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Rendering Large Comps and "Unable to Allocate Space" Error

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Andy KellyRendering Large Comps and "Unable to Allocate Space" Error
by on Oct 29, 2014 at 4:56:21 pm
Last Edited By Andy Kelly on Oct 29, 2014 at 6:05:24 pm

Hello!

So I have this project I've been working on and while I'm 99% sure I know what's going on, I'd really like to confirm with you guys before I spend another whole day trying to fix it. Here's what's going on:

I'm working on a white-board style animation, and using a 9000x7000px multi-layered PSD as the source image. In my first attempt to render the animation, I got the "unable to allocate space for 9000x7000 image" error. Despite going online and adjusting all the render preferences, even the "secret" preference I couldn't get it to render. That in conjunction with the 46hrs render time told me I need to cut up the images into smaller PNGs.

So yesterday, I saved every layer in the PSD as a PNG, making sure none are larger than 1920x1080. then I put all these elements in a pre-comp that was 9000x7000, so I could move the pre-comp around, and zoom in and out of it on the main composition, while the animations took place inside the large pre-comp. This took the render time down to 5hrs, but again, I kept getting the "unable to allocate space for 9000x7000..." error. But in getting the render time down, I felt like I was getting somewhere.

After some more searching online, I saw some people suggest that if a pre-comp has elements in it spread out too large, it will return the "unable to allocate.." error, as if it were a large image. SO I took every layer in the large pre-comp, put it in the main comp and parented them to a null object so I could move them around uniformly. This took the render time down to 1hr, but I got the same error/crash.

After much hair-pulling, I realized that I have a couple dozen precomps in the main comp that are 9000x7000px even though they only have a couple elements in them, and most of the composition is empty space.

So here is my question: Are these 9000x7000 precomps being treated effectively as images, when AE tries to render? Even though much of the space in the precomps are empty? And should this problem be resolved if I remove/crop every single large composition?

I should note that the crashes only occur when the render hits the part of the timeline that include these large precomps, which is why I'm confident resizing will fix it. I just really need to talk to another human being about this, for my own sanity's sake.

Specs:
2008 Macbook Pro
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4 GB DDR3 RAM
After Effects 9 (CS4)


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Kevin CampRe: Rendering Large Comps and "Unable to Allocate Space" Error
by on Oct 29, 2014 at 5:53:52 pm

yes, haveing a precomp that is 9000x7000 is the same as having a layer (image or otherwise) that is 9000x7000.

you might see if enabling 'collapse transformations' for the precomp layers in the main comp changes anything... it may change the look of what you currently have, but it depends on what is happening to those precomps in the main comp... but it may decrease the amount of memory needed to render that frame, though i'm not 100% on that.

i do think that if you move the layers from those 9000x7000 precomps, into the main comp, it should require less ram to render.

you are pretty short on ram with only 4gb. you don't mention your ram settings, but i would make sure that 'render multiple multiple frames simultaneously' is off. i'd also make sure that no other software is running when you try to render (no photoshop, web browsers, mail clients, etc).

Kevin Camp
Art Director
KCPQ, KZJO & KRCW


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Andy KellyRe: Rendering Large Comps and "Unable to Allocate Space" Error
by on Oct 29, 2014 at 6:04:50 pm

OK good to know. Thanks! I'm going to just crop all the comps, though I'll look into collapse transformations.

I also had another potential memory hog and had some subsequent questions about rendering:

I have a bunch of arrows that I wanted to run repeatedly, so I used the echo effect. I set it up correctly, but it was really killing playback performance so I took them out until I fixed the above problems. Since I have so little RAM for rendering, I was thinking of instead of using echo, just copy-pasting the layers inside the arrow precomps. So it would be the same effect, without using "echo". But if I'm still running into render time issues, does pre-rendering precomps lower the render time for the main composition?


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Kevin CampRe: Rendering Large Comps and "Unable to Allocate Space" Error
by on Oct 29, 2014 at 7:56:39 pm

yes, typically pre-rendering a precomp will make speed up the render time for the main comp.

i'd say it's worth trying, if it either doesn't help or makes things worse (which i don't think is likely) then you can always swap the precomp back into the main comp.

I don't know that echo would eat up much ram though (it might, but i don't think so) but it can definitely eat up cpu time.

Kevin Camp
Art Director
KCPQ, KZJO & KRCW


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Andy KellyRe: Rendering Large Comps and "Unable to Allocate Space" Error
by on Oct 29, 2014 at 8:27:27 pm

I don't know that echo would eat up much ram though (it might, but i don't think so) but it can definitely eat up cpu time.


Oh that's a good distinction to know!

Also, if I have a comp of 1240x720, and then scale it up to 1080, will AE then render it as a 1080 comp, instead of 720?

Thanks so much for answering all these questions!


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Todd KoprivaRe: Rendering Large Comps and "Unable to Allocate Space" Error
by on Oct 29, 2014 at 8:14:21 pm

The fact that you're using After Effects CS4 is going to limit you in this area. The main work done for After Effects CS5 was to port it to be a 64-bit application, which makes it possible for the application to use more RAM and work with larger frames.

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
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Andy KellyRe: Rendering Large Comps and "Unable to Allocate Space" Error
by on Oct 29, 2014 at 8:28:32 pm

Given my specs, do you think I would benefit from the upgrade much?


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Dave LaRondeRe: Rendering Large Comps and "Unable to Allocate Space" Error
by on Oct 29, 2014 at 10:24:30 pm

Without getting more memory, you would be hamstrung if you upgraded. Your OS would probably be out-of-date as well.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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