In our list of what’s new and changed in the next version of After Effects, we gave an overview of what’s included with regard to CINEMA 4D and its integration with After Effects. Now, let’s get to the nitty-gritty details.
First, here’s a list of resources that demonstrate and discuss these features in even more detail than I’m going to provide here (as well as being much prettier than the current plain-text blog post from a words guy):
- beautiful graphical demonstration from Maxon
- John Dickinson’s overview of the CINEMA 4D integration
- Rick Barrett’s two-hour video series on Cineversity, which is a great, simple introduction to CINEMA 4D, with the last video being about the After Effects CINEWARE features
- introduction to CINEMA 4D integration from Lynda.com in Chris & Trish Meyer’s overview of the new version
- two videos from Mathias Möhl in his overview of the new version
- Josh Weiss’s overview of the CINEMA 4D integration
- Nick Campbell (Greyscale Gorilla) giving two overviews, one for After Effects folks and one for CINEMA 4D folks
- Nick Campbell’s FAQ list about the new integration
- Video Copilot’s Andrew Kramer talking about how amazing this all is, including reminding everyone that the Element 3D model and shader packs will work quite nicely with this new integration.
Now, on to the details.
inclusion of CINEMA 4D application in After Effects installer
CINEMA 4D is installed by the After Effects installer. The version of CINEMA 4D included with the After Effects installer is CINEMA 4D Lite R14, which is comparable to CINEMA 4D Prime R14; CINEMA 4D Lite has some features not in CINEMA 4D Prime, and vice versa. Here’s a comparison between all of the CINEMA 4D versions. (updated)
You open the version of CINEMA 4D that is installed with After Effects using the New > MAXON CINEMA 4D File command or the Edit Original command in After Effects. You will not see this version of CINEMA 4D installed in the Start menu on Windows or in the Applications directory on Mac OS. (If you have another version of CINEMA 4D installed in addition to the CINEMA 4D Lite version, these commands will open the other version.)
ability to open CINEMA 4D to create new CINEMA 4D scene layers from within After Effects
When you choose New > MAXON CINEMA 4D File from the File menu, the Layer menu, or from a context menu, CINEMA 4D opens and creates a new .c4d file. A new footage item is added to the project, based on the new .c4d file. When you save the .c4d file in CINEMA 4D and return to After Effects, the After Effects footage item is updated with the changes.
ability to use Edit Original on .c4d scene layer in After Effects to open and edit the file in CINEMA 4D
When you choose Edit > Edit Original with a .c4d footage item selected or with a layer with the CINEWARE effect selected, CINEMA 4D opens and loads the .c4d file.
When you are finished editing the file in CINEMA 4D, save the file and return to After Effects. If you have the preference set for automatic reloading of footage, the changes will appear automatically in After Effects.
Ability to import and render .c4d files (CINEMA 4D scene files) in After Effects
The new integration between CINEMA 4D and After Effects allows you to import a .c4d file from CINEMA 4D (version 12 or later) into After Effects and use the 3D scene and its elements directly within After Effects by using the new CINEWARE effect.
When you import a .c4d file into After Effects, the file appears as a footage item in the Project panel. When you add the footage item to a composition (e.g., by dragging the footage item to the Create A New Composition button at the bottom of the Project panel), a layer is created based on that footage item, and the CINEWARE effect is automatically applied to the layer. In the background, a CineRender renderer is started for CINEMA 4D scene data.
The CINEWARE effect on a layer is used to tell the background CineRender renderer what elements of the scene to render for the layer, and how to do so.
The Render Settings properties are largely a matter of trading off between speed and quality.
- Standard (Final) provides the highest-quality output, but takes the longest time. This option uses the settings for the Standard renderer as described in the .c4d file. You can open the .c4d file with CINEMA 4D by using Edit Original in After Effects. You can change the render settings in CINEMA 4D, save the file, and then switch back to After Effects to see the render changes.
- Standard (Draft) uses the same renderer as Standard (Final), but with some slower features disabled. For example, antialiasing and most of the options in the Render Settings – Options dialog box in CINEMA 4D are disabled. Standard (Draft) also reduces the level of MoGraph Cloner detail so that it renders faster; e.g., if you have a cloner object with a count set to 10, you’ll see only every other clone (5).
