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Todd Kopriva

what's coming in the next version of After Effects

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AE runs fine on my nMP. But I did upgrade from a lowish spec iMac so maybe it's relative to expectations. I have no real experience of other compositing/animation apps. Are they appreciably faster?

What is it you're after from Cinema 4D? Is it open CL rendering or viewport/object handling?

 

Let's put it this way: my MP6,1 is for certain faster than the older 2008-2009 generation tech I had before but it still comes nowhere close to real-time previewing of basic motion compositions (like simple Trapcode projects at 720p and 24 or 30 fps). Choppy / laggy is the best word I'd use to describe anything previewed at high quality and even 50% magnification. I will look forward to seeing how the change from 13.2 to 13.5 goes but it looks less like the preview itself enables something closer to RT than the preview is no longer a blocker to doing other things in the UI while previewing. Important but as Mylenium said still not THE THING that we're hoping for (although sounds like said thing is definitely on the roadmap).

 

C4D: I'm after the viewport performance not being an underwhelming kick in the nuts for even basic XP projects, projects that animate a mix of low poly clones and medium poly count objects, etc. Tired of the ole: "well if I just turn these seven features off that affect quality of the preview, then it still sucks but not as badly", or "if I just use projects that have nothing but low poly objects, it's sorta passable."

 

C4D in this regard is actually worse on some levels than AE. At least with AE you know if you have the RAM and CPUs, and wait that extra time you'll get a RT preview eventually (until you change something), and that if you hit escape to stop the preview (so you can change something and start over) everything will stop. With C4D, you start previewing a big scene, and that's it. You hit escape or anything else and you're just as likely to get no responde or a crash. At least on OS X. Maybe it's different on a PC, I don't know.

 

Whether they fix it with better threading, memory management or GPUs, I couldn't care less. Just fix the damn thing already. People have only been asking for it for 5+ years now. Sure am glad we got that grass feature and that cogs feature the last two releases though -- way more critical than viewport performance.

Edited by Zmotive

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Why am I getting a "403 Forbidden" on every adobe link? :unsure:

 

Check your hosts file. I'm betting Adobe's servers are on the blocklist. Almost every fucking studio I work at same thing.

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Zmotive - mate, I know you know how computers work, but it just sounds like your expectations are way too high. If you want a 3D application with an amazing fast viewport, use Maya. Autodesk has legion coders working to make Maya crash as often as possible to bring you true tessellated DX11 graphics without rendering. Maxon have like 25 staff. I don't have really crappy slowdown in my 3D viewport. I dislike the viewport in c4d because of its outdated implementation of OpenGL, but a bit like analogue photography, I quite like working blind and seeing what pops out of the render. Yeah it's not totally ideal, but I think you're exaggerating, and if you're not, upgrade your computer. But even this 8-year-old laptop is cool with C4D in realtime (usually enough). I usually get between 15- 60 fps viewport speeds on this antiquated laptop.

 

As for AE, I don't understand the issue enough. I never understood why just playing a video required a preview buffer. But saying you've got SSDs means fuck-all if they've never sorted this out. You could have 6 stripe-0 RAID SATA-3 SSDs and it still wouldn't play back realtime.

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iline: computer is top of the line as far as Macs go, but to be clear I would never make these statements about the viewports or anything else like that unless:

a ) I had spent a good amount of time making sure it's not user error / that I'm not f-ing up some setting or combination of settings

b ) numerous other individuals with a reasonably similar hardware setup, are seeing a reasonable approximation of the same unresponsive viewport I am.

 

I grant you my expectations are high and always I admit that I understand programming is difficult and juggling feature priorities for release (having seen this as an alpha and better tester in different venues) is also an issue for any piece of software. But I don't think in the case of C4D's viewport, in 2015 with the technology available, that I am asking anything unusual or unreasonable.

 

With SSDs and AE my only point there was to make it clear I don't have a fast system and slow, POS cache disks that bottleneck everything. The app, the cache, everything runs off of drives that move data in excess of 400MB/s. In summation, no hardware bottlenecks. The performance issue is with AE. Although again I'm glad to hear Adobe set to making the requests in last winter's survey a reality, and that maybe this year we'll see some nice advancements in this area.

 

And as always, I have much to learn from all of you Hollwyood content-makin' yahoos. I don't make money off this stuff yet, so if you who do tell me "we got the same Mac setup you do and our _____ screams with AE/ C4D... you're fucking something up" I'll listen. So far though precisely zero people, in a range of online venues and real-life venues have suggested that. Many however suggest they have the exact same frustrations. Again, maybe the viewport and stuff sucks less on a PC running Windows 7, I don't know... but I sure as hell want no part of Maya or Modo given the stability issues. So I appreciate that bit at least. Also Maya is a PITA to learn I'm told.

