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Probably a combination of evil circumstances. Both of your primary plug-ins are quite memory hungry and may not be perfectly adapted to CS4. Therefore it may be advisable to first render the key, then apply the effect. also make sure to check for the latest updates on Keylight...
Thanks for the suggestions. I really appreciate it.
I will think about doing what you suggest. But when I work with AE on my old system (Dell Precision 650, Dual 3 GHz Xeons), everything basically works fine and I can render whatever I am working on, including the comps in this present project. It just takes a lot longer with my old system. The reason I put out so much cash for this new setup is that I wanted to enter the 21st Century and work faster... And actually, I am working with CS3, not CS4.
Anyone else have any suggestions? Is there anyone out there who is using AE as part of CS3 Production Premium package? (on a dual quad PC)
Well, could still be the memory thing, especially since you have multicore processors. This by all means will use whatever multithreading optimizations the plugins have, even with multiprocessing off, so quite naturally they may run out of address space. The only other thing I could imagine would be compatibility issues with your graphics card, that may potentially clog up the screen buffer during renders. The quick fix would be to close the comp while rendering. If that's not it, then waiting those 2 more days for your RAM bars will be an exciting time for you... ;-)