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Black screen & all menu items grayed out -help!

Apr 11, 2012 4:13 PM

Sorry folks, total AE nube here, in over my head already. Having just purchased AE CS3 I'm completely adrift.


I was in the process of looking at & changing preferences when shortly thereafter my screen went All black. A friend suggested it may have something to do with the output display, which may be the problem, however, I have gievn up searching after 4 days trying different searches in the program help function with no joy.


Apparently, I don't know "Adobe Speak" well enough to phrase the seach to get meaningful results. I did finally find that If I put the cursor at the very top of the screen & click I can then see the menu. Every dropdown list in the menu, is grayed out and no amount of pounding on the keys, gnashing of teeth, pulling hair, etc will allow me back in to the preferences where I suspect I misunderstood what the selection of "Cinema display" would do. Unfortunate that FCP 7 allows one to select that for a higher resolution view that I have in fact used before.


If that was indeed my error, since even the preferences are grayed out, how does one reset preferences to factory default?




Is this a problem of a different nature? The monitor works just fine in all other programs, so I don't bevieve that is the problem.


Any help would be greatly appreciated.



  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 11, 2012 5:48 PM   in reply to kenackr

    how does one reset preferences to factory default?


    By deleting the pertinent files in Users:Ken:Preferences:Adobe:After Effects:8.0. Also make sure you are launching the correct full version of AE, not the render-only version, which looks just the same, but has all items but the ones in teh File menu disabled.



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    Apr 14, 2012 9:27 PM   in reply to kenackr

    Just hold down the option and ctrl keys then click on the app to open it. You'll get a popup that asks if you want to delete the prefs file.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 15, 2012 10:05 PM   in reply to kenackr

    Sorry you're having so much trouble. I've been using After Effects since COSA. Never had a serious problem wasn't related to a driver, a corrupt file, or some third-party software.


    Tens of thousands of Mac users Ron AE every day. I'd suggest hey double check of all your drivers and third-party software. I run a reinstall. It's not that the software is perfect, it's just that there's something really fouled up with your system configuration.

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    Apr 15, 2012 10:06 PM   in reply to Rick Gerard

    Sorry about the spelling errors. Posting to the form on iPhone is not easy.

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    May 22, 2012 8:38 PM   in reply to kenackr

    Hi Guys,

    I want to thank all of you. This blog helped me to not panic when my screen went black. When in the preferences panel, you and I both must have clicked on the "Digital Cinema Desktop" option under video preview without clicking on any of the other options below it which tell After Effects exactly what it is you want to view full screen, therefore, it shows just a black screen. The greyed out menus is still a mystery to me. But, by opening After Effects from a project file that was not open when I made this grave error, I was able to get the menus to reappear. I still had a black screen though. I opened the preferences panel and I changed the option back to "Computer Monitor Only" on the Output Device option. Voila! My screen came back. No harm done. Unfortunately for you, I'm a bit late. Just remember not to select that option without selecting the source options below it or catastrophe will happen again.



    Message was edited by: jlbrooksmtg

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