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

what’s new and changed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.7) update

The After Effects CC 2015 (13.7) update is now available.

For details of the updates for all Adobe professional video and audio applications and services, see this page. Also, in January 2016 Adobe Stock added over 100,000 4K high-quality video assets, which you can search for, download, and license in the Libraries panel in After Effects and Premiere Pro.

If you’re a Creative Cloud subscriber, you can download the new version by checking for updates through the Creative Cloud desktop application. For information about purchasing a Creative Cloud subscription, see this page about plans and this page with current promotional offers.

Please, if you want to ask questions about these new and changed features, come on over to the After Effects user-to-user forum. That’s the best place for questions. Questions left in comments on a blog post are much harder to work with; the blog comment system just isn’t set up for conversations. If you’d like to submit feature requests or bug reports, you can do so here.

summary of what’s new in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.7) update

  • Maxon CINEWARE 3.0
  • new preference to auto-save when starting the render queue
  • improvements to Cache Before Playback previews
  • … and many bug fixes

Maxon CINEWARE 3.0

Maxon’s CINEWARE plug-in for After Effects has been updated to version 3.0, and includes the following features:

  • Live Link, which synchronizes the timelines in After Effects and Cinema 4D (R17 SP2)
  • support for the Cinema 4D Take System (R17)
  • extract .c4d timeline markers
  • other enhancements and fixes

CINEWARE 3.0 also includes the following rendering improvements:

  • OpenGL renderer
  • renderer limitations have been removed: Physical, Hardware, and Sketch and Toon renderers will now render using CINEWARE
  • multi-pass alpha channels

You will need Cinema 4D R17 to use the Take System, and Cinema 4D R17.048 (SP2) to use Live Link. Even if you don’t have access to Cinema 4D R17, the rest of the new features can be used with After Effects and Cinema 4D versions R14-R16, including the version of Cinema 4D Lite R16 included with After Effects CC 2015.

Live Link

Live Link enables the timelines of Cinema 4D and After Effects to be synchronized. Live Link requires Cinema 4D R17.048 (SP2) or later. If the selected version of Cinema 4D does not support Live Link, the Enable button will be greyed out.

To use Live Link, ensure that the Cinema 4D paths in the CINEWARE Options dialog is set to a version of Cinema 4D that supports Live Link (Cinema 4D R17.048 or later). When you click the Enable button for Live Link (under the Show help button), the specified Cinema 4D version will open the current file. If Live Link has not been enabled in Cinema 4D, brief instructions will appear. To enable Live Link in Cinema 4D, choose Edit > Preferences > Communication > Live Link, then enable Live Link Enabled At Startup. The timelines will now be synchronized when switching between After Effects and Cinema 4D. When you select a different C4D layer in After Effects, press Enable to synchronize that layer.

Take System

The Cinema 4D R17 Take System has been integrated into CINEWARE. The Set Take button in the CINEWARE effect will be enabled if the .c4d file contains takes. If the current renderer does not support take selections then the main take will be used.

extract .c4d timeline markers

Timeline markers in .c4d files are now added to the C4D layer in After Effects when you click the Extract button.

Note: To avoid problems extracting scene data in After Effects, enable Save Polygons for Melange and Save Animation for Melange in Cinema 4D preferences.

OpenGL renderer

The CINEWARE renderer can now be set to OpenGL.

renderer limitations removed for Physical, Hardware, and Sketch and Toon

Renderer limitations have been removed in CINEWARE. When your .c4d file has been saved in a full retail (e.g., Studio) version of Cinema 4D with Render Settings set to the Physical or Hardware renderer, it will render with those settings when the CINEWARE renderer is set to Standard (Final) or Standard (Draft). Sketch and Toon will render when the CINEWARE renderer is set to Standard (Final).

Note that this limitation is only removed for CINEWARE. The version of Cinema 4D Lite included with After Effects CC 2015 is not affected by this change and still has limitations on which renderers it can use.

multi-pass alpha channels

Multi-pass layers are now created with an alpha channel.

