After Effects - Learn Motion Graphic Design

My computer is really crappy - help

Daniel Walter Scott || VIDEO: 13 of 53

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Hi, welcome to this video. This one what were going to do is talk about what happens when you’ve got a really old and slow computer and you need to speed it up a little bit and it might be working okay up until now, as we go through this course were going to do some more hard core animation and you'll find after effects getting a bit slow. It happens to the best of computers.

So what we need to do is just figure out a few tricks to get it going. It will always output fine, its more the previewing that we need to fix. So when you see this preview window. If you cant see it, go to window, there he is, preview. And if you're on a big nice big screen or an imac, you'll probably see this whole view but if you're like me, on a laptop, watch this if I drag it down there's actually lots of awesome stuff in there. Hello. So that was hiding before so you might have to make it bigger that way.

Now by default, watch this, you're looking at this little green bar along here see this little green bar, if I hit space bar, its going to try and render it. So its kind of like going forward and trying to render it before my little play head gets there, its called caching okay, its trying to get there and buffer and try and get ready. So its doing it fine at this speed and this animation and my computer doesn’t seem to be very stressed at the moment, which is awesome and that’s fine. But say it is running a bit jumpy, what you can do is you can say in here I wan tot skip every second frame. Because its running really smoothly showing you by default 0 so it doesn’t skip any of them so it plays it smoothly. But if it is, well if its running a little slow you can say everyone please or skip say every two. Its going to run a little jumpy but that might not be what, you're not looking for pure quality you're looking more timing or just some basic look of it.

Now I need to clear that green stuff, it’s easier just to grab something and just drag it around because it has to go and redo it now. So if I hit space bar, look at the time, can you see its very different, its got little green dots, so its actually jumping between those two now and its just ignore the two frame sin between so it can, its faster at keeping up with it, its going to buffer, its going to buffer longer, you can see its just a little jumpy over there but you might be okay with that at the moment because you're just working on timing or maybe say you're working with sound, that’s a great way.

Now your final output doesn’t get changed, it just stays. I'm going to put mine to 0. It will output every frame but just while you're previewing it’s quite a handy thing to do and that will speed you up a bit.

Now the next thing to do is to have a look under your preferences, so if you're under pc its under edit and way down here its under preferences but because I'm on a mac its in a slightly different place, its under After Effects, preferences and lets go down to media and disk cache. Okay so, a couple of things, disk cache, if yours is running really slowly, the reason mine runs really slowly often is because I'm running out of hard drive space so I'm running at 30 GB worth of my laptop memory left which is really bad but it means that your maximum disk cache size, yours is probably a lot higher, all it means is that while its working, it needs to store all your previews somewhere and what you can say is actually instead of installing 20 or 30 or 50, it stores too much on my one because it fills up my hard drive completely and my machine goes into critical. So I made mine a lot smaller. It means that you can’t preview as much or as long which is fine for me at the moment, id rather it run fast. So you might play around with that one.

The other thing you can do is say your hard drive is full or empty or just a really old drive, I've got a really cool what’s called an SSD drive which means its just a solid state drive. It just means it goes really fast and its really quick. So I like to use my SSD drive because its super fast. You might have a really old laptop with a really slow old hard drive. I'm not going to get into it but you can get slow hard drives and fast hard drives. What you could do especially if you're working with really big files is you can actually choose where to store these. Instead of storing them on your hard drive like I am you can say actually lets go choose a folder and you can actually plug in, like here I've got an external drive here, you go plug into that one and say store them over there. The only trouble with that is you’ve just got to make sure that you’ve got a reasonably fast external hard drive. So check how fast it is and how fast the connection between it is. If we’re getting a little nerdy, sorry. But try to make it go fast.

The other thing you can do to make things go fast is if you're looking to upgrade your laptop there's two things to upgrade. Ram is the quickest and easiest, this little mac has, you can tell how much ram you have if you go to memory, mine has 8GB of ram. Which is 4 is bare minimum, 8 is just useable 16 is awesome, 32 is world winning so it depends, just check how much ram you’ve got, that’s an easy one to upgrade, its cheap is easy unless you're using a new MacBook pro like mine which turns out a bit painful, especially if you’ve got pc, ram upgrades are something even a novice can do in the afternoon. Buy new ram that fits, stick it in there, take it into a shop or whatever, its only a couple of hundred dollars will give you some good ram. And that’s American dollars. So ran, get that upgraded, its cheap, its easy.

The next thing which is not as cheap and easy is to upgrade your hard drive, if you’ve got an old tape drive which is most computers at the moment have tape drives which have spinning wheels in them. Upgrade it to an SSD drive so take it to the shop, I want an SSD drive, you'll have to pay, they're reasonably expensive. So a cheap one that’s maybe half a terabyte is, its still going to be $400 USD so its pretty expensive but its an amazing thing to do for video especially. SSD’s are a lot smaller size wise, so that might be a big problem for you so generally about half of what you can get for the normal tape drives but they are crazy. I've installed them for a couple of laptops for our training centers and it turns a machine that didn’t handle after effects it had maxed out ram but I installed an SSD drive and hey presto it starts running really fast.

Alright the last thing you can do to make things run fast is upgrading your video card, your video card is something in your machine that processes the video and it can be upgraded, its probably the most complicated and painful of them all but it can be one of the big benefits. But try ram first, try an SSD next and then go for the video card.

And lastly but not least is to upgrade your machine. If you’ve got a really old machine you plan on doing lots of video stuff its just running, its not useable, then you might have to look at getting an upgrade.

Alright, that’s it for how to make your crappy computer run a little bit faster.