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Insane Render Times

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Jared IshamInsane Render Times
by on Apr 1, 2011 at 3:18:18 am

I've had this issue before but not quite like this.

I have an animation that consists of maybe 60-100 layers creating a 3d model. All layers are PSD files. When I go to render out a movie as H.264 mp4 at any bitrate my 3 minute video decides to take well over 10 hours to render. I have no effects other than a "fill" on a few layers, no motion blur, and no depth of field turn on for the camera.

Also, my machine is pretty powerful.
Intel Core i7 965 @ 3.20GHz 3.33.GHz
12GB RAM
Win 7 64 bit
GeForce GTX 480
Nearly 400GB available disk space on a RAID 0
After Effects CS5

Any ideas of what might be causing this. I have other similar projects that aren't having this issue.

Jared Isham
Stage Ham
http://www.stgham.com
film. video. web media


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Jared IshamRe: Insane Render Times
by on Apr 1, 2011 at 4:57:24 am

Some additional info that may be of help it attempting to solve this issue.

Some of my PSD files are in the 8,000 x 6,000 pixel size range. Could that be way a frame with 50 pas layers and now effects or blurs are taking between 45sec and 7mins to render?

Jared Isham
Stage Ham
http://www.stgham.com
film. video. web media


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Gaz EvansRe: Insane Render Times
by on Apr 1, 2011 at 8:58:00 am

Hi Jared,

Not really a solution as such but have you every thought of using a render farm? I often use a render farm to render my 3d animated sequences, The one I use is called Render-IT (http://www.Render-IT).

Hope that helps.

Gaz

Gaz Evans

Workflow Technician
The diROOM
http://www.diROOM.com


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Jared IshamRe: Insane Render Times
by on Apr 1, 2011 at 3:16:55 pm

I would totally be down for using a render farm but not sure the boss has it in the budget to do so.

Jared Isham
Stage Ham
http://www.stgham.com
film. video. web media


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Jim ArcoRe: Insane Render Times
by on Apr 1, 2011 at 12:31:41 pm

I find that blurs can take a LOT of render time, as can any dynamic link between CS applications.

To help isolate the problem, you could turn off different effects to see which has the most impact on render time. One suggestion would be to use a very short version of your project (maybe 15-30 frames) and turn off HALF of the effects and see if it changes the time significantly. If so, you know that one/several of those effects may be the problem. If render time doesn't change significantly, you know that the other half of the effects might be causing the problem.

Continue turning off half/quarter/etc of the effects until you determine those that are the most render intensive. Once you isolate the cause, you can decide if there are other solutions. Also some 3rd party effects do not use all available processors in your i7 - I've seen a few that only use one of the cores, meaning that everything is waiting for that one plug-in to process.

Something else to consider: a hundred 48megapixel PSD layers might be more than even your 12gb memory can handle, particularly if you have other things running at the same time.

Jim


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Dave LaRondeRe: Insane Render Times
by on Apr 1, 2011 at 2:56:08 pm

Those are very big layers. You have many of them. You may have multiple effects applied to them. Some of these effects may be render intensive. You may have a 3D comp and multiple lights casting multiple shadows . You may be using motion blur.

All of these conditions will affect render times. The sheer size of the layers demands more memory per frame. If you use multiprocessing, consider reducing the number of processors to perhaps 2, and allocating about 4GB/processor. Or consider turning off multiprocessing entirely.

And of course, if you use Open GL to accelerate rendering you should disable it because it does more harm than good. The people at Adobe don't use Open GL to accelerate rendering. You shouldn't, either.

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


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Jared IshamRe: Insane Render Times
by on Apr 1, 2011 at 3:15:00 pm

I figured the size was the killer. Note to self - shrink layer sizes before building the comp. As far as effects go I only use the "fill" effect maybe 4 times. Other than that there are no effects used in the composition. I also have multiproccessing turned off along with OpenGL being turned off and it still has crazy render times.

It's gotta be the layer sizes that's causing the issues. A half-rez RAM preview only take 15-20 minutes to render, but even that x4 shouldn't be 10+ hours, right?

Jared Isham
Stage Ham
http://www.stgham.com
film. video. web media


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Dave LaRondeRe: Insane Render Times
by on Apr 1, 2011 at 3:24:20 pm

A re-read of the original post reveals two things:

1) you're using these monster-huge layers to build some sort of 3D model. If you have a couple of lights and motion blur, you're kind of stuck with the render times involved. The only possible thing you could do would be to prerender the layers using the Fill effect, and I doubt it would be a big time-saver.
And it's probably too late in the game to reduce the size of your layers.

