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Interface is Slow and Laggy

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
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correct answers 2 Pinned Replies

Adobe Employee , Feb 10, 2023 Feb 10, 2023

A couple of things:

* When we've investigated keyframe or UI lagging, the primary cause has been found to be 3rd-party script panels or plugins that are also trying to interact with the UI causing these delays. From the twitter thread I can only see a few layers but not a full view of AE to know if this is a default install or if there are other things in play here. If you've got projects that demonstrate the UI lagging, please pass them along and we'll happily look at them. 

* In terms of a UI

...

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Adobe Employee , Apr 30, 2024 Apr 30, 2024

I am marking this topic as Started for Investigation and locking the thread.

 

If you have specific cases of UI issues that aren't already covered in this thread, feel free to start a new post with the issue, steps to reproduce, etc. 

Status Started

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312 Comments
Contributor ,
Sep 28, 2022 Sep 28, 2022

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scrolling through the timeline is seriously laggy when there's a lot of layers and or masks. It's really frustrating.

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Guest
Sep 28, 2022 Sep 28, 2022

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Same on Adobe Premiere Pro, it became unusable

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New Here ,
Sep 28, 2022 Sep 28, 2022

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This is crazy, deleting a bad FONT can fix this issue almost entirely. If you've downloaded a font from a free font website, delete it. That was the solution for me at least.

Credit to PM_ME_BRAUM on reddit.

https://www.reddit.com/r/AfterEffects/comments/i9lbcy/ae_2020_ui_lag_is_just_too_much_for_me/

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Advocate ,
Sep 28, 2022 Sep 28, 2022

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See this with a lot of Adobe apps on Windows AMD machine. my 2009 mac pro runs smoother with older apps. Its just CRAZY!!!

Why do they keep adding new features when they lack to fix old stuff!!! How and why can product managent allow such a thing?!

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New Here ,
Sep 28, 2022 Sep 28, 2022

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Can relate, AMD 5950x with 128gb ram and the UI is more slugish than my 6 years old Intel machine.

Is it a problem with AMD processors? Anyone with new Intel generation can confirm this?

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 28, 2022 Sep 28, 2022

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@milan I have a newer intel machine and it's just as bad. Old versions run smoother, even on my old machines. For fun over Christmas break, I booted up my 17 year old eMac running AE v7.0 (not CS, not CC, just good old v7.0) It ran surprisingly well withs it's 512MB RAM hah! rendered slow in a 1920x1080 comp, but the UI held up better than AE 2022. I even tried out v5.5 which was still installed, same story. Not sure where all this modern computing power is going... Makes me so sad.

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New Here ,
Sep 28, 2022 Sep 28, 2022

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I was hoping maybe Win11 would fix it, I'm still on Win10.
But reading over the other users experience Adobe apps work 10-15% SLOWER on win11 :SS

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New Here ,
Sep 28, 2022 Sep 28, 2022

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Unbelievably the font solution seems to have fixed my lag - for now. I can't believe that this is a fix. Shocking.

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New Here ,
Sep 28, 2022 Sep 28, 2022

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@Josh Aarons
Can you please explain your process? How did you know what to delete? Or you just deleted every free font?

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New Here ,
Sep 28, 2022 Sep 28, 2022

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@florencia a

I was on a bit of a deadline so I removed or deactivated almost all fonts that were not relevant to my current project. It's extreme but it worked. I kept a backup of them and I will eventually re-add those fonts one by one and test. I hope that helps.

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Enthusiast ,
Sep 28, 2022 Sep 28, 2022

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I think there is some other type of font bug that is affecting people but think what the OP was highlighting is that even with a properly functioning font library AE is very slow to do basic operations on complicated projects where you have 20+ layers in a stack and try to do a box select of multiple keyframes the interface can't keep up. Ditto for just trying to scroll down through a large comp. I think this problem worsened once everyone moved to Hi-DPI displays.

