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jeickholt

Why is After Effects such an unresponsive beast when rendering?

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So its 12:30am and I'm rendering a shit ton of comps. Why does AE always freeze out, beach ball and act so unresponsive when rendering? I'm running cs4 on a 8 core macpro with 16gb ram. Has anyone dialed in some multiproc settings that renders fairly quickly and does not turn the workstation into a unresponsive render drone? I do a lot of c4d stuff too and it renders away in the background quite unobtrusively. I render in AE and the computer is basically useless. I'm just venting i guess... but I'm overworked and I have other non AE stuff to work on. It's annoying me!

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So its 12:30am and I'm rendering a shit ton of comps. Why does AE always freeze out, beach ball and act so unresponsive when rendering? I'm running cs4 on a 8 core macpro with 16gb ram. Has anyone dialed in some multiproc settings that renders fairly quickly and does not turn the workstation into a unresponsive render drone? I do a lot of c4d stuff too and it renders away in the background quite unobtrusively. I render in AE and the computer is basically useless. I'm just venting i guess... but I'm overworked and I have other non AE stuff to work on. It's annoying me!

Yeah, it's After Effects. Sometimes you just gotta yell at it and smack it in the face. And when it's really bad...curb stomp that bitch.

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This site has a few scripts that might help.

 

http://aescripts.com/

 

A) Use the Throttle script to restrict multi-proc to leave some processors free for working. Or B) set up a multi-machine render, and use BG-Renderer to launch multiple terminal renders. Option B is slightly better.

 

Never use multi-proc on image sequences.

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maybe try nucleo pro.... you can define background renderings and prioritys etc there...

...under windows you have the opportunity to start the app several times ... don't know exactly, may be there is a way do get that under MSCOS, too.

 

By the way I'm really dissapointed from AE-Speed on my octa MACPRO. As fast/slow as the old G5.

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There isn't a Nucleo version for CS4 at the moment... Too bad, because I won't upgrade 'till this one arrives.

 

maybe try nucleo pro.... you can define background renderings and prioritys etc there...

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I am reluctant to switch to CS4 (mac), as I have more or less got used to AE CS3's multiprocessing. I find if AE has a crash or force quit, it doesn't cull all the background processes correctly, and gets confused when relaunched. It seems safest to restart the Mac at this point, to clean things up.

Fortunately AE crashes are fairly infrequent.

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This will not help your problem, but I always looked on this as a good thing.

Not for getting the JOB done, but for ME.

 

Now it's time to walk away from the computer. Take a nap, grab a bite, watch some TV.

When you come back, your renders will be done and you will have energy to do the next part ...

 

 

Tell your producer the machine is rendering and let them know that next time, they have to factor that into the schedule.

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By the way I'm really dissapointed from AE-Speed on my octa MACPRO. As fast/slow as the old G5.

 

What do you mean? It should be blazing fast.

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Never use multi-proc on image sequences.

 

I'm wondering about this too. Why?

 

CS3 rendering of projects over a certain complexity level is usually so flaky for me (on both PC and Mac with various OSes) that I have to render image sequences most of the time, just to be able to restart the render from frame X after the inevitable crash. Or, almost as often, certain plugins will fail on a couple of frames, requiring a re-render.

 

Then again, I can't say that multi-processor rendering makes a worthwhile speed difference in the long run for me. In fact, sometimes it actually slows renders down (I assume from having to launch multiple instances of AE and manage all the memory required). Enabling and disabling layer caching and frame purging don't seem to do much, either.

 

I've always just taken it as granted that AE8 is nigh-impossible to optimize and highly prone to crashing, as has everyone else at my workplace. We've tried Nucleo Pro and various render-oriented scripts too, with no measurable success.

 

As far as I'm concerned, CS3 is a buggy, bloated beast that simply has to be dealt with as-is. Has CS4 made any substantial improvements to render speed and/or stability?

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What do you mean? It should be blazing fast.

 

ok, ok... maybe a bit exxagerated... it's a little faster than my old G5 ;)

but the software is definitely buggy.... and deals really bad with the strong horsepower of the new machines

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Have you tried turning the multiprocessor off in preference? tha worked for me in making my ram previews render faster. multiprocessor in AE Mac seem to be buggy in CS3 atleast.

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1. Multi processor should never be turned on for RAM previewing.

2. I can hardly imagine using Multi processor for anything *besides* image sequences. This way you have different processors rendering different frames and in the time it would have taken to render one frame you have 8 done.

3. Your computer needs to be shit fast for Multi processor to make much of a difference. But I just rendered a sequence on an octo that took 1.5 hours rendered normally and 20 minutes with multi processor turned on. So yeah, it helps if you've got the hardware to support it.

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1. Multi processor should never be turned on for RAM previewing.

2. I can hardly imagine using Multi processor for anything *besides* image sequences. This way you have different processors rendering different frames and in the time it would have taken to render one frame you have 8 done.

