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URGENT: Grey / Missing Preview Thumbnail(s) Causes Crash

Community Beginner ,
Feb 17, 2019 Feb 17, 2019

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I've posted this query a few times and haven't received any suitable advice. I'm calling this Urgent now, b/c this issue is seriously, seriously affecting my workflow. Like, move-to-new-editing-program serious.

The issue: often, when opening a project, a preview thumbnail is not created for a random clip(s) (see attached image below). Whenever this happens, a crash is guaranteed either when I a) Try to export, b) Try to save & close PPro, c) When collecting files for backup.

Why it's a problem: At times, I can't do a final render, without opening/closing/quitting/restarting/restarting machine multiple times until by some miracle all thumbnails have rendered, and I can export. It's not b/c of the clip, the missing thumbnail would be for any clip in the project, and is different every time. At times I have had to screw around for an hour or two just to export a simple project.

This is a HUGE issue for me when collecting. My business is in creating many small projects, and I backup to an external drive. I'd say half the time I open a project, there is a thumbnail issue and when I collect it hangs at the 'Analyzing Project...' stage (see image below), requiring a force-quit. If I've got 50 projects to back up, this literally adds hours to my day.

I've tried:

  • Disabling CUDA
  • Clearing cache
  • Importing project into another project
  • Re-starting everything, even the machine
  • Working with only PPro open
  • Turning hover scrub off
  • Updated graphics drivers
  • Most recent version of PPro
  • Building a completely new PC thinking it was a hardware issue. That was a very expensive effort to fix this.
  • Waving a burning chicken leg over my monitors

... and lots of other stuff. LOTS of other stuff. The only thing that sometimes works is to view the bin in list view (not thumbnails) but this is unworkable b/c I NEED to use hover scrub thumbnails feature to edit. And I still get crashes, just not as often. So that is no solution at all.

PC, latest CC, updated Win 10 pro. Most of my footage files come from Sony a7s, the files are .MTS.

I need a solution here, folks, this is killing my productivity and at times even my ability to deliver.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 17, 2019 Feb 17, 2019

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The issue is probably in those MTS files or workflow.

How are you getting them onto your computer ... uploading complete folder-structure from card, grabbing just files, what? And how do you ingest them into Pr?

Neil

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 18, 2019 Feb 18, 2019

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I Drag & drop files from an SD card into a folder on a local SSD drive. FWIW, it's a folder within my dropbox  hierarchy, so on C: drive. I then start up PPro, create a new project (which is also saved into the Dropbox folder, but not the same folder as the footage), and then drag and drop the video files (mostly .MTS) onto the project window from a windows Explorer folder. I don't use the Media Browser in PPro.

Thanks,

Alan

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LEGEND ,
Feb 19, 2019 Feb 19, 2019

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I Drag & drop files from an SD card into a folder

Don't do that.  Always copy the entire card.

And don't use Dropbox folders for anything you're working on.

Have a dedicated Media drive.  Don't put anything on C: other than Windows and Programs.

Finally, do use the Media Browser for all Import duties.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 19, 2019 Feb 19, 2019

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Did all steps for a shoot today except for having a stand-alone drive just for media (it went onto C drive). Had the same problem: after re-opening a project, a thumbnail was greyed out and, when I tried to exit, a crash. And as a bonus, PPro wouldn't re-startup necessitating a system re-boot. Sweetness and light.

So based on what everybody has said so far, the only two things I haven't done are a) Have a stand-alone media drive, b) Don't keep files within a Dropbox hierarchy.

Regarding B, dropbox, this alas isn't something I can do as I work with a team and everything has to be on Dropbox.

Urgh.

v2.jpg

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LEGEND ,
Feb 18, 2019 Feb 18, 2019

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Couple things I can suggest.

1. Step 3H from the Troubleshooter linked below.

2. Step 2C.

3. Use the right tool for the job.  The right tool for file management is a file manager.  (Don't use Project Manager.)

https://forums.adobe.com/message/9253602#9253602

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 18, 2019 Feb 18, 2019

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3H: Yep, all saved to my local C drive, an SSD, within a dropbox folder hierarchy.

2C: Using Media Browser; I currently drag & drop footage from an explorer window into the Project window. Is utilizing the Media Browser a better practice somehow?

When you say, "The right tool for file management is a file manager.  (Don't use Project Manager.)", are you referring to collecting files for backup? Or importing to project / importing from SD card?

Thanks,

Alan

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 18, 2019 Feb 18, 2019

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First, uploading AVCHD files require a different process than "standard" mp4/mov files. With AVCHD like those mts files, you cannot just grab the video files ... you need the folder structure with all the separately-stored meta info. So ... grab the top-level folder and copy the folder structure to a computer folder.

Next, those are much more complex files for meta-handling because the file meta info isn't stored IN the file! So on ingesting into Pr, you need to use the Media Browser panel to navigate to the media folders and select/ingest.

This will give a much more stable and reliable use of that media within Pr.

Neil

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 19, 2019 Feb 19, 2019

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That makes sense, to move the entire structure, I will give that a go. It will be a huge pain for my workflow: right now, I shoot several different jobs in a day, then (up until now) move just their files into their own folder to keep track of things. Now, with one folder containing multiple jobs, I will have to come up with a different strategy. Ugh. Simplest solution may be to have multiple SD cards I guess... Or, shoot to files that aren't streams...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 19, 2019 Feb 19, 2019

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Yea, multiple cards for each job is a Good Thing. Given the nature of a lot of AVCHD and other types of files that always are "0001.mts; 0002.mts ... " quite a few people rename on ingest to something more useful ... date, date/time, job/date, something. You can make presets for that in Media Encoder or set up spiffy workflows in Prelude that rename, copy to a second location & other things on one 'go'.