From what I understand they are going to finally update the interface code so it renders smoothly but I'm not holding my breath.

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Engaged ,
Sep 28, 2022 Sep 28, 2022

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hey, I'm just gonna put this comment here. my input.
https://adobe-video.uservoice.com/forums/911311-after-effects/suggestions/44254728-stop-adding-new-f...
a lot of people are having this issue too. on this issue, I posted a comment with a list of other issues that are basically all the same thing. I figure if we band together we can get these issues commented and voted up high enough that they might consider acting on it if we, like, blot out the sun with sheer votes. many of these issues don't even have 10 votes. let's change that, even if it means AE is trashed and we need AE2. things are always better when you start from scratch to try again with what you've learned. also don't forget to wish AE a 30th birthday next year!

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 28, 2022 Sep 28, 2022

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this should be a priority fix in my opinion.

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Contributor ,
Sep 29, 2022 Sep 29, 2022

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What I have found is that if there are layers that have a lot of key frames visible, this slows down the timeline redraw massively. Scrolling vertically in the timeline with key frames visible give 1-2 fps redraw and is very laggy. 

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Participant ,
Sep 29, 2022 Sep 29, 2022

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Yep. It's so bad I gave up and bought a Mac again. 

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New Here ,
Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

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Just adding my two cents to this never-ending issue..

 

  • Even on a brand new, clean and completely driver-updated ryzen 5800X3D/RTX3090ti machine the timeline-hitching issue when working with more than a few keyframes is just as bad as on my previous 6 year old device.

 

  • It infuriates me that i can sit down on my secondary workhorse (M1 Macbook pro), and the timeline and scrubbing is smooth as butter, in the same keyframe-riddled projects.

 

And maybe... Just maybe, it could be because apple's ui api's offer smoother ui-rendering than windows' ui api's - but could we please just get some sort of insight into why it's been years without an update on the issue?

 

* Sidenote - i know from a colleague and friend of mine that windows has some gnarly ui restrictions that are a pain to work with. He was looking at davinci resolve when trying to avoid some of windows' insane restrictions, as they've managed to make a smooth and responsive ui by limiting application-to-windows ui interactions. I would be perfectly fine with a less flexible after effects, if it meant better performance - but i also highly doubt a program that's managed to stay the same since 1995 would undergo big changes like that.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 26, 2022 Oct 26, 2022

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Well, in 1995 After Effects was Mac only.  I genuinely miss the free floating windows.  It was extremely easy to tile nested Comps not to mention putting each and every last panel exactly where you wantrd it.

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Engaged ,
Nov 18, 2022 Nov 18, 2022

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it's likely updating hardware will make it worse, actually. after effects was made begore multi-core processing was a thing, before GPU's were really a thing, and well before RAM was higher than a couple gigs at most. it's basically been patched so hard that you may as well be emulating the UI. Windows does have some pretty nasty restrictions, too. it's suffering from many of the same issues, which is why you can still find the windows NT options and expose its API if you go down a rabbit hole.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 18, 2022 Nov 18, 2022

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After Effects has gone through a major rewrite under the hood for performance and Multu-frame Rendering is 100% worth taking advantage of.  Just update third party plugins and addons so they don't drag AE down with them.

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Engaged ,
Nov 18, 2022 Nov 18, 2022

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oh yeah, it definitely made it faster... but made the UI worse. in CS6 (which I use) it spent resources rendering the frames in order, but in newer versions there will be chunks of frames completed before the one that's next, slowing preview drastically, and increasing instability. in a 4k test, CS6 got 11-16fps, with most being very close to 13, while the same file in AE22 was between 6-18fps, with occasional hitches of 2-9 seconds without a frame (.5-.1 fps). I couldn't care less about it being faster if it won't even render a preview at a stable framerate.
multi-frame rendering doesn't feel it's very well done, or if it is, it feels like a hack. it's not multithreaded at all. Rather, it's giving one frame to each core. shich is nice, but not multithreading in a useful way at the core counts and powers available to most consumers or professionals.It would be excellent if done for GPU, as that's what they're designed for, but it can't even use all of my GPU as it is, and most effects don't use GPU at all, let alone 16 bit. 
so, yeah, multi-frame rendering is all well and good. but if it truly was 5 whole years of work like they make it seem- wouldn't a new program that could handle modern hardware have been a better and more appreciated use of these developers' time?

