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CCSphere... still only single-threaded?

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David Gudelius
CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 20, 2010 at 1:18:21 pm

Hi,

does anyone know when Adboe plans to really multithread all built-in effects?
I'm using AE CS3 on Mac OS X 10.5.8 here and wonder if CCSphere is multithreaded in CS4... because I use it very often and it slows down the whole render process.

Plus, I can't really understand why Adobe still leaves it's major effects only single-threaded, when nearly all buyable computers these days are using more than one thread.

Thank you in advance!


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Michael Szalapski
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 20, 2010 at 2:26:37 pm

[David Gudelius] "I can't really understand why Adobe still leaves it's major effects only single-threaded"

The CC Effects are not Adobe effects, they are from a 3rd party, CycoreFX.
Also, CC Sphere isn't that major of an effect when compared to the functionality and flexibility of effects such as Fractal Noise, various blur effects, color correction effects, particle effects etc.

- 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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David Gudelius
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 20, 2010 at 2:50:26 pm

Alright... then I'll blame Adobe to not looking close enough om it's 3rd-party-partners.
Does it mean that all CC-effects are only single-threaded?


Cheers, David



... please excuse my lacky english ...


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david bogie
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 20, 2010 at 3:20:08 pm

You can purchase the full blown versions of Cycore's effects. Very cool stuff.


CycoreFX HD advantages. Upgrade to HD and you get all this!

Comparison between CycoreFX HD and the bundled CycoreFX version.
General:

• 12 additional plug-ins
- Cross Blur, Color Neutralizer, Kernel, Threads, Environment, Rainfall, Snowfall, Block Load, Plastic, Line Sweep, WarpoMatic, Overbrights.

• 16 bpc support in all plug-ins

• 32 bpc (float) support (more coming)
- Cross Blur, Color Neutralizer, Kernel, Toner, Power Pin, Threads, Environment, Rainfall, Snowfall, Block Load, Threshold, Threshold RGB, Jaws, Line Sweep, Overbrights.

• AE lights support
- Blobbylize, Drizzle, Glass, Glue Gun, Mr. Mercury, Plastic.

• Native motion blur
- Environment, Kaleida, Light Rays, Line Sweep, PowerPin, Rainfall, Snowfall, Wide Time.

Plug-in specific:

Particle World
- Added option to align textured discs to motionpath.

Page Turn
- New UI options for turning page.
- Resizes layer to always fit.

Sphere
- Improved seam sampling.

Power Pin
- Additional UI controls in Comp window

Toner
- Added options for duotone and pentone mappings.

Radial Blur
- Added Rotate Fading option.


http://www.cycorefx.com

bogiesan



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David Gudelius
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 20, 2010 at 4:36:55 pm

Hi David,

that sounds interesting.
But to be honest, if "Sphere" isn't multithreaded and – another very, very important issue to me – without native motionblur, upgrading doesn't make sense to me in this case.

Do you plan to implement these features?


Cheers, David


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david bogie
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 20, 2010 at 5:04:41 pm

I've been using CC effects since they were first introduced as Final Effects and Studio Effects. I have never needed those features. Not ever.
If you need them for deeply technical reasons, you must find alternatives that you want to spend your money on in a way that allows you to bill your clients for your improved output.

The closest thing I've ever seen to Cycore's basic package is the series of Boris 3D filters. Their Cylinder, Sphere, and Cube systems actually have several good points missing from Cycore's basic set. I have not used any Boris tools for many years.

bogiesan



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David Gudelius
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 20, 2010 at 5:44:40 pm

Hi David,

investing money in plugins is not the point.
The point for me is that in my opinion it would be nice to have a multithread support for this sphere effect.

An example:
I had to do a job in full HD, with up to 5 "CCSphered" Comps with 12000x6000 resolution.
I managed to render the job, but it surely would have been nice being this effect computed by all my 8 cores instead of only one. This saves time, and time saves money... and earns it.
It's that simple for me.

