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.
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
Martin Cook commented
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
Peter Labrow commented
@MrBeep that is so on the money.
Ian Davies commented
@MrBeep Harsh. But fair.
hahhaha great meme!
Multi-Threading by Adobe:
Considering the 2020 release was COMPLETELY glossed over and not mentioned at Adobe Max, it does not seem there is anything worth talking about in this release :(
Is After Effects 2020 Faster Than Ever?
Perhaps it's just me, but using an iMac pro 10 core, 64GB RAM, 16GB Vega, MacOS 10.14.6, I see minimal, if any, improvement in render times with After Effects 2020 that was just released. Render times in both the timeline (RAM preview), as well as render queue, are nearly unchanged from the 2019 release. The release notes are fairly vague, where exactly are the improvements???
BG RendererMAX, which I use, along with RenderGarden are great ways to render frame sequences so much faster than AE alone. It's quite pathetic actually how little Adobe seems to care. It's all about ACTIONS, not words.
I find some of the responses thanking Adobe in the same phony marketing speak, particularly amusing.
Felix Dames commented
AE's Ram Preview and Render Queue renderings are often super slow but AE barely use my available hardware resources. Most things seems to render only on one CPU Core. Even the GPU is mostly doing nothing although Adobe claims that they are porting more and more effects to be GPU accelerated. My personal opinion is they should better invest development resources in multithreaded CPU Core rendering and porting ALL EFFECTS to be 32bits per channel color aware.
Also think about AMD's next Threadripper 3 CPU offerings with hopefully 64 CPU Cores coming in Jan. 2020!
AE's RAM Preview is often only capable of rendering with 0,03 fps but my 16 CPU Cores idling between 10%-50%, GPU is about 5%! When I render something with other software e.g. 3ds max and Arnold renderer CPU is maxed out 100% all the time! AE's performance is getting worse with every release - it's ridiculous.
And if you work with large footage files and compositions (4K, 8K) having "Mercury GPU Acceleration (Cuda)" turned on in Project Settings AE renders sometimes slower than when turned off ("Mercury Software only")!
If you activated in Preferences -> Display:
"Hardware Accelerated Composition, Layer, and Footage Panels"
The whole UI gets sluggish instead of snappier - This UI GPU Hardware acceleration also seems to not work very well and is one reason people complain so much about UI performance in general. This is easily noticable if you import a 6K or 8k footage file drop it into a new Comp with same size, set the composition viewer zoom level (magnification ratio) to 12,5% and resolution to full and try to pan the composition windows with middle mouse button. Composition viewer updates with less then 1 fps if at all! So I suggest turning this GPU (none) acceleration off and get back a snappy composition viewer which updates with appr. more then 50fps!
My System Specs are quite fast but Adobe is still crawling:
AE 2019 16.1.3 (Build 5)
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64bit
CPU: AMD Threadripper 1950x (16 Cores @ 3,6 - 4,2 Ghz Turbo)
GPU: nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 8GB StudioDriver vers. 431.70
RAM: 32 GB G.Skill Trident Z Quad channel DDR4-3200 CL14
System Drive: Samsung NVMe M.2 SSD 960 EVO 512GB
AE Cache Drive: Samsung NVMe M.2 SSD 970 PRO 512GB
Chris Jeffries commented
RE: Daniel's suggestion to use the "trick" in the YouTube video, I have followed the instructions and my benchmark results do not show an improvement. YMMV. See attached image for my results.
RenderGarden is the bomb!
Unfortunate how tone deaf adobe is about this issue. They respond to this thread with essentially a commercial for puget systems. hardware isn't the solution! we have hardware already.
Daniel Gheorghe commented
Have you guys tried this "trick": https://youtu.be/tQLH0QGGpDk ? Just found out about it today... It seems to work great so far. I'm rendering something as I write this and I can see AE uses a lot more of the CPU than before.
Rafael Lewis commented
I just want to mention that I made an entire explainer video in one project file in Moho (an amateur software despite the "Pro" in the name) and was able to animate and scrub the timeline without experiencing any lag whatsoever. Animating complex vector scenes and characters in real-time is totally a reality.
I don't know what it will take to get AE up to speed but please dear God make it happen.
John Pooley commented
Since you have end of lifed CC 2014 suddenly, this non-answer is unacceptable.
Please bring back and fix the Render Multiple Frames functionality from CC 2014: https://www.pugetsystems.com/recommended/Recommended-Systems-for-Adobe-After-Effects-CC-144/Hardware-Recommendations