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Close to real-time (or at least much faster) Video Editing / After Effects

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July 16, 2013 12:22:00 AM

Hi all,

Question: How far can we take RAM / Cores for Premiere and After Effects to significantly speed it up?

Short Explanation (TL;DR: Wondering if Premiere Pro and After Effects projects will be given significant speed bost with a workstation filled with lots of cores and RAM - I am trying to be sure such an uprade will actually perform significantly faster than a consumer-grade PC. It's a lot of money to waste if it's "not that much better". Searching for educated opinions / examples of this type of setup as my own google searching doesn't bring up anything).

Long Explanation
A large project is coming up and with the previous project being an absolute nightmare (i7 with 16gb ram and nVidia GPU accel) I am wondering if it is worth investing in a more brute-force approach workstation (lots of ram, lots of cores) to allow many many instances of After Effects to be run using the multiple-core settings in Preferences. Each instance of AE would run on one core and have its own 3, 4, 5 Gigabyte allocation of RAM. I know there are 8 Core CPUs for the mainstream a la AMD Piledriver and the up-and-coming Haswell - but I can't wait for Haswell and Piledriver is only giving 8 cores and anaemic ones at best. As the project is going to start soon - perhaps in a few months - something that is on the market at the moment is what our options are going to be open to.

I've been investigating Opterons and server motherboards that can house 16 cores and upwards of 128GB of RAM (possibly even 256) sure they are not the fastest cores but the important thing is they can run AE instances and we can allocate RAM to those AE instances - but before I put in a request to order such a monstrously expensive solution (yet still significantly cheaper than the next level up of professional video editing solutions) I am trying to work out if it actually will be of benefit...... yes it appears possible in theory - but usually when you dream up something like this somebody has already done this before you and you can find their setups online via YouTube or some blogging sites... at least some example of somebody running this type of setup. The problem is I can't find anyone running a setup this way - so that is immediately a red flag. Either it doesn't work or there is a better solution or all of the above.

If a modest investment on a beefy machine can streamline this workflow it would be great. But it's really important that we are 100% sure it is going to work - Otherwise there is no point and we don't want to gamble, we'll just stick with the i7s and get some more ram, more SSDs and call it a day and just accept the fact that it's going to be a waiting game when we edit those parts of the film.

Normally on short films this isn't a problem. If it takes you a few days more that's no big deal - but on a 150 minute feature using 4.5k Red One and 5k Epic footage with some 2k GoPro inbetween the hours waiting for AE just pile up. When you have spent 5 months editing a film....... wondering how many hours were wasted scrubbing AE stuff in glacial slow motion - I wouldn't be surprised if a hundred hours or more was wasted over the course of editing. Even if we save 50 hours of that with a beefier machine we would get our moneys worth - so if you have any knowledge or examples of anything pushed to those levels for AE to run significantly faster I'd really appreciate it.

More about : close real time faster video editing effects

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a b à CPUs
July 16, 2013 1:38:34 AM

Hi i am investigating cuzz nobody answered your question and i am using after effects pretty heavily myself, i found this? check it out, the sample videos looked nice.

http://www.macrosystem.us/Home_Page.php Its has its own software and hardware solely made for video editing.


But to be sure do you have complaints about compiling the video or editing it? cuzz i got a few tricks that will make editing in AE massively faster.


Awesome i found a system that will Rip everything apart, it is pricey though and last years model but man...last years model is 2020's model!

Check this last years white paper from adobe! very nice: http://www.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/products/crea...

I am writing about the HP z820, max support of 512gb of ram, 2 intel xeon processors and 6 GPU's i believe all on 16 lanes PCI-e 3.0, looks very good, let me know what you think of my post.

Learning here as well sinds i have big projects running too, although i dont do 4k videos atm, have tried and it ran decently.
If you wish i will try more extensively your approach on editing and see what i can find.
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July 16, 2013 7:21:53 AM

DragonChase said:
But to be sure do you have complaints about compiling the video or editing it? cuzz i got a few tricks that will make editing in AE massively faster.

I have issues with both rendering and scrubbing..... but most importantly I need the scrubbing sped up a lot. When I have, say, the script writer and the director looking over my shoulder and they make a suggestion (eg: can we see another take of the same shot) so I go out and get the footage and in some situations - especially where there is a dolly move and the dolly is a little bumpy - it has to go through warp stabilizer and noise reduction and a few other things.... otherwise they can't really make a decision as to which shot is better. Thus, they go out for a coffee break during those times. They have taken many many coffee breaks in the last few months because of AE being so resource hungry and the computer not having enough resources to complete tasks in a hurry.


DragonChase said:
I am writing about the HP z820, max support of 512gb of ram, 2 intel xeon processors and 6 GPU's i believe all on 16 lanes PCI-e 3.0, looks very good, let me know what you think of my post.