- Software enables the selection of Current Shading, Wireframe, or Box from the Display menu. Wireframe and Box modes are very fast, simplistic representations of the scene.
If the renderer is set to Standard (Draft), choosing the No Textures/Shader option causes the scene to be rendered as if the textures were disabled in the Render and View settings in CINEMA 4D. If the renderer is set to Software, this checkbox also disables shaders.
Choosing the No Pre Calculation option disables the pre-rolling in the CINEMA 4D animation system, which can give a very large speed improvement but should never be used in the final render (because particle systems, some MoGraph functions, Dynamics, and Cloth won´t be displayed correctly).
The Keep Textures In RAM option caches textures where they can be accessed more quickly, but this consumes memory. Enabling this option can greatly reduce final render time in some projects. If you edit textures in CINEMA 4D, they will not update in After Effects until you save the .c4d file or purge the RAM and disk cache in After Effects (Edit > Purge > All Memory & Disk Cache).
Click the Apply To All button to use the settings in the current instance of the CINEWARE effect to all other instances of the effect in the composition for layers that refer to the same .c4d source.
Choose the CINEMA 4D Camera option to use the camera that is defined as the render view camera in CINEMA 4D, or the default camera if none has been explicitly defined. To instead choose a different camera from the CINEMA 4D scene, choose Select CINEMA 4D Camera, which enables the Set Camera button. Click that button and choose a camera from the dialog box that opens.
Choose the Comp Camera option to use the After Effects active camera (first enabled camera layer in the composition). Of course, you need to have an After Effects camera layer in the composition to use this option.
To use the After Effects camera and recalculate CINEMA 4D scene coordinates to adapt, choose Centered Comp Camera. Note that CINEMA 4D and After Effects use different origins (points from which transformations are calculated). An object modeled at the CINEMA 4D origin of 0,0,0 and then rendered using the After Effects camera may not render centered in the After Effects view, or the view may be blank. The Centered Comp Camera option offsets the After Effects camera used in CINEMA 4D so that the CINEMA 4D render is centered in the After Effects composition in these cases.
Use Centered Comp Camera when manually adding a camera to a composition (at composition center, by default); use Comp Camera after extracting CINEMA 4D cameras (since these cameras were created in a coordinate system with a different 0,0,0 reference).
CINEMA 4D Layers:
If you enable CINEMA 4D Layers and click the Set Layers button, you can choose which CINEMA 4D layers to render.
Note that the term ‘CINEMA 4D layer’ may be somewhat confusing to an After Effects user. In CINEMA 4D, the term ‘layer’ refers to a grouping of items into one element.
Click the Apply To All button to apply the camera and CINEMA 4D layer settings in the current instance of the CINEMA 4D Settings effect to all other instances of the effect in the composition for the same footage item. This can be very useful if you have several instances of the effect on multiple layers (such as when working with multiple passes) and you want to have settings match.
Multi-Pass (Linear Workflow):
The Multi-Pass features are only available when using the Standard renderer, not the Software renderer. For results to be correct, you must be working in a project in which colors are blended in linear light (either in a color-managed linear working space or with Blend Colors Using 1.0 Gamma set in the Project Settings dialog box).
If you enable CINEMA 4D Multi-pass and click the Set Multi-pass button, you can choose which pass to render, rather than rendering the entire image.
Click the Create Image Layers button to create a complete set of After Effects layers, one for each pass in the multi-pass set, to recreate the image. To specify the set of layers created to be those in the multi-pass set defined in the Multi-Pass Render Settings in CINEMA 4D for the scene, choose the Defined Multi-Passes option.
Comp Camera Into CINEMA 4D: Click the Merge button to modify the .c4d file to include the camera data from After Effects. For example, this is especially useful for transferring camera data created by the 3D Camera Tracker effect. Note that the active camera is merged with ‘AE’ prepended to the camera name. Merging the same camera again merges another copy of the camera; it does not update a previously merged camera.
CINEMA 4D Scene Data: Click the Extract button to create camera, light, and solid (or null) layers in After Effects corresponding to cameras, lights, and animated objects in CINEMA 4D. Before using this feature, enable the Save Polygons for Melange and Save Animation for Melange preferences in the Files section of the CINEMA 4D Preferences dialog box.
notes about CINEMA 4D features
In CINEMA 4D, ensure that the Linear Workflow option is selected (Edit > Project Settings) before saving a .c4d project. (This is the default since R12.)
