now… Your thoughts...

https://vimeo.com/134630269

http://www.o_m_productions@yahoo.com


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John NelsonRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 27, 2015 at 11:51:19 pm

Kevin,

Here's a link to the 4 minute piece: https://vimeo.com/134630269

Maybe after your review you have some suggestions on how to cut down the 5 hour render??

Thanks again

http://www.o_m_productions@yahoo.com


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John NelsonRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 25, 2015 at 12:01:34 am

Thanks Richard.

How do I determine if mine is dynamic linked? And what, if you will excuse my ignorance of acronyms, does PP mean?

Thanks again.

http://www.o_m_productions@yahoo.com


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Richard HerdRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 27, 2015 at 10:06:28 pm

[John Nelson] "How do I determine if mine is dynamic linked? And what, if you will excuse my ignorance of acronyms, does PP mean?"

The media in the project pane looks like this:



PP = Premiere Pro


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John NelsonRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 25, 2015 at 12:04:47 am

Thanks Kevin,

My mac pro is circa mid-2010. It's been great so far. Just thought I could get faster renderings with all that ram and cores.

You all have been very informative. Thanks.

http://www.o_m_productions@yahoo.com


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Dave LaRondeRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 24, 2015 at 1:16:02 am

I'm kind of puzzled about the AE version you're running. You say there's a "4" in it, but there's AE version 4... which is darned near 20 years old, there's AE CS 4, which is a 32-bit version from late in the first decade of this century, and there's AE CC 201"4".

I'll assume it's not the first one. That would be downright silly.

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


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John NelsonRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 24, 2015 at 1:20:40 am

Hi Dave,

My mistake. I am using CS4. I use this with Snow Leopard. Sorry for the omission.

http://www.o_m_productions@yahoo.com


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Dave LaRondeRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 24, 2015 at 1:34:35 am

CS4.... hmmm.... I seem to recall it had the "render multiple frames simultaneously" feature, which would open another instance (or instances) of AE on 64-bit systems. You MIGHT be able to use use about 4 processor cores, each rendering a different frame at the same time. Have you fooled around with it?

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


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John NelsonRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 27, 2015 at 11:47:54 pm

Hi again Dave,

Here's a link to the 4 minute, 5 hour render. Any thoughts on why it took so long? Granted, lots of effects, .psd's, mpeg 4's but with all those cores (8) and 36 gigs ram I thought a 4 minute piece would be a walk in the park for it. Here's the link. Feedback please?

https://vimeo.com/134630269

http://www.o_m_productions@yahoo.com


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Dave LaRondeRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 28, 2015 at 12:08:03 am

Ooooohhhh, you said the magic word -- mp4.

AE CS 4 does NOT like mp4's in any way, shape or form. Try transcoding the mp4's in a project to something like QT's inProRes 422, Photo JPEG, PNG or Animation codecs... in that order of preference.

See if things speed up.

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


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John NelsonRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 28, 2015 at 12:19:14 am

Thanks Dave,

And to think I THOUGHT it would be 'more better' to use that format. First render at 'best' was 1.7 gigs. Second render at less than medium was 345 mb so I could upload to vimeo…

I'll do as you suggest and report back…

Muchas Gracias Senor!

http://www.o_m_productions@yahoo.com


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Dave LaRondeRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 28, 2015 at 3:02:45 pm

Now mind you, I'm talking about the footage you IMPORT into AE --it shouldn't be mp4.

But it also takes AE more time to render out an mp4 file, too. It's always a good idea to render out a highest-quality-possible file for archival purposes. Then you can transcode it to other media containers and codes for other purposes, with minimal loss of image quality.

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


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John NelsonRe: AE4 settings
by on Jul 28, 2015 at 6:32:44 pm

Okay. I just tightened the whole thing down by half and have started the render using animation as the codec. All of the graphics, with the exception of the opening, are psd's. ALL of the footage were originally mov's that I turned into mp4's, thinking that would make for a smaller file and thus, faster rendering...

Heaven only knows how long this render will take! But it better not run into happy hour!

Thanks again. :}

http://www.o_m_productions@yahoo.com


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