17 Replies Latest reply on Nov 9, 2017 11:28 AM by DrStrik9

    Media Encoder renders test pattern

    dhmiller Level 1

      CC 2014 - latest build. When I choose to render with Adobe Media Encoder from AE, the Media Encoder renders a test pattern, not the video in the project. The files are on an external drive (TIFF sequence), but the timing for the project is correctly shown in the Media Encoder so I can see that that is correct. What s going on here? Same thing happens with any/all project(s).

      Thanks for the help.



        • 1. Re: Media Encoder renders test pattern
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          By test pattern I'm assuming the color bars that show up when you have missing footage.


          You either moved the files, renamed a folder or lost the connection to the original videos on the hard drive. Check your connections and make sure that the project still opens correctly inside AE. If everything is as it should be then give us complete details of your project including a flow chart and we will try and figure out what is going on.

          • 2. Re: Media Encoder renders test pattern
            dhmiller Level 1

            Hello - yes, the color bars.

            The files are right where they should be as imported into AE and the video plays fine if I scrub in AE. It is only when I go to Media Encoder (latest version - yesterday) that I see the color bars both in the preview and when rendered.

            I complete my work as a sequence of TIFF files and save them to an external drive - I then import into AE, add a fade in and out, then send to Media Encoder. It is precisely there that I run into a problem of a (seemingly) lost connection to the files. AME shows a suitable path for the output (named for the files I imported into AE) but doesn't have the ability to render them correctly.

            Do you want a screen shot of the flowchart (or maybe I can save that as a file..)

            thanks for the help.


            • 3. Re: Media Encoder renders test pattern
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Try adding your image sequence to a Premiere Pro sequence and use the default dissolve to add the fade in and fade out there. Send that to the AME or render from Premiere and see if that works.


              If it does then try just putting one of your images from the tiff sequence in a new AE comp and see if that will open in the AME. If that doesn't work let us know. You may have found a bug. I just tried it with my system and tiff sequences come into the AME just fine.


              Are you sure that both the AME and AE are up to date.


              • 4. Re: Media Encoder renders test pattern
                dhmiller Level 1

                ?Interesting - one single TIFF file shows up in the AME when I open the Dynamic Link screen - looks fine - no color bars.


                So what does that tell us?


                I have all latest versions as of an auto-update yesterday.







                • 5. Re: Media Encoder renders test pattern
                  dhmiller Level 1

                  Btw, these are UHD files - 3840 x 2160, and there are several thousand of them (c. 3k to 6k) in my projects. Wonder if there are some limits.

                  I'm using AME not AE directly because AE will not output an H.264 file at the size I need (not sure why not - any explanation? What I really want is H.265...)

                  Anyway, FYI.


                  • 6. Re: Media Encoder renders test pattern
                    dhmiller Level 1

                    Sorted, maybe.

                    So this time I waited 10 minutes before I looked into the Dynamic Link window and sure enough, I saw the files. So this is some type of I/O/access issue. But seems to be good to go for now.

                    Thanks again for the help.


                    • 7. Re: Media Encoder renders test pattern
                      dhmiller Level 1

                      Okay, well I waited 30 minutes tonight for the real images to show up and all I got was the color bars.

                      Loaded 5400 frames 3840 x 2160 into AE and sent to AME - no luck/

                      So there is some sort of file size limit or some such. The files are on a Bolt 2 connected drive SoftRaid - crazy fast. AME knows the project length and correct estimates the file size fr the compression I am using (25 Mbps target H. 264) - but des not display the actual files nor will it render this project to anything but color bars

                      Please advise

                      Very frustrating.


                      • 8. Re: Media Encoder renders test pattern

                        same issues all latest fresh from the cloud Aftereffect show project export to media encoder and all i get are color bars ???

                        • 9. Re: Media Encoder renders test pattern

                          For anyone having this problem, follow these steps:


                          1. Open the Program Files -> Adobe folder (or relative)

                          2. Inside each program folder (such as After Effects, Adobe Media Encoder, Premiere Pro, and so on), look for the main executable files (ie "AfterFX.exe", "Adobe Media Encoder.exe", and so on)

                          3. On each one of them, right-click -> properties -> compatibility -> CHECK run this program as an administrator -> Ok


                          Now this issue should not happen anymore.

                          Adobe does a nice job programming the features of their softwares (mostly), but the overall integration with OS is just trash. Not so uncommon these errors (both during installs and regular use)... hard to understand, since they are so simply to avoid and also so overwhelming to their users.

                          • 10. Re: Media Encoder renders test pattern
                            DrStrik9 Level 4

                            I REALLY appreciate this thread. I've been having this incredibly frustrating experience also, on Mac OS X.


