17 Replies Latest reply: Feb 27, 2013 1:20 AM by timoteo1 Branched to a new discussion. RSS

    AE CS4 - why such poor RAM preview on my FAST machine?

    director-editor

      Hi all, I just installed After Effects CS4 - I have a smokin fast mchine: quadcore Zeon 3.20 GHz, hyperthreading turned on, nvidia quadrofx 3800 with current driver, 12 GB DDR3 RAM, windows 7 64bit ... can you PLEASE help me troubleshoot a problem:  even on the simplest compositions, a moving picture or a moving piece of type, the RAM preview stutters along, the current time indicator hops along at a choppy pace, images in the frame dont look like they're moving smoothly, and all i get is about 6 seconds of RAM preview ... seems to me that I used to get better performance on a MUCH MUCH  slower machine under windows XP ... i have looked around the forums and seem the advice on multiprocessor options and the like, but nothing I do seems to help ... do any of you have any advice for me to improve my performance???  if you have any questions about my setup or preferences, let me know, I will be on this until I get what I expect out of my (otherwise incredibly fast) machine

        • 1. Re: AE CS4 - why such poor RAM preview on my FAST machine?
          Todd_Kopriva Adobe Employee

          I recommend starting here:

          "Performance tip: Don't starve your software of RAM"

           

          Read this, too:

          "Performance tip: Don't overschedule your processors"

           

          There's a whole section on improving performance here:

          "Improve performance"

           

          Regarding only 6 seconds of RAM preview:

          You didn't say what kind of frame sizes you're using, but that is an expected duration for HD RAM preview. See this page:

          "FAQ: Why does RAM preview only play part of my composition?"

          • 2. Re: AE CS4 - why such poor RAM preview on my FAST machine?
            Mylenium ACP/MVPs

            Sounds like you have a serious configuration problem somewhere. Even if you are a bad boy and don't follow Todd's advise , the overall behavior should be much better. I would definitely look into turning off OpenGL for starters. That may already resolve a lot of issues. If it does, you know that something is up with your graphics card/ its driver...  For the rest work your way through Todd's tips.

             

            Mylenium

            • 3. Re: AE CS4 - why such poor RAM preview on my FAST machine?
              director-editor Community Member

              Thanks very much guys for your helpful replies I am going to start working through all of these suggestions .. could either of you tell me this: should my current time indicator move smoothly through a preview? I have always thought that it did move with ease .. on my computer, it jumps ahead seeming to move ten frames at a time, definitely doesnt flow through the composition smoothly (like I thought it should)  the current time indicator moves jerkily (ie not smooth) whether I am running SD or HD comps

              • 4. Re: AE CS4 - why such poor RAM preview on my FAST machine?
                Todd_Kopriva Adobe Employee
                > could either of you tell me this: should my current time indicator move smoothly through a preview? I have always thought that it did move with ease .. on my computer, it jumps ahead seeming to move ten frames at a time, definitely doesnt flow through the composition smoothly (like I thought it should)  the current time indicator moves jerkily (ie not smooth) whether I am running SD or HD comps

                 

                I've seen reports of the current-time indicator (CTI) moving jerkily when a preview is playing, but the video is playing smoothly. I wouldn't worry about the CTI movement if the video is playing smoothly.

                • 5. Re: AE CS4 - why such poor RAM preview on my FAST machine?
                  director-editor Community Member

                  Hi Todd, thanks again for this info .. gosh, I am pulling my hair out here .. let me try and describe my situation in a little more detail so maybe you can diagnose my problem better ... I have been through all of these settings in an attempt to get a better RAM preview, but to no avail .. basically, one of the main reasons why i bought such a big computer (big graphics card too, the quadro fx 3800) was to get amazing after effects peformance .. also bought big monitors, 2 x 24inch NEC 2490WUXi2 ... so, I have activated the Multiprocessor option for rendering, and I have looked at my task manager while rendering, After effects is in fact using all four cores to render, and it's using up to 10 GB RAM, I am very happy with the rendering speed, that's all good ... but my RAM previews continue to have much jerkiness, stuttering, even on the simplest HD composition ... whether I am moving a piece of text around the screen or panning across a large stock photo, when i get my RAM preview going, I have yet to get a single preview with smooth motion, every preview jerks and stutters its way through the animation ... I am beginning to suspect two things: could my nice big monitors (set at their native resolution of 1920X1200) be set up for video playback or something field-based like that, 'cause that's what my RAM previews kind of look like, like a file with fields that's not playing back properly???  I have looked all through the Nvida control panel, but am unsure what to do ... my other suspicion is that my hard drive is too slow?  could that affect my RAM previews?  I have a 1TB 7,200 RPM drive, and that's where my source files (and of course the app itself) reside, could this be the slow link in the chain??? do I need 10K rpm???

