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after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM

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noah klersfeld
after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Feb 23, 2011 at 12:01:56 am

i am trying to render a 550 layer video (HDV) with after effects CS5.
The render queue estimated 25 hours to render the 3 minute video.
After 17 hours it froze up and gave the following message:
"after effects error: an output module stopped responding. the file may be damaged or corrupted. you may need to restart after effects."

I have a Two 2.93GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere” (12 cores) machine with 64G of RAM with the following preferences in AECS5:
RAM for other apps = 3G
RAM available for AE = 61G
Installed CPUs = 24
CPUs reserved for other apps = 12
RAM allocated per background CPU = 3G
Actual CPUs that will be used = 12

Any ideas whats wrong here? Any information would be greatly appreciated. This is all new equipment.
Thank you
Noah


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Darby Edelen
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Feb 23, 2011 at 2:27:47 am

[noah klersfeld] "I have a Two 2.93GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere” (12 cores) machine with 64G of RAM with the following preferences in AECS5:
RAM for other apps = 3G
RAM available for AE = 61G
Installed CPUs = 24
CPUs reserved for other apps = 12
RAM allocated per background CPU = 3G
Actual CPUs that will be used = 12"


I would recommend leaving at least 16GB and 4 cores available for other applications.

Horrible things can happen if you let AE go hog wild with your computer's resources.

Other than that I would say you should try and simplify your comp as much as possible. Pre-render things and use less processor intensive effects if possible.

Darby Edelen


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noah klersfeld
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Feb 23, 2011 at 4:11:02 am

I would recommend leaving at least 16GB and 4 cores available for other applications.

So you would change
RAM for other apps from 3G to 16G
and how do I allow 4 cores for other apps?


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Craig Wall
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Feb 23, 2011 at 9:12:52 am

Darby's words should be taken very seriously...even for people with elite workstations:

"Horrible things can happen if you let AE go hog wild with your computer's resources."

CS5 is a major step backwards for stability at this point if you don't take all kinds of extra cautionary measures.

I have found out the hard way that the only way to get my work done is to dummy my 16 thread system down to about 4-8 working threads. It is unfortunate and I sure hope we see major improvements soon.

Life is full of funny particles.


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noah klersfeld
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Feb 23, 2011 at 1:48:41 pm

i am installing the AE update and Encoder update.
i am increasing the RAM for other apps to 16G leaving 48G for AE.
I have 12 CPUs for other apps and 12 CPUs that will be used...should I reduce that as well?


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Kevin Camp
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Feb 23, 2011 at 5:41:45 pm

you've got enough ram that i think 12 cores for other apps should be fine.

as you render you can watch the cpu levels in the activity monitor or task manager to see how well the cpus are working. if you are getting low levels, then that means that the cores aren't getting enough data. that's often not having enough ram, but it can also be that your drives aren't fast enough to fill the ram. so you need to then look at ram usage and disk activity to see where the bottleneck is. often reducing the number of cores used by ae by increasing the cores to leave for other apps can help -- kind of counter intuitive...

also, while hdv works better in ae10, you can often get better performance if you convert it to something like lossless animation or photo-jpeg or another fast encode/decode codec, particularly if you are compositing multiple clips... of course with high data rate codecs like those and several streams, you'll need fast drives to keep up with the data demands.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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noah klersfeld
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Feb 23, 2011 at 6:12:43 pm

Thanks Kevin
Are there optimum numbers or levels I am looking for in the task manager for:

CPU Levels
RAM Usage
Disk Activity

I'm not sure I know how to interpret the information and identify a bottleneck.


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Kevin Camp
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Feb 24, 2011 at 4:50:48 pm

really you'll just need to look at the cpu activity meter (looks a bit like a green digital audio meter, fluctuating up and down). the higher those values the better. i wouldn't be too concerned if the levels were around 75%, but if they are consistently bellow 50% then you probably want to start looking at the ram and/or disk.

ram settings are the easiest to deal with, you can try tweaking multiprocessing & memory settings. it should be noted that performance and these settings are really comp specific, settings that work really well for one comp may not work as well for another.... however, i've noticed that simply modifying the number of cores available to ae or changing the amount of ram that is allocated to each core can often effect performance quite a bit. the idea is that you want to use as many cores as you can, but have enough ram to feed them data efficiently... some comps/effects will benefit from more cores with less ram for each, while others will benefit from fewer cores with more ram... you've got a lot of ram, so i don't think you'll run into a lot of problems here.

