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My workaround for 'lost' preview files in Premiere

Explorer ,
Jan 30, 2013

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So you render preview files in Premiere and the next time you launch the program you're met with red bars in the sequence - indicating the need to re-render (even though those render files are still sitting on the hard drive right where Premiere last left them). While Adobe is purportedly aware of the issue, it's still pretty annoying.

I found a potential workaround which, so far, seems to work - at least for me.

Premiere seems to lose track of rendered preview files on the sequence that was displayed at the time the project was saved before exiting. When Premiere is re-launched, by default, it opens to the last displayed/saved sequence.  

So here's what to do, whether your project consists of a single sequence or several.

1) Create an empty sequence. Leave it empty. Rename it if you like ("Select me before saving and exiting") - or not.

2) Work in your other sequence(s). Render your previews as needed.

3) Before exiting Premiere (this is the important part) switch to the empty sequence and save the project. Then exit.

4) The next time you start Premiere: a) Select the project, b) Wait till all media is loaded (Premiere reports this at bottom). It will open to the empty sequence. When you switch to the work sequences, you should have green bars where the previews were previously rendered.

Try it and let me know if this works for you.

Preston

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My workaround for 'lost' preview files in Premiere

Explorer ,
Jan 30, 2013

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So you render preview files in Premiere and the next time you launch the program you're met with red bars in the sequence - indicating the need to re-render (even though those render files are still sitting on the hard drive right where Premiere last left them). While Adobe is purportedly aware of the issue, it's still pretty annoying.

I found a potential workaround which, so far, seems to work - at least for me.

Premiere seems to lose track of rendered preview files on the sequence that was displayed at the time the project was saved before exiting. When Premiere is re-launched, by default, it opens to the last displayed/saved sequence.  

So here's what to do, whether your project consists of a single sequence or several.

1) Create an empty sequence. Leave it empty. Rename it if you like ("Select me before saving and exiting") - or not.

2) Work in your other sequence(s). Render your previews as needed.

3) Before exiting Premiere (this is the important part) switch to the empty sequence and save the project. Then exit.

4) The next time you start Premiere: a) Select the project, b) Wait till all media is loaded (Premiere reports this at bottom). It will open to the empty sequence. When you switch to the work sequences, you should have green bars where the previews were previously rendered.

Try it and let me know if this works for you.

Preston

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Explorer ,
Feb 06, 2013

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And here's my theory as to what might be happening - it is only a theory and I am not a programmer:

When you launch Premiere to a sequence that has rendered previews, Premiere immediately checks to see if the render files are available. If it doesn't "see" them in those first milliseconds, they are ignored and you get a red bar. (In old versions of Premiere, if renders weren't found when/where expected you were given an opportunity to locate them). The problem is, if you have a lot of media in a project, it can take several seconds for everything to load and the render files are last. By then it's too late. Premiere didn't "see" the files in question, so they were ignored for that sequence.

I think this is also the reason why the problem seems to be hit and miss. If you have a small project, all the media including the render files load quickly before Premiere has a chance to "ignore" what it thinks might be missing in the way of rendered previews.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 06, 2013

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I'm skeptical of that explanation, if only because opening to an empty sequence won't cause PP to load the media any faster.  The only thing that will do that is less media in the project.

And PP will still ask you for missing render files.  If you delete them with PP closed and then reopen the project you'll see this.

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Explorer ,
Feb 06, 2013

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Well, then I haven't been clear in my explanations. I'm not suggesting that opening to an empty sequence loads the media any faster or any less media is loaded for the project. It's all loaded, regardless. But there seems to be some correlation between the speed in which all the media in a project loads and when Premiere decides whether a given render file is available and ready to play. 

The point of creating an empty sequence and saving/exiting the project from that sequence is precautionary. It avoids having to load preview files for that sequence the next time the project is launched - because there aren't any to load.  All of the media for the project still takes as long to load - which might be extremely quick on smaller projects or take several seconds on large ones (ex: hundreds of clips each with 4 tracks of audio). What is also critical for my workaround, is waiting for the all the media to load.