In After Effects, enable color management by choosing a working color space (e.g., sRGB IEC61966-2.1) in the Color Settings section of the Project Settings dialog box. Select the Linearize Working Space option. Use a color bit depth of 16 bpc or 32 bpc to avoid banding.
TIP: If you change render settings or camera settings on some layers but not on others (i.e., don’t use the Apply To All commands), this can substantially increase render time, because each unique set of settings for a footage item will be treated as a separate CINEMA 4D render. You may also want to turn off CINEMA 4D layers you aren’t using for this same reason.
The current version of the CINEWARE effect in After Effects doesn’t use the OpenGL renderer.
Setting a region of interest (ROI) doesn’t limit the area of rendering for CINEMA 4D scene layers.
In the current implementation, a CINEMA 4D scene layer is expected to stay in place, without transforms and without the setting of the 3D switch. If such behavior is required, precompose the scene layer without collapsing transformations for the precomposition layer.
Collect Files does not collect items on which a .c4d file may depend, such as textures.
This version of the CINEWARE effect only uses the CINEMA 4D Standard render for final rendering (not Physical or Toon).
Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing is disabled when using .c4d layers.
Depending on your computer’s security settings, you may see some warnings about TCP communication; this is because After Effects and the background CINEMA 4D renderer are communicating using TCP, which some security software may interpret as dangerous malware communication. For example, Mac OS will ask you to confirm if you want to run this software “downloaded from the Internet”. Go ahead and accept the communication between these applications. If you can import a .c4d file, but it fails to render, check your security settings to see if Mac OS Gatekeeper or your firewall are blocking the background CINEMA 4D renderer from functioning and communicating with After Effects. In Mac OS, check the General tab of the Security & Privacy system preferences, and make sure that Allow Applications Downloaded From is set to Anywhere. (Note that the TCP port used is defined in the Options in the CINEMAWARE effect, and the choice is stored in the After Effects preferences file.)
If you only read one sentence in this post, let it be this one:
We’ve been going through our crash reporter information lately, and we’ve noticed many instances of crashes that shouldn’t be happening if folks were running with the most recent updates to Element 3D and After Effects. So, please install those updates, and let us know with a bug report if you continue to have problems.
When we talked with Sérgio and Andrew at VideoCopilot about the crashes that we were seeing in these reports, they also mentioned that many of them indicated that folks were trying to run Element 3D with settings higher than their card can handle or with overly complex scenes. They recommend that everyone read these suggestions about how to avoid such problems, as well as making sure that your computer meets the specifications for Element 3D. They have some good troubleshooting information here, too.
There are also some caching fixes for both Element 3D and for After Effects in general in the updates for Element 3D and updates for After Effects, which address problems with stale frames being stored and retrieved from the cache.
This year marks my 12th NAB. One thing that makes this time of year completely cool – it’s like new years eve for the production industry. I’ve been around for a few of these now – and I must say that this one is by far one of my favorite. This year we are doing a huge sneak peek and revealing what’s coming to the next versions of the Adobe professional video and audio tools.
After Effects CS6 was a gargantuan release. The 3D Camera Tracker brought complex camera tracking to everyone, and the global performance cache brought performance improvements where it mattered most – previews. We knew going into this next release that topping it would not be for the faint at heart.
I can say with complete confidence that not only did we top it with what’s coming to the next version of After Effects – we set a new standard I don’t know that we can match again – EVER. We listened to you intently and redesigned stabilization with the Warp Stabilizer VFX. We delivered a completely revamped approach to the previously mind-numbing task of rotoscoping, and made it not just fun to do, but made the technique work on footage that is just frankly ‘un-roto-able’. Look for the Refine Edge tool to see what I mean.
To top it, we saw that After Effects artists work with Cinema 4D as passionately as they do with After Effects. We looked at current workflows with our friends at Maxon and decided to integrate After Effects and Cinema 4D in a completely new way. I think the workflow advantages are not just dramatic, but completely empowering. Think 600 creative decisions in the new way of integration with no penalty – vs. 10 with the current workflow today.
Although the next version of After Effects isn’t available now, we’re offering a NAB Show special to get 40% off your first year of Adobe Creative Cloud membership (only $29.99/month), and you’ll automatically get these new features as soon as they are available. You can check out upcoming top features coming to the next versions here.
