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froj

After Effects speed comparison

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did you all see this?

 

 

Lou Borello demonstrates the ability of a $50 piece of software (Motion) to key, colour correct, and play back in realtime with audio. Something that AE cannot dream of doing without RAM preview. The point he is making is NOT that Motion is awesome, but rather is there something different Adobe could be doing?

 

Is it time for Adobe to start over and rewrite this thing from the ground up? Actually utilise the hardware available to them?

 

I've been verbose enough tonight, I'll keep this short. What chances are there of any kind of major re-write now we've entered the CC age? Is it even more minor updates from here on out, or is the possibility there for big changes?

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Seems most of the discussions regarding Adobe recently come back around the fact that they're not 'competing' with anyone at all. The only contrary response seems to be 'but look what happened with FCPX'... which I think is a pretty extreme comparison, or maybe 'but developing something new takes time and money', which as mentioned already, they aren't lacking in the wallet department.

 

ie. I would not expect After Effects at this point to be packaged up as a consumer product (that's what Photoshop is for!)

 

I don't think that they would be concerned about pissing off existing customers because of backwards compatibility (which they only introduced 1 and a half versions ago). I would set fire to every single one of my hard drives if it meant a new AE would run in real time, whether GPU based or whatever.

 

This is all pipe dreams and naive rambling, but this simple comparison video is rather demonstrative.

Edited by froj

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We certainly acknowledge that there is a lot of room for improvement in this area---and it's where we're spending a lot of our effort---but the specific comparison seems a little odd to me. After Effects is a compositing program that is intended to process extremely complex scenes with thousands of layers and effects; it's by no means optimized for playing back a single layer with zero effects or one effect, which is what is demonstrated in this video.

 

I'd be very curious to see a similar comparison using a thousand layers, each with effects, in a complex motion graphics project.

I'm not saying that After Effects shouldn't be faster. It should. I just wouldn't use the playback of a single footage layer as my benchmark as this person did.

 

BTW, we currently have a large portion of our team dedicated to a fundamental architectural overhaul to improve performance, especially with regard to interaction speed/smoothness. So we do get this.

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What chances are there of any kind of major re-write now we've entered the CC age? Is it even more minor updates from here on out, or is the possibility there for big changes?

 

The new subscription model frees us up to concentrate _more_ on things like performance.

 

Steve Forde, the After Effects product manager, was recently talking (at AENY and AEPDX) about how with the perpetual license model, we had to create big shiny new features to convince people to upgrade, since that's what we could reliably count on to catch people's attention and get them to pay the rather large upgrade price. But with the new subscription system, we don't necessarily need to convince you to upgrade, since every subscriber always has access to the latest version. So, now, our primary goal is to keep the subscribers that we have---which we do most effectively by addressing the needs and pain points of you, the long-time user.

 

Consider what would have happened in the past if all that we did was to release a new version that was significantly faster, with no new features. In the past, we'd get torn apart by the press for being "lazy", because they wouldn't see anything new. This bad press would mean that few people would buy the upgrade, and so we'd have failed. But now, if we did the same thing, all of you who have subscriptions would have access to the new version, so you'd at least try it out, and the greater speed that you experienced users would notice would make you happy enough to keep paying the subscription fee.

 

The same applies to bug fixes and other stability issues, by the way.

 

So, with the new subscription system, I'd say to expect fewer shiny new things that you don't use (like Brainstorm) and more improvements that you want and need.

 

BTW, I'm the person who prioritizes features for the versions that we're currently working on, so I am quite confident when I say these things. ;-)

Edited by Todd Kopriva

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As always, thanks for chiming in Todd! This sounds good! I've read you post similar things here recently, I did follow the other threads regarding how before you didn't 'need' to care about us under the previous system ;) I'm aware of your good intentions and really appreciate the close link you provide (and have provided for many years!) I think it goes without saying that any negatives are never directed towards you.

 

In terms of the comparison its probably just an oversimplified 'well, if it can't run THIS simple thing well, how can it run THAT complex thing well'. Again, nobody is saying Motion is a great product, we constantly lament the fact that there is literally no real competition for AE. I you discount the last few minutes of the video altogether, one thing that was very clear independent of the Motion experiment at the end was that CS5,6,CC all had identical attempts at playing back that single layer in real time.

 

Atleast we all agree that AE should be faster, its not a new idea by any stretch I know ;) My preferred comparison over this little Motion thing would be how the new generation of 3D GPU render engines are totally rewriting the rules on what we expect from our software. If AE can somehow embrace the power of modern machines without having this extra hurdle then we are looking at an exciting future.

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So, with the new subscription system, I'd say to expect fewer shiny new things that you don't use (like Brainstorm) and more improvements that you want and need.

 

 

 

RELEASE NOTES

AFTER EFFECTS CC1.1

 

- CC Power Pin now works on 3D layers

- Brainstorm rewritten to be 13% faster than previous versions

- New "Hot Dog Stand" color scheme

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I am a bit suspicious of "realtime". Nice to have quick previews sometimes, but I don't 100% trust GPU powered effects. I was using Colorista extensively in a project, and was getting tiny, but annoying colour artifacts. I turned of GPU processing and rendering was noticeably slower, but more accurate.

I suspect realtime keying is probably a bit like this - in many cases the corners cut for speed may not matter, but every so often some annoying glitch crops up, or some required feature is not available, and all the time you saved is wasted in working out a work-around

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