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RAM preview issue or black screen preview in Ae (23.2.1 and previous) on a large project on M1 Mac.

Community Beginner ,
Mar 08, 2023 Mar 08, 2023

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Hi everybody,


I’ve got some ram preview issues or black screen preview in Ae 23 on a large project on M1 Mac.


  • RAM preview only 2 frames with error message about the insufficient memory
  • If I import another project into that project, the preview screen stays eternally black (and if I save the project in that state, I’m doomed)
  • —> I can no longer work / create new animation in that project because I have no way to preview them (of course I can export a render animation to look at it but it’s slow and erase the history which is complicated for going back on adjustments)
  • —> I need to create new animation in that project!


Adobe After Effects version number
Version 23.2.1 (Build 3)


Operating system
MacOS Ventura 13.2.1 // MacBook Pro 14" M1 Max 64Gb RAM 10 core CPU 32 core GPU


The project specificities

  • My project is large (1.88 Go file), with many comps, reasonable number of layers in it and many, many expressions. It takes at least 5 min for After Effects to open it and then 5 to 10 min for the preview to go from black to show the content.
  • No plugin used, only scripts (from aescripts like Ray Dynamic color) and some vectors imported through Overlord.
  • Lots of text imported from external JSON file.

The project issues
Working on it is ok, except:

  • No Ram preview (2 frames only), even with the green bar preview on a larger area
  • Really slow to rename composition and layers (30 sec to 1 min after hitting « enter »)
  • Really slow to create a new text layer (1 or 2 min before being able to type text)
  • Really slow to draw a shape layer (rectangle for example)
  • Preview goes black if I try to import any other Ae project in it (even with just a comp with a shape layer)
  • After Effects uses from 58 to 90 Go of RAM (or SWAP) in the task monitor (and sometimes 128, but at that level it need to be shut down).

My concern

  • I know that my project is a little bit too large and that why it’s slow, but on my previous machine (iMac 2017 64 Gb ram) I was able to RAM preview my animations without issues. Which is no longer the case since I’ve got the M1. Even in Ae 22 (which was by the way, before the release of the 23.2.1, five time faster than the 23 version for rendering the compositions of that project).
    I’ve tried to import new animation through other project without success.
    I’m convinced the machine is really capable but I don’t understand why a 6 years old machine was able to do better in ram previewing.
  • I’ve tried to :
    • Empty cache
    • Purge memory —> After Effect seems to not doing any purge unless it’s quitted and relaunched
    • Cache on external hard drive (nvme ssd in thunderbolt 3)
    • Clear preferences
    • Change preferences in many ways
    • Reboot the computer


  • I can reduce the project size (to 153 Mo) by deleting some compositions. And after quitting / re-openning Ae, the preview works normal
    —> If I do so, how can I fuse the 2 projects in one at the end ? (Problem of the preview going black)


If you have read all my story till here: thank you 😉

If any of you have an idea, I’d be happy to test it!


Best to you all,



P.S: Adobe team, please, please make autosave available in background, a feature requested since ancien times and for sure the most annoying, frustrating and creative process breaking issue in Ae.

Bug Unresolved






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