How can we improve After Effects?

Full program multi-threaded support

After Effects would benefit greatly from being able to actually utilize all cores when rendering, rather than having to rely on a third party solution, like the excellent program Render Garden by Mekajiki.

798 votes
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  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @ian. Sure like to know why 3 Mac pros I’ve worked on render the same project in 10min in the morning, but it takes an hour in the afternoon.

  • Daniel commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    No, I'm on PC. It was a footage intensive project, with various effects applied.. Probably this is why AE "liked" more the ProRes export.. Don't really know, actually :)

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Daniel If you’re using a Mac, it’s probably throttling the CPU. This has happened on every Mac I’ve used in the past 3 years at least. Renders will happen much faster when the machine is cold than when it gets warm. Apple thought it was a keen idea to throttle the CPU instead of turn up the fans. The new design coming out is supposed to alleviate that. We’ll see.

  • Daniel commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I only have an i7 3770k with 24 GB of RAM, but doing some tests with BG Renderer MAX, I got the following results (while exporting the same comp to the same SSD location and clearing RAM and disk cache between renders; I used 4 threads out of 8 in BG Renderer Max settings, as they recommend):

    - AE renderer, export to PNG sequence, Trillions of Colors, RGB, no Alpha: time 3 min 33 sec
    - BG renderer MAX, export to PNG sequence (without compiling movie in the end), Trillions of Colors, RGB, no Alpha: time 2 min 46 sec
    - AE renderer, export to QuickTime ProRes 4444 XQ, Trillions of Colors, RGB, no Alpha: time 1 min 25 sec

    I'm confused :)

  • Josh commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Upgraded to BG Renderer MAX. Far more elegant than the last version and does what Adobe is incapable or unwilling to do. Do yourselves a favor and just spend the $70. I grabbed it when it was on sale a month or 2 ago. Its a meal for 2 people. Just do it until Adobe gets off their butts.

  • Chris Jeffries commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Seth RE: Benchmark: Can you please share the benchmark project file so that others can run the same test?

    If not, or in addition to yours, I have a benchmark file that I've been using for many years that I can share, and have also started logging the results on a Google Spreadsheet.

    If there's interest in adding to the results list I can share; just send me a note:

    chris ultrachroma

    (replace the space with an at-sign then add the dotcom to the end.)

    The latest results are attached, and you can see from the total render times that the render times have not improved much over the years... Granted, those early results were from some monster workstations; IIRC they were various maxed out Mac Pro at a facilities in which I was freelancing. The machine I'm currently on is no slouch, but it's not maxed out by any means.

  • Seth commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Anonymous, about BG Renderer:

    I've been using the Pro version for years. It does allow multi-core (so much faster) rendering, and you can also keep on working on your project (or another one) during renders, which is awesome.
    Frankly, if only because of these two features, I can't imagine how anyone working on AE is not using it. (There are also lots of other perks, like being notified of a render completion by text message or email, shutting down or put the machine to sleep automatically after the render, etc...).

    I'm not switching to the new "max" version just yet, as it has some limitations which may be a problem for me, but until it gets updated, I'll definitely keep using the "Pro" version. I couldn't work on AE without it anymore.

  • Nicolas Prigent commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Zend, considering that there's "aprilsfool" in the url of your article, I won't consider this as a good news... Hope destroyed.

  • y promo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Zend, the link leads to a non existing article.
    on the other hand, searching the website for AfterEffects news leads to an article titled "After Effects Delivers Once Again".
    from 2001.
    that's kind of funny.

  • OZ commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Following up, the petition stalled at a mere 60 votes a few weeks ago. Please sign if you haven't and do spread the message in other forums, with co-workers, etc..

    If anyone has benchmark projects we can also compare and I'll post those results in update on the survey. Thanks Seth for the benchmark post!

    On a side note it's been indicated to me that chunks of the original core code have in essence become a black box to the existing dev team, a possible factor in why multi-frame processing was dropped. Adobe was supposedly reluctant to write a new version from scratch due to the extensive third party plug-in/filter eco-system. If this was the case, Adobe should've communicated this (though being a public company it's not surprising they wouldn't) and instead released minor iterative versions while beginning development five years ago on a totally new codebase: a next gen compositing/mograph software that leverages AI integrally. From what I understand, only parts of the software have been rewritten. This maybe conjecture and rumor, but it would explain the situation we're now in.

    I'm curious to know what Adobe would need to do to their API to allow multi-frame plug-ins like Render Garden to work with RAM previews?

    Any programmers here that could chime in? Especially from Mekajiki (Render Garden) or (BG Renderer MAX)? Given the issue I'm surprised Adobe hasn't looked to acquire these tools for native integration...

  • Josh commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Used BG Renderer but not this. Seems like an updated version? I’ve traded emails with the owner of BG renderer and he explicitly states multiprocessing has been disabled since version XX, like we all know. Why this version states you can use multiple professors seems fishy? Seems like it does what the all do, just running instances of AE by skipping frames. Definitely speeds thing up.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Maybe the new Mac Pro will light a fire under them? Although....considering that mac is aimed strictly at the pro market and Adobe tossed us under the bus regarding this issue, they'll probably do nothing and continue on their quest to bring editing and motion gfx to the masses, on tablets and phones. Because what do hobbyists know or care about multi-core processing;)

  • Tomas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Seth And that trend will only accelerate in the near future. Current Threadripper 2 offers up to 32 cores and Threadripper 3 will go to at least 48 cores, maybe even 64..with that 15% IPC and small clock speed bump on top that's going to be insane for programs that can take advantage of that power..

  • Mark Dodge commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Seth - imagine all that hardware and still watching AE render at a snails pace while Adobe is running all the way to the bank each month with your hard earned money!

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