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Video Stuck As Stills in RAM Preview / Render Export

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diana yee
Video Stuck As Stills in RAM Preview / Render Export
on May 30, 2010 at 2:49:31 pm


I did a search around the forum and didn't find anything that was close to the problem I'm encountering:


Working in After Effects CS3

Working with footage shot with a Canon 5D Mark II. The footage have been converted from H264 to Apple Intermediate Codec, 23.978 fps. Composition settings are setting respectively to the same frame rate and resolution (1080).


In the beginning, zero problems with using RAM Preview. RAM Previews of my composition are in real time. After a few more RAM previews, suddenly a frame would get stuck while the audio is still running (and likewise with any effects applied to the layer of the footage, such as rotation or scaling).

Having that happen to me in the past, I would exit and relaunch After Effects in order to preview a footage seamless on the first run before it hiccups again.

I feel this may be a RAM issue?

Rendering out a full video without a frame getting stuck is also a lottery. I have to re-render it in hopes that a frame won't get stuck. That, as you know, is a huge loss in production time.

As it becomes more frequent, and counterproductive, I figure I'd ask to see if there is something wrong with my settings or simply, it's my machine.

My Current Setup

My Mac desktop:
Dual 2 GHz Power PC G5
OS 10.5.8

After Effects CS3 setup:
Maximum Memory Usage: 100% = 3.0 GB
Maximum RAM Cache Size: 80% = 2.4 GB
Disk Cache is enabled to 2000 MB and cached to my secondary internal drive.

Multiprocessing has been disabled. (I have enabled this before, but, by personal preference, disabled this due to the long processing time during composition RAM Previews.)

Also, I'm on the confused/lost area with knowing what should be the proper RAM settings. Some of the numbers above are arbitrarily set or by default.

I hope I have included everything there is to need to help.

Thank you for all your time in advance!

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Kevin Camp
Re: Video Stuck As Stills in RAM Preview / Render Export
on May 30, 2010 at 3:42:18 pm

you might try trashing your prefs... quit ae, and hold command+option+shift when restarting ae.

i would then get into the preview prefs and disable opengl.

leave the memory/cache prefs alone and i would also leave disk cache disabled unless you have your media files on a separate data bus (ie. an external drive/drive array, a 2nd internal drive won't help decrease data load if it is on the same internal bus). if you did have an external drive for media, then you would set the disk cache to be on the other bus.

if you encounter what seems to be cached frame problems, you might try choosing edit>purge>all to see if that clears things up.

also, if you are using some of the cc time effects (cc time blend, time blend fx, or wide time) you will freqently want to hit the 'clear' option in the effect, or choose edit>purge>all. those effects use cached frames, and once a frame is cached it is not reloaded even if changes are made to the settings/comp, unless you clear the cache.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer

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diana yee
Re: Video Stuck As Stills in RAM Preview / Render Export
on May 31, 2010 at 4:20:07 pm

Thank you Kevin. The purging cache helped tremendously with manual scrubbing previews. I still get frames stuck after a few RAM previews resorting me to restart After Effects. Hopefully it rendering for output won't be too much of a trouble.

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