Thanks for the reply. I've tried the Lossless output module with Animation codec, MPEG-4 and some others. I've also tried the H.264 module and a few others, always with the same result. While rendering, the video won't even play in the composition window (I've heard that it does this, unless you have capslock enabled), it just turns into a black screen, and renders as such. Appreciate the help!
Assuming you are on CS6, set the comp viewer to final quality, turning off Fast previews. Furthermore, turn off the disk cache and check your graphics options. I suspect you have an issue there. Also monitor your rendering in Activity Monitor and verify, that actually there is processing activity and the auxiliary processes like the qtserver and dynamiclinkserver are active...
Just guessing around, honestly. Regarding Fast Previews it could be an issue with footage decoding. That old thing with front-/back buffers (on-screen/ off-screen buffers) where hardware accelerated stuff will show up when drawing it on screen, but not if the buffer is rendered void during final rendering. I would still suspect that some of that is involved, possibly even a similar thing in Quicktime or anotehr system library, but as a non-Mac person my knowledge on current versions is limited in that area.
Try an extremely simple test composition without any footage. Follow the instructions here and report back.
Also, we need more details if we're going to help you. Please provide answers to the questions listed here: "FAQ: What information should I provide when asking a question on this forum?"
The basic test worked, and now I finally got it working by rebuilding the entire comp from the ground up, starting with just the jpg, then copy-pasting masks, effects, and so on, checking to make sure it was rendering correctly each step of the way. Still a complete mystery to me why it wasn't working in the first place, so I included all my info in case anyone has any clue what was going on. But the problem is solved (at least, the render is about halfway through now and, from the looks of it, it is actually processing the video this time), so thanks everyone very much for your help
- What version of After Effects? CS6, version 188.8.131.52
- Have you installed the recent updates? Fully updated today
- What operating system? OSX 10.8.2
- What kind(s) of source footage? A still .jpg
- If you are getting error message(s), what is the full text of the error message(s)? No errors reported
- What were you doing when the problem occurred? Rendering the composition
- Has this ever worked before? Only with the basic video example I just tried
- What other software are you running? None concurrently with rendering
- Do you have any third-party effects or codecs installed? Nope
- 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.
Latest-generation macbook pro, Quad-core 2.6 GHz i7 processor, 8 gigs ram, 750 gig hard drive (non solid state, not even a quarter full), minimal stock NVIDIA graphics card with 1 gig ram
- Do you have any third-party I/O hardware (e.g., AJA, Matrox, Blackmagic, MOTU)? No
- Are you using OpenGL features in After Effects? No
- Does the problem only happen with your final output, RAM preview, or both? Only with final output
- Are you using Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing? Have tried both ways
- What is the exact sequence of steps that you are taking?
I have now tried the following:
I created a new comp, web size, with just the original jpg, rendered fine
I created a new comp, HD size as in my original project, with just the original jpg, rendered fine
I copy-pasted all masks I used in the original onto the new version, renders fine
Copy-pasted effects, works fine
Now have completely rebuilt my project, will look closely to see if I can find any difference at all between the two projects now.