How to setup After Effects for maximum performance

Hi and welcome to this tutorial. My name is Remus Hosu with

Today we’ll take a look at how to set up After Effects from maximum performance and optimal render speed.

Note: I have prepared a video tutorial so that you could easily follow my indications.

Stay with me until the end of this video because we’ll be giving away a render preset, which will enable you to render your projects and videos in a YouTube friendly format.

1.How to setup AE for maximum performance – 1st tip

Let’s jump into After Effects. We’ll choose Edit, Preferences.
We’ll go to the Display section.

The first option you need to have selected is Hardware Accelerate Composition, Layer, and Footage panels.

Make sure you have these checked.

Hardware Accelerate Composition, Layer and Footage Panels

Just one quick thing to keep in mind regarding this option.

If AE is open and your computer goes into sleep mode, the hardware feature will turn off automatically and you will receive an error that looks like this.

harware accelerated views error

How to fix it?

Just restart After Effects and enable the feature again.

Here’s the video tutorial:


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2.Setting up AE for maximum performance – 2nd tip
Let’s move on to Media and Disk Cache.

Assuming you’re using the A version which is newer than CS6, you will want to have this value as high as possible. We recommend setting it up to 50 gigabytes.

Also, for best performance, choose a different hard drive than the one AE is installed on and If possible use an SSD drive.

setup maximum disk cache size

3. How to setup AE for maximum performance – 3rd tip

Let’s move on to Memory and Multi-processing.

After effects shows a pool of memory with other Adobe products such as Premiere Pro, Prelude, Adobe Media Encoder, and Photoshop.

After Effects used to have enough memory allocated to work correctly but you also need to have RAM reserved for other applications otherwise they will end up fighting over the available memory.

In this case, I have a total of eight gigabytes and I reserved 1.5 gigabytes of RAM for the operating system and other apps.

memory and multiprocessing in AE

4. Setting up AE for optimal performance – 4th tip

Let’s take a look at the cool feature, which is available for ACS6 and above, which is called Cache Work Area in the Background.
What you can do is once finished editing the composition,

go to Composition, Cache Work Area in the Background.

A blue line will show up and After Effects will begin to render that segment in the background.

To fetch the background render you need to press the spacebar.

Please not that

This feature works with multiple compositions as well.

5. Here comes the 5th tip
Let’s move on to rendering.

If you choose to render and set After Effects

you can press Capslock while rendering.

This will turn off the live preview making the process much faster.
Also, before rendering, consider bringing up the memory

by going to Edit, Purge, All Memory.

Bonus: tips for Adobe Media Encoder
Now, when it comes to Adobe Media Encoder, there is a quick setting you can do to improve the render speed.

We choose Edit, Preferences, and make sure you uncheck Preview while Encoding.

uncheck preview while encoding

That’s our final tip.

Please click the link below to get the render preset and let me show you real quick how it works.

How to deal with this preset?
-Just click on the import button, while still in Adobe Media Encoder.

-Choose the preset and then drag and drop it on your composition.

It will render in full HD in a YouTube friendly format and encoding.

That’s it. Thanks for watching this tutorial.

Don’t forget to check out our website at If you want to learn more about rendering and After Effects check out our AE Academy.
We provide training from beginner level to advanced and we have weekly live classes with an Adobe Certified Top Instructor. Thanks for watching. I’m Remus Hosu. I’ll see you next time.

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Remus Hosu

Remus Hosu

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