When I render, here's what happens:
Everything starts fine but as the process goes, it renders each frame more and more slowly (estimated time goes from 4 hours rendering time to 12 hours). Eventually the whole process grinds to a stop and the classic rainbow twirly starts up, crashing AE. I have for force quit and start from the point it crashed.
I have tried moving the source media to different drives, have tried exporting to different formats (DV, Photo JPEG, etc) and using different compression (uncompressed, none, DV, etc) but always end with the same result. I have blown the PRAM, rebuilt AE preferences, tested the drives and same thing.
I have AE 9.0.2, using a macpro quad core 2.66 w 4GB RAM.
source footage is dv ntsc quicktime movies (seven of them) and jpeg still images. The movies are put through a few effects (blur, rendered into 3d) and transformed (tracked to represent movies projected onto scrims in a 3d space) but nothing on a complexity or scale comparable to projects of the past using many more layers of quicktimes on much less powerful machines.
Nope - it takes a while to crash - sometimes 5 minutes of rendering time, sometime 4 hours, though I have not tried rendering something on the same scale but using simpler source imagery/footage. I will try that. Thanks.