34 Replies Latest reply on Feb 12, 2014 7:42 AM by praguian

    Render times: what is expected?

    praguian Level 1

      Hello,

       

      I recently went to render a project, and it estimated that it would take 44 hours to complete. That is, shall we say, less than ideal.

       

      Some specs about my machine:

      MacBook Pro

      2.6 GHz Intel Core i7

      16 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 RAM

       

      The Disk Cache:

      LaCie USB3 External SSD (200 GB allocated for cache)

       

      Details about my AE project:

      AE version: CS6

      3:15 (3 minutes 15 seconds) duration

      1920 x 1080 (1080p) resolution

      Ray-traced 3D environment

      17 light layers

      3 cameras

      All other layers are either shapes, solids, pictures, or pre-comps

       

       

      I'm trying to render out to h.264 format. It seems to me that 40+ hours is extremely excessive for a 3:15 long video, but I'm not positive that's the case. I'd love to hear thoughts back on expectations and how I can reduce this time (either through settings or better hardware).

       

       

      Thank you!

        • 1. Re: Render times: what is expected?
          Todd_Kopriva Level 8

          44 hours is not a long time for a 3-minute composition with a lot of 3D in it. It is typical for people using a lot of 3D to experience render times of minutes per frame.

           

          If you are trying to render a complex 3D scene on a MacBook Pro, you will have longer render times than if you used a more powerful computer.

           

          The first thing to check is how high you have the Ray-Tracing Quality value. Rendering time goes up with the square of that setting, so you don't want to have it set unnecessarily high.

           

          See this page for resources about making After Effects work faster: http://adobe.ly/eV2zE7


          See this page for information about hardware for After Effects: http://adobe.ly/pRYOuk

          • 2. Re: Render times: what is expected?
            Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            If you're trying to use the Ray-traced renderer and you don't have a CUDA graphics card, it is going to take a really long time. As Todd says, a more powerful computer will make a HUGE difference.

            The ray-traced rendering takes advantage of NVIDIA's CUDA technology to radically speed up render time. If you don't have a compatible card, you will have to settle for seriously long render times.

            One alternative would be to go with a different, much faster, 3d rendering solution. Element from Video Copilot renders very quickly on even low-end graphics cards. Zaxwerks 3d Invigorator is also excellent. I've also enjoyed some pretty cool stuff from Mettle's ShapeShifter.

             

            A note: I would seriously suggest you do not render to H.264 out of After Effects - especially on long renders. Three reasons:

             

            1. You should always do long renders like this as an image sequence. That way, if the render crashes, you can just pick up the render where it left off rather than having to render the entire thing again. Imagine if it crashed on hour 43! So, render to an image sequence and use Premiere to put your audio back with it and render it out.
            2. AE is not good at encoding h.264. You will get better quality by using Premiere/Adobe Media Encoder.
            3. What if the final render doesn't look good because of the compression settings? What if you need to compress it further? It's much better to be trying your compression schemes on a lossless file so that you can change it up and encode again without having to wait for 44 hours each time.

             

            Also, you said you're running CS6, but what is your actual version number? If it's anything other than 11.0.4, you should update so you're not missing some important bug fixes.

             

            Another note: If you update to CC, you will get the Lite version of Cinema4D which is a much better way to do 3d in AE vs. the built-in ray-traced stuff. Not to mention all of the other improvements in the AE workflow.

            • 3. Re: Render times: what is expected?
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Even with a high end 3D app you could easily experience render times of five or even ten minutes per frame on a powerful computer. Ray-tracing takes a bunch of time even when it is accelerated with GPU processing. Last week I was working on a C4D project with a bunch of glass elements and mirrored surfaces and complex geometry that took more than 5 minutes a frame to render. 6 seconds, 30 frames per second = a long day of rendering.

               

              Consider pre-rendering the elements that require Ray-tracing or put them in a pre-comp. There's not much sense in having your GPU churn through 3D layers that are not extruded, bent, or used as environment maps. This can speed things up a lot. The 2 projects that I have done for clients that use Ray-traced rendering since it was released used a 3D extruded text layer in a Ray-traced comp nested in a standard 3D comp and it cut the projected render time in half.

              • 4. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                praguian Level 1

                Szalam wrote:

                 

                If you're trying to use the Ray-traced renderer and you don't have a CUDA graphics card, it is going to take a really long time. As Todd says, a more powerful computer will make a HUGE difference.