I have found this to be true on a recent project with nearly a dozen sequences - all of which were full of rendered previews. If I saved and exited out of one of those sequences, the next time I opened the project (and that sequence by default) most or all of the renders were "gone" while the other sequences were untouched.

If I saved and exited from an empty sequence, the next time I loaded the project and waited for all the media to load - as reported by Premiere - nothing was "missing" - green bars remained.

By the same token, even if I saved and exited from an empty sequence, but the next time I loaded the project, forgot to wait for all the media to load, and quickly switched over to one of the sequences I was working in, guess what happened?  I was left with red bars on that sequence even after the render files loaded.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 06, 2013

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It avoids having to load preview files for that sequence the next time the project is launched

Ah, now I got you.

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Engaged ,
Apr 14, 2013

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In tried the empty sequence w/a and it failed for me.

I have a project ope with 8 sequences - all of which up until a week ago would be rendered and stay rendered when closing and opening the project.

In the last week I have not manually changed anything. I have though had several program and driver updates which I list below in the hope someone else may be able to match with and perhaps help Adobe to identify anything common..

Recent MS Updates History

1. Security Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB2813170)

Installation date: ?10/?04/?2013 23:22

Installation status: Successful

Update type: Important

2. Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB2799926)

Installation date: ?10/?04/?2013 23:22

Installation status: Successful

Update type: Recommended

3. Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 for x64-based Systems (KB2817183)

Installation date: ?10/?04/?2013 23:28

Installation status: Successful

Update type: Important

4. Security Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB2823324)

Installation date: ?10/?04/?2013 23:29

Installation status: Successful

Update type: Important

5. Security Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB2808735)

Installation date: ?10/?04/?2013 23:30

Installation status: Successful

Update type: Important

6. Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool x64 - April 2013 (KB890830)

Installation date: ?10/?04/?2013 23:31

Installation status: Successful

Update type: Important

7. Security Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB2813347)

Installation date: ?10/?04/?2013 23:32

Installation status: Successful

Update type: Important

8. Definition Update for Windows Defender - KB915597 (Definition 1.147.1685.0)

Installation date: ?12/?04/?2013 20:00

Installation status: Successful

Update type: Important

Other programme installs updates in April

1. PluralEyes by Red Giant - v3.2.0

2. NVIDIA Quadro 2000 driver update incorporating

          a) NVIDIA 3D Vision driver 311.5

          b) NVIDIA Graphics driver 311.5

          c) NVIDIA 3D Vision Controller Driver 311.06

          d) NVIDIA nView 140.49

          d) NVIDIA HD Audio Driver 1.3.18.0

3. Adobe Flash Player 11 ActiveX 11.6.602.180

4. Adobe Flash Player 11 Plugin  11.7.700.169

Is there anything here that can help anyone?

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Explorer ,
Apr 14, 2013

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All it takes is a minor change in the file structure for Premiere to ditch the renders. Doing the workaround after renders are "lost" won't retrieve them either. Occasionally, when I start a brand new project my workaround doesn't always work 100% the first time. But in subsequent restarts it becomes very reliable

Try re-rendering and saving the project as I've outlined. Be sure to let all assets load before doing any work on a sequence.

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Engaged ,
Apr 14, 2013

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Did you ever look at the events that built up to the error happening? Did it just start happening for no reason? Had you updated something or installed new software at the time the problem was first noticed? I'd be really keen to get to resolve the issue properly if it can be identified what has happened. The workaround is nice to have for those it works for, sadly for me - following the instructions given have not brought temporary resolution but I thank you for posting it.

I read that Adobe are aware and working on it - but I do feel the more info we users give them no matter how ridiculous it might seem to us - the better Adobe are equipped to find the problem.

Forgive me for asking - but what made you experiment with an empty sequence and procedure to find a resolution, I admire your attitude toward finding the workaround.

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Engaged ,
Apr 14, 2013

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I just opened the last project I worked on which had shown rendered maintenance issues (a 583GB folder with many projects and sequences). I closed the empty sequence and saved the project and closed PP.

