Extremely Slow Render Times Due to AE Dynamic Link

Community Beginner ,
May 04, 2019 May 04, 2019

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Here's to a first post! I've been using Premiere Pro for a long time and as of a few years ago hopped onto Creative Cloud, which I generally keep fully updated. However about a month ago I noticed one of my regular video projects in Premiere Pro was taking an immense amount of time to export. I'm well aware exporting isn't instantaneous, but I also know it isn't normal for a video of mine to have an ETA of 2 days! I tried different creating new projects, removing different audio tracks, nothing helped. I also noticed when all of this was going on, my CPU usage was close to 0 when exporting. Something wasn't right...

However today after poking around a bit more and running into the same issue I've discovered this has to do with the Dynamic Link I'm using to bring in After Effects compositions to Premiere. My videos for the most part are quite basic, I've tried different render settings, and the only time I use Dynamic Link in a project is to finish off my video with a 20 second After Effects composition. I'm a pretty patient person, so I'm not here expecting my 1080p60, high bitrate, h.264, 20 minute video to finish within 10 minutes, but there is a problem. Just from a test: if I delete the After Effects composition from my timeline, I can render this video in about 20 minutes. If I add the After Effects composition to the end of my timeline, my total render time goes up to 50 hours.

Unfortunately I cannot pinpoint exactly when this started to occur, I can only say it happened to me on the previous update and on the current update, and it seems to be directly tied to Dynamic Link. I even did a Render and Replace of that 20 second clip, which took around 5 minutes or so. Is that slow? Probably. However the math does not make sense here, and one AE composition in the timeline is bogging down the entire export process.

20 minute video without Dynamic Link: 20 minutes

AE composition alone rendered: 5 minutes

20 minute video with Dynamic Link: 3,000 minutes

What?!

Anyways, if there's anything further I can provide, please let me know. Until this is fixed I'm going to have to either use Render and Replace or export the AE project out as a video file and use that at the end of my Premiere Pro projects. Let me get you all some specs while I'm at it!

OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit Version 1809 (OS Build 17763.475)

CPU: Intel i7 6700K

GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti

After Effects: 2019 Version 16.1.1 (Build 4)

Premiere Pro: 2019 Version 13.1.2 (Build 9)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2019 May 04, 2019

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I have always found exports more reliable when I replace Ae comps in a sequence with an exported file from Ae. Dynamic Link is a complex thing and can go odd at times.

Once I have my Ae comp finished, I export and replace. Pr then just runs better.

Neil

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Community Beginner ,
May 05, 2019 May 05, 2019

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That's what I'm going to be doing for the time being, I have no doubt it is much more reliable but the problem is that's a workaround, not a resolution. I've been using Dynamic Link as expected in Premiere with After Effects compositions for years now and just started to run into this issue within the past month.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 05, 2019 May 05, 2019

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You're luckier than me!

I don't use it that much, so maybe I'm not as spiff at the process, but for me ... my Pr project always runs smoother without DL bits here and there. Exports have always been faster without DL bits needing both the "headless" Ae and Pr running.

Neil

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Community Beginner ,
May 06, 2019 May 06, 2019

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Positive way of looking at it, Neil! I guess compared to other people having issues, this first major one I've run into within years of using the program is a pretty good track record. I do agree that performance and such will be better in Premiere without Dynamic Link, it's just frustrating that this is broken. I've seen a few other people post about similar issues on and off here in regards to Dynamic Link bringing their renders to a complete standstill of progress, I'm really hoping this gets resolved.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 06, 2019 May 06, 2019

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I've talked with quite a few guys & gals that do a ton more Ae work than I, and it's mixed. Some have no troubles with DL comps in Pr, some ... avoid when possible. The type & power of hardware doesn't even seem to be a crucial factor, although having enough oomph to run Pr & a "headless" Ae simultaneously is part of it.

So ... another of those situations where the answer is " ... um ... it depends ... "

Not my favorite answer, but when it's Reality, well ... it's the answer.

Neil

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Advisor ,
Oct 08, 2020 Oct 08, 2020

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DL works best for me when the linked Ae Comps are very simple.  If they have Motion Blur, or other blurs, my supermacho MacPro7,1 24-Core will not play them without frame skipping.  Plus, the links get lost by Pr frequently, requiring me to Link Media.  As R_Neal suggests, rendering Comps in Ae, and importing into Pr is the most efficient overall process.

