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.
@thomas duphil & @Daniel Gheorghe
Disable "Hardware accelerated composition, Layer, and Footage Panels"
thomas duphil commented
Same as Daniel Gheorghe here... 17.7 was unforgivably slow ! AE is already über-laggy, but this last update is unworkable
Daniel Gheorghe commented
To make things worse, the latest update made my cached timeline play at about 12 fps or less; re-installed v17.6 and it works perfectly.
Nick West commented
'.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.'
2 years have passed.. crickets.
Adobe should merge with Autodesk, that way you can all just hang out together and count our subscription cash whilst failing to optimise your products or work on features which your customers actually require.
Why do we pay you guys only to then have to rely on third party solutions? The longer you take the more viable alternatives we have.
Simeon in't Veld commented
and so now it is 2021. We have CPUs with 64 cores, GPUs with 10.000 cores.. and yet... On my high end workstation AE is painstakingly slow, with a lagging unresponsive UI with only <20% utilization when working and/or rendering... Monopoly is a bad thing it seems. I am doing more and more work on Resolve.
Matt Dean commented
17.5.1 - rendering a 1080p PRores422 MOV.
Using HALF my system.
Can we please utilise CPU better adobe?
I still feel like cc2014 was faster than cc2020.
I know there were some upgrades recently for performance, however using this all day everyday I haven't experienced much of an improvement. Rendering feels Slower than cc18, even.
Please please, support your professional users with some performance, help us be productive and efficient with your software. Make us feel empowered by your software, not anchored down by it.
We don't need new features every month, we want efficiency with what we have.
Dowding Design commented
Years later, chipsets have got faster and so have GPUs but After Effects still lags in the past. Perhaps the new (even if it's only 2D) Cavalry https://cavalry.scenegroup.co/ is going to end up being a better option for us motion designers???
Adobe please respond!
Marion JESTIN commented
In the latest davinci resolve update, there are more useful new features than between after effects versions CS6 from CC 2021. The end of the monopoly it's here and right now. Blackmagic cares about its consumers.
David Millsaps commented
Sitting here watching my 5 thousand dollar Mac take 3 hours to render 12 minutes of relatively simple animations at HD with 70% idle resources.
The monopoly feels good doesn't it, Adobe?
John Read commented
PS... Forwarding us to a 3rd party’s list of ways we can work around your issues is about the worst excuse for a response I have ever heard of. It is not our burden to fix AE via an entire blog post of PC hacks.. Take responsibility for your appallingly poor code optimization for a “modern” application. This is like when Facestagram turned off the engagement faucet with the launch of their first demoralizing algorithm back in 2017 and then responded to anyone calling them out with “if your pictures are underperforming, take better pictures...” *mic drop*
Treve Jackson-Hicks commented
I would just like to add my voice to this thread. I don’t really require any new features in After Effects other than performance.
My Mac Pro is sitting at 85% idle while rendering.
It is one improvement that would make every single tool more useful.
John Read commented
Nov 10. This year’s edition of After Effects is not even showing up as a full new release... I have downloaded PS, PR, AI, etc, and everything else shows up as the 2021 version, not AE, still stuck in 2020 with all of the other depressing news from this year. The extremely few “updates” for this version are very clearly meant for a few small headlines and nothing more. Nobody asked for a new 3D gizmo or roto brush 2.0, at least not before optimizing this rickety, old, duck-taped together, dino framework. I cannot even find a list of any performance enhancements for what is actually just a regular update... IT IS TIME TO SETTLE YOUR TECHNICAL DEBT ADOBE. Please and thank you.
Guess what app is rendering selected on a picture?
the dudes commented
https://digitalvideoaudio.typeform.com/to/R8yACg 👈 this survey of the AE-team is from April. But I filled it out anyways.
Peter Labrow commented
I took a look at the other topics in 'how can we improve After Effects?' I made me pretty angry. If you want any evidence that Adobe doesn't give two figs for its customers, look no further. At 918 votes, this is the highest priority BY FAR on the forum. The next nearest 'Label Colors for Keyframes' (OK, cool) is just 513 votes. Via customer feedback, this is the most important request.
Peter Labrow commented
@Daniel Gheorghe 100% the truth. If we had to pay to upgrade, based on the additional features, performance and stability, I have to ask - which version would you actually pay for?! And I gladly bought EVERY SINGLE version when it was a paid upgrade, it's not like I ever avoided it.
Daniel Gheorghe commented
Such a joke this release.. if this wasn't subscription based, nobody would pay to "upgrade" from the previous version
Robert Moreno commented
wowwwwww thank youuuu a 3d gizmooooo I'm so excited!!! Dude make this thing fasteeerrr NOW!! I'm writing here frustrated trying to preview 4k comps, I also had time to make dinner and take the dog out for a ****
@Patrick Proier I was sarcastic. ;)