I don't know about you, but it's always been a frustration when your render is going slower than you thought it would, and you're not particularly sure which layer is the culprit. Well, those days are coming to an end.

Adobe has just announced a new feature for After Effects called "Composition Profiler." This feature is accessible via a new timeline column that will give you extremely valuable information about the render times in your Compositions. Not only will you now have a metric for the render time per frame of your whole composition, but you can now see which layers are slower than others.

Composition Profiler Lets You Know The Render Time For Each EffectCredit: Adobe

With Composition Profiler, you can see how long each layer, mask, style, expression, or effect took to render one frame.

Yeah, you can now see which effects are slowing everything down, which is sometimes more elusive than you might think. Each mask, expression, effect, you name it, will now receive a color code (a heatmap with the slower layers being redder) and an actual length of time that particular aspect takes to render on a frame-by-frame basis.

This is obviously hugely helpful for diagnosing your renders and understanding why your project is behaving the way that it is.

Enable the Composition Profiler in the bottom left corner of the timeline viewer.Credit: Adobe

To enable the feature, you click on a little snail in the bottom-left corner of the timeline tab.

This feature is super useful, and I cannot wait to start using it. It's always been a bit of a difficult task to optimize projects, especially as more and more effects start to weigh more heavily on your GPU. This will make it so much easier.

The feature is available now in the Beta version of After Effects.