AFTEREFFECTS

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

favorite features in CC versions of After Effects: new layer created above selected layers

Beginning in After Effects CC (12.1), most commands that create a new layer create the layer immediately above the topmost selected layer. If no layer is selected, then the new layer is created at the top of the layer stack. In previous versions of After Effects, most commands that created a new layer would create the new layer at the top of the layer stack, regardless of whether any layers were selected. This new behavior should make many workflows more convenient—such as creating a new layer to be a track matte or adjustment layer above the selected layer—preventing you from needing to scroll to the top of the layer stack and drag a new layer down to the needed place.

This is one of those tweaks that seem small but make a huge difference for those of us using After Effects hours a day, every day. So much less needless scrolling, so much less repetitive stress injury.

layer_above_selected

Here is a list of commands to which the new behavior applies:

  • Layer > New > Text
  • Layer > New > Solid
  • Layer > New > Light
  • Layer > New > Camera
  • Layer > New > Null Object
  • Layer > New > Shape Layer
  • Layer > New > Adjustment Layer
  • Layer > New > Adobe Photoshop File
  • Layer > New > MAXON CINEMA 4D File

The new behavior also applies to the respective keyboard shortcuts for these same commands.

The behavior of scripting and AEGP plug-in commands that create new layers has not changed; they still create layers at the top of the layer stack. This is to prevent breaking existing scripts and AEGP plug-ins. (Of course, if your script is using the app.executeCommand(app.findMenuCommandId(...)) pattern to call the menu command, the behavior will be the new behavior of creating the layer above the topmost selected layer.)

Go ahead and try this out now in the current version. If you’re not already a Creative Cloud subscriber, you can try the free 30-day trial. For information about purchasing a Creative Cloud subscription, see this page about plans and this page with current promotional offers.

If you want to let us know what your favorite changes in After Effects have been since After Effects CC (12.0), come and tell us here, whether your favorite change is a new feature, a bug fix, or a little tweak in behavior.

favorite features in CC versions of After Effects: automatically trim precomposition duration

On the After Effects team, we have a rotating role known as “product owner”. The product owner’s job is to set the priorities for a specific version of the application. When I became product owner in the middle of 2013, my stated goal was to have the next few versions of After Effects remove the little pain points that irritate After Effects users every day, often dozens or hundreds of times per day.

One of the improvements that came in After Effects CC (12.1) is a change of which I’m especially proud because I worked as a quality engineer on it in addition to lobbying for its implementation: option when precomposing to trim precomposition duration to duration of selected layers.

When you precompose, you have a new option: Adjust Composition Duration To The Time Span Of The Selected Layers. Choose this to create a new composition that has a duration that is the same as that spanned by the selected layers. If you deselect this option, then the duration of the newly created composition is the same as the duration of the original composition, without regard for the duration of the layers being precomposed; this has been the only option in previous versions of After Effects.

trim_precomposition_layer

This feature saves you the hassle of needing to trim the precomposition after creating it—something that countless After Effects users had to do many times per day.

Thanks to Stefan Wiegand for doing the programming work.

Go ahead and try this out now in the current version. If you’re not already a Creative Cloud subscriber, you can try the free 30-day trial. For information about purchasing a Creative Cloud subscription, see this page about plans and this page with current promotional offers.

If you want to let us know what your favorite changes in After Effects have been since After Effects CC (12.0), come and tell us here, whether your favorite change is a new feature, a bug fix, or a little tweak in behavior.

What is your favorite change (feature, fix, tweak) in After Effects from version 12.0 or later?

What is your favorite change (whether a new feature, a tweaked behavior, or a bug fix) in After Effects CC (12.0) or later? Please answer here, not in the comments on this blog post.

Since we moved to the Creative Cloud model, we’ve been more able to focus on tweaks to make workflows more efficient, under-the-hood infrastructure changes, and smaller user-requested features, as opposed to focusing on big, glitzy features to try to catch your eye and compel you to put down a lot of money at once on an expensive upgrade.

One of the problems of doing several small releases in the past few years, though, is that a lot of the small but useful changes have gone unnoticed by many people. I’m going to try to address that over the next few months by posting some articles about my favorite changes in After Effects from the past few years.

