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new OpenEXR and DPX importers for After Effects CC (12.0): better performance and additional functionality

Two big areas of new and changed features in After Effects CC (12.0) are DPX and OpenEXR improvements.

improved performance with OpenEXR files, especially those with many channels

After Effects CC (12.0) includes version 1.8 of the OpenEXR importer plug-in from fnordware and version 1.8 of the ProEXR plug-ins, EXtractoR and IDentifier. (For details about how to use the ProEXR plug-ins to use 3D channels and other data in OpenEXR files in After Effects, see this section of After Effects Help.)

Among the improvements in these plug-ins is a new channel caching feature. You can enable this feature by opening the Interpret Footage dialog box for an EXR file, clicking the More Options button, and choosing Channel Cache. If you have an EXR file with many channels that you are extracting, you will want to turn this on. The more channels you have, the more things will speed up.

Brendan Bolles, the creator of the ProEXR plug-ins, has much more detail about the channel cache and how it speeds things up on his blog.

By the way, you can also use the new version 1.8 plug-ins with After Effects CS6. They’re forward- and backward-compatible.

improved performance with DPX files, and ability to import additional information from DPX files

The DPX importer in previous versions of After Effects only worked with 10-bpc color.

The DPX importer in this version can import 8-, 10-, 12-, and 16-bpc DPX files, including DPX files with an alpha channel and timecode.

workaround for known bug when exporting DPX files from a composition with under-range or over-range values

If you’re exporting DPX files from a composition that has under-range or over-range values (i.e., values outside the range 0.0-1.0) in a 32-bpc project, you may get bad image data. The workaround is to nest the composition into a new composition, and apply the Levels effect to the precomposition layer, with Clip To Output Black and Clip To Output White both set to On.


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