4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 9, 2010 9:21 AM by Todd_Kopriva

    Best practices for rendering in AE

    nyumeddei Level 1

      So far, i have been blown away by the power of cs5, especially more so since i have jumped from cs3. I am now trying to manage more complicated workflows using dynamic link, and render times are increasing. I would like to cut them down and i am wondering if the community has tips.

       

      I use a MacPro quad core with 8 gigs of ram, and i know, not having a mac, having a quadro card, and more memory will always improve render times, but i am looking for solutions within the software.  like, how to maximize features like dynamic linking, and after effects' proxy system to ease the load on final renders.

       

      For example, should i be rendering all my complicated precomps? and to what, image sequence? what if i want to maintain the audio? is the animation codec the best solution to render the parts of a project? Does AE think in terms of render passes? What should be the groupings in render passes?

       

      lots of questions. looking forward to your input and stories!

        • 1. Re: Best practices for rendering in AE
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          None of that matters, really. While AE uses a layer cache, it doesn't think in passes. Ultimately, the only thing that matters is the interaction and belnding between the layers. Of course feel free to prerender complex scenarios, but keep in mind that this may have otehr negative side effects like the additional file I/O from more footage being loaded eating up any processing gains or things liek motion blur looking differently. So like it or not, just buy more RAM...

           

          Mylenium

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Best practices for rendering in AE
            nyumeddei Level 1

            Interesting. This is what i am thinking. Say if i have a comp that has three layers. each layer is 3d. there is camera in the comp doing keyframed and expression based movements btw each layer (ok you got it me, it's sure target). each layer is a precomp with a light, and adjustment levels.

             

            are you saying that the calculations after effects uses to render each one of these frames, with all the lights and the camera and the effects settings would be much faster with more ram? Arent the calculations done by the processor?

             

            and in this scenario, do you think that rendering each layer as a stand alone video clip will improve the speed of the second final render?

             

            doesnt dynamic linking slow all these things down as well?

            • 3. Re: Best practices for rendering in AE
              bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3
              are you saying that the calculations after effects uses to render each one of these frames, with all the lights and the camera and the effects settings would be much faster with more ram? Arent the calculations done by the processor?

               

              RAM is not, by itself, a guarantee that your rendering will speed up. There are simply too many factors. Let's say you decide to add Depth Of Field to your camera. That alone can double or triple the rendering time based on any of the many adjustments in the DOF controls and they must interact with all other effects/particles/lights/movement.

               

              The estimated rendering time calculations are interesting but of little value since AE cannot see very far ahead can cannot anticipate layer interactivity. At best, they are hypothetical estimates on whether or not you can take time to go get a cup of coffee or break for lunch or go home for the weekend.

               

              and in this scenario, do you think that rendering each layer as a stand alone video clip will improve the speed of the second final render?

               

              Your scenario is not descriptive enough but, most likely, no. Prerendering requires preplanning.
              And everything changes with 3D because your movie's boundaries may not be large enough to cover your camera moves and, of course, your movie is flat. Any 3D interactivity between 3D objects is lost.

               

              Decisions about prerendering 3D stuff is based on reducing the processing time for procedural effects. Let's say you need a spray of paricles to fill a text layer. You can prerender the particles. You might even be able to prerender the text layer. But you would not want to prerender text animations that have 3D movements.

               

              I assume dynamic linking slows thing down but I cannot imagine it is perceptible.

               

              My experience with controlling AE's rendering pipeline comes form the olden days when CoSA needed a weekend to render ten seconds of one effect on one layer. Back then you learned how to use rendering carefully and economically.

               

              bogiesan

              • 4. Re: Best practices for rendering in AE
                Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                In addition to the good advice that you're getting from Mylenium and bogiesan, here's a page of suggestions for how to improve performance.