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Proper Setup for AE CS4 on new computer...

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Chris LonesProper Setup for AE CS4 on new computer...
by on Feb 2, 2010 at 8:45:05 pm

I just got a new editing computer with the following specs:

2 – Qaud Core 2.26GHz Processors
12Gb RAM
320Gb hard drive
1Gb ATI FirePro video card
Windows 7 (64 bit)

I finally got everything set up, and have headed back into After Effects CS4 to work on one of my projects. Every time I try to RAM Preview, the program locks up about 15 frames in. The project is not overly complicated and is made up almost entirely of standard def video. The specs above make me think that nothing should be able to freeze this computer, especially a project that ran fine on my old crummy system. I see that I can make adjustments to the CPU's and RAM in Preferences, but I have no idea where to start. What's your best recommendation?

Thanks for any help you can give!

Chris Lones
Director of Production
Great Lakes Loons


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Todd KoprivaRe: Proper Setup for AE CS4 on new computer...
by on Feb 2, 2010 at 10:22:32 pm

This post is intended to address the question of RAM and CPU allocations.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
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If a page of After Effects Help answers your question, please consider rating it. If you have a tip, technique, or link to share---or if there is something that you'd like to see added or improved---please leave a comment.


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Kevin CampRe: Proper Setup for AE CS4 on new computer...
by on Feb 2, 2010 at 10:31:43 pm

you have enough ram to use multiprocessing, but you should probably read the info here:

http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2009/12/performance-tip-dont-starve-yo.h...

the general rule is to leave 1-2gb of ram for the system/other apps (if you want to run ram intensive apps like photoshop, increase this value to the min. ram setting in photoshop). then you'd like to have 2-4gb per processing core.

so, if you leave 2gb for system and other apps, that leaves 10gb for ae. if you have 4 cores, then each core can use about 2.5gb of ram. if you have more than 4 cores, then you might want to set enough of those cores for use by other apps to leave ae just 4 cores. note that ae will use the other available cores for any effects and processes that are multithreaded, so they won't usually sit around idle.

i would also leave opengl for previews to interactions only, or disable it altogether.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Chris LonesRe: Proper Setup for AE CS4 on new computer...
by on Feb 3, 2010 at 2:19:04 pm

Thank you both very much for your help. I went back and changed my settings this morning. I left 4 CPUs and 4 Gb of RAM for other processes (I like to run Photoshop as well) and then assigned 2Gb to each of my remaining 4 CPUs, taking up the remaining 8Gb of RAM. AE is still freezing up for 15-30 seconds every time I try to do almost anything (import, add effects, etc.). Did I miss a step in there somewhere? Am I doing something else wrong?

Chris Lones
Director of Production
Great Lakes Loons


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Kevin CampRe: Proper Setup for AE CS4 on new computer...
by on Feb 3, 2010 at 3:52:12 pm

if you disable ae's multiprocessing does the hang go away?

ae's multiprocessing does require a separate render engine to launch for each core that it is using. so in your case 4 render engines. and those do require a bit of time to load in the background (each take about 10 seconds or so to load). but that should only happen when you first open ae, or when you first render/ram preview.

another process that has to occur when using mp, is that ae must save the project (as a temp file) to distribute it to your 4 cores. i have had projects that for one reason or another took a very long time to save, making ram previewing with mp on not worth it. in those cases i've just disabled mp.

i'm not sure that your description fits either of those scenarios too well, so i'm curious if you still have the same issues when mp is disabled. if you do, then the problem may be something else. maybe the type of footage that you are using... ae does not work well with codecs that use interframe compression (codecs like mpeg2, hdv, h.264 usually use this). so if you are using a codec that uses interframe compression, try converting to a codec that uses intraframe compression only (lossless animation, pro res, dnxhd, dvcprohd, dv, etc.)

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Chris LonesRe: Proper Setup for AE CS4 on new computer...
by on Feb 3, 2010 at 4:14:06 pm

Yes, disabling MP is pretty much what I've resorted to. I'm just having some trouble reconciling the idea of spending all the money to get this tricked out computer and then having AE run with basically the same settings and RAM as on the old, slow one. Thanks again for your help, though. It has really helped me learn exactly how all these different elements work together.

Chris Lones
Director of Production
Great Lakes Loons


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Todd KoprivaRe: Proper Setup for AE CS4 on new computer...
by on Feb 3, 2010 at 4:22:15 pm

Have you updated to After Effects CS4 (9.0.2)?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If a page of After Effects Help answers your question, please consider rating it. If you have a tip, technique, or link to share---or if there is something that you'd like to see added or improved---please leave a comment.


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