6 Replies Latest reply on May 4, 2012 1:02 AM by phil__ramses

    After Effects chunky/laggy interface?


      Hello everyone,


      I'm working on after effect / pc since years now, and i've always encountered this "issue" : chunky interface.

      Point A is :

      The more expanded the interface is (i mean in terms of screens' surface) and the more elements it contains, the more chunky it becomes.

      For exemple, I'm used to have my viewport and all the panels on screen 1, and one big panel with the timeline on screen 2. in this case, the interface is chunky. And it goes worst as I multiply the layers in the sequence. Which can be really really disturbing and production breaking for heavy composition.

      Point B is :

      I was accepting that as a... weakness of after effects, till I did some test on a Mac. And *boum* that doesn't behave that way. That was an imac, with a not powerfull graphic card (default imac gfx).

      Point C is :

      I have experienced that along the 3 office's computers i had, as on friend's / collegues windows computer

      To make it clear : create a new blank project. Set the timeline panel on the second screen as a very low size/scale/screen's surface.
      Scale it up, scale it down and see the "display refresh rate" of the resizing.
      Now create a layer (anything) and dupplicate it like 150 times.
      Rescale the timeline panel to min-max window size multiple times & you'll see what i mean.

      To make it simple, in the first case you will have like 30/40 fps, in the second you will have like 5/10 fps. And that become annoying since the interface become laggy.
      The problem here is not about processing but about the speed of redrawing the window/panel and it's elements.

      SO can anybody tell me if using a solid quadro can overwhelm this windows 2d terrible management weakness?

        • 1. Re: After Effects chunky/laggy interface?
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          I don't quite follow. All of this is pretty much up to the graphics drivers and how they support or do not support certain functions for hardware accelerated drawing. Combined with specific settings, there is any number of possible reasons. E.g. nVidia cards for years have had this habit of not supporting OpenGL on secondary monitors in certain desktop modes.... On a Mac that's simply different because Macs employ a completely different desktop drawing and window management paradigm. The long and short answer to your question therefore is that buying the beefiest graphics card may not solve your percveived issue at all, no matter what. Still, there is some logic behind this - setups with 2 identical monitors always work better than ones with different monitors and Win 7 generally is much better behaved than Win XP or Vista. So in the end, you stil lneed to figure out these things before potentialyl wasting a lot of money.



          • 2. Re: After Effects chunky/laggy interface?
            phil__ramses Level 1

            Thanks for your contribution Mylenium.
            I have win7, and I have both same screens, I also have bi xeon with plenty of ram and a GTX460 with latest drivers.
            You told about the fact that GeForce had the habit to do not support opengl on second screen... I guess this is not anymore, and even less on quadro?


            Just to be sure i'm not talking about some viewport issue, but about the speed of how the interface elements refresh. I'm suffering this issue even whitout travelling timeline. It is really about the amount of interface's objects to display (like the coloured rectangle of layers, the amount of keyframes' diamonds are displayed on the screen.


            So, I will be in peace as soon as someone who's owning a decent quadro and who can have a clue of what i'm talking about could share his/her opinion about that.

            • 3. Re: After Effects chunky/laggy interface?
              Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              At work I have two rather large monitors.

              I run AE sometimes with hundreds of layers and with many different windows open covering both screens.


              I have never seen the issue you describe.


              I am running Windows 7. I have a fairly decent Quadro. However, I don't have this issue on my home PC and it doesn't have a Quadro. Although, I don't know that I've tried hundreds of layers in any of the projects I've done from home yet... I don't have time tonight, but hopefully some time this weekend I can give it a test for you.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: After Effects chunky/laggy interface?
                Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                It is true that the time that the graphics card takes to transfer pixels to the screen can be a bottleneck, especially with large or multiple monitors. This is actually an area of very significant improvement in After Effects CS6. When the trial version is available, download it and give it a try.


                Here's a video in which I describe some of the GPU improvements, including these screen drawing improvements:


                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: After Effects chunky/laggy interface?
                  Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                  You told about the fact that GeForce had the habit to do not support opengl on second screen... I guess this is not anymore, and even less on quadro?


                  It should not be, east of all on Win 7. In the past it simply depended on NVidia doing a lot of hacking in their drivers since Windows XP (and in part Vista) did not handle multiple desktops that well. As for the rest - I have never seen issues as severe as you describe them other than when I was extremely short on system memory and the slowness of the harddrives could not compensate with virtual memory. If it realyl occurs regulalrly with even simple projects, then soemthing is afoot...



                  • 6. Re: After Effects chunky/laggy interface?
                    phil__ramses Level 1

                    Szalam thanks a lot, I'd really like to have your feedback. Everything depends from you now Could you please also specify which quadro are you using?


                    Todd_Kopriva I'm glad adobe had noticed that and had worked on. And I really hope that those improvements are significant, since this kind of behaviour (from the software) is becoming really critical...
                    especially for a product defined as a professional solution. And especially regarding the fact that it's only about drawing 2D.

                    Be sure that I will get the trial version as soon as it will be available and give feedback.


                    Mylenium I could... understand the approximative handling on multi-desktops for public/gaming card. Not for professional card, especially when the overprice is justified by the support and the reliability/optimisation of the drivers.
                    As said upper, everything depends inter alia on the Szalam answers.