How One Easy Tweak Makes Multiprocessing in After Effects & Double the Power

Posted on Thursday, 12 July 2007

I have run some tests on the time savings in making use of the Multiple Frames Simultaneously Rendering in After Effects CS3 (not yet tested in CS4). Test Project: A heavy test project with lots of effects and filters, 30 seconds long, with 25 FPS:

Results with Multiple Frames Rendering OFF:
Render Time: 38 Min, 4 Sec

Results with Multiple Frames Rendering ON:
Render Time: 20 Min, 34 Sec

The result is that by setting up After Effects with optimal memory and making use of multiple cores and multiple frame rendering, I was able to render out the video in half the time.

Important to note is that After Effects requires 400 MB of RAM per background process, so as we have for example 4 cores (like on my test machine) you need to set the Maximum RAM Cache Size to a low enough value to allow for (4×400) 1600 MB of RAM for the rendering processes (so you need to have ~ 4 GB of ram installed).

These are my own optimal settings (based on Adobe guidelines and optimal use of RAM):

Maximum Memory Usage: 3.0 GB (120%) *
Maximum RAM Cache Size: 46% (1.4 GB or whatever value leaves you with the 400 MB per core for the background tasks.)

So in summary, enabling Multiprocessing support and allowing enough memory per CPU, you will get a speed boost of about 50% in rendering times, which is amazing!

*) Enabling 3.0 GB requires a custom boot config, as I have explained in a previous post.

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