AFTEREFFECTS

News, Information & Workflows from Users & the Adobe Ae Team

error (21::31) when you start After Effects on Mac OS 10.9 and later after editing the keyboard shortcut file

If you use TextEdit on Mac OS 10.9 or later to edit the After Effects keyboard shortcuts file, you may receive an error similar the following the next time you start After Effects:

After Effects error: preferences file "Adobe After Effects 13.1 Mac en_US Shortcuts.txt"
contains an unexpected value on line 142, " "Twirl" = ,Äú(macControl+`),Äú". (21::31)

To solve this issue, open the keyboard shortcuts file in TextEdit again, choose Edit > Substitutions and disable Smart Quotes. Then edit the same line you edited previously to replace any left or right double-quotation mark characters (“ or “) with the non-directional double-quotes character (“). Just press the quotation mark key on your keyboard, this should now create the non-directional double-quotes character.

On Mac OS 10.9 and later, Smart Quotes are enabled by default in TextEdit. This causes the double-quotes character (“) to be automatically replaced by the left or right double-quotation marks (“ or “). After Effects does not recognize the left or right marks as the correct delimiters for entries in the keyboard shortcuts file. In general, using Smart Quotes or other smart character replacement is not useful when editing application scripts like the keyboard shortcuts file.

You can disable Smart Quotes and other substitutions on a document-by-document basis by using the Edit > Substitutions menu, or you can disable this for all documents in the preferences for TextEdit.

Other typos or incorrect syntax in the keyboard shortcuts file will generate a similar error message. If Smart Quotes do not solve the issue, double-check your entry for correct spelling and formatting.

tip: writing to the disk cache during renders through the render queue

One thing that makes After Effects work much faster is the persistent disk cache, which makes it so that After Effects can retrieve rendered items from disk rather than re-rendering items each time they are needed. (For details about the RAM cache and persistent disk cache, see this video by me on Lynda.com.)

One thing that many people don’t realize, though, is that the disk cache is not written to by default for final renders through the render queue. This is because when we created the disk cache, disks were not typically fast enough for us to be confident that these disk writes during final renders wouldn’t degrade performance significantly during the first render. In other words, we didn’t want the default to make subsequent renders fast at the expense of making the first renders slow.

Now that people typically have much faster disks than only a few years ago, we are considering changing that default behavior.

In the meantime, we recommend that you try enabling the disk cache in the render queue by changing the Disk Cache setting in the Render Settings dialog box to Current Settings, rather than Read Only. You may want to even go so far as to edit your render settings templates to make this change, as I have done with mine. (I then used the Sync Settings feature to send my render settings templates to the Creative Cloud servers so that I could pull them down on my other computers.) With the Disk Cache value in the render settings set to Current Settings, the disk cache will be written to during renders through the render queue as long as you have Enable Disk Cache checked in the Media & Disk Cache preferences.

See this page for much more information about making After Effects work faster.

GoPro CineForm codec settings in After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Adobe Media Encoder CC 2014.1

The CC 2014.1 releases of After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Adobe Media Encoder can natively decode and encode QuickTime (.mov) files using the GoPro CineForm codecs on Mac OS and Windows, meaning that you do not need to install additional codecs to use and create such files.

When encoding GoPro CineForm movies, two different pixel formats and five different compression methods are available. To change how the GoPro CineForm movie is encoded you need to set the color depth or the quality, respectively. This is a guide for how these settings map to the encoded results.

GoPro CineForm compression quality settings

The GoPro CineForm codec offers five levels of compression quality:

1. Low
2. Medium
3. High
4. Film Scan
5. Film Scan 2

In After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Adobe Media Encoder the compression quality is controlled by the Quality slider in the Export Settings dialog. The range of this slider is 1-5, and the values map to the compression quality settings above. The default value is 4.

For more information about the differences between these compression quality options, read GoPro’s Understanding CineForm Quality Settings article.

GoPro CineForm pixel format settings

The GoPro CineForm codec can encode pixels in YUV 4:2:2 at 10 bits per channel, or RGBA 4:4:4:4 at 12 bits per channel.

The encoded pixel format is based on the color depth and alpha channel settings you choose in the Output Module Settings dialog in After Effects or the Export Settings dialog in Premiere Pro or Adobe Media Encoder.

