3 Tips For Working With After Effects on a weak computer

by Mehdi BAH

What Is After Effects Program?

So After Effects is a great animation program, I’ve sung it’s praises before, but since it runs off of a computer’s RAM it can be quite the hog. Especially if you’re working on a laptop on the go, it can easily start making your computer crawl, and bring your productivity, as well as patience, to a stop.

So how can we use After Effects if our computer isn’t HAL from 2001? Let’s divide and conquer!

after effects interface

Tips Will Help You Use After Effect In Your Weak Computer

Tip N°1 : Close All Programs

Since After Effects runs off of the RAM on your computer, the first thing we can do is close down any programs we don’t need running in the background.

Sorry, yes, that means closing iTunes and Facebook chat. The fewer programs we have running, the more RAM can be focused on After Effects.

Top N°2 : Organize Your Project File

Keeping our project file organized is another big way to keep After Effects running smooth and easy. Getting rid of unused footage, or duplicate footage is a good way to keep After Effect’s memory free and open to focus on your animation rather than on how many times you may have accidentally dragged in the same JPG.

Tip N°3 : Restart Your Computer

Another tip to get stuff going on a better note easily is to restart your computer to refresh it’s RAM. Especially on Macs, after using them for a long time without restarting can start to slow stuff down by the computer retaining bits and pieces of RAM incase you decide you want to go back to a program. If we restart we can clear out some of those bits and pieces and let After Effects run smoother.

Once we’ve done that though, we still might find our computer basking for air as it struggles under your amazing animation skills. What else can we do?

If You Have A powerful Computer you can read this : Everything You Should Know About PC Gaming

Extra Tips If You Still Have The same Problem

We can design our animation within After Effects so that we can make its work load as light as possible for it. So let’s say we’re making our film in After Effects and it has 5 shots and is going to be a minute long.

Instead of having one timeline that is the full 60 seconds long, we can break it down so that we have each shot as it’s own composition and timeline. So that way we’ll have 5 timelines to work inside of instead of 1. Dividing these up allows After Effects to focus on one thing at a time as we work on whichever shot we need.

Easy steps : 6 Essential Steps To Build Your Own Application

Once we’ve gotten our shots all laid out in their own timelines we can then take them and compile them back into a new main timeline and export out our project as the finished film.

One final trick you can do? Once you get an element set up the way you want it in a shot or scene, turn that layer off until you need it to interact with another element or you think you are ready to view your whole scene. It will almost definitely take some tweaking, but turning layers off can really improve the speed of After Effects as your working, which improves your speed and productivity.

It’s a little of a pain in the butt working on a computer with little RAM when it comes to After Effects. The good thing though is that After Effects is such a versatile program that there are a lot of ways that you can get most of these RAM related annoyances.

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