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.
(This post was co-authored by Tim Kurkoski (After Effects Product Owner), Andrew Cheyne (After Effects Engineering Manager), and Victoria Nece (After Effects Product Manager).)
This thread has been sitting here for quite a while without a response. To start, we want to apologize for that. We haven’t been ignoring you or your feedback – this is just a particularly complex topic. That said, it’s time for us to check in with you, clarify a few things, and give you an idea of what we’re looking at for the future of After Effects, especially when it comes to performance.
Before jumping into the specific request here (multi-threading AE), we should talk about how the AE team looks at performance in general. There are three areas:
- Rendering Performance: How fast can AE get pixels onto your screen?
- Interactive Performance: How fast does the UI respond to your actions?
- Workflow Performance: How fast can you complete a task in AE?
All three are important. All three impact how quickly you can make creative decisions and get your work done. This request and this discussion are focused on the first area, rendering, so we will focus on that, however we don’t want to lose sight of the bigger picture.
What have as the AE Team been doing? When we set out to tackle rendering performance, we looked at the potential improvement offered by different technical paths. And we set a high bar: we didn’t want to just have an incremental speed increase. We wanted a major leap forward in rendering power.
The obvious technology that would enable us to achieve that goal was leveraging the GPU. Because GPU processing power has leapfrogged the CPU — and is explicitly designed to handle this type of processing — the decision was made to invest in getting AE’s core rendering pipeline running on the GPU.
This is not a small task, and we’re not done yet. The most visible result of this effort has been the porting of individual effects to the GPU – more than 40 so far. Less visible is the work we’ve done getting the rest of the After Effects rendering pipeline on the GPU, such as layer transforms and motion blur or debayering RED raw R3D footage.
We still have further to go, as the real power of the GPU is unlocked when you don’t have to send a frame back and forth between CPU and GPU for different stages of rendering. As more links of the GPU chain come online, you can expect further rendering performance gains.
We do know what you’re thinking at this point. You want to know what we’re doing about multi-threading.
We all recognize that After Effects would benefit from additional general-purpose multi-threaded rendering. And while we can’t get into specifics here or make any promises about our future roadmap (that’s all confidential when you’re a publicly traded company), we are actively working on multi-threaded CPU rendering.
Ultimately, when it comes to achieving the best rendering speeds possible for AE, we know we’ll need a combination of GPU and CPU processing that maxes out all the resources on your machine.
We recently partnered with the folks at School of Motion and they did a fantastic video on how to get a more optimized system for After Effects: https://www.schoolofmotion.com/tutorials/after-effects-computer
Please keep posting and letting us know what you think. We’ll continue to watch this thread (and all the others on UserVoice). And we appreciate your patience with our response to this post.
Geechuen Lam commented
Hell, it never, ever supported multi-threading efficiently in the days I started working on AE in 2008.
Can only hope, but unless they design from the gound up - it'll probably never happen. AE is most likely a spaghetti code. Why redesign the core of AE, when you have a monopoly? there is literally no reason to do this from the company's standpoint.
@Martin Cook. Hey keyboard warrior, I guess you don't use AE for motion design. Fusion can replace AE on one task, and that's compositing. Which it's way, way better at.
Patrick Proier commented
I can't hear it anymore!
Every year the main feature of AE updates is "performance improvements under the hood!".
If that's true AE should be a rocket of a software now! ...but its exactly the opposite! ...if you open a 2013 version of AE you can't really tell any improvement in render, UI and effect performance in production. To be honest the new UI feels even slower in some parts.
I think, a lot of us have no idea what you (the AE Team) is doing the hole year at Adobe? ... fixing some little bugs of the text tool, adding a new checkbox, refining the old caching a bit (which base on a system that should be obsolete since years) or including a already existing free plugin, like Pro EXR (by the way the best feature of 2020 :D), which was developed by a single man for free!!!!). That should be a task for max. 5 weeks for a team of 3 persons!
