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FAQ: What information should I provide when asking a question on this forum?

Jan 11, 2014 2:36 PM

When asking a question on the After Effects user-to-user forums, you can make it easier for folks to help you by proactively providing complete information.


IMPORTANT: Screenshots and sample movies are often very useful in showing exactly what you're seeing, and can thus make getting an answer faster and easier.


Also, please do everyone a favor and check the After Effects FAQ list and also do a quick After Effects Community Help search to see if your question has been addressed already.


Be sure to answer all of these questions when asking for help:


  • What exact version of After Effects? Include the minor version number (e.g., After Effects CS5.5 with the 10.5.1 update). Do not just say "After Effects with the latest updates"; give the specific version number.
  • Have you installed the recent updates? (If not, you should. They fix a lot of problems.)
  • What operating system? This should include specific minor version numbers, like "Mac OSX v10.6.8"---not just "Mac".
  • Tell us about your computer hardware. Include CPU type and number of processor cores, amount of RAM installed, GPU, number of disk drives, and how any external drives are connected.
  • What versions of drivers for your graphics hardware do you have installed (including CUDA driver and driver for display adapter)?
  • Do you have any third-party I/O hardware (e.g., AJA, Matrox, Blackmagic, MOTU)?
  • What kind(s) of source footage? When telling about your source footage, tell us about the codecs, not just the container types. For example, "H.264 in a .mov container", not just "QuickTime".
  • If you are getting error message(s), what is the full text of the error message(s)?
  • What were you doing when the problem occurred?
  • Has this ever worked before? If this worked before by doesn't work now, what has changed on your computer in the intervening time?
  • Do you have QuickTime installed. (You should.) If so, what version? The answer should be specific, such as "QuickTime 7.6.2".
  • What other software are you running?
  • Do you have any third-party effects or codecs installed?
  • Are you using OpenGL features in After Effects?
  • Does the problem only happen with your final output, RAM preview, or both?
  • Are you using Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing?
  • Are you using the ray-traced 3D renderer?
  • If the problem is with output, give your exact output settings (both render setting and output module settings). Screenshots help.
  • What is the exact sequence of steps that you are taking?