I then went to the master folder and examined the preview folders. There were several extra folders marked "~ recovery" - which on inspection proved to be empty.

I deleted all the folders that were empty - irrespective of name.

I then navigated back to the master project file and opened it.

PP is taking around 40 seconds to load all files - during which time I can see in the task bar it is reading the original files - and then reading rendered files and after about 50 seconds the loading is finished and within a couple of seconds of that the timeline goes green and all my sequences have regained their resepctive renders.

I have done this 4 or 5 times now - since deleting the "~ recovery" folders that were empty - and that is all I did.

May be worth trying..?

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Explorer ,
Apr 14, 2013

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ScubaBadger wrote:

I then went to the master folder and examined the preview folders. There were several extra folders marked "~ recovery" - which on inspection proved to be empty.

I deleted all the folders that were empty - irrespective of name.

I have not found anything in error logs associated with the problem, or any '~recovery' folders like you described. Based on what you described it would appear to me that the problem with lost renders was an isolated incident due to some system errors that changed the folder/file structure within your 'master folder'. This might have something to do with why the workaround didn't work for you.

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Explorer ,
Apr 14, 2013

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ScubaBadger wrote:

Did you ever look at the events that built up to the error happening? Did it just start happening for no reason? Had you updated something or installed new software at the time the problem was first noticed?

Forgive me for asking - but what made you experiment with an empty sequence and procedure to find a resolution, I admire your attitude toward finding the workaround.

I never had this issue in CS4 or earlier versions. When we jumped to CS6 is appeared regularly so I don't associate it with any kind of system error but rather a bug in the program - which changed radically after CS4.

As I explained earlier in this thread, the workaround came about, in part, because I noticed renders were lost only in the sequence a project opened to. Timing in the loading of media appears to be another factor. And project size affects timing, so that's another factor.

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Explorer ,
Apr 15, 2013

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The next time I encounter a loss or partial loss of render files I'll check for a *~recovery.prv folder and try deleting it if there is one.

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Engaged ,
Apr 15, 2013

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Hopefully, Adobe will get to grips with it and an update will come through the cloud. Since wiping the error folders I've not had recurrence - but that could also be coincidental.

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Contributor ,
Jun 09, 2013

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I had the same problem. Just tried the 'empty sequence' solution. It didn't work. It even asked me for the render file it couldn't find. I navigated to the 3 GB render file. Project still opened with a red line.

It could be a bug. But, the effect I used was from Magic Bullet Looks, which always seems to cripple my system. Sometimes Premiere will have fits (red line) when working with a rendered Dynamically linked AE comp. CS6 seemed to improve that a bit, but not all the way.

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Explorer ,
Jun 09, 2013

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For whatever reason, the only time I've had the workaround not work is the first or second time it's employed on a project. In other words, I'll follow the workaround for the very first time on a project, close it, relaunch, and the renders are lost, but then after that it works very consistently.

If you don't follow the directions to the letter, it also won't work.

If Premiere is prompting you for a missing render file in CS6 then I'd say something else is going with your file/disk management.

My experience with Magic Bullet is also quirky at times. If I render a section with MB applied and then decide to make a change, sometimes the preview window in MBL will not update or display the "wrong" frame until I delete the render files for that section of the timeline.

In any case, it's a bug no one should have to pay for via an upgrade. I know the problem was non-existent in CS4.

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Participant ,
Jun 13, 2013

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I'm using magic bullet looks as well and have been having the same problem. I'm on a mac pro with the latest update of looks installed (2.1.0) and premiere cs6. I tried the empty sequence without luck just now. I will try re-rendering, but that will be a 40 minute wait... again. Ugh.

Its a hard thing to test, because with smaller clips and projects with less rendering I don't have the problem.

I thought about putting magic bullet in the new adjustment layer, but then you don't get a preview image in looksbuilder, which makes thafeature less uesful than I had hoped.

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Explorer ,
Jun 21, 2013

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So, I was doing a test today - tiny project with some test clips and Magic Bullet applied to just a couple of short clips.

