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Thread: Newbie: Slow After Effects Playback

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Charlotte, NC

    Default Newbie: Slow After Effects Playback

    I created and edited a project in Premiere and then opened the project in After Effects for further editing and effects. When I play the video back After Effects tells me that the playback is not real-time. Is this just the way After Effects works or is there a setting I have to set.

    Also, I am not hearing any sound in After Effects.

    Any sugguestions would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    After effects loves to eat your computer alive when using, If you actually try to play the video you will notice a little green line forming over it, its representing video that has been processed and can now be played back in real time so long as you dont change anything it will play back from the ram.

    Its just like that you will get used to it and learn to let it process before really trying to view 3D Animated Menu\'s Transitions, Backgrounds or just about anything 3d all Animated.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Western Europe


    Eating your computer alive (lol)... that's just about sums it up.

  4. #4


    (i know this is an old old thread but)...on that note...

    What does After Effects like to eat? RAM, Video Card, or processor juice?

    I notice it uses RAM for rendering, but what about the rest? when previewing etc?

    is the graphics card a semi non issue?? i hope not. If you had:

    Core 2 Duo 1.8Ghz
    1Gb Ram
    nVidia 128mb

    which one would you most definitely upgrade?? RAM?

  5. #5


    Definately RAM, but maybe a little more.

    Running XP32bit After Effetcs uses a maximum of 2 gb of RAM (if you have more you can configure windows so that it uses 3gb), with XP64 or VISTA it will use more, I don't know with MAC's)

    Go the the settings menu, and open the rendering option, in here you can set the amount of RAM to use from what you have, you can set it to more than 100% and it will use what you have in the page file too.

    While your there look in the rendering options, check your opengl info, a list will show you your graphics cards opengl capabilities, and you can tell it to use opengl too.

    I'm just leaving for work, I'll go into a bit more detail when I get back tonight and have AE running, or if I get a bit of spare time at work.


  6. #6


    You want to go to "edit", "preferences" and select "memory and cache" You can set your "Max Memory usage" level up but not more than 200%. This will also depend if you have altered your page file lower than default in windows (if your using windows).

    This way you can get up to 2 gig from your 1 gig. If you upgrade your RAM then there's no point in setting this over 100% as after effects will only use a maximum of 2 gig of RAM with 32 bit windows .

    The reasoning relates to windows xp32 not being able to run much more than 3 gig of RAM anyway. If you stick 4 in you should get 3.25 gig unless you make some alterations and reconfigure windows files then you can get more.

    You can also set your "Maximum RAM cache" size up higher too, this effects what length of video, in time, that you can RAM preview. Keep it below 90% or in total your getting dangerously close to the page file limit. It may be able to be raised higher if you make a larger page file, I don't know. There's no need though, you can set it to be stored on disc rather than RAM by enabling Disc Cache.

    Go to the "preferences" menu again and select "Previews" , in here click "openGL info", this will tell you what capabilites your graphics card has related to openGL. The more support you have the better. Enable openGL

    Now in your composition window you'll see an icon (2nd from the right) at the bottom of the window. It has a yellow flash of lightning on the icon when you hover over it...

  7. #7


    ...If you you try the different settings "interactive" or "always on" you'll see differences on what you can preview and what you can't before even going to a RAM preview, this will depend on the capabilities of your card. It beats losing the resolution with the "adaptive resolution" setting if your card lets you take advantage of it.


  8. #8


    Thank you , David. I am going to use your advice. But I gotta say I am more concerned about the 5 day countdown until my demo runs out than the performance, heh, which i have been able to make it work smoothly.

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