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What happens if you disable either Color Finesse or Keylight?
I'm not aware of any interactions between Color Finesse and Keylight, but it's another troubleshooting datapoint to gather.
You might also try switching the project bit depth to see if that makes any difference.
Thank you for the prompt reply, it's also nice to hear back from one of the SA staff. I've been using your plugin for years and had great experiences with it.
I can disable either of the plugins and the issue persists (i.e. Disable Keylight, Enable SA / Enable Keylight, Disable SA). I have also been able to replicate the issue on a second computer using the above settings (and footage), but with new project files. I'm not sure if it's worth mentioning, footage is 720, 60P, 50mbps (4:2:2). I'm fairly certain that AEX is capable of handling this, it has done so seamlessly in the past. I tried with alternative footage, and the same issue arises. On a third system in our office, all plugins and import capabilities seem to work with the same files. This is strange on so many levels, the systems are near identical, and we all have the same versions of CS6/Windows.
I have since been able to cause a crash simply by importing the footage, I'm going to now try uninstalling and reinstalling AEX, much to my shegrin at this point in the project.
Updates to come.
Before you uninstall and reinstall once again, try this test first: transcode a few of the problem clips to a lossless codec. I recommend Quicktime's PNG codec. Then apply the effects to them again in AE to see what happens.
The reason for doing this: your camera records in MPEG2. It isn't a true intermediate codec, and the compression is across a group of frames rather than within a single frame. The combination of Color Finesse and Keylight may be giving AE fits.
To anthropomorphize this, AE likes to think frame-by-frame, but MPEG2 forces AE to think backwards and forwards across several frames, and it may be rebelling on you. I hope you enjoy the technical lingo.
I tried the uninstall and reinstall, same issue persisted - I wish that I had checked your response first. You are indeed correct, it was the MPEG2 footage that was causing the crash, hence the replicability.
It's a very disheartening problem given that CS5.5 didn't suffer from these difficulties, and this codec is very old and well established. Our process has not changed, but clearly Adobe's handling of MPEG files has. AEX's difficulties are understandable, it is doing a lot of processing, but intra-frame codecs aren't new, and if I'm having this issue on a Canon XF300 (a relatively new camera) certainly others are as well.
I'll try to use use an older P2 camera (DVCPROHD, not AVC Intra) when chroma-keying is important. Hopefully there will be an update that fixes the issue - in the meantime, I'll just use an intermediary. Thanks for your reply and solution, much appreciated. Hopefully Adobe reads this and the submitted bug reports.