To inform these articles, I’d like for all of you to help by telling me what you favorite changes are. Also, if you know of any resources (tutorials, articles, and such) that explain your favorite changes very well, then list those, too. Again, please answer here, not in the comments on this blog post.

To refresh your memory, here are the pages with all of the details of what’s new and changed in each version of After Effects from After Effects CC (12.0) forward:

Of course, if you want to make feature requests and bug reports, you can do so here.

Join us tomorrow for a Character Animator design discussion

Join us tomorrow, July 29th, for a Character Animator design discussion.

The Character Animator engineers and designers will be holding two one-hour design meetings—one at at 9:30AM and one at 4:30PM—to hear your ideas for Character Animator. (Times are in US Pacific Time, since we’re mostly in Seattle and San Francisco.)

We’ll start with a brief demonstration of what’s new in Preview 2—which you should try out if you haven’t already—and then open the doors to any and all suggestions. Tell us what you love, what you hate, and what we should do next.

You can participate using the chat feature in our web conference system, Adobe Connect.

To attend the meeting, just go here during one (or both!) of the meeting times.

We hope to see you there!

Adobe Media Encoder CC 2015 (9.0.1) bug-fix update

The Adobe Media Encoder CC 2015 (9.0.1) 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. You can also manually download and install this update for Windows and Mac OS.

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 Adobe Media Encoder user-to-user forum, rather than leaving comments on this blog post. (It’s much harder to have conversations in the comments of a blog post.) If you’d like to submit feature requests or bug reports, you can do so here.


bugs fixed and changes made in this update


  • Fixed some issues that caused audio noise in exported files.
  • Set Start Timecode now handles switching between frame rates properly.
  • Fixed a problem that caused Lumetri Color Looks to not be not applied when sources were queued to Adobe Media Encoder from Premiere Pro.
  • Choosing a custom Lumetri Look/LUT now works as expected.
  • The QuickTime Match Source (Rewrap) preset now works with DVCPRO source material containing 24P pulldown.
  • Fixed an issue on Windows where After Effects could not queue to Adobe Media Encoder if it was installed in a custom location.
  • Fixed a hang when exporting certain AVI files.
  • Rescanning a watch folder for a new source no longer crashes Adobe Media Encoder.
  • Improved performance when scrubbing sources with Name/Timecode overlays turned on.
  • Queued items are no longer removed from the queue immediately after the export completes.
  • Fixed an issue that caused some H.264 exports to be incorrectly flagged as having a variable frame rate.
  • Fixed some crashes and hangs when exporting to QuickTime-wrapped IMX and ProRes.
  • Fixed an issue that caused random black frames to be inserted into QuickTime-wrapped XDCAM and IMX exports.
  • Fixed various minor user interface issues.
  • The SurCode encoder has been removed. Most of the functionality provided by this component is provided instead by the built-in Dolby exporter. If you have previously purchased the full version of the SurCode plug-in, you will need to reinstall it after updating to Adobe Media Encoder 9.0.1

Character Animator (Preview 2) now available

The Character Animator (Preview 2) 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.

This update includes many fixes and changes, including the following:

  • more accurate face tracking
  • more accurate lip synch
  • track reordering in the timeline
  • snapping in the timeline
  • transparency grid
  • more instructive Getting Started project
  • performance improvements
  • new puppet template artwork
  • bug fixes

For complete details of what’s new and changed in Preview 2, see the “What’s New in Character Animator” 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 Character Animator user-to-user forum. If you’d like to submit feature requests (or bug reports), you can do so here.

After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) bug-fix update available: many fixes to previews and more

The After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) bug-fix update is now available. This bug-fix update also includes a few small behavior changes.

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.

For details of what was added, changed, and fixed in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), 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, rather than leaving comments on this blog post. (It’s much harder to have conversations in the comments of a blog post.) If you’d like to submit feature requests or bug reports, you can do so here.

