10 Replies Latest reply on Feb 9, 2009 8:56 PM by Videoman54321

    Best Way to Speed Up Output/Export

    Videoman54321 Level 1

      I am trying to increase my AE use in my video business and am trying to come to grips with rendering, output and one computer.

      I use Edius as my editor and have an XP machine with a quad 9450 processor with 2.75 ram and shooting in HD.

      My main goal is to setup AE to render/output and be able to work in other programs, some which will be memory intensive.

      Is the best option to get a second computer just for rendering/output and let it go as long as it wants without interrupting my main system?

      I have also read a little about the Nucleo program, but is would seem that resources would still be at a premium using one system.

      Thanks for your input!
        • 1. Re: Best Way to Speed Up Output/Export
          bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3
          Increasing rendering processing with AE is not really about the raw power you throw at it; it's about optimizing your workflow (using proxies, prerenders, and low rez versions) so the full rez rendering of your final composite is the last thing you need to do.

          If you do most of your billing for AE, you would benefit from Nucleo if you have other machines to add to the farm.

          We see this post often so you can search the Adobe forums and many other AE sites for some suggestions.
          My first copy of AE used to take a weekend to render 10 seconds of one effect on one layer so I have little sympathy for you impatient kids.

          • 2. Re: Best Way to Speed Up Output/Export
            Videoman54321 Level 1
            Thanks for your response, I think.

            First, I am not new to After Effects, I am trying to incorporate it more in my workflow.

            Second, My post was not about workflow, it was about the best way to speed up how long it takes to get material out of AE.

            Third, I did search.

            Fourth, "We get a lot of posts about this" - What do you own the forum?

            Fifth, I am not a kid. Just do not want to have my system occupied all day & night outputting a two hour file.

            Trying to get a gauge of if adding a second render machine would help out the situation...
            • 3. Re: Best Way to Speed Up Output/Export
              Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional
              AE will tax any system to its maximum, that is for sure. Things you can consider:

              In defense of David's post, workflow is indeed a primary consideration for AE render efficiency. Using a 2000x2000 pixel jpeg when you only need a 1000x1000 pixel jpeg can potentially quadruple the amount of time AE takes to process each frame. The less RAM you have, the more of a problem this would be.

              You only mention XP as your OS, but no more detail. 32 bit XP has probably the greatest limitations of any current OS when it comes to system memory. Perhaps moving to a 64 bit OS would improve your system's performance prospects - although I'll happily stand corrected on that by a more Windows-centric poster than myself, if need be.

              Your hardware is important, in this order: CPU speed and cores, amount of RAM, hard drive speed. I don't understand what you mean by "2.75 RAM", but you should have at least 2 gigabytes of RAM for each processor core, plus a bit more for system overhead. So with a quad-core (4 core) CPU, you should have 10GB or more RAM for optimum performance.

              Multi-processing with multiple CPU cores dramatically improves most render durations.

              Using Nucleo Pro software has an advantage over AE's own multi-processing, because it allows you to continue working in AE while the system renders in the background. Personally, I find Nucleo Pro to be a much more streamlined and effective manager of multi-processing than AE alone, but your own requirements and budget are important in that decision. Note that Nucleo Pro does not allow you to spread processing across machines - it's still a one-machine deal.

              Since your intention is to continue working while AE is rendering, there is no substitute for a well-configured standalone AE machine. This will maximize render efficiency because you won't be stealing any CPU time with other applications. If you have the budget, it is certainly the most effective option.
              • 4. Re: Best Way to Speed Up Output/Export
                craulmedia Level 1
                b > David Bogie - 10:30am Feb 9, 09 PST (#1 of 3)
                My first copy of AE used to take a weekend to render 10 seconds of one effect on one layer so I have little sympathy for you impatient kids.
                • 5. Re: Best Way to Speed Up Output/Export
                  craulmedia Level 1
                  and years ago, i've edited my movies with two VHS-VTRs and many big vfx burgers like ILM needed floors of a size of football fields for their Servers, CPU, and RAM monoliths. Space has drastically shrunken and performance skyrocketed since new technologies have been developed.

                  by all respect David, i don't belive that comparing to older and pretty outdated technologies would be a valid excuse for any software developer or computer manufacturer.

