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After Effects is a very RAM intense program that utilizes your RAM to preview your compositions when your press the 0 on the numeric keypad. You will notice that a green bar will live in your timeline any time you RAM preview your composition. This is necessary so that you can render your work and put it in motion. The one big issue that you may run into when you go to open your favorite editing application is that your computer will start running very slow or it may lock up and crash, this especially true if you are running a Windows machine. After Effects will keep your RAM hostage until you purge your cache. Every time you RAM preview your composition After Effects uses your RAM to store the Render information and does not release that amount of RAM until the next render or until you decide to purge your RAM. If you do not purge your RAM and open Avid, Final Cut Pro, or another RAM intense program you will for sure run into problems. The After Effects crew has put in a great feature so that you can do just that. Under the edit menu you will find the Purge menu. You must use cation when you use the purge function. You will notice that there are five options under the purge menu, All, Undo, Image Caches, Snapshot and Video Memory. Purge After Effects RAM.gifIf you select All everything all the list will be purged. This includes all of your Undos. Once you select All you Undos will no longer be available, you want to select All with great cation. The Undo selection will just clear all the Undos, the Image Caches is the most important one to clear out to release the most amount of RAM. This is really the only one to worry about so that you do not run into problems. The Snapshot and Video Memory normally will not give you problems, just make sure if you select All the you do not need to use you Undo feature.

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