                            The dreaded COLOR BARS happen regularly here in AME, in about 95% of AME rendering attempts.


                            I followed your lead about permissions, and booted Disk Utility, and ran "repair permissions" on the boot drive. This took about a minute, but now AME (this time at least) is actually rendering properly, for once.

                            • 11. Re: Media Encoder renders test pattern
                              DrStrik9 Level 4

                              No, I spoke too soon. The DREADED COLOR BARS are BACK. Apparently that last render attempt was one of the 5% attempts that did not fail.


                              This problem is NOT solved here.


                              I also attempted to load an AE file for rendering in AME, but all that shows up are the comp name and the solids. NO footage, NO sound files, etc.


                              I STILL NEED A SOLUTION! As of right now, AME is useless.

                              • 12. Re: Media Encoder renders test pattern
                                DrStrik9 Level 4



                                I just finished a chat with Adobe tech support. All they did was: After Effects > Edit > Purge > All memory and disc cache ...


                                And I successfully rendered in AME for the first time in a week.

                                • 13. Re: Media Encoder renders test pattern


                                  The problem keeps returning in 2017. A work-around that works for me is to import any movie in .mp4 oder .wmv format (maybe any other format will do as well) starting at frame 1 to the lowest layer. So it will be invisible. May be this even works if 0 % transparent.

                                  Best regards


                                  • 14. Re: Media Encoder renders test pattern
                                    Andy.Shustykevych Level 1

                                    Same trouble here. And your solution doesn't work (for me at least). What's curious, is that I managed to render a project today for the first time, but can't do that anymore. Tried purging all cache, granting administrator privileges, adding a video underneath all other layers etc.

                                    • 15. Re: Media Encoder renders test pattern
                                      Rick Carmichael (LuxViz)

                                      This issue should NOT be marked as "Answered" because I too - like Andy.Shustykevych - have been experiencing the same color bars output from Media Encoder. (I'm using the latest 2018 versions of Adobe CC products on an iMac running MacOS High Sierra.)


                                      I have a timelapse sequence of images in After Effects (with the only effects being frame blending and motion blur) and I'm exporting my composition to Media Encoder. When the apps switch and I'm brought into Media Encoder, even before encoding, if I click on the Preset value in the upper left, it says connecting with the Dynamic Link server and then shows the preview as all color bars.


                                      I've tried clearing the caches in After Effects as suggested, and have also cleaned the Media Cache Database in the Media Encoder preferences. And I'm still seeing the color bars as output.


                                      If I first Export my AE comp using Add to Render Queue, and then click on the Queue in AME button, I can often get the movie to render properly in Media Encoder. (But the question/issue still remains: Why doesn't it work to select File > Export > Add to Adobe Media Encoder Queue?)


                                      So, this issue is NOT answered.


                                      In order to be answered, I would think Adobe would need to outline the various conditions that cause this problem in the first place, as it seems like more than one scenario can cause the color bars. And then, Adobe needs to describe reliable steps for correcting the color bar problem. Only then can this issue be accurately/honestly labeled as "Answered."

                                      • 16. Re: Media Encoder renders test pattern
                                        Andy.Shustykevych Level 1

                                        Hello everyone again.


                                        Well, I found a solution that worked for me.


                                        Here's my situation from the very beginning. I created a project in AE which is a FullHD 60fps timelapse video 40 seconds long. It has some effects, transforms, freeze frames, music, and sound, but nothing too fancy. The source is about 1000 JPG images of resolution 4200×2800px.


                                        I managed to render the video in AME with no issues for the first time (.H264 codec), but then I did some changes to the project, purged all cache as unnecessary, and after that I got the color bars problem.


                                        The only thing that finally helped was again doing a full preview in AE (so that it's cached on the hard disk). Final render in AME succeeded with no issues.


                                        What is the reason of this app behavior, remains a mystery.


                                        Hope my solution works for somebody, too.

                                        • 17. Re: Media Encoder renders test pattern
                                          DrStrik9 Level 4

                                          That's a good solution, if your computer has enough RAM. I found another one, via Adobe tech support in India. This may have been mentioned before, but it's worth repeating:


                                          1. Render the whole video using AE's Renderer (NOT Media Encoder) - H264 to your hard-drive. This makes a HUGE file, but it's only temporary.

                                          2. Then in Media Encoder, open that newly rendered file, and render/compress it according to how you're going to use it (YouTube, etc.).

                                          3. After this, you can delete the huge H264 file.


                                          This ALWAYS works here, especially with those difficult files that ME refuses to render without the dreaded color bars!