Since 2009 the community is telling you that we need a complete new multicore/multi gpu core in AE! a modern 3D particle system (maybe with a node UI), a physic systems for creative things, motion fields for creative effects, a simple and modern 3D engine do work with 3D geometry, 3D Projection mapping, point clouds, tracking data, a new and robust way to simple handle color spaces like ACES in 2020, a easy rigging system maybe with 3D bones for 2D Elements... If you have only 5 talented people in your team and would have listened to us only a bit, after effects could have been today a fast and modern tool everyone loves to play with. Please stop fixing only the little scratches of the nearly dead Frankenstein! Don't listen only to AE beginners and start fixing the massive core problems of the old creature!
The community is really sad because we can't feel any vision of the AE team how composing, vfx, and motion graphic will look in 5-10 years. At the moment it feels more if some ex mediocre motion graphics guys are very proud of implementing their little production trick from the past in the software. It's time to hire new young and creative people with real big visions for the future! ...don't be afraid of radical changes! a core and interface out of the early 90s is nothing to be proud of!
thomas duphil commented
Martin Cook : obvious troll is obvious :)
And that was the reply I got from some very senior management within Adobe.... You have been duly warned.
Keep shouting and see how far it gets you.... Best of luck...
"Between C4D and Fusion, you can do everything you should need." Simply not true for motion graphics and motion design; plus a harder way to go about things. Plus the additional cost (£3,300 for a perpetual licence or £55 per month); the cost would be additional since I still need the rest of the CC suite. Plus it doesn't solve the issue of having to deliver projects in After Effects format, which is non-negotiable for some of my clients. There's nothing wrong in keep holding Adobe to account - and don't assume we are "lazy" "morons" and haven't explored alternatives.
Post isn't the only thing After Effects is used for. And I use both, so I know enough to know what can and can't be done for the work I do. You've moved, that's great. Then you don't need this post.
Fusion is great. I use it. It can't do a fraction of the things After Effects does for motion graphics. Not a fraction. Also, doesn't help me deliver After Effects projects which are the most requested format. Also, I'm paying for the rest of the suite, I have invested a lot of money in plugins (which also do things that Fusion can't). I don't see anyone being angry other than you Martin.
Or you can keep shooting the messenger... Ask yourself why not a single major post house uses AE in any serious capacity?
You all shout and moan like Adobe is listening or care... They don't. So grow up and start moving. Get your clients used to the idea and accept that AE will never be a professional app. You can keep a copy to help move your assets over. It's not as hard as you think.
Fusion... You all just made my point for me! Who you angry with? This isn't exactly a new issue is it???
I agree with Martin! What's stopping you lazy morons from moving to other motion graphics/animation software? It's not like AE is used practically everywhere and you've invested loads of money and time into learning and buying plug-ins. In fact, what's stopping you developing your own software that could compete with a multi-million dollar company?
Simeon in't Veld commented
@martin Cook And to what app have you switched?
Ian Davies commented
@Martin Cook Well said, Martin. Perhaps you could to talk to all my moron clients who send me AE projects to work on, and explain why they won't be getting AE projects back? kthxbye
I have kept quiet and kept off here for years, and surprise, surprise when I return still no multicore AE. It's not Adobe's fault, it's all of yours! Why haven't you moved to any number of other compositing and motion graphic apps? I can answer that, you are too lazy to bother learning how to actually comp. If you haven't learnt by now that AE is not a big thing for Adobe you are a complete and utter moron. Stop blaming everyone else and make the move... You won't have to come on here and moan ever again.
According to Annual Revenue 2018 report Adobe has earned $2.46 billion.
Divided this by 15 apps they maintain it's $164 million per app. Which gives $13 million per month.
What the **** Adobe is doing with that amount of money? Do they get paid for "recognizing that After Effects would benefit from additional general-purpose multi-threaded rendering"? I would love to be paid that money just for recognising the issue.
Simeon in't Veld commented
Okay so I've just ran a few tests with the new "faster than ever"AE 2020. At full res is was slightly faster. it took 3:15 where the previous version took 3:22. On half resolution the previous version took 1:15 and the 2020 (17.0) took 2:31 So it is even A LOT SLOWER! (And I was having some bugs so the result looked different.) My experience so far... It is more of a downgrade... #yay-adobe
@MrBeep that is so on the money.
Ian Davies commented
@MrBeep Harsh. But fair.
hahhaha great meme!