Overall – I am extremely proud of this next release, and can’t wait to hear from you what you think. Happy NAB folks.
As our product manager Steve Forde just announced, today we are revealing the next version of After Effects, as well as our other professional video and audio applications. The next version is After Effects CC, which is version 12.0 of the application.
For information about the new versions of all of our professional video and audio applications, including videos and illustrations, check out the snazzy reveal portal page.
Other excellent overviews of what’s new and changed include these:
- Rich Young’s round-up of resources about the reveal
- this article from Chris and Trish Meyer
- this series of videos by Mathias Möhl
- Josh Weiss’s videos about the new features
- Angie Taylor’s summary of the new features
- גרסה חדשה לאפטר אפקטס (“New version of After Effects”) in Hebrew by Eran Stern
These new versions of our professional video and audio applications that we are revealing aren’t yet available. Of course, if you are a subscribed member of the Adobe Creative Cloud, you will be able to get these new versions as soon as they are available as part of your membership. We’re offering an NAB Show special to save 40% off Creative Cloud (valid 4-19April2013). This promotion is available through the Adobe.com store only.
Please, if you want to ask questions about these new and changed features, come on over to the After Effects user-to-user forum. That’s the best place for questions. Questions left in comments on a blog post are much harder to work with; the blog comment system just isn’t set up for conversations.
top new features in After Effects CC (12.0)
For illustrations and more information about these top new features, check out the the “After Effects Preview” PDF document available from the right sidebar on this page.
- CINEMA 4D Lite and live 3D pipeline between CINEMA 4D and After Effects (details here)
- Refine Edge tool, Roto Brush & Refine Edge effect, and Refine Soft Matte effect
- Warp Stabilizer VFX, improvements to the Warp Stabilizer effect
- improvements to the 3D Camera Tracker effect
- ability to find instances of missing fonts, effects, and footage
- snapping to layer features, including anchor points and masks
- bicubic resampling
- Pixel Motion Blur effect
- Sync Settings for sharing keyboard shortcuts, preferences, and other settings (details here)
(nearly) all new and changed features in the After Effects CC (12.0)
Here is a virtually comprehensive list of changes, with detail beyond the summaries of the top items listed above. We’ll be posting a lot more detail over the coming weeks, and the outline below will be populated with links to in-depth articles and tutorials, so bookmark this page and check back.
importing and managing footage and other assets
- inclusion of CINEMA 4D application with After Effects: The version of CINEMA 4D included with the After Effects installer is CINEMA 4D Lite R14, which is comparable to CINEMA 4D Prime R14; CINEMA 4D Lite has some features not in CINEMA 4D Prime, and vice versa. You can create a new .c4d file from within After Effects by choosing File > New > MAXON CINEMA 4D File, and you can use the Edit Original command to edit a .c4d file from within After Effects. (Details here.)
- import of .c4d files (CINEMA 4D scene files): The new integration between CINEMA 4D and After Effects allows you to import a .c4d file from CINEMA 4D (version 12 or later) into After Effects and use the 3D scene and its elements directly within After Effects by using the new CINEWARE effect and the background CineRender renderer. This enables you to use assets in such popular formats as OBJ, FBX, and Alembic in an After Effects scene. No more rendering a bunch of image sequences and waiting every time you want to make an adjustment or just try out a new idea. Any changes you make to an imported .C4D file are automatically updated in the After Effects project. See the “compositing and 3D” heading below for more CINEMA 4D integration features. (Details here.)
- import of DNxHD footage: You can now import DNxHD MXF OP1a and Op-Atom files, as well as QuickTime (.mov) files with DNxHD media without installing additional codecs. This includes use of an uncompressed alpha channel in DNxHD QuickTime files.
- higher-performance DPX importer: In addition to being faster, the new DPX importer can import and preserve 8, 12, 10, and 16 bits per channel of color information, as well as an alpha channel and timecode. The DPX importer in previous versions of After Effects only worked with 10-bpc color.
- higher-performance OpenEXR importer and ProEXR plug-ins: After Effects CC (12.0) includes version 1.8 of the OpenEXR importer plug-in and version 1.8 of the ProEXR plug-ins, EXtractoR and IDentifier. New caching features are among the improvements in these plug-ins that increase performance.
