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

Happy New Year! ~ and a question…

First off – Happy New Year to all! 2013 was a fantastic year in the world of After Effects, and I’m stoked about what could be done in 2014. With that – I wanted to share a new years resolution of mine. My blog has been really ‘announcy’, which although not even a word – 2013 was really a lot of announcements coming from yours truly.

Therefore – my resolution is to return my portion of the After Effects blog to being about conversations. My favorite thing about this job is talking with folks who use what we create. I like to hear what we did right of course, but I LOVE to hear what we haven’t done or did wrong.

To that end, my comrade in arms Todd Kopriva recently distributed a blog post showing the top feature requests of 2013. It’s a pretty extensive list, and I am super proud about how much we could knock off that list throughout the year.

That being said, I want to look into 2014 and ask you, our customer, a hypothetical question…

What if we did NOTHING else in After Effects during 2014 other than make it faster? I mean MUCH faster. I mean much faster without a specific hardware requirement (new CPU, GPU, disk, machine, etc., etc.)?

To be frank, that’s not what’s in the works currently for 2014.  A lot of our developer resources are going to focus on performance, but also on workflow and creative capability. I am curious though what your reaction would be if we ditched the workflow and creative stuff for 2014, and put ALL of our resources on nothing but making After Effects killer fast.  Great!, good, bad, ugly?

Have fun in the comments – I look forward to hearing from you.


[Update – Jan 13 2014, 8pm PST – Wow! Thanks to everyone for your comments.  Myself and the team have been pouring over your feedback and will have an update shortly.  Until then – we have heard loud and clear that not just raw rendering performance is the desire, but interactive performance is king (600 creative decisions instead of 100 because you don’t have to wait for UI, frame update, etc etc).  Will continue the conversation in a new blog post. – S]



YES! Although all that speed is nothing if the app crashes /faster/. I’d love a solid year of speed improvements and big fixes.

    If nothing else, I find that just working with keyframes or layers can get a bit laggy (drawing selections around keyframes,selecting layers and navigating the timeline, etc). I think these tasks would take up a significant chunk of my day, so saving a second every few seconds would add up to a huge productivity boost.

    I think you should focus on being fast, but why would that be the only focus? I hate to be the one being the grouch here, but you should be able to make it fast, and add improvements and other new features. Why would just making it faster be the ONLY focus?

I’ll go first then: I would love for AE to be faster. MUCH faster. Personally I think I could live without any other improvements for at least six months if the result was improved speed.


    I agree, 6 months of just speed improvements would be great and something I could live with also. I guess with out us knowing what is around the corner with any new features it is difficult to gauge as I for one would like both!
    Plugins usually fill in any void though for most of the things I do in AE when it is not easy or doable natively.

I’d definitely be all for that. If AE were super insanely fast, you might just own the market. I would be ok with no other updates other than making it insanely fast.

That would be amazing for me. As much as I love the program it is not up to speed with my creativity. Every other piece of technology makes us expect real time, I know that it takes a lot more resources to comp and precomp stuff but the way the previews are set up it makes it a pain. If it was faster and easier with the previews and audio it would improve workflows so much I wouldnt care much about other features.

That would be absolutely the best thing to do.

A new “creative” feature still won’t change the fact that after 12 major versions of AE it still can’t play videos in real time without a RAM preview.

Besides – 3rd party developers do a great job providing new creative solutions for AE (Trapcode Suite, Element 3D to name a few).

Focus on speed – that’s music to my ears :-)

I personally would LOVE to see a real improvement on speed. I haven’t use CC yet, since none of my employers made the upgrade, So CS6 is what i’m used to work with, and i have to say that i have been feeling for a long time that the response and overall speed of the program has fell a little behind.
I was using C4D the other day, manipulating some pretty complex geometry almost in real time, and when i switched to AE in order to generate some animated textures, i felt a little weird having to create a ram preview to see 3 or 4 simple layers in motion. Even working in the curve editor feels somehow slow to me.
I understand that it’s not the same thing, but there the breach is there. I think After Effects needs to be faster in order to remain the great tool that gave many of us a profession.


That’s a very good idea, thumbs up. The tools are good enough right now to do the work, a full year of optimization would be awesome.

I’d be pumped to have Ae super fast, including realtime playback of video on the timeline and have no problem with that being the No.1 focus.



Increasing speed for multi-core systems would be very nice. The 2010 MacPros are three years old, and AE still isn’t taking full advantage of their cores.

Sounds like a great plan!

I would most certainly be okay with that!

To me, I don’t care about fast final rendering, the important speed is the number of iterations of design and animation. So raw rendering speed is easily trumped by interactivity and parallelism. Peg my machine!

Things like letting at least one CPU core start rendering while the others’ processes are spawned would be the historical parallel to Henry Ford saying “Ask people what they want and they’ll say a faster horse.” You need to bite the bullet and break apart the processes that were glued together 20 years ago. I want 2014 to end with me saying “Remember when you had to wait for Ae to finish rendering a frame you didn’t want, before you could regain control over the UI?”

I’d vote for a killer fast AE !

I would be completely stoked if there was a year of nothing but speed and stability improvements.

To Jonas’s point, it’s not all just about final rendering speed either. General responsiveness and stability counts for a lot. If I get no new features for one year, but at the end of that year, I get AE that is more responsive, crashes less often and renders faster on a macbook pro, I’d take it over new features for sure.

I think now is an EXCELLENT time to focus on performance. There have been numerous enhancements and features added (particularly in the past 3 years or so). The funny thing is…when a new feature or capability is released…everyone and their uncle (or aunt) rushes to design something with that new tool, and we see a rush of pieces obviously influenced by that new feature. Then, after awhile, things settle down, and that new feature finds it’s place in the overall toolset, while good, balanced creative design comes forth from the community.

I think we have a lot of newer tools in our AE toolbox, such that, we need to work with what we have for awhile while the AE team makes it all work faster. Although I wouldn’t be averse to the occasional productivity-enhancing featurette that might come along the way. After all, sometimes a simple workflow modification can have just as much impact as a faster RAM preview.

But ultimately, designing is an iterative process. If AE can not only make it faster/easier for that artist to execute , but display the results faster…that designer will have time for more iterations before the deadline…therefore allowing for more experimentation, more tweeking, and ultimately more refined work.

And that is a good thing.


I would love to see real time playback. Amongst other speed improvements.

Kind regards,

– Andrew

An After Effects that was *considerably* [1] faster to use and had faster rendering, would be a joy. As long as that didn’t come at the cost of stability. However what I would love more is an upgrade that concentrated *mostly* on speed but also fixed a few bugs, and added a couple of things from the feature wishlist.

[1] If after a year of concentrating on speed and it was only *marginally faster, that would be a disappointment…

Yes yes yes. Especially working in the TLW.
Thank you.

I would absolutely love to see a year dedicated to nothing but performance improvement. I actually think that this is the best possible use of your team’s time, because of all the time it will ultimately save for all of us as we work.

Along those lines, I actually think that performance IS a creative feature: the faster the app, the more we users can iterate and experiment.

If you ONLY mean faster to render then I’d say no thanks, because I’m used to managing my time and if a job really justified it I can invest in better hardware. If you mean faster to RAM Preview then I’d say… maybe. I’d want that to be something like at least 3 or 4 times as fast as it is now. I know what twice as fast feels like because that’s roughly the difference between my laptop and desktop, and I think I’d rather have the hinted-at extra features such as ubertwirl and a swatches pane. In the real world workflow and UI enhancements ARE ‘speed’ because they allow us to reach creative goals quicker. In practical usage I do two types of render – those that are for ‘now’ and those that I set off for an indeterminate later time, usually ‘tomorrow’ or ‘end of the day’ and neither of them are problematically slow. In 12 years the only times I’ve really been desperate for faster rendering are when I’ve made mistakes myself and realised it almost too late.

This would be absolutely the best thing you could do. I love new features, but I only use a fraction of them on any of my projects, and the fact of the matter is that they are usually the same subset of features for just about everything I do. And if AE doesn’t have a feature I need, there is probably a 3rd party plugin to do it. I have never once felt like leaving AE for another platform due to missing features. That said, if I were to find an alternative software that was substantially FASTER than AE, well…





Yes! Please do this, focus on speed for a year! Lay the foundation for the next decade!

