7 Replies Latest reply on Jun 21, 2011 5:50 AM by bryab

    Unsafe Operation Attempted

    bryab Level 1



      I have been getting this error almost *constantly* when working with a few projects lately.  This is AE 10.0.2 on Snow Leopard 10.6.7.

      I work with a team of about 12 animators, and all of us have this same problem.  It strikes when we change any effects that have to do with colors, I believe.  Commonly affects Hue/Sat, Curves, Tritone, etc.  The error window comes up, and keeps coming up, after hitting OK.  It usually pops on about 10 times before it finally goes away.  Very, very annoying.


      Anyone have any idea how to prevent this?  Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Unsafe Operation Attempted
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          I'd probably have a better idea of how to prevent the error if I had some idea of what was involved in your project. Any of these could be causing problems:

          • 3rd party plug-ins
          • frame (comp) size
          • Open GL drivers
          • codec of the source footage
          • 3rd party codecs installed
          • corrupted fonts
          • 8 or 16 bit effects in a 32 bit project
          • anti virus products (but not likely as you're on a Mac)
          • AE not up to date ( is the latest)
          • and lots more


          Without a little more information your question is as hard to answer as my favorite question.


          Why is blue?

          • 2. Re: Unsafe Operation Attempted
            bryab Level 1

            I would be curious to know if there are have been any known causes for this error in the past.  It's hard for me to guess what is causing it.


            AE version:








            3rd party plugins:


                 Trapcode Particular, Red Giant Psunami (both updated to latest versions)


            Project settings:


                 Color profile: sRGB


            Comp settings:


                 1920x1080, square pixels, 23.976


            openGL drivers:


                 openGL is disabled.


            source footage:


                 PNG 24 bit files, PSD files (cs5), AI files (cs5), quicktime (H264, AAC)


            3rd party codecs installed:


                 ProRes 4444, ProRes 422 HQ


            corrupted fonts:


                 not sure.  only a few extra fonts installed and i havent had problems with any of them.


            effects used:




            Some other stuff to note:


                 The problem happens intermittently.  I am currently having a hard to reproducing it in a project that was giving me the error all day yesterday.

                 I do know that simply using Hue/Saturation produces this error, even if the layer is soloed. However, if I copy the layer into a new comp and adjust the settings for Hue/Sat there, the problem goes away.  I use this as a workaround at the moment.

                 The problem happens usually when moving sliders back and forth on effects, not when explicitly entering a value.

            • 3. Re: Unsafe Operation Attempted
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              If your source footage is H264 that could be a big part of your problem. It takes a huge amount of memory and processing power to decode that footage to a usable frame based format. I'd highly recommend transcoding your compressed footage to Pro Rez 10 bit. If the H264 footage is coming from DSLR's then I'd recommend Magic Bullet Grinder for the transcode.


              As a test you could transcode a single clip and then pound on it for a day or two. You might also want to run some render tests. Pro Rez or some other frame based codec like PhotoJPG as source footage with the standard effects applied VS the same project with H264 footage as the source.


              That's my best suggestion for now. Let us know how it works out.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Unsafe Operation Attempted
                Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                I tend to agree with Rick. The most likely cause is one of your footages and the error usually only pops up, when effects use a specific processing mode that accesses the footage directly and then don't find the pixel data in the way they would expect, throwing off their internal logic... This would in particular be true for "sloppy" H.264/ AVCHD formats, where cameras do not close GOPs or do not write index markers for new shots/ takes... Short of converting it, I'm not aware of avoiding the problem, as this touches upon hardwired routines in MediaCore and Quicktime usually, but perhaps you can play with your camera's recording settings to use a different data rate or GOP pattern. Many times this can be enough to avoid the issues associated with these long-GOP formats.



                • 5. Re: Unsafe Operation Attempted
                  bryab Level 1

                  Hey guys, thanks so much for your advice on this.  Unfortunately, eliminating the H264/AAC footage did not solve the problem.  This is a 2D animation project -- we are not using any camera footage -- and the Quicktime file was only for a guide animatic.  I have converted it to Animation/PCM, and I am still getting the problem, so I don't think that was the issue. 


                  I am honestly surprised that this is a unique problem, considering that all the computers in our studio seem to have it, and they are brand new installs of Snow Leopard and CS5.


                  Could there be some other culprit? I am not currently using any of the plugins I have installed, but could they still cause errors like this?  Maybe some information about my hardware would be helpful (all computers in the studio have the same basic hardware):


                  Model Name:     iMac

                    Model Identifier:     iMac12,2

                    Processor Name:     Intel Core i7

                    Processor Speed:     3.4 GHz

                    Number of Processors:     1

                    Total Number of Cores:     4

                    L2 Cache (per Core):     256 KB

                    L3 Cache:     8 MB

                    Memory:     16 GB

                    Boot ROM Version:     IM121.0047.B0A

                    SMC Version (system):     1.72f1


                  AMD Radeon HD 6970M:


                    Chipset Model:     AMD Radeon HD 6970M

                    Type:     GPU

                    Bus:     PCIe

                    PCIe Lane Width:     x16

                    VRAM (Total):     1024 MB

                    Vendor:     ATI (0x1002)

                    Device ID:     0x6720

                    Revision ID:     0x0000

                    ROM Revision:     113-C2960H-188

                    EFI Driver Version:     01.00.544



                    Resolution:     2560 x 1440

                    Pixel Depth:     32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)

                    Main Display:     Yes

                    Mirror:     Off

                    Online:     Yes

                    Built-In:     Yes

                    Connection Type:     DisplayPort

                  HP 2009:

                    Resolution:     1600 x 900 @ 60 Hz

                    Pixel Depth:     32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)

                    Display Serial Number:     3CQ9450LJ7 

                    Mirror:     Off

                    Online:     Yes

                    Rotation:     Supported

                  • 6. Re: Unsafe Operation Attempted
                    Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                    Nobody can rule out anything, but I've just forgotten where I stashed my last million to buy an iMac for testing (or rather, times being tough, I'm being more or less broke at the moment). If the issue occurs on al lyour machines it would indicate a common problem which could be down to the hardware and/or software and its configuration. Anything from display issues to custom Quicktime extensions to haxies to network access. Without intense tracing and debugging using geek tools I see no way to unriddle this, though. You'd have to do some serious logging and monitoring here. As a minor, it might be worth checiking your system logs and see if they show some generic errors like fialed startup items or network access dropping out. Also run activity monitor while working. maybe it wil llist something suspicious or show odd peaks in teh performnce curves, which could indicate stalling processes that may have something to do with this...



                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Unsafe Operation Attempted
                      bryab Level 1

                      Thanks for the help.  I'll try to look at logs and figure out what's going on.