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Render Time After Restart

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matt kreslingRender Time After Restart
by on Mar 31, 2010 at 12:25:02 am

Can anyone tell me what's happening when my render time radically declines after I restart my machine?

For example: this morning when I started a render, AE told me it would take 10 hours. When I came back after 5 hours, it said 20 hours remained and seemed to be rendering rather slowly. However, when I restarted the machine, the pace seemed to quicken and the predicted time lowered to 5 hours again.

I'm using CS4 on an 8 core 2.6 G5 with 16gigs of RAM. CS4 is using 6 cores. I've got my application on my main drive, disk cache on an external Firewire 800 drive, and am rendering to a separate Firewire 800 drive.


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Walter SoykaRe: Render Time After Restart
by on Mar 31, 2010 at 1:12:55 am

What do you see in Activity Monitor as the render progresses in the CPU usage and system memory usage tabs?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Dave LaRondeRe: Render Time After Restart
by on Mar 31, 2010 at 1:51:44 pm

While there are MANY causes for slow renders, and we can't say for certain which applies to you, one of the most common causes can be the footage in the comp:

Dave's Stock Answer #1:

If the footage you imported into AE is any kind of the following -- footage in an HDV acquisition codec, MPEG1, MPEG2, AVCHD, mp4, mts, m2t, H.261 or H.264 -- you need to convert it to a different codec.

These kinds of footage use temporal, or interframe compression. They have keyframes at regular intervals, containing complete frame information. However, the frames in between do NOT have complete information. Interframe codecs toss out duplicated information.

In order to maintain peak rendering efficiency, AE needs complete information for each and every frame. But because these kinds of footage contain only partial information, AE freaks out, resulting in a wide variety of problems.


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


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matt kreslingRe: Render Time After Restart
by on Mar 31, 2010 at 4:08:10 pm

In the Activity Monitor I see six cores alternately using between 0 & 135% of the CPU.

I may be imagining it, but it feels as if big renders start like a bullet and then bog down over time, regardless of the content. I wouldn't be surprised if this were a delusion, however--that's what happens when you stare at a little yellow bar for 10 hours.



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Walter SoykaRe: Render Time After Restart
by on Mar 31, 2010 at 4:14:47 pm

[matt kresling] "In the Activity Monitor I see six cores alternately using between 0 & 135% of the CPU."

What about RAM usage?


[matt kresling] "I may be imagining it, but it feels as if big renders start like a bullet and then bog down over time, regardless of the content. I wouldn't be surprised if this were a delusion, however--that's what happens when you stare at a little yellow bar for 10 hours. "

Many of my projects build over time, so the beginning may start out simply, but the middle or the end has a lot going on -- more layers, more effects, more particles, more moblur. The render time estimate doesn't take this variable complexity into account. From the best I can tell, it estimates the render as if each frame remaining will take as long to render as the last completed frame did.

But Dave's point is right on -- the content DOES matter. AE is really built for intraframe media; if you use any interframe-compressed media, you'll get all kinds of unexpected results. What sort of footage are you using?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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