15 Replies Latest reply on Mar 3, 2010 5:06 PM by ChrisProsser

    Is my computer up to the task?

    Kevin Elmore Level 1

      I am trying to render a short 18-second movie, and it keeps failing after rendering 3 to 4 seconds of it.  No warning messages come up, which I guess is good, but I don't understand why the render fails.

       

      I know that my computer is not ahead of the curve, but I would think it's a decent enough production machine.  I would love to get some input from someone with far more experience than me in this.

       

      Here is my information:

       

      My Computer information:

      Windows XP SP 3

      Intel Core Duo CPU E8600 @ 3.33 GHz

      3.25 GB of RAM

       

      After Effects information:

      Enable Disk Cache is not checked

      Installed CPUs (processor cores): 2

      Installed RAM: 3.25 GB

      Total After Effects memory usage: 1.2 GB

      RAM to leave for other applications: 0.5 GB

       

      The file I'm working with is about 1.8 GB in size.  It is an uncompressed AVI recorded at 1920 x 1200.  So, it's quite huge for an 18-second movie, but it would still seem like chump change when compared to the typical AE project.

       

      Kevin

        • 1. Re: Is my computer up to the task?
          Todd_Kopriva Level 8

          You didn't say what version of After Effects you're using. After Effects CS4 with the 9.0.2 update?

           

          With so little RAM, be sure that Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously is turned off. Also, just as a side note, 3.25GB of RAM is a strange amount. I'm not saying that this is your problem, but I have heard many reports of problems with RAM not installed as matched pairs.

           

          You can view information about the current render operation or view the log file to see what is happening at the time that the render fails. For example, does the render fail when a layer with a third-party effect on it begins?

           

          Finally, when you say that the render fails, what do you mean? Does the computer freeze? Does the computer make a sheep sound? (That last one isn't a joke. That's actually the sound that After Effects makes under certain conditions.)

          • 2. Re: Is my computer up to the task?
            Kevin Elmore Level 1

            Sorry, I am using v9.0.0.346.  So, I'm not using the 9.0.2 update.  Actually, this is the trial version, as we are ascertaining if this is the right tool for what we need.  So far, I'm struggling with this, but I am not experienced enough to know if this is user error or a problem with the file.

             

            I was also puzzled by the 3.25 GB of RAM.  My IT contact has assured me that I do have two physical sticks of 2 GB.  He believes that Windows has taken a chunk for the paging file.

             

            The computer does not freeze.  The render simply fails.  The status comes up as "Failed at 0:00:3:23."  I do have "Errors Only" selected for my log, but I don't see a .log file in my project folder.

             

            Though, a couple of times, I have seen this error message:

            After Effects: AEGP Plugin Media IO Plugin:

            MediaIO2 error:0x4

            Not enough memory to complete this encoding.

            (5027::12)

             

            Though, this has been with a different AVI file (one that doesn't import properly probably due to some weirdness in the container).  I did not receive that message with my cleaner AVI file.

             

            Does that explain a bit more?  Should I shoot for the upgrade to 9.0.2, even though it's a trial version.  From what I've seen, the trial version acts just like the full retail version, so I can give it a shot.

             

            Kevin

            • 3. Re: Is my computer up to the task?
              Kevin Elmore Level 1

              Todd_Kopriva wrote:

               

              With so little RAM, be sure that Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously is turned off.

               

              Oh, and I forgot to address this one.  This box is indeed unchecked.

               

              I appreciate your time and attention.

               

              Kevin

              • 4. Re: Is my computer up to the task?
                Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                >  I do have "Errors Only" selected for my log, but I don't see a .log file in my project folder.

                 

                from "Render Settings":

                 

                "You can choose how much information After Effects writes to a render log file. If you choose Errors Only, After Effects only creates the file if errors are encountered during rendering. If you choose Plus Settings, a log file is created that lists the current render settings. If you choose Plus Per Frame Info, a log file is created that lists the current render information about the rendering of each frame. When a log file has been written, the path to the log file appears under the Render Settings heading and Log menu."

                 

                You can learn a lot by looking at the per-frame information and seeing where a render stopped.

                 

                Also, what format and codec are you rendering and exporting to? Can you do a RAM preview of the offending section of your composition? Can you render and export the same composition as a still-image sequence?

                 

                Note that the trial version of After Effects doesn't support several codecs, including all of the MPEG-based codecs. (There are licensing restrictions on thoses codecs in the free trial version.) I would think that you'd encounter a problem trying to use an unsupported codec earlier than partway through a render, but it is something to keep in mind as you're evaluating the trial version.