 

The command in Pr to make an Ae Comp out of clips is the most useful feature, IMO.  But, then rendering in Ae and replacing the DL Comp in Pr with the rendered movie is the key to keep working more efficiently.

 

It's a matter of rendering now or rendering later.  So, I go with the process that's going to save the most time.

 

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 08, 2020 Oct 08, 2020

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Yes render in AE is very useful to go smooth as silk in premiere. Because you need to render just one time. It is not so comforable when you have to modify often your AE compositions to have better match with the video or simply to correct them. It is normal to have the frame skiiping" issue if you don't render the DL in the Premiere time line. It is the same in AE timeline, if you do not render and use the RAM preview there's an high probability to have a glitchy play, and the more you put stuff into the AE timeline, the more it will be jerky. If you render the time line using the queue in AE, maybe it will be faster, but it is because probably you are making a big file without compression. If you try to do the same using the adobe encoder application you will see the same difference you see into premiere.

 

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Advisor ,
Oct 19, 2020 Oct 19, 2020

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I very often have to make changes to the movies I rendered in Ae and imported into Pr.  What makes this process go faster is to go to the Render Queue in Ae, and dupe the render Item by Cmd-Shift-D (Mac), and then double-click it, which will open the Comp for the changes.  What Cmd-Shift-D does is allows you to overwrite the previous movie file with the same name, so that after rendering, it appears automatically updated in Pr.

Two things to keep in mind.  Your CTI should not be over any part of the movie clip you are going to re-render, because that may produce an error.  Another thing to avoid is switching back to Pr during the Ae render, or you will get the Media Offline message, and you'll have to relink the media again after the render is complete.

 

If you want to keep working in Pr while Ae is rendering, then you might want to skip this method, and just use Pr's Replace Footage command to link to the newly rendered file.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 14, 2020 Dec 14, 2020

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Hi Jim, for me dynamic link if faster then render every time in Ae and replace the part. I make tons of little changes often to adjust the clip exactly like i want to (especially for audio). Back to Pr, press enter and in the same time you have the same result with fewer clicks. If you want you can select only the part you want to modify in the Pr work area, so there is no need to re-render the entire Ae clip. It means more speed. The "Media Offline" occured only in the old versions and it's been months that is resolved.

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LEGEND ,
May 06, 2019 May 06, 2019

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Linked Comps in PP render on a single thread, whereas exporting them out of AE will use full resources.

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Community Beginner ,
May 06, 2019 May 06, 2019

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I appreciate the explanation, Jim. Do you think it could be a bug in which Premiere is rendering the entire timeline on a single thread thanks to the AE composition dropped in? I notice when everything starts to chug in my Media Encoder or Premiere for exporting, all the audio processing progress can barely keep up. Any timers I have as well seem to update almost once every 15 seconds. Then as for the actual render, my computer's CPU usage hangs out at almost 0% compared to a regular render, which could see it go from 40-99% consistently.

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LEGEND ,
May 08, 2019 May 08, 2019

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Do you think it could be a bug in which Premiere is rendering the entire timeline on a single thread thanks to the AE composition dropped in?

Normally, only the DL comps will render slower.  Everything else should render with full resources.

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Community Beginner ,
May 09, 2019 May 09, 2019

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That's why I'm thinking it could be a bug, Jim. I'm very much used to seeing 98 or 99% of my video render out with high resources, then slow down for the very last bit for that 20 second After Effects Dynamic Link composition. However as explained in my original post, dropping in this single After Effects composition bogs down the entire process and rendering comes to a standstill before it properly starts.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 09, 2019 May 09, 2019

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Please file this behavior on the bug/feature report form. Adobe lives by metrics, and as all things posted there go right to the engineer's systems and in collated form to the upper managers who decided budgets, it's in 'our' favor to post all things like this there.

For the time being ... if that's a standard comp that you put on everything without changes, yea, I'd export that to full media from Ae. Which is probably these days the more typical workflow.