Synchronize C4D Layers

When the Cinema 4D Layers option is enabled, a new option to Synchronize C4D Layers becomes available when there are multiple instances (including extracted passes) of the C4D layer in the composition. All instances of the same layer with Synchronize C4D Layers enabled will synchronize changes made when enabling or disabling Cinema 4D layers by clicking Set Layers.

Note the difference between the two synchronize options in CINEWARE:

  • Synchronize AE layer: Render Settings and Camera options are synchronized on all instances of the C4D layer.
  • Synchronize C4D Layers: Cinema 4D Layers settings are synchronized on all instances the C4D layer.

other changes in CINEWARE

The No Pre-calculation option is now enabled by default. This disables pre-calculations for computing motion dynamics or particle simulations. You may need to disable No Pre-calculation for final rendering, depending on the animation used in the .c4d file.

new preference to auto-save when starting the render queue

In Preferences > Auto-Save, you can now control whether After Effects automatically saves the project when you start the render queue. The new Save When Starting Render Queue option is enabled by default.

This new option is a separate control from auto-saving at intervals (“Save every X minutes”). The Auto-Save options have been modified to make it clear that you can choose to save at intervals, save when starting the render queue, or both.

Starting in After Effects CC 2015 (13.6), auto-saving does not occur while the render queue is rendering. In After Effects CC 2015 (13.6), if Automatically Save Projects was enabled in Preferences > Auto-Save, projects were always auto-saved when you started the render queue; After Effects CC 2015 (13.7) now allows you to control whether or not this auto-save occurs.

improvements to Cache Before Playback previews

When the Cache Before Playback option is enabled in the Preview panel, After Effects CC 2015 (13.7) now previews frames as they are rendered. As the frames are rendered, only newly rendered frames are previewed; previously rendered frames are skipped. Audio is not previewed during this caching phase of the preview.

After all frames are rendered, preview of the cached frames begins (with audio, if enabled).

notable bug fixes

  • Resizing a panel by dragging panel borders with a tablet pen (e.g. a Wacom tablet) no longer causes the pointer to continue to drag the panel border the next time you touch the pen down, or to unexpectedly begin dragging after a single click.
  • Zooming with the mouse wheel in a Composition panel set to multiple views will again zoom the view under the pointer as expected, instead of only zooming the first view.
  • Audio is no longer silent for the first 2 seconds of real-time playback of previews after the composition has been fully cached, if the Mute Audio When Preview Is Not Real-time preference is enabled. Important: This fixed bug addresses a specific problem in which audio did not engage when the playback frame rate is real-time; we are continuing to investigate a similar bug some users are experiencing where the preview of a cached composition starts out slower than real-time, and ramps up to real-time after a similar delay (~2-3 seconds). In this case, if Mute Audio When Preview Is Not Real-time is enabled, you will not hear audio during until the preview frame rate is real-time; you can work around this bug by disabling Mute Audio When Preview Is Not Real-time.
  • Audio no longer plays out of sync if the frame rate of the comp or footage is different than the Frame Rate option in the Preview panel.
  • Visual artifacts no longer occur in layers that use time remapping with frame blending set to Pixel Motion, or with Timewarp, Rolling Shutter Repair, and other effects that use the Pixel Motion (optical flow) method.
  • Antialiasing in viewer panels (Composition, Layer, Footage) is improved when downsampling (e.g., viewer resolution is set to full and zoom is set to 25%) and the Hardware Accelerate Composition, Layer, and Footage Panels option is enabled in Preferences > Display.
  • Layers draw their contents as expected, instead of a wireframe, when you hold the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key while dragging the anchor point with the Pan Behind tool.
  • Fixed several cases where the render progress bar in the Composition panel failed to appear or update as expected after modifying a composition.
  • Resetting a workspace to its saved layout no longer opens empty Timeline panels.
  • The Paint workspace now opens the Paint and Brushes panels instead of the Character and Paragraph panels.
  • Audio-only previews no longer restore the workspace when the Timeline panel or other non-viewer panels are maximized.
  • Choosing Replace With After Effects Composition in Premiere Pro no longer fails with an error, “Importer reported a generic error”, if the Premiere Pro sequence is set to greater than 99fps. Note that while the new composition in After Effects will be at the expected frame rate, changing that composition’s settings will reduce its frame rate to 99fps. (99fps is the maximum value allowed by the Composition Settings dialog. This bug fix behaves similar to dragging footage that is greater than 99fps to the New Composition button at the bottom of the Project panel in After Effects.)
  • Previews now play the composition, layer, or footage only once when the Loop control in the Preview Panel is set to Play Once, even when the playback requires frames to be cached and causes it not to play in real-time. Note that when Cache Before Playback is enabled, the caching phase is separate and not considered to be playback; once all frames are cached, then the single playback loop begins.
  • Scrolling in the Render Queue panel during rendering works again.
  • Previewing with Full Screen enabled no longer causes an error message: internal verification failure, sorry! {no current context}
  • After Effects no longer crashes when you select multiple keyframes, then open the Keyframe Velocity dialog and enable Continuous.
  • Executing After Effects via the command line no longer fails if the file path to a project file or script contains “-ep”.

