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Brad Bussé
Ae 2017 multi-core?
on Nov 3, 2016 at 11:41:17 pm

I didn't see it in the change notes. Is multi-core threaded rendering back in Ae in this revision?


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Dave LaRonde
No!
on Nov 4, 2016 at 5:33:38 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Nov 4, 2016 at 5:43:45 pm

Nope. Not yet. Once again, the Powers That Be at Adobe considered adding new sparklies to be more important than fixing the application's basic shortcomings.

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


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David McGavran
Re: No!
on Nov 4, 2016 at 8:12:56 pm

Hi Dave,

I would be happy to sit down and talk with you if you are interested? We are overly concerned with our customers. After Effects really didn't add much for sparkly this time. We didn't add back MP because that was a non ideal way to speed up After Effects in the long term. We have spent the last years making After Effects truly multi threaded and are now taking advantage of the GPU. It isn't yet as fast as comps that worked well with MP but it will overtake overall performance soon. Majority of the time in the last 2 - 3 years was based on re-architecture/performance and stability.

Let me know if you would like to have a quick chat.

Cheers

Dave

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
David McGavran, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Director of Engineering, Professional Audio and Video
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Dave LaRonde
Re: No!
on Nov 5, 2016 at 12:41:58 am

Sorry, but no thanks.

If I had one wish, it would be to read words to this effect from Adobe:

"Dear AE Users:
Beginning with our current version, you won't see anything new in After Effects for quite a while. The AE Team will be devoting all its time to make fundamental changes to the application that should have been made years ago. We will continue to issue periodic bug fixes, but our eyes are fixed on one goal. When we are done, After Effects will once again be worthy as an industry standard application. The beauty of subscription-based software is that we can do this just as soon as we are ready, and not a moment before. When we release the next version of After Effects, we will be able to say the following: It Works. No Ifs, Ands or Buts."

And if you can do THAT, that's really all that any thoughtful user wants.

And with that, I'm off to tend to an AAF Export problem on my Avid machine.

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


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Lance Moody
Re: No!
on Dec 8, 2016 at 7:37:48 am

David,

I would be delighted to hear about improvements in multithreading.

As a very long time user, I was sad to see that, while most apps I use now work MUCH faster on my new computer, there is little improvement in AE2017.

I just switched to windows in order to get a massive boost in rendering via GPU's and C4D.

AE does not show well on the very latest, very fastest, hardware. Why is that?

Thanks,

Lance



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Dave LaRonde
Re: No!
on Dec 8, 2016 at 5:58:47 pm

I'm unsure what you mean by "show well". It could mean the less-than-dramatic increases in speed, but it could also refer to oddities in the user interface.

But the post above by the gentleman from Adobe might explain the speed issue in AE CC 2017. However, it does not address what I consider to be a much larger issue.

For example, when 2017 was released, you may recall the emphasis The Adobe Marketing Weasels put on a new feature (aka a "Sparkly", which is my term) allowing multiple user input into the same AE project, something they highly touted as the new version was released. You hardly hear about it any more.

I can't get the new version (company policy), but I can guess why they're not ringing the church bells about it -- IT DOESN'T WORK. Now mind you, that's a guess.

But if it's true, it means that man-hours had to be spent working on it. Man-hours that could have been employed working on the basics. And for what? Apparently, something that makes new renters go "Ooooooh!" and increases the rental revenue. And since it's AE, with no viable counterpart from competing software developers, Adobe's got you hooked.

Meanwhile, the work on meat-and-potatoes improvements to AE's basic functioning moves at glacial speeds.

Why? I believe it's because top Adobe management is more concerned about profit from new renters than meeting current customer... um, current RENTER needs. This would explain why every new CC version goes out the door laden with bugs... many of which break features that worked just fine in previous versions.

Early adopters of new CC versions become unwitting participants in the Adobe Unpaid Beta Tester Program.

That's why many users forego the new versions and wait for the bug fix to the bug fix to the bug fix. By that time, a new version is ready and the same depressing cycle continues.

I say that if you thought the recent versions of AE were about improving the software, you're only partially right. They're much. much more about luring in more users. Current users? Pay them lip service. New users? Let's get 'em hooked!

As a longtime user, do you recall the days when the threads in this forum were almost exclusively devoted to discussions of techniques and design choices? Sure, there were posts about workarounds but that was because the software was incapable of doing certain things. Now there are an alarming number of posts about just getting the software to work as advertised. Now the workarounds are geared toward overcoming the application's many broken features.

Pretty grim, isn't it?

