What frame size is your comp? HD? Larger? Do you have very large nested precomps? Are you running into this error only when rendering, or while working in the timeline? If it's only during rendering, you may want to try to access the "secret" prefs by holding down the shift key while accessing the prefs. When the dialog box pops up, you can release shift and there should be an additional preference category at the bottom of the list called "secret". There you can "disable layer caching" and set the purge to as low as every frame (1) during render.
The Image Buffer error can typically pop up when you have very large footage files (like a 4K tif of psd for example) nested somewhere in one of your timelines. CS5, being 64-bit natively, can address much more RAM, allowing the handling of large format source files to be processed with ease.
If the issue is a enormous source file, then you may want to consider tiling the large image into smaller pieces, and then parent them together inside of AE (to animate them as needed). Crunching the numbers on four 1000x1000px layers is more readily achieved in CS4 and previous versions than crunching the numbers on one 4000x4000px layer.
Thanks for the reply... I do create complex comps and normally reduce massive files to the smallest suitable for obvious res reasons. The last project that was giving me the most grief was a 2minute comp (pal standard def. Square pix 1050x576) it basically comprised of stills no bigger than 1500pix combined with footage at standard def. I had a heap of these comps in 1 master comp... I then placed them all next to each other in 3d space and moved a camera around them... fairly simple with little or no plugins used. I did occaisionally get the error while working in the timeline but kept getting the error when rendering. The strange thing was that it never crashed at the same spot and even completed a full render once. The errors were strange too "Can't create 3500x4000 image buffer"
....dimensions in my project as mentioned were never greater than 1500.
Are you suggesting the secret menu will fix this (i'll certainly try it) but I am a little miffed as to why a res independant program that been around for years has these errors. I am concerned when I have to make everything HD soon that AE is going to kill me with me constantly having to tweak memory usage.
Cheers and thanks again
fairly simple with little or no plugins used.
The errors were strange too "Can't create 3500x4000 image buffer"
dimensions in my project as mentioned were never greater than 1500.
A buffer does not mean the size of the processing source. It accomodates the result of each and every processing step, including transforms and effects. That's exactly what happens here - you are using an effect that inflates the buffer and eats up all memory. That can be anything from blurs to a huge drop shadow. Same applies to temporal effects that need to hold multiple states in memory or large vector-based elements. The question would be, whether this is intended or you just mistweaked something or if you are using a flakey plug-in, e.g. an outdated older version of some effect. So generally speaking, you won't be able to fix your issues unless you find out what's the actual source. And i nall fairness, 2 GB per core is a bit thin. You might have more luck on this with simply not using MP and instead assigning full 4GB to the single AE instance left...
It's obvious you understand whats happening inside AE and appreciate your thoughts.
You're right I would love to find the source of my issues, I have tried as many configurations
as possible.. and as mentioned, the rendering error pops up at different points of timeline making
any diagnosis tricky and time consuming. I have not been using MP and have assigned various
memory amounts as you suggested, still to no avail. My partners system has 22 gigs of ram and
his machine turns up the same errors. My confusion gets greater with the fact that once when I adjusted
memory allocations I achieved a full render, thought great, I've solved it, but since then I havn't been able to
achieve a full render of the same project. Any thoughts on the secret menu?
Sorry Mylenium, silly question in last post (Any thoughts on the secret menu?) I should have gone and tried it before asking.
Good news is that when I disabled layer caching and set it to around 20 frames I achieved full renders on all my problematic projects.
So getting back to my original posts I obviously did not try everything. Anyway... Is there anything negative about using this menu? why is it secret?
Glad you tried that suggestion...
The only negative is that it may hinder performance when you do not need it enabled. So, after you render, and move on to your next project, access the menu again, and return the settings to their defaults.
Thanks for all help