Wow that thing is a beast! I am bookmarking that model. I specd it to 16 cores and 128gb of ram with a few other extras and the total came to $14k - so I'm guessing that this is around the price bracket we are looking at (around the 10k mark). Thank you for your input.

DragonChase said:
If you wish i will try more extensively your approach on editing and see what i can find.

If you have any more info it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks :) 
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a b à CPUs
July 16, 2013 7:33:14 AM

Roy Sherfan said:
DragonChase said:
But to be sure do you have complaints about compiling the video or editing it? cuzz i got a few tricks that will make editing in AE massively faster.

I have issues with both rendering and scrubbing..... but most importantly I need the scrubbing sped up a lot. When I have, say, the script writer and the director looking over my shoulder and they make a suggestion (eg: can we see another take of the same shot) so I go out and get the footage and in some situations - especially where there is a dolly move and the dolly is a little bumpy - it has to go through warp stabilizer and noise reduction and a few other things.... otherwise they can't really make a decision as to which shot is better. Thus, they go out for a coffee break during those times. They have taken many many coffee breaks in the last few months because of AE being so resource hungry and the computer not having enough resources to complete tasks in a hurry.


DragonChase said:
I am writing about the HP z820, max support of 512gb of ram, 2 intel xeon processors and 6 GPU's i believe all on 16 lanes PCI-e 3.0, looks very good, let me know what you think of my post.

Wow that thing is a beast! I am bookmarking that model. I specd it to 16 cores and 128gb of ram with a few other extras and the total came to $14k - so I'm guessing that this is around the price bracket we are looking at (around the 10k mark). Thank you for your input.

DragonChase said:
If you wish i will try more extensively your approach on editing and see what i can find.

If you have any more info it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks :) 


I will give it a go tonight, could you post your exact specs of the PC running it and file Size of a movie, 4K resolution right?.

And ill try to find the proper settings again in After Effects for super fast editing, so stay tuned, glad to help mate.

I have been finding topics on Toms kind of low level lately, nobody knows anything about programming or actual work like this, everybody is all into gaming while im here cuzz i love IT, simple as that.

I do programming and designing on all levels.

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July 16, 2013 8:05:30 AM

DragonChase said:
could you post your exact specs of the PC running it and file Size of a movie, 4K resolution right?.

And ill try to find the proper settings again in After Effects for super fast editing, so stay tuned, glad to help mate.

The PC I was editing the Red footage has been moved to the color grading people - but it was an i7-3770k with 16gb ram and an nVidia 650ti. I do have another PC that is my own workstation - that is an AMD Phenom II X6 1075t with 16gb ram and an nVidia 650ti. I use that for 1080p footage from DSLR cameras mostly.
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a c 152 à CPUs
July 16, 2013 7:50:29 PM

have you researched into render farms ?
I believe AE calls it Network rendering but basically you setup a bunch of pc's and render in parallel instead of serially. I just dont know if a render farm will work for your specific needs and would advise you to check in an adobe forum.
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July 16, 2013 9:10:40 PM

popatim said:
have you researched into render farms ?
I believe AE calls it Network rendering but basically you setup a bunch of pc's and render in parallel instead of serially. I just dont know if a render farm will work for your specific needs and would advise you to check in an adobe forum.

Hi popatim - thanks for your suggestion. I did some research on this a while ago and if there was a way to automate the other machines then that would be a great path to speeding things up - but given that there doesn't seem to be that level of automation, the render farm needs to be setup as image sequences rendered on a server host - so if you had, say, 2 machines each machine would render every other frame. Over a large sequence or an entire film this would reap huge benefits. In my workflow however, since these requirements would be concentrated on sequences say 10, 20 or 30 seconds in length (a single dolly shot, for example) and they are scattered throughout the timeline, doing something as complex as this ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaCogkquNv4 for setup around 1:30 and then specifically around the 4 minute mark in this video) each time, it's not worth it....... and the results have to actually be re-imported as an extra sequence. To me, that isn't really useful for timeline scrubbing, just previewing. But when I think about it, technically a render farm should be able to do this. It's a shame it doesn't do it more elegantly as that is the only reason I can think of not to go that way. If there was some sort of middleware software available that can streamline this process then that would present itself as a truly viable option.

There is also the unfortunate reality of having to purchase multiple licenses of CS6 and any other plugins you are using for the render farm.... so if you use video co-pilot for anything from lens flares to 3d plugin tools you need to purchase additional licenses for those machines.

I will check Adobe forums for more info on network rendering if there are any new developments.

PS: Your suggestion would also be great for when it comes to making DCPs which can take days.
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a b à CPUs
November 28, 2013 4:19:01 AM

Wow thank you for the best answer! did it really help you? absolutly forgot about this topic, work is so heavy lately, my company is running well and i work around the clock 6 days a week!.

What was your solution eventually? have you fixed the problem? let me know still very curious on your approach to the problem at hand.
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