Speed = more time to create = in a sense, the best feature set you can possibly offer.


YES! But coupled with a non-subscription version 😉

This could be a great idea, as long as work continues on those other top requests.

Specifically, I’d like to this speed effort put toward faster expressions and separate UI and rendering processes.

YES! Speed is king! Great idea! Go for it, please!

Yes, yes yes!
As long as faster also means equal or more stable!

AE is a very well rounded tool but I do think that in some aspects its too slow. If you look at what kind of insane hardware we have these days all software including AE should be faster than they are.
I am not sure why they are not, but if you would spent the entire year on making it faster I would be a very happy client!!

Yes! Even with my 32GB of RAM on my 2013 iMac, once I add in a few lights, my RAM preview speed AND render speed drop significantly. If you were to make a huge improvement, I could definitely live without new features. CC added plenty! On top of that, 3rd Party plug-ins like Trapcode, Magic Bullet, Element 3D, etc, add so many new features alone, I think that upping the speed of the program would certainly be a good decision!

I am absolutely in the camp of more and better performance. I love After Effects, my entire company is focussed on its use. It’s how I make a living, build my business and put food on the table. I know I can speak for all those who work for me. A performance boost would be an amazing upgrade and a total game changer for us. We work on a lot of high-turnover productions and being able to interact with AE faster AND have faster renders would blow us all away!

The faster we can work within each project opens the door to new creative ideas because who won’t have to worry about how long something would take for the computer itself to deal with. I know it’s the nature of our part of the field to wait around. But to have not have to worry about it so much would be amazing.

For people who have never been in our field I always give them the analogy, “It’s sort of like if you’re a painter and every time you take your brush to the canvas, you have to wait 1 minute to see if the stroke looked good and was the right color.”

Faster interaction, Ram previews, and final renders… man… I’m getting excited just thinking about it!

Thanks for AE team’s hard work!

Absolutely! That would put a BIG smile on my face.

I am all for a faster AE. I spend 70% of my AE waiting for things. Waiting for plugins to load, waiting for effects to update, waiting for ram previews just so I can see my animation in “real time”, etc… While there are plenty of fixes and quirks I would love to see taken care of in AE including ExtendScript issues, most of us have found our Rube Goldberg work arounds for the moment that get the job done. With that, I am open to sit tight on those if I know a much needed faster AE was being focused on. I say go for it.

I would absolutely love speed to be the priority.
I think many of us are very happy with existing workflow and interface features.
Obviously improvements are exciting, but not game changing. Efficiency of the core and speed would be game changing. Especially in the creative process.
Some port of premiere’s mercury engine would be insane, and/or whatever you guys have in mind for the speed increase!!!

Speed is what we need! So go for it!

Go fast or go home.

Would love to see this happen. My back would thank you.

Speed is AWESOME, But! .. What if you would add a possibility to link an aep into another? Without 3rd party plugins 😉 That would be great!
And with speed, i’d like to see some more of that mercury streaming engine 😉
Thx for an awesome software!

Since ae 4 i realy dont get the plan why ae did some simple tasks so slowly. As resolutions got bigger over the years itdid nit get better.If you could give us realtime even embedded in premiere, lots of people would hug u a lot. Included me :-)

Speed increase in terms of real time or almost real time playback would be wonderful. As many above have said, AE has the capabilities right now, given all the third party plugins and scripts, to create just about anything we can imagine. The addition of blazing speed would be the final touch! One thing I would love to see though, and I’ve been asking for it on the features requests for years, is to have the RAM render work like Combustion used to work: You render a segment or comp, then start playing it back, and you can make changes, or add effects, and it still keeps chugging along, showing the change the next time it loops. It made creative changes so much easier to preview. I’m still with CS6, but on an HP Z800 with 48GB of RAM, AE works pretty fast, but realtime? You bet!!!

This is my greatest hope for CC and a way to draw in more of the folks who are clinging on yo legacy versions. Id be ok if there were just other improvements but sooner than later this NEEDS to be done. Thanks for being open and exploring the question. Go for it!!!!!!!!!

Putting the initial focus on speeding up AE would absolutely be the most important thing I could ask for.

For me, speed is the most important thing !
And you could use the CUDA technology not only for the raytraced renders but also for the regular render !

Faster damn it. Real time playback!

Speed! and finaly make AE use all cores of CPU

Speed of course is important. And I am guessing the fact there is a panel called Performance in there now that is black means this a big thing. It would have to be incredibly fast.

Personally I think it’s insane there is still no folder / ubertwirl yet.

I would love nodal based effects – change 1 effect and it’s changed everywhere. The flowchart is woefully underused. Layers are still the way to go of course but there much be better ways of applying effects as linked behaviours.

And of course i hope you are looking at more OpenCL for the 3d etc. Cudu is great but if there is an open platform way to do something then do it :)

Media encoder is great for back ground rendering but you can’t set at lot of opritons in it – for example frame number start – a jpg sequence will always be xxx.0000.jpg or whatever

I must say as an experienced After Effects user that after having gone through the list of feature requests waiting to be implemented I would rather see almost every one of those before speed improvements.

Performance is obviously a huge deal to After Effects artists, it sounds very appealing and I don’t think anyone would say they wouldn’t want it. If we could have both, I’d say go for it! But it’s the one thing that we actually have control over as users without relying on a new update from Adobe. You learn fairly quickly as an artist how to compensate for processor intensive effects, and you figure out tricks to optimize you’re experience with AE as it relates to speed. However if speed limitations do become a serious issue for an artist, the cost for improvement is actually fairly low today with upgrading your graphics card or installing more ram for what is sometimes less than $99. Thats a great investment considering buying After Effects will cost you significantly more.

The one thing we have no control however over are the workflow changes and feature requests that Adobe implements. All of which can improve your performance as an artist in other areas besides how fast a composition can render. Being able to achieve results with easier to use tools, improving workflow with multiple artists, and adding new functionality that makes what is currently very challenging actually fairly painless will definitely make me a faster artist.

My vote is take the time to hammer out these features that many are requesting. No matter how fast you make AE, people will always want it to be faster.

Absolutely! Speed speed and more speed! But I also like the idea of faster renders too. I think the toolsets are great now – yes ubertwirl sounds awesome, but frankly if we get rediculous speed and stability, I can wait.

Does anyone realize that you CANNOT actually change something in a pre comp while viewing a locked composition view of the post-comp in realtime? You have to finish your operation, like adjusting the curves effect, and then let it render. So when working in a single comp, AE can do interactive quality adjustments to keep things realtime when adjusting effects. But as soon as you leave the single working comp workflow and try to tweak effects through multiple compositions and viewing the final result we loose the interactive quality preview!

So if you mean faster rendering in the likes of true “progressive rendering” or a workable realtime/interactive quality rendering solution that works across many comps when viewing a final comp… then yes I want that over other features. But it’s interesting how you categorize this as performance related only. Having what I just described would seriously up the edge of my “workflow and creative capability” inside AE. Massively. So it should be viewed as such.

Steve Forde: “I mean MUCH faster. I mean much faster without a specific hardware requirement (new CPU, GPU, disk, machine, etc., etc.)?”

Independent of hardware? Or just no specific requirement such as a CUDA enabled GPU?

What sort of speed improvement? Workflow and previews or render time?

If you could fix expressions so they were as fast as CS5, I’d vote for that. Any speed improvement is welcome, but what is the alternative I’d be voting against?

In other words if we all vote yes to speed what features would we not see done? Hard to make a choice when the options aren’t eveident/

Would one be able to PURCHASE this miracle new version of After Effects, no monthly rental or subscription involved?

Stability & Speed are more important than new features so I would say YES. Apart from speed, I do wish you will implement more puppet tools and onion skinning and other things that can improve character animation and 2D animation.

P.S I’m looking for freelance work in 2014 so hire me!

Faster is better. Nothing frees up creativity like fast renders.