                The ray-traced rendering takes advantage of NVIDIA's CUDA technology to radically speed up render time. If you don't have a compatible card, you will have to settle for seriously long render times.

                My graphics card is an NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1024 MB. I have CUDA properly installed as far as I can tell:

                 

                Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 10.23.51 AM.png

                 

                 

                A note: I would seriously suggest you do not render to H.264 out of After Effects - especially on long renders. Three reasons:

                 

                1. You should always do long renders like this as an image sequence. That way, if the render crashes, you can just pick up the render where it left off rather than having to render the entire thing again. Imagine if it crashed on hour 43! So, render to an image sequence and use Premiere to put your audio back with it and render it out.
                2. AE is not good at encoding h.264. You will get better quality by using Premiere/Adobe Media Encoder.
                3. What if the final render doesn't look good because of the compression settings? What if you need to compress it further? It's much better to be trying your compression schemes on a lossless file so that you can change it up and encode again without having to wait for 44 hours each time.

                Thanks for the advice. I chose H.264 because it seemed the most common HD video output, and I didn't want to use QuickTime (.mov) because the resultant .mov files were huge. Very hard to transfer around after the fact.

                 

                Are image sequences simple to import into Premiere? Also, is Media Encoder faster at rendering than AE? I know the obvious benefit is that I can keep working in AE while a comp renders in Media Encoder, but not sure beyond that what ME's value is.

                 

                 

                Also, you said you're running CS6, but what is your actual version number? If it's anything other than 11.0.4, you should update so you're not missing some important bug fixes.

                 

                Another note: If you update to CC, you will get the Lite version of Cinema4D which is a much better way to do 3d in AE vs. the built-in ray-traced stuff. Not to mention all of the other improvements in the AE workflow.

                Version 11.0.4.2.

                 

                Is Cinema4D a plugin native to AE CC? I'm afraid my upgrade options are limited to what my company approves, but if there is a legit improvement in render times in CC over CS6, that may seriously persuade them...

                 

                Thank you for your thorough answer.

                • 5. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                  praguian Level 1

                  So there is tangible benefit to pre-composing extruded elements (with those nested comps being Ray-traced) and keeping the parent comp Classic 3D? Did I understand that correctly?

                  • 6. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                    Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    If you are using Ray-traced rendering and you have a supported Cuda card the you must use After Effects Render Cue and output module for rendering. Any other workflow will cause the Ray-traced comps to be rendered with the CPU.

                     

                    There are lots of good production codecs that can be used. Render speed differs with different codecs. H.264 is not particularly fast but H.264 can be used for your production pipeline if you pick a lossless version that will also work in your other software. PhotoJpeg QT at 90% or better is pretty good and quick to render. Jpeg2000 and Png QT support alpha channels. Black Magic Design and Avid have free 10 bit production codecs that a lot of folks use. The default LOSSLESS output module setting is just that, lossless, and the files are very big, but renders must be converted to another format for distribution. This is where the AME shines. You should learn about watch folders and automation if you want to be productive.

                     

                    As to the benefit of pre-composing extruded elements and nesting the comp in a standard comp that is very real. When you are ray-tracing every element in the scene adds calculation time. Take some Extruded text and a light then throw in a 3D background layer, a shadow catcher and 4 of 5 more 3D layers that are not extruded or bent and you've got a whole lot more calculating going on than if you just are Ray-tracing the 3D text and lights in a pre-comp and then, having duplicated the camera and the lights in the Ray-traced comp, add your other 3D elements in a Classic comp.

                     

                    It's just like building a complex scene in a 3D app. You want to eliminate as many passes through the 3D ray-traceing calculations as you can so you adjust the properties of objects in your 3D scene so they don't require as many calculations as the fancy ones that require lot's of calculations to make look right.

                    • 7. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                      praguian Level 1

                      Thanks Rick. However, I just pre-comp'd all my extruded layers (and collapsed their transformations) and made the parent comp Classic 3D. The layers look correctly placed still, but I lost all extrusion! So how do I keep extrusion using your approach? That's key.

                       

                      Also, could you elaborate on this please:

                      Rick Gerard wrote:

                       

                      If you are using Ray-traced rendering and you have a supported Cuda card the you must use After Effects Render Cue and output module for rendering. Any other workflow will cause the Ray-traced comps to be rendered with the CPU.