Edited by Zmotive

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In light of game engines, 3D programs or plug-ins like Element 3D using PBR shading in OpenGL C4D is going to fall in line one of these days... Funnily, though, C4D's atrocious line drawing performance in wireframe mode has always been a bigger issue for me. It just plain sucks in that department. Otherwise I wouldn't give one of my pooped diapers for what iline said - sure C4D can handle a bunch of extruded text or MoGraph clones, but that is really not the point. It's about scalability and robustness and that's where C4D really doesn't make an impression. Working with large scenes in C4D is a pain compared to pretty much any competitor, something I was vividly reminded of when recently I had a stint with Lightwave again. Having a 20 million polygon scene in C4D vs. LW is a huge difference. And if you need any further indication, you just need to watch the Maya/ MAX 2016 demo vids - play back a huge environment scene with complicated deformations plus tons of particles? Try that for kicks in C4D and be disappointed...

 

Mylenium

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More like try that for kicks in C4D, get tired of waiting, try to escape out of the playback and watch your Mac lock up until you have to force-quit.

 

LOL. I wish there was a button for that one. But C4D is remarkably stable in terms of being able to clone a booleaned, sub-d'd poly object times a hundred and animated, you can keep things live and carry on going, no 'Delete All History' needed. Maya does crash all the time, but Maya is a bitch to learn because you've learned the most user-friendly 3D animation package out there. When you do start learning Maya you realise, several times a week, 'oh, there's a keypress for that?!' and 'the developer has thought of implementing that?' and 'people have been doing that THIS way for all these years?' and suddenly C4D loses its sheen. In Maya, so many times, you select one object in the viewport, hold down shift and select another, then press a key and something happens without fanfare (parenting, merging, binding to bones, all kinds) whereas you get these 90's options in cinema that are frankly, coated in a thin film of dust.

 

AE is going to win support not from new users but us, the crusties, when it gets onto really using the hardware we've been buying for the purpose of working faster. The GPU integration and media cache pipeline have not sped up my workflow, and they seem to be the cause of crashes too. (blitpipe anyone?) But fuck it, we're all aware of this, and while The Foundry are trying to tempt us away by giving away non-commercial copies of Nuke Studio for free, I see a fire has been lit under Adobe's ass :)

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Todd, I'm sure you've been invited to the motion design Slack chat and are understandably avoiding it because then you would get no work done but it would be awesome if you were to join in at scheduled times so we could chat with you, if only for small bits at a time.

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Perhaps what Adobe will be using to take AE from the about-to-be-released modestly sped up version for Mac, to the "big enchilada speed boost" version next year. If the WWDC keynote is any indicator, it will be. 8x viewport / rendering speed up, eh? I'll take that any time you want to serve it up, please. Hopefully this will be an easier thing for devs to adapt to than OpenCL, which utterly failed in that regard.

 

:)

 

https://developer.apple.com/metal/

Edited by Zmotive

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Perhaps what Adobe will be using to take AE from the about-to-be-released version for Mac, to the "big enchilada speed boost" version next year.

 

https://developer.apple.com/metal/

 

What we showed at WWDC regarding Metal is just experimentation with some effects at this point. We are in the early stages of some investigations regarding GPU acceleration, and this is one of the avenues of exploration.
In other words, don’t be misled into thinking that this is coming to publicly available After Effects right away.

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What we showed at WWDC regarding Metal is just experimentation with some effects at this point. We are in the early stages of some investigations regarding GPU acceleration, and this is one of the avenues of exploration.
In other words, don’t be misled into thinking that this is coming to publicly available After Effects right away.

 

 

I had no such delusions of grandeur.

 

;)

 

I know it takes many months to integrate something like that across some substantial number of features whether AE, Photoshop, or Illustrator. My point mostly is that at least on the Mac side, seems likely that Adobe would use Metal (rather than something else) since it appears to supercede both OpenCL and OpenGL, and since it is clearly the API Apple is pushing now / putting the resources into. Perhaps it was the one they were putting resources into all along but it just happens it was built for iOS first, OS X second. Anyway I know this API has nothing to do most likely with whatever you release in 2015, but could have something to do with what you release next year and beyond. If so, I hope Apple gives you guys the resources you need to make things fly on AMD or Nvidia GPUs, and on uber-core CPUs.

Edited by Zmotive

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...and then we have two separate development branches for Mac and Windows and a few years down the road it's all the same mess that ultimately made the CUDA stuff fail in AE. Doesn't strike me as a smart strategy for a cross-platform product, especially when in the long term other stuff may be on the table.

 

Mylenium

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At first I was glad to hear about Metal in OSX, but it is concerning that Apple seems to be going down another path that could leave Pro users out of the GPU party once again. I'm sure future versions of FCP and Motion will be very speedy, but those of us using apps like AE and Cinema 4D on Macs could very easily be left on the sidelines as the rest of the industry gravitates toward something cross platform like Vulkan, or even something proprietary but well established like Cuda. I already have a Mac Pro sitting here with lots of theoretical GPU power that never gets used; I'm not going to roll the dice again and hope the industry decides to follow Apple's lead.