In After Effects:

  • Setting Channels to RGB or Alpha will encode to 10-bpc YUV. Depth can be only set to Millions Of Colors.
  • Settings Channels to RGB+Alpha will encode to 12-bpc RGBA, regardless of the Depth setting.

Note that After Effects renders the composition at the color depth specified in the Project and Render Settings, and the GoPro CineForm encoder will re-sample the frames to 10-bit YUV or 12-bpc RGBA as appropriate.

In Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder:

  • Setting Depth to 24-bit (8-bpc) will encode to 10-bpc YUV.
  • Setting Depth to 32-bit (8-bpc with alpha) or 64-bit (16-bpc with alpha) will encode to 12-bpc RGBA.

Note that the frames may be rendered at a higher or lower quality by Premiere Pro or Adobe Media Encoder, depending on the sources in use and whether the Maximum Bit Depth option is enabled. The GoPro CineForm encoder will re-sample the frames to 10-bpc YUV or 12-bpc RGBA as appropriate.

regarding previous guidance and presets

In previous guides, the pixel formats for GoPro CineForm were described as being 8-bpc YUV, 8-bpc RGBA, or 16-bpc RGBA. There are three encoding presets in Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder that reflect this.

This information was incorrect. The presets will be updated in a future release of Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder. Until then, use the preset labeled “YUV 8bpc” to encode as 10-bpc YUV, and either the “RGB 8bpc” or “RGB 16bpc” presets to encode as 12-bpc RGBA.

For more information about working with the GoPro CineForm codec in After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Adobe Media Encoder, read GoPro CineForm Codec Support in Premiere Pro Help and Rich Young’s CineForm in Creative Cloud on Pro Video Coalition.

After Effects good to go with Mac OSX v10.10 (Yosemite)

We have tested the following versions of After Effects on Mac OSX v10.10 (Yosemite) and found that they function normally on this operating system, with only a few known issues as noted below:

  • After Effects CC 2014 (13.0, 13.1, 13.1.1)
  • After Effects CC (12.2.1)
  • After Effects CS6 (11.0.4)

As long as you’re updating your operating system, be sure to also get the most recent updates for your Adobe applications. Details about the most recent updates for the Adobe professional video and audio applications are here.

If you encounter a problem with After Effects on Mac OSX v10.10, please let us know on the After Effects forum and with a bug report.

known issues:

  • We are aware of one issue regarding RAM preview in After Effects on Mac OSX v10.10: When a RAM preview begins to play, the first several frames of the video will not play the first time through; subsequent loops through the same RAM preview duration will play all frames. This bug with Mac OSX v10.10 (Yosemite) affects all versions of After Effects.
  • We are aware of one issue regarding RED (.r3d) files in After Effects CS6 on Mac OSX v10.10: RED files may not import, and if they do import they will stop displaying frames after a short time. This problem only appears in After Effects CS6; it does not happen in After Effects CC (12.x) or After Effects CC 2014 (13.x).
  • We are aware of one issue regarding Adobe Media Encoder (AME) on Mac OSX v10.10: Adobe Media Encoder can take an unusually long time (a couple of minutes) to start the first time on this version of Mac OS. After the first start of AME, subsequent starts of AME should happen in the normal amount of time.

See this page for information about other Adobe applications and Mac OSX v10.10 (Yosemite).

All Good things….

It is with a huge fond-farewell that I am moving on from the After Effects team here at Adobe. After Effects has been near and dear to my heart for over 12 years when I first started designing software (plugins) for it. I still love it, and most importantly love what you create with it.

That being said, while I have had a blast these last almost 4 years as the principal product manager for After Effects, it’s time to pass the baton. Effective immediately Todd Kopriva (@ToddKopriva_AE) will be responsible for where After Effects goes from here as its product manager.

Many of you know Todd, but for those of you who don’t – he is one of a few people I can count on my hand that have almost the entirety of After Effects in his head. After Effects is in very good hands.

I’m also not going anywhere. I remain passionate at Adobe and have been given an awesome opportunity to do some really interesting things that I hope to come back and talk with you about very very soon. You can take the guy out of a startup, but you can’t take the startup out of the guy ;).

Until then…

S.