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8 core mac strugglin in After Effects

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sean donnelly8 core mac strugglin in After Effects
by on Nov 10, 2009 at 6:18:05 pm

Hello,
I've been reading lots of these posts but still can't get my computer to work as well as I feel it should. I have 16 gigabytes of RAM now, on an 8 core mac pro and I'm running after effects cs 4. when i hit the ram preview, it takes a long time, like 10 minutes.
what are the best opens for open GL? should i increase the texture number?
and when should i enable multi processes? always? is it better to use less at 2 gigs each, or more at 1 gig? if i slide it towards longer ram preview, that should be faster for working in AE right? doesn't seem to be the case. and what about for rendering? what is the most optomized setting for that?
thanks a lot


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Joey BurnhamRe: 8 core mac strugglin in After Effects
by on Nov 10, 2009 at 6:38:20 pm

what happens if you turn off both open GL and multiprocessing?


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Dave LaRondeRe: 8 core mac strugglin in After Effects
by on Nov 10, 2009 at 6:44:23 pm

[sean donnelly] "...when i hit the ram preview, it takes a long time, like 10 minutes...."

Since that's all we know about your AE comp, we don't know if that's a good or a bad thing. If you're working on an HD 3D comp with frame blending enabled, HDV footage, multiple lights and big, huge stills with glows on them, you're absolutely flying.

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[sean donnelly] "I have 16 gigabytes of RAM now, on an 8 core mac pro and I'm running after effects cs 4."

On a Mac, AE can utilize up to 4GB PER CORE. Do the arithmetic. And don't forget that the OS needs about 1GB RAM, too. Oh, and any other open applications like RAM just as much.

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[sean donnelly] "what are the best opens for open GL? should i increase the texture number? "

My opinion: forget about Open GL. Rendering with it is a cruel joke: so much so that the guys at Adobe don't render with Open GL.

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[sean donnelly] "and when should i enable multi processes? always? is it better to use less at 2 gigs each, or more at 1 gig? "

Try using only 6 cores with 2GB/core.

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[sean donnelly] "and what about for rendering? what is the most optomized setting for that? "

Beats the heck out of me -- what are you doing with your AE renders? What kind of footage are you using? What are you delivering?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Kevin CampRe: 8 core mac strugglin in After Effects
by on Nov 10, 2009 at 7:00:54 pm

i think that everything stated here are good suggestions. but i think i'd suggest doing one thing first: trash your prefs file.

quit ae, then hold down option-command-shift while restating ae, click ok to reset your preferences.

then try a ram preview with the default settings and see if that helps. if it does, you may want to leave them that way.

i usually also recommend disabling opengl in preferences>previews (uncheck option to use opengl acceleration and set to use adaptive resolution only).

if you want to try enabling multiprocessing, try dave's settings suggestion (leave 2 cores and 2gb of ram for other processes, leave the ram cache slider alone). if it slows you project down, just disable it, at least for this project.

also, particularly for multiprocessing, have all files locally stored, don't have any on a network and you'd like to have the file stored on a fast drive/drive array. every time you preview with mp enabled, ae saves a temporary state of your project to distribute to the other render engines (aeselflinks). and i have had projects where that saving/loading process took quite a while (though, not 10min). so making sure that all those files can be accessed quickly may help.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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sean donnellyRe: 8 core mac strugglin in After Effects
by on Nov 10, 2009 at 11:46:47 pm

dave, thanks a lot for your help
i tried kevins advice of restarting my preferences and turning of multiprocesses and open GL
and then i tried yours of turning them onto 6 with two gigs.
for some reason whenever i import a file it crashes my after effects, in both cs3 and 4
maybe not all files. but when i relink things, or import them for the fist time.
something seems to be wrong, since i should be moving a lot quicker than before
any ideas


