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14 After Effects Rendering Tips to Speed Things Up

Updated: May 8

14 After Effects Rendering Tips to Speed Things Up

With these helpful settings and hardware suggestions, let's accelerate your render speeds and workflow in After Effects.

An annoying (but inevitable) part of the motion graphics process is rendering. To make your After Effects renders as quickly as possible, you may follow a few simple techniques.

1. Make Multi-Frame Rendering available.
  • Enable Multi-Frame Rendering is the first setting you should enable for quicker renderings. In other words, After Effects can render more frames at once the more CPU cores your computer has.

  • Go to Edit > Preferences > Memory & Performance to enable it.

2. Improve RAM Set Aside for Other Use
  • After Effects needs to know how much RAM to set aside for other programs. Go to Edit > Preferences > Memory & Performance in After Effects.

  • You may then modify the RAM Reserved for Other Applications setting. In most circumstances, you may set this to the lowest value permitted by After Effects. (Typically ten percent of your overall RAMS.)

3. Enable Frame Cache When Idle
  • Turning on Cache Frames When Idle is another simple technique to accelerate renderings. When After Effects is not in use, this option enables After Effects to render your compositions automatically.

  • Select Composition > Preview > Cache Frames from the menu. To make this possible, idle.

  • Make sure the Preview Resolution of the composition window is set to full when After Effects is idle, though, to reap the full benefits of this for rendering. Since this is the final resolution at which After Effects will render.

  • Therefore, the final render will be quicker if you already have part of those frames cached.

4. Employ GPU Augmentation
  • GPU acceleration is used by many After Effects, which reduces render times. In your After Effects project settings, make sure GPU acceleration is enabled.

  • File > Project Settings should be selected. The tab for video rendering and effects will then appear. Choose the one with "GPU Acceleration" in the name.

  • Your graphics card should be upgraded.

  • For your graphics card, After Effects is extraordinarily demanding software. Adobe advises that your machine have at least 4GB of GPU VRAM. The bare minimum GPU VRAM that After Effects will support is 2GB.

  • Since new GPU chipsets are constantly being released, the After Effects team does not endorse any particular GPU.

  • You may look at some recommendations Adobe makes for choosing a GPU, though. When you change your graphics card if it's an older model, you'll probably see an increase in render speed right away.

6. Use Solid-State Drives
  • After Effects may render more quickly by using a solid-state drive (SSD) (and the speed of your computer in general). After Effects will be able to load media assets significantly more quickly with an SSD.

  • Utilizing three SSDs rather than a single big SSD for the quickest render speeds.

  • Utilize three SSDs: one for your operating system, one for your media files, and one for the media cache alone.

7. Compositions for Cleanup
  • Your CPU and GPU are still rendering a layer even if you can't see it in your composition window.

  • Therefore, be sure to remove or clip any unnecessary layers from your composition before sending it to the render queue.

  • The same holds for any off-screen 3D layers in your project. Trim 3D layers so they are just the required length, which determines whether they are displayed on the screen.

8. Choose your effects wisely
  • Not every effect is made equally. Some render far more slowly than others. You must be mindful of these implications if you want to reduce render times. The effects that support GPUs will render the quickest.

  • To find out which effects are GPU supported, consult the After Effects Complete Effect List.

  • Camera Lens Blur and Cartoon are two effects that stand out for having a longer rendering time. To save time, stay away from them!

9. Disable 3D, Depth of Field, and Motion Blur (If Unnecessary)
  • You should consider "Is this parameter critical for my video" before raising your render speed in After Effects. Frequently, you may turn off unnecessary options to speed up your renderings.

  • For instance, you don't have to enable Motion Blur for every layer if not all of them do (or on any).

  • Make sure Depth of Field isn't unintentionally turned on if you're utilizing a 3D camera if you don't require it.

  • Additionally, rather than making everything a 3D layer since 3D layers take longer to render, consider animating a layer to match your needs in 2D space.

10. Give Adjustment Layers Effects (Above Your Footage)
  • Applying effects to Adjustment layers will speed up your renders if the footage you're working with exceeds the size of your composition, such as 4K footage in a 1080p composition.

  • Simply build an adjustment layer on top of your video and apply the desired effect.

  • Why is this more rapid? The effects are still applied to the whole media clip at the original size even when you scale down the video to fit in a lower comp size in After Effects.

  • This results in effects used on 4K video in a 1080p composition still rendering at 4K, which can dramatically slow down render times!

11. Put other programs to bed
  • Even though it might seem apparent, it's simple to overlook while utilizing the Adobe Dynamic Link. Before rendering, make sure to shut down any open programs. This will give your CPU and GPU extra room to execute After Effects.

12. After Effects render (Not Media Encoder)
  • If at all feasible, render in After Effects immediately rather than scheduling your projects to render in Media Encoder. You might be tempted to export a project directly to Media Encoder; however, this can slow down your project and cause rendering issues.

  • Because Media Encoder can export to many codecs, it could appear more practical. It won't be necessary to repeatedly re-render a project as a result of a mistake. It is preferable to export your project from After Effects and then use Media Encoder to convert the file to a different format.

13. Explicitly close the composition preview window
  • One method for accelerating After Effects processes is to close the Composition Preview window before rendering. If your project routinely crashes during renderings or in a higher resolution like 4K, this might be useful.

14. After Effects update
  • Adobe consistently works to make After Effects quicker and more streamlined, even if each version may not appear revolutionary. Every update comes with stability and bug fixes.

  • Installing the most recent After Effects version via the Creative Cloud app is crucial. (After Effects beta builds are exempt from this. Because they are still being developed, they may be more unstable.)

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