YES! Please make it faster! We can all live with the feature-set AE currently has, accept for maybe Ubertwirl, to gain massive performance increases. It seems like every time I upgrade hardware it’s essentially to try to speed up After Effects, which is only ever marginal. Everyone I know who uses AE, myself included, has wanted a “real-time” AE for more than 10 years. It doesn’t have to be real-time (although that would be nice), but significant speed improvements while actually working in AE would be, dare I say, god-sent…and I’m an atheist!

If you did that you’d get a Valentine and a Christmas present and an Easter egg from me.

Seriously, speed and workflow are two sides of the same coin, but workflow is very dependent on the way that individual users are using the product. An across the board speed improvement benefits everyone. The idea that the program is working efficiently, regardless of how inefficiently the user might be working is an important thing. Personally, I could live without other improvements to Ae for a year if it got seriously fast.

Above all, I think this would change After Effects image with respect to other higher priced programs.

Go for it!!


Yes, focus on speed. And optimize for the new MacPro/dual GPUs.

Andy’s comments are good.

More robust AME rendering is probably a big deal – the render queue still does it so much better in many ways. Better timeline organization tools (groups/folders) is a big deal.

Other than that, “general responsiveness”/playback/previews/real time stuff is the more important part of making it “fast”. It would be huge if it was snappier and everything was quicker *while working*. One thing in particular is multiprocessing really speeds things up–except that all sorts of things seem to randomly interfere it from actually working, and it takes a big delay to actually start the ‘background processes’. In other cases, all your power seems to throttle down with certain effects or stacks, and suddenly you find AE is only using 1 or 2 cores… stuff like that. Anyway, speed while working is key; if it were to just render faster when you are done… not that important.

Speed is huge. Especially in 3d. What’s stopping Adobe from making a biased render engine like element 3d that is also incredibly fast as opposed to the ray tracer? Once you do that, then you can add more features to the 3d side of things in AE. I think 3d is the future.

I really want übertwirl. Ae is plenty fast for the work I do, which is simpler than most people, probably, as I’m primarily an editor who uses Ae for compositing and graphics (and formerly for final color grading, and I still use it for some of my TV spots that would benefit from robust masking abilities). I’ve taken to use Dynamic Link to Pr for much of my work since CC made it more reliable.

I’m still experiencing occasional disk cache hiccups. Fix all the bugs and make it stable, please.

Some of us charge by the hour. While I love being able to work fast, there’s an argument to be made for not making Ae too fast. However, I’d like to see the Ray Tracing sped up enormously, with more options for texture mapping, edges and bevels, etc.

And please give us the ability to make Keyboard Shortcuts like you’ve done for Pr.

I know you wouldn’t put your entire development team on performance alone but I do believe the majority should be focused on just that. The fact that even years ago Apple’s Motion was performing playback while you were making changes and AE doesn’t have that capability seems weird.

I think workflow performance should be task number one by far then bug fixes followed by a much much smaller team on new features.

And one bug fix request. When using search right now as soon as you click out of it all the folders collapse. Makes me crazy. When you’re dealing with a projects with hundreds of comps and sources it makes the feature very unattractive to use.

Still, fantastic job on the software in general. It’s a great program that enables me to make a living.

interesting but I vote for more creative capabilities and enhancements. speed is always good but with a reasonable investment in hardware and some fair tweaking, AE performance is not an issue for me.

AE needs to keep up with our creative minds and be Much more faster so we can be more creative because most the time I don’t have the time to even be as creative as I want to be, even with all the cool tools because it runs slow on projects with many effects. I do Love AE and just wish the best 2014 to the Adobe Team. Thanks guys for your hard work!!

But don’t tell my producers!

Just make it faster. A LOT faster. With less bug’s and crashes. And faster. Much, much faster. Did I say faster?

Yes …. of course ^^ after effects cs6 + more faster = what else ?

If after effects go more faster it’s wile be like a godlike software ^^

My PC currently renders 1080p videos at 30% real time, give or take with more effects. If it could render at closer to +90% realtime, I would be extremely happy. I would be doing so much more.

It’s simple, time is money, faster and faster is always better. Go for it.

Definitely Yes! After Effects has really not the best responsiveness even with good systems, keeping in mind that most of the users have slower hardware. PLEASE DO IT! :)

Making AE killer fast will cut down on production costs in at least 2 ways.
1) less need to upgrade hardware
2) shorter time spent on projects

It will also allow one to improve their skills as they are able to iterate and learn with shorter iteration cycles, increasing the number of learning opportunities. Would love to see this happen.

Speed in the form of real-time playback and better responsiveness would be the best thing you could do.

It would probably need to be rebuilt from the ground up. You look at something as basic as Apple Motion, which can play back a HD clip with several effects applied at full frame rate and no need to render. Give After Effects a similar task and it won’t even come close. Yes After Effects can do far more powerful effects but at its basic level it needs to be much much better.

Other than that though it would massively benefit from a true 3D capability such as the likes of Nuke have – particularly now C4D integrates with it. 2.5D is outdated and needs to be put to rest.

YES! If AE would get WAY faster we could do w/out other improvements (for a bit). We could hobble on with user generated scrips etc. for the time being. Though I wish we didn’t have to choose.

I’d love to see the same kind of speed in AE as we see in a Final Cut X on the new Mac Pro. Maybe we get extra speed if we utilize the GPUs and if not AE is still optimized to run faster than it does now.


Go guys go!
Anything that speeds up the process of
Idea to expression,
Thought to replication,
Frees up the creative process

In a word, Yes!
Speed is the single most cherished feature of any rendering application, IMHO.
do it!

Yes. As others have pointed out – look at Apple Motion, that’s where we need AE to be in terms of speed. I’m happy with the current set of tools for another year if it means a significant speed increase!

I would be happy if you got rid of the FAILURE of creative cloud and put the money into technical support people that know something and dont read from a script or what you can google. My computer is fast enough but I need software that works.

As another commenter wrote it’s hard to vote for speed when you don’t know the other options. If some of the other options are as big as C4D Lite it would be a tough choice. But speed is a major issue. Mainly RAM previews and GUI rendering, not exporting.

If you integrated a cloud rendering mode for AFX and Cineware I would kiss you.

Sounds like a great idea!

Oh, that and one more thing: add line spacing (leading) to the comments here :)

Yes. A thousand times yes. All the bells and whistles are worth nothing if I’m waiting hours for renders. Everything other than speed and stability are pure gravy wish list.

I just added an Ssd cache drive for AE….workflow speed is way better BUT more speed would be a real dollars and cents plus. Go for speed.

Fast and stable would make my entire life. I know what I’m trying to do most of the time but the crashes, freezes, UI explosions, and sluggishness make my thoughts get lost by the time I get After Effects in a position to do what it is I was trying to.

New toys are cool but look at the stuff people are doing now. It’s going to be a while before these kinda of tools let anyone just open after effects and be a wizard. So we can wait a bit for new toys and keep coming up with creative solutions as long as After Effects can keep up with our pace.

“A new “creative” feature still won’t change the fact that after 12 major versions of AE it still can’t play videos in real time without a RAM preview”

This was a good summary of my thoughts. Faster is better in this program. For those of us who don’t have $5k to spend on a machine regularly, any way to speed up the program would be helpful.

I would like to be able send sub clips from Prelude direct to After Effects. I film a lot of concert performances and so the camera rolls for the whole show. I then use Prelude to create sub clips. Sometimes the sub clips need to have masks applied or have something keyed out and need to be sent to AE.

At the moment I have to send them to Premiere and then to AE, but a direct link to AE would improve this workflow a great deal.

Sure sounds good only feature i would want though is improved OpenEXR support…

YES! I got the latest MBP Retina, maxed out and it still feels sluggish when doing semi-heavy VFX work, even in 2K. I still got CS6 because I didn’t see a reason to upgrade. But you make it faster my wallet will grow leg and walk to you.

Making AE faster is killer thing! I want AE team to improve RAM Preview,especially Multiprocessing.Multiprocessing for RAM Preview stops my workflow frequently. Of course, I also look forward to new features, though.
Anyway, you AE guys rock in 2014!

with 4k on the horizon, we would love a 2014 entirely dedicated to a curvature jump in the new era of performance!

