Bug: UI is glitchy and slow on high DPI monitors
I'm on Windows, using a UHD 4K monitor and running 175% display scaling.
After Effects scales the UI correctly, but the performance of the Timeline panel especially is atrocious. Merely trying to scrub the timeline is very laggy. There are also visual glitches, like vertical black lines, and the playhead not redrawing correctly when using J & K to move between keyframes (the playhead gets disconnected from the line in a redraw glitch). Even doing a RAM preview on a fully cached timeline causes frame drops.
If I use the Windows high DPI settings dialog to override the scaling behavior (set scaling to be performed by System), all these performance and glitch issues go away. Scrubbing the timeline and resizing panels is smooth, and no visual glitches appear. Unfortunately, the entire UI is drawn in low res - pixellated and blurry, so it is not usable like this.
This has been a long-standing bug and I reported it over a year ago, thinking it was a graphics card issue, but it is clearly related to severe performance issues when doing high DPI scaling.
Here is the original post, which has screenshots and more details about the problems that occur:
Neil Ingle commented
There's a 1 second lag when drawing a selection rectangle on the timeline for me (1 out of 4 times approximately). I'm using a fairly bulky new mac pro so It's not a performance problem on the side of the hardware. Please consider fixing this !
Андрей Гаврилов commented
Hello, I'm on two 4k displays, Xeon Silver 4108, RTX 2080 Super, 32Gb RAM, SSD system drive with Win10. The UI is laggy as ****! When will this be finally resolved, Adobe?? Impossible to work with comfort.
Christoph Heimer commented
Awful, awful awful! Got a brand new Mac Pro with Dual Vega GPUs and STILL. What’s worse is that this is a problem that spans across the entire creative suite. Lightroom and premiere are just as laggy and slow in the UI. This makes me wanna switch to final cut, sadly for after effects there’s no alternative.
How can we make adobe move on this?
steven silcox commented
I'm having the same issue on 16.3 build. I've resorted to using the 'hack' described below which gives a After Effects a blurry UI. I would love to see this problem actually resolved.
Ralph Raad commented
Can confirm this on the newest 16.3 build. The lag is intolerable. Running a 2080ti with 2970WX Threadripper. Unnacceptable.
Jonas Hofmann commented
Just got the LG ultra wide 5K display thinking it would benefit my workflow... Hahaha, ouch! The issue is the same on windows 10 and mac os (retina imacs). Once you check the task manager you figure out instantly whatˋs going on: The UI in Premiere and AfterEffects are rendered using only one single CPU thread and without special graphic card support. Once that single CPU thread is fully used, it throttles everything down, also the playback. So, if you want smooth playback, resize the timeline window or zoom in, so less objects have to be loaded and displayed in the UI. Very CPU intensive are also the layer option raws in the AE timeline. Or disable high dpi rendering in the windows settings. We can only hope that adobe implements soon graphic card acceleration of the interface, just like their more optimized competition resolve and final cut pro has it.
Mindaugas Suchockas commented
The bug is still there... I've been posting in forums, calling Adobe, no help, had to give up my 4k screen and get back to my 1920x1080 from 2002... yey...
I can confirm that the problem still exists. The speed will drop stronger the more space the timeline takes up. It is almost hilarious:
1 Solid background. 1 Shape (triangle) with a loop expression.
You have a viewer at the size of a postage stamp and the playback cannot reach realtime. (4k monitor, Windows 10, GTX 2080 ti).
Steve Ogden commented
This bug is still around / back. At least the part about the playhead not showing in the correct place. For example if you use keyboard shortcut i, o, j, k, to get to an in point, the playhead visually does not update even though technically it has moved to the correct position. I'm on a retina Imac, on AE 16.1.1, I've had the same problem on multiple systems and versions for years now.
felipe griebel commented
I'm using the recently released laptop MSI GS65 Stealth with a nVidia RTX 2070.
The glitch is attached in this message.
It happens everytime I press space bar to preview.
Is it suppose to do that or is it an UI bug?
Same problem here since I am using a UHD 4K monitor on Windows. The option above from eikonoklastes works.
Here’s how to enable high-DPI support on Windows 10:
1. Find the app’s .exe file > right-click on it > select Properties
2. Go to the Compatibility tab > turn on System option (Not enhanced) DPI scaling > click OK
I upgraded to 16.0.1 Build 48 and it is still there. The UI is extremely sluggish on resizing and scrubbing. The time indicator bar won't always update to the time indicator head. Sometimes it does sometimes not (using J,K keys)
What I also noticed is that when you draw a selection rectangle on your comp timeline, UI redraws start somewhat fluidly when the covered area is still small and get continuously more sluggish the bigger the covered area gets. Up to almost a second of delay.
(Xeon E5-1650 v4 @3.6GHz, 128 GB RAM, GTX 1080 ti, DELL P2715Q @ 3840x2160, 60Hz)
Mike F commented
I just added a high DPI monitor to my system, and am experiencing this exact thing on AE 16.01 with a 1080ti card on Windows 10. The laggy issues are directly related to the timeline as just as you describe here. Choppy scrubbing, and dropouts in cached RAM previews. I have to expand the composition window full screen to preview without audio and video stuttering. This is a serious issue that Adobe really needs to get on top of.
I still experience this exact behavior in AE 15.1.2 on a 4k monitor with an NVIDIA Geforce 1080 ti. It is a pain.
Avinash Lobo commented
Early impressions of the new AE (16.0.0 Build 235) seem to indicate that this issue is finally resolved! The UI responds as expected and there are no unexpected frame drops or drawing glitches.
It's like a breath of fresh air. After several months of struggling with this issue, it's so nice to be able to work freely again.
Thank you, Adobe.