Welcome! My name is Alan Shisko, and I'm a freelance motion graphics artist working out of Toronto, Canada. I've been very lucky in my career to have had many inspiring teachers, and decided to start this blog to give back to the community that has enriched me both technically and aesthetically. Perhaps my words and images will inspire you to do the same! If you wish, take a minute to view my demo reel at Shisko.com, or view a comprehensive gallery of my past work Here.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Copy/ Paste bug in After Effects: Possible FIX

If you're running After Effects on a windows machine, you may have run into a problem where elements that you copy in an application other than AE refuse to paste into AE. For instance, it might happen that you copy some vectors in Illustrator to paste onto a solid in AE, but when you select the solid and choose 'copy-> paste' nothing happens. The same thing might happen if you were to copy text in Wordpad and try to paste into an AE text layer.

You may also have discovered that to get around this problem, you have to quit After Effects and restart, at which point copy/paste works again. Not only is this behaviour a royal pain, but it can be a huge time waster if you've got a massive AE file that takes forever to load.

Having duly submitted the bug to aebugs@adobe.com, I received this email from an adobe employee a short while later...

It was recently brought to our attention that Microsoft has issued a "hotfix" for a condition that commonly causes copy/paste functions to break between After Effects and other applications.
May I please ask you to run the hotfix and see whether it resolves the issue you reported a while back where copy/paste often breaks after an indeterminate time?

It would appear that the offending application is Microsoft Media Player v11. Take a look at 'symptom 1' on the hotfix page linked above and see if it is relevant to your situation. You can even test it by starting AE, then viewing a WMV clip with windows media player and then trying to copy/paste some text into AE. I did, and the paste indeed failed. I then ran the hotfix, and, well, the problem was fixed!

As with all 'patches', YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY. I can therefore not guarantee that the patch will work for you on your system, nor can I guarantee that the patch won't turn your gear into a blubbering pond of goo. I recommend that if you choose to proceed, then backup your system prior to running the hotfix.

While the fix appears to have taken on my system, the adobe contact wrote with the following request...

One possible problem with the hotfix is that the clipboard functions broken by WMP can theoretically be broken by other running applications as well, and apparently the clipboard doesn’t break for all applications, just some, and AE seems to be one of them.

If you should run into this again, please note any other applications that are running when it breaks. Maybe we can get Microsoft to address this more comprehensively, or figure out a more reliable way to handle the API.

So if you DO choose to apply this hotfix and the problem occurs again, send a note to aebugs@adobe.com and be sure to include all of the particulars. Include in your note one or all of the following bug report numbers:
After Effects bug # 46079
Adobe bug # 1663988
Microsoft bug # SRX080114600334


Anonymous said...

Thanks for a good post about this issue.

Anonymous said...

god bless you my child...

Anonymous said...

Very helpful. Top search result on google as well

Pedro said...

Been having this problem for so long now, i just automatically reseted AFX when this happened, i tough it was a problem with my machine really and never looked for a fix! Great post!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but this doesn't work unfortunately :-(

Rich said...

What's interesting is that you can still paste into script edit boxes, so I wrote a quicky that'll let you paste into the script panel, select a text layer, then hit paste from the script. Works like a charm. Cludgy as all get out, but still. It beats restarting after effects sometimes.

creeduk said...

I found this for the first time in CS4 today (had it in Photoshop before but not AE)Even after a restart it would remember the internal clipboard so I used the reg fix often used on Photoshop:

DWORD - AlwaysImportClipboard value = 1

worked great.