At my work, we use After Effects to animate characters.
usually we make about 2:30 minutes animations, (but once a year, there is an animation that have 20:00 minutes).
We use a lot of character (usually, that kind of animation has about 13 scenes, that display 1 or 2 characters each).
My question is about performance, because, after the 4th scene, After Effects get too slow.
Knowing this, which option is better to optimize perfomance.
- The less layers you have, the better (for example, for the head it's better to have a single layer, with contents like eyes, eyebrow, nose, mouth, etc).
- The more Layers, the better (A layer for the head, another to left eye, other to right eye, mouth, etc).
- Making Layers and then grouping them up in precompositions (like, making a precompose for the head, and inside this composition, there would be a layer for the head, nose, etc).
do the expressions take a lot processing ? (I usually do expressions with the head, for example, like "Wiggle", or for the leg, LoopOut("cycle"))
In that case, is it better to convert expressions to keyframe?
Expressions have to be computed on each frame so that is probably weighing the project down. The less layers the quicker it should run. You said after about 4 scenes the project starts running slow, so maybe use multiple projects that have less than 4 scenes each and combine at the end if you need to.