I'll admit it right now, I've already fixed this. However, I'm curious to see what exactly caused this so I don't do it again in the future. Here's what happened and here're the specs:
OSWindows 8.1 Pro
- Intel 5960x
- MSI Gaming 7
- 32GB DDR4
- Graphics Card(s)
- x2 NVIDIA GTX 970
- Hard Drives
- 256 GB Samsung 850 Pro (SSD)
1TB Samsung 850 Pro (SSD)
2 TB Seagate STBD2000101 (HDD)
- After Effects CC 2014 (The next-to-last version of CC 2014)
- Photoshop CC 2014 (The next-to-last version of CC 2014)
Here's the situation:
I had 5 different 1-second, 60-frame compositions open within the same After Effects project file. I was exporting lossless .avi RGB + Alpha video to import into Photoshop so I could then turn them into animate .gif files to use with a website. It is worth noting that the first four After Effects compositions that I exported did so perfectly, and had no issues whatsoever. Then placed each .avi files into Photoshop and converted them with no problem. However, after the conversion, I left those same exported .avi files open in Photoshop. Once I got to this fifth one, I applied some CC Light Rays and CC Light Burst 2.5 effects onto four different layers in my fifth composition. I had been doing some test exporting before from within After Effects before I applied these effects, and they exported flawlessly; nice and quick: the details of these can be seen here:
(These following renders did not use the aforementioned Lighting effects) This is where I may have messed up. A few times, when I re-rendered the changes I made to the composition over the .avi file, I got an error saying that I couldn't render it because the file with the same name was already open in Photoshop. This is just a bad habit of mine, so I closed that particular file in Photoshop and exported again with no problem. I had been getting the same error in my previous four compositions just because of being careless. However, it didn't take anything more than closing them out to get it to export again, as would be expected.
Then, once I applied those lighting effects, I tried to export got an error message stating that After Effects was "Unable to open projects in the background" whenever I did a RAM Preview for ANY of my five open compositions or lossless export for ANY of my five open compositions. This would result in about a 3 minute wait before each export, but it would then export just fine afterwards. Eventually, I determined that this may be because I have some of those .avi files open in Photoshop, so I closed Photoshop and tried exporting again, and the delay was completely gone. But where I'm confused is here:
If it's because of some of the .avi files being open in Photoshop, and me making the same mistake of rendering over the .avi file (keeping the same name) while it was still open in Photoshop, resulting in the "Unable to open projects in the background" error every single time after closing the .avi file in Photoshop that was the problem, why did I not get the error (projects in the background error) until I did the Lighting Effects? I was able to make this mistake and keep those other .avi files open in Photoshop and export other avi files (without the same name) without the "projects in the background" error, but the moment I applied the lighting effects, every project I exported had this error (even though they were exported with different names) until I closed Photoshop. I deleted each of those lighting effects and tried to render the composition to have the same "projects in the background" error.
I know that this is extremely confusing. Basically, I don't know what went wrong, because it seemed to be a combination of the lighting effects and me making the mistake of rendering with the same name of a file that was in use by Photoshop that resulted in each file that I exported afterwards (with different names) to have that long 3 minute delay going by the "Unable to open projects in the background" error. This error did not happen whenever I made that mistake before the lighting effects and it did not happen when the lighting effects were applied; only when both happened at the same time, and that's why I'm curious what happened.
Remember, I fixed this just by closing Photoshop, but given the details above, what do you think was the true problem here? Were the lighting effects just a pure coincidence of me (perhaps) doing something else incorrectly (if so, I most likely didn't state what else I could have done wrong)?