Neil

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LEGEND ,
Feb 19, 2019 Feb 19, 2019

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are you referring to collecting files for backup?

Yes.  Don't use the Project Manager.  Always use Windows Explorer for file copying, moving, etc.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 19, 2019 Feb 19, 2019

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Re: don't use Program Manager for backups, the reason I use it is I have many clips that aren't used in the edit that I don't want to backup, so I check 'ignore footage that wasn't used' (or whatever it's called). So, any suggestions on other backup procedures that will ignore clips unused, short of manually looking at what was used?

Alan

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LEGEND ,
Feb 19, 2019 Feb 19, 2019

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any suggestions on other backup procedures that will ignore clips unused

My philosophy is, backup everything.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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Just an update for any frustrated future editor:

I've tried all of the above and still have occasional problems. The one thing that I have 100% identified is that the issue I'm having has something to do with the thumbnails in the Project panel.

If, when I load .MTS footage (by any method) and the Project panel is in Thumbnail view:

  • if the preview thumbnails appear quickly (ie. they sort of quickly appear and stream down the project panel), I know I won't have any issues 100% of the time. Everything works perfectly.
  • BUT... if the preview thumbnails sort of appear slowly, and in a semi-random order, I know 100% of the time that I will get a grey thumbnail, eventually crash etc. Having project panel in List view helps, but for my edits I really need thumbnail view.

I have tried everything I can think of to figure out how to have the thumbs appear quickly:

  • Restart PPro
  • Restart PC
  • Start PPro in list mode, import, then switch to thumbnails
  • Start up Bridge, navigate to folder with footage, open it, thinking that if the thumbnails are created in Bridge then PPro will use those previews instead of generating it's own
  • Delete all system thumbnails
  • Waving wand over PC

So, I know what the problem is, just haven't figured out how to work around it. If I get it, will report back.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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I've done some work with Premiere's Team process. Which is a great collaborative tool. Working with that, every member of the team needs to have all media assets on local or network drive and the projects live both local and shared via the Adobe CC sytem.

Anyone can work on any sequence and as they wish share changes which get updated instantly to every other member. There's a process for reconciling and or mashing up versions even, and a history of versions kept.

And even a separate means of importing or relinking to assets, using the Edit/Team Projects/Manage Assets dialog. Rather than using Project panel or Media Browser to import or relink.

If you are working a project spread over distant facilities I would suggest that as a better workflow.

Using Dropbox as your common asset holder has inherent operating issues.

Neil

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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Neil,

Yes, I have looked at Teams, for various reasons it wouldn't work in my case (not least of which is the expense).

What really burns me is that I've been working this way for YEARS with no problems. Same files, same camera, same Dropbox workflow, and it's only been in the last, oh, 10-12 months that I've had the issues detailed above. Updates busted something for me.

Alan

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 28, 2019 Mar 28, 2019

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That's a real bummer. Understood.

Using "external" connections always seems to add variability. Wish it didn't. Frustrates the heck out of me.

Neil

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 05, 2019 Nov 05, 2019

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Hi Alan, di you find any solution ? I have the exact issue and still happening in PPv14

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 07, 2019 Dec 07, 2019

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Hi Alan...

My name is Juli, btw i got same problem like yours for a long times. So do you fix the problem already?

Let me know if you did, thank you.

Juli

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 07, 2019 Dec 07, 2019

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Same issue and ive found that new versions of premiere ( 13.x) doesnt like
avchd files any more. Ive convrted to h264 with ffmpeg and no more issues.
Really annoying though.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 28, 2019 Oct 28, 2019

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I've the exact same issue. Thi started happening with the latest versions of CC2018 and borrowed into cc2019. 
Fresh PC with several SSD ( cache, project, media ). Before this buggy versions I've never had a problem and never had to be so careful using media browser instead of just drag and dropping files and further more I've NEVER had to import the entire avchd directory structure to edit files.
Now editing in Premiere has become just loosing and waisting time with stupid bugs.
Same files ( no avchd structure ) in Resolve work fine.
Many users are facing this problem but looks like Adobe just not hearing us at all.
It's simply frustrating.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 07, 2020 Jan 07, 2020

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I have irritated Adobe support many times with this thing, and so far no solution since 2018 editions when first appeared. The only thing that makes me not to destroy my pc is this. Every time it appears, i open PP, delete all the cache before opening project, then make a new project and import the previous project there, creating thumbs from scratch. As soon as everything is ok, I try to work as much as I can, cause next time I might do the same again...

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 18, 2021 Jul 18, 2021

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@Eikonotopio I'm not sure how you do your project import; I couldn't make that work. But I figured out another workaround. I open Bridge on my 2nd screen and use it to look at my photos. When I choose a still to add to the timeline I check its filename, then use the search box in Premiere to find that photo. It's a hassle but after spending several hours searching for a solution this is the best I've found. 

😣

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 18, 2021 Jul 18, 2021

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Importing a the contents of a project is easy, though quite a few users don't know how it works. Go to the Media Browser panel, navigate to the old project file, select it and right-click/Import. You can select entire project or specific sequences.

 

Neil

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Participant ,
Jul 21, 2021 Jul 21, 2021

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Hi Schmalan,

It may sound stupid but have you ever tried to change the thumbnail display?
I doubt it will work but you never know.

Good luck and I hope you find a solution bacause this issue sound crazy. 

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