                       

                      I'm not sure how to do what you suggest. Are those render output options? Thanks again!

                      • 8. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                        Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Don't collapse transformations. If you have moving cameras and lights in the main comp then you need to duplicate the cameras and lights in the Ray-traced pre-comp. If your camera moves and lighting are not finalized then you can tie their properties together with expressions so that any change in the main comp is mirrored in the ray-traced pre-comp....

                         

                        My usual workflow is to set up my stage and camera, set up all the moving elements, do 1/4 or 1/2 rez motion tests and animate to get the movement I want, add any roto or masking or keying that needs to be done, check the motion and timing again at 1/4 or 1/2 rez, add in my lighting and color correction and check a few critical frames at full resolution, then if I needed to extrude or bend some of the elements I would add them to the comp, adjust those settings, pre-compose the Ray-traced layers, copy the lights and camera in the main comp and paste them in the final comp, check a few critical frames in the project at full rez, save the file and send the project to the Render Cue for rendering to a production codec.

                         

                        Did you notice, No fussing around with ram previews in Ray-traced mode, no fussing at all with ram previews at full rez... I just don't have the time. Two or three projects with an efficient workflow is all it takes to learn to judge what your final render will look like and all of a sudden you'll be productive.

                        • 9. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                          praguian Level 1

                          Rick Gerard wrote:

                           

                          Don't collapse transformations. If you have moving cameras and lights in the main comp then you need to duplicate the cameras and lights in the Ray-traced pre-comp. If your camera moves and lighting are not finalized then you can tie their properties together with expressions so that any change in the main comp is mirrored in the ray-traced pre-comp....

                           

                          My usual workflow is to set up my stage and camera, set up all the moving elements, do 1/4 or 1/2 rez motion tests and animate to get the movement I want, add any roto or masking or keying that needs to be done, check the motion and timing again at 1/4 or 1/2 rez, add in my lighting and color correction and check a few critical frames at full resolution, then if I needed to extrude or bend some of the elements I would add them to the comp, adjust those settings, pre-compose the Ray-traced layers, copy the lights and camera in the main comp and paste them in the final comp, check a few critical frames in the project at full rez, save the file and send the project to the Render Cue for rendering to a production codec.

                           

                          Did you notice, No fussing around with ram previews in Ray-traced mode, no fussing at all with ram previews at full rez... I just don't have the time. Two or three projects with an efficient workflow is all it takes to learn to judge what your final render will look like and all of a sudden you'll be productive.

                          This is like my fourth AE project ever, so unfortunately I'm not quite at your level of productivity yet.

                           

                          I already have my main comp, Ray-traced, with several extruded layers (which I pre-comp'd based on your advice), many lights, and several cameras with movement. I'm about halfway through my project in terms of adding elements and their corresponding attributes / motion.

                           

                          With that in mind, do you have any specific suggestions on the best way to proceed from here, or will I just be stuck this time with that super-long render time in the end?

                          • 10. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                            bogiesan Level 4

                            >

                            Details about my AE project:

                            AE version: CS6

                            3:15 (3 minutes 15 seconds) duration

                            1920 x 1080 (1080p) resolution

                            Ray-traced 3D environment

                            17 light layers

                            3 cameras

                            All other layers are either shapes, solids, pictures, or pre-comps

                            I'm trying to render out to h.264 format. It seems to me that 40+ hours is extremely excessive for a 3:15 long video, but I'm not positive that's the case. I'd love to hear thoughts back on expectations and how I can reduce this time (either through settings or better hardware).

                            <

                             

                            Back in the olden days, 10 seconds of 640x480 video with one layer and one effect might take a weekend to render. Rendering is relative.

                            You've gotten excellent advice, here are few additional comments:

                            You probably don't REALLY need to be doing full HD. Just guessing but I'll bet your project will look just as fabulous at 1280x720. That alone reduces your pixel wrangling and all associated ray tracing and effects calculations by at least one half.

                            H264 is a display format, not a production format. Render to any useful frame-based codec and then use a compression application to go to H264. However, if you're displaying in H264, you do not need to be producing in full 1080. If you do side by side comparisons from a comfortable viewing position you will not be able to teel the difference.

