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How After Effects handles low memory issues while previewing

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    5. How After Effects handles low memory issues while previewing

After Effects 22.5 previewed only five frames when there was not enough memory for it to cache frames for preview. With a new update in version 22.6, it also displays a low memory warning banner.

Low memory warning banner
Low memory warning banner

After Effects low memory warning

After Effects version 22.5 attempted to cache five frames for preview even when it crossed the memory allocated for After Effects in the RAM available for option in the Preferences dialog box. (See Memory preferences).

The Preferences > Memory setting in After Effects
The Preferences > Memory setting in After Effects

With the new updates in After Effects version 22.6, you also get notified with a low memory warning banner and informs that it would extend the assigned RAM to cache the frames for preview.

Scenarios when After Effects may not have enough memory to cache frames for preview and reduces the preview range significantly:

  • The memory specified in the RAM available for preference sets the available memory for After Effects and Premiere Pro, Character Animator, Media Encoder, Photoshop, and Audition. If a number of these applications are open, then the share of the allowed memory for After Effects is low. See Increase available memory for After Effects.
  • Third-party effects also share assigned memory and can contribute to high memory usage. This shrinks the preview range as you continue to work on the project. See Identify effects that do not release memory appropriately.

Increase available memory for After Effects

  1. Increase the amount of memory available to After Effects in the preferences (macOS: After Effects > Preferences > Memory & Performance > RAM available for. Windows: File > Preferences > Memory & Performance > RAM available for.)

  2. Close all unused Adobe apps. 

  3. Restart After Effects.  

Identify effects that do not release memory appropriately

If the workaround does not help, you can identify and remove effects that are contributing to high memory usage and not releasing memory appropriately.

  1. Preview / Playback the project.  

  2. Purge using Edit > Purge > All Memory & Disk Cache

  3. Note the memory usage by After Effects in Activity Monitor or Task Manager. 

  4. Repeat steps 12, and 3 a few times.

  5. If the memory usage as noted in step 3 keeps increasing, you have an effect in your project that keeps consuming memory without releasing it back to the system.

  6. Remove a suspect effect and restart After Effects.

  7. Repeat steps 1 to 6 until you have singled out the effect that does not release memory appropriately.

Once you have identified the effect that is causing this issue, report it and avoid using this effect.

 Adobe

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