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Can't render a proper AVI

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Marshall AlmeidaCan't render a proper AVI
by on Feb 8, 2010 at 11:18:46 pm

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.

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Dave LaRondeRe: Can't render a proper AVI
by on Feb 9, 2010 at 1:08:24 am

[Marshall Almeida] "About 6 weeks ago After Effects CS3 (on our Mac) just suddenly stopped rendering AVIs properly."

I get the feeling other things may also happened about 6 weeks ago. In no particular order, here are three very common AE-debilitating occurrences that come to mind immediately:
  • Somebody discovered Open GL, which shouldn't ber used for rendering in AE... so turn it off.
  • Somebody discovered that you can use multiprocessing in AE... but since you need a whole bunch of RAM, and 4GB isn't much at all, you should turn that off, too.
  • Somebody started using HDV footage in AE... but since HDV footage uses interframe compression, which drives AE nuts, you should convert it to a high-quality codec before import into AE.

Any of those things ring a bell?

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

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Marshall AlmeidaRe: Can't render a proper AVI
by on Feb 9, 2010 at 2:15:34 am

Not sure whether it was #1 or #2 but one of those two things fixed it. Thank you so much!

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