If you’d like to let us know what you’d like to see addressed in a future update, let us know with a bug report or feature request here. You can also talk with us on the After Effects user-to-user forum. Please, do not leave comments on this blog post, since the blog comment system is not set up well for bug reports or conversations.

After Effects CC 2015 (13.6.1) bug-fix update available: fixes stale image cache and more

The After Effects CC 2015 (13.6.1) bug-fix update is now available. This update fixes multiple bugs, including a bug that caused After Effects to not update the preview image in the Composition panel, which happened most commonly after using Undo.

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.

For details of what was added, changed, and fixed in After Effects CC 2015 (13.6), see this 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 After Effects 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.

The After Effects team is continuing to investigate other bugs for future updates. Please refer to this article for current information about known issues.

tell us what we should work on next

The After Effects team is currently planning our releases for the upcoming year, which will focus on quality and performance. We would like to hear from you about what specific areas we should work on next.

Please fill out a short survey, which will help us learn what you consider most important to the development of After Effects. We appreciate you taking the time to do this.

bug fixes in After Effects CC 2015 (13.6.1)

The After Effects CC 2015 (13.6.1) bug-fix update addresses these significant bugs:

  • The preview image in the Composition panel no longer fails to update in certain cases after you make a change to the composition. This fix prevents After Effects from putting the image cache into a bad state, which most commonly occurred on Windows after using Undo, but could also occur after other changes once the project had entered the bad state.
  • Previewing a composition with audio will no longer fail to start when a layer has an audio effect with an expression, and display an error: Effect cannot use “abort” callback when called with “unrecognized plug-in effect command” command. ( 25 :: 19 )
  • Viewer panels (Composition, Layer, Footage) no longer show downsampling artifacts when the viewer zoom is set to 50% zoom, the viewer resolution is set to Full, and the Hardware Accelerate Composition, Layer, and Footage Panels option is enabled in Preferences > Display.
  • After Effects no longer fails to start on computers with older processors lacking a specific instruction set (e.g., AMD Phenom II and Athlon processors). The error message given for this specific issue was “The application was unable to start correctly (0xc000001d)” or “The application was unable to start correctly (0xc0000142)”. Note: A similar issue affects Premiere Pro CC 2015 (9.1), for which the fix is somewhat more involved. An upcoming Premiere Pro update is intended to address this issue. Thank you for your patience.
  • After Effects no longer generates the wrong image for layers using some plug-ins in 16-bpc or 32-bpc (bits per channel) color mode. Affected plug-ins included Digital Film Tools Film Stocks and Digital Anarchy plug-ins.
  • Creative Cloud account names that use non-ASCII characters (e.g., Japanese and Chinese characters) no longer cause an error “could not convert Unicode characters” when you start After Effects.

Toddler Fun Learning brings 2D characters to life with Adobe Character Animator

Experts in animation and illustration create more fun and engaging 2D characters for growing YouTube channel

When Christian Hughes couldn’t find educational video content on YouTube for his toddlers that appealed to him, he decided to create it himself. As the Founder and CEO of a successful video production company, he used his background in animation and video to establish Toddler Fun Learning, a successful YouTube channel for the younger set.