                • 5. Re: Is my computer up to the task?
                  Kevin Elmore Level 1

                  Sadly, I do not have the rights to install the 9.0.2 patch, but I have a request put in for that.  Since the patch blog announces that this patch fixes a lot of things, I'll hold off on further renders until I can get the patch.  I'll answer the questions that I can, though.

                   

                  Note that the trial version of After Effects doesn't support several codecs, including all of the MPEG-based codecs. (There are licensing restrictions on thoses codecs in the free trial version.) I would think that you'd encounter a problem trying to use an unsupported codec earlier than partway through a render, but it is something to keep in mind as you're evaluating the trial version.

                   

                  Aha.  I do recall that now.  I'm not trying to use MPEG for this export.  But that does explain away my coworker's bemusement when I told her that H.264 wasn't an option.

                   

                  Also, what format and codec are you rendering and exporting to? Can you do a RAM preview of the offending section of your composition? Can you render and export the same composition as a still-image sequence?

                   

                  This error happens when I export to Windows Media 9.  That is the desired output for this project.  I tried the still-image sequence, and I was able to render PNGs just fine.

                   

                  I'm a little unsure about the RAM preview.  I did place the timeline marker a few frames before the 4-second mark (where it usually stops at 3:23 or 4:01 base 24).  I clicked on the button that displays "RAM Preview" on the far right of the Preview pane (a modified Play symbol).  It seems to run through it fine.  I didn't notice any problems, unless I just didn't see it in 1/24 of a second.  Is that what you mean?

                   

                  You can learn a lot by looking at the per-frame information and seeing where a render stopped.

                   

                  I can see that now.  Sadly, I don't have enough experience to ascertain if I'm doing anything wrong, but I have pasted the results below.  It looks okay to me, anyway.  I did get the sheep on this render, though.  So, whatever is going on, it's not consistent (that I can see).

                   

                  Adobe After Effects v9.0 (Windows) render log for project “Prototype Project.aep”


                  Rendering started on 3/3/2010 at 12:38:24 PM


                    3/3/2010 12:38:24 PM: Starting composition “Prototype Project”.


                    Render Settings: Best Settings
                    Quality: Best
                    Resolution: Full
                    Size: 1920 x 1200
                    Proxy Use: Use No Proxies
                    Effects: Current Settings
                    Disk Cache: Read Only
                    Color Depth: Current Settings
                    Frame Blending: On for Checked Layers
                    Field Render: Off
                    Pulldown: Off
                    Motion Blur: On for Checked Layers
                    Use OpenGL: Off
                    Solos: Current Settings
                    Time Span: Comp Length
                    Start: 0:00:00:00
                    End: 0:00:18:23
                    Duration: 0:00:19:00
                    Frame Rate: 24.00 (comp)
                    Guide Layers: All Off
                    Storage Overflow: On
                    Skip Existing Files: Off
                   
                    Output Module: Lossless
                    Output To: C:\Documents and Settings\elmorek\Desktop\Blue Tube Work\AE Prototype\Prototype Project_4.wmv
                    Format: Windows Media
                    Output Info: -
                    Include: Project Link & Source XMP Metadata
                    Output Audio: 48.000 kHz / 16 bit / Stereo
                    Channels: RGB
                    Depth: Millions of Colors
                    Color: Premultiplied
                    Stretch: -
                    Crop: -
                    Final Size: 1920 x 1200
                    Profile:  -
                    Embed Profile: 
                    
                    Post-Render Action: None
                      
                    0:00:00:00 (1): 1 Seconds
                  .

                    .

                    .
                    0:00:03:21 (94): 1 Seconds
                  After Effects: AEGP Plugin Media IO Plugin:
                  MediaIO2 error: 0x4
                  Not enough memory to complete this encoding. (5027  ::  12)
                    3/3/2010 12:39:01 PM: Finished composition “Prototype Project”.

                  • 6. Re: Is my computer up to the task?
                    Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                    Turn off the "Include XMP" metadata option in your render settings. There is a known issue, where too much XMP data is generated on a per frame basis rather than per clip and when the program triews to embedd it all, it will exceed the allowed allocation for custom user data in some file formats and/or will be unable to retain it all in memory, resulting in render failures. This may help.

                     

                    Mylenium

                    • 7. Re: Is my computer up to the task?
                      Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                      The fact that you're able to do a RAM preview and the fact that you're able to render and export to a still-image sequence tells me that the _rendering_ phase is going fine. People usually lump the rendering and encoding/exporting phases together, but there are actually two things happening in series. The rendering phase creates a bunch of uncompressed frames, and then those uncompressed frames are sent through the output module for encoding/compression. If the rendering were failing, it would be failing when rendering the RAM preview or for the still image sequence; the rendering is the same in all of these cases.