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Community Expert ,
Nov 19, 2022 Nov 19, 2022

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@nubnubbud 

 

Have you been running After Effects on the same hardware for more than a decade?  It's great to hear that you’ve kept your machine out of e-waste, but faster performance is a direct result of faster hardware.

 

Top of the line 2012 workstations were great for full resolution 1920-by-1080 motion design.  Bumping it up to 3840-by-2260 back then very likely required taking advantage of lowering the resolution and skipping frames during previews. 


No, the After Effects team should not pull a Final Cut Pto and develope something new. They should definitely continue performance improvements that allow for viewing a Preview in a downstream Comp while making edits in an upstream Comp. Something CS6 didn't offer. 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 19, 2022 Nov 19, 2022

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@jakemorris1115C0C 

 

Removing corrupt fonts isn't crazy.  It's just good system maintenance.

 

 

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Engaged ,
Nov 20, 2022 Nov 20, 2022

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@Warren Heaton 
okay it's condescending and misguided that you're telling me the program is getting slower because my computer hasn't changed- if I hadn't changed my computer... it should have gotten faster, if indeed adobe's optimizations did anything useful at all. though, as for using the same computer for CS6 and AE22- and I still remember, back in 2015 I was working on some 6K footage. that's what I based this around- because it wasn't that bad. not, it's horrendous, on my newer workstation, with CS6- and even worse with AE22. that's my main concern.

Yes, effectively!
my computer is about 5 years old, but I'm running both CS6 and AE22/AE23 on it in parallel.
I've done these tests in a controlled environment, after restarting my computer. it's not a cleanroom, I do have some startup stuff and some performance monitors and my drives aren't empty, but I immediately noticed a performance reliability downturn, and an average preview performance drop, in the same file (made in CS6 and converted to AE22 by the automated script.) There was no effect in my test that both could not use. it was a couple solids, one with a blend mode, and some text moving, and two green screen footages on top of each other, in a 4K composition.
I've been using these programs since CS3, I think, on bargain bin high school computers with maybe 4 gigs of RAM at best. I did everything from sound design in audition to editing in premiere, photography and effects in photoshop and after effects- I'm no expert, but I've been using it to produce footage for over a decade now, and I feel I have at least some handle on it in general, seeing as my complaints as a freelancer mirror those of others who actually work in studios.

the fact of the matter is... https://www.youtube.com/clip/UgkxqoQ4eS3V5d1njuXDnjHEgNvjcaVbKJsp ...yeah. and https://youtube.com/clip/UgkxRKVxSZbTuOH6u4tlJ5DmP5B49vbyh2SF ... and https://youtube.com/clip/Ugkxn5_DhGxpTsdlrHuhxuCw9WYXnEsiolQ9 and a huge proportion of tutorials on after effects these days focus solely on making it... just... function at acceptable levels. like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlkDSCuygss this guy who, with an $11,000 workstation struggles to render 1080p in realtime with no effects.

after effects just does not work any more. I myself only use it for a few specific effects. When I let my subscription run out, I'm just going back to CS6 and davinci resolve, because no features after CS6 have made my work better or faster, and resolve, even if it's a bit odd and needs a cleanup, lets me see what I'm doing. which, believe it or not, is important in a visual medium.

you don't understand. I don't want it faster. I want it to use the resouces it asks for. I want the program that's advertised, the service I'm paying for, and I want a better computer to be able to run it faster.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 20, 2022 Nov 20, 2022

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@nubnubbud 

 

My bad, I should have said for the following:

  • Looks like you're asking for help! Please check to make sure you've included the following information. Edit your post (or leave a top-level comment) if you haven't included this information.
    • System specs - macOS Windows - Speccy
    • After Effects version (full version numbers, not marketing version like CS6 or CC2019 or 2022)
    • Footage specs - MediaInfo can tell you the codec and container

 

If this information was posted earlier in this thread, I'm sorry that I missed it.