The After Effects team is continuing to investigate other bugs for future updates. Please refer to this article for current information about known issues.


bug fixes in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1)


The After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) bug-fix update addresses these significant bugs and usability problems:

  • Fixed a problem that caused After Effects to not respond to commands to stop previews or to respond slowly when changing layer parameters, including entering text in a text layer. When the Warp Stabilizer VFX and 3D Camera Tracker effects were present anywhere in the project, they caused After Effects to become unresponsive to keyboard and mouse input during frame renders.
  • Several audio-related fixes:
    • Audio now starts immediately during previews.
    • Stopping an audio preview returns the current-time indicator (CTI) to the previous position, as it did in previous versions of After Effects.
    • Adding audio markers during a preview (by pressing * on the numeric keypad) no longer causes the preview frame rate to slow down, which then caused audio to drop or stutter.
    • Scrubbing audio slowly now has a delay before beginning a loop around the CTI.
    • The CTI and preview-time indicator (PTI) no longer disappear after scrubbing audio.
  • Auto-trace has been rewritten to address problems with the new threading architecture.
  • The z-axis handle on 3D layers works as expected.
  • Changes to Camera Raw settings apply to the footage as expected and without causing Photoshop File Format errors.
  • MXF files from Sony cameras again import as expected.
  • Audio plug-ins like Trapcode Sound Keys and BorisFX Beat Reactor now function correctly.
  • Multiple copies of certain effects, like those from RE:Vision Effects, no longer produce errors about I_MIX_GUID_DEPENDENCIES.

In addition to the above, a number of other bugs have been fixed:

  • Copying a Layer Control expression control effect from one layer to another no longer causes After Effects to crash.
  • Effects with a layer parameter referring to the effect’s host layer now work as expected when that layer is copied and pasted.
  • Clone Stamp strokes no longer fail to render if the source layer is of different dimensions than the target layer.
  • Rendering to an image sequence no longer fails if the destination folder contains an image sequence that is in use by the project.
  • Animation presets that contain only an expression no longer cause an error message or in some cases create erroneous keyframes.
  • Stopping the render queue with a render item that was previously in WILL_CONTINUE status no longer causes that item to change to an incorrect status.
  • Preview frame rate no longer slows down when you move the pointer over a previewing Composition, Layer, or Footage panel.
  • The Radio Waves effect should no longer produce an uninitialized memory read error.
  • After Effects no longer crashes when a layer’s scale is set to 0% at the same time an effect on that layer with custom UI is visible.
  • After Effects no longer crashes in certain cases during processing of expression errors.
  • After Effects no longer crashes or produces memory errors in certain cases using both expressions and time remapping.
  • Audio preview now works in all non-English languages.
  • After Effects compositions with the Warp Stablizer VFX or 3D Camera Tracker effects that are used in Premiere Pro via Dynamic Link no longer cause the error message: FLT_GeneralEffectCallPlus can not be called reentrantly. ( 25 :: 222 )

Mute Audio When Preview Is Not Real-Time now disabled by default


The Mute Audio When Preview Is Not Real-Time option in Preferences > Previews is now disabled by default. The intent of this preference is to avoid playing stuttered audio in known cases when the preview frame rate will not be real-time, for example during the first pass of a preview while frames are rendered and cached. But because several bugs remain present After Effects CC 2015 that cause the preview frame rate to slow down during user interaction, even when the preview is playing back cached frames, we decided that hearing some audio is better than the audio dropping out. We will continue work on these bugs for a future update.


Synthetic Aperture Color Finesse 3.0.12 plug-in


After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) includes an update for the Color Finesse plug-in from Synthetic Aperture. Color Finesse 3.0.12 fixes one bug: on Mac OS X, presets are now loaded from the proper (2015) folder.

changes to expressions in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5)

[Before you install After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), read this article. For details of what’s new and changed, read this article.]

The interactive performance improvements in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) include significant enhancements to how expressions are evaluated. Expressions are now evaluated on the render thread, meaning the user interface will no longer slow down while an expression is calculating; cache markings affected by an expression, for example, are updated on-the-fly instead of waiting for the expression to complete. Also, some expression-heavy compositions may render faster due to expanded use of the internal expression cache, especially when one expression is dependent on the results of other expressions.

What will be more visible as you work is that when an expression fails to evaluate:

  • Expression errors appear in a warning banner at the bottom of the Composition and Layer panels instead of in a dialog box.
  • The expression is not automatically disabled and will continue to evaluate.

The warning banner will display as long as the expression fails to evaluate; that is, until the expression is either fixed or manually disabled.

This means that when you have multiple expressions that fail, you no longer need to click through all of the error dialog boxes that appear. Also, when you fix the cause of an expression’s failure, you no longer have to click to re-enable it. That includes if you simply undo the change that caused the expression to fail.

