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.
PLEASE GIVE US MULTI-THREADING!!! PLEASE ENHANCE GPU RENDERING
Dear Adobe, we understand it's a complicated dance between the CPU, GPU, RAM, and hard drive, and you probably can't give us a definitive answer that the entire program will always use max threading when available. But for the sake of your customers and all that is good in the world, PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE US! We've been asking for a response to this need for years...
Specific, tangible feedback, here it is: When rendering from After Effects, automatically spawn instances of AErender.exe in the background that will utilize the as many cores as are available to render.
Adobe are you going to give us a response?? How many comments saying the same things do we need to post???
Dayton Taylor commented
It's ridiculous and shows how out of touch Adobe management is that this is even on the list of requests. What is After Effects, a program for ants?
Adobe began their downhill slide years ago. The Adobe “prestige” has all but vanished among the modern day digital artist.
It’s been a decade since multi-core based machines have become a staple in both the standard and prosumer computer markets. Where has Adobe been?
There is no excuse for Adobe to have dropped the ball so blatantly, that current users with updated machines are finding their Adobe software barely usable, at best. I reiterate, it hasbeen a decade since multi-core based machines have become a staple in both the standard and prosumer computer markets. Those in Adobe Creative management could not have possibly been taken by surprise.
It’s poor planning, poor communications and inexcusable leadership that have led to the current crisis of poor products. Computers will continue inthe direction of multi-cores. Even the lowly smartphones will see an increase in core counts. I can figure this out; and Adobe can’t.
I’ll be happy to work for you in analyzing market trends; but only if you use them to create better products before you get caught in yet another humiliating crisis.
I have a feeling fewer people will subscribe to the charade of “improved” products. As one who has invested tens of thousands into the Adobe corporation, I have one question: what have you been doing with my money?
I’m sure many are asking the same question. What would happen if people stopped paying for their subscriptions? CS6 Master Collection works fine for me!
[Deleted User] commented
Why has this not happened yet. The only choice is to buy RenderGraden. Really bad that they axed using all the processors in 2014, when CPUs haven't increased in raw speed much over the years but have gained in cores. It's like Adobe are working against hardware and going backwards.
Adobe are you listening?? Someone else had this suggestion, to actually listen to us, the users, let's get this upvoted to the top: https://adobe-video.uservoice.com/forums/911311-after-effects/suggestions/33851023-actually-listen-and-implement-the-ideas-here
My new iMac Pro runs exactly the same as my 2014 iMac, how is this possible!? Computers are adding more cores, not increasing the processor clock speeds.
I have been thinking to leave Adobe After Effects Because of this.
We have been living in 2018 and what we are discussing.. We dont need to a third party solution. So Multi core must be come back. It is joke!
Aside from the HAP codec thread, this has by far the most comments.... Clearly this is long overdue.
Currently rendering a composition that only uses CPU driven plugins and effects. 30% CPU utilization.... Tell us again why we have to resort to third party plugins for something the program itself should do natively?
Has Adobe ever given a response to this? There are several threads just stating that 'multi-threading isn't returning in the same for as it was in CC2014'. That was several years ago.
Adobe staff, we know you read these comments. Can you acknowledge this is something ALL of your users can really benefit from? Are you hearing us?
Having bought the newer iMac Pro I've been completed disappointed that there's been hardly any speed increase compared to my late 2012 iMac.
Please Adobe, support the newer iMac Pro to it's full potential...
Joachim Barrum commented
I think not only suffers the program from slow performance on modern Multi core hardware, But the optimization of the UI is as bad. A 4K screen UI and a high core CPU machine will have very slow responsiveness in the program. Adding a lot of layers in a comp with shapes etc slow down the program significantly. Its as if the UI depends on how slow the program updates the preview frames. So Scrubbing and the overall UX is slower the lower the general clockspeed of the CPU is.
Rendering speeds is not where I have most problems with AE, it is the Previewing and UI responsiveness that drops significantly with lower clockspeeds, despite having the most modern Hardware and GPU.
I find it sad that AE had a poll many years ago where the the user reponse was pretty clear, focus on optimizations only. Still new features seems to be the main focus of the AE team.
Cyrill Studer commented
Please Adobe, keep up with the times and support devices like the new iMac Pro to its full potential. You'll be loosing many users if you don't...
Found another here: https://forums.adobe.com/message/10222509#10222509
This has been known for quite some time... https://forums.adobe.com/message/8584330#8584330 . Adobe are you going to give an update of your findings of a 'better solution'? There are several 3rd party apps that have been able to find a solution...
Nice! Now Abobe, why haven't you built this natively into the program? Why must we struggle to shout at you that we desperately need After Effects to consistently actually utilize the power of our machines?