I got hat I needed when I needed it most in 2013. I will sit back and let others vote. speed is always appreciated. All I will add is a thank you for what you have done and will do. I like be this product!

I’m all for more speed. Yesterday I was working a complex comp dynamically linked to a premiere pro project. In AE I was subject to the usual render-ram preview- rerender cycle. But the same comp situated on a premiere timeline played in real time, filters and all (albeit with a few dropped frames). If the power of the mercury playback engine can be ported to AE, I’d consider that the biggest improvement to AE in a long time.

Yes! Yes! Yes!
By fast I also mean that it should play plain vanilla video clips without rendering like Premiere does :)

Very excited to see you initiating this conversation Steve.

Ultimately, I want to feel like the software is waiting on me when I work.

I want all my energy to focus on creating, not stunted from waiting. If it’s faster, then it’s better.

This includes underlying performance as well as UI and workflow. I don’t care about new presets or effects or other new bells and whistles unless they solve a common problem faster. Uberwhirl would make things faster. Painting in the comp window would make things faster. Global Performance Cache made things faster.

Over the years you’ve made an amazing vehicle to drive my creativity. I’m not interested in cup-holders, heated seats or infotainment systems. I want a super-car that get’s me going as fast as possible so I can decided which route to take.

ps – please keep it stable.

Another vote for YES YES YES. I appreciate the hard work that goes into developing new features, but I think we can do without for a year in exchange for speed boost. Especially with the push to 4K, stereoscopic, and tighter deadlines. Thanks!!

That’s a great idea! Maybe you could also work on some common crashes that occour. (eg. undo mismatch)

    Undo mismatch errors are nearly always a problem with a third-party effect plug-in that is mismanaging its undo groups.

I’m much more interested in improvements in the speed of navigating the program than final render speed. All I want is to not have to press Caps Lock ever again! :-) I’d also love the sort of tweaks that make working in AE faster in ways other than pure processing power, like script/expression access to shape layer vertices — speed in a different sense.

For the love of God. Yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes.

Speed and stability are fundamental characteristics that affect every aspect of After Effects. What you’re talking about sounds like a quantum leap in speed, and when/if that ever occurs, AE will be playing in a whole new league. Let new & existing scripts & plugins handle the “new” for a year.

Think of all the things that AE *can* do currently, but that you just *don’t* do because the GUI or the preview or the whatever is just so insanity-inducingly slow that you mentally permanently cross it off the AE feature list. I’m sure everyone on here has a mental “usable feature list” that doesn’t include a lot of features on the “advertised features” list.

A single layer with no effects should be able to play in real time. Multiple layers with no effects should be able to playback in real time. Get rid of RAM preview. Once you render a section of a comp & don’t change it, it should always be able to instantly playback in realtime. The net effect of Import & replace usage as a post render action should be able to happen transparently in the background without needing to go through the Render Queue. Sending a comp to Media Encoder should be, bam! instantaneous.

It’s maddening to drag masks & nudge mask points around and have to wait for the GUI to update. Or to have to wait to see the results of a paint stroke. This stuff, it’s all small, fraction-of-a-second stuff, but it adds & multiplies into the lack of speed & responsiveness being the single biggest drag about using AE.

The best comments I’ve seen on here are about fast iterations and design being all about interaction with your tools & elements. Having a laggy UI, slow previews, or having to work around existing features because they’re just not fast or interactive enough to suit your thought process is a killer for artists and folks who just like to get things done.

Too bad it’s not currently on the menu for 2014. Maybe that’ll change. If it’s done right & well, it would be the single biggest improvement to AE since…maybe ever.

you’re seriously thinking about this when we STILL can NOT draw properly in the comp window, its A BASIC ESSENTIAL for a (motion)graphics app, what a crock I would think of the development teams lack of understanding of animation.

Yes. My computer is something of a powerhouse and AE still bogs it down amazingly so. Frankly, the functionality of CS3 onwards is more than enough for most people’s needs, but the stresses the program puts on the computer it’s run on can be way too much. So this seems like an absolutely brilliant idea.

Yes please!
Real time playback from timeline would be incredible.
Cuda card acceleration was night and day in Premiere, it’s about time AE made a jump like that!

it would be great if you did that. It’s time to bring AE to up to date with current technologies. Do it!

Yes please. Faster, reliable.

Don’t need new features for now. Just need to get things done quicker. Thanks!

I only hope you take a holistic approach to this and don’t forget the “little” things like drawing performance of motion paths, expression and script performance, the godawful EXR loader and all that ‘cos just realtime playback is 70% of the time completely irrelevant to what I do.


1. Stability
2. Speed
3. Is it still stable?

That would be a game changer. You’ve got my support.

That would be amazing if its stable as well.

Yes, do it !
AE is great but the performance side of it has always been an issue for me, compare to Motion 5 for exemple.

Making it faster is definitely one of the most requested / wanted improvement in After Effects . Plenty of features were added in the past years , so a year without new features but speed improvement would be great .

Absolutely yes.

Having AE be really fast and responsive is the main goal of my upcoming computer build. Being able to zip around and experiment and discover things would essentially be the same as having a years worth of new features added. Because while no new content would be added, a lot of things that are already there would be new to *me*.

AE is a very powerful program, but I feel like I can only scratch the surface because it is so sluggish.

PLEASE!! Above all this would be so incredibly useful! Would be great to be able to use it on a laptop!

Would be fine for me. It might also be worthwhile to make it fast AND more reliable.

okay, you improve it to be faster (twice, at least). I vote yes.
so what the other guys will do?
I can’t imagine this task will monopolize all the creative-programing forces?
(you’r so far away behind Nuke for the in 3d space comps, displace, cameramaping,3d volumes,camera animation, stereo convertion,etc..)
If we’ll have a focus blur in real time, (like with opencl in fusion ) so it worth the wait.
The clients wants more and more fast result, and deadlines are shorten than ever, so it’s a good move if the result is impressive.

As you know, for example, the old tracker was less reliable in real fast time, than frame by frame clicking. so..
Fast ok, but still reliable.

Thanks a lot for asking !

Please please please do that, it’s the very best thing to do !

That’s THE point that really needs to be improved in AFX right now. New features can wait if you focus on making it faster. Faster to use, faster to render. Use multi-cores in a more efficient way. Take advantage of OpenCL.

New Mac Pros are here, let’s see how fast you can make AFX work with these !

I’m sure everyone will agree that that’s the best thing to do !

Definitively a preview render much faster ! That’s killing creativity to wait for each little preview…

Yes please, I would love this as it take so long to view what you’ve created when there is a lot of detail.

What I would ask for this year I’m pretty sure it would slow things down rather than fast but I think it would be great, I love to use After Effects and all I know I have to thank to Andrew Kramer from Video Copilot. What I would ask is for a 3D view of the composition and have the ability of making a fly thru with a camera animated by a spline, like 3DS Max or Maya. This would be great to make good camera moves with Video Copilot’s amazing plugin Element 3D. THANKS!!!!

YES! Considering that 3rd party solutions already exist for most of the items on the top requested features list, a focus on performance from the AE team would be most welcome!!

Please focus on Speed! can’t stress this enough! AE is way to slow in comparison to other Apps.

Forget SaS I would actually pay 3 times more everymonth if you guys offered Iaas and let me log on to the entire cc suite and have your servers do all the rendering for me. and i could do all of that from my tab.

here’s to 2020.

I would be more than happy with a focus on speed! As long as you guys would have fun doing it, too, of course :) Particularly expressions. Not so worried about ‘real time’ anything or even rendering, but if generally working in AE was faster, and expressions didn’t drag everything down, I’d have a much nicer time. :) Happy New Year!

YES. SPEED IT UP PLEASE. I have been using it since version 2, and always loved what it could do, but also been frustrated that I can even not playback audio without preview rendering.

