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Interface is Slow and Laggy

267 Votes
Contributor ,
Sep 28, 2022 Sep 28, 2022

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Dear Adobe,

Me again.

Please stop everything that you're doing with the development of new bells and whistles and doodads and put all your resources and firepower into resolving the years-old issue of the Slow and Laggy Interface in After Effects. Seriously. It's been YEARS. I kept thinking, "ah, they'll fix it soon.." and hope for the best and I end up feeling like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football every time a new update for After Effects comes out. "Maybe they fixed it!" And it's still not fixed.

When I contact Support I'm told, "the issue that you are facing is a known issue and the same has been highlighted to the designated team who are working on getting the issue fixed in the future releases," but it has yet to be fixed.

Old After Effects was FASTER on OLDER laptops - I have been on modern workstation-build DESKTOPS that are slower in response. Makes me not want to work in After Effects. I feel bad for those starting out in motion graphics in 2020 and this is what they are introduced to.

SpaceX put two astronauts on the space station. Surely we can get a butter smooth interface in After Effects.

Thank you.

https://vimeo.com/441661685/b7aba12cba
Bug Unresolved
TOPICS
Performance

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101 Comments
Explorer ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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Just adding my bit here. Long term After Effects user of nearly 20 years.

I am so fed up of the laggy interface right now! Scrolling through the composition window, trying to select or move a few key frames, changing values, or simply trying to move the time indicator to the correct place is just infuriating, everything has a 1-5 second delay. Most times in big comps when I move the time indicator to the right place, I let go and of course my my mouse to the next thing I want to click on - the indicator also moves with it due to the lag meaning I have to reset it back in the position that I want.

RAM Previews are also incredibly laggy and buggy in the latest versions. I can wait 10-15 minutes for something to RAM preview, and when it does the section that I need the playback is jumpy or doesn't happen at all, or the RAM cache just disappears completely and I have to restart the process.

 

I can't understand how we can have unbelievably complicated rendered PC or game console games yet moving a few rectangles or keyframes about in an interface can be this laggy.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 23, 2022 Nov 23, 2022

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@SebbieJ 

 

"I can't understand how we can have unbelievably complicated rendered PC or game console games yet moving a few rectangles or keyframes about in an interface can be this laggy."


After Effects treats everything as if it's uncompressed at the current project settings.  Our game consoles do not.

 

 

 

 

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Explorer ,
Nov 24, 2022 Nov 24, 2022

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For the love of god @Warren Heaton we're talking about the interface, I know rendering in AE has been better for a couple of versions now, but the interface is UNBEARABLY slow, not only on AE, on most of the CC suite.

 

¿Have you seen Skew? It's replicating most of the AE timeline interface on a script and it's SMOOOTH as butter. I don't see why that kind of UI performance is not possible everywhere.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 24, 2022 Nov 24, 2022

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It's not the interface.

 

It's that After Effects treats all source footage as uncompressed at the current project settings.  Use the numerous options After Effects provides to make it more responsive.

 

Maybe start with caps lock.

 

 

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 24, 2022 Nov 24, 2022

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Skew offers some great interaction, but it doesn't tie into any of After Effects' performance enhancements.

 

Try making edits with Skew while the Preview is running.

 

Try making edits with Skew in an upstream Comp while watching the Preview running in a downstream Comp.

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Explorer ,
Nov 24, 2022 Nov 24, 2022

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But the UI refresh doesn't need to be bogged down by whatever AE is doing on the rendering side! Combustion updated the UI in real time while playing compositions in 2008 and maybe the rendering was heavier and took longer, but the UI was always responsive.

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Explorer ,
Nov 24, 2022 Nov 24, 2022

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Also I can caps lock all I want that selecting more than about... 20 keyframes is still slow and laggy as all hell.

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Explorer ,
Nov 24, 2022 Nov 24, 2022

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Without getting too pedantic, I'm sure you grasped the idea that I was trying to get accross here.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 24, 2022 Nov 24, 2022

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Hopefully you're able to figure out whatever it is about your hardware/software configuration that's causing lag even when caps lock is enabled.

 

Good luck.

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Explorer ,
Nov 24, 2022 Nov 24, 2022

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I don't know what to tell you, I'd love to see a video from you showing us your AE interface working smoothly, because from what I know... the problem is basically universal, not just due to some particular config.

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Explorer ,
Nov 25, 2022 Nov 25, 2022

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"Use the numerous options After Effects provides to make it more responsive". Like what, exactly?

 

It is most definitely the interface, it's been laggy for years. It's slow as hell to do basic things in it such as moving the timeline indicator or dragging layers, or selecting things. If the dev's can't make it do basic things like that in it's current format, without the users going through various hidden settings to make it work in real time, then the interface needs to be remade or something. There wouldn't be a massive thread here with tons of infuriated users if it wasn't the interface.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 25, 2022 Nov 25, 2022

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This is 100% on point, I think AE became the most bogged down UI of all the creative apps I'm using today.
Just try to select ~30-40 keyframes in different layers and move them left/right you will see <0.5 fps or even less in UI speed. I make character rigs with Duik and sometimes It's really hard to work with bunch of layers and keyframes when the UI isn't responsive..
Masks also work slower than a few years ago, I'm using pretty good 5950x with 128gb of ram and 2070 super (hardware shouldn't be an issue right?)
Not sure if M1 macs have the same issue as Windows but we need this improved fixed ASAP!

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Community Expert ,
Nov 25, 2022 Nov 25, 2022

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@Maneali 

 

I think Duik has yet to be optimized for Apple Silicon and last I checked not for Multi-frame Rendering either.

