5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 8, 2010 6:30 AM by Toomany3

    Render Farm Strange Behavior (File Size, Speed) - HELP!

    Toomany3 Level 1

      I've been render farming out a large project on two identical computers, except one has 12 GB ram, the other 24 GB.  They are both running 6-core Intel 980x at 3.3Ghz.  Same brand of memory also.


      When I render out the exact same project as a TIFF sequence from both computers to a shared network drive, the computers appear to be processing the files differently.  Here's what I mean:



      12 GB RAM Machine24 GB RAM Machine
      File Size Created per TIFF6,076 KB8101 KB
      Average time between file creations10 minutes20 minutes


      This is very strange behavior. This is the EXACT same, IDENTICAL project file stored on the local harddrive on each computer (following Adobe's recommended render farm workflow).  Messing with the multi-core rendering settings doesn't appear to make any difference to speed whatsoever.  In fact, the "fastest" settings I've seem to have found are going against what logic would tell you and just turning that option off entirely.


      Any help would be appreciated.  If it was the other way around, with the bigger RAM machine pumping out files twice as fast, I would attribute that to the added RAM, but it's the other way around.  The 12GB RAM machine is almost twice as fast and creating files 2000KB smaller.  When I stitch the clips together in Premiere, there is no visible difference between the 6000kb and 8000kb files.


      It almost seems to me that the 24GB machine is wasting time spitting out 2000kb worth of extra (unnecessary, useless?) information.


      Here's a screen grab of the files/sizes.

      Capture delme.PNG

      Capture delme.PNG

        • 1. Re: Render Farm Strange Behavior (File Size, Speed) - HELP!
          Todd_Kopriva Level 8

          What version of After Effects? What operating system?


          Are both computers running the exact same version of After Effects (both with the most recent updates applied)? Are the preferences set to the exact same values?

          • 2. Re: Render Farm Strange Behavior (File Size, Speed) - HELP!
            Toomany3 Level 1

            I'm running CS5 ( with the latest updates on both.  I think I have all the settings exactly the same unless there are some that I haven't discovered. 


            I have the output settings all the same as well as multi-machine rendering turned off on both computers.

            • 3. Re: Render Farm Strange Behavior (File Size, Speed) - HELP!
              Navarro Parker Level 3

              Do you have LZW compression turned on for one TIFF sequence and not the other? Are they both connected at the same network speed to the server drive?


              Are those screen grabs from the local drives or the network drive? (Allocation tables could account for the size difference too)  How big is each HD? How are they formatted?


              How much RAM is reserved for other apps and the minimum RAM for each background renderer in your prefs. If they are both the same, then that's incorrect.

              • 4. Re: Render Farm Strange Behavior (File Size, Speed) - HELP!
                Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                The differences could be accounted for by having an Alpha channel, even if it is fully opaque. Otherwise I would concur with the previous post - could be you8 have enabled compression on one machine. the differences in performance are another matter, but without some log files there is probably no way to unriddle that one. Could simply be some difference in an external DLL, could be slow drives, could be a motehrboard driver that is installed on one system but not on the other, could be the automatic CPU clock handling in combination with different energy saving settings. Who's to say?



                • 5. Re: Render Farm Strange Behavior (File Size, Speed) - HELP!
                  Toomany3 Level 1

                  I didn't have LZH compression on either machine.  I just tried another quick pass and with LZH the file sizes came down to the 3,000KB range on both machines.


                  As a side note, Premiere spits out all kinds of error messages when trying to import the files with compression. 


                  TIFFReadDirectory Warning "wrong data type 7 for XMLPacket; tag ignored."  Maybe this is a post for the Premiere section.


                  Anyway, I am doing some testing on this on both machines now with logging enabled.  I didn't have it turned on this last time around (except to track errors). 


                  As far as I know, however, both settings were exactly the same.