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Thread: slow after effects

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default slow after effects

    I recently got after effects, so I am far from an expert. It is acting really sluggish. When I try scrubbing the playhead, it has a frame rate of probably about 5 fps. When I try playing the movie, it plays about half of what it was set to, and when I do a RAM preview, the little green bar, never goes all the way across. It will take away from other parts it is rendering, or it will just play the first 5 seconds. It may just be my computer, but there has to be a way to be faster than that. Vegas plays just fine.

    Oh yeah, I almost forgot, it is also taking 115MB of my memory and the CPU usage goes way up.
    -Ethan


  2. #2

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    After Effects uses RAM to preview your video so the more you have the better for doing your previews.

    There are a lot of little tricks you can do to get more from what you have.

    First you want to to "edit" "preferences" "memory and cache" youwill see an option to set the maximum memory usage I keep mine set to 120% I seem to remember reading somewhere that you don't want to have it above 130%. If I remember where I'll double check this for you.

    There'sa also the Maximum RAM Cache Size, I've not read anything about this anywhere so I keep it set at the 60% default, maybe if you try raising this you'll get longer previews. You can always put it back to default if it doesn't work.

    If you go to your time controls window you can do some good stuff in there too, change the bit that says "RAM preview options" to "Shift RAM preview options" If you change the "skip" option to a higher number you'll only play back every second/third/fourth etc. frame, it will give you a good idea of what your finished artical will be and you will see twice(or more) as much (in length) as before. If you change the resolution, you can see even more as it lowers the quality of your video of your video, sometimes this isn't desirable but for checking motion it's fine....
    Last edited by david walsh; 06-22-2007 at 09:51 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default

    Doing your previews at half or even quarter resolution is a big help too.

    What version of AE are you using and what are the full specs of your PC.

    Also remember that (at least some of the time) AE will use the GPU on your graphics card whereas Premiere will not so this is one occasion when having a half decvent card is worthwhile.

  4. #4

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    ... The last icon in the time controls row of icons is the one RAM previews, if you hold down "shift" and click this you will activate a shift RAM preview with your choices.

    Probably one of the most useful can be found in your composition window. If you hover over your icons below your video you will see one that says "region of interest" if you click this you can drag a box round an area of your video, everything outside your box gets ignored and only inside it gets previewed. This of course means less processing per frame, so more frames giving you longer RAM previews on full resolution or lower shift RAM previews.

    Clicking the icon again turns it off, if you want that area back it will still be remembred from last time when you click the icon again.

    If you go to the "edit" menu you will see an option called "purge" before you do a RAM preview you may want to purge some stuff. Any frames that have been previewed previously will be cleared from memoy if you choose to purge memory, I always "purge all" before doing anything intensive. Be causios though, it even clears your undo list from memory.

    You may also notice that when you scrub your timline manually the resolution lowers, this can be adjusted in your adaptive resolution settings, goto "file" "preferences" "previews" again and set that to what you want, I keep mine at 1/4, you may try 1/8 or 1/2 and see what results you get from your machine...
    Last edited by david walsh; 06-22-2007 at 09:52 AM.

  5. #5

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    While your in the preferences, go to "general" and set your levels of undo up to 99, you may be glad yo did one day.

    For information on how after effects works technically and how to get the most of that stuff I reada book by Anthony Blante called "visual quickpro guide After Effects for Mac and Windows" it's cheap compared to others, it doesn't have anything in the way of projects or artistic stuff. It's basic, simply explained and straight to the point techinal information about the software.

    A great book, in my opinion. It's the kind of thing that gives an understanding of what the software is doing when you tell it to do stuff.

    David.

  6. #6

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    I just checked the book I mentioned to see if there was anything about the "memory and chache" section in there. I'm glad I did as I hadn't read that bit before and got a pleasant surprise.

    For maximum memory usage 100% will use the amount of RAM you have so anything over will go into your virtual memory (page file I believe). It's actually 200% they recomend not to go over rather than the 130% I seem to reacall reading elsewhere.

    Maximum RAM Chache size they recomend not to go over 90%, thi9s should bumb up the amount of video you can preview by almost double.

    David.
    Last edited by david walsh; 06-22-2007 at 09:53 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Thanks for all the fast responses, I have AE optemized pretty well.

    I am Using AE standard 7.0 This machine I should update sometime. It is sort of slow. This one here has 512MB of RAM It has a 2.4Ghz Intel Celeron Processor with an 80GB local drive with (This is the scary part) 8.85GBs free. Thankfully I have backed it up on a 250GB harddrive. I also have a really cruddy graphics card. For my birthday, I am going to be begging for a new Compy.

    The cache size and that menu really seemed to help a lot, I can even render, at "full" all the way. But what does 'Purge' Really do?

    It is pretty much fixed, thank you.
    -Ethan


  8. #8

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    I'm glad you get things running better, it's nice to be able to help.

    Purging basically clears information that is stored in your RAM, You can just clear everything by purging all, but sometimes it's useful to just purge certain things, the options to do so are useful.

    Something else you may find useful is the ability to save a RAM preview. If you have some work that takes some time to preview, isn't finished, but would be useful to see smoothly now and again while continuing to work on it you can do so.

    After a RAM preview choose the "save RAM preview" option from the menu's and it saves the video clip from the information it already has in the RAM, then you can purge your RAM and view that one faster and more conveniently for reference.

    You'll also notice at the top of the time line there are two little blocks either side of the time code information, if you drag the end one back and the start one forward you can set the points for the RAM preview to begin and end, that way you don't have to RAM preview from the start if you you just want to view a section in the middle.

    Just make sure you put them back before rendering your finished piece out or it will only render what you have between these points
    David.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Portland Oregon
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    Thank you. The purging really seemed to help. I had heard about saving RAM previews before, but I could never really do them because it never rendered all the way. It works now though. Thanks a lot!

    EDIT: I just found something that people who have had the same problems as me, will like. www.VideoCopilot.net -- Products for Video Professionals a tutorial on how to use proxies to speed up AE
    Last edited by etharooni; 07-05-2007 at 09:59 PM.
    -Ethan


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