3. Your computer needs to be shit fast for Multi processor to make much of a difference. But I just rendered a sequence on an octo that took 1.5 hours rendered normally and 20 minutes with multi processor turned on. So yeah, it helps if you've got the hardware to support it.

 

so rendering out a mov file only uses 1 processor, while rendering out frames uses all 8?

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3. Your computer needs to be shit fast for Multi processor to make much of a difference.

 

Define "shit fast?"

 

Because my new workstation (specs below) shows virtually no improvement with multi-proc on, and this is pretty much the best single-socket box you can build today.

 

Core i7 920 @ 3.2GHz (HT on)

eVGA X58

12G G.Skill DDR3 1600

WD Raptor

eVGA 9800 GT

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I'm pretty sure that rendering out a movie is going to bottleneck all the processors onto that one frame, as opposed to allowing them to work on their own individual frames, hence the slowdown.

 

As for shit fast, leahzero, I'm thinking amount of processors and amount of memory. I had a lot of success on an 8 core. google searching says your processor is 4 core, is that right? maybe you need 8, and are you rendering img sequences?

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I always use Throttle&Purge from aescripts.com . It is perfect, because it allows you to quickly switch your project to Multiprocess before render. Also reminds you to flip the 16bpc button that is there just staring at you.

 

I also agree that Multi-proc shouldn't be used too much for RAM preview. But it should always be used for render. Make sure you set up your memory configuration properly. Each processor that is launched does not need 2 GB. It doesn't need 1 GB. Make sure to save some for the rest of the processes going on in your computer. The machine I am working on right now is set to limit the Max RAM Cache to 916MB. You could really lower that amount if need be, but its working great at the moment.

 

do some tests. What I found was that more RAM allocated to each processor doesn't not make it faster. As long as you don't get frame buffer errors, you can get away with the minimum of 512MB per proc. I found that it makes my machine run smoother to give it less than 1GB. Usually in the realm of 768-900ishMB per proc.

 

The background renderer script is nice too - you can tell it how many procs to use, and the priority of the render.

 

If that doesn't help, make sure the RAM is installed in matching pairs, and is added in the right order.

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Last job I just quit from, they got two BOXX technologies octo core PC's. They were pretty good for cinema 4D rendering, but had windows xp 32bit... the ram was maxed out at 3GB. It was a pain in the ass.

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All you peeps with slow 8 core performance should check your HD speed. If you've got 8 processors hitting the same HD 8x for every asset in every frame, your poor HD is going to have an asthma attack unless its damn fast. If you are rendering to that same drive as well, it gets even worse. Working at HD? Worse still!

 

With MP, you gotta have a drive that can keep up with the demands. 8 instances can/will be slower than one instance if you don't.

You spent many thousands on the CPU and RAM for your workstation, so get the storage speed to match. A big single 1TB drive is not going to cut it.

 

I upgraded my drives recently and was blown away how much it helped my MP.

 

-sf

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All you peeps with slow 8 core performance should check your HD speed. If you've got 8 processors hitting the same HD 8x for every asset in every frame, your poor HD is going to have an asthma attack unless its damn fast. If you are rendering to that same drive as well, it gets even worse. Working at HD? Worse still!

 

With MP, you gotta have a drive that can keep up with the demands. 8 instances can/will be slower than one instance if you don't.

You spent many thousands on the CPU and RAM for your workstation, so get the storage speed to match. A big single 1TB drive is not going to cut it.

 

I upgraded my drives recently and was blown away how much it helped my MP.

 

-sf

 

 

very good point. also, HD performance goes to total shit once it gets over 80% full.

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QUOTE (substandard @ Apr 3 2009, 06:41 AM) *

This site has a few scripts that might help.

 

http://aescripts.com/

Never use multi-proc on image sequences.

 

 

Why not?

 

----------------

 

 

yes, why not?

 

You can definitely use multi-proc on image sequences. The main problem with MP is not having enough RAM. I suggest a minimum of 2GB per core, but in reality i would suggest more since each core can use up to 4GB of ram so on big complex comps having only 2GB per core will make the machine unresponsive. Hope that makes sense.

 

-Lloyd

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You can definitely use multi-proc on image sequences. The main problem with MP is not having enough RAM. I suggest a minimum of 2GB per core, but in reality i would suggest more since each core can use up to 4GB of ram so on big complex comps having only 2GB per core will make the machine unresponsive. Hope that makes sense.

 

-Lloyd

 

Really? I will take your word for it, but I have never run into problems with having it set much, much lower. In fact, if you let AE take all of you RAM - this is where I have seen problems of unresponsiveness.

 

 

great scripts btw.

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I think there's also a flawed paradigm at work here. Do you want fast renders or do you want to do other stuff while you render? Two different things. MP that's doing the job right is going to be using most of your system's ram and processor power. But it'll get your render done that much quicker. I haven't messed with any of the background render scripts mentioned above so maybe there's a way to have your cake and eat it too. As far as I'm concerned though, take BrandJ's advice, go take a break while your octo gets down to business, instead of taking up processor power browsing posts on mograph.net. :)

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