Very slow RAM preview with good computer specs?!

Community Beginner ,
Oct 15, 2018 Oct 15, 2018

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Thank you for taking the time to read. I posted early about the trailer I am working on for a Missionary Bible School. The problem I am having is that when trying to preview the trailer on the time line, it is very slow even at lower quality. At "3rd" quality it's previewing at 7-9 FPS and at high quality it's preview at 2-3 FPS. The computer I am using has 128GB Ram i7 7820x 3.60Ghz and a Quadro M4000 Video Card. I have After Effects running on Solid State drive with about 80Gig space for leg room. I have done a few things like clear the cache etc.. but I am still dealing with the same problem. Also in my opinion the project itself is not that comprehensive in terms of effects etc.. that it should be this slow.

Is there any solutions for faster previewing and just an overall better experience in working in AE in general? Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!!!

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New Here ,
Oct 16, 2018 Oct 16, 2018

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i've come here to find a solution for the exact problem with 32GB RAM, I guess I will have to deal with it

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 27, 2019 Jun 27, 2019

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Same problem, so slow that it's not practical whatsoever.  I can't even preview a few layers of clip art with transitions, regardless of the alias display at full or thirds.  Anything but full is a dismal blur so you can't even see what's really going on with the applied effect. 

Regardless it can't be previewed, and rendering a 10 second clip might take hrs.  I stopped it after 20 min and it wasn't even 30% through, how is this industry standard?  Do you need a $20,000 machine to actually be able to use it?

Alienware Aurora

i7-7700K Intel 4.20Ghz

250GB SSD

32GB RAM

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080

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Mentor ,
Jun 28, 2019 Jun 28, 2019

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ZRJ

This sound odd - if you are working on a usual resolution (nothing crazy like 40k) check if drivers are up to date, try with and without GPU acceleration, reset AE settings, reinstall AE, check on another computer, ...

*Martin

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 29, 2019 Jun 29, 2019

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Thanks for the reply, it does not seem to sound odd as many experience the same.

I tried the options of GPU acceleration (uncheck if checked, check if unchecked) reinstalling, resetting settings, cleared preferences on reinstall prior to my post.  Drivers and system are up to date.

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Mentor ,
Oct 16, 2018 Oct 16, 2018

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The focus of AE is to playback whatever you created. This includes a simple text moving left and right up to high complex 2D/3D animation with hundreds of effect layers. AE never focused on short rendertimes and real-time playback - and actual it's kind of slow, when it comes to rendering compared with other software like Fusion or Unity.

You GPU is overkill at the moment, since AE only use it for a couple of effects and motionblur (at least!). Also, AE runs better on high-rated CPUs instead of many cores. A i7 4-core 4,5 GHz could outperform your killer-machine. RAM is quiet nice - thumbs up!

When it comes to final output renders, you can use RenderGarden to increase render speed, especial with our many cores. Concerning the preview, there is not much you can do.

I try to keep my comps small, with a few layers only, precomps when ever possible. Also I use a dedicated 250GB SSD for cache. A good practice will be to have the same quality and resolution settings both for the RAM preview rendering (Preview Panel -> set it to automatic) and the still-image preview (Compsition panel). So every time you playback and it crunches through the frames, you won't loose this data, unless you change something - meaning the next time you playback, chances are good to have a bunch of frames already rendered.

However, having a stable 7 to 9 fps for preview is actual good. Let it render, and when watch it - that's how stuff works in composition universe.

You can also render some layers as movie or image sequence, when you know you won't change it anymore (something like a animated background, which runs in a loop which heavy effects and expressions kills your preview speed, but can easily final-rendered over night, inserted as png-sequence and won't annoy you anymore).

Cheers,

Martin

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New Here ,
Jul 01, 2019 Jul 01, 2019

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Hi,

I have the same exact issue of after effects freezing and crashing for small moments with 32gb of ram while previewing footage.

I was working 2560x1080 60fps and I have alicated 26gb of ram to ae and yes I am read and writing cache to a ssd.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 01, 2019 Jul 01, 2019

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michalb21118868  wrote

Hi,

I have the same exact issue of after effects freezing and crashing for small moments with 32gb of ram while previewing footage.

I was working 2560x1080 60fps and I have alicated 26gb of ram to ae and yes I am read and writing cache to a ssd.

You are leaving 6gb for "everything else" - the operating system with all its background processes, anti-virus, the Creative Cloud app, etc. - for Windows 10 that's often not enough. First thing to do if a system is struggling is to watch the memory profile (e.g. in the Process Explorer app) and see how many pages are being swapped out. After Effects will stall if the underlying operating system stalls. Try reducing the allocation to AE - the previews will get shorter, but they might actually play faster.

The marketing shill around RAM Preview says it's just click-and-play, but actually it's often not.

  1. AE just assumes there will be an infinite amount of RAM. The "disks are too slow" mantra is an outdated concept but Adobe is sticking with it. To preview a decent length of HD+ footage at full res might consume 64gb+, but there's no "Disk Preview" option even if you have a tower full of blazing fast SSDs. To escape the RAM bottleneck you have to render the composition to file and play it back externally.
  2. Even when 'cached', a lot of compositions will not play back at full speed. Audio is often a problem, but I've seen countless silent comps that tick along at <20fps even on a top-end workstation. There's no logic to what will cause a preview not to work, only Adobe know the elements which are/are not recomputed for playback and they aren't talking.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 01, 2019 Jul 01, 2019

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First question, are you new to After Effects? Second question, how long is your comp? AE is designed to create shots and occasionally a short sequence, it is not a video editing app. Third question, what is the comp size and frame rate? There is almost never a reason to do a project at more than 30 fps with a frame size larger than 4K because the audience that could even see the higher frame rate or use the larger frame size is incredibly small. If you stream your video on YouTube or Vimeo it will be resized and the frame rate will be adjusted to match the available bandwidth anyway.

