Make CS6 work for you!

Since Adobe essentially bunked up After Effects CS6 with their hardware gimmicks and some rather nonsensical changes, here’s some general advise I have been repeating for the last several days on forums that may help you to get at least some of your stuff to work.

  • First, the obvious thing to do is to update your graphics driver. As I’ve written once, this part scares me just as much as I always fear it will break things unrecoverably, but sometimes it can’t be helped.
  • A major pain in the neck is the Show Internal Wireframes option in the prefs. It causes a lot of flickering and why anyone even would want to have those internal triangle strips exposed is beyond me. Just turn it off.
  • Next, turn off Fast Preview and set your comp viewer to Final Quality. This will revert to good old software mode and suddenly some things will actually look like you expect them to. *boohoo*
  • A matter of much debate is the nonsensical shortcut for toggling the mask feather tool vs. pen tool. Trish Meyer thankfully pointed out that there is a pref to get the old behavior back in the prefs General section. So if you, like me, use masks primarily for a million other things graphical but rarely ever do roto, you may wanna turn off this crooked behavior. And yes, you’re not doing anything wrong – mask performance is still pretty awful and they get slow pretty quickly.
  • Turn off the cache if you really don’t need it. Sometimes the program seems to not be able to make up its mind about whether to use cached data or render in realtime using Fast Preview and then RAM previews get terribly slow.
  • Likewise, multiprocessing is as atrocious as it ever was and will many times just get in the way. Hardware accelerated stuff won’t use it, anyway. If you use that 3D raytracing thing or certain combinations of effects, just leave it off.
  • If you are a Mac user, you might wanna consider getting a PC. All of the issues seem to be much more prominent on Apple‘s system. ;-)

On another note, you might wanna stretch out your CS6 trials as long as you can before switching over to your Creative Cloud subscription. Install and activation seem to be pretty unreliable now that it’s available and it may take them a while to smooth out those issues…


4 comments on “Make CS6 work for you!

  1. “Multiprocessing as atrocious as ever” ???
    I don’t know what you’re referring to here, really. Granted, it seems atrocious on CS6, but multiprocessing on CS5 and CS5.5 was working really really well. It changed my life on AE (and I’ve been there since 3.1).
    At least MP works great on mac… maybe it sucks on Windows, I dunno… ;-)

  2. Well, if you consider having to manually configure extra out-of-process instances and figuring out memory metrics as something that “works really well”, then perhaps it is. I never did – not on PC, not on Mac.

    • The only configuration I ever had to do was in the Prefs, and right after the instal. It really took some very exceptional circumstances (like 8k 16bits comps) to modify my initial configuration.
      True, I had to configure again every time I switched from Ram Preview to Render in CS4, but that was over in CS5. So when I mean it “works really well”, I mean that all the configured CPUs are used, without me having to do a thing about it.
      Sorry to hear you had such a hard time.

  3. Thanks! At last someone who speaks the same language! (even though I speak Spanish!). Great about disable Disk cache (why I never thought that!) great GREAT to disable the father shortcut (I was this close to kill something). About multiprocessing I have 6 cores so most of the times works fine, but should be something automatic not manual, about the project’s processor needs. Again thanks.

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