22 - Memory Issues

It is no secret that image processing operations typically require large amounts of memory. If F/x cannot get enough memory for a particular operation an appropriate message will be displayed regarding the lack of free memory. There are certain actions that you can take to maximize the amount of memory available to the program.

In some situations, you may be able to reduce the memory requirements for F/x. The Filmstrip can be an especially heavy memory user because each frame is a complete 24-bit image. You can set a small Filmstrip resolution or even close the Filmstrip when it is not needed.

More memory can also be obtained by turning off other applications, especially other image processing programs that use large amounts of memory.

On 386 and higher processors you can specify a swap file for virtual memory use in Windows. A large swap file of 20 megabytes or more will help. Use a permanent swap file if possible. A permanent swap file will be static and contiguous and therefore minimizes disk fragmentation, and will operate faster. For example, using virtual memory you could load a 2400 x 1400 image that would require 10 megabytes of memory on a machine with only 8 megabytes of RAM.


We do not not recommend trying to use a 386, or even 486, with F/x. While a 486 may in fact work — technically speaking — it's going to be brutally underpowered for most things, and absolutely laughable for others. Don't go there, you'll be a lot happier!

You can also reduce the number of images that you are working on at one time. The calculation for memory usage in F/x is image width times image height times 8 for the current image (width x height x 8 = memory needed), and image width times image height times 4 for all other images (width x height x 4). These calculation are valid for all images, including the filmstrip. The following is a list of sample image sizes and the required memory for each resolution.

image SizeRequired memory
Image Size Required Memory
40 x 480 - Current Image 2,457,600 bytes
640 x 480 - Non current image 1,228,800 bytes
1024 x 768 - Current Image 6,291,456 bytes
1024 x 768 - Non current image 3,145,728 bytes
320 x 200 - Current Image 512,000 bytes
320 x 200 - Non current Image 256,000 bytes
96 x 72 - (standard filmstrip resolution) 48,384 bytes
32,000 x 32,000 - Max Image Size 8,192,000,000 bytes
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