 

 

 

 

 

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Explorer ,
Nov 26, 2022 Nov 26, 2022

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Duik is creatins expressions, keyframes and layers, so nothing they need to (or even can) specifically optimize themselves.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 26, 2022 Nov 26, 2022

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Excellent point, Carlos; however, the Duik options run inside of After Effects.  As far as I'm aware, it shares memory with After Effects.  It's worth keeping an eye on "Memory in use" in the Duik Sanity Tests.  Of course, as with any third-party addon, a quick test is to disable it.  

Rxlab just released an update on 10/29/2022 to improve responsiveness when working with lots of layers in complex Compositions.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 28, 2022 Nov 28, 2022

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Watch any of the video training from School of Motion.  After Effects runs pretty smoothly.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 28, 2022 Nov 28, 2022

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@SebbieJ 

"'Use the numerous options After Effects provides to make it more responsive.'  Like what, exactly?"

 

  • Composition Resolution
  • Layer Quality
  • Skip Frames
  • Set Proxy
  • Render Time Pane

 

Also, make sure you're using optimized source footage while working at a Project Color Depth that's appropriate for your output.  For example, use formats that decompress quickly at frame rates and frame sizes that are close to or a good match for your output frame rate and frame size and - very importnatly - don't work at 16 bits-per-channel or 32 bits-per-channel if your rendering or exporting content for YouTube.

 

 

 

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Explorer ,
Nov 29, 2022 Nov 29, 2022

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Are you sure? Because in School of Motion's own video showing the new features of AE the interface seems pretty choppy when selecting and moving keyframes, just like I'm used to: https://youtu.be/fG4yZTpTGlk?t=65

And you are still confusing UI responsiveness with render performance, and they're extremely different things, and the AE team knows they're different. They've been tackling the render speed challenges, but we're talking about the UI here, and please don't mention composition resolution or bitrate unless you're trying to gaslight us for whatever reason.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 29, 2022 Nov 29, 2022

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You think that's an example of a slow and laggy interface?

 

Do you mean that you'd like to see refinements for faster user interaction?  

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 29, 2022 Nov 29, 2022

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@Carlos Zenzuke Albarran  is right, this IS one of the examples of a laggy UI everybody who serilusly works in AE can experience daily.

@Warren Heatonyou're clearly missing a point here, this UI lag is not connected to uncompressed footage or any AE preview settings at all. It is present even with Caps Lock ON ..

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Community Expert ,
Nov 29, 2022 Nov 29, 2022

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@Maneali 

 

Good luck, Manrali.

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 29, 2022 Nov 29, 2022

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Luck won't give us responsive UI in After Effects, unfortunately 🙂

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Community Expert ,
Nov 29, 2022 Nov 29, 2022

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This feature request isn't written correctly.  In meantime, learn more keyboard shortcuts.

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Engaged ,
Nov 29, 2022 Nov 29, 2022

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@Warren Heaton 
this is a bug report, not a feature request, and Adobe is aware of it, and uses language including "known issue" and " getting the issue fixed", confirmiung that it's considered a bug internally, too. I can back this up, they gave me the same response.
I might be able to elucidate things further.
some software bugs aren't strictly "bugs" as in typos or errors in otherwise proper code. This can be seen in Blender's (I use blender, as it's a very well managed codebase) bug reporting ettiquite.

The most basic description of a "bug" is "when a program's expected result does not match what happens". This can be something like a calculator app saying 1+1= 2.19533, and that's the most generic bug. Another kind of bug is when you press a button in a program, and it does something you don't expect it to do, such as pressing the "+" button once to add, but if you press it a second time, it undoes the operation. 
Whether or not it is intended or known functionality (perhaps the developer wanted a sleek undo without more keys) the end result is "hey, why isn't this working like it's supposed to?". This goes to the origin of the term "bug", in which proper code was broken by literal insects shorting connections in early computers, and not by improper code. 

and that's why "hey, why doesn't After effects play when I press play?" and "why doesn't it stop tracking when I press stop?" and "why does minimizing and maximizing the program accelerate its processing?" are properly reportable bugs. Feature, intended, known- all or none of the above, the program's UI stuttering, hitching, and not recognizing keypresses is acting in an unexpected and unwanted way to both users and developers, and therefore a bug.

I believe this bug is the result of a long and troubled trail of neglected or improperly performed UI refreshes, that results in a user interface which responds to backend processes in unexpected ways, such as hitching or not registering button presses.

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New Here ,
Dec 23, 2022 Dec 23, 2022

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Ok, so since release of after 23 (trackmatte) I jumped the hype, and against all my concerns I upgraded to the "new" "best" software. Only not. Same problema here: Lag UI. It was as bad as 1 layer, 1 keyframe, to mouse drag and to lag, and miss the location intended. Tried all wistles and bells to remedy the problem (revomed all scripts pannel, back to 1080p, 1 monitor only, change DPI scaling, hardware pannel acceleration off, you name it. Only to fail, and made me think: Maybe on older version is better? Ok, tried v.22, and every UI lag gonne away. It's responsive again, not perfect but no hell I been in the past month. Track matte and color key frames can wait.

 

Maybe, just maybe, it's a BUG? 

 

Screenshot of my 4k + 2.k + 1k monitors. 125% dpi windows, all pannels open;

All fine now, no crazy ui lag for me.

Ps. This is a recurrent problem for me, Since 2014...

 

rubenskv_0-1671826094117.png

 

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