We know that many After Effects users utilize expressions heavily and that in some of their projects, changing a single property or deleting a single layer could cause hundreds of related expressions to fail. We hope these changes provide some relief to the fingers of expression-heavy users.

Here’s an example of what the expression error warning banner looks like:

expression_error_banner_small

On the right side of the expression error warning banner are control buttons:

  • The Left or Right arrow buttons display the previous or next expression error when multiple expressions fail to evaluate.
  • The Reveal Expression (magnifying glass) button will expose the property with the failing expression in the Timeline panel. If the expression is in a different composition, that composition will open.
  • The Expand/Collapse Warning (up/down arrows) button shows or hides the error text.

Note: The expression error text is one line only, and is clipped to the width of the Composition panel. To see the full expression error text in the old-style dialog box, click on the yellow error triangle icon next to the expression in the Timeline panel.

You can hide the entire warning banner if you find it distracting. Choose After Effects CC (Mac OS) or Edit (Windows) > Preferences > General and disable Show Warning Banner When Project Contains Expressions Errors. But remember that when this option is disabled, the warning banner remains hidden even when new expression errors occur. Re-enable this option to view expression errors.

Let us know what you think about the changes to expression evaluation on the After Effects forum.

Also worth mentioning in this context is a feature that is not new, but has existed in After Effects for many versions: the Reveal Expression Errors command, available the in the context menu when you right-click on a layer, will expose properties of the selected layers that have expressions that fail to evaluate.

known issues in After Effects CC 2015

UPDATE: This article has been updated to include issues fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) bug-fix update, the After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) update, the After Effects CC 2015 (13.6.1) bug-fix update, and the After Effects CC 2015 (13.7) update. For details about what is new and changed in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), read this article.

The After Effects team is tracking several issues, listed below, that affect performance or usability in After Effects CC 2015. Many of these issues have been fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) bug-fix update, the After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) update, the After Effects CC 2015 (13.6.1) bug-fix update, and the After Effects CC 2015 (13.7) update.

In addition to this article, you should also read about features not available in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5).


silent audio when you export a composition to AVI, AIFF, MP3, or WAV from the render queue


When you export to .avi, .aiff, .mp3, or .wav from the render queue in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1), the resulting file is the correct duration but the audio is silent. This will also happen with QuickTime if the audio output is set to mono.

This issue is fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) update.


crash when motion tracking is stopped


When you start and then stop motion tracking, After Effects may crash. This is most likely to happen on large frames (approximately 4K or larger), but could happen on smaller frame sizes, depending on the memory requirements.

This issue is fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) update.


horizontal panning with the hand tool does not work in the Timeline panel


When you use the hand tool, including holding the spacebar key, in the Timeline panel you can not pan the view left or right.

This problem only occurs under the following conditions:

1. You are using more than one computer monitor.

2. The Timeline panel is on a secondary monitor. This condition includes when the entire After Effects application window is on the secondary monitor.

3. That monitor is arranged in the OS display configuration to be to the left of the primary monitor.

This issue is fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) update.


changes to shadow map resolution are not saved


When you open the Composition Settings dialog and change the value for Shadow Map Resolution (Advanced tab > Options button for Classic 3D renderer), the new value is not saved when you OK the dialog. The value always stays on Comp Resolution.

This issue is fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) update.


keyframes or other objects continue to move after dragging and letting go


We have received reports from users experiencing a problem where keyframes, markers, or other objects in the Timeline panel keep moving for a short distance after you let go of the mouse button.

This problem appears most prevalent when a Wacom tablet is being used, but not all users with tablets experience the problem, and some users report this problem when only using a mouse.

This issue is fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) update.


stopping a preview with spacebar continues playback of cached frames if not all frames have been rendered


When you start a preview with the spacebar key, if you press spacebar again to stop the preview before all frames are rendered and cached, preview does not stop. Only rendering is interrupted, and playback of the cached frames continues. Pressing spacebar again will then stop the preview.

This issue is addressed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) update. By default, pressing spacebar to stop a preview now stops the preview immediately.

In After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), we made significant changes to how previews work. Among those changes were new behaviors for caching and stopping previews with different keyboard shortcuts. We received clear feedback that users were unhappy with our choices for the spacebar shortcut.