if you are noticing poor cpu levels and the drives are very active (lots of reading/writing) then you most likely have a data bottleneck at the drive level. the only setting that has a direct effect on that within ae is the disk cache, so you might try disabling that when you see this happen -- the idea is to decrease read/write activity by not having ae use the disk for caching. the os also caches to disk when it runs out of memory, so having a fair amount of ram allocated to 'other apps' should help reduce its need to disk cache.

in addition to those settings for a drive bottleneck, you can try to split your data up onto separate drive buses. a common way is to set ae's cache to the main drive (internal bus) and set your media and renders on an external drive (like a sata or sas raid). the os will also cache to the internal drive, so you've now split the data onto two separate buses, an increased the amount of disk data that can be drawn from at any given time.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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noah klersfeld
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Feb 25, 2011 at 2:22:31 am

in the activity monitor:

when rendering my CPU reads % User = 11.82, % System = 3.33, % Idle = 86.94 (fluctuates)
threads = 1850, processes = 60
my cache is disabled within AE
(in AE at the bottom of the render queue it reads RAM 17% used of 64GB)
system memory used = 50GB
disc activity shows a jagged green line at top of square with peak 46.6 mb/sec
and a flat red line at the bottom of the square

does this indicate anything to you?

the readings i listed are at the beginning of the render not at the point when it
fails. would these meter readings change? For this particular piece it always
fails after 16 hours (of 30). is something accumulating to a point that causes it to fail?
thanks for your help


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Philippe Lessard
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Feb 23, 2011 at 10:43:03 pm

Try to render on your internal hardrive, we have this error at work when we try to render on our raid network.

Hope this work.


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noah klersfeld
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Feb 23, 2011 at 10:45:20 pm

thanks I do render internally


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Jon Bagge
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Feb 24, 2011 at 9:29:20 pm

Apart from the advice already given I would recommend rendering to image files (png or jpg) if you have a very large render. That way you don't have to re-render everything if something goes wrong.

Also if you think hard drive access is an issue make sure you're rendering to a different drive from where your sources are.

--------------
http://www.jonbagge.net
Jon Bagge - Editor - London, UK
Avid - FCP - After Effects


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noah klersfeld
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Feb 25, 2011 at 2:20:09 am

thanks Jon
The portion of work that renders before the crash is usable and I only need
to render the unfinished portion. Is this not typical. I am rendering to the
same drive where the source is...why would this be a problem? There is
plenty of free space.


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Kevin Camp
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Feb 25, 2011 at 2:57:55 pm

the last couple of responses i've made were (using task manager to monitor cpus, and such) were more for performance issues rather than the crash issue... the last settings you posted seem like they should be getting you through the render -- 16gb should be plenty for the os and other apps, 12 cores with about 4gb each should be good for ae.

does you render keep crashing at the same point?

and, yes things do accumulate in ae. the ram cache accumulates to a point (default is around 60% of ae's available ram). at that point it starts to clear cached frames (oldest first).

sometimes ae can have problems clearing that cache and that can cause a crash. if you think that is the problem, hold shift while choosing any of ae's preferences (like 'general') from the menu bar.

then if you check the list of preferences from the pref window, at the bottom should be one called 'secret'. select it, and set the 'purge every xx frames' value to a number of frames that is less than where the crash is occurring (ie, if it crashes around frame 400, try a setting around 300). once you're finished with this project, clear the purge frame value to set ae back to normal.

also, if the crash occurs at the same frame every time, check the comp to see if there is a keyframe or a layer inpoint at that frame. it may be that there is something happening at that point that is causing the crash.

another option would be to disable 'render multiple frames simultaneously' and see if that gets you though the render.

lastly, when you say ae crashes, you do mean that it gives you an error or just unexpectedly quits, not that the render simply ends early, correct?

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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noah klersfeld
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Feb 25, 2011 at 4:05:11 pm

i am getting an error message after about 16 hours of 30 into the render. the system is not crashing, just the render fails and reads ""after effects error: an output module stopped responding. the file may be damaged or corrupted. you may need to restart after effects." the source footage is ok. it does not fail at the same frame each time. when i disable render multiple frames the 30 hour estimate becomes 115 hours...