And yes, I could and maybe should spend my money on postpro-motionblur-solution like Reelsmart. But it would be indeed much more nicer to have a native motionblur support on effects where it belongs.
But as I said, that's my personal opinion.

So tell me that you implement these features, and I will buy your product. :-)


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david bogie
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 20, 2010 at 6:37:50 pm

[David Gudelius] "So tell me that you implement these features, and I will buy your product. :-)
"


I do not represent Cycore and I never gave you a reason to think I did.

You're just arguing to hear yourself type. I am done with this discussion.

bogiesan




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David Gudelius
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 20, 2010 at 6:58:30 pm

Well, you sounded like...
but apparently only due to my bad understanding of English, so please excuse if I affronted you, I didn't want to do so!


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Kevin Camp
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 20, 2010 at 8:28:49 pm

to use all available cores to render cc sphere, you can enable ae's multiprocessing. with this option, ae will launch a render engine for each available core, effectively forcing it to be multithreaded.

the 'render multiple frames simultaneously' option does have a few draw backs. one being you need a lot of ram to use it effectively -- between 2-4gb per core, plus another 1-2gb to leave for the system. but by limiting the number of cores to give each enough ram to work with, i've had very few problems with it. there are a few effects that will disable ae's multiprocessing for comps that use them, cc wide time, cc time blend and particle playground are a few i can think of off the top of my head.

also, to get motion blur, you can use the cc force motion blur effect. for the cc sphere effect you'll need to place force motion blur on an adjustment layer above the cc sphere layer, or pre-comp the cc sphere layer (or layers) and apply force motion blur directly to the pre-comp. note, that there is a pretty big performance hit with cc force motion blur.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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David Gudelius
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 21, 2010 at 9:08:09 am

Hi Kevin,

I had the "render multiple frames simultaneously" option enabled.
I've got 12 GB RAM and 2 CPUs with 4 Cores each... so what would you recommend to set up exactly in my case?
CCSphere still uses only one thread here... hm.

Finally, I used CC Force MB for adding MB to my CCSphere Comp, but I'm not happy with it. It seems to stuck in some ways, it's result doesn't appear to me as clean as the native AE MB, but I can't put my finger on it why and where exactly. The render time was indeed quite extensive.
I had to render this comp without fields, so I was in the very need of a nice motionblur.

Hm.


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Kevin Camp
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 21, 2010 at 6:24:06 pm

[David Gudelius] "I had the "render multiple frames simultaneously" option enabled.
CCSphere still uses only one thread here... hm."


with mp enabled, and just cc sphere and the grid effect on a single layer and a few animated properties, i get pretty good usage of just about all cores (currently i have 6 cores running and 16gb of ram).

since i was getting such high performance with only 6 cpus, i figured cc sphere must be multi-threaded. so i disabled mp all together and rendered again. watching the activity monitor, i was getting over 900% cpu usage which would indicate that ae was using about 10 cores to render. so it is multi-threaded...

there may be a problem with your settings. are you monitoring the performance from the activity monitor or task manager?

i have a 2009 macrpo, 8 physical cores (with hyper-threading, ae sees 16 cores) and 16gb of ram. my normal preferences are: mp on, .5 gb min per cpu, longer preview-faster render is in the middle, leave 2gb of ram and 10 cpus for other apps.

you can try some similar settings on your machine, or just trash the prefs and see how ae handles it with the default settings, then build from there.

as far as cc force mb... it's not as good as native mb largely due to native mb being adaptive -- meaning if it needs lots of mb, then it creates more samples.

you can make cc force mb do the same, but you need to create an expression that links the number samples to the speed or velocity of an element that needs motion blur. then as that object move faster, cc force mb renders more samples, as it moves slower, then it renders fewer samples... but sometimes that's not feasible.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Jens Enqvist
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 22, 2010 at 8:21:18 am

As Kevin noted, CC Sphere is indeed multithreaded as are most of the CC effects.

