AFTEREFFECTS

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

error (21::31) when you start After Effects on Mac OS 10.9 and later after editing the keyboard shortcut file

If you use TextEdit on Mac OS 10.9 or later to edit the After Effects keyboard shortcuts file, you may receive an error similar the following the next time you start After Effects:

After Effects error: preferences file "Adobe After Effects 13.1 Mac en_US Shortcuts.txt"
contains an unexpected value on line 142, " "Twirl" = ,Äú(macControl+`),Äú". (21::31)

To solve this issue, open the keyboard shortcuts file in TextEdit again, choose Edit > Substitutions and disable Smart Quotes. Then edit the same line you edited previously to replace any left or right double-quotation mark characters (“ or “) with the non-directional double-quotes character (“). Just press the quotation mark key on your keyboard, this should now create the non-directional double-quotes character.

On Mac OS 10.9 and later, Smart Quotes are enabled by default in TextEdit. This causes the double-quotes character (“) to be automatically replaced by the left or right double-quotation marks (“ or “). After Effects does not recognize the left or right marks as the correct delimiters for entries in the keyboard shortcuts file. In general, using Smart Quotes or other smart character replacement is not useful when editing application scripts like the keyboard shortcuts file.

You can disable Smart Quotes and other substitutions on a document-by-document basis by using the Edit > Substitutions menu, or you can disable this for all documents in the preferences for TextEdit.

Other typos or incorrect syntax in the keyboard shortcuts file will generate a similar error message. If Smart Quotes do not solve the issue, double-check your entry for correct spelling and formatting.

tip: writing to the disk cache during renders through the render queue

One thing that makes After Effects work much faster is the persistent disk cache, which makes it so that After Effects can retrieve rendered items from disk rather than re-rendering items each time they are needed. (For details about the RAM cache and persistent disk cache, see this video by me on Lynda.com.)

One thing that many people don’t realize, though, is that the disk cache is not written to by default for final renders through the render queue. This is because when we created the disk cache, disks were not typically fast enough for us to be confident that these disk writes during final renders wouldn’t degrade performance significantly during the first render. In other words, we didn’t want the default to make subsequent renders fast at the expense of making the first renders slow.

Now that people typically have much faster disks than only a few years ago, we are considering changing that default behavior.

In the meantime, we recommend that you try enabling the disk cache in the render queue by changing the Disk Cache setting in the Render Settings dialog box to Current Settings, rather than Read Only. You may want to even go so far as to edit your render settings templates to make this change, as I have done with mine. (I then used the Sync Settings feature to send my render settings templates to the Creative Cloud servers so that I could pull them down on my other computers.) With the Disk Cache value in the render settings set to Current Settings, the disk cache will be written to during renders through the render queue as long as you have Enable Disk Cache checked in the Media & Disk Cache preferences.

See this page for much more information about making After Effects work faster.

GoPro CineForm codec settings in After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Adobe Media Encoder CC 2014

The CC 2014.1 releases of After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Adobe Media Encoder introduced the ability to natively decode and encode QuickTime (.mov) files using the GoPro CineForm codec on Mac OS and Windows, meaning that you do not need to install additional codecs to use and create such files.

When encoding GoPro CineForm movies, two different pixel formats and five different compression methods are available. To change how the GoPro CineForm movie is encoded you need to set the color depth or the quality, respectively. This is a guide for how these settings map to the encoded results.

Note: this article has been updated to include changes made to the GoPro CineForm color depth settings and encoding presets in Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder CC 2014.2.

GoPro CineForm compression quality settings

The GoPro CineForm codec offers five levels of compression quality:

1. Low
2. Medium
3. High
4. Film Scan
5. Film Scan 2

In After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Adobe Media Encoder the compression quality is controlled by the Quality slider in the Export Settings dialog. The range of this slider is 1-5, and the values map to the compression quality settings above. The default value is 4.

For more information about the differences between these compression quality options, read GoPro’s Understanding CineForm Quality Settings article.

GoPro CineForm pixel format settings

The GoPro CineForm codec can encode pixels in YUV 4:2:2 at 10 bits per channel, or RGBA 4:4:4:4 at 12 bits per channel.

The encoded pixel format is based on the color depth and alpha channel settings you choose in the Output Module Settings dialog in After Effects or the Export Settings dialog in Premiere Pro or Adobe Media Encoder.

In After Effects:

  • Setting Channels to RGB or Alpha will encode to 10-bpc YUV.
  • Settings Channels to RGB+Alpha will encode to 12-bpc RGBA.

After Effects renders the composition frames at the color depth specified in the Project and Render Settings, and the GoPro CineForm encoder will re-sample the frames to 10-bit YUV or 12-bpc RGBA as appropriate.

In Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder CC:

  • Depth can be set to either YUV 10-bit or RGBA 12-bit.
  • If Render At Maximum Depth is enabled, the frames will be rendered at 10-bpc or 16-bpc before being passed to the GoPro CineForm encoder, which will re-sample the frames to the chosen Depth as appropriate.
  • If Render At Maximum Depth is disabled, the frames will rendered at 8-bpc before being passed to the GoPro CineForm encoder, which will re-sample the frames to the chosen Depth as appropriate.

These settings are utilized by three encoding presets included with Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder:

  • GoPro CineForm RGB 12-bit with alpha at Maximum Bit Depth
  • GoPro CineForm RGB 12-bit with alpha
  • GoPro CineForm YUV 10-bit

regarding previous guidance and presets

In previous guides, the pixel formats for GoPro CineForm were described as being 8-bpc YUV, 8-bpc RGBA, or 16-bpc RGBA. Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder CC 2014.1 included three encoding presets that reflected this.

This information was incorrect. The Depth settings for the GoPro CineForm codec and associated encoding presets have been updated in Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder CC 2014.2, as described above.

In the CC 2014.1 release, setting the Depth to 24-bit (8-bpc) would encode to 10-bpc YUV, and setting Depth to 32-bit (8-bpc with alpha) or 64-bit (16-bpc with alpha) would encode to 12-bpc RGBA.

For more information about working with the GoPro CineForm codec in After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Adobe Media Encoder, read GoPro CineForm Codec Support in Premiere Pro Help and Rich Young’s CineForm in Creative Cloud on Pro Video Coalition.

After Effects good to go with Mac OSX v10.10 (Yosemite)

We have tested the following versions of After Effects on Mac OSX v10.10 (Yosemite) and found that they function normally on this operating system, with only a few known issues as noted below:

  • After Effects CC 2014 (13.0, 13.1, 13.1.1)
  • After Effects CC (12.2.1)
  • After Effects CS6 (11.0.4)

As long as you’re updating your operating system, be sure to also get the most recent updates for your Adobe applications. Details about the most recent updates for the Adobe professional video and audio applications are here.

If you encounter a problem with After Effects on Mac OSX v10.10, please let us know on the After Effects forum and with a bug report.

known issues:

  • We are aware of one issue regarding RAM preview in After Effects on Mac OSX v10.10: When a RAM preview begins to play, the first several frames of the video will not play the first time through; subsequent loops through the same RAM preview duration will play all frames. This bug with Mac OSX v10.10 (Yosemite) affects all versions of After Effects.
  • We are aware of one issue regarding RED (.r3d) files in After Effects CS6 on Mac OSX v10.10: RED files may not import, and if they do import they will stop displaying frames after a short time. This problem only appears in After Effects CS6; it does not happen in After Effects CC (12.x) or After Effects CC 2014 (13.x).
  • We are aware of one issue regarding Adobe Media Encoder (AME) on Mac OSX v10.10: Adobe Media Encoder can take an unusually long time (a couple of minutes) to start the first time on this version of Mac OS. After the first start of AME, subsequent starts of AME should happen in the normal amount of time.

See this page for information about other Adobe applications and Mac OSX v10.10 (Yosemite).

All Good things….

It is with a huge fond-farewell that I am moving on from the After Effects team here at Adobe. After Effects has been near and dear to my heart for over 12 years when I first started designing software (plugins) for it. I still love it, and most importantly love what you create with it.

That being said, while I have had a blast these last almost 4 years as the principal product manager for After Effects, it’s time to pass the baton. Effective immediately Todd Kopriva (@ToddKopriva_AE) will be responsible for where After Effects goes from here as its product manager.

Many of you know Todd, but for those of you who don’t – he is one of a few people I can count on my hand that have almost the entirety of After Effects in his head. After Effects is in very good hands.

I’m also not going anywhere. I remain passionate at Adobe and have been given an awesome opportunity to do some really interesting things that I hope to come back and talk with you about very very soon. You can take the guy out of a startup, but you can’t take the startup out of the guy ;).

Until then…

S.

After Effects CC 2014.1.1 (13.1.1) bug-fix update

The After Effects CC 2014.1 (13.1.1) bug-fix update is now available.

You can install the update through the Creative Cloud desktop application, or you can check for new updates from within any Adobe application by choosing Help > Updates. One way to check for updates is by closing all Adobe applications other than Adobe Bridge, and choosing Help > Updates in Adobe Bridge; this ensures that all processes related to Adobe video applications have been quit and can be updated safely.

We have also been working with several providers of plug-ins, codecs, and hardware devices to assist them in updating their software to fix some errors and crashes. Please take this opportunity to download and install updated codecs, plug-ins, and drivers from these providers, as relevant to your work.

For details of what was added, changed, and fixed in After Effects CC 2014.1 (13.1), see this page. For details of all of the other updates for Adobe professional video and audio applications, see this page.