                   

                  I am reaching here, not sure what the problem is, but I am getting worse RAM previews on the fastest machine I have ever worked on .. am about to offer a reward for anyone who can take me where I need to be

                   

                  thanks in advance for your thoughtful replies!!!

                  • 6. Re: AE CS4 - why such poor RAM preview on my FAST machine?
                    Todd_Kopriva Adobe Employee

                    Just one thing to cut down a frequent misconception:

                    Your nice graphics card doesn't do much for After Effects performance.In fact, trying to use OpenGL for rendering (including rendering of previews) can cause problems.

                     

                    I recommend turning OpenGL rendering off for all but interactions. I.e., choose the OpenGL - Interactive preview mode and turn off OpenGL for rendering previews. OpenGL is not compatible with Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing.

                     

                    I'm not saying that OpenGL is your problem. Rather, because you mentioned your nice graphics card, I just had to stress that you need to forget about that with regard to After Effects. It's not really relevant.

                     

                    It may be that the jerkiness is an issue with a bottleneck of drawing to the screen. (I don't know, but it's possible.)

                     

                    Your hard disk being too slow wouldn't be an issue with RAM previews, since the frames are all cached in RAM.

                    • 7. Re: AE CS4 - why such poor RAM preview on my FAST machine?
                      director-editor Community Member

                      Hi Todd, thanks again for your reply ... FYI, I bought the FX3800 for Avid editing, for which it is the qualified video card, and supports distributed processing in the Avid along with my DX HD hardware BOB - I had hoped it would work well with After Effects, too, but I do understand the Adobe is very transparent about the fact that, as long as your card has OpenGL support, probably best to sink your $$$ into more RAM or faster CPU .. but to stay on topic, I am just  very stunned that I am not getting better playback with my system ... I have the most recent Nvidia drivers ... I have 2 NEC 2490WUXi2 each connected through DVI-D to my video card, each runnign at its native 1920x1200 res, 59 hertz ... the programs I have installed are Adobe CS4 Production Premium, Win7 64bit, MS Office 2007 Enterprise, latest version of Quick Time, Media Player version 11, and NERO 9 ... you dont think that one of these video player apps (like media player or QT) are messing with my screen performance do you?  what about Nero 9, have you heard any compatibility or display problems associated with this app?  would unistalling any of these programs be a troubleshooting technique that you'd attempt?

                       

                       

                       

                      Finally, when you say "an issue with a bottleneck of drawing to the screen" what do you mean exactly? 'cause this kinds sounds like a goood description of what I am seeing ... what might be the cause of such a bottleneck, I am willing to try anything ...

                       

                       

                       

                      Thanks, sir, for your reply!

                       

                       

                       

                       

                       

                      Derek Reid

                       

                       

                      Trader Multimedia Inc.

                      www.tradermm.com

                       

                       

                       

                       

                      Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2010 21:46:43 -0600

                      From: forums@adobe.com

                      To: tradermultimedia@hotmail.com

                      Subject: AE CS4 - why such poor RAM preview on my FAST machine?

                       

                      Just one thing to cut down a frequent misconception:

                      Your nice graphics card doesn't do much for After Effects performance.In fact, trying to use OpenGL for rendering (including rendering of previews) can cause problems.

                       

                      I recommend turning OpenGL rendering off for all but interactions. I.e., choose the http://help.adobe.com/en_US/AfterEffects/9.0/WSAF696587-2D81-42e2-B248-4C5C2B7D3614a.html and turn off http://help.adobe.com/en_US/AfterEffects/9.0/WS3878526689cb91655866c1103a4f2dff7-79e8a.htm l. OpenGL is not compatible with Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing.

                       

                      I'm not saying that OpenGL is your problem. Rather, because you mentioned your nice graphics card, I just had to stress that you need to forget about that with regard to After Effects. It's not really relevant.

                       

                      It may be that the jerkiness is an issue with a bottleneck of drawing to the screen. (I don't know, but it's possible.)

                       

                      Your hard disk being too slow wouldn't be an issue with RAM previews, since the frames are all cached in RAM.

                      >

                      • 8. Re: AE CS4 - why such poor RAM preview on my FAST machine?
                        Todd_Kopriva Adobe Employee

                        I'm at a loss for a definitive answer. I suppose that one thing that I'd try is to disconnect one of your monitors and see if playing out to only one of them helps. But I'm taking shots in the dark here.

                         

                        If you were describing slow renders for RAM previews, then I'd have a better idea of where to go, but jerky (stuttering?) RAM preview playback isn't something that I have a clear answer for.

                        • 9. Re: AE CS4 - why such poor RAM preview on my FAST machine?
                          TimeRemapper Community Member

                          Do you have any graphics heavy themes, or desktop graphics (3rd party) installed?

                          Are you using any 3rd party input devices (intellipoint mouse, wacom tablet, etc...)?

