I have no idea what the Adobe team are planning (and am still reading through the massive release notes dropped today!), but here are my practices if it helps. This is what I do with CA today to reduce CPU load.
- If a scene has multiple characters (e.g. 3 or more), I click on the eyeball to hide as many characters as possible during editing. Takes a bit of load off the system.
- I create lots of short scenes, export them as MP4 files, then glue together with Premier Pro
- I avoid After Affects and Premier Pro dynamic linking by doing more in CA - it is frequently less convenient, but faster overall (I do use dynamic linking - I just limit the use - shorter scenes makes this easier too)
- I use the mouse for eye tracking, leaving the camera face tracking off as much as possible. (But the Face behavior I think requires the camera - not sure it can be done with a mouse.)
- I use blends to move between two locations rather than dragging and capturing real time. Movement is much smoother then. When I hit record it takes a little while to start recording (the new 3 second count down timer could help here a lot!) so I find it almost impossible to time it correctly anyway. So I write down X and Y positions, record that value, then blend to move between the values.
But CPU is a real problem. For example I had a single moving puppet on a single static background drawing, and using draggers the recording comes out jerky on my machine as well. I think ultimately you need a good machine if you are serious about this sort of thing.
But I would love better key framing support. I know CA is touted as for performance based recording, and it needs to keep that for the streaming market, but with a slower machine I find it infeasible. Keyframing gives me much more control with a slower machine.
Hmmm. 1.5 release notes out today, “New resolution property (in the Puppet section of the Properites panel) for controlling the maximum quality of the vector artwork when it is rasterized”. That might be worth fiddling with to see if it goes faster... But it appears new to version 1.5.
Thank you for your response but that did not help at all. I'm using Photoshop for better brush details so the "new resolution proportions" do not work because it only works with vectorized images. This character is for streaming purposes, it has a lot of hand / arm cycles, triggers for both arms and facial expressions and it has a bunch of behaviors like physics, breathe and eye gaze, all of it on a single scene for a much better flow when playing games or doing other stuff (i do not have to touch a lot of buttons' cause Ch and my structure does it all for me), maybe it's just a big ambitious project for a low budget machine like mine so i will try a bit of your workflow maybe it will fit my needs, all i was wondering if there was a single button / slider to reduce the overal quality so the user does not have to struggle doing all what you said.
Oh and sadly the 1.5 update just messed with all my triggers and behaviors like with everyone else, i fixed some things but it still doing some weird things like a lot of weird bounce in hair, not detecting my camera or repositioning my assets so i think i'll just wait for another update before touching more things. Thank you by the way.
Yeah, sorry I cannot help more. If you wanted some guesses, in the Unity 3D world they talk about “low poly count” objects. That is, fewer triangles in the mesh. That is how to get more responsiveness in that world. I don’t know of a setting like that for Character Animator, but I would guess having more draggers and sticks might increase the poly count (click the mesh button to see the yellow triangle mesh). I would guess cycle layers would not add as much CPU as it is displaying one or the other. I would guess also that Character Animator forms all the little triangles for the mesh then stretches them as required for body movements, breath movements, hair dangle movements, etc. The more puppets, the more independent layers again I am guessing more CPU/GPU load to obscure one object behind another. So if you really want to save CPU/GPU, maybe review your puppets to check meshes, and do tricks like have different versions of a puppet (with same artwork) with different draggers etc to avoid mesh complexity.
But this is just guesswork. I don’t know how much CPU/GPU is due to the mesh complexity versus all the other runtime functionality. But the sheer number of triangles in a mesh just make it “feel” to me like a lot of CPU/GPU could go there. (I assume each triangle has a different stretch/scale, hence a fair bit of work per little triangle in the mesh.)
I certainly feel the difference adding more puppets to a scene. But it feels like the complexity of each puppet matters more. I added a lot of soccer balls to one scene (no mesh needed for arms etc) and it seemed pretty fast.
I added a “feature request” that people can vote for if interested at Global setting to control resolution etc to speed up performance – Adobe video & audio apps - feel free to add any notes or suggestions directly there as well.