So an update. I managed to open After Effects by double clicking a very old project file from over a year ago. (could not open it by clicking app shortcut).
Once I did I was able to open the project file that crashed (pre-crash version) I followed the same exact steps that led to the crash:
I dragged the .ai image from Bridge to the project panel.
I dragged the .ai file from the project panel to the work area.
I enable continuous raster
I hit "s" to open scale properties
I dragged the scale value and the crash happened
(I know in my first post I said it crashed when it got dragged to the timeline but that was a mistake. It crashed when I tried to scale)
The errpr I got this time was:
<syncservice> <4> Check Connection: 3
So now that the crash happened again AE would not start again. Same as when I first posted.
So I opened the old project again that had worked at the top of this post.
From there I opened the current project that keeps crashing.
This time I followed the same exact steps except with a different .ai file (to try and isolate a problem)
With a different .ai file there was no crash when I tried to scale.
So I went through steps again using the .ai file that was causing the crash but this time no crash.
Now everything is back to normal (except my preferences are reset).
I can open AE via the app shortcut again and I am working no problem.
FFS...Scaling that footage just crashed AE again.!!!
Error: <Dynamic Link> <5> C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Premier Pro CC2014
That file path does not even exist on computer!! WTH is going on?
The problem is random and seems isolated to vector files. Not consistently but often changing transform properties (scale or position so far) on a .ai or an .eps file causes the crash. Sometimes it does sometimes it doesn't. Also seems something happened to my bridge application and it would not return any search results at all. I had to reset prefs and then still I had to manually open up every folder that I wanted to be included in searches before Bridge would return results from that folder. I think I might be having chest pains.
Well, all the talk I've heard about Adobe Support being terrible doesn't match my experience today. Call was answered within a minute or two and dude spent two hours remotely trouble shooting my issue. One we identified the problem, which was some freak of a bad driver release from Ugee and the weird Camera Raw update glitch that for whatever reason wreaked havok, I was able to get everything working correctly.
Thank you for sharing what worked!