Do you have any funky video codecs installed? You might also want to check the fonts folder. On a clean machine with your specs AE should run just fine.
No funky codecs and the fonts are all okay. I still have AE CS4
installed and it runs just fine. I would switch back if I hadn't
already built an entire program in CS5. CS5 also crashes quite a
bit. One other note: When the spinning ball ends (after about 2
minutes), the mouse is always crazy for a several seconds. It
highlights everything no matter what panel I'm in. I have to hit esc
several times and cycle through different tools to get it back to
Any non standard drivers, 3rd party mouse, tablet?
Silly me. Just checked. You're running Leopard 10.5.8. Do you have all of the AE updates installed?
AE runs much better on Snow Leopard 10.6
It seems to me that Todd had some recommendations for Leopard but I can't find them. With all of that RAM I'd suggest you seriously consider an OS upgrade.
I agree with Rick. It's probably an issue in a system library that AE uses and that only got fixed in 10.6.x.
I will try that and let you know if it works.
Here's something else to do: If you just upgraded, chances are good you may not have the free update to AE 10.0.1 (or later). It solves a lot of problems. Just look under Help>Update.
Unfortunately, that was the first thing I did with no luck.