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


summary of what’s fixed in the After Effects CC 2014.1.1 (13.1.1) update


  • If you applied an effect without properties or opened a project containing an effect without properties, then After Effects would give a long series of error messages: “After Effects error: internal verification failure, sorry! {unexpected match name searched for in group} ( 29 :: 0 )”. This bug is now fixed. Examples of effects that triggered this problem inlcude Knoll UnMult and BAO Mask Avenger.
  • Tooltips now appear correctly in the Timeline, Project, and Effect Controls panels.
  • The middle mouse button again works as expected for such purposes as activating the Hand tool in viewer panels, using the Unified Camera tool, or repositioning shape layers or masks.
  • Panels no longer flash red when resizing or rearranging panels.
  • The Graph Editor works correctly on Windows high-DPI systems. In the previous version (After Effects 13.1.0), clicks within the Graph Editor were registered in the wrong place on Windows high-DPI systems.
  • RED (.r3d) files no longer cause a 15-second delay when the resolution of the image being requested from the importer is less than 1/8. This could occur when the thumbnail was generated on import, when Adaptive Resolution was engaged, et cetera.
  • BridgeTalk is now set up correctly, so that scripting calls from ExtendScript Toolkit, Bridge, and Premiere Pro correctly target After Effects.
  • The installer cleans up stale components better, including updated Cinema 4D components.

We’ve created an Animal

Project Animal was shown in our sneak peek at MAX. If you missed it or want to see it again, check it out here.

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, the Advanced Product Development team who work closely with the After Effects team has been working on a character animation product code-named Project Animal. While your character is the puppet, you are the one holding the strings. By accessing your computer’s webcam, Project Animal will track the movement of your head, mouth, and eyes—including your blinking, glancing, and eye-brow raising—and move your puppet accordingly. When you talk, your character talks. When you feign surprise, so does your character. When you’re grumpy, your character is too.

Project Animal is for two different types of After Effects artists: those who want to rig complex characters without creating a confusing tangle of expressions, and those who just want to create simple characters easily. Either way, once the character is set up, bringing it to life is just a matter of acting out your performance in front of your webcam.

The workflow starts with importing layered Illustrator or Photoshop files. If the layers are named to indicate which body part they correspond to, then there’s no further rigging required – you can immediately control your puppet with your face.

I know you’re excited. We are too. However before we can bring Project Animal to market, we need a few people that can really help us work out a few wrinkles. While we’d love to give everyone a chance to use Project Animal, we on the team can only handle so many people putting it through its paces. If you or your company can possibly use Project Animal immediately in your workflow and can commit to giving us feedback on a regular basis, we would love for you to submit your application to test Project Animal.

In the meantime, thanks for wanting to know more about Project Animal. We look forward to shipping it!

Michelle
Sr. Marketing Manager, After Effects

Now Shipping: After Effects CC 2014.1 (13.1)

The After Effects CC 2014.1 update (version 13.1) is now available to all Adobe Creative Cloud members. Just go to the Creative Cloud download center or open the Creative Cloud desktop application to download the new updates for After Effects and many other applications.

For information about purchasing a Creative Cloud subscription, go here. For more information about Creative Cloud, see this overview video and the Creative Cloud FAQ list.

My colleague, Todd Kopriva, put together a detailed post a few weeks ago on what’s new and changed in this version of After Effects. Check it out.

Enjoy!

S.

what’s new in mocha AE CC 2014

For details of the After Effects CC 2014.1 (13.1) update, see this page.

In the After Effects CC 2014.1 (13.1) update, mocha AE has been updated to mocha AE CC 2014 (version 4.0.1). This is a major version update that includes compatibility with mocha Pro 4 project files. For details about all that is new in mocha 4.0, see the Imagineer website.

Here’s a brief summary of what’s new in mocha AE CC 2014:

  • new project-based structure: Project settings in mocha AE can now be modified independently from the clip used to create the project. Choose File > Project Settings to modify the project settings. You can also now open a project file to view a layer’s content without relinking clips.
  • anchor point removed from Adobe After Effects Transform Data: To reduce confusion about how to use the tracking results, mocha AE no longer exports anchor point data. If your intent is to stabilize instead of matching motion, enable the Invert option in the Export Tracking Data dialog box.
  • keyboard shortcut customization: Keyboard shortcuts can now be customized for almost every tool, action and menu item in mocha AE.
  • streamlined, high-DPI interface: The mocha AE interface has been updated to streamline the workflow, reduce interface clutter, and take advantage of Apple Retina displays on Mac OS X.
  • RED Dragon import: RED Dragon 6K footage can now be used in mocha AE.
  • Linear Controls behavior enhancements: When Linear Controls is enabled in Preferences > System, dragging anywhere inside a parameter’s value field will change the value. Previously, this only worked when dragging over the number in the field. While dragging, you can now hold the Shift key to increase mouse sensitivity or hold the Command (Mac OS) or Control (Windows) key to decrease the mouse sensitivity.
  • edge width subtraction: The Edge Properties panel now has buttons to both Subtract (-) or Add (+) edge width.