I've been working on a 13 minute promotional video for a non-profit summer camp. It is made up of mostly still images with some ken burns effects, a narration track, a music track, some titles, and some logo overlays.
I am doing this on a 3.2 Ghz P4 with only 1.5G ram under XP sp3. I realize this is not an ideal PPro box.
Windows XP is configured to use 2 drives for VM paging (3Gigs each). All drives have over 100gigs of free space on them.
Now until recently I've only had a couple of small issues which I suspected were related to trying to do this in a low memory environment. In one case a flash render would die at the same point every time (error was something along the lines of "did not return a valid frame"), and simply scaling down the still image clip at that point in the sequence so that it was closer to the project size took care of it. That method also helped in a few cases where some images would not render at all, and just appeared as black screens in the final video (the render process did not fail, but the end result was missing clips).
Then there was one case it seemed to fail at random points. A simple reboot took care of that, and it exported just fine.
But now, however..... Now it's back to failing at random points (sometimes it gets 3500 frames in... sometimes as far as 13400... or anywhere in between) and additionally, by viewing the incomplete flash video file with VLC (which I need to do in order to find out where it failed because PPro never tells me) I find that some of the images are black screens, as before.
The problem now, is that it's never the same point of failure, and it's never the same images blacked out. And rebooting and or killing off extra processes does not help.
Now this was rendering fine last week. Here's the kicker - I haven't changed much of anything since then. The project is still the same length, with just about the same number of cuts, tracks, and assets used. The only things I've done since then are:
1) I duplicated the sequence so that I can make some changes unique to the web-version of the video, and still save the old sequence to go back to. The old sequence has remained untouched and I haven't even looked at it since then.
2) Created 2 new titles and inserted them in place of some old ones in the new sequence which weren't appropriate for the web version of the video (only the text is different in these new titles... they are the same style, size, etc. as the old ones they replaced)
3) I shortened some empty time/space/pauses between sections of the sequence.
So those are all minor changes... but I can't shake the rendering issue no matter how many times I restart or scale down an image that was blacked out or appears at one of the random points of outright failure (again, with the "did not return a valid frame" issue).
I did notice that after I duplicated the original sequence, the project takes much longer to open. Does having another sequence present in the asset bin use that much more resources? Even if the clips in that 2nd sequence use the same assets as another? I'm tempted to remove the original sequence and see what happens, but I don't want to lose it and have to un-edit the web version whenever I want to go back and re-render the DVD version.
So basically I'm looking for anything that might cause the small changes I made to be giving me so much grief now.
Any input is appreciated. Thanks.