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  • After Effects Freezing/Crashing

    Posted by Adam China on April 5, 2022 at 3:49 pm

    Hi, I’ve just installed a clean version of Windows 10 to troubleshoot this issue – but to no avail. I was merrily working away on AE 2022 for weeks but just this Monday I ran into a MAJOR issue!

    When I hit space bar to play the RAM preview AE freezes/crashes and the frame looks like the attached image. The clip is reduced to top left with a black border on the right/below. Before it finally crashes, moving the timeline kind of works but it lags and finally gives in with freeze/not responding.

    So far I’ve played with all RAM/Disk Cache settings and reduced preview size to quarter resolution etc. However, nothing seems to solve this problem.

    I’ve also tried this on AE 2020 and my machine does the same thing. This led me to believe that my computer is infected/corrupted but I’ve now installed a brand new Windows and the same thing happens. What could this be? Has anyone experienced this? I looked around on YouTube but no one seems to have experienced this. It’s so strange as it was working perfectly up to the other day.

    <font face=”inherit”>Any help is greatly </font>appreciated<font face=”inherit”> on this,</font>

    Many thanks,


    Chris Voelz replied 2 years, 2 months ago 3 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • Mads Nybo jørgensen

    April 5, 2022 at 4:02 pm

    Hey Adam,

    Re-installing Windows 10 sounds extreme, so you might already have tried everything.

    My first stop would be the video card?
    How does the video look like if you export it out, is it full frame, or small on black “frame”?

    Next stop would be to check the hard-disk if there is enough space on it? (silly question, I know, but sometimes the footage ends up on the main-drive, rather than media drive)
    Might be worth running a scan on the hard-drive (SSD) to check if there are any bad sectors, or similar issues.

  • Chris Voelz

    April 5, 2022 at 4:25 pm

    It could also be the codec of the video file. It might be something either your computer doesn’t like or one that After Effects doesn’t like. Try converting to a coded like H.264, ProRes or DNxHD if not currently using.

    Does AE freeze when not using the file in question?

  • Adam China

    April 5, 2022 at 6:20 pm

    Thanks for this. The codec of the imported clip is H.264. I have many other clips using this codec but no issues with those. What other clip parameters could be problematic?

    Strangely I was having no issues with my workflow of importing footage from my phone via livestream app (obs) but suddenly it stopped working. Which led me to believe it must be my PC. But perhaps I need to take a closer look at the details of these vlog clips – as all other stock footage with same codec don’t pose a problem. Any ideas?

    Thanks a lot for your considerations on this,


  • Adam China

    April 5, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks for your response. I think the hardware is ok, I’ve been using a GTX 1080 and a fairly decent SSD for a while with no issues.

    I’m thinking it might be the format of some clips I’m using. All of my stock clips work fine, it’s just the vlog clips I’m using via livestream software OBS, they’re the problem I think. Even though they’re all H.264 I’ve been using this workflow fine for weeks, so I’m surprised! Any ideas do let me know! Very much appreciated.



  • Mads Nybo jørgensen

    April 5, 2022 at 6:38 pm

    It is a common issue that not all h264 clips are equal.

    Send through Adobe media encoder and output to ProRes, should hopefully make those clips “stable” to use.

    Do let us know if that solves the problem.

  • Adam China

    April 5, 2022 at 7:29 pm

    Unfortunately it crashed during export to ProRes. So some h264 clips are dodgy then? ah, good to know. Shame about that though. Here’s my OBS encoding options… attached. Which would you use for AE import?

    Thanks so much!


  • Adam China

    April 5, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    I don’t seem to be able to convert it to any other format it seems. The file plays fine but it can’t be edited or converted – so it’s partially corrupted? Or perhaps you know of a workaround? I tried another online converter but it failed too. I may have to use another editing program like kinemaster perhaps to get this edited.

  • Chris Voelz

    April 5, 2022 at 8:16 pm

    Some of those third party aps use a variable frame rate. I’ve had success sending them through Handbrake to convert. Make sure to set the frame rate to a locked variable (23.976, 29.97, 59.94, etc.). The variable frame rate often causes havoc inside Adobe programs in my experience.

  • Adam China

    April 5, 2022 at 8:23 pm

    It’s set to 30 so hopefully it should be fixed to that. The bitrate is CBR. Which I think should make it fixed bitrate too? But not sure. I’ve just learnt that the file is corrupted at 1:31 and that is the only point in the video that fails on playback through windows media player. This is seemingly stopping it from being converted, transferred or edited. Is this a lost file do you think? Scrap it and re shoot? I’m unaware of any way of reviving it. Just a split second of the video is causing the issue. : |

  • Chris Voelz

    April 5, 2022 at 8:37 pm

    VLC can sometimes recover corrupted files. You can also try exporting up to and then after the point that won’t play back.

    I would also double check the stats of the video when playing it back. Depending on the quality of the stream and computer hardware the frame rate could be unstable. You can access those stats in VLC, not sure about Windows Media Player.

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