Neil

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New Here ,
Jun 16, 2019 Jun 16, 2019

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I've always used Dynamic Links, until about a month ago, my exports to the Encoder started to slow. Reading your problem, I went to do a test and found that the exports are slow for the same reason.

Something happened in Dynamics Links that greatly increased export time. And unfortunately, I do not think Adobe will give a solution ...

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Participant ,
Jul 29, 2019 Jul 29, 2019

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I can tell you what. but not why.

DL AE comps are rendering in Premiere with almost no system resources. No ram, no CPU time. It's completely throttled.

It's almost as if you have this brand new Sports car, and when you put it into drive, it reconfigures the whole thing, so that it only uses the power that can generated while it's at idle.

I never liked premiere. I'm only using it for a project because that's what my client needs. the dynamic link was the only advantage versus using a professional package for my editing. This is a bullet in the head of my productivity. So... Not going to consider Premiere after this.

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Explorer ,
Jan 17, 2020 Jan 17, 2020

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I agree. Trying to learn fusion/resolve and will only use after effects as a separate program if needed. Adobe has gone downhill. It used to be a joy working in AE. Premiere is full of crashes and bugs.

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Community Beginner ,
May 21, 2020 May 21, 2020

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New Here ,
Oct 08, 2020 Oct 08, 2020

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That's not a solution to the issue on this thread, that's just a video from 2016 explaining the basics of Dynamic Linking.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 08, 2020 Oct 08, 2020

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Yes, the basics that a lot of people didn't know so they have speed problems with DL. Try it and you'll see that everything will be faster.

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New Here ,
Dec 08, 2021 Dec 08, 2021

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Can confirm that using media browser to import your dynamic link content significantly improves render times. Started an encoding job last night and woke up this morning to find it was still encoding. I since deleted the dynamic link content and brought it in again using the media browser instead of the normal import function and the job completed in less than 20 minutes. I dont know why there is such a difference here, but this is a KEY rule now that I wont be forgetting about dynamic link. Rule 1: Make sure the versions of Ae and Pr are the same. Rule 2: ALWAYS use media browser to import dynamic link content! 

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 24, 2022 Mar 24, 2022

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Hello.

 

I was having a similar issue with extremely slow direct export from PR. I have pretty big project with lots of dynamic links to AE comps, and those AE comps are fairly complex.

 

I'm on Windows 10, using the latest version of the CC apps as of today.

 

For some reason, on my computer, queing the export and using Media Encoder works a lot better than a direct export from PR. With the direct export, my CPU and GPU were being utilized less than 5%, and progress was crazy slow. With the queued ME export, my CPU usage averages around 50%, which is decent.

 

ME also has a nice visual preview of where you are in the export, which is great for having confidence that things are still moving, and if you do hit a slow patch, you can see visually which part is problematic.

 

I'm not sure if other folks will enjoy the kind of improvement I'm seeing with ME, but hopefully some people will.

 

Here are some other things I did to try and speed up the export. I'm not sure if these had any impact, but I'll record them here for completeness:

 

  • Restarted my computer to begin from a totally clean slate.
  • Only opened PR. Did not open AE. While exporting only PR and ME were open.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 24, 2022 Mar 24, 2022

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Well, I declared vistory too soon.

 

ME is working for about 30 minutes, then it enters some kind of semi hung state where CPU usage drops very low, and the export seemingly freezes. I can pause and resume the export with no effect. I can stop the export, and the UI is still fully responsive. It's like the render is hung, but not the app.

 

I guess it's time to bite the bullet and start individually exporting my comps from AE, then bringing those into PR, replacing the dynamic links. The major downside of that is the massive file sizes of the intermediate renders when working in 4K. Also, I don't like knowing that there's some quality loss, even though it's probably minimal when using ProRes or one of the other high-quality intermediate formats.

 

What a bummer, man.

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Explorer ,
Apr 04, 2022 Apr 04, 2022

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Late post but yes... having the same issue of 20 hour exports... 

 

Only simple work around is exporting the final result of AE as a clip itself....

 

But defeats the whole purpose of dynamic linking and working and changing things on the fly...

 

Sigh... and the ghost frame and errors that pop up... 

 

You'd think technology would make things simpler.. in some ways yes... but in others it makes you pull out your hair..

 

 

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