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Yeah... if they're able to implement something like that, that quickly... and it gives that kind of interaction, I don't give a crap what they use for the PC side. They should use it for Mac, period. Apple tried the Open Source avenue and it appears from afar that the Kronos group crapped the bed, dragging things out and not evolving their kit at a reasonable speed. Or on some level not playing ball with what Apple wanted to do with OpenCL and OpenGL.

 

It'll be worth waiting another 12-18 months for a Metal-infused AE if that's the kind of improvement we're going to see with realtime iteration.

Edited by Zmotive

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Apple are not doing this for the betterment of humankind, they're doing it to get users to buy their stuff. And the common consensus amongst most programmers seems to be that Apple crapped up pretty much all the other stuff and played upset child when Kronos didn't want to implement their proprietary OpenGL/ OpenCL extensions. But then again the same is true for a lot of proposals from AMD/ nVidia/ ARM/ Microsoft and what have you. Ultimately that's why everyone still has their own preferred frameworks and Apple moved on to Metal. Not arguing that for Macs this may be a godsend, given the situation, but it's going to be troublesome in terms of cross-platform software development for anyone. The demo only speaks of a handful effects and not the most complex ones, which is different from running your whole app natively or having complex features interact based on different APIs...

 

Mylenium

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I'm sure future versions of FCP and Motion will be very speedy, but those of us using apps like AE and Cinema 4D on Macs could very easily be left on the sidelines as the rest of the industry gravitates toward something cross platform like Vulkan,

 

Not really. Everyone will at least try their hand on Metal to impress the natives and especially Maxon and Adobe will jump on this like a maggot is drilling through their brains. Let's just hope it won't be history repeating and add to their long list of failures... At the moment it's a space race with no clear winner and everything is experimental, but we'll have to see how things turn out 5 years down the road, won't we?

 

Mylenium

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At the moment it's a space race with no clear winner and everything is experimental, but we'll have to see how things turn out 5 years down the road, won't we?

 

Yeah. There are already a lot of Metal-like options out there. Hell, I've heard even DX12 has features that are roughly on par, performance-wise. Metal isn't this magic thing that will suddenly make Adobe products 8x faster on Mac vs PC.

 

All we can hope is that everyone agrees on a few cross-platform standards and don't get invested in proprietary stuff that forces companies like Adobe to fork their products.

 

Also, maybe unicorns are real.

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I'm stepping way our of my element here, so correct me if I say something ridiculous. ...

 

 

 

Hasn't DX been way ahead of openGL for a while now? The real time performance on games has been pretty staggering for a few years now. AO, Anti Aliasing, Motion blur etc are all real time in lots of game engines and looks pretty good. Thinking back to the first Crysis game, and how (at the time) the stuff it was doing was incredible. Also, some of the very few demos Ive seen of the source 2 engine look amazing.

 

Also the GeForce cards have done 10 bit out through DX for a bit. To get 10 bit (in Windows only, still no 10 bit support in OS X) through OpenGL you need a quadro card. Im pretty sure its just a software limitation, so Nvidia could change this, but likely won't because, you know... money.

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Feature-wise DX has long offered more stuff, but is a lot more difficult to program. In that regard Metal is actually just catching up while at the same time being a lot simpler. But then so will be DX12. For OpenGL the main issue is that they got strung up too long on retaining backward compatibility, which imposes some serious limitations. Otherwise of course there's all kinds of politics from the participating industries and companies in this bizarre love triangle that also hinders more efficient development of some things...

 

Mylenium

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It's the politics that causes me to not give a crap about Apple abandoning OpenGL, Vulcan, and (maybe) OpenCL although I wonder if for a while they may continue to push OpenCL for certain types of compute solutions. Perhaps creating compatibilities with Metal that allow existing work to be leveraged instead of discarded. Some developers like Otoy are finally coming out with bigtime OpenCL solutions. Example: they're about to finish OpenCL-based support for Octane 3 in OS X.

 

There's too much waiting, waiting, waiting for those kinds of specs to mature in the Open Source world, at least to the point where everyone wants to use them. To me Open Source is a great idea in the blue sky sense of the word, but in practice they're very often slow to market and slow to be revised, and always end up with backward compatibility limiting the way forward to some degree (as Mylenium pointed out with GL). Same sort of thing happens with W3C specs sometimes, and others.

 

It's not clear whether Metal can do compute work on CPUs in OS X; perhaps that's part of the Metal roadmap (would make a lot of sense). For now I'm OK with Apple taking this risk given that The Foundry (at a minimum) see this as being good enough for them to immediately start porting their new Modo 901 viewport (which is damn fast in its own right especially on PC) to Metal, and then to use that same viewport for the other apps eventually. I guess the Foundry demo could all be PR BS but seems unlikely.

 

Trying to stay cautiously optimistic on this one.

Edited by Zmotive

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