 

Again, faster performance is a direct result of faster hardware, even if it's on the same computer.  As I am sure you're aware, upgrading to faster storage media can make a noticeable difference and upgrading processors (if that's an option) can make a huge difference. Of course, there's only so much we can do on our end.  We are seeing significant optimizations on the After Effects side.  Hopefully, we can figure out why you're not benefiting from this on your end.

 

JustAlexHalford and OutofOrder offer some good performance suggestions even if they are incorrect about a few things here and there or go about it unprofessionally (being crass is probably part of OutOfOrder's appeal).  Have you tried their suggestions?  Wren at Corridor Digital creates some outstanding content.  It's a little strange that Corridor Digital asks for no new featrues during a complete applicaiton rewrite and then ask for new features, but at least the things they ask for have either been implemented (Native H264 Encoding) or are in procress (ACES Color Management).  Each of those things have been on the Adobe User Voice for awhile.

 

 

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Engaged ,
Nov 20, 2022 Nov 20, 2022

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hff, sorry, I just get heated- like niko there- it's... a bit of a flash point for me. years of frustration and continual disappointment just... hff. it's frustrating enough to push me over the edge.
I'm running the tests on an m.2 drive, which is my boot drive and OS drive. intel 6700k, gtx 1070, 32 gigs of RAM, 2tb m.2, as well as 10tb of bulk hdd storage and a 248gb ssd for simulation caches/massive IO/transcode operations for 3D vfx, to save my other drives from premature wear.
I don't think it gets much faster for storage than what I've set up. I know it's not exactly super workstation level, but AE doesn't actually use it all, as it is, and resolve is faster on similar constraints by far. the important part is that the only difference between the tests is adobe AE's version.

also, yeah, they did have a lot of suggestions. the two streams lasted about four hours total, but of it, about 10-15 minutes is spent discussing their potential solutions, but the one thing they agreed on was:
"There are so many fixes to make, and so much would need to be changed at such a basic level, it would be cheaper and easier to just make a new program that builds on what we all learned from using this one." and I came up with this, and posted suggestions on it years ago. they came to the same conclusion I did, on their own.

as for how it's strange what they're asking for- it's not! most editors that use adobe software have at least dipped their toes in other software. It's obvious why they want both. like me, they grew up on the software. at some point you feel like moving on, but at the same time it's heartbreaking to see what you grew up on fall apart or end. it's painful. it hurts inside, and that's why it's so hard to say "it's time.". https://youtube.com/clip/Ugkxsjp5XfIgDJOuBZSGv0rmPECI9eJifOxY
https://youtube.com/clip/Ugkxv-AEhDd1QLO_KpKZaiLi_2Oh7jCNPrj5 

but just watch 19:50 to 25:40 https://youtu.be/aVNCgmAsI8c?t=1166 and he goes over how, after some time to cool off and talk through it- just... restarting alone doesn't feel like a good enough answer- and it's the process and thought that lots of us are probably going through on our own, separate from one another. and I agree with his solution.

"don't kill After Effects. it can still exist. It has a reason to exist. Make a new program- one that can compete on equal terms with others, in their own playing field. AE is, however, one of the last layer-based compositing software. Rebuilding After Effects would also be good. Now that we can identify what makes After Effects' workflow powerful, we can make the program in service of that and make something wonderful."

also the MP4 thing doesn't count. we had mp4 and it was taken away to force us to use media encoder, which most of us hate. I personally exported in prores then transcoded in premiere to avoid it. it... really just isn't good or performant and feels like being beaten over the brow because we don't treat these programs like one entity enough.

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