Well, to be blunt, this discussion is utterly pointless because it has nothing to do with hardware. Rather than looking to solve the problem with more processing power you might want to optimize your compositions. otherwise AE will still render slow, just on more machines. Sorry, but you simply haven't provided any sensible information like exact details about your comps, screenshots, render settings. for al we know, you could use a specific efect or enable a certain option and when it's turned off your redners will fly. Your system has plenty of juice, you're just screwing yourself by using an odd combination of things, presumably. Getting a hundred new machines won't help then because they'd all suffer from the same issues.
Have asked our production and has said these are what they render with
Updating your "nvidia" drivers didn't help?! Sounds like you guys need to make some changes in your IT department.
I assume it might likely be mostly using the processor for rendering what he's specified and the graphics card isn't having much effect at all on render time (though I suppose it could depend on whether he is using any effects or something that are optimised to use the GPU but I didn't think very many at all were. And also it could be the GPU drivers were already pretty much up to date)?
If really needed, things like reducing frame rate to 24 fps could reducde render time a bit. But like specified above, I assume it's mostly to do with how the compositions (and layers/effects etc.) are set up.
Maybe. I suspect the problem is a little more organic.
I have some suggestions to speed things up, but a quick question first: What is the duration of the Comp that's taking 20 hours encode to H264? Ten seconds? One minute? One hour?
Hard to judge your project requirements without more specific info about what you are rendering.
Ideally, post a copy of a project file that we can analyse and test on other systems. If that's not possible, answer some questions:
What is the duration of the final project? How long does it take to render?
What is the resolution and output format/codec you are rendering to?
How many layers in the project? Lots of 3D? Lighting and shadows?
What plugins are being used? Chromakey? Third party plugins?
What expressions are being used?
Which Renderer? Standard, Cinema 4D? Any C4D layers?
Take a closer look at everything everyone's recommended in this thread.
Consider rendering to Best Settings / Lossless first. Then use the resulting .avi in Media Encoder to encode to H264. With this approach, you're rendering to a format that doesn't compress between the frames nor within each frame first and encoding to a format that does compress between the frames second.
As you add more workstations, consider rendering your Comp in segments on each workstation at Best Settings / Lossless. If you had a one minute Comp running at 24fps, workstation 1 could render the first 400 frames (0000 to 00359, the first 15 second segment) while workstation 2 renders the second 400 frames (00400 to 00719, the second 15 second segment) and so forth. In this example, you'll have four 15 second segments that can be encoded to H264 using Media Encoder's Stitch feature (it allows you to add more than one file to the Source for the encode - not to be confused with "stitching" VR panels).
Also, if your budget allows for it when you purchase additional workstations, go with faster i7 processors (3.6GHz is good, but faster is, well, faster) or i9 processors, more RAM, and more VRAM. You could also consider RAID storage based on SSD drives instead of just a single SSD drive.
Thanks, these are the answers to your above questions that our production guys have come back with:
Thanks for posting back, this helps a lot.
The project described is actually reasonably complicated, in the scheme of things. Lighting and shadows adds hugely to render times in After Effects, especially when there are multiple lights. The Particle World plugin can be a real render hog, as well.
GPU-based effects like Optical Flares and Element 3D can cause efficiency issues in the render pipeline occasionally, because CPU based effects on the same layer may have to "wait" for the GPU component of the render to be buffered before processing.
I'd suggest the the render times you're seeing are not unrealistic, given your description. So what can you do to improve render times?
As has been mentioned in posts above, the very best way to improve render times is to learn ways that simplify or reduce the render load. Identify shadow renders that could be done with a simple drop shadow plugin or dark solid, rather than a true 3D rendered shadow. Apply non-animated effects like blurs and colour correction to still graphics in Photoshop, rather than rendering on every frame in After Effects. Pre-render components of your composition if possible. Etc etc.
But, on a purely hardware level, I'd say your priorities are, in order of importance:
1 - CPU - get the fastest CPU you can afford.
2 - More RAM. Get 64Gb of RAM
3 - GPU - get the best GPU you can afford. Check its features are of value to both After Effects, and to Element 3D.
Thanks for this reply.
For rendering what would be the better processor an Intel Xeon E5-1650 v4 3.6Ghz or Intel Core i7 6700K 4Ghz ?
Would it best for going a card like the GeForce 1080Ti or the Quadro NVS 810 ?
If you're using CC 2017, you want the fastest core clock speed you can get.
Puget Systems (really nice people, by the way) did some benchmarking of rendering in AE on various processors. Here are their results: https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/After-Effects-CC-2017-2-CPU-Comparison-Skylake- X-Kaby-Lake-X-Broadwell-E-Skylake-Ryzen-7-977/
The GeForce is by far a better choice. It has more memory, more CUDA cores, etc. Basically, it is better in almost every way for the kind of work AE artists do.