                            Precomposing is a good practice to learn but even more important is pre-rendering. If you ahve flat shapes and other 2D elements that do not interact with other elements in 3D space, they can be prerendered as movies. This replaces entire stacks and families of precomps with a single alpha movie and immediately eliminates all of the associated effects and processing

                            • 11. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                              praguian Level 1

                              Thank you, that is very helpful, though I'm afraid I'll need a little hand-holding on this part:

                              Render to any useful frame-based codec and then use a compression application to go to H264.

                               

                              Also, for pre-rendering, do I need to pre-compose each 2D layer I want to pre-render?

                              • 12. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                rhannebaum wrote:I chose H.264 because it seemed the most common HD video output, and I didn't want to use QuickTime (.mov) because the resultant .mov files were huge. Very hard to transfer around after the fact.

                                Oh, I was pretty sure that was your reasoning.

                                Yes, the resulting file will be huge (unless you're rendering to an image sequence in which case the mass of resulting files will be huge ) . You then take that file (or image sequence) into Premiere or the Adobe Media Encoder to create your easy-to-transfer file - in your case, h.264 is probably your best bet. But, for the reasons I enumerated, you do not want to do the h.264 right out of AE.

                                There are other options to a lossless Quicktime or an image sequence (although the crashing rescue alone is worth the image sequence option). Where I work we use the Cineform codec from GoPro. It's free and it's close enough to lossless for our workflow, but the file size is significatly smaller. Another great choice is the DNxHD codec which is free from Avid. It has the same benefits as the Cineform codec.

                                 

                                rhannebaum wrote:

                                 

                                Are image sequences simple to import into Premiere? Also, is Media Encoder faster at rendering than AE? I know the obvious benefit is that I can keep working in AE while a comp renders in Media Encoder, but not sure beyond that what ME's value is.

                                Image sequences are as easy to import into Premiere as any other video format. It's great!

                                Media Encoder is not faster than AE - and, in some cases (as others have mentioned), it can be much slower. However, it does a much better job of encoding H.264. The quality is higher for the same data rate. That (among other reasons) is why, in the new version of AE CC, the H.264 render option has been deprecated.

                                For your workflow, I would not suggest sending your AE comp to the AME; render a lossless (or nearly lossless) file out of AE and then use the Adobe Media Encoder to create your final deliverable.

                                One cool thing about the Adobe Media Encoder is that you can set up watch folders so that any time an uncompressed file lands in that folder, it gets encoded per your specified settings.

                                 

                                 

                                rhannebaum wrote:

                                 

                                Is Cinema4D a plugin native to AE CC? I'm afraid my upgrade options are limited to what my company approves, but if there is a legit improvement in render times in CC over CS6, that may seriously persuade them...

                                Cinema4D is the industry standard 3d animation software for creating motion graphics. It's also got some good scuplting, modeling, and character animation tools and is fast becoming one of the big players in all aspects of 3d animation. One of the reasons for its rapid growth (besides the fact that its easier to learn than its competition) is that it integrates very well with After Effects.

                                Bundled with (and integrated with) AE CC, you get a lite version of C4D. It doesn't have nearly the power of the full program, but it's worlds better than messing with the 3d ray-traced stuff and gives you a lot more tools to work with.

                                 

                                Bottom line: if your company is going to want you to do more 3d stuff, you really need to get into a plugin like Element, 3d Invigorator, or ShapeShifter. They render much faster.

                                And, if they really want you to do some great 3d, they'll need to get a full-fledged 3d program for you (and the requisite training). Upgrading to the CC version of AE is a great halfway step though.

                                • 13. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                  praguian Level 1

                                  Thank you so much, that is great information to take in!

                                  • 14. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                    Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    Here's a suggestion you should take very seriously... ONE CAMERA PER PROJECT. You're going to end up with a mess that is almost impossible to edit or make changes to.

                                     

                                    Second suggestion, ONE SHOT per AE comp. More than 90% of my AE work has one shot per composition. Make your shots or short sequences in AE and edit your shots into a sequence in a NLE like PPro or Final Cut.

                                     

                                    I've done a ton of Dynamic Text animations with a camera move for every word or every phrase and with just a little planning you never need to add another camera. If you need to cut from one angle to another then create a new comp for the second angle.

