Our AE projects usually have many video files of various codecs. As the number of files increases, AE tends to access the hard disk more especially after you save your project.
If we continue to work on the comp without saving the project (regardless of Save or Save As), AE’s response is immediate as it should be.
But once we “Save”, everything is as usual until you try to access any media on AE, whether by clicking on the timeline or Project window. The mouse pointer will change to the rotating disc (busy) and AE will attempt to access every media files on our hard disks. We can tell as our footage are stored on external HDDs. We will not be able to do any work for 5 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the project. This can happen as frequent as you save your project file. So it is always a dilemma between saving project frequently and thus loses productivity or not saving as frequent but also lose productivity if AE crashes.
Fortunately, I've never experienced it. But if you like to use HDV video straight out of the camera, I might have an idea about the cause:
Dave's Stock Answer #1:
If the footage you imported into AE is any kind of the following -- footage in an HDV acquisition codec, MPEG1, MPEG2, mp4, m2t, H.261 or H.264 -- you need to convert it to a different codec.
These kinds of footage use temporal, or interframe compression. They have keyframes at regular intervals, containing complete frame information. However, the frames in between do NOT have complete information. Interframe codecs toss out duplicated information.
In order to maintain peak rendering efficiency, AE needs complete information for each and every frame. But because these kinds of footage contain only partial information, AE freaks out, resulting in a wide variety of problems.
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA
The strange thing is that AE is responsive throughout the edit until we do a project Saves. After the project is saved, there are no disk activities until you click on the timeline. Once that happened, the data hard disks will go busy, and the mouse pointer will turn into a rotating disk. The only thing you can do from then on is to wait - a good 5 minutes if your project is huge.
I brought the project to a friend's Mac (mine is PC)and the exact same thing happened! I think this is AE CS4 specific as one of the older project from AE CS3 did not exhibit the behaviour until bringing it into AE CS4.