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Advanced 3D Plugin Crash

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Dan DenegreAdvanced 3D Plugin Crash
by on Jan 12, 2010 at 3:25:59 pm

Hi. I'm having an issue where if I try to render a single frame on a comp while scrubbing, I get the error that the Advanced 3D Plugin has failed, and AE crashes. This happens on comps with 3d items, several layers (no more than 10-20 layers), and quicktime files (which might be the problem). If I select a comp without 3d layers and quicktime files, I can scrub/render just fine. I've tested both with opengl and without.
I've cleared the cache, tried autoclearing frames every 1-20frames in the secret prefs, cleared media cache, disabled and re-enabled opengl, checked that I could successfully play the qt files on the computer, and checked older archived saves of the project (which crashed as well).
This crash began after the sudden disconnect of my five quicktime media files which happened out of nowhere. This so far seems to be the source of the issues, but I'm still testing away. The files seems to be intact and there's no shortage of disk space. (37gigs free, five video files ranging from 50mb-240mb)
I've looked over dozens of forums, and found no particular solution. Any ideas from the community?

XP, 32-bit
AE CS4 9.0.2
2gb RAM
3.2ghz Intel chip
Nvidia 8800GT, 191.xx drivers (the latest drivers give me issues)

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Dave LaRondeRe: Advanced 3D Plugin Crash
by on Jan 12, 2010 at 5:58:57 pm

A few things stand out:

• If for some reason you can't keep your media files connected, you need to solve that issue first.

• 2GB RAM is virtually nothing in AE-Land. Heck, the OS takes up about 1GB all by itself, leaving AE with the table scraps. And if you're trying to use multiprocessing, it's a recipe for disaster. Read this all the way through:

• Since you have such a small amount of RAM, prerender EVERYTHING YOU CAN.

• You should have at least two hard drives on your machine: one for the operating system and applications, and one for user files like media.

• Never, EVER use Open GL. It's basically useless in AE.

• You don't disclose the codec(s) of the footage your using. AVI and MOV merely designate the media containers, not how the media within these containers is encoded. It's a common mistake among Windows users for some reason, and it makes a big difference. Read on:

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.

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

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Dan DenegreRe: Advanced 3D Plugin Crash
by on Jan 12, 2010 at 7:30:14 pm

Thanks Dave!

I misspoke when I said 2gb of RAM...that's what's allocated to AE. I have 4gb (3.25 in 32bit XP).
However, I did finally solve the problem. There was one single Illustrator layer that had somehow gone corrupt. I don't know what caused it, but re-saving it as new Illustrator file via Illustrator, then reloading it in AE - well, that solved the problem. I'm glad it wasn't anything bigger than that. I just opened the project withe the comps closed, went through every comp one by one until I found it.

Thanks again!

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Martin ChambersRe: Advanced 3D Plugin Crash
by on May 13, 2010 at 2:38:26 pm

Hi Dave,
I've heard you mention the HDV codec a few times and the problems it causes within AE.
In practice, what codec do you suggest I use in AE and how do I go about converting the HDV footage?
Many thanks,

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Dave LaRondeRe: Advanced 3D Plugin Crash
by on May 13, 2010 at 3:10:24 pm

Since I'm a Mac guy, I'd use Quicktime movies rendered in either the Animation or PNG codecs: they're lossless. For normal video footage, PNG will probably result in smaller file sizes. If you're obsessive about such things, you can also make TIFF or PNG image sequences, but don't forget that AE defaults to reading image sequences at 30fps, and you have to conform it to the actual video frame rate.

I've been known to use Apple's Compressor, MPEG Streamclip, Adobe Media Encoder, and of course Quicktime Pro.

On a Windows box? Ask a Windows guy.

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

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