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Why is Apple Motion faster than After Effects?

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Jimmylee RemillardWhy is Apple Motion faster than After Effects?
by on Oct 19, 2010 at 11:32:36 pm

I use Motion for my daily work and have been slowly switching to After Effects do to the plug-ins and community it has making it a much better program in the long run.

Now why is it that After Effects sucks so bad for Motion Graphics Design due to stupid compositions instead of groups, it doesn't play more than 5 frames a second and its interface is super old school.
Granted it has some awesome features and amazing 3D capabilities and its much easier to move about 3D space but seriously Apple Motion is so much more user friendly and you can actually see what your doing at the time your doing it.

Is there something im missing in After Effects or is this just how it is?

I run After Effects on my PC (5gigs Ram. Nvida gtx 260 quad core) and Motion on Mac (27inch iMac 2.8ghz 4gigs ram, graphics is no where near as good as my pc's)


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Walter SoykaRe: Why is Apple Motion faster than After Effects?
by on Oct 20, 2010 at 12:58:09 am

Motion and After Effects have completely different architectures, models, and interfaces. This means that they have very different strengths and weaknesses. They are both motion graphics and compositing packages, but they are not interchangeable.

They also use your hardware differently. Motion does most of its work on the graphics card; After Effects does all its work on the CPU. After Effects loves RAM -- you should have 2-4 GB per core. If you want to speed up After Effects, you'll need a lot more RAM, and then you can enable multiprocessing to put more of your cores to work. (If you have multiprocessing enabled now, turn it off -- without enough RAM, it will actually slow you down.)

See the Adobe help on improving performance for more.

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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Todd KoprivaRe: Why is Apple Motion faster than After Effects?
by on Oct 20, 2010 at 4:17:36 am

Also, aspects of After Effects make tradeoffs for flexibility, power, and precision over speed in some cases. Motion seems to make those same tradeoffs in the other direction. Both are valid approaches for different purposes. And you can use the two applications together, using each for its strengths.

I think that Motion is an excellent particle generator for After Effects projects, for example.

To quote Alex Lindsay from a presentation at Post|Production World: "When Motion does what you want, it's great and fast. When it doesn't and you need to tweak something, you're screwed."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Erik LindahlRe: Why is Apple Motion faster than After Effects?
by on Oct 20, 2010 at 8:07:15 am

I'd also say if you do any kind of complex work, Motion will bog down. AE might be "slow" from the start but it won't completely choke when you put it to the test (from my experience). But the two above responses are good to. Also Motion has a default of rendering "fast" rather than "good", change all settings to "best" (default in AE) and you will see if be slower. But yes, somethings are amazing in Motion compared to AE, that's for sure.

------------------------
Erik Lindahl
Freecloud Post Production Services
http://www.freecloud.se


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Jimmylee RemillardRe: Why is Apple Motion faster than After Effects?
by on Oct 20, 2010 at 12:50:15 pm

Hey guys,

Thanks for the fast replies. So aside from the fact that I need more ram there is nothing i can do to make After Effects fast while doing 2D motion graphic commercials? It seems weird to me that After Effects is the standard but you can barley tell what you're doing when trying to sink words and pictures to music (while trying to do cool transitions and visually stunning eye grabbers)

I guess ill just stick with Motion for my work and continue with After Effects for movie compositing and the like. Just wish Motion would have better plug-ins, better community and would stop doing "its own thing" somethings.... I hate how it just chooses to move places and ways on its own as a "standard".


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Erik LindahlRe: Why is Apple Motion faster than After Effects?
by on Oct 20, 2010 at 1:05:18 pm

Motion and After Effects are to a degree two different animals just like After Effects and Nuke are vastly different. Yes, you can do a lot of the same things in all three apps but in the end - choose the tool that fits the job. If I where to choose "one tool to rule them all" AE beats Motion hands down as I can do everything in there even if more simple operations might take a little more time and I don't have the initial "wow" effect.