Yes a “Nucleo pro” for preview would be appreciate :)

Tough question. I think right now we don’t need any new fancy features so a good part of the developement could go into making AFX faster. But for me this doesn’t mean just making the ram preview much faster but also the whole workflow part like importing massive amounts of footage (in particular image seq; the Immigration script is great but this should be a native feature), making some plug ins/effects like paint ect. more userfriendly, … So to speak, make it the artists best friend 😉

If you ask me you could also ditch the localization of all of the Adobe prograns and just provide the english one (I’m from Germany and never use the german version) this would also mean that we wouldn’t have to deal with expressions not working when opening a project on a another localized version (I never quite understood why this is the case in the first place)

We have enough new tools for this year, it’s time to make it fly!

In a word: YES. There are other workflow enhancers and features that might be nice to add, but one of my main annoyances with After Effects is that I don’t have a lot of real-time feedback. I’m not a huge fan of Motion (the motion graphics app by Apple) but one of the coolest features of that program is your ability to hit play, and let it cycle through the animation while you make adjustments. I’d love for the After Effects team to come up with their own unique way of accomplishing this. I think the key feature in speeding everything up would be to figure out a way to let users make adjustments on the fly while the animations are playing in real time.

Speed? Yes. AND please simply that whole “Memory & Multiprocessing” setup. After 15 years of using After Effects, I am still sure that I NEVER have that configured correctly!

Astonishing work is being done in AE as is, day after day. I’ve seen the feature-request priority list and yes, many of those requests fulfilled would be good for some users, some of the time. HOWEVER – Speed rules. Whether it is helping solve the ubiquitous problem of deadline pressure or eliminating creative workflow impediments, “faster” is the one thing that EVERYONE can use.

Speed all the way!

Good grief, speed please!
If that was the only improvement in the next update I’d still be a happy camper!

I’m less worried about speed, and more concerned about workflow. There are a lot of features I’d like to see implemented, and, if done well, would be time saving anyway.

I vote for focus on speed

Go After effect Go … That’s would be Great

Yes, the AE toolkit is so powerful enough now that it scares me. Spending a year hyper-focused on “make it faster” would be a worthy effort (maybe with some judicious bug-stomping along the way.)

Faster? Yes – but only if this includes much faster expressions and scripting, too!

    I second this.

AE is already an awesome program without the feature upgrades. It let’s you do a whole bunch of creative stuff without any plugins. I am in agreement with everyone that says that they would take speed over anything else.

Of all the programs, AE is the only one that still needs to render in order to play at full speed. Premiere USED to be the same way until you switched over to the mercury engine.

Even with Cinema4D I don’t need to “render” in order to see an animation at full speed. In fact, it is the slowness at AE that sometimes kills me when at work.

My boss would ask me, “Why isn’t this animation done yet?”
“Because I have to render it.”

Making the smallest change sets you back and then you have to re-render all over again. I know this is changed in the newest version, but it’d be great to minimize rendering altogether.

So speed, speed, speed! Just don’t make it crash more often, that’s a real mood killer.

I would fully support diverting all efforts to speed – with the exception of bug fixes, and making sure after effects stays current on its ability to support updated operating systems or new popular audio and video codecs that become industry-standard.

Also, I would expect the speed improvements to be in the several hundred percent faster range (at least 200 to 300%), not 20 – 30% faster etc. otherwise I don’t think it would be worth dropping all other feature development.

Good luck guys! It sounds like an awesome and worthy goal.

I would love it if you just focused on performance. AE needs to be redone from the ground up. It has become annoying how little of my systems ability AE uses.

Here’s how I feel about it, make it all happen. That is the new normal in all of our industries isn’t it? We all have to do more with less (and for less). So rather than ask us what we want, just do it. You know the answer to the question. We want the speed and we want the features. Maybe it’s time for Adobe, a multi-billion dollar corporation, to fork over some more funds to increase your team and give it’s loyal customers what it deserves. Or they will lose us to other software. It’s just how it is. I love your software and use it everyday and think you guys do a great job, but if you’re asking, the answer you will get from the tally is that we want it all. When someone asks me to do a job, I don’t ask them if they want it fast or good.

I doubt you’ll find anyone against more speed but if that in fact comes via a re-write of sorts then I hope the scalable UI mentioned from the To-Do list also makes an appearance.

With more and more screen sizes and hardware (eyes a Cintiq Companion) about it would do a great deal deal towards usability/productivity to have an interface not entirely based around mouse pointer input.

I’m an illustrator and animator and while something like the Cintiq Companion seems to answer many a wish we’ve had for decades, the software, CC, is obviously not built with it in mind.

The true portable studio does seem tantalisingly close at hand.

Yes! Speed please!

Speed and reliability thats what I am missing in AE since 3 Years! It was so often the case that I had bigtime issues finalizing the render at projects which where complex. The last 10% at a project I always start praying that AE won´t mess it up!

Yes! Personally this is what is problematic for me as stacking effects quickly gets too hard on my poor little not-a-mac-pro computer. Keep up the good work, AE is awesome, speed can only get it awesomer!

In a word, “YES”! As a creative professional, speed is the one thing that helps keep the creative process flowing. If I’m sitting around waiting on AE to catch up with me, then I’m wasting my time. Most pro users have gotten accustomed to dealing with the issues inside AE. We’re learned to work around them, but the one thing you cannot work around is speed. You can’t get out and push. You just have to wait for the bus to get there!

Yes performance is critical and pivotal to projects. I spend a lot of time working with jpegs and pretending they are tgas for broadcast! Fast software = fast turnaround, especially for experts. Scripts and plugins are there for people who can’t live without certain features.

I’d say yes, performance/playback should be the priority for 2014, with one important exception: Ubertwirl, I wants it. More than anything.

I would hope that someone would ask the same question for Lightroom!

In a word, yes. Take a year and make it faster, faster, faster.

Not just speed. Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please increase that frame buffer. The increase from CS4 to CS5 with 64-bit rewrite was great for HD, but barely useful for 4K.

Now the cutting edge is 4K and beyond. This is my number 1 AE problem. My guess is this will also help with speed.

Faster (with stability of course) would be quite enough on its own for the next 12-18 months.
More speed = more time to explore more creative options.
More speed = a creative explosion.
More speed = the best improvement you could possibly make IMHO

Some users want new features specific to their needs
Many users want productivity enhancements
But EVERYBODY could use more speed.

Faster. Much faster. Please do nothing else.

I would personally be more than happy if you did nothing but work on making AE faster. Much faster!

I’m wondering if those that want more speed at the expense of everything else are familiar with Blinn’s Law – “As technology advances, the rendering time remains constant.”

More info here –
and here –

I would much rather have a balanced approach, for all users, towards any improvement in AE development. For myself, I would prefer to have more development effort set for the creative aspect since that is what we use AE for. Speed enhancements can already be had with a faster CPU, GPU, HDD, more/faster RAM and effectively utilizing AE’s myriad of preview/render options and their respective settings.

In short, why delimit your favorite creative tool for something that you can already have, via an alternative route? Additionally, there is a high probability that you will quite quickly use up any future benefit, marginal or otherwise, to only create something that you can already do today.

– Roland Kahlenberg

More speed. No more features. Please, and thank you.

I would definitely want that. My problem now is that I use After Effects as my main compositor for a linear workflow. So I’m using lots of multichannel 32bit EXR’s, along with whatever mix of plates I’ve been handed. This all adds up quickly and bogs down just skipping ahead a single frame. Keep in mind, my system has a 6-core cpu. dedicated SSD’s for applications, and SSD for cache running in SATA 6.

So in short, just doing basic compositing maths tends to snowball sooner than later. Especially with 4k being the buzzword of 2014 (detailed preserving up-scaling will be this year’s dirty little secret). I would rather accept speed enhancements in the place of something that doesn’t exist to me as a user; a tool I can’t live without vs a tool I don’t know that I want or need.

I’ll say yes to speed/stability. I’ve tried to use AE’s multi-processing for years, only to give up every time due to instability and failed QT exports. It would be great to actually put my 12 cores to real use.

That said, I’d also like to see the AE team bring the Render Queue back into focus. Forcing users to re-encode to their destination formats through AME may be the easy choice for the AE team, but it’s the wrong choice for users.

