8 Replies Latest reply on Mar 30, 2009 8:34 AM by (eri_kossus)

    After Effects CS4 Performance (BRUTAL)

      Despite the comments on this board (from Adobe themselves) claiming improved After Effects CS4 performance over its predecessor, my experience is the exact opposite. This version seems half baked to me.

      AE CS4 isn't just SLOW, and by slow I really mean dreadfully unusable, It's unstable as well. Even running the same template files that came with CS3 and 4, there's a huge difference in render time, ram previews etc. When you can't even rotate a simple cube without crashing, there's some real problems, and this is just the beginning. The previous version had no show stopping issues, it performed like a trooper. This latest however, I can't see how I could use it day to day for anything..

      There is no other software on this machine other than, CS4, Firefox, and Lightwave 9.5, which by the way, handles textured objects with hundreds of thousands of polys, not 6. I first get an error message that reads as followed;

      After effect error: crash occurred while invoking effect plug-in "Live Photoshop 3D"

      followed by, After Effects can't continue: sorry, After Effects has crashed. See... blah blah blah..

      By the way this occurs with or without OpenGl enabled.

      Systems specs

      8GB Ram
      Q6600
      Hard Drive space 4TB, install drive, 156 GB free
      Vista Business 64
      Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS (driver 178.13)

      This is the same machine that ran CS3 very well, so there shouldn't be anything wrong with this rig..
        • 1. Re: After Effects CS4 Performance (BRUTAL)
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
          How are you exporting the cube? Does it have proper UV data and textures? What are the textures and their sizes you are applying? I can quite well import models with ~120000 polys even here on my home system with a meagre 2GB RAM. Sure, it takes forever till it renders at best AA quality, but it does not crash....

          Mylenium
          • 2. Re: After Effects CS4 Performance (BRUTAL)
            Level 1
            Hi there;

            Actually the file I was describing is just one example of the performance degradation in CS4 and it's a PSD file with a 3D object, imported into AE. This file consists of 6 polys, and 6 textures imported as a Live Photoshop file, kind Composition - Cropped.. Although I have no issue in viewing it in PS, including seeing a live update as I pan, rotate and manipulate the object, in AE this is not the case.

            In AE any kind of manipulation (rotating in any axis) of this file causes AE to hang than ultimately crash. In fact, scrubbing the background controller layer in the time line in AE only allows me to rotate any x, y, or z orientation 4 or 5 degrees at a time. After I make the change I wait while AE updates the view for a few seconds. Once that's done, AE allows me to change the setting by another 4-5 degrees.. There's no way this can be the kind of performance I should expect from software this expensive.
            • 3. Re: After Effects CS4 Performance (BRUTAL)
              Jonas Hummelstrand Level 2
              Fausto,

              Let's separate the issues.

              1. So template projects that shipped with CS3 render slower in CS4? What projects and can you tell us how your memory preferences in AE are set up? In my experience, CS4 renders a lot faster than CS3, especially when you're using motion blur and multi-processing.

              2. Can you upload the PS file you are trying to manipulate somewhere so we can take a look?

              - Jonas Hummelstrand
              http://generalspecialist.com/
              • 4. Re: After Effects CS4 Performance (BRUTAL)
                Level 1
                Performance all round isn't nearly as good as CS3 is/was
                I can recreate the crash every time by manipulating (changing any axis) of this 3D object inside AE. I think the error is coming from the object link module between PS and AE. If Photoshop is open or this file has been opened in PS, AE goes down quicker than a lead ballon,.

                http://www.floatingrock.com/downloads/3d/cube.zip

                With respect to the template files, AE doesn't handle any of them as well. Even creating a ram preview isn't as quick or as complete. The application starts out showing a real time preview, then falls off to 3 FPS after just a few frames. Nothing on this machine has changed. Same ram, same video card, same hard drives, same clean install.. I've tried many of the recommendations provided by Adobe, none have improved the situation.
                • 5. Re: After Effects CS4 Performance (BRUTAL)
                  i falled into the same question today.
                  and then i restart my computer, now AE can render withour "crashed".
                  I don't know why...
                  plz answer me
                  • 6. Re: After Effects CS4 Performance (BRUTAL)
                    Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional
                    Fausto,

                    I have no problem importing or animating your PSD - no crashes, at least. The resolution is very high. I got better results by cutting the resolution of your PSD in half, which may or may not be an option for you. I improved responsiveness a little by setting the PS 3D layer to "Use Photoshop Transform" in AE.

                    But ultimately, the responsiveness of the 3D layer in AE is impossible to work with, except with Live Update disabled. It seems like a RAM issue to me. What size are the texture layers on each side of the cube? If they're all 3000x2000-ish like your document, and you're working at full res, consider that AE has to hold all six images in RAM, plus manipulate them in 3D.

                    My own sense is that the whole 3D layer thing simply isn't ready for that kind of resolution in AE yet. And probably wont be until true 64bit code allows the storage of all those textures in RAM more easily.

                    As a side note, don't know if it's my location or your server, but your 74Mb image took me almost 2 hours to download.
                    • 7. Re: After Effects CS4 Performance (BRUTAL)
                      Level 1
                      Thanks Andrew,

                      Over the last couple of days I have updated the Ram on this machine and moved to a much more powerful GPU, the situation hasn't changed dramatically. If I do as you suggest, I can manipulate this image and not invoke the same crash, but this isn't always desirable to do.

                      I agree with you, that performance in AE isn't there to truly accommodate this NEW feature. Although PS has no issue manipulating this object, texture size not being an issue, AE doesn't seem to have the same engine. As I stated earlier in this thread, this is just one example of slower performance in CS4.. Even manipulating 4 quicktime files, (320 x 240) seems to drag after a few minutes of work.

                      I'm looking forward to an update that improves this situation, otherwise I'm either going to go back to CS3 or find another compositor that takes advantage of today's technology.

                      Thanks for the heads up on the server, the ISP we use for that particular (old site) is obviously throttling down bandwidth. It won't be there long.
                      • 8. Re: After Effects CS4 Performance (BRUTAL)
                        I run MBP 2.5ghz 2gig ram. While CS3 worked fine and rendered rather fast, CS4 drags my MBP to unresponsive for a very long render time. The same files and settings in both.
                        Also coming out from render pain takes about 3/5 minutes - until the system is back to normal.
                        Activity monitor does not show any excess use of powers.
                        For now I feel like upgrade to CS4 was huge waste of money. Luckily I did not delete CS3 so I can work still.