In addition to changing the default stopping behavior of the spacebar shortcut, we have addressed this feedback with three modifications in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) update:

  • Caching behavior is now unified for all previews. There is no longer a Preview Favors control; all previews use a single, optimized caching behavior.
  • Stopping behavior is now configurable per-shortcut, rather than being implied by the (now removed) Preview Favors control. You can choose whether interrupting a preview before caching is complete will stop the preview immediately or begin playback of the cached frames. (This is controlled by a new option labeled: If caching, play cached frames.)
  • When play cached frames is enabled, playback starts from the first frame of the range, instead of continuing from the frame where preview was interrupted. This behavioral change clarifies that After Effects has responded to your command to interrupt the preview.

multiple still image sequences from the same directory cause the wrong frame to appear


Multiple still image sequences from the same directory cause one of those footages to display the wrong image under the following situations:

  • If you change the Interpret Footage settings of one sequence and then remember and apply the settings to another sequence from the same directory, the second sequence displays the image of the first sequence.
  • If you duplicate a still image sequence footage item in the Project panel and then replace the duplicated footage item with a different still image sequence from the same directory, the second sequence displays the image of the first sequence.

These issues are fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) update.


problems with camera raw sequence footage, including .dng


Multiple problems affect using camera raw sequence footage, including .dng sequences.

  • An error occurs after you change the settings of a camera raw sequence in the Camera Raw settings dialog: Photoshop file format error 3415 ( 45 :: 35 ). When you quit After Effects, you may also receive an error: Photoshop file format error 1 ( 45 :: 35 ). This error may not occur if you choose Edit > Edit Original to open the Camera Raw settings dialog instead of accessing the settings via the Interpret Footage dialog.
  • If you change the settings of a camera raw sequence in After Effects, only the first frame or a limited number of frames may reflect the changes. Purging the cache in After Effects (Edit > Purge > Image Cache Memory, or All Memory & Disk Cache) may load the changed settings.

The above two issues are fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) bug-fix update.

  • If you change the settings of a camera raw sequence in another application, for example Photoshop or Lightroom, those changes may not be reflected in After Effects after reloading the footage. Purging the cache in After Effects (Edit > Purge > Image Cache Memory, or Edit > Purge > All Memory & Disk Cache) may load the changed settings. A more consistent workaround is to save, close, and re-open the project, then right-click on the footage and choose Reload Footage.
  • Under certain circumstances, choosing Edit > Undo after changing the camera raw settings via the Interpret Footage dialog either does not work will cause After Effects to crash with an error: “After Effects can’t continue: damaged I/O structure. ( 39 :: 101)”
  • Under certain circumstances, selecting a single camera raw image and choosing Edit > Edit Original does not work, the Adobe Camera Raw settings dialog box does not appear. To work around this, instead choose File > Interpret Footage and click on the More Options button.

The above three issues are fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) update.


issues with plug-ins


Most plug-ins need to be updated for After Effects CC 2015. Older plug-ins may cause errors or fail to function properly. Updated plug-ins are now available from many vendors, you should check to see if updates are available for yours.

Issues with individual third party plug-ins in After Effects CC 2015 are being tracked in a different article. Please refer that article for up-to-date information.

Two plug-in related issues are worth mentioning here because they required fixes in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) update, not the plug-ins themselves:

  • Trapcode Sound Keys (from Red Giant) and similar plug-ins that process audio will not work.
  • Using any combination of two effects from certain categories will result in an error message:

    “After Effects error: internal verification failure, sorry! {Effect is I_MIX_GUID_DEPENDENCIES but did not call GuidMixIn in PreRender}”

    This will happen with effects from RE:Vision Effects, though they are not the only affected plug-ins.

Both of these issues are fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) bug-fix update.


stopping an audio-only preview moves the CTI to the stop time


When you stop an audio-only preview with the Numpad-.(period) key in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) the current-time indicator (CTI) will move to the time where you stopped the preview instead of staying at the previous time, as it did in previous versions of After Effects.

This issue is fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) bug-fix update.

In the After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) update, the Numpad-.(period) key and Option + Numpad-.(period) (Mac OS) or Alt + Numpad-.(period) (Windows) are now configurable shortcuts in the Preview panel. You can also now control whether the CTI moves on stop for each preview keyboard shortcut.


unable to stop a preview before rendering finishes or long delay before you can stop a preview 


Under specific circumstances, After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) doesn’t respond to mouse clicks or keyboard input while a preview is rendering and caching frames. Once the preview is fully rendered, After Effect will respond to input again. In some cases, After Effects will respond during the preview, but only after a long delay.