There’s no way that sending users through a multi-step process involving intermediate files, user intervention and a 2nd app to get the format they need is more elegant and user friendly than a single render from the render queue. Please fix this problem, don’t simply give up on your users with a “go do it in AME”.

lets be specific then.

there are certain jobs that are simply labor intense like roto. Rotobrush can sometimes do the job, but far more often its mocha pro for me. thats fine.

however there are other places I feel the lack of speed : starting up AE self renders, not being able to simply copy and paste clips from PP to CC – yes you can do it if you get the right mode. I can’t just select a clip in PP and paste into AE project window. simple thing but time saver.

rendering : the big evil. why can’t we have more seamless network rendering. Ok, I get bandwidth issues on the network, but when my laptop has 4+4 it should just show up as available network cores to render. AE should evaluate the network speed, files, time per frame based on previous render where it tracked per frame render times, and just figure out what the best config is. if it figures spreading things out onto network cores is good because its long per frame CPU times, great, do it. if not, TELL ME THAT, and just render on the local machine because that will be faster…. but why are we rendering at all ?

there are a lot of things I used to do in AE I now do in PP because they are RT thanks to CUDA. I’m saving a HUGE amount of time, never mind hit play and see the results for a lot of stuff with 5-10 layers or more. thats what I need in AE. I need hit play and see it go. not render, render, render, render, render, ok, coffee cold yet ? render, render, ok, now I’ll play. No CUDA fast RT results. all the basic filters and transforms should render on the GPU and the CPU should be last resort.

the AE raytracer is a great start… but is it going to get faster and better ?

speed just so much matters that I’d say if you could deliver a CUDA GPU rendering ver of AE and use 100% of resources to do that in the next cycle, I’d be all in. AE has great features already and there have been a lot of small good ones added along the way. what we desperately need is RT feedback when working in 3D scenes including the raytracer. waiting 30-60 secs to see a frame in 1/2 or 1/4 res in HD just doesn’t fly anymore.

instead of thinking small, think big ! how about mostly ditching CPU rendering period ! all GPU all the time. I get sick when I see what video games do and how amazingly great they are on the same hardware. think video game performance levels.


Please DO, I’ve been begging, crying, asking for this for now a couple of year… not only for AE but also other software.

You have now at your disposition on a common workstation : multiple cores, GPU power, dual GPUs are becoming more and more common. Please TAP into all this horsepower and make the software über responsive.

You could achieve something like Autodesk has been doing with Flame, leveraging the GPU to its bone to get great feedback, interactivity. Not only work would be done faster, better look dev, iterations, etc.

Heck you could even once it’s done give plugin makers an SDK or toolset to help them using all these improvements, that way external plugins could pipe through it and everything would be super smooth. Some people mentioned Motion, FCPX 10.1, I could add some others.

Please do, please make it super fast en reliable, renders are less important since we can manage render times, but make it super responsive… and yes, not having realtime playback in 2014 is quite ridiculous.

Thanks for asking and have a great year mates !


The curve editor… it needs to be more like the one in 3ds max. It’s a pain trying to manipulate keys in AE! When it comes to keyframes 3ds max has better features and control.

FAST is good, no specific hardware required is BETTER. As a non nVidia user I found that to be frustrating. Fast at this point is crucial for AE – it can and it will bring the product higher. All the other fixes and features can wait, as far as I am concerned, a whole year.
One thing would be awesome though – if AE would enable third party plugin developers that have 3d plugins to build their own 3d renderer that integrates flawlessly with the AE 3d space. Zaxwerks, Trapcode, Mettle, Videocopilot and others have done a great job and some have even provided us with workarounds for this issue, but a true integration for 3d interaction would be awesome indeed.
Thanks for all the hard work you guys put into your products and thanks for listening to us.


I hope the new version of AE can do the same thing the SSD did for the hard drives.

Faster? Yes, please….

I agree with the folk running std hardware. I use a laptop with an Nvidea card that isn’t on the list of recognized cards. Anything that can speed up my work flow would be top of the list of things I’d like to see from AE.

Yes please, speed is good.
1. Realtime playback
2. Fast render
3. Good integration with Adobe Media encoder (fast render)
4. Interactivity and workflow improvements (user settings sync is an example – this has never once worked properly for me and costs me time each time I have to try and figure it out)

It is a great idea, yes…

Please, do no more. Much faster!!!

Speed and stability improvements and bug fixes, thats enough!
Maybe a film offset for cameras to match C4D cameras…

Increased speed and stability would be the best new “features” for me. :-)

A resounding Yes! Performance is a top reason why competing software has gained any ground. If all that was done I. 2014 for AE were serious performance increases, I’d be on board. New features can be exhausting anyway. 😉


Realtime playback on timeline, using all cores to the max at RAM Preview and RENDER, Open CL, CUDA, GUI speed up, C4D integration speed up (at least as fast as in C4D), use all cores, use all cores, use all cores.. etc etc render on timeline to disk, optimise, optimize, optimise!!!

Yes please!!! Speed it up!

I thought the “great thing” about Creative Cloud is that Adobe was no longer held to hard and fast product update cycles. How about working in stages? By all means add new features but if they aren’t fast and stable who cares? Get rid of the bloated bits that don’t do anything. Release software that doesn’t need to be patched in a week.

It would be an interesting experiment to take AE back to v1 and see how fast and stable you could get it to run. Strip it clean and build from there.

Yep, super fast is cool…but you need to take care of a lot of bugs in AE. From the last update here in Europe we can’t delete the cache anymore. I have to turn my european number array to US. Terrible bug when right click on a keyframe to have the interpolation…the Edit value screen appears from nowhere…and so on.
Be faster is good but be rock solid is a must.

Speed is what I need. I also want to be able to view my RAM preview through AJA to my nice Flanders monitor without sync issues and without crashes. Take this year to fix all bugs, let 3rd party partners get fully compatible, and make the program speedy.

Faster!!! And more stable

First of all I’d like to say that I love AfterEffects very much! I’m user with great experience and use it from the very begining. But let’s reflect a bit. Do we really want AE would be faster ? I think the answer is evident – YES! But the main thing for me is the core of these changes, the nature of things. What does it mean for me ? Would the development team rewrite the core of the system? or speed up UI? Taking into account our experience of transition CS5-CS6-CC I’m sure that we as users will face a huge number of problems.
If the core of the system would be modified, adapted, improved the first thing we’ll see a huge number of errors. Would such version be stable and how much time will it take the developers AE to make the product stable? These are the questions I’ m interested in most of all. I think it will take more than a year!
It’s quite strange for me to ask the community such question. I think that AE team had to work hard all these years to improve the obsolete engine and not to ask the obvious things.
This question is pure marketing gimmicks and demonstration of care.

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

FAST, fast… faster – that’s the angle You should go. There’s always place to put new features, new plugins etc. but much better would be to make old ones work faster. Now (especialy with Cineware plugin) you can do almost everything with AE – now it is time to do it faster.

Yes! More speed and stability! Although I’d like to see “unconstrained” viewport, eg. Photoshop style zooming… atm it’s incremental in CC which is annoying and mouse zooming does not work, could be Mavericks/AE issue only, but still an issue.

Speed and stability over new features any day. As is new features are a version or two old by the time I find a paying excuse to use them.

For myself an those that work for me, the priorities are:

1. Stability/consistency across platforms. Not working or crashing in not an option. Just the time wasted talking about what happened is a time suck.

2. Speed. A single timeline-click under any circumstances that is reduced by 20% times the number I click, times the number of people working for me is a ton of time saved. I can only invest so much money of equipment.

3. Features.

Thanks. The products and your open interaction (and reaction) to it’s users are what, in my opinion, make AE the only choice.

of course the speed would be great, and very much needed. but at what expense? If this is a total rewrite of code, are we not going to be able to run our old projects? Is every plugin and script going to have to be rewritten? So after waiting a year for a new after effects, does that mean we have to wait another year to get all of our plugins again? I remember when they made the switch to 64bit and it took a while for everything to be back to normal again, and I was switching back and forth to different versions just to accomplish certain things. And then when CC came out, it was unusable on a PC until 6 months later when they finally fixed that UI bug.