                                     

                                    I recently completed a dynamic text animation that was over 10 minutes long. There were 15 comps in the project. At least one for each paragraph, sometimes one for each sentence. The starting and ending frames of each of these 15 comps overlapped so the sequences could be cut together later in PPro. This made changes, and there were at least 10 of them before we were done, easy because I never had to re render more than a few frames per change and then take a quick look at the changes in my NLE.

                                    • 15. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                      praguian Level 1

                                      Rick Gerard wrote:

                                       

                                      Here's a suggestion you should take very seriously... ONE CAMERA PER PROJECT. You're going to end up with a mess that is almost impossible to edit or make changes to.

                                       

                                      Second suggestion, ONE SHOT per AE comp. More than 90% of my AE work has one shot per composition. Make your shots or short sequences in AE and edit your shots into a sequence in a NLE like PPro or Final Cut.

                                       

                                      I've done a ton of Dynamic Text animations with a camera move for every word or every phrase and with just a little planning you never need to add another camera. If you need to cut from one angle to another then create a new comp for the second angle.

                                       

                                      I recently completed a dynamic text animation that was over 10 minutes long. There were 15 comps in the project. At least one for each paragraph, sometimes one for each sentence. The starting and ending frames of each of these 15 comps overlapped so the sequences could be cut together later in PPro. This made changes, and there were at least 10 of them before we were done, easy because I never had to re render more than a few frames per change and then take a quick look at the changes in my NLE.

                                      Thank you for the advice, but I haven't really had trouble with multiple cameras...

                                       

                                      I have one main camera that continously pans, and when I want to quickly cut briefly to another view, I put a camera layer above the main one so the scene shifts for the duration of that temporary camera.

                                       

                                      I plan on tweaking and finalizing the cameras when all my elements are in place, but so far it hasn't really been the long pole in the tent, unless that is one of the culprits adding to my render time...?

                                      • 16. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                        Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                        You made my point for me... When you want to cut to another view you just

                                         

                                        It's so much simpler to just copy the layers you have in that shot and make another comp for the other angle, then take the different shots and edit them in a NLE, especially when you are working on the pacing of a piece. I've been making films professionally since 1969 and working with AE and NLE's for 20 years and this is by far the most efficient way to produce a piece that you can polish into your best story.

                                         

                                        Working in phrases of music or paragraphs or sentences of copy is a much more efficient and in the long run much more creative way to produce a video.

                                         

                                        You also mentioned Adding to my render time....

                                         

                                        Render time should not be part of the creative process. You should not be doing a bunch of fully lit, full rez ram previews, Set up your stage, animate the actors (anything that moves) and then add your camera moves, and run motion previews at 1/4 to 1/2 rez for your sequences or shots. Then polish, light, extrude, then render or use dynamic link to bring the shots into a NLE for editing. You'll save a ton of time...

                                        • 17. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                          praguian Level 1

                                          Rick Gerard wrote:

                                           

                                          You made my point for me... When you want to cut to another view you just

                                           

                                          It's so much simpler to just copy the layers you have in that shot and make another comp for the other angle, then take the different shots and edit them in a NLE, especially when you are working on the pacing of a piece. I've been making films professionally since 1969 and working with AE and NLE's for 20 years and this is by far the most efficient way to produce a piece that you can polish into your best story.

                                           

                                          Working in phrases of music or paragraphs or sentences of copy is a much more efficient and in the long run much more creative way to produce a video.

                                           

                                          You also mentioned Adding to my render time....

                                           

                                          Render time should not be part of the creative process. You should not be doing a bunch of fully lit, full rez ram previews, Set up your stage, animate the actors (anything that moves) and then add your camera moves, and run motion previews at 1/4 to 1/2 rez for your sequences or shots. Then polish, light, extrude, then render or use dynamic link to bring the shots into a NLE for editing. You'll save a ton of time...

                                          I had to google "NLE," so that should give you an idea of my experience level.

                                           

                                          And all your advice is great long term, but for this project I need whatever quick remedies I can to render my existing project (which already has lights, extrusion, and cameras) as quickly as possible. My bosses demand frequent previews, so I have to render the unfinished project at less-than-full resolution to give them a taste. They won't get that taste if I don't put those things (lights, cameras, extrusion) in place before the end.

                                           

                                          And I don't have time to learn an NLE, for this project.

                                           

                                          I guess the best thing to come from this (besides your excellent advice for the future) is leverage to get my employer to buy me more hardware and AE CC.

