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OSX Catalina: 10.15.7
2019 iMac 128GB RAM
Everything was working very well until this last update.
My laptop can render the same files without crashing, same OSX.
Tried local files, turned off hardware excelleration, turned off GPU, re-installed Catalina, PRAM, permissions, everything. Even playing a single mov file in a comp does this.
It locks up and crashes entire machine. this happens when I try to render or RAM preview any file.
Open the Creative Cloud app, find After Effects and click on the three dots to the right of the Open button and select Previous versions, revert to the last build that was working. Problem solved for now.
Sorry for your issue.
Are you using any third-party plug-in for After Effects? Have you considered clearing the media cache and resetting the preferences?
Let us know if it helps.
Turns out its not After Effects specific, its happening all the time now...