The channel is a family affair, with Christian serving as Creative Director and his wife Amalie as Marketing Director. They also employ talented freelance animators, including Chay Hawes, who work with them to improve the quality of animated content with new tools in Adobe Creative Cloud. Most recently, they started working with Adobe Character Animator, which is available with a download of Adobe After Effects CC, to create charming 2D animated characters.

Toddler Fun Learning










Adobe: Why did you decided to start making educational YouTube videos for kids?

Hughes: I have a video production company, Curly Productions, which specializes in online video content, promotional videos, and motion graphics for clients. After I had kids, educational video content became important to me, yet I couldn’t find anything on YouTube that reminded me of the content I watched when I was young. A lot of the content was hyperactive and used clipart style graphics, yet still got millions of views.

I decided to take a crack at creating some animated videos myself, hearkening back to what I remembered as a kid, but with a modern YouTube twist. I created some animations, posted them on YouTube, and they got more and more views. Today, we have more than 100 videos and 40 million views on Toddler Fun Learning.

Hughes Family












Adobe: How long have you used Adobe software?

Hughes: I’ve been using Adobe software since I was 14 years old. I taught myself Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, and to a lesser extent Photoshop and Illustrator. I’ve implemented Creative Cloud across Curly Productions and also use it for the Toddler Fun Learning videos.

Adobe: How did you first start creating animated video content for Toddler Fun Learning?

Hughes: I created the first 10 videos myself. I came up with the idea for Number Zoo when I was on a flight to South Africa and immediately started drawing it using Adobe Ideas, which is now Adobe Draw. I’m not an illustrator by trade, but I thought kids might like drawings that looked like they were drawn by kids.

Number Zoo














I synced the artwork to Creative Cloud, opened them in Illustrator to refine the drawings, separated them into layers, and created the arms and legs. Next, I moved into After Effects for animation and then used Dynamic Link to bring the animations into Premiere Pro where I added the music.

We release one animation each Friday. The software enables us to achieve this schedule. We just started releasing a second video on Tuesdays that is a partnership with Penguin Books. Filmed at the YouTube studio in London, Story Time for Children features live action of celebrities reading storybooks to kids.

Story Time










Adobe: Who is the team behind the Toddler Fun Learning videos and how do you work together?

Hughes: In addition to me and my wife, we have three trusted animators, all with full-time jobs during the day. They enjoy spending some time on weekends and evenings doing something creative. Our channel doesn’t have a distinct style. I just tell the animators and illustrators that the content is for kids and they can be as creative and off the wall as they want. They come up with ideas, create storyboards and character designs, then we’ll create an animatic followed by the full video. It’s a quick process, and Creative Cloud makes it easy for all of us to work together.

Hawes: I initially started working with Toddler Fun Learning on a few nursery rhyme animations, and then we created the Puppy Park series together. At the time, I was starting my own animated YouTube series called Daisy and Fluff. This began as another narrated animation, but when I saw Adobe Character Animator I decided to expand it to include elements of character acting and lip sync to interact more with the audience. Christian and I agreed to do the same for our next Toddler Fun Learning series.

Puppy Park










Adobe: How is Character Animator significant to the work you do?

Hughes: Animation can be quite time consuming and costly, so all of the money we make on the channel is reinvested into new content. We’re always trying to find new ways to create higher quality content on a really tight budget. Character Animator gives us the opportunity to try on-screen character animation with our new series Gecko’s Garage at a much lower cost than traditional character animation, which is really exciting.

Geckos Garage










Hawes: Before Character Animator, we could only do very basic on-screen animations such as adding a wiggle or an expression, waving an arm, or making the mouth move a bit. With Character Animator we can create all of the character’s movement and speech using a webcam. It was easy to get set up with the basic character for Gecko’s Garage. After creating the character in Photoshop I imported it into Character Animator. From there, Christian recorded the voiceover while I generated the puppet’s movements.

Adobe: What are your favorite Character Animator features?