                                          • 18. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                            praguian Level 1

                                            PLEASE HELP!

                                             

                                            OK, so I pre-rendered the portion of my comp that used a complex expression to slow down and speed up rotation, so that should have helped overall render times greatly.

                                             

                                            I also moved my entire project (all comps and nested comps) to Classic 3D, mocking extrusion with 6 flat planes where necessary.

                                             

                                            When I went to render my main comp it said it would take 854 hours. How on earth?

                                             

                                            What am I doing wrong? What configuration settings should I key in on? Shouldn't Classic 3D be much faster to render than Ray-traced?

                                             

                                            My project is coming due, so please please help! Thank you.

                                            • 19. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                              Can you post your project? Something is fouled up somewhere in your workflow.

                                              • 20. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                                praguian Level 1

                                                Rick Gerard wrote:

                                                 

                                                Can you post your project? Something is fouled up somewhere in your workflow.

                                                Not without a non-disclosure agreement unfortunately.

                                                 

                                                Do you have ideas on where I should start to look to pinpoint the issue? I did find one nested comp that was still Ray-traced 3D, and switching that to Classic reduced the time, but it's still like 80 hours by the looks of it. But when you say fouled up in your workflow, I don't know how to troubleshoot. I pre-comp'd everything I could logically group together, and pre-rendered the complex animation I mentioned above, so it's a PNG Sequence layer in the main comp.

                                                 

                                                So I tried JPG Sequence and I can't even tell if it's rendering or not. It's been stuck on frame 1, "Transforming & Compositing," for some time now. I was going to try importing a sequence and adding audio and rendering to H.264 in Premiere Pro, but I can't get to that point if the JPG Sequence render in AE doesn't work.

                                                • 21. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                                  Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                  Pixilate or blur your comp window and show us a screenshot and a flow chart of your project with changes revealed. We're stabbing in the dark here. There are literally millions of different combinations of things that could be causing your problems.

                                                   

                                                  First step, if it were my project, would be to render every pre-comp or turn the pre-comps or layers off one at a time to see where the delay is coming from. You should also be rendering to a very easy to compress production format and not anything that resembles MPEG compression.

                                                   

                                                  You should also turn off MP if it is enabled, and give AE a maximum of 75% of your allocated ram. Just delete or rename your preferences file to go back to factory default.

                                                  • 22. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                                    praguian Level 1

                                                    Rick Gerard wrote:

                                                     

                                                    Pixilate or blur your comp window and show us a screenshot and a flow chart of your project with changes revealed. We're stabbing in the dark here. There are literally millions of different combinations of things that could be causing your problems.

                                                     

                                                    First step, if it were my project, would be to render every pre-comp or turn the pre-comps or layers off one at a time to see where the delay is coming from. You should also be rendering to a very easy to compress production format and not anything that resembles MPEG compression.

                                                     

                                                    You should also turn off MP if it is enabled, and give AE a maximum of 75% of your allocated ram. Just delete or rename your preferences file to go back to factory default.

                                                    Turn off multiprocessing? I've been told to turn it on to render more quickly. Here are my MP settings, as recommended by Todd Kopriva:

                                                     

                                                    Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 11.46.06 AM.png

                                                     

                                                    And here are my 3D settings:

                                                     

                                                    Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 11.47.21 AM.png

                                                    • 23. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                                      Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                      MP is only effective when rendering to MP aware codecs and using MP aware plug-ins. TURN IT OFF... Otherwise your system will spend litterally hours going around in circles looking for information in a frame that isn't there yet.

                                                       

                                                      The feature was way over sold and only works for a very small number of projects using a narrow set of paramiters.

                                                       

                                                      Even if your project was 100% MP compatible take a look at your settings. You've only left 2 of your 8 cpu's available for rendering...

                                                       

                                                      As Todd and I have said before many times, if you are having rendering problems with MP turned on, turn it off.

                                                      • 24. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                                        praguian Level 1

                                                        Rick Gerard wrote:

                                                         

                                                        MP is only effective when rendering to MP aware codecs and using MP aware plug-ins. TURN IT OFF... Otherwise your system will spend litterally hours going around in circles looking for information in a frame that isn't there yet.

                                                         

                                                        The feature was way over sold and only works for a very small number of projects using a narrow set of paramiters.