If you go and get complex, from my experience, Motion just chokes and dies and isn't an option. Motion was last time I drilled it extremely slow at final rendering as it's dependent on CPU and GPU for the output, where After Effects will (normally) use more CPU's in your systems for render. Some heavier effects are also starting to be accelerated by CUDA which is interesting. But the realtime environment Motion is built on is impressive at times - esp. for more simple motion graphics work. Sadly the application hasn't impressed me when it comes to final output and 100% detailed control. As far as I know it also lacks expression / scripting which can be a pain.

But yes, I do miss the initial realtime and some of the UI-features (grouping of layers is a major lack in AE where we're forced to pre-comp).

------------------------
Erik Lindahl
Freecloud Post Production Services
http://www.freecloud.se


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Walter SoykaRe: Why is Apple Motion faster than After Effects?
by on Oct 20, 2010 at 1:27:50 pm

Syncing elements with music is a different question entirely.

You can hold Command on a Mac, or Control on a PC, while scrubbing the timeline to hear audio samples. You could also hit the period on the numeric keypad to begin an audio preview, then tap the asterisk on the numeric keypad as it plays to create markers to sync to later. Selecting a layer and then pressing L twice will reveal its audio waveform.

Personally, I usually do a quick animatic in FCP first, showing the points where I want to make my cuts. I prefer FCP's editorial tools for working out the timing of an animation. Once that's set, I bring it into After Effects and actually do the design and animation.

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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Todd KoprivaRe: Why is Apple Motion faster than After Effects?
by on Oct 20, 2010 at 1:45:18 pm

> there is nothing i can do to make After Effects fast while doing 2D motion graphic commercials?


There are a lot of things that you can do to make After Effects faster.

Walter pointed to the "Improve performance" page, which has dozens of tips for working faster. Some of those tips are about settings that allow you to make deliberate tradeoffs at different stages of your work.

For example, you can set the resolution of a composition to Quarter before doing a RAM preview that you're doing for the purpose of synchronizing animation to music; that'll make the rendering of the preview much faster, with a tradeoff in image quality. (But you don't care about image quality when you're just laying down markers for animation or synchronizing animation to music.)

Other tips in that section are about setting memory preferences and such. There's more information about that here.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Jimmylee RemillardRe: Why is Apple Motion faster than After Effects?
by on Oct 20, 2010 at 2:20:10 pm

Thanks again guys. When I get off work ill be messing around with those setting to see if I can make it easier/faster to preview my work without having to ram preview every second. The reason this is important to me is because i do video commercials and i create my videos to a voice overs script and it would be hell to try and do that the way i have after effects set up now.

Edit: this is another reason why After Effects is far superior than Apple Motion, I wrote the same question in the Apple Motion forums and got 0 responses. The Apple Motion community is null.


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Kevin CampRe: Why is Apple Motion faster than After Effects?
by on Oct 20, 2010 at 3:24:51 pm

you mentioned that your preview frame rate was poor in ae, i assume that means that you hit spacebar to preview (as you would to play the timeline in most apps).

in ae you'll be better off creating ram previews by hitting the zero on the numbers pad. your ram previews (once rendered to ram) should always play back in realtime. the trade off is the duration is limited to the amount of ram that you have available, and thus may only be a few seconds. using some of the things that todd has mentioned can help with that, namely down sampling the preview (if you downsample from full to half, your ram previews will be 4x longer). region of interest is also very useful when you only need to preview a portion of the frame, and setting ram previews to skip frames can also be useful.

as for the problems with the motion community, i think one of the biggest issues is that motion is only sold as part of the fcp suite, so many motion graphics professionals just don't have it, and thus, there are fewer of us to answer questions.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Kevin CampRe: Why is Apple Motion faster than After Effects?
by on Oct 20, 2010 at 3:32:36 pm

[Kevin Camp] "if you downsample from full to half, your ram previews will be 4x longer"

sorry, that should be if you set the magnification from 100% to 50% your previews will be 4x longer...

if you set the preview quality/downsampling from full to half your preview will render more quickly.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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