                  I would say that it's a sad fact for 2009 opening a lightweigth quicktime clip via doubleclick from AEs project window giving me smooth video and audio playback, but since i throw the clip into a comp, the buffering and RAM-Previewing inferno gets started without having a single filter or plugin added to the clip. but YEAH! we have a couple of NEW FEATURES...

                  its nearly the same inconceivable rant i can throw at apples final cut (did anybody said pro?). apple developing their own quicktime technology and final cut builds upon quicktime architecture - would you believe me that FC is not capable of playing back realitme for exmple H264, FotoJpeg, Sorenson, MJpeg, whatsoever QT-integrated codec, but quicktime player itself plays back smoothly as a hot knife trough butter.

                  if somone has a good explanation for that curious thing, i'm listening faithfully.
                  • 6. Re: Best Way to Speed Up Output/Export
                    Videoman54321 Level 1
                    Thanks for your help Andrew.

                    My OS is Windows XP 32 bit. And the ram that Windows sees is 2.75 gig although I have 4 gig installed.

                    If I were to get a second machine to render output, how does interface with the main machine?

                    Do I hook up over gigabit ethernet or Firewire etc...?

                    And do I need a full installation of AE or just a rendering module?

                    Thanks for more help or a direction of where to find this information.
                    • 7. Re: Best Way to Speed Up Output/Export
                      craulmedia Level 1
                      http://livedocs.adobe.com/en_US/AfterEffects/8.0/WS3878526689cb91655866c1103a4f2dff7-79a3. html
                      • 8. Re: Best Way to Speed Up Output/Export
                        Videoman54321 Level 1

                        So if I only setup one other machine, is this still considered a render farm?

                        Maybe I should just work on my main machine, save the project when finished then open the project over a network on another machine just to render/output.

                        That way I could have access to all of the video drives and would not have to be moving large files to different locations over and over?
                        • 9. Re: Best Way to Speed Up Output/Export
                          Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional
                          For a 2 machine setup, I'd personally agree: the logistics of managing a Render Farm may outweigh the time benefits. Your AE license permits 2 activations, so you can install on the two machines, so long as you are only using one copy at a time. Render Engine installations are not restricted.

                          That said, you could easily have the two machines networked (at Gigabit speed as a minimum), then set up the AE Render Engine and a Watch Folder on the render machine. So long as the Network parameters are consistent (drives always connected) then simply dropping a finished project into the Watch Folder will start it rendering on the second machine.

                          Limitations of this setup:

                          You will need to keep both machines in sync when it comes to project resources like AE plugins, fonts etc.

                          Resource-heavy projects, using lots of HD footage for example, may be impacted by network bottlenecks. In an ideal world, resources are always on a local drive. Same applies to output destination.

                          Your project content and workflow are key in deciding on a process. In my own case, the majority of my work is shortform TV work like 30 sec commercials, so I tend to just copy an entire job (5-10 GB) to a local drive when changing machines. For longform work with many GBs of material, this can obviously be time consuming and inefficient. That's where David's Proxy suggestion may be useful - working with low-res low-size copies until the final render.

                          I've sometimes chosen to work specifically on external drives, so that I can simply plug a drive into a separate machine when I need to move. A good eSATA or FW800 drive array can be just as fast a single internal drive.
                          • 10. Re: Best Way to Speed Up Output/Export
                            Videoman54321 Level 1
                            Good points.

                            My main thrust is this plugin called "neat video".

                            It is a noise reduction plugin that I would like to run all of my footage through before I edit.

                            It is quite amazing and would help my Panasonic cameras achieve a cleaner look as well as help with chromakey work.

                            So I would sometimes have large files that would need to be just 'run through the mill' so to speak. Just raw rendering time.

                            I think your suggestion of an external drive would work best here.

                            Offload the footage from the camera to the external drive, connect the external drive the 2nd computer, import into AE, render back out to the external drive, then back to the main machine.

                            I will also try to access my internal video drives over the network from the second machine and see how fast or slow this goes.

                            Thanks a lot for your help and allowing me to think out loud!