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Comp renders as black screen, all standard settings

Community Beginner ,
Dec 02, 2012

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My AE comp renders as a full-length video of a black screen (with audio, when enabled). Comp plays fine in RAM preview, and I've tried all types of codecs and disabling RAM intensive effects, though I'm working on a quad-core i7 macbook pro with 8 gigs of RAM, so that shouldn't be a problem. Have followed tutorials to a T, and haven't found any help elsewhere online. Standard 1080p hd output. Please help!

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Comp renders as black screen, all standard settings

Community Beginner ,
Dec 02, 2012

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My AE comp renders as a full-length video of a black screen (with audio, when enabled). Comp plays fine in RAM preview, and I've tried all types of codecs and disabling RAM intensive effects, though I'm working on a quad-core i7 macbook pro with 8 gigs of RAM, so that shouldn't be a problem. Have followed tutorials to a T, and haven't found any help elsewhere online. Standard 1080p hd output. Please help!

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Dec 02, 2012 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 02, 2012

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What standard output?  Lossless? Animation Codec? H.264 .... We need to know more about your render settings.

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Dec 02, 2012 0
Community Beginner ,
Dec 02, 2012

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Thanks for the reply. I've tried the Lossless output module with Animation codec, MPEG-4 and some others. I've also tried the H.264 module and a few others, always with the same result. While rendering, the video won't even play in the composition window (I've heard that it does this, unless you have capslock enabled), it just turns into a black screen, and renders as such. Appreciate the help!

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Dec 02, 2012 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 02, 2012

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Do you have any 3rd party codec pacs installed. Try rendering a few frames as a jpg sequence or rendering just a single frame as a Photoshop file.

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Dec 02, 2012 1
Community Beginner ,
Dec 02, 2012

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No 3rd party codecs, and I rendered the entire thing as a jpg series and got about a thousand black squares. I'm new to the program, using it on a new computer, so I'm essentially using the program and render settings straight out of the box.

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Dec 02, 2012 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 03, 2012

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Assuming you are on CS6, set the comp viewer to final quality, turning off Fast previews. Furthermore, turn off the disk cache and check your graphics options. I suspect you have an issue there. Also monitor your rendering in Activity Monitor and verify, that actually there is processing activity and the auxiliary processes like the qtserver and dynamiclinkserver are active...

Mylenium

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Dec 03, 2012 1
Community Beginner ,
Dec 03, 2012

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Using CS6. Tried all of the above, still no luck. Activity monitor reads loud and clear that the computer is working hard on *something* the entire time, and those two auxiliary processes are active. What would there be to check on graphics options? (Thanks)

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Dec 03, 2012 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 03, 2012

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Just guessing around, honestly. Regarding Fast Previews it could be an issue with footage decoding. That old thing with front-/back buffers (on-screen/ off-screen buffers) where hardware accelerated stuff will show up when drawing it on screen, but not if the buffer is rendered void during final rendering. I would still suspect that some of that is involved, possibly even a similar thing in Quicktime or anotehr system library, but as a non-Mac person my knowledge on current versions is limited in that area.

Mylenium

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Dec 03, 2012 1
Dec 03, 2012

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Try an extremely simple test composition without any footage. Follow the instructions here and report back.

Also, we need more details if we're going to help you. Please provide answers to the questions listed here: "FAQ: What information should I provide when asking a question on this forum?"

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Dec 03, 2012 1
Community Beginner ,
Dec 03, 2012

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The basic test worked, and now I finally got it working by rebuilding the entire comp from the ground up, starting with just the jpg, then copy-pasting masks, effects, and so on, checking to make sure it was rendering correctly each step of the way. Still a complete mystery to me why it wasn't working in the first place, so I included all my info in case anyone has any clue what was going on. But the problem is solved (at least, the render is about halfway through now and, from the looks of it, it is actually processing the video this time), so thanks everyone very much for your help

  • What version of After Effects? CS6, version 11.0.2.11

  • What operating system? OSX 10.8.2

  • What kind(s) of source footage? A still .jpg

  • If you are getting error message(s), what is the full text of the error message(s)? No errors reported

  • What were you doing when the problem occurred? Rendering the composition

  • Has this ever worked before? Only with the basic video example I just tried

  • What other software are you running? None concurrently with rendering

  • Do you have any third-party effects or codecs installed? Nope

  • Tell us about your computer hardware. Include CPU type and number of processor cores, amount of RAM installed, GPU, number of disk drives, and how any external drives are connected.

Latest-generation macbook pro, Quad-core 2.6 GHz i7 processor, 8 gigs ram, 750 gig hard drive (non solid state, not even a quarter full), minimal stock NVIDIA graphics card with 1 gig ram

  • Do you have any third-party I/O hardware (e.g., AJA, Matrox, Blackmagic, MOTU)? No

  • Does the problem only happen with your final output, RAM preview, or both? Only with final output

  • What is the exact sequence of steps that you are taking?

I have now tried the following:

I created a new comp, web size, with just the original jpg, rendered fine

I created a new comp, HD size as in my original project, with just the original jpg, rendered fine

I copy-pasted all masks I used in the original onto the new version, renders fine

Copy-pasted effects, works fine

Now have completely rebuilt my project, will look closely to see if I can find any difference at all between the two projects now.

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Dec 03, 2012 1
New Here ,
Dec 19, 2013

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I had a similar problem with my AE CS6 with text layers. I tried to render the video but I only got black screen. I noticed that I had somehow my text layers checked as "guide layer". So I un-checked them and the render worked out well.

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Dec 19, 2013 5
Community Beginner ,
Jan 01, 2018

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All these years later, this is what fixed my issue.

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Jan 01, 2018 1
Community Beginner ,
Jun 28, 2018

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That was it for me! IDK what guide layer even does. But you helped save me 12 hours of work if I had to redo my shot.  *sigh* Thank you!

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Jun 28, 2018 0
New Here ,
Jul 20, 2018

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The guide layer prevented the render to work indeed. Un-checking the guide layer box solved the problem. Thank you very much!

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Jul 20, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Apr 09, 2020

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Still legitimate in 2020

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Apr 09, 2020 0
New Here ,
Feb 17, 2018

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I had the same problem with only TEXT layers in my composition, I fixed it after I added a SOLID layer to the background.

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Feb 17, 2018 0
New Here ,
May 18, 2018

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Hello everyone, I had this same problem & noticed that the fps was 8.  Video coming from one of those "online" conference services. Simply changed the fps to a higher number (in my case 24 fps) and solved. Cheers!

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May 18, 2018 2