Obviously no one is expecting some “magical coding” to somehow make AE render everything at lighting speed. There is NO replacement for big processors and tons of RAM. That said, I think the AE interface and GUI are in desperate need of improvement, not aesthetically, but in terms of efficiency. Working in a linear 32bit mode with image sequences, blending modes, and blurs is pretty painful. Even the act of moving around in the project panel and renaming things can bring up the beach ball. Making the interface much more efficient and quick will ultimately allow us to work much quicker which means we won’t continue to seek comfort elsewhere ie: Smoke, Nuke, etc.

Totally AGREED!!! I talk about this to my coworkers all the time!! In my opinion AE has really gotten away from it’s core focus, graphics and compositing. There are lots of basic core functions that all the big compositing programs have been killing AE on, meanwhile Adobe is busy making more eye-catching fancy effects and neglecting improvements needed on it’s core compositing and graphics effects (tried using the text animator lately? how lame is that thing compared to the mograph system in C4D?).

I’m not trying to bash Adobe (I love that Adobe engages in conversation, and I actually love the auto roto-brush effect) but, I am very glad to see someone at Adobe is interested in returning to the roots by improving a core strength instead of cramming in another “auto” effect.

Yes PLEASE! It has become clear that AE is carrying a lot of baggage on the speed/stability front. I think making the whole thing work better and improving the way it utilizes available resources would be a beautiful and much needed thing paving the way for a better tomorrow!

Please do this and I will come to your defense when the bitching begins

-Chris Wolfe

I think it’s very great idea to be focus on that.
I say : Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes again !

If After Effects being more and more faster, it will be, seriously, the best software in the world ! (All right, IT IS the best software in the world, but, he can be the best software of the univers ! :D)

Speed yes, but you should be working on speed anyway!!!!!
So this is my Adobe fear coming true.
When I was forced to convert to the subscription model (instead of buying), the fear was that Adobe wont have to add new features any more, because they already have our money and adding new features won’t bring them more money for the upgrade. Your propoasl of no new features for a year, looks like that is coming true. What happens after a year, will you take another year off of new devlepments to make it faster for 8K video? You should be working on both, making it faster and making it new. New features made me buy the upgrades (before the subscription model). No new features just doesn’t fell right to me.
I think we are being hoodwinked.


I’m so thrilled to see most people here posting in support of speed. I’ve been with AE a long time, and I find it covers about 98% of my workflow requirements. Workarounds cover the rest–I find I’m so rarely at a completely loss that I get stifled creatively.

But I also find that there is a point where hardware improvement cease to have any significant effect. And that’s a bummer, as I’d gladly throw more GPU or CPU power at it. I think AE needs a revamped pipeline. I don’t so much care about the speed of rendering to external files. What I care about is working in the application–its responsiveness, it’s preview render times, and it’s lagginess.

I think AE is currently a feature-rich environment that hasn’t seen a serious under-the-hood rebuild in a long time. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!

This is a fantastic idea Steve! This is something you and I have talked about in the past. Last year, After Effects celebrated it’s 20th anniversary. In the realm of software … that’s old. I’ve always equated this to how adobe homes are built in the southwest. The original house is built. Over time, walls are torn down, new rooms are added on, but the basic structure is always the original. While this may work for adobe homes, with software there comes a time when the core needs to be rebuilt from the ground up for the sake of performance. Now is the time.

The AE Team has done a fantastic job of updating and adding new features over the years. I would be more than happy to skip a year of new features to get a ‘shiny new AE’.

In the question you posed, you said “without specific hardware requirement”. Great. Having said that, if you are planning to improve performance, as a Mac user who will be purchasing a new Mac Pro, please take advantage of the new hardware features it offers. Apple has done this with Final Cut X. While Adobe currently has the video editing market share with Premiere Pro, optimizing Premiere Pro, After Effects, Speedgrade, Audition and Photoshop to take advantage of the new Mac Pro architecture will ensure that Adobe maintains their current market position.

Make it so!

Echoing the thoughts of most people here; it would need to be considerably faster and not *just a bit* faster to justify the development. As Lloyd said there is usually a third party script to solve most missing features.

I am all for a “nothing but speed” update. Of course, stability is part of speed since a 300% speed improvement is worthless if you’re crashing every day. So, these two things would have to go hand in hand, but I’d rather see this than anything listed on the “top requests” list, even though a lot of those items would be great too. I will add that I work alone, so I’m somewhat immune to a lot of the problems people are having with Creative Cloud, etc. Obviously that MUST be ironed out before committing to something like this.


and another vote for focusing on making ae a lean mean fast machine. any way to integrate the mercury engine into ae? realtime (or very nearly) timeline playback would be a revelation!

I should add, working with a dual xeon (16 cores in total), 64Gb RAM, dual GPU… ans still AE crawl on some simple tasks…

This shouldn’t be the case, it should be sucking every bit of power in my setup.

There is no magical coding as someone said, but when you see software like Flame, Scratch, Mistika doing some heavy manipulations of comps with quite some layers and effects real-time with the same kind of setup highlighted here… what is containing AE from doing the same ? (appart of a fast raid for heavy files of course).

More speed ! Hail to sped !

It´s a great idea just to work on After Effects Speed. I ever loved the creative potential of AE, but if the program would work faster it would be unbeatable :)

wrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrroooooooooooooom more speed jes!!! No more RAM Previews… jipppieee

Just to add to my earlier comment – as long as it doesn’t mean we have to buy new hardware. I understand there would have to be a line drawn somewhere but if it meant anything older than two or three years wouldn’t work, I think a lot of us might say forget it.

I back this 100%. Speed and stability is more beneficial than any new feature for me.


Significantly faster rendering and RAM previews would be worth more than any new feature i can think of.

After Effects is already full of great features and bundled effects, enough that i can create just about anything that i need. But to do things faster would mean i would have more time to create and push designs further, and thus create a better final product.

Speed AE up would be good, but making it more easy to handle for extending customer age stats would be great. I think that making selections more smart and easy is the way for getting new usages for this ultimate great product.

I support this 100%, I could easily way two years to get some new awesome tool while you would instead be working on the speed workflow!

I would say that re-structuring the program to make it fundamentally faster would be a good use of a year, even if it means new system requirements. (requiring new system requirements would probably work best under the CS model, not CC.)

Speed/ resource wishlist:

1, Make expressions MILLIONS of times faster and more stable. These are such a valuable asset to the AE tool set that to have them be burdensome and laggy is just ridiculous.

2, Make certain effects like Glow, Blurs, and Depth of Field (inside the camera options), etc. MUCH faster, as they are some of the most-used effects in the tool set.

3, (and this isn’t necessarily a speed issue, but this would make things so much easier for many people.) Somehow, some way, enable 3D effects to communicate with one another. Thinks like Particle world, Element 3D, Optical flares, etc. are doing calculations that place the effect in 3D space. Why can’t they interact in 3D space (most notably lighting and occlusion among other 3D functionality)?

4, Stabilize and codify multicore processing. It’s such a toss-up of whether it will work with this and that effect, or if it will work at all, or if it will slow things down instead!

5, Enable multicore encoding.

If these were the only things implemented in a whole year, I’d be more than happy!

Yes, please! “Much faster” would make my life MUCH better almost every day. I hope that includes better multi-threading. I want the core of AE to take advantage of all the speed I have available (not just accelerated bells and whistles).

6, Make every last effect 32bpc compatible.

You absolutely have to incorporate that BGrender Pro multi-machine render hack into AE – it’s the one where you launch a bunch of instances of’s BGrender Pro to spit out an image sequence and the entire composition renders 8-10 times faster than through AE’s standard renderer. Incorporating this workflow would be great.

Faster & better quality RAM previews – seems to me that CC is a lot slower than CS6 when it comes to these, rarely if ever playing them at the proper speed, no matter how basic and I’m using a recent dual Xeon PC, 64Gb RAM & 4GB graphics card. Using all this hardware to the fullest extent possible would be fantastic.

Please do make it much faster. Although After Effect is not meant to edit video the same way software like Premiere does, it can be frustrating to be limited the way after effects handles larger preview, audio and effects. Files are getting larger and larger so speed is key. The features in after effects are already great. I can’t think of a “new killer feature” on top of my head right now that I would like added to After Effects. So Speed is key!a Please go for it!