- ARRIRAW source settings in footage interpretation: In the ARRIRAW Source Settings dialog box, you can set the color space, exposure, white balance, and tint. To reset the values to those stored as metadata in the ARRIRAW file, click Reload From File.
- import of additional camera formats: XAVC (Sony 4K) and AVC-Intra 200
- additional features for RED Digital Cinema (.r3d): The RedColor3, RedGamma3, and Magic Motion features are now included in the built-in importer. These features were previously included in an importer avalable from Adobe Labs.
- Unicode conversion for robust support for characters (in file names, paths, etc.): Because of an extensive conversion of many parts of the application to work correctly with Unicode characters, After Effects can use characters from any language (not limited to matching the OS/application language) in various places without crashing, giving an error, or showing the strings as ‘???’. We have made several fixes to allow the use of Unicode characters in paths, including in file names. Related to this work is the removal of the limit of 260 characters for file paths, which in previous versions of After Effects made many features (such as Collect Files) fail unless you deliberately kept file structures shallow or kept names of folders at each level very short.
- commands for finding missing footage, missing effects, and missing fonts: There are three new commands in the File > Dependencies menu for finding missing items: Find Missing Effects, Find Missing Fonts, and Find Missing Footage. You can also type any of the following into the search field in the Project panel to search for missing items: Missing Effects, Missing Fonts, Missing Footage.
- automatic reloading of footage: Footage that has changed is automatically reloaded when After Effects is brought to the foreground (e.g., when switching back from another application, such as CINEMA 4D).
- bicubic scaling (and other sampling) for layers: You can choose between bicubic and bilinear sampling for selected layers, which determines how pixels are sampled for transformations such as scaling. The bicubic sampling in After Effects should perform better than the related option in Photoshop; the After Effects algorithm preserves over-range and under-range values more consistently and works better (with fewer quantization errors) at extreme scales.
- snapping of layer features in the Composition panel: You can now snap layer features to one another while dragging in the Composition panel. Features that can be snapped to one another include the anchor point, the center of the layer, a layer corner, the layer handle at the midpoint of a layer edge, or any point on a mask path (not just mask vertices), the center of any 3D face, or the center of the 3D volume. You can also snap the anchor point of a layer to features of that same layer using the Pan Behind (Anchor Point) tool.
- changes to Shift+parenting behavior: In After Effects CS6, holding the Shift key while parenting one layer to another moves the child layer to the location of the parent layer. In After Effects CC, parenting layers while holding the Shift key moves the child layer to the location of the parent, but the child layer’s animated (keyframed) transformations are preserved, relative to the parent layer.
compositing and 3D
- Refine Edge tool: The Refine Edge tool and the associated properties in the Roto Brush & Refine Edge effect provide the ability to improve an existing matte by creating partial transparency for areas of fine detail at the edges of a matte, such as for hair. These new features and their user interface elements are closely related to the Refine Edge features in Photoshop. To use the Refine Edge tool, you must already have an alpha channel defined for the layer. You are not restricted to using the Roto Brush tool to define the initial transparency for the layer; you can also use any other method, such as color keying or conventional rotoscoping by drawing masks.
- Refine Soft Matte effect: The new Refine Soft Matte effect performs the same edge refinements as performed by the new Refine Edge Matte properties in the Roto Brush & Refine Edge effect. The difference is that the Refine Soft Matte effect applies the edge refinements to the entire matte, at a constant width around the entire matte, whereas the edge refinements performed by the Roto Brush & Refine Edge effect are performed within the regions defined by the Refine Edge strokes, which may be of varying widths and along only some parts of the matte edge.
- creation of layers from a CINEMA 4D multi-pass set: In the CINEWARE effect in After Effects, you can choose which pass from a multi-pass set to render, rather than rendering the entire image. Click the Create Image Layers button to create a complete set of After Effects layers, one for each pass in the multi-pass set, to recreate the image. You can specify the set of layers created to be those in the multi-pass set defined in the Multi-Pass Render Settings in CINEMA 4D for the scene. (Details here.)
- merging After Effects cameras into .c4d files: From within After Effects, you can modify a .c4d file to include the camera data from After Effects. For example, this is especially useful for transferring camera data created by the 3D Camera Tracker effect. (Details here.)
