We've been struggling with an odd issue here at my job for several weeks now, and can't seem to find the answer anywhere.
About 6 weeks ago After Effects CS3 (on our Mac) just suddenly stopped rendering AVIs properly. It will actually render the file and it takes about as long as expected (the file size will be about the expected size as well), but when you try to play the rendered AVI, it plays about 6 seconds ( of what should be a 1 to 2 minute AVI) and thats it! The scrubber will travel all the way to the end of the timeline on the player as though the total file is only 6 seconds long even, though the file size is appropriate for a much larger file.
The IT guys here have reset the defaults on After Effects, re-installed After Effects, Repaired permissions on the Mac, re-installed the OS X on the Mac and the last thing they tried was re-installing quicktime (because AE uses the Quicktime renderer for so many tasks). Strangely enough, re-installing Quicktime fixed the problem for about 3 renders.
The Mac is our primary render station here and we've had to resort to rendering out Targa sequences, transferring them to a PC and rendering them to AVI format from there. The extra steps are really starting to be a bottle-neck in our pipeline, so if anyone can offer any help with this, I would really appreciate it!
The renders are being exported to an uncompressed AVI (since you can't render to AVI format from the render queue on a Mac) in After Effects CS3.
The specs on our Mac are: Power Mac running OS X 10.4.11 (Tiger), dual 3Ghz Intel Xeon processors, and 4GB RAM.