5 Replies Latest reply on Sep 22, 2014 9:57 AM by Szalam

    Delays and freezes in AfterEffects suddenly happening

    Laer2 Level 1

      Hi. For some unknown reason, After Effects (CS6) is suddenly performing really badly.  Nothing (intentionally) was changed, yet seemingly any project (even the most basic) will generally cause a lot of long pauses after certain actions (ex. button presses), or pauses during preview renders.


      It's generally acting as if the CPU is really struggling (unsuccessfully) to process things, and usually results eventually in a full hang.


      Each time, I try and fire up Task Manager to check CPU strain... and the few times I actually manage to get it to run, it's showing no unusual strain.  Yet, in several instances, this issue would cause all of Windows to fall apart... failing to respond (promptly) to clicks, failing to clean up screen updates, etc.  Most affected programs give the usual 'not responding' error.


      Yet, the system itself seems fine, and other programs (like my 3D software, with a complex scene) seem to run very well, as normal.


      So, it SEEMS it's centered around After Effects... like something in the program is clogging the processing or something.


      My system is a relatively new Win7 Pro i7 with 32 gigs of RAM.  All working fine previously, and no apparent hardware issues currently (although I'm still looking into that).


      No particular trigger or action causing it in After Effects... After a reboot, AE will run fine for a while, but then gets delayed, in one form or another... preview render will pause... program will freeze momentarily after a button is pressed... etc.


      Again, no apparent CPU spike, and the system was running really well up until now.  I cleared the cache and database, and verified the cache drive (loads of space).


      Anything I could look into?  Any theories on what might be happening?  (Please be detailed in your answers, just in case I'm not familiar with what you are suggesting)

        • 1. Re: Delays and freezes in AfterEffects suddenly happening
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          Check, whether you accidentally set your comps to raytrace 3D. For anything more we would need detailed info about your prefs for caches, GPU acceleration (if available), MP rendering, audio and so on. Quite possible that you updated something on your system and it introduced an incompatibility in those areas or you have a tainted cache and need to flush it.



          • 2. Re: Delays and freezes in AfterEffects suddenly happening
            Laer2 Level 1

            Hi, Mylenium.  Thanks for the response.


               Yesterday, the slowdowns/freezes were getting very serious.  At one

            point, the whole system completely froze (...but, again, seemingly only

            triggered by AfterEffects, while other programs, which a far more

            complex project, ran fine).


               I kept the system off for the rest of the evening, and booted it up

            again this morning.


               On bootup, I got an 'overclocked failed' error (...I never knowingly

            overclock any of my computers).


               I checked all the settings and temp/fan readings.  Everything seemed

            to be okay this morning, as far as that was concerned.


               I just now loaded up After Effects, and simply loaded about 8 still

            images (at once, using the Import feature), selected them all, and

            dragged them onto the Create New Comp icon.


               After Effects then froze briefly (more than the usual processing

            delay), and I got the usual 'Not Responding' message in the window

            header.  Once it regained control, I tried dragging the images on the

            icon again, and this time it did it fine, and created the sequenced

            image comp I requested.  The preview so far is running fine.


               I did check now to see if the comp was set to RayTraced, but it's not.


               It's very odd...  It doesn't appear that the freezes are being

            triggered by CPU intensive actions, but simply actions themselves. 

            Simple things like clicking on a tab in an almost empty project can

            trigger a freeze/delay, as it the CPU is being massively bottlenecked. 

            Meanwhile, the task manager is showing definite CPU activity, but

            certainly not red lining levels.


               So, it SEEMS like it's not the CPU being taxed... and I'm not sure if

            it's AE stumbling over itself.  I suspected maybe a flaw in the drive or

            RAM, but other programs seem to be running fine (again, with complex



               All I can think of is that some GENERAL system in AE is getting

            tripped up for some reason.



            • 3. Re: Delays and freezes in AfterEffects suddenly happening
              Laer2 Level 1

              Cache prefs: Set to a secondary drive (lots of space)


              Disk caching: On (to secondary drive), although I've had it on and off,

              with same results.


              No other programs running.  4 gigs reserved for other apps (32 gigs ram)


              GPU acceleration is on.  I'll try turning that off, to see if that makes

              a difference.


              MP rendering generally off, although I tried it on, with same results.



              I have that simple (8 images, sequenced in a single comp) test project,

              and AE is acting really bad.  Almost every click causes a freeze

              (...delay, then the screen gets whitened when you click again, and you

              get the 'Not Responding' message in the window header).  Seems to

              eventually come back, but then often does the same freeze when you try

              something else.


              For example, after the last freeze resolved itself (by me just letting

              it sit), I moved the pointer up to the Window menu in the header, and

              clicked it... causing the same type of freeze.  That has now resolved

              itself, and I can (currently) freely click on things without any delay.


              It's almost like it's a condition that comes in (regular?) waves... 

              Like a slow pulse, where it will delay your action if you do it during

              that pulse.


              The system itself seems fine.  I'm wondering if it's not some 'regular'

              event or activity in AE itself that is occurring in the background, and

              is not corrupted somehow.  Does AE have a regularly occurring event

              (...cache cleanup, background rendering, diagnostics?) that might be

              messed up, and may be bottlenecking the system when it occurs?



              The only recent update I can think of happening would be perhaps the

              video card driver or the usual Win7 system updates (critical ones only).


              I should check Photoshop, and see if that is affected.

              • 4. Re: Delays and freezes in AfterEffects suddenly happening
                Laer2 Level 1

                Right now, the system is running smoothly, like nothing every

                happened.  It truly seems like it's just an occasional thing.


                   I would normally suspect overheating, although this morning's freezes

                happened right after the initial startup (booted up PC, booted AE,

                experienced freezes on simple things, but now it's (currently) running

                just fine, after about 3 temporary freezes).




                   As far as audio settings, I normally have a Layla3G (external audio

                interface) for the audio, but that is currently shut off. I've had it

                shut off for months, though, and this situation only just started yesterday.


                   Just to be sure, I set the audio to AfterEffects WDM Sound now.

                • 5. Re: Delays and freezes in AfterEffects suddenly happening
                  Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Laer2 wrote:


                  The only recent update I can think of happening would be perhaps the video card driver or the usual Win7 system updates (critical ones only).

                  If it happens again, try rolling back to an older graphics card driver. Also, which GPU are you using? And, more importantly, what's the exact version number of AE CS6? Is it 11.0.4?