As I mentioned before, my workaround doesn't always work the first time you do it on a given project but seems to work consistently after that (perhaps due to memory management when the project is saved?). 

Anyway, even though I applied my own workaround on this tiny test project, I had the same issue of lost renders after closing and reopening the project for the first time. I rendered the clips again, and then with subsequent saves, project close, and relaunch, the renders "stuck".

So, the moral of the story is: if it doesn't work the first time, try it again. Works for me.

With CC being foisted on everyone, Adobe will have no excuse not to address this issue sooner than later.

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New Here ,
Jun 24, 2013

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Thanks Preston. This little trick is saving my life on a project. CC won't be foisted on me, though. I'm returning to FCPX as it's up to speed for the work I do and absolutely does not have all these sloppy problems that Premiere has with Macs. With CC constantly  pushing out updates to its already bloated software, we can only expect more of the same. Thanks again.

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New Here ,
Oct 27, 2013

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So did they ever come out with a fix for this? Or do I really have to load my render files this ridiculous way. No offense to Preston, who found a pretty decent workaround. Adobe shouldn't release a product with such a crucial bug. Can someone let me know if there is a new way to get your render files to load or if there is a bug fix for this?

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 09, 2013

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Same issue here. In fact, I've lost preview files I have just rendered by switching sequences and returning to the sequence I just rendered.

I will try the empty sequence trick tonight. Very surprised that this issue is still around.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 09, 2013

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And the little empty sequence trick doesn't work for me.. Sporatic preview files are still lost.

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New Here ,
Sep 09, 2015

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I am suffering from the same loss links. I have after After Effects portions in my project. I've found, when waiting for sloooow loading or rendering, the project renders faster when you click back and forth from AE to PR. I watch the render status bar and when things start to slow in pace, I click on AE - then back to PR and the render bar speeds up. This is such a pain, but until they fix the issues, I'm desperate and trying to save every second.

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New Here ,
Dec 19, 2015

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I am sitting here waiting for a 100,000 frame preview render to finish. I have been using PP CC 2015 for about 2 weeks with no complaints at all.  This seemed to happen after I started a render to a DVD compliant file.  I got the render going, then saved and closed Premiere to free up some RAM.  The next time I started the project, red bars all over.  The preview files seem to be where they are supposed to be on my scratch disc.  If this continues it will be a major problem.  I cannot waste hours waiting for the preview files to render.

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Explorer ,
Aug 18, 2013

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Ran into this issue.  In my case, I had done a SAVE AS of the project to a new subdirectory with a new project name. (Archaic attempt at version control. Heh.) Premiere created a Preview Files subdirectory within there, and it was properly saving any new render files to it.  However, it wasn't loading them the next time I launched the project.  I noticed it was still looking for and successfully loading previews I'd done prior to the SAVE AS from the parent directory where the original project was.  I did a SAVE AS back to the parent directory, and now they're saving and loading fine. 

I did try the solution in the first post here several times, and I also tried copying my newer preview files to the parent directory.  Neither worked.  I also checked in preferences, and they were already set to save in the newly created subdirectory.  If there was some other place I needed to link these, I couldn't find it nor Google it.  I'm pretty sure I've saved a project to a new directory and been just fine in the past, but maybe I'm wrong.


FWIW, if anyone stumbling across this thread has saved your project outside its original directory.  Put it back and see what happens.

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Explorer ,
Sep 13, 2013

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I have the same problem. It is totally stupid, how can Premiere have such a MAJOR bug? I cannot re-render a complex 30-minute edit each time I am re-opening the project.

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Participant ,
Sep 13, 2013

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I still have issues with this as well. Does anyone know if it has been fixed in CC version?

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LEGEND ,
Sep 13, 2013

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There are a couple users reporting the issue with CC as well.

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New Here ,
Sep 13, 2013

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Update: I've made the move to back to FCPX and could not be more pleased. Much, much faster editing. Thanks to Adobe's poorly implemented "cleaning" software and uninformed, and often rude, tech support, It was technical nightmare extracting myself from CC and returning to CS5/6 (for photoshop, Indesign, etc) but well worth it to escape from the giant of incompetence and greed that Adobe has become. There are so many other viable options. No need to suffer with Adobe.

