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Freezing up on file import

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Mark RamseyFreezing up on file import
by on Feb 18, 2010 at 2:16:12 pm

Help! I've been using After Effects 7 for a couple of years now...never had any problems until recently...every time I try to import a video clip, it freezes up instantly, and I have to close it out. There's nothing wrong with my computer, as I've been using the program several times even recently. I even reformatted my hard-drive a couple of weeks ago, just in case it would help. I've tried uninstalling/reinstalling the program a couple of times, too. I have no idea what to do about it, nothing I try seems to be working...and obviously the program is useless if I can't even import a clip.
Until I get this figured out, I've been using a trial version of Sony Vegas, which has been working perfectly. So I'm wondering if there isn't something in particular about After Effects that needs fixing. Anyone had any ideas or suggestions? I'm getting a bit desperate here!


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Dave LaRondeRe: Freezing up on file import
by on Feb 18, 2010 at 3:45:16 pm

[Mark Ramsey] "never had any problems until recently..."

Did you start getting footage shot on a different CAMERA recently? Here's why I ask:

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, AVCHD, 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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Mark RamseyRe: Freezing up on file import
by on Feb 18, 2010 at 7:06:21 pm

Well, I have been using the same camera for awhile now...it's always worked just fine...however, I HAVE noticed lately that I have to convert it into a different format first...I've gotten into the habit of opening the clip in Movie Maker first, and saving it as a different format...then I open THAT in AE...I can't remember having to do that before...and I'm sure I haven't accidently changed any of the settings in the camera itself, though I do have a 6-year old daughter who has gotten her hands on it from time to time. *lol* What format would you suggest I set it to? By the way, in case it matters, it's a Canon PowerShot SX110IS.
Maybe, just because I'm curious about this, I might try a clip filmed with my OLD camera..see if it freezes up then.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Freezing up on file import
by on Feb 18, 2010 at 8:24:19 pm

[Mark Ramsey] "...I've gotten into the habit of opening the clip in Movie Maker first, and saving it as a different format...then I open THAT in AE..."

...and what would that format happen to be? You can check in the project window, y'know: just highlight the footage.





[Mark Ramsey] "What format would you suggest I set it to?"

Since I'm a Mac guy, I always favor Apple ProRes.





[Mark Ramsey] "it's a Canon PowerShot SX110IS. "

Don't know a thing about it.

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


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Kevin CampRe: Freezing up on file import
by on Feb 18, 2010 at 7:10:15 pm

we'd need more information about the clip...

the container or format (.mov, .avi, .mxf, etc.) and the codec (lossless animation, dvcprohd, mpeg-2, h.264, etc.) would be necessary.

where the file came from can be helpful too. i.e. captured from tape/camera (and what hardware/software was used to capture); transfered from camera as file (and what camera); captured from some screen capture software (and name of software)... any information like that would be helpful.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Mark RamseyRe: Freezing up on file import
by on Feb 18, 2010 at 10:38:28 pm

I'll get those specifics tonight when I get home from work...but I'm not sure that the format of the clips is so much the problem here, since it's freezing up before I even get to select a clip at all. I click "import" and the moment I click the word "file" it freezes up completely...never even gets to where I can select a file to import in the first place.
Like I said, it was working just fine up until recently...just early last month I did a couple of effects clips that turned out great, using the same camera (although I did still have to convert the clips in Windows Movie Maker first) and I had absolutely no problems at all. Just a couple of weeks ago, in fact, I was working on a clip for a friend of mine who wanted me to add a trail of fire behind his snowboard as he went past the camera...that turns out good too. But just over the past few days I haven't been able to get it to do anything, and it's really getting frustrating. Just spent some of my income tax refund money to get a nice large green screen, too. *lol*
Oh, and someone once suggested that I "drag & drop" a clip in, so I tried that...instantly got an "After Effects has crashed" message...so I gave up on that idea.


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Kevin CampRe: Freezing up on file import
by on Feb 20, 2010 at 2:14:16 am

[Mark Ramsey] "I'm not sure that the format of the clips is so much the problem here, since it's freezing up before I even get to select a clip at all. I click "import" and the moment I click the word "file" it freezes up completely...never even gets to where I can select a file to import in the first place."

i'd agree, it's not likely that the footage is to blame, since you don't actually get to import anything.

you tried drag and drop, did you try to drag and drop an image or audio file too? just curious if it's specific to clips, or any file.

i have a feeling that something was updated or added to your system and it has created a conflict with ae. you might try posting on adobe's ae forum. also, if the crash error you mentioned when drag and dropping had any number or code associated with it, that may help someone figure out the issue.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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