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Render time is EXTREMELY slow! What to do???

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Jake StevensRender time is EXTREMELY slow! What to do???
by on Aug 16, 2016 at 1:07:54 pm

I'm brand new to After Effects.

When rendering rendering times seems EXCESSivELY long to me.
For example, I render a 4 second clip (Full HD - 30fps - Quicktime H.264, 44.1k audio) and the render tales 12 minutes to complete.

Even if I reduce to output quality to 85% it does not help at all!

For me this seems to be ridiculous for A.E. to need 12 minutes to render 4 seconds of video. So I imagine if
i render a 15 minute clip it will take 2 - 3 days to render???

I'm hoping there are some very experienced After Effects exports out there who can help me set up A.E. so that render times are SIGNIFICANTLY reduced??? Or is this just the way it is and there's nothing I can do about this issue.

Thanks to all who reply!

iMac 27", i7, 4.0GHZ, 5K Retina, 32GB Ram, 512 SDD, 4TB Ext. HD, Final Cut Pro 10.2.3, After Effects CC v13.8.0.144 (2015.3 release)


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Daniel WaldronRe: Render time is EXTREMELY slow! What to do???
by on Aug 16, 2016 at 1:23:36 pm

What effects do you have in your composition?


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Jake StevensRe: Render time is EXTREMELY slow! What to do???
by on Aug 16, 2016 at 1:36:53 pm

I have not added any effects to the composition.

I simply opened a template that I bought from VideoHive and made a couple text edits, added (2) very short video click to (2) placeholders and then rendered.

That's all I've done.

iMac 27", i7, 4.0GHZ, 5K Retina, 32GB Ram, 512 SDD, 4TB Ext. HD, Final Cut Pro 10.2.3, After Effects CC v13.8.0.144 (2015.3 release)


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Dave LaRondeRe: Render time is EXTREMELY slow! What to do???
by on Aug 16, 2016 at 4:03:34 pm

There's no telling what's happening.

There's no way to tell what's in a template from Videohive, and you can't tell us because you're brand-new. You don't know what to look for, and we don't know how to tell you what to look for -- we would use standard AE terminology, and you wouldn't know what we meant. We talk two different languages at the moment.

So if you have a normal AE installation, and it's a typically complicated template from Videohive, the best we can say about the render time is, "Yeah, that could be about right."

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


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Dave LaRondeI'm going to show my ignorance here....
by on Aug 16, 2016 at 4:39:34 pm

In this thread, mention has been made of a template from "v*de*h*ve". When I used that word and posted, the word set off the COW's Bad Language filter.

I tried contacting the folks who run this site, but apparently it's almost impossible to do so since the redesign of a couple-three months ago. There's no obvious "Talk To The Cow Team" link I've been able to find.

So maybe you nice folks here can describe -- in clean terms -- what's wrong about using the word, "v*de*h*ve".

Maybe it's some new disparaging remark the kids are using these days. I plead ignorance.

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


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Daniel WaldronRe: I'm going to show my ignorance here....
by on Aug 16, 2016 at 4:41:50 pm

My only guess is they had trouble with spammers from V*deoH*ve trying to sell their stuff here?


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Dave LaRondeRe: I'm going to show my ignorance here....
by on Aug 16, 2016 at 5:08:54 pm

[Daniel Waldron] "My only guess is they had trouble with spammers from V*deoH*ve trying to sell their stuff here?"

Works for me. It's good to know it's not something blatantly crude that I wasn't aware of.

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


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Tero AhlforsRe: Render time is EXTREMELY slow! What to do???
by on Aug 16, 2016 at 4:17:02 pm

[Jake Stevens] "I simply opened a template that I bought from VideoHive"

And that could have bunch of 3D movement, cameras, depth of field, motion blur etc. that can and will make the render more time consuming. Can you point us to the Videohive page so we might see how it looks like?


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Daniel WaldronRe: Render time is EXTREMELY slow! What to do???
by on Aug 16, 2016 at 4:32:48 pm

I agree. It's probably a complex template that is very heavy on effects, blurs, etc that can really drive up the render time.


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Jon DoughtieRe: Render time is EXTREMELY slow! What to do???
by on Aug 22, 2016 at 1:53:06 pm

Gotta be careful with some of the templates out there. Not that there's anything wrong with them; I use templates plenty of times. But some of them are built with effects and features that can choke a computer.

I used a template for an open once. I really liked it. Was very happy with the finished work. It was 30 seconds and took overnight to render. About 15 hours. That's how it is sometimes with some templates.

