9 Replies Latest reply on May 14, 2009 8:57 AM by phunkya

    AE CS4, Keylight plugin, rendering times, and machine specs

    phunkya

      I do a show that's 15-20 minutes long.  We use a chroma-key wall (green) and various images and graphics in the background.  It's a multi-camera show.

       

      The Keylight chroma-key plugin for AE is unbelieveable. The finished file looked very good, but it took a really really long time to render.  More that 25 minutes for a one minute test clip.  If I had to render 15-20 minutes, it could take all day.  Is that normal for such long render times on clips keyed with this plugin?

       

      My machine is an older machine.  Win XP SP3, HP/compaq dc7600, Duo-core, both 3.4GHz, and 3GB RAM.  If I were to upgrade this machine, what would be optimal for the shortest rendering times?

       

      I found a decent amount of info on how to use the plugin, but not much on recommended machine specs or normal rendering times.  Where can I find more information on what machine specs are needed to take full advantage of AE's tools and plugins?

       

      Thanks,

       

      Anthony Roberts

      JournalStar.com

        • 1. Re: AE CS4, Keylight plugin, rendering times, and machine specs
          Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          That sounds kinda slow.  Are you using standard or hi definition?  What is the format of your footage - DV? HDV?  Which version of AE are you using?  Are you using multi-processor rendering?

           

          Using WinXP is holding back the amount of RAM AE can use while multi-processing.  You shoud use a 64bit Windows flavour.

           

           

           

          In my opinion, these factors are, in order, the most important for AE hardware:

           

           

          CPU Speed - the faster the better

           

          Number of CPUs/CPU cores (but you must have 2GB of RAM for each core.  E.g. :  4 cores = 8GB RAM minimum)

           

          Plenty of RAM

           

          Fast hard drives

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: AE CS4, Keylight plugin, rendering times, and machine specs
            digitalelf

            Hello Anthony,

            I just bought a new computer from BOXX Technologies having a quad core of i7chips and 8gb ram, it is a Windows XP 64 bit workhorse and it cut my render times to a fraction! You may consider upgrading your hardware.  The payoff is faster render times. You may also see more work completed in less time overall.

             

            BOXX makes several different models up to 16 quad cores if your wallet is big enough. Check them out!

            • 3. Re: AE CS4, Keylight plugin, rendering times, and machine specs
              Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

              It's important to point out that the current version of After Effects CS4 (9.01, or earlier of course) doesn't support the Core i7 processors.

              Adobe is working on a bug-fix release that will add support for these processors.

              • 4. Re: AE CS4, Keylight plugin, rendering times, and machine specs
                Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                phunkya wrote:

                 

                Where can I find more information on what machine specs are needed to take full advantage of AE's tools and plugins?

                 

                Your info can be found here and it's called Primatte. Your issues are not exactly hardware related, Keylight just doesn't have a particularly efficient memory management so it gets slower with every consecutive frame. That doesn't change much on 64bit nor can multiprocessing do miracles.... For the amount of work you have to do, I really wouldn't use it and spend the money on an alternate keyer, even more so when it's HD and you are working on a regular programme that needs to be done every week.

                 

                Mylenium

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: AE CS4, Keylight plugin, rendering times, and machine specs
                  Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                  Adolfo Rozenfeld wrote:

                   

                  It's important to point out that the current version of After Effects CS4 (9.01, or earlier of course) doesn't support the Core i7 processors.

                   

                  To elaborate: It runs just fine, but there are a few issues with some plug-ins and multiprocessing rendering.

                   

                  Mylenium

                  • 6. Re: AE CS4, Keylight plugin, rendering times, and machine specs
                    phunkya Level 1

                    I'm doing standard def., 720x480 .avi files with CS4 Production Premium.

                     

                    My machine is older, Pentium D. CPU 3.4GHz, 2.37Ghz, 3.0 GB of RAM

                     

                    I'm requesting a new machine, and trying to see what minimum specs other pros recommend.  I've had a suggestion for a new program (not going to happen) and a BOXX machine (way out of our price range).  My reality is "what's the cheapest best option?"

                     

                     

                     

                    2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 processor?  8GB RAM?  I'm hoping to not have to spend over $1,500.  I know that may seem like a low number, but that's my situation (extremely limited finances, I work for a newspaper website).

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                    Any budget-minded suggestions are welcome.

                     

                    Thanks,

                     

                    Anthony Roberts

                    JournalStar.com

                     

                     

                     


                     


                     

                     

                    • 7. Re: AE CS4, Keylight plugin, rendering times, and machine specs
                      Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

                      You definitely should be able to get a good performing system for $1500.

                      I've seen Core 2 Quad systems (not necessarilly the latest and greatest) for about $1000-1200. Make sure to get 8 GB of RAM and you should be more or less in the ballpark. If you can't afford it with 8 GB of RAM, get the quad core machine and use it with 2 cores until you can add more memory.

                      I can't recommend any specific brand or retailer, but maybe others can?

                      • 8. Re: AE CS4, Keylight plugin, rendering times, and machine specs
                        Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                        Mmh, yeah, It's always ambiguous to advise in these matters. For your stuff a Core2Duo should be just fine. Just make sure it's the latest one (E 8600 currently). I wouldn't bother with a Core2Quad in your situation - if there is no hope of upgrading anything soon, it's kinda pointless to invest in a more expensive processor and motherboard. Given the fast paced development cycles, you buy a computer for the next 2 or 3 years and already in a few months may not consider any hardware updates worthwile. At best, then I would go for a new AMD Phenom II X4 because it's a lot cheaper while still offering better performance (intel's current quads are a bit behind). Still, would be overkill, especially considering, that the overall "crunchiness" may be more important to you, to get quick feedback while you work plus predictable render times. The per-core performance is less on quad systems, they only burn if you use all cores all the time, which your suggested combination would not. AE and many plug-ins are not particularly optimized in terms of multithreading and whether using the Render Multiple Frames Simultanously option would compensate, is another matter. Definitely get those 8GB RAM and Vista 64 Business or Ultimate, so you can max out AE's memory usage and are on the safe side, when future versions go 64bit. For the graphics card, settle on a normal GeForce 275/ 285, not a multi-GPU card like the 295. As for brand suggestions - Dell and HP are trustworthy, though not the cheapest ones. Other brands I could recommend are specific to Germany/ Europe, so it may not help you. also, if you know a good computer guy, consider having him build a custom machine. This will shave off a few bucks here and there, because you can order the individual components from whoever sells them at the lowest price. I went that way with my Core7i and thus was able to save almost 500 Euros compared to those stock vendors...

                         

                        Mylenium

                        • 9. Re: AE CS4, Keylight plugin, rendering times, and machine specs
                          phunkya Level 1


                          Mylenium,

                           

                          This is extremely helpful information.  I understand reluctance to advise in these matters, but you've offered a sort of a sliding-scale look at various configurations.  The operating system suggestions are also a major help as I approach my IT department with my request, as they'll have to make some hard choices on configurations that are compatible with mandates form corporate.

                           

                          Major thanks to you and the Adobe forums.

                           

                          Anthony Roberts

                          JournalStar.com