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Kevin Camp
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Feb 25, 2011 at 6:19:35 pm

it's interesting that the partially rendered media is usable... normally a crash during rendering produces a corrupt, or unusable clip.

how long is the comp? (duration)

how large is the file (the portion that gets rendered), in MB or GB?

and have any of your memory setting changes made much of an effect on how much gets rendered, or at what point the render stops?

also, what file type (avi, mov, etc) and codec (lossless, hdv, mpeg) are you outputting?

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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noah klersfeld
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Feb 26, 2011 at 11:12:24 pm

the comp is 3 minutes long

about 1GB

the memory settings did not make much difference

mov

i tried to output to HDV and then animation (lossless?).
the animation rendered one hour longer before failing...

the comp is made of 500 video layers using only one source clip
and each in layer the video has only a mask applied to it


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noah klersfeld
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Feb 27, 2011 at 6:13:39 pm

actually the rendered portion of the HDV is 363MB (16:46 hours and failed)
and the rendered portion of the animation is 13.86GB (17.36 hours and failed)


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Kevin Camp
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Feb 28, 2011 at 9:46:41 pm

i have to admit that i'm at a loss as to why the file won't finish rendering.

i can say that with 500 footage layers, the slow performance is almost 100% due to drive/drive bus speed... that's just a lot of frames to have to load for each frame to process, so tweaking memory settings would help much.

if possible, i'd try to split the main comp up into maybe five 100 layer pre-comps (or ten 50 layer pre-comps), and try pre-rendering (composition>pre-render) each pre-comp. if you can do that, you can then render the main comp using the pre-rendered footage.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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noah klersfeld
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Mar 5, 2011 at 9:46:08 pm

thanks Kevin for all of your help.


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Darby Edelen
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on Feb 28, 2011 at 9:47:08 pm

[noah klersfeld] "
actually the rendered portion of the HDV is 363MB (16:46 hours and failed)
and the rendered portion of the animation is 13.86GB (17.36 hours and failed)"


More important than this information is what frame it failed on. Did both renders fail on the same frame? If you have QuickTime Player 7 you can view the frame number by clicking on the timecode in the lower left and selecting "Frame Number."

If they both failed on the same frame, or near the same frame, look for something that is changing in your composition at that frame in AE and try to fix it.

Darby Edelen


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Chris Curtiss
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on May 23, 2012 at 11:31:14 pm

Kevin, I've just experienced the same problem/error. Although my machine isn't as powerful as Noahs.

Using CS5.5

Here's a bit of info on specs etc:

2 x 2.4 GHz Quad Core Mac Pro, with 16GB 1066 RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5770.

Render Settings:
1920 x 1080
Quicktime Animation Codec (Need as high res as possible, but willing to sacrifice a little if it means speeding up the process dramatically)

Memory Preferences:
Installed RAM: 16GB
Ram reserved for other applications: 3GB
Ram available for AE: 13GB

Multiprocessing Preferences:
Installed CPUs: 16
CPUs reserved for other applications: 0
RAM allocation per background CPU: 2GB
Actual CPUs that will be used: 5

Media & Disk Cache:
Maximum DIsk Cache Size: 20GB

XMP Metadata: Both boxes ticked.

In 'Secret' Preferences, I have Disable Layer Cache unticked and Purge Every 3 Frames.

Open GL is Off

The error that Noah mentioned appeared for me after around 7 hours of rendering. Est. Time remaining was 6 Hours. The clip was usable that was rendered out, so I've decided to trim the comp from where it 'crashed' and render the rest out.

The composition is 1 minute long in it's entirety, and 'crashed' around 35 seconds.

From reading that, is there anything you could suggest to speed up this render? It's the slowest I've ever had using this machine, whether that be because of what I'm rendering, or the Memory/Multiprocessing settings I really don't know. If you need any more info to help, please let me know. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Chris


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Gabriel Suchowolski
Re: after effects cs5 render freeze 12 core 64G RAM
on May 28, 2012 at 2:38:11 pm

Workaround for the memory bug of CS 5.5 After Effects




But will make you not to have multicore render :(

http://cocoe.tumblr.com/post/23800923723/workaround-for-the-memory-bug-of-c...


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