AE artists with experience usually work this way. Step 1: Set up any motion animation that is needed in the comp then verify that the movement and timing are correct before adding any effects and motion blur is off. The preview is usually done at 1/2 resolution or less and often skipping frames is a good idea. You just want to make sure that the timing and position are OK. I call this a Pencil Test. Animators have been using pencil tests for more than 100 years. It's a good idea.

The second test is to start working with effects and color. I call this Ink and Paint. In this phase of production, you check frames at full resolution to make sure everything is the way you want it, and you occasionally preview a few frames with everything turned on. If the Pencil Test is OK there is no need to try and preview the whole shot or sequence with everything turned on. You just have to trust that the animation is working and make sure that the hero frames (critical frames) are OK but you don't have to see them move to make sure that they are OK.

I will offer you a couple more suggestions. Try and avoid the temptation to pixel peep. The only way you can really judge the final video is to look at it in the Media Player you are going to use to present the movie. You have to render to see that. The most efficient way to get a movie done is to do the compositing, effects and motion graphics that can't be done in your NLE a shot at a time, render those shots, then do the final editing in an NLE like Premiere Pro. I know that sounds like more work but it actually takes a lot less time in the long run and if you need to make changes in 20 frames then you only have to fix those 20 frames and re-render them. That can make a difference of 10 or 20 hours when making a change in a 3 or 4-minute video.

I hope this helps.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 01, 2019 Jul 01, 2019

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Thanks for all the info, yes I am new to AE but pretty familiar with it as I use Premiere Pro, I really wish they would combine these programs features to one or the other.

Comp size is standard 1080 @ 29.97fps, the time line might be 10-seconds long.  There's  5 layers, and it's nothing more than clip art.  Previewing on the lowest settings still lags and freezes up the program.  I've abonded using it completely and looking for alternatives, for now doing it Premiere Pro is working fine but I wanted more than just the limited transitions PP offers.

If it would actually render the short clip maybe I would consider working with the pixelated half previews but you cant even see the actual effects on such a crap resolution, again if it rendered quickly one could check the render and go back to adjust.  This appears to be a problem for sometime that did not exist prior to 2018 and I'm shocked its not addressed.  I want to keep using the Adobe software suite but more and more it's looking like this will be a pain to the point it's not functional and we're not getting a return on our investment s well the lost time is priceless.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 01, 2019 Jul 01, 2019

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What is the format and size of your clip art? I'm not having any performance issues with the last two versions of AE. I'm actually a lot more productive than I was just two years ago.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 21, 2021 Dec 21, 2021

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"I really wish they would combine these programs features to one or the other."

 

My advice is use DaVinci Resolve - it's free and I've never had these lagging issues with it even though my computer is 7 years old.

 

I just downloaded AE after not using it for years and am currently getting about 3fps trying to play back a single piece of 4K video with no effects in an otherwise empty project - wtf is that about?

The Fusion tab of DaVinci may satisfy all your requirements but you can do most text effects and graphics on the main edit timeline - and it's FREE.

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New Here ,
Apr 03, 2022 Apr 03, 2022

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Your comment has me looking into DaVinci as a viable alternative option. Thanks for the information.

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New Here ,
Mar 28, 2022 Mar 28, 2022

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Ram preview is literally supposed to be designed to render clips and play them back in real time and with a godly PC it lags because after CS6 the RAM preview was "rebuilt from the ground up" or whatever that means.

 

IT LITERALLY LAGS IN RAM PREVIEW - YOUR ONLY JOB IS TO PLAY BACK THE VIDEO IN REAL TIME

WHYYYYYYYYYY ADOBE.

It is so frustrating, and the best part is people saying "aRe yOu nEw tO AE????", projection is not the answer - CS6 had better features and it's sad.

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New Here ,
Apr 03, 2022 Apr 03, 2022

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Exactly. Like, do you know how many mods I load into Skyr1m or F@llout on this same rig? How many GBs of 4K textures? It's atrocious in comparison.

 

I get they're not the same thing, but still mate if I have to run RAM preview at 1/4 -1/8 just to get any amount of stability (barely any, really) on an i9, 2080Ti, and 32GB ram...something is very, very wrong. All this being said, because this has been an issue in CC for so long, I doubt Adobe will take this seriously apart from possibly censoring my comment because I mentioned 3rd-party IP.

 

Is this what we should expect from "Industry Standard?"

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New Here ,
Jun 14, 2022 Jun 14, 2022

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Right? It's a pitty. With CS6 I never had problems and even 2014 was just fine.
But after they managed to break a good workflow, I always have to wait untill the preview stuttered it's way around the few frames I want to watch in real time. And even that is problematic.

At this very moment I try to preview a composition in 1080p with 5 png-layers and a wave effect on one of them. No chance! (Acer ConceptD7, i7, 16GB and RTX 2060ti - it runs Cyberpunk and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 4k on highest settings ...)

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