Welcome to the world of After Effects, things can be incredibly slow. So there are a few things to understand and a few questions to ask:
1) What are the specs of your computer?
- Processor type and speed
- Total RAM
- Type of drive you're working from (SSD or HDD) and whether or not you an additional fast drive for caching or whether you're running, Ae, loading your assets, AND caching your timeline to the same drive.
- GPU (less important in After Effects for now, but some effects have become GPU-accelerated in the last couple of releases)
2) What resolution is your comp set to, and what is your Comp panel's resolution set to for previewing in your timeline (Full, Half, Third, Quarter, or Auto?)
3) What effects are you putting on your images and how are you using them? Are you just dropping them on or are you animating a lot of properties?
4) What version of Ae and OS are you running?
There are many more questions to ask, but understanding how After Effects works is important to getting good render/export speeds.
Additionally, you should be exporting a master file from After Effects like DNxHD or ProRes and then converting to your delivery format for best results. This is another conversation though.
Don't render to clips, render to image sequences from AE directly and compile the movie later.
It also helps a lot to know what you're doing in your comps. For example: if you're trying to use ray tracing -- which you SHOULD NOT DO -- it's a huge time-suck. So is noise reduction. So is 3D and multiple lights.
My first clue to long render times is when you said:
Basically i'm making 2-3 minute clips of still images with effects on them, by no means ground-breaking stuff.
I'm guessing that these images come from a digital camera and that they are a lot bigger than the composition size. For maximum efficiency you should have all of your still images resized before you start to that they are somewhere close to 100% scale at some point in the design. I can't tell you how many workshops and seminars I've taught where folks were doing slide shows with images from their DSLR that were never more than 20% scale.
The only other suggestion that I have is to use the Adobe Media encoder to render directly to MPEG 2 using one of the presets (It's hard to believe that your VJ software will not read MP4's), then check the render time for something like a 2 minute piece, then render using the Render Cue and either the Lossless or the Tiff Sequence preset, record the render time, then drop the Tiff (or create a png sequence preset) in the AME and render your final product and add up the time. Most of the time, for me, it's faster to drop a comp in the AME and render directly to MP4, and then keep working in AE while the first comp is rendering.
One more FYI, If you are doing simple slide shows and the moves on the images are simple, you'll probably be better off using Premiere Pro. The renders will be way faster and so will the work of creating the sequence in the first place. You should only be using AE to do things you cannot do in a NLE.
Hey guys thanks for the help so far. I'm honestly almost at a loss for
words at this point. As far as my hardware specs
-Processor is AMD E2-1800 APU, 1700mhz, 2 cores
-Gpu is AMD Radeon 7340
I have the newest version of AE. I'm really hoping that getting a better pc
will help fix all this. As far as the images they're not from a camera,
their like psychedelic visionary art made in photoshop/corel painter etc. I
always have them sized the exact same size as my comp.Like i said though
i'm just lost at this point. I decided maybe i'm trying to do too much at
once? So i figured just to test my theory i'd try something more basic. So
still a 2 minute clip, 1 image, 1 layer, 2 effects. A mirror on the bottom
at 640x360, then on top of that a slant effect that i have keyframed. It's
an image of a face and with the mirror and slant it basically looks like
the face is kind of feeding into itself if that makes sense. Now i could be
wrong but i feel like this is something VERY basic and drop in the bucket.
As far as automations it's only 2 keyframes on the slant making it go from
-70 back to 0 as the 2 minute clip plays. I thought to myself theres no way
this can take a bunch of time to render. I tried to go ahead and render
into Mpeg2. The est time remaining did the same thing it's been doing since
i've been fighting with this thing since 5:00a.m. lol. It starts off saying
somewhere around 1 1/2 hr. then just goes up and up and literally doesn't
stop. Like i said i'm planning to get a a laptop with i7-7700k, 16g Ram,
Nvidia 1070 i think?, and 256 SSD. I'm really hoping that should take care
of this issue, but like i said i'm hesitant to even spend that kind of
money if i'm going to run into the same issues. Thanks guys.
On Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 1:46 PM, Rick Gerard <email@example.com>
An ancient, dual-core AMD processor running at 1.7GHz?
Only 4 GB of RAM?
That IS going to be slow. Especially since you're trying to encode directly into an MPEG codec.
I'd get a bigger SSD, but yes, that laptop should be a big change from what you are currently trying to use.
4GB ram = slow renders
AMD processor = probably slow
3D layers = slower than 2D
Lights and cameras = slowdowns
Add them all together and you get slow performance. I have projects that I consider working well when the renders are taking five to seven minutes per frame. I have other projects that I expect to render at the rate of 5 or 6 frames per second. It all depends on what I am doing in the comp. 90% of my complex projects are rendered to image sequences because it's easier to go back in and fix 10 frames the director wants changed. More than 90% of my AE comps are seven seconds or less because I work on dramatic and narrative films and most shots in a sequence in most films of this type are seven seconds or less. It's a rare day that I assemble a sequence in After Effects. If it do the sequence is limited to one or two sentences, a phrase, a stanza, or a musical phrase. If I can do an effect in Premiere Pro instead of AE I do it there.
I hope this helps. Don't expect AE to be much faster in the near future. There's a lot that needs to change in the basic architecture of the app for rendering to take advantage of the new pixel mashing capabilities of the latest GPU's.
AMD processor = probably slow
AMD processor = not technically supported on the current version of AE at all.
Hopefully that changes as the new generation of AMD chips that were just officially announced start becoming more common because they look like they might be good bang for the buck and finally give Intel some competition.
Okay, yea i definitely figured that my pawnshop laptop was giving me a bit
of a hurdle. I guess it would help if i give a direct example of what im
trying to do. I don't know if you guys have heard of Johnathan Singer, but
he's a live visual artist for bands/dj's. Ever since i got into this i've
been trying to get my works looking similar to his, but none of the
tutorials i can find relate to what im trying to do. Well i finially
started chatting with him and getting tips/tricks. I was trying to do
everything in my Vj software, but he told me just use that for triggering
clips essientially, and that i should start using AE so i have higher
quality effects. I guess i should have gone into further detail with him
and asked if there where anyother softwares but i just assumed he was
saying AE + Vj software=Boom. Heres a short clip from one of his live
shows. If any of you Adobe wizards can watch this and decipher "Hey that
was done this way, and done in AE or Premiere Pro etc." By all means let me
know because i've already gotten comments saying AE might not be what i'm
looking for. At least not to actually generate these moving shapes out of a
still image.Any help appreciated.