I was able to increase the time rendered by allocating more ram to AE, and increasing the skip.
The product is still not using the full allocation of allotted memory, but I suppose this is the solution to the problem.
I'm guessing that you are fairly new to AE because I don't see a white solid as a background for your comp. It looks like you have set the Comp Background to white in the comp settings. Your video is going to render with a black background because AE always renders an alpha channel and all media players will render transparency as black no matter what you choose for background color.
On the other hand you may be experienced because I see a Controller comp, but it is not part of the comp that you are trying to preview. Maybe it's controlling the nested comps. This is where a flow chart would help.
Second thing that makes me think you may be new. You've created a pre-comp for each letter in your animation. Unless there is something you have not explained in the animation this is wasted time. I also noticed you have the comp resolution set to Full. A better setting is AUTO. This will allow faster and longer ram previews when you change the Magnification Ratio. Just a little FYI here, I do almost all of my animating at 50% Magnification Ratio resolution on auto without any effects or polish that I may add to get a pencil test (rough idea) of the timing and placement, then I add the effects, enable motion blur, and check a few critical frames to finalize the composite and the color grade and then I send it off to render while I work on other parts of the project. I can't remember the last time I intentionally tried to do a ram preview of more than 10 or 15 frames at full resolution. It's such a waste of time.
Your slow down could be caused by what is in the nested comps. You could have allocated too much memory AE in the preferences. Without a more complete explanation of your workflow and your comp settings it's hard to say what's going on. 8GB ram isn't very much for AE work, and if these were just animated text layers I would expect a longer preview. With more detailed info we may be able to help a little bit more.
> makes me think you may be new
Yup, I am relatively new to AE. Right now I am working with a few animated font project files (purchased from animography.net) to build some simple animations. My workflow is as follows:
- Create a new composition
- Edit the effect controls in the typeface's controller
- Drag the each character used in the animation into the layer panel for the new composition
- Edit & preview the composition
Finally, I then render the comp with Alpha channels enabled, open the file in photoshop, and generate an optimized gif for use on the web. I tried using the Bodymovin extension to create svg animations, but was unable to generate working animations.
> you have the comp resolution set to Full
Would this affect the preview though? I currently have the preview res set to Auto. I've just tried lowering the composition res via the composition settings (cmd K), and did not notice an increase in performance.
> 8 GB ram isn't very much for AE work
I suspect this may be the case. I was able to preview a full animation of around 5 seconds by increasing the AE RAM allocation to 7 (from 5), and increasing the frame skip to 3.
Thanks for your time, I appreciate it.