                       

                      So, it seems that the problem is in the stage where the uncompressed frames are being encoded for Windows Media. I'm sorry to say that I don't have detailed experience with that encoder; I mostly use QuickTime, FLV, and F4V containers for finished movies, and I mostly work with image sequences for intermediate files.

                       

                      Maybe someone else will chime in, but I do have a general recommendation: After Effects is good at creating pristine images, but it's not the best tool for encoding and compressing movies for final delivery. By far the most common professional workflow is to create image sequences or losslessly compressed movies from After Effects and then use a dedicated encoding application (Adobe Media Encoder, QuickTime Professional, Windows Media Encoder, Sorenson Squeeze, etc.) to do the final encoding and compression to create the efficiently compressed files that you'll distribute over the Web, etc.

                      • 8. Re: Is my computer up to the task?
                        Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                        Oh, I also see that your output module settings are for Lossless files.

                         

                        Are you using losslessly encoded files for final delivery? Unlikely. Those files would be huge.

                         

                        Try switching the codec to something else in the format options.

                        • 9. Re: Is my computer up to the task?
                          Kevin Elmore Level 1

                          Mylenium wrote:

                           

                          Turn off the "Include XMP" metadata option in your render settings. There is a known issue, where too much XMP data is generated on a per frame basis rather than per clip and when the program triews to embedd it all, it will exceed the allowed allocation for custom user data in some file formats and/or will be unable to retain it all in memory, resulting in render failures. This may help.

                           

                          Mylenium

                           

                          That's good to know.  I'll be sure to include that in our documentation if we do purchase AE.  Sadly, that doesn't seem to be the culprit, as I still cannot encode the WMV (switching to new terminology now).

                           

                          Kevin

                          • 10. Re: Is my computer up to the task?
                            Kevin Elmore Level 1

                            Todd_Kopriva wrote:

                             

                            Oh, I also see that your output module settings are for Lossless files.

                             

                            Are you using losslessly encoded files for final delivery? Unlikely. Those files would be huge.

                             

                            Try switching the codec to something else in the format options.

                             

                            Now here is where I shine a spotlight on my ignorance.  I'm not sure how to remove the Based on "Lossless" setting in the Output Module.  It continues to say that whether I change the output to WMV, MOV, or AVI.  I can't seem to drop that.

                             

                            Kevin

                            • 11. Re: Is my computer up to the task?
                              Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                              >  I'm not sure how to remove the Based on "Lossless" setting in the Output Module.  It continues to say that whether I change the output to WMV, MOV, or AVI.  I can't seem to drop that.

                               

                               

                              Oh, I see. That's just the name that the output module gets when you've started with the Lossless template and modified settings. I was just making sure that you had selected the appropriate video codec, which you can choose when you click Format Options in the Output Module Settings dialog box.

                              • 12. Re: Is my computer up to the task?
                                Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                                So, are you able to create a movie out of After Effects in another format and encode that movie using the free standalone Windows Media Encoder application?

                                • 13. Re: Is my computer up to the task?
                                  Kevin Elmore Level 1

                                  Todd_Kopriva wrote:

                                   

                                  So, are you able to create a movie out of After Effects in another format and encode that movie using the free standalone Windows Media Encoder application?

                                   

                                  I was able to do that.  I created an uncompressed AVI file and then ran it through WME with outstanding results.  So, it sounds like this extra step will be required if we purchase AE.  Still, the end result looks pretty good, so I can't complain too much.

                                   

                                  Seems like size is indeed an issue.  I cropped my original video to only 800 x 600 and then replaced the footage in my AE Project.  But, that produced an WMV just fine.

                                   

                                  I'm hoping to have our IT person install the patch tomorrow, and I'll see if the patch fixed that issue.  If not, then I do have the workaround with WME.  I appreciate that suggestion.

                                   

                                  Kevin

                                  • 14. Re: Is my computer up to the task?
                                    Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    Glad to hear you got your problem resolved. To confirm what Todd said, we always encode a lossless file out of AE and use Adobe Media Encoder to do our final renders as well. All the people I know do it that way (or using some other compressor like Quicktime Pro).

                                     

                                    As someone starting off in AE you will probably benefit greatly from this page. It's full of links to free training including this great walkthrough of the basics of AE.  Once you get your update you might want to check them out.

                                    • 15. Re: Is my computer up to the task?
                                      ChrisProsser Adobe Employee

                                      Also I see you are running on XP 32. That limits AE to only using 2GB of ram. Using a 64 bit OS will help with this problem

                                      tremendously.

                                       

                                      --chris (adobe)