                                                         

                                                        Even if your project was 100% MP compatible take a look at your settings. You've only left 2 of your 8 cpu's available for rendering...

                                                         

                                                        As Todd and I have said before many times, if you are having rendering problems with MP turned on, turn it off.

                                                        Whoa. OK, well I'll turn it off then. Thanks.

                                                         

                                                        It seems like the long pole in my rendering tent was a set of 9 point lights. Is that expected? I didn't think static lights would be that big a deal...

                                                        • 25. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                                          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                          Each light can certainly add a ton of render time, especially if it casts shadows and there are a number of other layers in the scene.

                                                          • 26. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                                            praguian Level 1

                                                            Szalam wrote:

                                                             

                                                            Each light can certainly add a ton of render time, especially if it casts shadows and there are a number of other layers in the scene.

                                                            Apparently! Things are going much quicker with those lights turned off, though the scene doesn't look nearly as cool.

                                                            • 27. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                                              Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                              I don't think those lights were the only issue though. (And you should be able to have at least some of them). Is there a chance that one or more of your comps are larger than you intended? Double check them and see.

                                                              • 28. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                                                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                Depending on your layout you may be able to use a lot fewer lights. Ambient and a spot or two or a  single point light is usually sufficient. It's just like working on a set. A good DP can have the camera setup and the lighting plan done with just a few instruments where a less experienced DP would have a bunch of small instruments set up to achieve the same effect.

                                                                 

                                                                Here again a screenshot would tell us a lot about how to improve your project.

                                                                • 29. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                                                  praguian Level 1

                                                                  Rick Gerard wrote:

                                                                   

                                                                  Here again a screenshot would tell us a lot about how to improve your project.

                                                                  Here, see the point lights for yourself. These are the render-time culprits.

                                                                   

                                                                  With:

                                                                   

                                                                  Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 3.58.47 PM.png

                                                                   

                                                                  Without:

                                                                   

                                                                  Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 3.56.21 PM.png

                                                                  • 30. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                                                    Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                    If they only have an effect on the background (nothing passes in front of them), you could bake that into the background's texture and/or just put light-coloured solids there that ignore comp lighting with some feathered masks.

                                                                    • 31. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                                                      praguian Level 1

                                                                      Szalam wrote:

                                                                       

                                                                      If they only have an effect on the background (nothing passes in front of them), you could bake that into the background's texture and/or just put light-coloured solids there that ignore comp lighting with some feathered masks.

                                                                      I'll probably just go the solids route, but can you elaborate on how you'd "bake" the lighting into the background? The back wall, by the way, is a solid with a Texturize effect.

                                                                      • 32. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                                                        Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                        rhannebaum wrote:
                                                                        I'll probably just go the solids route, but can you elaborate on how you'd "bake" the lighting into the background? The back wall, by the way, is a solid with a Texturize effect.

                                                                        Sorry, I've been working primarily in 3d stuff lately and some of the terminology seems to have spilled over. I wasn't sure what your background was made out of. If it was something created in Photoshop, you would just paint the lights in that way (there's actually a cool little spotlight effect you could use), but since you've created yours all in AE, do it with solids and play with the blending modes to make it look right on the texture.

                                                                        • 33. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                                                          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                          Here's a little CS6 project that took me exactly 15 minutes to create. I've simulated a movie marquis with chaser lights using just 2 3D solids and some blurs and blend modes. Maybe this will give you some ideas. A fairly complex looking project quickly mocked up with a pre-composed Ray-traced comp with solids, shapes, extrusions lights and a camera used in a Classic comp with cameras and lights that control the camera and lights in the Ray-traced comp, that renders fast and appears to have a bunch of point lights in the scene.  Enjoy...

                                                                           

                                                                          Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 12.56.17 AM.png

                                                                          It's not much of an artistic masterpiece and I even put a pole in the shot to emphasize 3D space, but it should give you a better idea of a workflow that would work for your project.

                                                                          1 person found this helpful
                                                                          • 34. Re: Render times: what is expected?
                                                                            praguian Level 1

                                                                            Rick, thank you very much. You're extremely kind to take the time to help out amateurs like myself. I'll take a look at your project at my earliest opportunity.

                                                                             

                                                                            After this project is mercifully over, I'll be taking significant time before my next one to fully learn the ins and outs of working with 3D in AE, and using an NLE to render my final products from now on.