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Explorer ,
Sep 13, 2013

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I am running out of patience, too. These are not minor bugs. This is a total nightmare. Think about it: loosing all your render files upon project closure!!!! Again and again.

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Engaged ,
Sep 13, 2013

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I am not experiencing this on windows 7 suite with PP CC.

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LEGEND ,
Sep 13, 2013

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Me neither.  In fact, most don't.  It's a very difficult situation to track down.

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Participant ,
Sep 13, 2013

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I am also trying fcpx but it has its own set of issues that drive me crazy (though I do like the magnet editing approach).

For me it is extensive use of red giant looks in projects that this happens with. Every clip needs rendering and the preview files are usually gone when certain projects are opened. And once it starts happening on a project it starts to happen every time.

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Engaged ,
Nov 29, 2013

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I have CS6. Mine worked fine until I bought new hard drives and rebuilt the computer (with the same drive letters). I tried all the suggestions and so far some of the render files (not all) will not load when opening the file agin. I checked, and they are on the render drive. I don't have 3rd party and I am using the warp stablizer.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2013

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I have the same issue on Premiere CC, Win7 - previews are lost many times. There is a Premiere CC class on FXPHD and the teacher presents this bug to the audience as a "well known bug" - so I see that there are probably thousands of users who must live with this stupid problem for a long time. Shame on Adobe. Please fix it finally.

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Engaged ,
Nov 30, 2013

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Ironically I spent a good deal of time and money on new larger Raptor hard drives to make Premiere run faster and to make room for more preview drives. Now I have wasted many hours re-rendering the same file trying to solve this problem ...which didn’t exist before I went through his expensive intensive exercise. And I now see that this probelm has existed for years for soem people yet Adobe will not fix it.

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Engaged ,
Nov 30, 2013

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I may have found a solution. I took out the warp stabilizer, and then added it back in on the clips in question, and then re-analysed and re-rendered. So far, so good. It seems that bringing in the warp stabilizer effect in the file into the re-built computer needed re-analysing (as I do after this 2 day exercise.)

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New Here ,
Jul 25, 2014

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This is very frustrating.  I've actually had this happen to me on CS5, and it's still a problem on CC. (completely different machines.  Completely different OSes)

I'm pretty sure that the work around is a red herring.  You'll probably get the same results if you stand up and run around your chair 3 times while patting your head.  The work around "seems" to work because this issue does not happen all the time, nor with every instalation.  Who's to say what circumstances cause the problem?

This happened to me a couple hours ago, and have been trying to duplicate the issue with another project.  Premiere has some logic that invalidates preview files.  It keeps the files around even if they are deemed invalid for a specific project.  Anyway, this is all happening within the program itself, and it probably happens at load time.

When I watch my (very large) project load I can see it try to load the preview files, but it skips over them.  Since the project file is unchanged since the last time it worked properly, we can assume that there is another mechanism for determining validity.  I noticed that the modified date and time changes on the preview folder every time the project is loaded.  I suspect that this is a checksum, but I have no idea how it's use (or even if it is used).  Though again, we can assume that changing the date on the folder is important, as Premiere does modify it.

Anyway, I have no answer.  I am re-rendering my film, which will take several days.  Unless someone comes up with a work around to fix invalidated previews... I'll just have to accept that this can happened every once in a while.

The biggest thing I've learned from this, and rendering in general, is that pre-comps are your friend.  🙂

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Explorer ,
Sep 16, 2014

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This appears to work, except for Warp Stabilizer effects, which repeatedly become unrendered after restarting application. I am using CC 7.1 and would like to upgrade to 7.2 to see if problem persists, but the company I work for will not allow upgrades until all edit suites and Maya workstations can do it at the same time, so that we are all using compatible software on all systems. Our tech is still evaluating, and we cannot proceed until he gives the OK.

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