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Preview and render with Multi-Frame Rendering

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    5. How After Effects handles low memory issues while previewing

After Effects delivers on the number one feature request, Multi-Frame Rendering. You see performance gains on your system from Preview to Export, and includes a variety of features that enable you to optimize the computer for peak performance.

Why should I try Multi-Frame Rendering?

Multi-Frame Rendering makes After Effects faster. It impacts how fast your projects can render on your computer based on the number of CPU cores, available RAM, and graphics card compute power. 

Review the table below to see how much faster After Effects 2022 may render a composition.


Minimum specs

Mid-range system 

High-end system





Memory (GB)  




Current speed Improvement

1.2-1.5x faster

1.75-2x faster

2.5-4x faster

Enable Multi-Frame Rendering

Multi-Frame Rendering is enabled by default in After Effects. To disable/re-enable it:

  1. Select After Effects > Preferences > Memory & Performance (Mac) or File > Preferences > Memory & Performance (Win). 
  2. Under the Performance section, check/uncheck the Enable Multi-Frame Rendering option.

After Effects has the ability to use 100% of your CPU power, so you can choose to reserve some of the CPU power that can be used by other applications on your machine. Use the % CPU reserved for other applications slider to adjust the value from 0%-70% (default is 10%).

Speculative Preview when After Effects is idle

After Effects renders compositions automatically while idle after a set amount of time. So, when you come back from a break, your preview is ready to play. The default idle time is set to 8 seconds. To change the settings, select After Effects > Preferences > Previews. There are the following options under the Cache Frames When Idle section:

Cache Frames When Idle settings

  • Idle Delay Before Caching Starts - The duration for which After Effects is idle, before the caching of frames starts automatically. Default is set to 8 seconds.
  • Cache Frames - How the frames cache in relation to the CTI position.
  • Cache Range - Change the range of frames that are rendered while idle.
  • Cache Frames has the following options:
  • From Current Time - Frames start caching from the beginning of where the CTI is positioned.
  • Around Current Time - Frames start caching around the CTI (one frame before and one frame after).
  • From Start of Range - Frames start caching from the beginning of the set Cache Range.
  • Cache Range has the following options:
  • Work Area - After Effects caches all frames inside the work area.
  • Work Area Extended by Current Time - Caches frames beginning from where the CTI is positioned, till the end of the work area. 
  • Entire Duration - Caches frames in the entire duration of the comp.

Rendering process information in the Render Queue panel

The Render Queue panel takes advantage of Multi-Frame Rendering and highlights what’s rendering, how much time is remaining, the rendering progress, and how it is using your system. This information is helpful in analyzing render performance and disk space usage. For more information, see Render and export with the Render Queue panel.

The info button in the Render Queue displays information about the frames rendering.

Receive remote notifications after render completes

When your render queue job, or the entire queue is finished rendering, After Effects notifies you via your Creative Cloud Desktop and mobile app. Make sure to install the Creative Cloud app in your mobile device to receive the notification. When you click the notification, it redirects you to the notification list in the app for you to review. Additionally, if you have a smart watch attached to your mobile, you receive the notification there too.

For more information, see Receive remote notifications after render completes.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Multi-Frame Rendering accelerates the creative process by taking advantage of the full power of your system’s CPU cores when previewing and rendering. Additionally, the After Effects team has added new features that take advantage of Multi-Frame Rendering that greatly speed up your workflow. 

  • The Composition Profiler shows which layers and effects in a composition are taking the most time to render in relation to other layers and effects. 
  • Speculative Preview renders active compositions while the application is idle. 
  • A reimagined Render Queue and Adobe Media Encoder lets you export faster.

The more cores in your CPU, the bigger the performance gains, but other factors come into play, including your GPU, RAM, the effects used, third-party plugins, and, potentially, the types of projects you work on.

The After Effects team has worked with various partners to provide the best system options based on your workflow.

  • Puget Systems
  • HP
  • Dell (Coming Soon)
  • Lenovo - Download the following file to get the system configuration details.

All of the effects bundled with After Effects 2022 have been optimized for Multi-Frame Rendering. Third-party effects have also been optimized and you can find them listed here.


Effects that do not support Multi-Frame Rendering display a yellow warning icon in the Effects Control Window.

No. Multi-Frame Rendering is a new technology in After Effects which utilizes all of the cores in your CPU in parallel. An older technology called "Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously" or Multiprocessing worked by running multiple instances of After Effects to speed up some processes. After Effects no longer uses multiprocessing.


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