- extracting CINEMA 4D scene data into an After Effects composition: You can use a single Extract command in After Effects to create camera, light, and solid (or null) layers in After Effects corresponding to cameras, lights, and animated objects in a CINEMA 4D scene. (Details here.)
- ground plane and origin in 3D Camera Tracker effect: You can now define a ground plane (reference plane) and origin — i.e., the (0,0,0) point of the coordinate system — within the 3D Camera Tracker effect. Any items that you create from within this instance of the 3D Camera Tracker effect will be created using this plane and origin as their basis.
- Auto-delete Points Across Time feature in 3D Camera Tracker and Warp Stabilizer VFX effect: If this option is on, when you delete track points in the Composition panel, corresponding track points (i.e., track points on the same feature/object) are deleted at other times on the layer, so you don’t need to delete the track points frame by frame to improve the quality of the track. For example, you can delete track points on a person running through the scene, whose motion should not be considered for the determination of how the camera was moving in the shot.
- improvements to mocha: The version of mocha included with After Effects includes several new and enhanced features, including the ability to import and track RED Digital Cinema (.r3d) footage. (Details here.)
effects and color
- Pixel Motion Blur effect: The new Pixel Motion Blur effect analyzes video footage and synthesizes (fakes) motion blur based on motion vectors. This effect uses the same motion estimation as the Timewarp effect, and the controls of the Pixel Motion Blur effect are closely related to those in the Timewarp effect.
- Preserve Scale option in Warp Stabilizer VFX effect: The previous version of the Warp Stabilizer effect could become confused by point-of-view shots and would attempt to correct for movement of the camera forward or backward by changing the scale. This was especially bad for aerial fly-throughs. If you enable the Preserve Scale option, then the Warp Stabilizer will not attempt to correct with scale adjustments.
- new Objective options for using Warp Stabilizer VFX in compositing workflows: You can now use the Warp Stabilizer VFX effect in three different ways: for stabilizing, for temporarily stabilizing to do visual effects work, and compositing a layer into a shaky scene. Each of these goals has a corresponding entry in the new Objective menu in the Advanced properties of the Warp Stabilizer VFX effect: Stabilize; Reversible Stabilization and Reverse Stabilization; and Apply Motion to Target / Apply Motion to Target Over Original.
- modifications to Ramp effect: The Ramp effect has been renamed to now be the Gradient Ramp effect, to make it more discoverable to users looking for a way to make a gradient. The effect now has a Swap Colors button that swaps the color from the Start Color property to the End Color property, and vice versa.
- native export of ProRes media on Mac OSX v10.8: On Mac OSX v10.8, you can export ProRes media without installing additional codecs. This includes all ProRes varieties. (On Mac OSX v10.7, you still need to install additional ProRes codecs from Apple.)
- improved audio output behavior in output module settings: The default state of of audio output in the output modules is Audio Output Auto, which outputs audio if the composition has audio but creates no audio channels on output if the composition does not have audio. The Audio Output On option creates audio channels on output even if the composition doesn’t contain audio. Audio Output Off doesn’t create audio channels even if the composition does have audio.
- commands for sending composition to Adobe Media Encoder (AME) encoding queue: There are two new menu commands and a keyboard shortcut for sending the active composition or compositions selected in the Project panel to the Adobe Media Encoder encoding queue: Composition > Add To Adobe Media Encoder Queue, File > Export > Add To Adobe Media Encoder Queue, Ctrl+Alt+M (Windows), and Command+Option+M (Mac OS). While exploring Adobe Media Encoder, be sure to check out the new DNxHD import and export features, as well as the Match Source new features for automatically matching output settings to those of the source item.
- removed H.264, MPEG-2, and WMV formats from the default state of the After Effects render queue: In general, you should use Adobe Media Encoder to create output in these formats that have been deprecated from the After Effects render queue. If you need to be able to export these formats directly from After Effects, you can re-enable them by setting the preference Show Deprecated Formats In Output Module Settings in the Output preferences category.
performance and memory
- menu command to purge all RAM caches and disk cache: The new command Edit > Purge > All Memory & Disk Cache purges both the contents of all RAM caches (like the existing All Memory command) and the contents of the disk cache (like the existing Empty Disk Cache button in the Media & Disk Cache preferences).
- new default location for disk cache on Mac OS: On Mac OS, the disk cache was placed by default in a location backed up by Time Machine. This is typically not wanted, so the new default location is in a folder that is not by default backed up by Time Machine.
