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After Effects Rendering Tip

Posted by Jon Geddes
12:28 pm on February 16th, 2011

Recently while rendering a few of our templates from After Effects, we consistently had issues with the finished rendered Quicktime file. All the menus and transitions had random audio dropouts, and single-frame strips of black/multicolored pixels throughout.

These glitches were unacceptable, and we assumed they were the result of doing too much multi-tasking while the menus were rendering. So we began re-rendering the menus without doing any other tasks in the background, only to discover they also had issues, randomly at different parts than the first batch!

With a quickly approaching deadline, it was important we got to the bottom of this issue. A quick mental check of anything that was setup differently with these renders compared to previous renders, revealed the fact they were located on an external drive, connected to a USB 3 docking station (capable of over 100 MB/s transfer rates).

After transferring the project to a local RAID and re-rendering the menus… flawless. Not a single problem.

So just a quick tip for those of you rendering from After Effects (or any program for that matter), it is advised to render from an internal drive, preferably in a RAID 0 or 5 configuration.

This is not the first time we have had issues with external drives and Adobe applications. A while back we reported issues with Encore projects located on external drives and crashing. Do yourself a favor and make sure you have a good hard drive configuration of internal RAID.

2 Responses to “After Effects Rendering Tip”

  1. AJ says:

    Jon, after reading your blog about configuring an Internal drive(s) to RAID 0 (2-Hdrives) or 5 (3-Hdrives) configuration, to get the best renders. I was wondering what your rendering system was configured as, is it a RAID 0 or 5?

    I have to get a RAID system in my PC by tomorrow for a project due this thursday, as I am having hesitations from the .mov files after rendering them out in AF for Blu-ray.

    Is your OS configured on a RAID configured drive?

  2. Jon Geddes says:

    Our OS is installed on an SSD, not a RAID.

    We have a separate RAID (2 Drives in RAID 0) as our working drive, and another SSD (Intel SLC) as our Adobe Cache drive.

    We have another system with a very similar configuration, except the Cache drive is not an SSD, and the RAID drive is a 3 drive RAID 5.

    I highly recommend an SSD for the Operating System and Programs, with a separate RAID drive of at least 2 or 3 drives in RAID 0 or 5.

    If you have enough SATA ports for a second RAID configuration for exports, that is even better.

    If your project files are located on one raid, and you are exporting an Encore image or large video to a separate raid, you will see maximum performance.

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