I apologize for the length of this message. I have posted this message on Creative Cow and the Video CoPilot Forums.
I am working on a motion graphics animation tutorial for a board game company. For some reason my machine is not releasing RAM between shots in my Render Queue which causes my shots to "fail" (message Ae gives me) during the night when moving from one shot in the queue to the next. It seems that Ae uses up all of my RAM (64 gb) and does not release it even when a render is completed.
When I just render one shot at a time, a shot that at first give me an estimated time to complete of 2-hours, will just keep getting larger and larger. Sometimes estimating over 6-hours. When one of those shots does complete my RAM is not released by Ae. I am using the SystemPal app to monitor my system and the RAM that is being used. The only way to get the RAM back (purge does not work) is to restart Ae.
I have included a screen shot of one of my comps so you all can see the layers. The "Decks" are pre-comps with 25 layers in each (each card is 1200px tall at 72dpi). The three pre-comps near the top are overlay layers (animated drop-downs that explain rules when the VO talks about stuff) that are not 3D. I have 6 Element 3D layers; bottom is a table and chairs in the shot, the other 5 are token pools (3 of which are animated tokens moving from one area to another). For the most part, in E3D, I am leaving the particle size at the default 10 and upscaling my 3D objects in the E3D panel. The bottom pre-comp is a room (floor, walls, windows and a door. All 2D layers).
I thought there might be a bug with E3D in CC 2017, but I opened the project in CC 2015 and I run into the same issue. I have double checked and run a RAM test ("option D" on start up) on my machine and it came back clean. I am giving Ae 48 GB of my 64 GB of RAM. I tried using the "secret" menu to force Ae to dump the RAM after 25, 10, and 5 frames, but it does not seem to do anything; no change in render "failures" and it does not seem to dump the memory. I am monitoring my RAM using the SystemPal App that runs in the menu bar.
I went back to all of my E3D models and made sure they are not huge for vertices and faces. Right now my largest model (some curtains in the background) have 10,000 vertices and 4,000 faces. All of my tokens that are on the table are in the hundreds so I know they are small enough.
I double checked my textures for size. Nothing is over 2k and all of them are 72 dpi and in RGB color space. I have made almost a dozen videos using the same kinds of settings which is why I am so confused. I have not had this issue with my past issues.
I have trouble shot this thing all to hell and I cannot seem to find the issue. So now, here I am, asking you all. I think you in advance for your time. And, just to answer this before someone asks, I am doing all of this in Ae because that is what my company has given me. I don't have access to a dedicated 3D program.
Late 2013 MacPro running 10.11.6
3.5 GHz 6-core Xeon E5
64 GB 1866 MHz DDR3 ECC
AMD FirePro D500 3072 MB
After Effects CC 2017 126.96.36.199
Ae is utilizing 48 GB leaving 16 GB (memory preference)
Monitoring system RAM using SystemPal App (runs in menu bar)
Thank you again everyone. I look forward to hearing your thoughts