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sean donnellyRe: 8 core mac strugglin in After Effects
by on Nov 11, 2009 at 2:46:45 pm

after some more tests my computer seems to have even more problems than I thought. I can't even start a new project and import a semi-large file to it without the beachball spinning forever. I know these are large files (uncompressed quicktimes with alpha channel, or photoshop files that take up hundreds of megabytes) But they did work on my macbook pro, and continue to, just a little slow. on my brand new mac pro with 16 gigs i left the ball spinning all night and it couldn't even import the photoshop file. did i mess something up somewhere along the way? should i erase everything and start again? i'm so confused. thanks


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Kevin CampRe: 8 core mac strugglin in After Effects
by on Nov 11, 2009 at 6:38:31 pm

hey sean,

you've run through the usual ae troubleshooting steps (disable opengl, disable multiprocessing, rebuild prefs, i assume you've probably rebooted in the last few days), so try a few system troubleshooting steps.

if you have other disks connected, select each in the finder and choose file>get info and make sure 'ignore ownership on this volume' is checked at the bottom. and then click the cog wheel just above it and choose 'apply to enclosed items'. i doubt this is a problem, unless you move disks between systems and have a slightly different user name/password set up on each, but it's usually good practice.

also, run disk utility (applications>utilities), select your boot/main drive from the list on the left and do both a repair permissions and verify disk. if verify disk finds a problem, you will need to boot fromthe osx install disc and run disk utility from there to repair it. if you have other drives connected, go a head and run the repair disk on those.

if your still having problems, then i'd try system test with apple's hardware test (also on the osx installer, but you'll want to read the label on the disc to see how to boot the hardware test). if you run the test, run the extended test to thoroughly test the ram.

if that all passes, download the latest 'combined' osx updater for your osx version from apple and run that.

make sure your adobe software is up to date too... maybe that should be first.

after that it, may be time to try a clean install of the os (and then the updater too)

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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sean donnellyRe: 8 core mac strugglin in After Effects
by on Nov 10, 2009 at 8:21:35 pm

thanks a lot. I'm delivering at 1920 x 1080, and my files are much bigger than that so that i can zoom in on them in certain places. I had a macbook pro lap top, and decided to upgrade so that I could get this done faster, so everytime I see the beachball i get quite upset.

I just restarted my preferences and it takes a while to show me a quarter resolution still. like about 30 seconds sometimes, which is about what was happening on my lap top. that is without multiprocesses enabled though. sometimes when i tweak the settings, it can do that much quicker, but then crashes on other things like ram previews or when i relink files the beach ball just spins forever. not sure what is happening here.

basically no lights or anything are being used, just high res photoshop layers. thanks a lot



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Dave LaRondeRe: 8 core mac strugglin in After Effects
by on Nov 10, 2009 at 8:56:48 pm

[sean donnelly] "...just high res photoshop layers..."

...and depending on what you mean by "high res", that could be the very problem. If you have any effects applied to these high res layers, it could be even more of a problem.

However, if you're not animating any effects on those high res layers, you can always prerender the layer, thus giving AE a whole lot less to think about.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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sean donnellyRe: 8 core mac strugglin in After Effects
by on Nov 10, 2009 at 9:06:45 pm

yes, I know those things, thank you
but all im' saying is with the files as large as they are
they go just as fast on my macbook dual processor with 4 gigs of ram
than on my 8 core mac pro with 16 gigs of ram, and often my mac pro crashes more often on things like relinking files and small things
so i dont think its the drives or the file size. i think its about optimizing the cores or something


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Dave LaRondeRe: 8 core mac strugglin in After Effects
by on Nov 10, 2009 at 9:29:33 pm

Okay, so did you try out any of the recommendations enumerated above, or are you just taking shots in the dark?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Don DaysRe: 8 core mac strugglin in After Effects
by on Nov 11, 2009 at 7:03:58 pm

Just a suggestion but I would definitely be using proxys instead of huge hi res stills. Just easier to work.

Don Days
Editor/Graphic Artist
FixedInPost.com


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