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Video artist deciding between Premiere Pro and After Effects

Jan 25, 2014 12:54 PM

Hi Guys!

 

First post but wanted to say that the adobe forums have answered several of my questions up until now so thanks!


I am artist  trying my hand at making a few video pieces. I would describe these pieces more as 'video collages' or 'digital paintings' as opposed to straight up videos.

 

I use dozens (but ideally would use hundreds) of different layers piled on top of each other, each one being manipulated using different techniques.

The tools I most frequently use are: 8 and 16 point garbage matte, some basic form of color correction,, and the corner pin tool. Oh, I'll also resize a video clip using the motion tool and will play around with each clip's opacity as well as its speed (slowing it down and speeding it up).

 

As you can imagine, as soon as I get a couple of different layers piled on top of each other, my computer slows waay down. So I've started to, after reaching 15-20 layers, render my entire clip, export it, and reimport it and will use it as one layer. Than I start to add more layers to that one, affectively starting over.  This helps. But the process is very very slow.

 

Some other strange things have also happened when I work with so many layers- sometimes I can't grab and move a clip on the time line without rendering the whole thing first.  I've also gotten the "media pending" sign after I've rendered something but once I saved my project, quit, and restarted it again, it was gone.

 

Is this something that would go a lot faster in After Effects? I know that you can accomplish some really cool effects/ animation in After Effects, but realistically, the only techniques I see myself using are the ones I listed above. Can I import different media/ work with several (aka a LOT of ) layers without slowing down my computer too much?

 

Or is this just something that will happen when I use a lot of layers?

 

Oh by the way, I have a new macbook pro with a 2.5 GHz intel core and 8 GB of memory.

 

If there is any other information I need to provide, just ask and I'll do my best to answer it

 

Thanks guys! I'm trained as a painter so all this video work is daunting!

 
Replies
  • joe bloe premiere
    4,391 posts
    Dec 6, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 25, 2014 1:18 PM   in reply to examinedexercises

    You can do this in either... or both.

    Ae has a much steeper learning curve, but any 'video artist' would be

    remiss to not learn the best 'video art' tool Adobe produces.

     

    Either way, your hardware will prove a continuing challenge.

     
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    Jan 25, 2014 1:42 PM   in reply to examinedexercises

    For the work you're doing, well ... doing multi-mega stacking and throwing in various & sundry effects on different layers ... yea, hardware is going to be a big bugaboo for you. And hopefully the guru's around here can give some suggestions on how to shuffle your assets/layers/sequences/nests around to give you the best play-through.

     

    But you're still going to notice if you're not on a monster-capable video machine ...

     

    Neil

     
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    Jan 25, 2014 3:06 PM   in reply to examinedexercises

    You will need to max out that ram ... I'm not sure what else you can do with your mac-book though. No experience on that side of the aisle. 

     

    Oh .. if it's got a say, "thunder-port" or whatever it's called, being able to use a truly high-speed external drive to split your software and computer's workload onto multiple drives could also be a huge help. Or at least, noticeable.

     

    The more you split system/programs/source/cache/output sort of things onto different drives, it tends to help the pipeline a lot. Laptops tend to be more limited there than desktops of course. Once had a laptop (right after eSata came out) that had THREE! (3!) eSata connections right into the mobo. That mobo died, and when looking for another laptop, looked for such connections ... all newer rigs were running mainly USB ports, with perhaps one USB2. Ouch! When I'd ask sales-folk, they were stunned that I didn't find these connections wondrous and amazing. Why would one need such high-power connections on a laptop they couldn't comprehend.

     

    Neil

     
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    Jan 26, 2014 3:50 AM   in reply to examinedexercises

    Read Harm's articles on disk setup, raids, balanced systems and much more here: Tweakers Page before you go out buying additional memory. Your current hardware is way short of what you need, not only memory.

     
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    Jan 28, 2014 5:10 PM   in reply to examinedexercises

    More has been made on less. Doubling the RAM and adding a RAIDed Thunderbolt drive (if you have the connections) would go some way to speeding up performance, but there are lots of workspace efficiencies within After Effects to speed things up as well.

     

    I'd say go AE all the way - it's far more efficient for what you're trying to achieve. It has a wireframe mode, so once you sort your clips you can build up a frame that way, previewing it regularly to check on progress. Quality can be set to 1/4 or 1/8, which helps. Video can be set to draft quality, which also helps. And once you're happy with sections you can precomp them and switch them off, speeding things up as well.

     

    Premiere is a bit of a blunt tool once you're dealing with dozens of layers. It is neither efficient or easy to work with, because it isn't really designed for this sort of work. After Effecs on the other hand is a Swiss army knife - versatile, open ended, (relatively) optimised, and offering you several ways to accomplish everything. It'd be perfect for your art. Good luck and just think of it as Photoshop with a timeline. (Oh wait, it has one of those now too, doesn't it.) I've had comps with dozens of live video frames or several hundred large photoshop images (>1000px) and AE didn't break too much of a sweat. That was years ago on specs similar to what you're quoting too.

     
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  • joe bloe premiere
    4,391 posts
    Dec 6, 2009
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    Jan 28, 2014 5:32 PM   in reply to PaulM-Aus

    What he said.

     

    (But there's nothing better than running Ae on a powerful, well tuned system.)

     
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    Jan 30, 2014 1:08 AM   in reply to examinedexercises

    And make sure you let us know where to find your videos when they're done - Im intrigued by what you are doing!

     
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