Ram preview needs 2 frames or more.
Hey everybody, this is my first forray into the Creative Cow forums as a poster so hopefully I'm putting this up in the right place!
I'm having a very frustrating issue with Ram previews in AE CS5 (with the newest update). The problem has cropped up just recently, and I've had no issues with CS5 on my machine until now.
When I go to Ram preview, I get the error message that is supposed to alert you about too small a work space: "After Effects error: RAM Preview needs 2 or more frames to playback." but my preview area is set just fine. The error crops up seemingly at random as I progress in a project, and once the error appears, it leaves that project unusable (as far as I've been able to figure out). Even if I create a new empty small comp and just keyframe a shape accross it, it still won't preview. If I restart After Effects or my laptop and create a new project, this usually fixes it, but the second I open the problematic project or import the project into a new project, After Effects won't preview anything at any setting. Even if I close the problematic project and start a new one.
I've found a few threads that seem to indicate this can be related to audio and unsupported video codecs, but I'm doing pure motion graphics with 8-bit rgb photoshop layers and no audio yet.
I've tried the following:
-purging (edit > purge > all)
-trashing my prefs
-purging my laptop's p-ram.
-adjusting the ram allocated to AE
-turning multiprocessing on and off
-previewing with and without a disk cache specified.
-previewing at all quality settings and with various preview lengths set.
I'm working on an older Macbook Pro with only a couple of gb of ram, but the fact that it's worked fine until now, and effects even extremely simple comps, leads me to believe its more than a system resource issue.
Anybody with any advice would be greatly appreciated!
what graphics card are you using and have you tried turning off "enable openGL" in AE preferences?
3D animator and VFX specialist
GeForce 8600M GT
Its the card that was proven defective on the previous generation of macbooks, but I had mine replaced a few months ago and its been working fine. This problem has only cropped up in the last few days.
Disabling Open GL made no difference.
I've narrowed it down a bit. Ram preview only stops working once I've imported a photoshop file. I don't even have to put the psd file or any of its layers into the comp I'm working on, just import it into the project, and it stops working until I restart AE. Its as though importing a psd file permanently messes up whatever project I'm working on, and messes with AE until I restart it. I've tested illustrator files, pngs and tiff with alpha channels, jpgs, footage in various formats, and none of them cause any issues. This is getting strange...
Oddly enough, I can preview by designating a disk cache, pressing "play" instead of "preview", and letting the blue bar indicating cached frames fill up instead of the green ram preview bar. Importing photoshop files only seems to effect ram previews.
[Bradford Gyselman] "I'm working on an older Macbook Pro with only a couple of gb of ram, but the fact that it's worked fine until now, and effects even extremely simple comps, leads me to believe its more than a system resource issue."
Um, no. Consider this: I just go a brand-new dual quad core computer to be used primarily for AE work. It has 24 GB RAM, and if I could have afforded more, I would have gotten more.
In AE-Land, 2GB ain't nothin'.
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA
Yes, I am aware that 2 gb is nothing in the world of AE. I use a far better machine at work and understand that After Effects needs a lot of ram and a good video card to effectively manage more complex compositions. However, CS5 has been working just fine on my laptop for the last few months and has only recently spit out this "needs 2 frames or more" error after importing photoshop files. If I open a comp containing photoshop layers that ram previewed without any issues a few months ago, it no longer ram previews.
As an example scenario, lets say I open AE, create new comp, and import an image (png, jpg, anything but a psd) into the comp and keyframe it across the scene. This works just fine. I can also create a larger (lets say 1080 x 1920) comp and move a bunch of big 2000px wide image files around, and while my aging laptop will take a little while to chew through it, it will still ram preview. However, in any comp, no matter how simple or complex, the act of importing any psd file into my project, no matter how small, stops ram preview from working. Something about the act of importing photoshop files is causing the issue. I don't even have to put the psd's layers into the comp. Even having them just sitting in the project's assets list has the same effect. A tiny 10px by 10px comp with a 2px by 2px psd layer in it will no longer preview.
Thank you for the response, I really do appreciate it, but I'm still not really convinced this is a resource issue. Any other advice would be appreciated.
I'm not a mac user so I'm not sure how the apple update works for Macbooks however my experience with auto OS updates is that for every issue they fix, occasionally they create a new one.
If you do have some sort of auto OS update running you might want to check what if it updated around the time this PSD/AE problem started. If there is an option to roll back the update, give it a try and fingers crossed things might go back to normal.
3D animator and VFX specialist