- new preference that modifies the existing Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing preference: Only For Render Queue, Not For RAM Preview: If this preference is enabled, then Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing will not be engaged for RAM previews, and background multiprocessing rendering processes will only launch when you initiate a render operation in the render queue.
- new preset values and default settings for Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing preferences: You can now choose to allocate 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 4, or 6 GB of RAM to background rendering processes, rather than the 0.75, 1, 1.5, 2, or 3 GB.
- disablement of Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing if RAM installed is less than 5GB: This is intended to prevent people from trying to use Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing on a computer without enough RAM to make use of this feature.
miscellaneous added features
- Sync Settings for sharing keyboard shortcuts, preferences, and other settings (details here)
- Added Reveal In Finder / Reveal In Explorer command for layers in Layer menu and in context menus for the layer.
- New preference (General > Play Sound When Render Finishes) can be used to enable or disable the playing of a sound when the last item in the render queue has been processed.
- If you have several Timeline panels open, you can choose Close Other Timeline Panels to close all Timeline panels other than the active one. This command is in the panel menu and in the context menu that appears when you context-click the tab for a Timeline panel.
- Added command to context menu for keyframes and markers: Go To Keyframe Time and Go To Marker Time.
- Added command to the context menu for footage items in the Project panel: Replace With Precomp. This command creates a composition, places the selected footage item within it, and replaces all references to that footage item with references to the new composition.
- Added a new column to the Project panel: Video Info. This column contains pixel dimensions and pixel aspect ratio for the item.
- Added link to the Adobe user-to-user forums: Help > Online User Forums.
- New option in Collect Files dialog box: Reveal Collected Project In Explorer/Finder When Finished.
- Added Quadro K5000 to the list of cards that After Effects will use for the GPU acceleration of the ray-traced 3D renderer.
miscellaneous changed features
- In the General preferences category, there is a new set of preferences under the heading Opening Layers With Double-click. These preferences determine the double-click behavior in Timeline panel for opening layers in Composition or Layer panel
- The tapping of the Shift key to open the Composition Mini-Flowchart has been replaced by pressing the Tab key.
- The Graph Editor defaults to value graph rather than defaulting to auto-choosing graph type (and therefore showing speed graph by default for some properties). This makes it a lot easier to understand what’s going on when first using the Graph Editor.
- If you had missing frames in an image sequence, previous versions of After Effects would say something like this “After Effects warning: The sequence has 3 missing frames.” In After Effects CC, the message is much more useful: “After Effects warning: Animal[1-6].psd is missing 3 frames (2, 4-5).” Also, there is now a preference, Report Missing Frames, that allows you to turn this warning off if it is annoying.
- The path to the log file under the Render Settings heading in the Render Queue panel is a clickable link. Click it to open the folder containing the log file.
- When you have typed enough characters in the search field in the Effects & Presets panel such that only one effect or animation preset is shown in the filtered list, press Enter/Return to apply the effect or animation preset to selected layers.
- You can now drag the 3D axis control (the red, green, and blue tripod of arrows) with the Pan Behind tool to move the anchor point.
- Thumbnail images in the preview area at the top of the Project panel respect the aspect ratio of the item being previewed (instead of always being 4:3 and therefore often being letterboxed).
- Gradient colors can now be randomized using Brainstorm.
- When opening a project created with a previous version of After Effects, the name of the new project is not “Untitled Project” but retains the name of the old project with the string ‘(converted)’ appended.
- Changed name of Warp Stabilizer effect to Warp Stabilizer VFX to distinguish it from the first version. Premiere Pro will continue to include the Warp Stabilizer effect without the additional features.
- Blur Focal Distance property units are now pixels rather than 0-1 unitless fraction.
- After Effects now uses subclip names from Premiere Pro, rather than using the name of the master clip for all subclips.
- Rewrote Cartoon effect so that it doesn’t prevent the use of Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing.
- Improved user experience when Bridge or ESTK aren’t installed, with messages that give download link. The After Effects installer does not include Bridge and ESTK installers; you will need to download and install them separately.
- Improved user interface for enabling Adobe Crash Reporter on Mac OS. On Mac OS, choose Help > Adobe Crash Reporter. Make sure that “Always show this dialog” is selected (even though, of course, it’s not “this” dialog box that will get shown, but the actual crash reporter dialog box).
