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Rendered file is 164 bytes long
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Hi.

I'm having a strange and unpleasant problem with rendering a movie.

The program's behavior is very amusing: when I start producing it keeps going, all the way, consuming beautifully 100% of all my 4 cores' power for an hour or so. And then, when I'm most excited, I take one look at my new "Produce.mp4" file and immediately burst into a happy, happy laughter. Because its length is 164 bytes.

Take a look, if you want to enjoy the moment with me: http://www.CompletelyUnprofessional.com/Produce.mp4

What a funny little program, this PowerDirector.

Now, it is obviously hilarious and I still can't recover from all the fun it caused me, but since I've spent 12 hours on trying to get my film produced and ready, it's not as much fun as it could be.

Does anyone have any idea what on earth is going on? Help. Please. Please, please, help.

I'm a computer programmer, by the way, so I don't think I have forgotten to turn monitor on and no, my disk in not full. But who knows, maybe I'm missing something obvious. Man, I hope I do and it's not some particularly nasty bug that renders this software useless.

Some clues: There are no errors during rendering. Preview looks fine. Everything works fine during editing. Other films rendered fine - it's the first. I use chroma key, two video tracks (, two music tracks. I try rendering to MPEG-4 with hardware video encoder or without it, with all kinds of resolutions I can think of - nothing helps.

However, few times, the output file had few MB and contained just about a minute of the film (the ending). The movie is about an hour long. It looks just as if some magical computer monster ate up the file from the beginning and left only the last minute, because it was too full. But most of my miserable attempts to render my film left me with only 164 bytes.

I have PowerDirector 10 Deluxe running on Windows 7, 32-bit, 4GB of RAM, Core I7.

And questions? Any clues?
ynotfish
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: N.S.W. Australia Joined: May 08, 2009 02:06 Messages: 9920 Offline
[Post New]
Hi there -

I can see how you would have got a giggle out of that. Had a look at your website, but couldn't find the Produce.mp4 file. Sorry - my Polish is sadly lacking!

Perhaps, since it's only 164 bytes, you could attach it here & members could take a look.

Cheers - Tony
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[Post New]
As an experiment maybe try using create disc and burn it to a folder. It is possible something in you install got corrupt.

Can you open a previous project and produce it again with a normal result? It is possible something in your current project is causing the issue.
[Post New]
True, very true, I uploaded the file into a wrong directory. It's there now, to give joy to you and me.

As well as in attachment - a very sage suggestion, Tony.

A little update: I looked at the file size during rendering. When rendering starts the file grows from non-existence to about 2 MB. Then, few seconds later it is zero. And stays there.

I noticed that zero before, but I thought the rending takes place in some temporary directory, in a dark, hidden corner of a hard drive, but it is not so, is it? Because few seconds ago I finally made the file grow - but only when I render to AVI/ffdshow/Xvi. Oh no, wait, I just took a look: it is zero again.

Is it a correct behavior? Should this file be zero during rendering? What on earth clears this file to zero during the rendering and why? Maybe I do have a mysterious byte-eating monster.

But seriously: any ideas, anyone?
 Filename
Produce.mp4
[Disk]
 Description
 Filesize
164 bytes
 Downloaded:
479 time(s)
ynotfish
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: N.S.W. Australia Joined: May 08, 2009 02:06 Messages: 9920 Offline
[Post New]
You're right! That's a funny video!

The MediaInfo report is attached.

Martin - is it Martin? - try this test...

1. In a new project, insert the sample file that comes with PD - "Nature.mpg". It's located in C:\Program Files\CyberLink\PowerDirector10\SampleClips if it's not in your library.
2. Go to Produce > MPEG-4 > Standard Quality MPEG-4 > Start

The produced file should be about 11MB, & should match the properties in the attached MediaInfo report.

Cheers - Tony
 Filename
SampleClip.txt
[Disk]
 Description
Sample Clip mp4
 Filesize
3 Kbytes
 Downloaded:
319 time(s)
 Filename
Produce.txt
[Disk]
 Description
Whacko mp4
 Filesize
432 bytes
 Downloaded:
288 time(s)

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[Post New]
The adventure seems to have suddenly ended.

I was just going to do what Tony suggested, when I suddenly noticed an anti-virus program running with a corner of my eye.

"No, that's ridiculous", I thought. But my problem was also ridiculous. So I gave it a try: turned off real-time protection and tried to render the wretched thing.

It worked.

It works every time.

So I was right, I had a file-eating monster and it was Avira Antivirus. It seems that for some idiotic reason, antivirus protection ate up the file while it was being rendered and saved, piece by piece. And neither Avira antivirus nor PowerDirector game me any warning about this.

So, for all those poor chaps in the future, who will find out their precious film magically disappears during rendering process, remember: turn off Avira Antivirus Realtime Protection! Somebody must have written this real-time protection in a very, very messy way. It's a real-time annoying byte-eating monster.

Has anybody suspected antivirus program to be the cause of the problem?

Thanks for your help, Tony. We are all victorious. The case is closed now.
[Post New]
One more update from me.

To my surprise the problem came back the next day.

This time I was pretty sure some external program keeps interrupting the rendering process. So I decided to track all programs that try to access file "Produce.mp4" while it is being written by PowerDirector.

And I found the guilty program! This *#!%#@ program appeared out of nowhere and for whatever reason just CREATED my file anew, while it was being produced by PowerDirector! A new file was being created with 0 byte length and left there to rot. And stupid PD didn't realize anything and continued his hard work attaching more bytes to fresh, empty file.

It wasn't antivirus. It wasn't anti-adware. It was a Windows Service called "wmpnetwk". Its full name is "Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service" and as far as I know it makes the Windows Media Player automatically update its library. It would be ok, but some stupid idiot who programmed this service for some unknown reason apparently made it CREATE new files under certain circumstances instead of just reading them.

I have no idea why I have this problem and you don't. Maybe you will eventually, if you run Windows 7 with Windows Media Player.

So for everybody, who experiences similar problems to mine, here is the solution:

Start Task Manager, go to "Services", find process "wmpnetwk" and disable it once for all. Yes, this service can interfere with PowerDirector rendering - it did so in my case. It shouldn't, but it does. Either there is something terribly wrong with my system (possible also), or somebody in Microsoft wrote a not very reliable piece of code here.

I hope it helps.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Feb 09. 2012 13:20

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