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You're going to have to get a bit more specific as your what kind of system you have, processor, RAM, OS, AE settings, etc.
All we have now is the assumption that you're running some Mac OS due to your reference to a the spinny beach ball of death.
Ah yes, of course, sorry, here goes:
Mac Pro 2 x 3 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
7 GB RAM
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.3
After Effects CS5
4,5 GB RAM available for AE
Enable adaptive resolution when OpenGL is enabled: off
Accelarate effect using OpenGL: enabled
Preview modes and viewer quality settings have no effect.
Basically just the out-of-the-box settings.
Comps are all 1280x720 / 25 fps
No footage, just RGB stills (JPEG, PSD, AI)
Effects applied: yes and no, that does not seem to matter.
No 3rd party filters/effects/plugins used
The strange thing is that it happens with the most basic, no frills comp too...
In my opinion I am doing exactly the same things, or less, as I was doing in AE CS4, with no trouble at all.
Try turning off every OpenGL option and remove it completely from the loop. Also, what graphics card do you have?
Just a quick update:
Disabling OpenGL altogether seems to keep the AE freezes and spinning beach balls away...
Woohoo! It is as I suspected. Perhaps an update on your graphics card will fix it so that you can once again incorporate OpenGL into your workflow. Or you can just do as I do and ignore it altogether.
I was just reading this, and it seems my ATI Radeon X1900 XT has been rendered "obsolete" by CS5:
Ah well, found the cause anyway.
For now I'll try to ignore OpenGL,
and in good time, when I need a present, give myself a new video card.
Thanks for the help.
I am having a lot of problems with my UI freezing in AE CS5. The projects are generally very small, and it seems to happen randomly. Sometimes I will merely click on a particular window and that particular window will "white out" and I get the little Windows spinning circle. Then when I click on another window, it also whites out. Sometimes this has happened when I tried to render something. Sometimes it happens when I try to save a project. There seems to be no pattern. I work with a variety of media, including SD, HD and image sequences (.png).
When the UI freezes, it never unfreezes. I have to shut down the program and open it again.
Thanks for any help.
WINDOWS 7 PROFESSIONAL 64-BIT
16 GB RAM (11 GB MADE AVAILABLE FOR AE)
DELL PRECISION T7400 WORKSTATION
DUAL QUAD CORE
NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 285 (NEWEST DRIVERS)
LOTS OF HARD DRIVE SPACE
OPENGL TURNED OFF IN PREFERENCES
ENABLE DISK CACHE TURNED OFF