System:
Dell Precision T7600 (x2)
Win 7 64-bit
32GB RAM
Adobe CC 2015.02 (as of 6/2016)
256GB SSD system drive
4 internal media drives RAID 5
Typically cutting short form from HD MP4 and P2 MXF.


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Spencer TweedRe: Render time is EXTREMELY slow! What to do???
by on Aug 22, 2016 at 11:05:11 pm

Hey man, long story short AE is surprisingly slow to render sometimes. However there is a way to basically 20x your render times, but it gets a bit complicated. Sounds like magic, but it isn't. Here's my really long answer, documented here in case anyone else can also benefit from it. First the theory, then the how-to:

History: AE's renderer was built back in the 90's I believe, and hasn't kept up with modern multi-core computing. Adobe knows this well and has been trying to fix it, but their first attempt (multi-processing) failed due to over-complexity, some finicky coding, but mainly just users not knowing how it works (admittedly it wasn't very clear and certainly wasn't easy to work with). That said they ax'd multi-processing in CC and decided to just do it right, and hence have been mid re-coding AE from the ground up for the last few years.

Theory: As previously mentioned, the renderer doesn't work with modern CPU's very well at all. The evidence of this will be clear for yourself shortly. What happens is that AE bottle-necks somewhere along the line while rendering and spends probably about 90% of your render time waiting for things to happen instead of actually computing - if you don't believe me then turn on your resource manager while you render and watch the spike every few seconds/minutes and the 2% idle in the meantime. So the way we can fix this and leverage all of our expensive 2016 computing power is by rendering multiple INSTANCES of After Effects at the same time - on the theory that while one instance of AE is sitting there waiting for that bottle-neck another one can jump in and start computing. It works shockingly well and is loosely documented here: http://cgi.tutsplus.com/tutorials/significantly-speed-up-your-renders-from-...

The technique: Personally I use Thinkbox's Deadline to render on 3 machines, and I've never had a render take more than 40 minutes (that was for a 2600 frame shot btw. 90% of my renders take between 2-10 minutes). I'm guessing you don't have an easy way of setting up Deadline though it is free for 2 nodes, so I'll just skip that and move to the at-home free method. Luckily you're on a Mac so it is a bit easier for you.

1) set up your render queue properly: make sure you select "multi-machine" for your Render Settings and any image sequence format for Output Module (I use .png). This whole technique relies on rendering image sequences, if you need a video file convert it later either back in AE if you have to or using whatever you want (I use FFMPEG). Make sure to save your project file, but do not render yet.

2) download this application and install it: http://www.monologue.gr/tutorials/monologue-ae-render-manager/

3) Now, if I remember correctly, just drag-and-drop your project file onto the AE Render Manager icon to launch an instance. I don't have a Mac and I'm too lazy to read the documentation, so I'm not 100% on that one - but I'm sure you can figure it out. Alternatively as the above video suggests you can pay for BG Renderer Pro and do it that way, but I don't have a lot of money so I've never done it.

4) Launch as many instances as you can safely run. I tend to make really heavy comps and I'm able to do 5 instances while I work on my machine without any noticeable difference. On my render machines I can do 10 no problem. That means I am running 5x-10x render times PER MACHINE! And yes the math does check out! The above video suggest you run one per each CPU core, however I can tell you that will just choke your computer out and leave it gasping for air if you're doing anything more complicated then a few text layers or color correction - the reason being you will run out of RAM and the over-lap of the CPUs will slow things down. Try 5 and add a few more if you don't notice any slows, it is a balance of hardware and how heavy your composition requirements are so there really isn't a fixed number here.

5) You'll see the frames spitting into your render folder. Once you're done go ahead and convert them to a video file or whatever.

* lastly a word of warning. I include this not necessarily for you because I don't think you'll run into this problem, but for anyone else who cares to read this and needs the data. I've been using this technique for a few years now and I'm noticing one thing - effects that render on the GPU will CRASH if you run too many instances at a time. This instances technique was designed to more efficiently leverage a multi-core CPU, but GPU's are a whole different thing and do not play by the same rules when it comes to CUDA. Software running on the GPU DOES actually use all of the cores, so if you render too many instances they will choke eachother out pretty quickly. You'll also run out of vram (RAM in the GPU) very quickly. So to fix this I pre-render out things like Element 3D and Plexus. In the coming years as AE continues to be re-written and more and more ported over to the GPU we may reach a point where it isn't viable to render more than a couple of instances... But in the mean-time it is simply magical and theoretically when that happens everything will be so fast it won't matter anyways :)


Whew, viola! I'm happy to answer any questions.

- Spencer


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