I love AE. As much as I use it (and I use it a lot) I still feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface. So for me, I feel like this software is already pretty damn powerful. If there was a choice to ditch creative capability / workflow innovations for a year and spend that time strictly refining AE’s performance to run “killer fast”…I’d say, “Hell’s yeah, go for it!”

Absolutely! A speed boost is much needed!
I often find myself using AE as video editor on projects under 3 mins due to my familiarity with the toolset and Premiere’s lacking masking options. A speed boost would help immensely.
I vote for this as well as improving older effects – The write on effect brush size being increased from 50 to 200px is a good example of this.

Yes, please. I first started heavily using Ae for motion graphics work back when the first octacore Mac Pro was released. While there have been plenty of very useful tools added since then, the general workflow still feels very hampered by speed–specifically iteration speed. I could care less about having to wait for an hour or two for a final software quality render on final output. What kills me is the RAM preview time. I often need to get approval from stakeholders on revisions of my work. The detailed nature of my work prohibits me from being able to preview at half resolution or third resolution when showing to others who can’t necessarily bridge the gap between viewing a still image representative of the final render at full resolution with motion blur and shadows, and a half-res preview w/o said effects.

Nick from Greyscalegorilla had a great segment a couple of years back about why he purchased a 12-core Mac Pro. His advice was that for motion graphics work you should get the fastest computer with the most amount of RAM you can afford because it will allow you to iterate faster, and faster iteration doesn’t just lead to quicker delivery, it also allows you to be more creative by experimenting with your work. I feel that while this is very sage advice, I lament having to constantly upgrade to the top of the line workstations primarily to keep up with my work in Ae, while knowing in the back of my mind that the level of returns on iteration in exchange for more cores/ram/gpu have a definitive falloff curve. This may be in part due to the fact that I’m on a Mac. I’m glad that OpenCL on Macs is supported by Adobe, but I’d like better support for Ae on Mac OS. Yes, I know that Apple is often very slow at adopting updates to OpenGL and such, but Ae on Mac still feels like a bit of a red headed step child sometimes. To that, this past year I migrated from FCP to Premiere. Premiere now behaves very similarly and I’m loving the general boost in my ability to iterate faster thanks to being able to address more than 2 cores and 3.5GB of RAM. That’s the kind of radical change in speed I’d like to see happen within Ae. Despite abandoning FCP, I’m sticking with the Mac platform and am in the process of ordering a nMP. I’m probably going to go with the 3GHz 8-core with dual D700s rather than a 12-core with D500s because I feel that it will provide the larger benefit in the long run. On my current system I find that I often prefer just leaving multi-core rendering off for RAM previews … that’s something that needs to be fixed badly.

The next puppet tool or C4D integration will eventually come, but it can wait. Better utilization of multi-core, RAM management, GPGPU! Let’s see an improvement to iteration speed akin to when I first enabled the GPU option in Media Encoder. Like I said, if I want to kick out a pixel perfect software render at the very end of my workflow, then great, I’ll go to lunch or leave it overnight. Just don’t keep me twiddling my thumbs while I’m sitting in front of my workstation trying to make money with my mouse and a wacom pen.

Speed is good but I would love to get some for the workflow also. New plugins isn’t needed right now, AE have the most and 3D paries create a lot that helps but Folders in the Timeline for example would help 1000 times to have a better workflow

My vote echoes many of the others – faster performance under the hood would be a huge boost to increased workflow – with existing hardware (MacPro 2011).


YES! I was just talking about this with a few other animators. This has been a long time coming! This would be a killer upgrade. I’m totally on board.

Yes! That would be beyond awesome! HOWEVER! One thing I really want, or I should say need, is that the 3D part to be worked on. Cineware, even though being awesome that it’s included, is painfully slow to the point I really can’t use it in production. I do lots of vfx compositing and things are leaning more towards doing more and more in 3D directly in the comp. Things such as camera projections on imported obj files ect. So making after effects super fast is great! Something I think most people want, but also make it efficient to work more in 3D and make that workflow fast and efficient. So more speed there I would say is one of the things I think After effects is missing and that is becoming more and more important as time goes by.

Other than that I’m not really missing any new features since there’s a lot of plugins to fill AE with. So speeding the software up and expanding on the 3D part to be at least as fast and efficient as the competitors out there would be a dream come true. And yes, I know there’s element 3D out there, and trust me, it’s on my mind daily. But what I’m more after is something like Atomkraft which I’m dying to get to try out but there’s only a version for AE CS6 at the moment.

YES please !
– Realtime previews
– Expressions BILLIONS of times faster

Speed is the only thing I need. AE is incredibly slow compared to other softwares. 2014 is time for speed !

Yes please! I would be very satisfied if all I got was faster renders, more GPU use, etc.

And if you have a little extra time a rework of the text animation feature. Per-character text layer animation with each character having postion/scale/rot properties.

Thanks so much! You all do good work!


Yes a thousand times yes!

There would be nothing better than more speed (and stability), After Effects is amazingly capable as it is and could easily live without new features for a year or so.

Is that a retorical question? :)

Speed is the only reason why im looking at other alternativs than AE… Speed up ae and bulid a plattform that can use preview and render power from other coputers and renderfarms. then u have a killer softwear that can match anybody!

Speed is good and I’d be happy to see that as a major focus in 2014. However I think that an even greater priority is to make sure that the fundamental structure of AE is developed / upgraded / re-written over time to be capable of supporting major modern features such as: unified 3D space, native import and manipulation of true 3D models, native object dynamics – and other major areas. It’s inevitable that software conceived 20+ years ago was not built with these features in mind :). It may be that this ‘structural’ work is happening over time – I don’t know. If it isn’t, ultimately AE will be surpassed by more recently developed competitors – no matter how fast it is.

If I had one feature of AE to be worked on before any other, it would be, without question, to have an actual usable 3D interface. It’s just so clunky and disorienting that it’s nearly embarrassing.

3D is a huge part of AE now that it’s time to stop relying on 3rd party solutions.

If I’m in Maya or some other 3D app, and I create a simple object, plane, and light for shadows, it’s very easy to stay oriented in a 4 panel view or even a single panel view. But with AE it’s incredibly easy to just “break your brain” in relation to the 3D orientation because it’s so poorly implemented and the multi-view panels are nearly unusuable. God forbid something get outside of the comp window!

Anyway, I love AE but sometimes it’s just way too frustrating to do anything 3D in it.

Please. Great idea.

Yes a big speed improvement would be most welcome!
However it depends on if those with higher end machines (cpu,gpu and ram) would equally experience leaps and bounds in increased speed.
If so, then absolutely! It would be great!
Take a year off from the creative stuff and come back stronger than ever next year!
Thanks to the AE team for all their great work in the meantime.

I want to be able to work at a speed that clients don’t ask wouldn’t it be faster to do it in smoke. The creative process in after effects is second to none but to those watching on it feels slow.

Number 7 on my speed/ resource wishlist (see 1-6 in the comments above): Faster RAM previews. It might as well spit out a rendered video file if it’s going to be as slow as that.



YES!!! Yes! yes 😀

Node view with proper channel operations and masking of every operation easily through the node view. Combustion had a semi-node view and it was pretty usable.

YES YES YES YES YES. Faster rendering is a no brainer. Faster RAM preview is a must. Realtime playback of video and effects is a dream, but maybe not unattainable – Apple Motion did this years ago.

Also, you MUST figure out why showing Cache Indicators completely kills timeline performance on macs, in projects with enough layers to require scrolling. This had been a bug since CS 5.5.

Maybe take a leaf out of Apple’s book with their OS updates, where one release will be mainly new features, and the next will be major under the hood performance improvements.

Yes, absolutely. Please focus on speed.

AE’s speed is extremely lacking. Especially when working 1080 and up. That should definitely be the main priority at this point.


Yes please, as quick as you can

Just optimize for the Dual GPUS in the NEW MAC PRO!

If “Speed” doesn’t implied I had to upgrade all my plugins, I say yes for speed.
For a small studio, this is a big concern having to reinvest into multiples plugin licenses. And why is creative cloud team more expensive than for individual user ? It should be the other way around.

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