Join Todd Kopriva for an in-depth discussion in this video Global performance cache and persistent disk cache, part of After Effects CS6 New Features Overview.
After Effects CS6 includes several new features, that radically improve performance. Including the Global Performance Cache and the related Persistent Disk Cache. Let's see how these features work. We'll begin in the performance project. Here, I have the feature section final composition open and I've already RAM previewed to get most of the composition cached into RAM. As indicated by this green bar, but there's still some frames left un-rendered, just so I can demonstrate how long each of these frames is taking to render. Watching the intro panel here, when I press zero on the numeric key pad to resume the RAM preview.
It's taking about two seconds per frame. So, for the entire ninety-five seconds, we'll take more than three minutes to render this entire composition. Now. Let's see what happens if I make a change to the composition. With the top layer selected, I'll activate the Pen tool and just draw a simple mask.
Notice that the green bar indicating the RAM Cache is now gone. That means that After Effects, has to re-render to create the cached frames. I'll hit RAM Preview, and notice how rapidly the green bar fills up now. That's because After Effects had cached or stored the information for all of the noise layers, which didn't change. And so because it had that information stored, it could reuse it, and only had to re-calculated information for this top most layer. The one on which we added the mask.
That's good, but it's not what's really impressive. I'll press M to expose the mask, make sure that's selected, and then hit Delete. Notice, with no delay the green bar appears with the composition. After Effects did not need to re-render to get this result because this is the result that we had before we drew the mask in the first place. After Effects had cashed all of these frames and the information about what it took to build them. And when it recognized that the unmasked layer was the same as what it had seen before.
It simply retrieved those results for memory. Similarly, if I press P to expose the position property. And Enter plus five to move the position five pixels to the right. Again, the RAM Cache disappears. RAM Preview. It fills up very rapidly because the RAM Cache for these bottom layers is unchanged. Only the top layer needed to be re-calculated and the composite with the bottom layers. I'll pause the RAM Preview.
Subtract four pixels, RAM Preview again, for a very similar result, a very speedy re-rendering. Then I'll subtract one more pixel, which gets us back to where we started. And again, with no hesitation at all, the RAM Cache is back, because again, After Effects recognizes that this is a set of frames that it's seen before. Or rather, a set of inputs to a frame that it's seen before, so it can just retrieve the results from memory. Because it has the intermediate results cached, I can even turn off this top layer, hit RAM Preview, and very, very quickly.
After Effects can give us the result for all of these layers. And now, I'll turn the top player back on, and there's no hesitation at all before we have a full cache again. I'll create a new composition. Settings that match the composition that we're working in here. Then copy these noise layers, paste them and hit RAM Preview.
That'll turn off the top layer. Hit RAM Preview. And instead of having to recalculate all these noise layers, Aftereffects just fetches the results for the composite of these bottom three. Which I had already calculated in our previous composition. This same optimization works for key frames. If you have a Keyframed animation and then you use those same Keyframe values elsewhere, After Effects can recognize those inputs as inputs it has seen before.
And fetch those results from memory. So we've been doing all of this with cache into RAM. Now let's look at the Persistent Disk Cache. The easiest way to look at this is actually to quit After Effects. So, we'll go to File > Exit. We won't save, that's important cause the information is not stored with the project. So by not saving I'm demonstrating that. Were not saving any information with the project. Then I'll open After Effects and open our recent project, Performance and here notice immediately we have a blue bar, the blue bar indicates Disk Cache.
So, with no hesitation at all, After Effects has filled the disk cache from a previous session. So, now if we RAM Preview, After Effects is not having to re-render, it's simply fetching the frames from disk and putting them into RAM. These are relatively large frames so it does take some time for After Effects to fetch these. When you choose your disc drive for disc cash. The faster the drive, the higher your performance is going to be. SSD's are especially good for disc cash. Let's look at where we can look for we can specify for the location for the disc cash.
Go to Edit > Preferences > Media and Disc Cache. And here, we can choose a folder for our disc cache, and a size. The bigger the better, but make sure that you don't specify an amount that is larger than what you have available on your disc. After Effects will be careful and it own't overfill your disc, but it may bring it pretty close to full. And you can always empty the disk cache to clean-up and get rid of information that you won't use, because you're done with the project. I'll click OK.
You can also ask After Effects to render a composition or a part of it, specifically the workarea in the background. I'll duplicate this composition by selecting it in the Project panel and pressing Ctrl+D. It's Cmd+D on Mac OS, and I'll open the duplicate, and pre-compose, and add a computationally intensive effect.
Gaussian blur. With a very large bluriness value. If I hit the Space Bar we can see how long each of these frames is going to take to render. Its not that terribly slow but for demonstration purposes it will do. If I want to let this render while I go and work on my other composition. I can press Ctrl+Enter and that sends the composition to the background. Now I'll go over here and work on my other composition. And notice, as I'm working over here I'm occasionally getting updates in the Info panel.
Telling me that the background renderer is rendering frames of another composition as I work over here. And checking back on the Info panel here, just to see what progress we have, it says that the background caching is done for the other composition, so let's go over and have a look. And here we see a full blue bar, showing us that the rendering is done and that all of the frames are cached in the disk cache. If we want to bring them into the RAM Cache, we can do so by hitting Space Bar or a RAM Preview. I'll click the RAM Preview button.
And all of the frames are loaded from the disk cache into RAM. You can load as many compositions or workareas as you like into the background renderer. Simply press Ctrl+Enter when you've defined a new workarea. And status free which will be reported in the Info panel.
If you want to cancel, simply go to Cancel Cache and Workarea in Background. If you've queued up several compositions or several individual work areas to render in the background, they'll be done not in parallel, but in serial. One will be done and the next will start. I think that you'll find as I have, that the Global Performance Cache makes an enormous difference for working in After Effects. Making After Effects CS6 much snappier and much more pleasant to work, with than previous versions of After Effects.
- 3D animation
- User interface changes and removed features