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


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Lance Moody
Re: No!
on Dec 8, 2016 at 11:41:15 pm

Hi Dave,

I guess I feel just slightly differently than you about AE.

There does seem to be something weird and unsatisfying about the latest releases but I'm not sure that I could say that I feel like the software doesn't perform its basic functions.

I'm not sure that it has become slower either, but it certainly hasn't become faster.

Like you, my main desires are stability and speed (also for Premiere) but I am not seeing egregious instability, just weird things occasionally (like a frequent crash on quitting that didn't hurt anything but didn't help either).

You hit the nail on the head about half-baked features. For instance dynamic links.... I only had to be screwed by those a few times until they were dead to me. Now if I create an AE dynamic link in Premiere, I wait for it to show up in AE and then delete the one in Premiere. I talked to another editor and we both laughed when we realized that he uses the same workflow. Half-baked and depressingly slow--same for sending comps to Encoder.

I just switched to windows and worked late last night in AE with no crashes or strange behavior.

Multi-Core and GPU should be utilized soon or AE will seem even more outdated.

Lance



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Dave LaRonde
Re: No!
on Dec 9, 2016 at 12:38:06 am
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Dec 9, 2016 at 1:03:31 am

I don't have many problems, either. I'm lucky to have IT folks, both where I work and at the Home Office, who go over things with a fine-toothed comb.

However, there are so many users who aren't as lucky and who DO have major problems that bad situations like theirs just can't be ignored.

My favorite Tale of Woe is that the newest version can't import PNG files. A bug fix may have remedied it by now... but why on Earth was such a simple thing broken AT ALL? That's what galls me about CC. You may have seen a couple-three bugs in the installation disk days, but they weren't serious and everyone knew a fix was forthcoming. These days a bug fix is little better than rolling the dice.

And I lay the blame for the shoddy state of the software and the service directly at the doorstep of top-level management. In my mind, they're more concerned with being profitable for the stockholders than they are with acting responsibly to the users.

If someone were to develop software to compete with AE, I would be on board in a heartbeat.

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


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Roei Tzoref
Re: No!
on Dec 9, 2016 at 4:50:15 pm
Last Edited By Roei Tzoref on Dec 9, 2016 at 5:01:01 pm

[Dave LaRonde] "My favorite Tale of Woe is that the newest version can't import PNG files. A bug fix may have remedied it by now... but why on Earth was such a simple thing broken AT ALL?"

I am working with PNG constantly and no problems here on Windows. I am also in the forums constantly and haven't seen a real discussion about a PNG import problem post in CC2017 or in any version for that matter. care to share what do you know about this bug? is it not working for you? because I have only seen 2 posts in Adobe Ae's forum that reported a problem and both of the Ops have disappeared without telling if the issue was resolved or not. do you really think that if such a crucial file type was broken, we would not be hear about it from a vast magnitude of users?

it's one thing to complain about the software (that has got serious issues to address and I spare no criticism here), but it's another thing to misinform users across the boards. Team projects not working? who said it's not working?

Roei Tzoref
After Effects Artist & Instructor
♫ Ae Blues Tutorials


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Lance Moody
Re: No!
on Dec 13, 2016 at 5:29:57 am

It's just with no real multi-core capability OR GPU acceleration, the CC Video apps look pretty embarrassing and outdated. Hopefully we will see those speed increases soon.

I also use C4D Octane and, with my new machine, the speed increase is astonishing.



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Joachim Barrum
Re: No!
on Dec 13, 2017 at 9:13:31 am

Just noticed this thread and the discussion of AE's optimizations, and I would like to share some impressions. Hopefully someone in Adobe still reads this or is still interested in discussing this...
I remember when Adobe announced they would start working on making After Effects faster, the post Dave LaRonde refers to, which was written a few years back (2013 ?). At the same time Adobe removed the ability for us to render with multiple threads. After this, the only noticeable optimizations I can think of is a few of the effects converted to GPU effects, many of which wasn't very slow to begin with (fast blur vs box blur, etc...) and the preview options have become better. Apart from that, After effects today is generally slower than it was years ago. And multi threaded systems still has only negative impacts on the responsiveness of the program, still!!

I want to share some experiences I have had since then.

4 years back I owned a retina iMac, the i7 4 core top of the line first generation released. After Effects did "ok" on this machine. But I neeed more power for other programs, so I upgraded to a PC with 6 cores, overclocked to 4,4 GhZ and 128GB of 2400MhZ Ram and a blazingly fast SSD (960 Pro 2tb) and GTX 1080 GPU.

