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After Effects error : unable to allocate space for a 5048x1320 image buffer

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Philip Savvides
After Effects error : unable to allocate space for a 5048x1320 image buffer
on Apr 19, 2010 at 6:36:54 am

Hi...

I keep getting this stupid error for a long time now and i really dont know what to do...! I am actually thinking of never use AE again because of this...

I have a 4 GB ram and quad core processor which is quite fast and i dont run any other applications while i am rendering..

Now ..i searched here and there and found some solutions that only worked once...and then i got the same problem again! I wen to the secret menu and did disabled layer cache and made it purge every 10 frames and in the memory and multiprocessing i checked the multiprocessing check box and put it to faster rendering....i ven also enabled dick cache to maximum disk cache size 2000 MB!....

STill nothing.... i even changed the render destination drive...

NOTHING!! HELP! .....PLEASE!!!


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Walter Soyka
Re: After Effects error : unable to allocate space for a 5048x1320 image buffer
on Apr 19, 2010 at 1:57:03 pm

[Philip Savvides] "unable to allocate space for a 5048x1320 image buffer"

This error is telling you that After Effects can't grab enough free RAM to hold an image that's 5048x1320 pixels.

Are any of your comps or images larger than they really need to be?

[Philip Savvides] "I have a 4 GB ram and quad core processor which is quite fast and i dont run any other applications while i am rendering... in the memory and multiprocessing i checked the multiprocessing check box and put it to faster rendering."

4 GB of RAM is not really enough for multiprocessing. With a quad-core processor, you should have 12 to 16 GB before you enable multiprocessing. You want to aim for 2 to 4 GB per core, and leave a little overhead for the operating system. I'd turn multiprocessing off completely and see if that helps.

[Philip Savvides] "I wen to the secret menu and did disabled layer cache and made it purge every 10 frames"

It may not be necessary after you disable multiprocessing, but if this doesn't work, you could turn it down even further. Purge every 1 or 2 frames and see if that helps. Your render will be slower (because AE won't be able to cache things in RAM), but it should get all the way through.

[Philip Savvides] "STill nothing.... i even changed the render destination drive... "

Like I mentioned, this error is about RAM, so changing your render drive won't help.

I'd suggest you render to an image sequence instead of a movie; that way, if your render fails for any reason, you can re-render the image sequence with the "Skip existing frames" option and pick up right where the render failed (instead of losing all your work).

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Philip Savvides
Re: After Effects error : unable to allocate space for a 5048x1320 image buffer
on Apr 19, 2010 at 9:53:48 pm

Hi...thanks for the analysis on this issue...i thought that 4 GB RAM with a Quad would be enough but i guess its not.... im rendering in hight quality so i really need this video to be the best quality possible!

I turned of the multiprocessing check box and its rendering fine for now... I will also try the image sequence and see what happens...

Thank you for your time and your clear answer on this...


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Stevenson Opoku
Re: After Effects error : unable to allocate space for a 5048x1320 image buffer
on May 28, 2011 at 1:15:44 am

I ran into a similar problem as well just recently. This is my first post by the way... anyways, I changed my project's color depth from 32 bpc to 8 bpc and all seemed to be well. Not sure if that's the panacea for all ram allocation problems but it seemed work for me.


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Walter Soyka
Re: After Effects error : unable to allocate space for a 5048x1320 image buffer
on May 31, 2011 at 1:21:28 pm

[Stevenson Opoku] "I changed my project's color depth from 32 bpc to 8 bpc and all seemed to be well. Not sure if that's the panacea for all ram allocation problems but it seemed work for me."

A single frame of 1920x1080 video at 32 bpc is 31.6 MB. A single frame of 1920x1080 video at 8 bpc is 7.9 MB.

Clearly, this huge per-frame size difference will have a big effect on RAM requirements, but color depth also affects your visuals.

All color (and brightness) in After Effects is represented by mixing red, green, and blue together. Color depth determines how those numbers are represented, and therefore how many unique colors you can represent:
  • 8 bpc (bits per channel) color uses a whole value in between 0 and 255 for each of the red, green, and blue channels, giving you 16.7 million possible color combinations. Black is [0,0,0] and white is [255,255,255].
  • 16 bpc uses a whole value between 0 and 32,768 for each of the red, green, and blue channels, giving you 3.5 quadrillion possible color combinations. As with 8 bpc, black is [0,0,0]. White is [32768,32768,32768], and this is the exact same white as the 8 bpc [255,255,255]; the difference is not that 16 bpc's white is brighter, but rather that there are more numbers in between white and black, and therefore more unique colors you can represent in between those extremes.
  • 32 bpc color represents black with 0 and white with 1, but allows the use of decimal places for extreme precision in between 0 and 1, as well as values below 0 (darker than black) and above 1 (brighter than white).


Switching your project from 32 bpc to 8 bpc will lower your RAM requirements, but at the expense of color depth. Some effects like blurs, glows, and blends will look very different in 8/16 bpc and 32 bpc, because 32 bpc allows values far beyond the extremes of black and white.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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