Product Manager Steve Forde shares his thoughts on After Effects and the motion graphics/visual effects market.
I am super excited about this one – it’s been in the works for quite some time, and I finally get to share a few details.
Today, Adobe announced it is entering into a strategic alliance with MAXON, the makers of CINEMA 4D.
Here’s why we’re doing it:
- After Effects works really well with CINEMA 4D. CINEMA 4D works really well with After Effects. The current interoperability exists between these two applications but, at a fundamental level, don’t really talk to each other in a way that’s super productive.
- I’m a HUGE believer in a simple philosophy – ‘do what you know, and be the best at it’. Hand in hand with this idea means that you DON’T do a whole lot of stuff you don’t know. With this relationship announcement you have two companies who focus on being the very best at what they do.
The alliance between Adobe and MAXON allows us to be very creative in how After Effects and CINEMA 4D work together now and in the future. Both MAXON and Adobe care very deeply about our respective users and see great opportunities in terms of workflow, time savings and creative flexibility.
I wish I could go into more detail right now – but stay tuned. This area is about to get very exciting.
After Effects is in its 20th year and the team had a bash in celebration. It wasn’t the red carpet event that you’d imagine. It was in a hole-in-the-wall bar in Seattle with beer and other non-exotic cocktails, a cake (for Trish Meyer’s birthday, not ours) and a lot of smiles and high-fives. We had guests come from all over the world and as far as Germany and Sweden! Long-time gurus, Chris and Trish Meyer and Mark Christiansen, traveled to Seattle just for the party. And, for added fun, Brian Maffitt skyped in for the occasion. Thank you for honoring us and celebrating a major milestone with us.
It’s been twenty years since After Effects was created by a small start-up company in Providence, Rhode Island. Some of those brilliant minds who brought After Effects into this world are still here at Adobe and some have moved onto other ventures. But one thing that remains true–from the first day the Company of Science and Art (CoSA) showed a promising animated graphics in 1993 to today, After Effects has impacted the lives of so many. And it is those people we find insanely great.
The theme of the 20th anniversary is “Ae & Me.” It is our goal to get users, employees and the partner community to answer this simple question: “How has After Effects impacted you and your career?”
After Effects is more than motion graphics/visual effects software; it is a catalyst that helps propel careers. These are the stories that need to be told. These are the stories that our After Effects community wants hear. So what’s your story? Submit your story so we can share it to inspire others.
Additionally, throughout the next three months, the celebration continues with Ask a Video Pro eSeminars featuring users and employees that have worked with After Effects throughout its 20-year history. Employees and users will participate in #MoChats to discuss After Effects, and, on February 19th, users will be invited to participate an online scavenger hunt where they can win valuable prizes donated by partners. Make sure you follow us on Facebook and Twitter to be notified of these activities.
Also, we have a little surprise for you. Open up After Effects CS6 and check it out!
- Hold down Alt/Option while opening the About box (i.e., Alt while choosing Help > About After Effects on Windows, Option while choosing After Effects > About After Effects on Mac) to open the credits.
- Open the “TV” composition, which is downstream from the “After Effects CS6″ one that appears. You can simply click the “TV” comp button in the Composition Navigator bar at the top of the Composition panel to get to it easily.
- Go to the last frame in the composition, which is one-frame beyond the last frame of the work area. (i.e., you would not see it if you did a RAM preview).
The After Effects team’s own Todd Kopriva put a great post on the team blog about the top feature requests we hear from folks and some context to things that have already been shipped in After Effects. Here’s the link: Top Feature Requests for After Effects in 2012
I thought I would add a little colour to the conversation around a few specific things.
1: When is After Effects going to get ‘nodes’ – like Nuke.
I hear this from folks who use both applications. Folks are passionate about which tools they use to accomplish creative tasks, and as some move between different applications like After Effects and Nuke, they tend to ask one tool to become more like the other. Here’s my opinion on the matter (remember – just my opinion!) – After Effects is a CREATIVE motion graphics and VFX tool (strength = timeline). Nuke is a procedural compositor (strength = nodes). Frankly – the Foundry has done some great work with their tools IMO and did so because they focus on their strengths.
Therein lies the point. After Effects is strong because we continue to focus on its strength (animating / compositing elements and movement over time). In fact, it’s why I believe that the applications could work even better together in the future vs. one application trying to become the other. By taking this approach, After Effects has a ton of innovation to offer in the future with the timeline being its core.
Now this isn’t to say that we can’t improve organizational capabilities within After Effects in support of the timeline, but our view will always be to ‘go from idea to comp as quickly as possible’ with a focus on creativity.
2: After Effects on Linux – When?
My colleague Todd has written on this topic in many places recently, but thought I would throw in my $0.02 on the subject as well. First – we realize and understand that there are a few VERY passionate individuals who feel we (Adobe) should be porting our software to Linux, After Effects included. Obviously there are development, testing, support and delivery ramifications of doing so. I will also state that I have NEVER seen any evidence to support some of the crazy accusations I have seen on the interwebs that we (Adobe) are somehow paid to NOT deliver on Linux. (Sorry zealots – it just ain’t so)
Frankly, not porting After Effects to Linux is a business decision – pure and simple. There is no data (rants on the interwebs don’t count as data) to support that porting to linux would be a sound business decision. I realize other companies that provide software on linux have data that supports their development, testing, delivery, support AND business model. From our perspective and how our business operates, it just doesn’t add up.
That isn’t to say we are saying ‘never’, but it does say that until it becomes a sound business decision (and real data proves it) – it’s not very likely.
I truly believe in transparency and open debate (civil discourse please), and wanted to give you some idea of how we prioritize.
Oh blog – how I have ignored thee. Been slammed over the fall with some exciting new stuff that I can’t share right now – but suffice to say, me poor blog was feeling a little attention starved.
Well, to start my salvation – thought I would post about this cool article over at studio daily. Short story – HEAVY Ae workflow that switched over to Pr from Final Cut. Cool stuff.
Just a quick note that we will be showing off Ae and Pr CS6 at user groups in both NYC and LA over the next month.
Los Angeles – May 15th:
NYC - May 31st:
Please come up and say hello if you can make it to one of these events!
This year marked my 11th NAB (thats enough trips to Vegas for 11 lifetimes ;)), and OMG – wow. We had so many folks at the Adobe booth, NAB officials had to ask us to disperse the crowd due to fire regulations. Interesting problem to solve!
All in all though – I couldn’t have been happier with the response to Ae CS6 along with Pr and the rest of Production Premium CS6. Listening to professionals and building software that meets their needs is paramount, and I’m ecstatic that this approach has been validated a million times over with CS6.
To that end – I’m also SUPER excited to be a part of an announcement tomorrow (Monday, April 23rd) around CS6 and Creative Cloud. Here’s the link:
Hint: There’s lots of cool stuff – BUT – there is a jaw dropper I can’t wait to see what people think.
Wow. What a year. All I can say it has been an absolute BLAST putting together Ae CS 6 with the team in Seattle, as well as working with the rest of the whole Professional Video crew here at Adobe. After Effects CS 6 (along with the rest of Production Premium) is huge, dramatically different and to me – insanely cool. Here’s the link with more detail:
This is just a start. NAB starts soon and over the next week you are going to get a ton more detail on everything thats coming. In the meantime – check out the intro videos as well as the ‘What’s Inside’ links in the right hand column on the CS 6 reveal page.
Personally, this past year has been killer rewarding. I get to work with fantastic folks all over the planet, and the end result… you finally get to see NOW.