Jens,
Cycore Systems



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David Gudelius
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 22, 2010 at 8:42:33 am

This is so odd.
First of all, thank you very much for your hints...

Kevin, I'll respond to your post later, because I've got a rendering running right now, and I'll upload a screenshot with my actual settings.

Jens, I'll upload a screencast of the activity monitor besides the AE rendering activity window, where you can see that when CCSphere is being computed, only one thread is being displayed as active.
I'll post it in 2-3 hours.

Maybe my AE settings are that messed up that for CCSphere it isn't even possible to use more than one thread. Or otherwise, the activity monitor displays wrong things.

Please be patient with me, I'll post it in 2-3 hours when my actual rendering is done.
Thank you!


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David Gudelius
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 22, 2010 at 10:13:20 am

Alright, here comes the screencast movie of the rendering process with the activity monitor.
I personally presume to notice there that every time CCSphere is being computed only one thread/core is active.
http://www.zentapher.com/ccforum/activity_ccsphere.mov

Besides, screenshots of my render settings:
http://www.zentapher.com/ccforum/screenshot_aesetting_01.gif
http://www.zentapher.com/ccforum/screenshot_aesetting_02.gif

Please excuse that stuff being displayed in german!


Thank you in advance,

David


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David Gudelius
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 22, 2010 at 10:16:59 am

I forgot to tell you my exact system stats:

2008 Mac Pro, 2x3GHz Quad-Core, 12 GB 667 MHz DDR2-FB-DIMM RAM, Mac OS X 10.5.8


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Jens Enqvist
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 22, 2010 at 12:37:22 pm

Seems to be more than just CC Sphere going on there.

Try dropping a biggish sphere map, 8000 x 4000, in a new comp. Apply CC Sphere. Size the sphere to reach the bounds, animate y rotation and do a RAM preview. On our Macs, this maxes out the CPUs. If it doesn't for you, try it with "MP" disabled.




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David Gudelius
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 22, 2010 at 1:58:21 pm

You're absolutely right!

Disabling all effects but CCSphere only affects definately all cores/threads; both in RAM preview and rendering.

This is sooooo strange.

Now I will enable all filters step by step to figure out which one is single-threaded.

It seems like the process "Frame wird eingelesen" ("frame is being loaded" in english?) is causing the single-thread...

so please, please excuse me blaming CCSphere for this strange behavior!


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Jens Enqvist
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 22, 2010 at 4:17:39 pm

Glad to hear that CC's got threads :-)



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David Gudelius
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 22, 2010 at 4:29:54 pm

Hehe,

I came onto it because the activity monitor stucked exactly when CCSphere was being displayed as computed, as you can see in the former screencast movie.

But now everything is fine... thank you for your answers!

@Kevin:
If you read this, what do you recommend me to set up? I've got only 2 real processors and less RAM then you, so your personal setup might not being fully assigned to mine.

Thanks in advance!


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Kevin Camp
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 26, 2010 at 5:08:49 pm

the general formula is to leave 2-4gb of ram per core...

so you have 8 cores (4 on each cpu) and 12gb of ram.

you want to leave 1-2gb of ram for the system and any other apps (if you want to use some heavy apps often, like photoshop, you'll probably want to increase that value, or decrease what those apps can use in their prefs).

so to start with, try leaving 2gb of ram and 3 cores for other apps. this should give you about 2gb per core for after effects. if you are watching the activity monitor and are stil seeing performance issues, try increasing the number of cores to leave for other apps to 4 or 5 to give more ram to each ae process.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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David Gudelius
Re: CCSphere... still only single-threaded?
on Jan 26, 2010 at 5:25:57 pm

Hi Kevin,

this is very useful... I'll try to set up my AE tomorrow like that.
Thank you very much for your input!


Cheers, David


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