AFTEREFFECTS

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

favorite features in CC versions of After Effects: automatically trim precomposition duration

On the After Effects team, we have a rotating role known as “product owner”. The product owner’s job is to set the priorities for a specific version of the application. When I became product owner in the middle of 2013, my stated goal was to have the next few versions of After Effects remove the little pain points that irritate After Effects users every day, often dozens or hundreds of times per day.

One of the improvements that came in After Effects CC (12.1) is a change of which I’m especially proud because I worked as a quality engineer on it in addition to lobbying for its implementation: option when precomposing to trim precomposition duration to duration of selected layers.

When you precompose, you have a new option: Adjust Composition Duration To The Time Span Of The Selected Layers. Choose this to create a new composition that has a duration that is the same as that spanned by the selected layers. If you deselect this option, then the duration of the newly created composition is the same as the duration of the original composition, without regard for the duration of the layers being precomposed; this has been the only option in previous versions of After Effects.

trim_precomposition_layer

This feature saves you the hassle of needing to trim the precomposition after creating it—something that countless After Effects users had to do many times per day.

Thanks to Stefan Wiegand for doing the programming work.

Go ahead and try this out now in the current version. If you’re not already a Creative Cloud subscriber, you can try the free 30-day trial. For information about purchasing a Creative Cloud subscription, see this page about plans and this page with current promotional offers.

If you want to let us know what your favorite changes in After Effects have been since After Effects CC (12.0), come and tell us here, whether your favorite change is a new feature, a bug fix, or a little tweak in behavior.

What is your favorite change (feature, fix, tweak) in After Effects from version 12.0 or later?

What is your favorite change (whether a new feature, a tweaked behavior, or a bug fix) in After Effects CC (12.0) or later? Please answer here, not in the comments on this blog post.

Since we moved to the Creative Cloud model, we’ve been more able to focus on tweaks to make workflows more efficient, under-the-hood infrastructure changes, and smaller user-requested features, as opposed to focusing on big, glitzy features to try to catch your eye and compel you to put down a lot of money at once on an expensive upgrade.

One of the problems of doing several small releases in the past few years, though, is that a lot of the small but useful changes have gone unnoticed by many people. I’m going to try to address that over the next few months by posting some articles about my favorite changes in After Effects from the past few years.

To inform these articles, I’d like for all of you to help by telling me what you favorite changes are. Also, if you know of any resources (tutorials, articles, and such) that explain your favorite changes very well, then list those, too. Again, please answer here, not in the comments on this blog post.

To refresh your memory, here are the pages with all of the details of what’s new and changed in each version of After Effects from After Effects CC (12.0) forward:

Of course, if you want to make feature requests and bug reports, you can do so here.

Join us tomorrow for a Character Animator design discussion

Join us tomorrow, July 29th, for a Character Animator design discussion.

The Character Animator engineers and designers will be holding two one-hour design meetings—one at at 9:30AM and one at 4:30PM—to hear your ideas for Character Animator. (Times are in US Pacific Time, since we’re mostly in Seattle and San Francisco.)

We’ll start with a brief demonstration of what’s new in Preview 2—which you should try out if you haven’t already—and then open the doors to any and all suggestions. Tell us what you love, what you hate, and what we should do next.

You can participate using the chat feature in our web conference system, Adobe Connect.

To attend the meeting, just go here during one (or both!) of the meeting times.

We hope to see you there!

Adobe Media Encoder CC 2015 (9.0.1) bug-fix update

The Adobe Media Encoder CC 2015 (9.0.1) bug-fix update is now available.

You can install the update through the Creative Cloud desktop application, or you can check for new updates from within any Adobe application by choosing Help > Updates. You can also manually download and install this update for Windows and Mac OS.

For details of all of the other updates for Adobe professional video and audio applications, see this page.

Please, if you want to ask questions about this update, come on over to the Adobe Media Encoder user-to-user forum, rather than leaving comments on this blog post. (It’s much harder to have conversations in the comments of a blog post.) If you’d like to submit feature requests or bug reports, you can do so here.


bugs fixed and changes made in this update


  • Fixed some issues that caused audio noise in exported files.
  • Set Start Timecode now handles switching between frame rates properly.
  • Fixed a problem that caused Lumetri Color Looks to not be not applied when sources were queued to Adobe Media Encoder from Premiere Pro.
  • Choosing a custom Lumetri Look/LUT now works as expected.
  • The QuickTime Match Source (Rewrap) preset now works with DVCPRO source material containing 24P pulldown.
  • Fixed an issue on Windows where After Effects could not queue to Adobe Media Encoder if it was installed in a custom location.
  • Fixed a hang when exporting certain AVI files.
  • Rescanning a watch folder for a new source no longer crashes Adobe Media Encoder.
  • Improved performance when scrubbing sources with Name/Timecode overlays turned on.
  • Queued items are no longer removed from the queue immediately after the export completes.
  • Fixed an issue that caused some H.264 exports to be incorrectly flagged as having a variable frame rate.
  • Fixed some crashes and hangs when exporting to QuickTime-wrapped IMX and ProRes.
  • Fixed an issue that caused random black frames to be inserted into QuickTime-wrapped XDCAM and IMX exports.
  • Fixed various minor user interface issues.
  • The SurCode encoder has been removed. Most of the functionality provided by this component is provided instead by the built-in Dolby exporter. If you have previously purchased the full version of the SurCode plug-in, you will need to reinstall it after updating to Adobe Media Encoder 9.0.1

Character Animator (Preview 2) now available

The Character Animator (Preview 2) update is now available.

You can install the update through the Creative Cloud desktop application, or you can check for new updates from within any Adobe application by choosing Help > Updates.

This update includes many fixes and changes, including the following:

  • more accurate face tracking
  • more accurate lip synch
  • track reordering in the timeline
  • snapping in the timeline
  • transparency grid
  • more instructive Getting Started project
  • performance improvements
  • new puppet template artwork
  • bug fixes

For complete details of what’s new and changed in Preview 2, see the “What’s New in Character Animator” page.

For details of all of the other updates for Adobe professional video and audio applications, see this page.

Please, if you want to ask questions about this update, come on over to the Character Animator user-to-user forum. If you’d like to submit feature requests (or bug reports), you can do so here.