Slow... Laggy... After... Effects... Workflow
I'm going to type my complaint in the same format that Adobe after effects allows me to work:
DaVinci Resolve, Blender and Unreal Engine, last month (these products get their own line because I don't have to wait for them nearly as much as I do for After effects now.
After Effects started doing this thing today where I can't use the machine or any other apps (including web browsing) while I'm rendering, because it feels like the NASA supercomputer I use to render these 6 layers of motion graphics feels like it's about ot explode.
We don't care about the new features if we are unable to use them. Stop ignoring the lag and crash issues that people have been complaining about since 2015.
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Thank you very much for all of those details. Thanks as well for your patience, I wasn't notified of your responses until now.
In regards to the crashing issues, there were several crashing bugs fixed in the versions of AE from 17.5 onwards. You may have been encountering one of these, especially with your mention of auto-save appearing to increase the likehood of a crash. What is your experience like with the latest version of AE ( 17.7 ) or with the latest available Beta version?
In regards to the slow performance, yours is not the first customer report I've seen which mentions other apps lagging while running AE and we are investigating this issue. This can be caused by a variety of different factors, including RAM usage, GPU usage, and disk I/O to name a few but we would need perhaps a screen recording during the slowdown and a view of the Task Manager to start trying to diagnose which one to look more into. Having only 16 GB of RAM definitely could be a factor. I would also consider your GPU drivers and if they are updated to the latest ( compatible ) version; GPU drivers are very often a cause of general instability. Anecdotally, we have heard some positive reports coming from customers underclocking their GPUs for better stability.
The issue you've mentioned where an Opacity property follows the Scale animation is strange indeed. Would you be able to share either a screen recording or project with us showing the issue?
Thanks again for your patience,
- John, After Effects Engineering Team
Pieter Compton commented
I also just noticed on a project I'm currently working that certain built-in plugins are glitching:
I have one 2D layer that I have animated the scale on, and beside it I have another 2D layer that I've animated the Opacity to fade in. The keyframes are standard, but on playback the Opacity animation mimics the same fluctuations as the Scale keyframes.
Further explanation: The Scale keyframes animate the layer to look like it's 'bouncing' in, starting on a scale of 0, then up to 150%, then back down to 100%.
The Opacity keyframes on the other layer are a simple fade in, from 0% to 100% opacity.
On playback the Opacity starts at 0%, then bounces up in sync with the other layer as the scale moves up, then it adjusts to the correct opacity as the Scale layer animation ends, but the effect is noticeable like: Suddenly a visible layer; suddenly gone; fades into view.
Pieter Compton commented
Thank you for your reply, I hope you are doing well.
Intel Core i7-9700K CPU @ 3.60GHz 3.60GHz
16 GB RAM
Running CC off of an SSD
NVidia Geforce GTX 2070 Super
Plugins from Video Copilot, primarily Element 3D. All updated.
I've been having unexplainable crashes since the 2017 release, I could be working on a rather large project or a project with 2 or 3 layers, but either way I can't determine what the reason for the crash is because the Windows reporter doesn't provide me with an error code. The crashes are more frequent and severe with the latest update, it's almost predicable to expect an impending crash, sometimes even just starting the project.
I have been told that 32GB of RAM is recommended, but I doubt that this has any massive influence since I've stated that the RAM does influence performance on my other programs, but definitely not stability. Usually I can tell if my RAM is causing a problem, in which case I perform a shut down and when I get back in I can continue as usual.
Since the 2019 update I have experienced moments where I'll just be in After Effects, not actually doing anything, and the program will hang momentarily, with the rest of the system responding perfectly, and what follows will either be a crash or I can continue working - but it occurs with such horrible frequency that I cannot concentrate on the task at hand fluently. It removes all immersion from my work.
I have turned the autosave function off since the last update since it seems to create a higher chance of AE crashing while activated.
I don't seem to have any problem specific to the work I'm present with, whether it be simple motion graphics, a title, compositing, rotoscoping, camera tracking, keying, using plugins, vectors, etc... I'm basically saying that I cannot replicate a crash. I'll add a title, the program might crash while I'm typing, then when I restart AE the function works fine, even with expressions on certain layers. I can't intentionally trigger a hang or a crash.
The previous BETA exhibited some hanging and crashing behavior as I'm describing here, I was using Rotobrush 2 at the the time, but it was nowhere nearly as severe and unstable as it is now. I did not enable 3rd party plugins while using the BETA.
Since the latest update I cannot use this machine to do anything else while I'm rendering a Comp in AE, this includes web browsing and even checking email. The system lags so badly that I literally have to wait for the render to finish before attempting to do anything else. This is a first for me, I've never encountered this with any Adobe products before. When I check my system monitor during the render, AE being the only program open, I see that AE is only using half of the allocated RAM and my CPU usage stays within 42%-65%, occasionally skyrocketing up to 100% for an instant and then back down again. Yesterday I lowered my RAM allocation within AE to just 8GB, and again only 4GB was being used in the system monitor during a render.
Trying to think of everything I can provide you with here...
My primary install SSD is 500GB, and I usually have about 100GB free at all times for cache and temporary files and I try to clean and perform housekeeping once a week or fortnightly.
I have two other 7200RPM drivers that store all of my projects and project assets.
I don't see a notable difference in renders or workflow when enabling or disabling GPU support, not as much as I see in other programs (like Blender).
When I startup AE sometimes my saved workspace may appear with subtle differences, but it doesn't influence my workflow in any way, so I usually don't make note of that.
I haven't overclocked the system in any way, but I'm trying that today to see if it makes any noticeable differences.
The only settings within After Effects that I've made changes to are the RAM allocation, as mentioned, the deactivation of autosave and adjusting GPU memory usage.
I usually have Spotify playing in the background while I work, not sure if that may create conflict with something.
I'll be happy to answer any other questions you might have. I would very much like to assist in any way I can.
Thank you for getting in touch, I hope something can be done.
Thank you for reporting this problem. I hear your frustration with these extreme performance issues and I hope we can track down what is causing them. Our testing team here is not experiencing these same issues, but there are many variables that could be causing them.
- What are your system specs? OS version, hardware, RAM, GPU, etc.
- What third-party plug-ins or panels do you have installed? Are they all updated to their latest version?
- Did the performance problems start with a certain version of After Effects? Does the latest Beta exhibit the same problems?
Thanks in advance for any additional information you can provide,
- John, After Effects Engineering Team