Hawes: Lip sync in Character Animator is huge. After I put the initial time into making the mouth shapes and the character I did the lip sync in just a couple of minutes. Instead of going back and recreating the entire animation whenever we needed to make a change, we just did takes to update features such as the eye movements.

Geckos Garage 2














I also like how I can just move around in my seat and bring life to the character so easily. The breathing tool is also great. Even if the character isn’t doing something on screen, they can still be breathing, which is a simple motion to add that doesn’t require keyframing.

Adobe: What feedback have you gotten on Gecko’s Garage?

Hughes: Our kids are our biggest critics, and we often tweak characters depending on their response. In the case of Gecko’s Garage, their feedback led us to speed up the intro so you meet the characters right away. We’ve also looked at the YouTube analytics and the audience retention for the show is really good, with a 70% watch time and more than 30,000 views to date.

Adobe: What are the future plans for Toddler Fun Learning?

Hughes: We have eight episodes of Gecko’s Garage planned at the point, with a different educational slant for each one. Overall, we want to create more character oriented videos and we have a new series with aliens coming up. Eventually we’re looking at creating content for older kids as well.

Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud

Find out more at and






Avoid crashes. If you use After Effects on Mac OS X v10.10 (Yosemite), update to Mac OS X v10.10.5.

If you use After Effects on Mac OS X v10.10 (Yosemite), update to Mac OS X v10.10.5.

We can see in our crash reporter data that a lot of folks are experiencing crashes when using After Effects on Mac OS X v10.10 (Yosemite). These crashes are nearly all occurring on old versions of Mac OS X v10.10, previous to the current v10.10.5.

Apple made a lot of great fixes in the Mac OS X v10.10.5 update to fix issues regarding GPU usage by many applications, so it’s a good idea to update to this version of Mac OS X v10.10 even aside from the impact that it has on After Effects.

Because of some additional GPU work done for After Effects CC 2015 (13.6), this version of After Effects is especially affected by the issues in the versions of Mac OS X v10.10 before v10.10.5.

A specific crashing problem with After Effects that is fixed by updating Mac OS X v10.10 to v10.10.5 is one that gives the message “<GPUManager> <2> Sniffer Result Code: 7” when trying to start After Effects. This same problem can also occur on Windows 7 if you have not yet installed Windows 7 Service Pack 1.

To discuss this issue or others, please come to the After Effects user-to-user forum. Please, don’t leave comments on this blog post, since the blog commenting system just isn’t set up to have conversations and engage in troubleshooting.

Please submit bug reports here.

Stay tuned to this blog for news next week about a bug fix update that we are currently working on to address a few issues in After Effects CC 2015 (13.6).

After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) and Character Animator (Preview 3) updates now available

After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) is now available. For details about what’s new and changed in After Effects CC 2015 (13.6), see this page. That also means that Character Animator (Preview 3) is available.

This update brings many advances to After Effects, including performance and user interface improvements for previews, multi-touch gestures, optimizations for small and high-resolution screens, improved color fidelity, new importers, scripting additions, the ability to search and license stock video from within After Effects, and streamlined Creative Cloud Libraries workflows. For details, see this page.

The Character Animator (Preview 3) update adds “sticks” to control rigidity of the puppet mesh, multi-touch gestures to control character limbs, the ability to share rigged puppets, increased recording flexibility, performance improvements, and much more. For details, see this page.

For an overview of what’s new in all of the Adobe professional video and audio applications and services, see this page. For details of the updates for all Adobe professional video and audio applications and services, see this page.

If you’re a Creative Cloud subscriber, you can download the new version by checking for updates through the Creative Cloud desktop application. For information about purchasing a Creative Cloud subscription, see this page about plans and this page with current promotional offers. For more information about Creative Cloud, see this overview video and the Creative Cloud FAQ list.

IMPORTANT: The After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) update will update and replace After Effects CC 2015 (13.5). This updater will not modify instances of After Effects CC 2014 (13.2) and earlier; however, before installing the new version of After Effects, please read this page about the default behavior of the Creative Cloud installation system, which is to remove all previous versions of applications, and this page about why you might not want to do that.