                          If so, try disabling whichever may be installed, rebooting, and RAM previewing again.

                          • 10. Re: AE CS4 - why such poor RAM preview on my FAST machine?
                            Szalam MVP

                            Any chance you have a Matrox or AJA capture card?

                            • 11. Re: AE CS4 - why such poor RAM preview on my FAST machine?
                              director-editor Community Member

                              Hi all, thanks much for your replies .. no wacom tablet, no crazy mouse software, no matrox or AJA, no themes or desktop widgets or otherwise ... only thing I have been able to come up with is this:  when I work in After Effects and do a RAM preview, I get jumpy, non-smooth animations, much more jumpy and non-smooth than ever before (yet my computer is faster than ever before) ... as part of my troubleshooting, I tried saving my RAM preview, and when I did so, the file was saved as an AVI file (by default, I did nothing to specify format or otherwise, just selected "Save RAM Preview" from the menu ... so this file was saved to my desktop, I clicked it and guess what, it looked equally crappy, even worse so, jumpy, non-smooth, hicuppy, etc ... next, I rendered out the exact same animation through the render queue, this time using Quick time lossless and animation codec at best quality ... saved this to my desktop as well ... guess what?  this file played flawlessly, smooth, no stutters at all ... does this tell you anything?  does this reveal any reason whatsoever for crummy playback in RAM preview?  It indicates to me that After Effects and AVI-Media Player v. 11 is a poor combo, while After Effects and Quick time make a good combo ... am I off base here?  why would the RAM preview itself and the saved RAM preview in AVI mode both play so crappy, while the Quick time played so nicely

                              • 12. Re: AE CS4 - why such poor RAM preview on my FAST machine?
                                Szalam MVP

                                It's possible one or more of your RAM sticks is bad. I've seen that happen before. (In a not-so-distant prior life I was a tech support agent for a major computer company.)

                                • 13. Re: AE CS4 - why such poor RAM preview on my FAST machine?
                                  Octobit1970 Community Member

                                  Here is another report of the CTI moving jerky, 10 frame hops it seems. putting markers on the layer with * corresponds with real time.

                                  • 14. Re: AE CS4 - why such poor RAM preview on my FAST machine?
                                    Octobit1970 Community Member

                                    I have to think this is a 64 bit question. I like the original poster have a pretty pwoerful machine, Intel DX5400 with 2 quad core processors and 16 gig of ram. My video card is a 2 gig ati.

                                     

                                    I have never gotten Ram preview to give more than a couple of seconds, not the 10-15 seconds. I recently did a clean reinstall of everything and now, ram preview doesn't work at all. Audio preview freezes the gui for 10-20 seconds, the audio starts playing after the cti has moved 2-3 seconds, and when you put a marker on the layer it goes silent for 1 or 2 seconds.

                                     

                                    It's really just unusable, it doesn't work like advertised. A real pain because you can't do anything with the audio track, can you imagine? I need to change scenes on a beat, and it's now taken me 3 hours.

                                     

                                    All the memory suggestions, open gl etc even turned off the second monitor as mentioned above, no dice.

                                    • 15. Re: AE CS4 - why such poor RAM preview on my FAST machine?
                                      Jeff Burford Community Member
                                      It's really just unusable, it doesn't work like advertised.

                                       

                                      I think this is a complete Mis-Statement and bash against Adobe, for I am running on an older System, a HP xw8200 Dual Xeon 3.6 Ghz, System using WinXP64 and 6 Gigs of RAM, Quadro FX 3450 and am not having any problems like this at all!!!

                                       

                                      As a side note, in helping another Artist with his Setup and the same Problems with youself on a Killer Machine, 8 Cores, 8 Gigs of Ram, Quadro FX 4600, and so on, the Power in fluid control, previewing and Rendering lies within the Second Post on this Thread.....

                                       

                                      REad Them, work threw them and get and Understanding for them.

                                      Cheers

                                       

                                      Also, what is running in the Background on Your System, how optimised for Video Work is your System?   Is that System on the Net and running Virus Checkers and FirewallS?   If yes, Sorry, get it offline and turn off those items.......

                                      • 16. Re: AE CS4 - why such poor RAM preview on my FAST machine?
                                        T_Townrampage Community Member

                                        I know this is an OLD bump but I recently had this same problem and finally solved it.

                                        To solve this problem I had to change my database and cache locations to a seperate hard drive.  In preferences its located under Media & Disk Cache.

                                        Problem solved.

                                        • 17. Re: AE CS4 - why such poor RAM preview on my FAST machine?
                                          timoteo1 Community Member

                                          To clarify ... separate from your SYSTEM drive, your drive containing the VIDEO, or BOTH?  I'm guessing system since you could theoretically produce something that did not use anything but AE elements (no video) and still get these results.