From my experience, this new machine had NO! impact on After Effects performance. Nothing rendered any faster, and the UI in general just felt slightly more laggy.

Then, this year, I invested in another machine, with the exact same internals, except a GTX 1080ti and a Threadripper 1950x CPU (16 cores) markedet as a super CPU for visual creators alike.
And to my disappointment, After Effects is now slower than EVER! Not only in rendering, but the general user experience and responsiveness is worse than I had before. So the more powerful machine I buy for multiple purposes, the slower adobe programs becomes - to an extremely noticeable degree.

Additionally, the slower AE manages to update the preview frames, the more laggy the timeline scrubbing and UI behaves in general, which makes it feel even slower than it actually is. (this same goes for Premiere Pro)

These are the same findings that pugetsystems.com shows. They build custom cheaper computers for adobe programs (gamer riggs) compared to other art programs which actually are able to to utilize the modern day machines power.

I have made two videos, with the same scene opened on my to machines, which hopefully illustrate my point quite clearly.
This is a good comparison since the two machines are basically exactly the same, except for the CPU.
Specs: Ram: 128 gb at 2400MhZ, HDD: 2TB 960 Pro 3500/2100 MB/s Read/write, GPU: GTX 1080Ti/1080. Both CPUs are overclocked and runs in safe temperatures with no throttling.
I urge you to take a look and see the difference. The scene is fairly simple, mostly using a lot of circle shapes. and moving them with motion blur on. Both videos are recorded with the very latest CC 2018 which has GPU accellerated Motion Blur.

Here is the 4.4ghz Intel CPU video:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/mqqcm9ff9blfmck/AfterEffects_6core4.4Ghz.mp4?dl=0

Here is the Threadripper CPU VIdeo:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/lalh1gm0z0emxwe/AfterEffects_threadripper.mp4?dl=...

-As you see, the 1950X does a horrible job in AE.

I would love to hear more about when and what plans Adobe has for this. I remember quite a few years back, when Todd Koppriva was Adobes spokesman, he actually went as far as to say that currently AE was not optimized for future systems. But the plans were to make huge optimizations and therefore a Mac Pro with many cores wasn't optimal then, but if you want to plan for the future, then get a powerful system he said (hinting of great optimizations to come). This is so many years ago, that the machine you would buy then would probably all ready be out of date, so a really bad investment advice I would say. And AE still won't benefit from any modern machines such as iMac Pro coming out now, or the new multi core CPU era that is upon us. But, will this ever change?? Or maybe Adobe should actively advice people to strafe away from these powerful machines?
Since AE started their optimization plans, which is a long time ago, we haven't seen much improvements at all. And currently I'm considering getting a cheap game PC with high clock speeds only for AE, because it barely is usable on my new powerful machine...

I have to stress that this impression only directs toward Adobe programs (AE, Premiere and Photoshop in my case). I use 3DS max, Unity 3D, and many other heavy duty programs on my Threadripper 1950x which doesn't slow down at all and the UI reacts just as smooth as on low core machines, and which has amazing rendering results (both GPU and CPU). So this impression of degradation only relates to Adobe programs. And its important for me to emphasize that most benchmarks focus on rendering time, but the overall user interface responsiveness which is more difficult to measure with a number, is as badly optimized and part of the frustration.

I hope you Dave or any of the AE team reads this and has some recommendations or can enlighten us on what steps you are taking to improve any of this..This has been an ongoing discussion on the Adobe Hardware Discussion forums as well.

Sincerely
Joachim Barrum


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Dave LaRonde
Re: No!
on Dec 13, 2017 at 6:44:28 pm

[Joachim Barrum] "I hope you Dave or any of the AE team reads this and has some recommendations or can enlighten us on what steps you are taking to improve any of this.."

Oh, I have no connections whatsoever with the AE team! In fact, I suspect they'd throw things at me if I were to show up at their office in Seattle. I haven't exactly been a big fan of the way Adobe has done things since Creative Cloud, and I take every opportunity to voice that opinion.

I'm just a user. Sorry....

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


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Joachim Barrum
Re: No!
on Dec 13, 2017 at 7:10:09 pm

Oh I meant Dave, the other guy...David McGavran. He signed his post with Dave as well ☺ Probably he won't read it, but I have no idea were to get some actual proper response from Adobe - and he seemed genuinely interested in discussing the matter. Adobe constantly say they take their customers extremely serious and that they make sure to squeeze every drop of computer power from your machine (from what I read in a recent adobe blog post)...which to me seems like a silly joke in the current state of AE.

