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Error (4) Reading from frame and Digital Cinema Desktop

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Adam LevineError (4) Reading from frame and Digital Cinema Desktop
by on Jul 26, 2010 at 12:50:10 pm

Intel Mac CS4

I have been getting the following intermittent error during RAM preview (comes up usually on the second RAM preview after AE starts, about 30-60 frames into rendering):

After Effects error: Error (4) reading frame from file...(filepath)

If I Reload Footage, or just jump around the time line, I can usually get picture back.

My initial suspicion was that this was a codec error (Canon 5D footage), so I transcoded the footage, first to ProRes, then to Apple Uncompressed. Still the same problem.

Then I decided to turn off video preview with Digital Cinema Desktop (I was getting other weirdness from DCD, like my menu bar disappearing) and now the errors seem to have gone away. Any thoughts here besides "don't use DCD"? I notice there are 4 setting for DCD, is one of them correct?

MB Pro i7
8 GB RAM
AE CS4


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keith mcgregorRe: Error (4) Reading from frame and Digital Cinema Desktop
by on Jul 26, 2010 at 7:27:54 pm

Are you running off an external USB self-powered drive? Does it like to wind down and right before your picture comes back can you hear it rev up? Are you using a mybook external? Have you tried emptying the cashe or purging from AE? Food for thought.
Cheers! -Keith

Reality? What did you make it?


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Adam LevineRe: Error (4) Reading from frame and Digital Cinema Desktop
by on Jul 26, 2010 at 8:41:16 pm

Actually (and I guess I should have mentioned this), I was originally running media off of a 4-drive array hooked up via the Sonnet Tempo SATA Pro ExpressCard 34. My original suspicion was that this was the culprit, so I moved all the media to the internal drive and disconnected the card and restarted. The problem persisted so obviously it was not the array.

Again, I'm pretty sure this has something to do with having DCD preview on.

BTW, that Sonnet card is pretty awesome.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Error (4) Reading from frame and Digital Cinema Desktop
by on Jul 26, 2010 at 8:57:09 pm

What kind of footage are you using? It makes a difference in versions prior to AE 10 (CS5). Here's why:

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, mts, 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.

I'm a Mac guy, so I like to convert to Quicktime movies in the Animation or PNG codecs; both are lossless. I'll use Apple's Compressor, Adobe Media Encoder or Quicktime Pro to do it.

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


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Adam LevineRe: Error (4) Reading from frame and Digital Cinema Desktop
by on Jul 26, 2010 at 9:58:15 pm

Like I said, I already tried transcoding, that was the firt thing I looked at. I'm pretty sure this is related to DCD Preview


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Adam LevineRe: Error (4) Reading from frame and Digital Cinema Desktop
by on Jul 26, 2010 at 11:56:57 pm

FWIW, I have changed my Video Preview settings to "Digital Cinema Desktop - Raw" and the error has gone away. I had previously tried "Digital Cinema Desktop - Full Screen" and "Digital Cinema Desktop" which both gave me crashes and, as I noted previously, other weird problems like my menu bar disappearing.

Hopefully, problem solved; thanks to all for helping


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