2) you're rendering to H.264. Very Ill-advised. Here's why:

Dave's Stock Answer #3:

Don't use AE to compress files for final delivery. The various compressors are there only to make quick 'n dirty files showing a project's progress to producers, clients, the kids, etc. AE is incapable of doing multipass encoding, a crucial feature that greatly improves the image quality of H.264 and MPEG-type files in particular.

Render a high-quality file from AE, and use a different application to do the compression. Popular ones are Adobe Media Encoder, Sorenson Squeeze and Apple's Compressor, which comes bundled with Final Cut Suite. Even compressing in Quicktime Pro is better than compressing in AE.

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


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Jared IshamRe: Insane Render Times
by on Apr 1, 2011 at 4:46:08 pm

Makes total sense (apparently the final delivery is H.254 which was the basis for going straight to H.264) Running it at lossless avi and it appears to be working better - still a long render.

At this point it may just be better than to wait out the render then attempting to resize everything. Probably faster in the long run.

Jared Isham
Stage Ham
http://www.stgham.com
film. video. web media


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Adam DuplayRe: Insane Render Times
by on Apr 1, 2011 at 9:39:56 pm

I have tested this myself, and can confirm that very large psd files will really slow down your renders. Resizing in PS first is the best way to go.

Adam Duplay


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Insane Render Times
by on Apr 1, 2011 at 5:35:02 pm

Also, the sudden jump in render time when you go full res, may have to do with RAM usage. If it's having to squeeze those very large images in and out of RAM (perhaps swapping info on your hard drive too), that can really kill a render.

- 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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Jon BaggeRe: Insane Render Times
by on Apr 1, 2011 at 9:42:15 pm

To change the size of the layers after the event without messing everything up, simply proxy render them to, say, half-size (which will reduce them by 75%). Wouldn't surprise me if you can get a way with third size (1/9th) for some layers. You can always keep layers that are large in the composition at the original size.

When you then render the final composition you *must* remember to switch proxies ON in the render settings, or AE will ignore all your proxies.

I've done this myself on occasion when I've realised my photoshop files are unnecessarily large. (I tend to like them large)
It's better than discovering they are too small...

Check out this script to batch render proxies:
http://aescripts.com/rd-approximate/

And finally, pre-render background elements or other things if you can and make final quality proxies to use for the final render.

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


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Jared IshamRe: Insane Render Times
by on Apr 1, 2011 at 9:47:03 pm

All my layers are pretty much in one PSD file. I've never done a proxy render, so I am assuming that if I resize them in PS and there is a way to save a proxy from that and have AE recognize it?

And this won't mess up my anchor points and alignments?

I'll do a little bit more research on it to see what I can come up with.

Jared Isham
Stage Ham
http://www.stgham.com
film. video. web media


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Jon BaggeRe: Insane Render Times
by on Apr 1, 2011 at 10:09:31 pm

All my layers are pretty much in one PSD file. I've never done a proxy render, so I am assuming that if I resize them in PS and there is a way to save a proxy from that and have AE recognize it?

And this won't mess up my anchor points and alignments?

I'll do a little bit more research on it to see what I can come up with.


If you resize them in photoshop then you will have to realign everything. So don't.

The fact that they're in the same file shouldn't matter, AE pretty much treats each PS layer from the same file as a seperate source in the project window, so you should be able to render proxies for some/all of the PS layers in the same/different sizes.

Read up on proxies in the manual/adobe site. Proxies are very very useful for a number of things. I use proxies both in low resolution to speed up workflow prior to final render, and full res proxies to speed up final render.
When you've got the basics of it I'm sure we can guide you through any questions you might have.

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


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Marc VillarinRe: Insane Render Times
by on Apr 7, 2011 at 3:56:53 pm

I have experience that problem before in one project that rely on assets in formats of PSDs and Ai. Apparently all my assets have dimension of 3000 pixels above, my rendering time was killer. It was either spending several hours render or having ae hang.

Upon figuring out what could help my machine render faster. I check my assets in Photoshop, and discovered that if you lower the resolution (Image > Image size) in an acceptable amount, it could speed up your renders (I played around the figures of 72 to 120 in resolution value).
If you still want to retain your image dimensions, Simple copy the width value, before changing your resolution value, and paste the width value (With the constrain proportions checked) after you change the resolution value.

On the project there was a significant speed in the rendering, and my machine had no problems rendering the materials. Without redoing the entire comp from scratch.

Hope this helps


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