AE has no bug report forum the way Photoshop does, even though Adobe Photoshop team isn't good at listening to their customers seriously unless 1000 people screams at once, at least there's a place where you can try to get in touch with some of those developing the software.


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Michael Szalapski
Re: No!
on Dec 15, 2017 at 3:39:45 pm

Couple of things I'd like to point out here.

The bug report form at Adobe's web site here [link], if you fill it out correctly, goes directly to a member of the After Effects team. They aren't likely to respond, but I can assure you that a member of the AE team will read it and will file it appropriately. (I've met the person whose job this is and they are very nice, so please don't swear too much.)

As to performance, here are a different kinds of performance in software. In After Effects specifically, there are a couple of big ones: interaction and rendering. They require very different work.

In CC 2015, the AE team was working on making interaction with After Effects faster, not rendering. Now, there were a lot of bugs when it first released and it took them a couple of years to get those worked out! But now, in the current version, working with After Effects is much faster as far as the interface goes. The reason for this is because After Effects is actually multithreaded now (which it wasn't before). The renderer and the UI run in different processor threads. This is a big deal. A while ago, I jumped back into an old (pre CC version of AE) and was struck by how much slower it was to work with. It felt very clunky compared to CC 2017 and CC 2018.

The problem is that separating the UI from the renderer doesn't really speed the rendering up. It does, however, provide a foundation to build on to make it better in the future (theoretically). Now you can, for example, start GPU-accelerating various effects. I use Fractal Noise on every project and it is noticeably faster to use now - even on my crappy/old GPU!

Some of the newer things in AE are multithreaded now too (like the Camera Shake Deblur effect and the Cinema 4D renderer).

In a way, I'm glad the old render multiple frame simultaneously is gone because it was pretty buggy. You could get some ridiculous flickering with it. Also, the wrong expression or certain effects would be incompatible with it and it'd just revert to single core rendering a lot anyway. So, in many cases, and with many projects I've had, the new versions actually render faster.
HOWEVER, there are still a lot of cases where the older version with RMFS is faster.

I know the AE team is working on making things faster. From what I've gathered, performance is the highest thing on their priority list. Still, every chance I get, I let them know that we just want things quicker. I know that something as fundamental as the rendering engine isn't going to be redone overnight, but...I want faster to be here faster!

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Craig Wall
Re: No!
on Dec 15, 2017 at 9:29:33 pm

With all respect Michael, you were conveying the exact same hopeful narrative 3 years ago...and also suggested that the subscription model wouldn't slow AE's development.

Years have passed. Nothing has changed.

At this point I think it's an open question if Adobe will ever commit the development hours necessary to get things modernized. They seemingly have little financial incentive to do so...there are no indications of progress...and no roadmap has been communicated to give us hope.

Life is full of funny particles.


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Chris Wright
Re: No!
on Dec 16, 2017 at 5:36:33 am

if adobe not having the money/resources to remove dolby in older versions and thus having to remove cc 2015 and older Entirely doesn't shake your confidence in the subscription model, what will? the only bottom line is their bottom line.


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Joachim Barrum
Re: No!
on Dec 18, 2017 at 7:34:53 am

My point was only that the more advanced CPU I acquired, the slower AE behaved, and noticeable so compared to any other programs I use. And since the UI slows down according with the rendering/preview speed, AE feels extremely laggy with the threadripper CPU. Something I don't find ok, considering Threadripper has been markedet as an excellent option for creatives. If you look at my two videos you see how bad it is.

Honestly the speed in which AE renders stuff in has never bugged me, but the UI responsiveness has. And it really doesn't make a great deal of difference when they change one filter/effect at a time to support the GPU when the entire underlying UI/implementation in the program does not support GPU and Multiple cores.
To me, a lot of the stuff they have optimized after they removed multi threading wasn't that slow to begin with. Like the Blur and curves effects etc...
They have improved motion blur, thats a nice one, because it was really slow. (still is though) - but you could turn it on/off. Other things, such as vector shapes, DOF, (which is more hassle to turn on/off all the time) the UI in general is still very slow - and AE is one of the very few programs that has a noticeably better performance on low core high clockspeed CPUs, which is a shame since this is not where other programs are headed. Especially for those of us that uses more than AE on a daily basis.

I have sent bug reports to Adobe AE team. You never know if they read it, if anyone will ever change anything, you get no response. If you are lucky maybe you will see them change what you sent as a bug a few years later....who knows, its like sending a bug report into a black chasm (that's how it feels)....If you think this is a fine way of running a viable business, then I'm glad on your behalf, that you settle so easy...I'm not.


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