Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Using an external drive for disk cache, part of After Effects Guru: Faster Previews and Rendering.
While RAM is the juice that powers After Effects, a lot of times you'll run out of RAM and you won't be able to see long animations playback in real time. Plus, as you work, it could be a bit of a drag always having to preview things. Fortunately After Effects has gotten really smart and under Edit Preferences, or After Effects Preferences, you'll find an option called Media & Disk Cache. This option can use hard drive space to really speed things up.
Well, what type of drive? Well, you could use a performance rate or anything else. You don't want to target the internal drive because this is going to really be a bottleneck if you're trying to read media files off of a drive, and cache files being written at the same time, and running your operating system. So ideally get a external drive. This one's USB 3, you can get Thunderbolt or eSATA, anything like that's going to really work. Connect that. Maybe an SD memory card or a micro drive and put that into the card slot on your computer. You can mount that as well.
Any of these work well. SSDs, fantastic. In other words, just get a fast drive that doesn't have a lot of stuff on it and set that to be your disk cache. But what does it do? Well, let's choose a folder here first off. I'm going to navigate and I'll set this to my external drive to start. And I already have a folder called Cache. If you don't, make a new folder on there. You need an actual folder, you can't just target the base level of a drive. And, select that. Then, take a good deal of space.
In this case, I'll take 50 gigs of this drive, which is just a drop in the bucket. What it's going to do now is use that as a dedicated place to store files.
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- Creating render settings templates
- Using multiple output modules
- Setting processor usage
- Rendering multiple frames simultaneously
- Purging RAM
- Controlling your disk and media cache
- Creating and saving previews
- Controlling composition settings