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unable to allocate space for image buffer

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Ken Pugh
unable to allocate space for image buffer
on Sep 25, 2009 at 9:29:32 am

Now I have seen this topic a few times, but, having recently come back to using AE a lot I'm amazed to see a common irritation from way back in AE3 is still around - namely 'unable to allocate space for image buffer'.

I cannot get AE to deal with a 173 Meg Photoshop file, I have the AE error - unable to allocate space for a 11239 x 7414 image buffer.

I've checked the posts and tried clearing cache, reducing RAM cache, enlarging disc cache (in steps up to 300 gigs even), trying the secret menu to force purge cached frames, rendering to a different drive, swearing, nothing works. So I'm left with having to constantly reduce the size of my photoshop file until I reach a size AE seems prepared to deal with. I started with one around 500 megs, it finally works with one at 73 megs. Is it unreasonable to expect it to deal with larger files? Maybe I should get some more RAM?

Thanks for any thoughts - some kind of resolution scaling within AE would be really useful here, so I could get it to reduce the resolution of the source file perhaps until it works - but basically I'm surprised it still can't just cache to disc, even if it does mean I have an overnight render. At least it's done. I would have thought 3 gigs of available memory should be able to deal with a single 173 meg frame. All I do is scale out and scale back in. A guide to maximum frame sizes relative to RAM would be a useful workaround so I don't have to redo my animation countless times at different file sizes until I find one that works.



Intel 3.2 8 core
4 Gigs RAM
OS Leopard

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Peter O'Connell
Re: unable to allocate space for image buffer
on Sep 25, 2009 at 1:40:25 pm

Hi, try splitting your photoshop file into 4 quarters and then line those 4 images back up in AE in the comp where you are doing the scale so that it appears to be the original image.

Rogue Keyframe
Feature Film Compositing

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Dave LaRonde
Re: unable to allocate space for image buffer
on Sep 25, 2009 at 3:29:09 pm

[Ken Pugh] "Is it unreasonable to expect it to deal with larger files?"

Usually. 11 THOUSAND pixels across is a lot to ask of AE, especially if you're adding effects to the layer, using it as a 3D layer, using multiple lights, enabling AE's Motion Blur... or a couple of other things.

[Ken Pugh] "Maybe I should get some more RAM? "

That's tough to say: how much do you have now? How many processors? What kind of OS? What kind of computer?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Kevin Camp
Re: unable to allocate space for image buffer
on Sep 25, 2009 at 7:26:30 pm

if you have 'render multiple frames simultaneously' enabled in the multi-processing prefs, disable it. with only 4gb of ram you are creating a ram shortage.

ae breaks your ram in to 2 chunks. one is the ram cache (a cache of rendered frames/data) and the other is the store of data that is used to render the next frame. the cpu will need to have all the data for that frame loaded in this portion of the ram, if it can't load all of it, you get an error. lowering the ram cache (as you did) can help create more room in the raw data part of the ram, and can help.

if you already disabled mp, then you'll need to split the layer up, or reduce the size.

getting more ram won't help you since ae is only 32-bit and can only use a maximum of 4gb of ram for a single process. [note: the way ae can use more ram, up to 4gb per core, is by enabling multiprocessing, which launches a 32-bit render engine for each available core. each of those render engines can then grab up to 4gb of ram. however, if the image buffer needed is too large to work with mp off, then this won't help since each core has a 4gb limit.]

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer

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