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What sort of processing are you doing on it? If it is just color correction and such that can be applied after the layer is transformed without affecting the result, you could use an adjustment layer instead of applying effects directly to the layer.
No color. Just slight rotation and scale (zoom) and some blurring. The stills are moving in x y also. I assume rotation is taking all the time?
What's your hardware profile like, i.e., hard drive speed, space available, RAM, processor speed ... are you running on Windows 98, etc.? ;)
Rotations are generally slow to process but that's ridiculous! I suspect it's probably something unnecessary in your output settings.
Pentium 4 3 gighz, 2 gb ram, Windows xp sp2.
Because of AE's render pipeline, effects are added BEFORE transformations. That means your blur is being calculated on every pixel of your 2500 pixel-wide image before it is scaled or contained within the comp's visible scale.
One way around this is to precompose the images and apply their transformations within the Precomp, but apply the blur in the Main comp. This means only 720x480 pixels are being blurred, not 2500x2500.
Applying effects using Adjustment Layers is another way, but not always possible depending on your requirements, as Adjustment Layers may effect more than one layer.
Don't forget that any constant effects on still images (ie a blur that doesn't change/animate throughout your animation) can be applied once within Photoshop and will never need to be rendered in AE.
Well, I would say you need to upgrade your computer, but that's about the same as my current PC...however, I recently got a MacBook Pro and am enjoying the Intel Core Duo 2 chipset with 4GB Ram so I've nearly abandoned my P4 3.4 GHz Hyperthreaded WinXP SP3 system... Meher Baba willing, I will not need another new computer for a couple of years, though I read recently of a 4 core MacBook Pro on the event horizon! That would be great for converting those ancient Parvardigar videos to HD! :D
>Or is there some other reason the 10 sec comp is taking 2 to 3 hours
As Andrew already explained so well - if the blur is applied directly, it will use the whole image. Furthermore, after the blur the actual image dimensions as stored in the memory are even bigger due to the dilation introduced by the blur. This makes it consume even more RAM and, depending on the size of the blur, can slow down processing to a crawl. Pre-composing the zoom and then applying the blur or using an adjustment layer are the only way to improve this behavior.
Adjustment layer is a great idea.
Precomposing is fine but I was hoping for AE to be smart so I could spend time experimenting and being creative. All the extra steps seem to inhibit me.
The blur was animated so could not be done in photoshop. But now I know more about the pipeline and can manage the final render better. It would be nice if AE was like Vegas in allowing you to spec the order of the transformations, effects, etc to a large degree.
Thanks for the help.
>It would be nice if AE was like Vegas in allowing you to spec the order of the transformations, effects, etc to a large degree.
Well, you actually can do this to a greater degree than you might think, it just takes an arsenal of tricks and workarounds, and an intimate knowledge of AE's render pipeline, unfortunately.
As Aaron says, you can control the render order. For example, you can apply the Transform effect before another effect to force certain transformations to occur before other effects.
The "Render order and collapsing transformations" section of After Effects CS3 Help describes and explains the render order and gives some pointers on how to manipulate it.
Chris and Trish Meyer's _Creating Motion Graphics_ book has an excellent chapter on this.
Yes I see now. But I agree with Aaron that is it complicated. I feel that "Professional" software should provide a method that is automatic or definable or setable, i.e. easy and customizable.
In Vegas once you set the little arrows you get that behavior until changed. (Don't get me wrong, Vegas has lots of faults, but it excels AE and Premier in many of the 80/20 use rules that industrial psychologists say makes for better human interface.)
However, I am happy to learn that AE does provide a way.
>Yes I see now. But I agree with Aaron that is it complicated. I feel
>that "Professional" software should provide a method that is automatic
>or definable or setable, i.e. easy and customizable.
Arguable. Personally I prefer it that way as allowing the user to futz around with such deep settings can often just achieve the opposite. It's the same gag as users screaming for being able to set rotation order on IK chains in 3D programs and then actually creating a bigger mess then they would with fixed order. I tend to see it much the same for AE. If you wanted to attribute a failure to AE, then it is mostly that it's not doing a good job of making it visible to the user how it "ticks" under the hood and thus often users are mislead, starting out their projects "the wrong way", if you wanna call it that.
I dunno. I'd be very happy to reposition every component listed in the timeline according to my whims! (Easier said than done, I know! ) :-)
For me a pro user does not have to have power hidden. Nor do I think a user needs to see or fool with the ticking machinery under the hood.
Good transparent software lets you be creative without being bogged down.
In my case, it would be better if AE figured out that I didn't need to blur a huge picture since only part of it was to be output. No need for me to reorder anything and I wouldn't have to wait 3 hours.
And, yes, you can program/implement this -- it is not impossible -- just needs the right creative design effort.
I feel that "Professional" software should provide a method that is automatic or definable or setable, i.e. easy and customizable.
This is sounding more & more like a rant.
If AE wasn't a "professional software", you would have no choice in establishing render order (which you do) and everything would take forever to render. In my opinion, there are 2 factors that cause people to get "bogged down" by After Effects: Sub-par workstations & user error / lack of knowledge of the program. Even "pro users" need to brush up on certain items in AE. I have been using it since version 3 and I learn something new all the time. It is a very deep professional program.
Sorry for having the rant quality in my post. I do appreciate the depth of AE but as a software designer it is my pet peeve that many "pro" packages are needlessly hard to use. This happens for many reasons as described in the "The Inmates are Running the Asylum" and other books.
As a relatively new user to AE (the last 3 versions) I am the perfect person to notice UI design flaws. Those who grow up with the package are used to the "mysteries".
Please excuse me. I have learned what I needed. Thanks to all. And I have made a feature resquest. And I still want it better.
That's OK, Hugh...we ALL want it better. That's why we all post those Feature Requests as much as possible. AE's come a long way. I still can't believe I actually earned a living on this software before RAM Preview & Z-Depth was implemented :P