- Some commands from the File menu have been moved into the new File > Dependencies submenu: Collect Files, Consolidate Footage, Remove Unused Footage, Reduce Project.
- After Effects CC can be installed and run on Mac OSX v10.7.4 (and later versions of 10.7.x), Mac OSX v10.8.x, Windows 7, and Windows 8.
- Added Default Base setting in Project Settings for specifying the default timecode base. This returns some functionality that was unintentionally lost in After Effects CS5.5.
miscellaneous removed features
- XFL export has been removed.
- 16 bits/pixel option has been removed from Targa Options dialog box for Targa image sequence output type (leaving 24 bits/pixel and 32 bits/pixel).
- The Live Update button has been removed from the Timeline panel. You can still enable or disable Live Update functionality with the command in the Timeline panel menu and the keyboard shortcuts (Alt on Windows or Option on Mac OS).
- The tips of the day have been removed from the Welcome Screen. A PDF version of the tips will be posted on this blog soon/
- The Community Help Client (CHC) AIR application has been removed from all Adobe application packages. The default web browser will be used to view HTML pages of the Help document.
- The Go To Adobe Story menu command has been removed. You can still navigate directly to story.adobe.com.
- ScriptUI is now based on the same controls as the main application, so appearance and functionality of panels created with scripts should be more consistent.
Other scripting changes will be listed in a separate post on this blog soon.
a few choice bug fixes
We fixed a lot of bugs, and there’s no way that I could list them all here, but I do want to call out a few that are especially significant because we saw several reports of them:
- After Effects was unable to render and export a QuickTime file greater than 2.15GB over certain networks. This has been fixed.
- Flash cue points were not being preserved when exporting FLV files from After Effects. This has been fixed.
- Exporting to SWF format was failing for compositions with footage. This is fixed.
- Rendering RAM previews while using Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing and a region of interest didn’t work. This has been fixed.
- Fixed crashes and incorrect rendering with CC Particle World, CC Simple Wire Removal, CC Power Pin, CC Smear, CC Sphere, and other bundled effects.
- During previews on some Mac OS systems, tearing would occur. This has been fixed.
- Fixed multiple bugs in the built-in point tracker that caused jittery or otherwise bad tracks.
People have “moments” in life that stand out — in terms of impact or influencing their career direction. That was one such moment for me. I quickly bought my first version of After Effects (2.0, the box still sits on my shelf), and since then my career has been closely related to AE.
In 2001 I returned to formal school. I finished a B.A in Film, then a Masters in Cinematic Interaction Design. My goal was to work at “Adobe or Macromedia” creating the tools that I used every day that were so powerfully impacting the world.
In 2005 I was hired by Adobe shortly after they announced their merger with Macromedia. I’ve been honored to be the interaction designer on the After Effects team ever since.
We could not imagine doing our music videos without After Effects. We started using After Effects three years ago, and making simple text editing and mixing with 2-3 clips for music videos. It was so intuitive and our previous experience in Photoshop helped a lot. After that we have made many music videos with the latest being our own small promo we’re showing here. It was all made in After Effects.
It’s now so embedded in our workflow. From launching any promo, or video or teaser, all the editing + color correction + vfx all is done in After Effects.
Roto work is typically an eye-bleeding task as it takes so much of your time to pull complex footage. Even with careful setup, if you shoot against a green/blue screen, you may have unevenness such as poor lighting, seams, wrinkles, markers or other auxillary objects that might introduce artifacts thus needing manual cleanup on each frame. For more general backgrounds, getting the alpha mattes could be extremely difficult.
Not so, in the next version of After Effects. Here’s a little peek as to what’s next in the world of rotoscoping in AE. And, for a little fun, we’ve decided to share the history of roto work in AE and give you a glimpse into the future using the next version of After Effects.
I have fallen in love with creating beautiful graphics. I had the talent for it when I was young and it was then I heard about After Effects from my best friend. When I was in secondary school, I took a course in After Effects and worked through the content in the After Effects Classroom in a Book and Mark Christiansen’s After Effects Studio Techniques. It made me a better artist and I am very happy with the results. Now I am a professional compositor in AfterEffects.
I love you, After Effects. You made my hobby into a career. Happy Birthday!
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.