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I'm working on a project that should render as many videos as possible. Only 3 images in the project change after every render. The output length is 12 seconds and it takes about 90 seconds to render the video.

After Effects is running on a Windows 10 device with 64gb ram, a GTX 1060 videocard, a i7 processor and a Samsung 960 EVO 500GB SSD.

When rendering a video the SSD and CPU usages go to 100%.

Are there ways to speed up this small renders even more?

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I would try using a seperate ssd for your project files and assets. You'd have one for your os and software and one for the project.

  • Are there some non-hardware fixes that will improve the speed of aerender? – Thijn Jun 27 '17 at 14:12
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I have been able to at least 10x render times in AE (depending on hardware) by rendering to image sequences and running multiple instances of AE on one machine. Because AE is so inefficient at using your resources you can get away with this in direct proportion to your hardware. I don't have a good rule of thumb for how many instances to run at a time but generally push it until your RAM maxes out (I have 64g and 40 CPU cores, so I run 10 at a time with no problems at all).

You mention aerender.exe so I assume you are already rendering via the commandline? If so then you're 90% there. All you have to do is set your composition output to an image sequence format (I use .png) and then change your Render Settings from "Best Settings" to "Multi-Machine Settings". This will just enable an option in the Render Settings called "Skip existing files."

I realize this might not be the answer you were looking for in that it doesn't directly speed up aerender.exe however it is absolutely the best way of decreasing render time! Since I found out about this one I've never gone back. I then use ffmpeg to convert the image sequences to video files, but you could always use Adobe Media Encoder or something like that.

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