9 Replies Latest reply on Aug 9, 2016 9:54 AM by johane37958790

    Camera + Light Issues



      I'm new to this community and relatively new to After Effect (I have been playing around a lot in it though). For the moment I'm trying to figure out the workflow and how to make my computer not explode during working and pre-rendering.

      I'm working on a small animation project where I paint the scenery, scan it and use it in AE. Currently I have a problem where the computer slows down to a major halt as soon as I add 1 or more lights and 1 camera to the project. If I only have lights active I can switch to "Custom View 1" in Full resolution and move around without any hickups, works like a charm. And if I turn of the light I can go inte "Camera 1"-view and preview a moving camera without any problems. But as soon as I activate the lights the computer halts.

      As I mentioned I'm pretty new to this, so maybe this is impossible with the rig I'm using. But it feels strange that it works perfectly when I'm in Custom view 1 and full resolution but not when in camera.


      Is there a way to lower the quality of the lighting?

      Other ways to make this work?

      What I really would like to do is to use my second monitor as a preview screen showing "camera 1". As seen on pic 2 (without light active though), works perfect until I turn light back on. Same thing if I change my view to lets say "Front" on display 2, works perfect on Full resolution but hangs when I change to "camera 1"



      Intel i7 920 @ 2.67

      24GB ram

      Geforce GTX 970

      Windows 10


      Dedicated SSD 500gb with 250gb preserved for cache + all the project files and Indexing turned off

      Windows and AE running on a separate SSD 250gb


      After Effects 2015.3 version

      All images/sequences uses proxy stills (about 1.6meg each)

      Ray-traced 3D enabled, quality 3, AA: box

      Adaptive resolution



        • 1. Re: Camera + Light Issues
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          Check your Composition --> Composition settings --> Advanced and change it to the Standard 3D renderer. Your Raytrace 3D is only running on your CPU and actually totally not required for simple flat layers.



          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Camera + Light Issues
            Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

            what M suggested will get rid of 90% of your performance issues. if you are working with 3D layers, Camera and lights - things can get slow and you need to be smart about it.


            a few tips for better performance from looking at your screenshots:


            1. you don't have to work Full Resolution all the time. change it to half or third or quarter and you will get better playback

            if you set your resolution to auto it will down sample to your current zoom. this screenshot would show Half at 50% and not Full. I personally like to work separating resolution from magnification, but many people find it useful.


            2. check to see that your are working with Adaptive Resolution and not full quality - it will improve you scrubbing through the timeline. sometimes you do want to work full quality when there are fine details you want to see as you scrub, but this is an exception rather than the rule.


            3. there also the Draft 3D switch that will show you the composition without lights and Depth of field. another way to see things fast if you already know that the lights and DOF work fine.


            there are also many ways to improve performance that are unrelated to working in 3D.


            final note: working intuitively in after effects can go a long way but eventually you will grind to a halt. 3D is especially complicated in Ae. make sure you read/watch enough about it as you move along. you also don't bad practices and workflows to take root when just starting to work in Ae.


            useful resource material:

            Use 3D layers in After Effects

            Preview without rendering in After Effects

            Improve performance in After Effects

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Camera + Light Issues
              johane37958790 Level 1

              Hi, thx! I've tried this, it runs generally a little better, but it still freezes when I got both Camera 1 and light active. Will try it out some more. Thx again for tip!

              • 4. Re: Camera + Light Issues
                johane37958790 Level 1

                Thx for the long and well written answer! I've switched back to Classic 3D, I'm using adaptive resolution and tried again with same results. As soon as I switch to "Camera 1" when the light layer is active, the computer freezes. The strange thing is even when I tried the "Draft 3D" (the lights went off) and then switched to "Camera 1" it still freezed.

                • 5. Re: Camera + Light Issues
                  Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

                  After Effects 2015.3 version

                  should have noticed that - you should update to 13.8.1 - very important! there was a bug with a spot light maybe that's related.


                  change from camera 1 to active camera and see if it's any better. what are your camera specifications? did you choose a preset? also try adding a new camera with 50mm preset and no DOF.


                  what are you assets? how many pixels?


                  come back with answer and we'll get to the bottom of this.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Camera + Light Issues
                    johane37958790 Level 1

                    Woho! How embarrassing of me to miss such a rudimentary thing as an update. But that worked like a charm!

                    Now I can pan around the camera with two displays (one in custom view and one in camera 1) on full resolution. It even pre-rendes pretty quick in full.


                    FYI camera was a 35mm, with DOF off. 1920x1080, 23,976. (This I have not looked into at all, so I'm not sure if this is the ideal preferences)


                    But give yourself a big pat on the back, it's awesome to have such a supportive community! Thanks!

                    • 7. Re: Camera + Light Issues
                      Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

                      Great! yes embarrassing for all of us! thanks for hanging in there and sharing the results. mark the update comment as correct so that others will find it fast and I will get my acclaim among the tribe elders!

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Camera + Light Issues
                        Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        When you are trying to match angles and create a 3D environment it's important to match angle of view as well as you can to the camera that shot the original footage. Your footage looks like it is mostly with a medium wide angle lens so you are probably pretty close in your choice for a 35mm lens. Sometimes it is helpful to add the grid effect to your 3D layers to help you line things up and set the proper camera position. It's also important to know that perspective is controlled by camera position and focal length only controls the cropping or framing of the shot. If you need more of a change between foreground and background move your camera closer to the foreground and use a wider focal length to include more of the scene. If you want less move the camera back and increase the focal length. At the same distance from the subject all focal lengths will have the same perspective.

                        • 9. Re: Camera + Light Issues
                          johane37958790 Level 1

                          Thx for the pointers! I'm playing around with different cameras, and I think I understand somewhat how it works.