This problem occurs when the Warp Stabilizer VFX or 3D Camera Tracker effects are applied to any layer in the project, regardless of which composition you are previewing.

This issue is fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) bug-fix update.


keyboard input is not recognized or delayed 


Under specific circumstances, After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) doesn’t respond to keyboard input, for example pressing a keyboard shortcut or typing into a text layer.

These issues are the same bug described above where After Effects does not respond to commands to stop a preview, caused by the same problem with the Warp Stabilizer VFX or 3D Camera Tracker effects being used in the project.

This issue is fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) bug-fix update.


audio doesn’t play at the beginning of previews


When you start a preview in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), audio may not play for one or more seconds at the beginning of the preview.

This issue is fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) bug-fix update.


scrubbing audio causes the CTI and PTI to disappear


After you scrub audio in a composition, i.e. you hold the Command (Mac OS) or Control (Windows) key and scrub the current-time indicator (CTI), the CTI and preview-time indicator (PTI) stop drawing in the Timeline panel for that composition until you restart After Effects.

This bug happens only when you release the mouse button before you release the Command or Control key when you are finished scrubbing.

This issue is fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) bug-fix update.


scrubbing audio slowly will cause audio to loop around the CTI


When you scrub audio, i.e. you hold the Command (Mac OS) or Control (Windows) key and scrub the current-time indicator (CTI), if you move the mouse very slowly or hold it still, audio will play in a short loop around the CTI.

This behavior existed in previous versions of After Effects, however it only engaged after a short (1 second) delay if you held the CTI in the same position. In After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), there is a bug that causes audio looping to ignore this delay.

This issue is fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) bug-fix update.


unable to import .mxf files from Sony cameras


After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) is unable to import .mxf files generated by Sony cameras, such as the FS700, F5, F55, and F65. Trying to import such a file results in an error, “file ‘<file name>.mxf’ can not be imported – this .mxf file is damaged or unsupported”.

This issue is fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) bug-fix update.


preview image doesn’t update after Undo or making another change


In After Effects CC 2015 (13.6), the preview image doesn’t update after you use Undo, or sometimes after making another change like adding or deleting a keyframe.

This problem occurs because After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) could inadvertently put the image cache into a bad state that caused it not to update the image drawn on screen. This problem was most common on Windows. Using Edit > Purge > All Memory & Disk Cache or All Memory would clear the problem, as would closing and reopening the project or restarting After Effects.

This issue is fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.6.1) bug-fix update.


After Effects fails to start on computers with older processors


On computers with older processors lacking a specific instruction set (e.g., AMD Phenom II and Athlon processors), After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) would fail to start, with an error message, “The application was unable to start correctly (0xc000001d)” or “The application was unable to start correctly (0xc0000142)”.

This issue is fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.6.1) bug-fix update.


downsampling artifacts when using Hardware Accelerate Composition, Layer, and Footage Panels


When the Hardware Accelerate Composition, Layer, and Footage Panels option is enabled in Preferences > Display, and a viewer panel is set to 50% zoom and Full resolution, the image can show downsampling artifacts (ex., jagged, uneven edges on diagonal lines).

This issue is fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.6.1) bug-fix update, and even more downsampling artifact issues were fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.7) update.


error on preview when using expressions on audio effect properties


When you start a preview of a composition that contains an expression on an audio effect property, the preview fails to start, and After Effects displays an error: Effect cannot use “abort” callback when called with “unrecognized plug-in effect command” command. ( 25 :: 19 )

This issue is fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.6.1) bug-fix update.


render progress indicator is slow to appear or doesn’t appear


We have received reports from users experiencing a problem where, in some projects with very long per-frame render times, the render progress indicator in the lower-right corner of the Composition panel does not appear or is very slow to appear after you make a change to the frame. This makes After Effects to appear unresponsive.

One cause of this problem was fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) update, and some additional causes were fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.7) update. We are continuing to investigate other cases of this problem for future updates.


cursor stays stuck in the down state after dragging panel borders with a tablet pen


In After Effects CC 2015 (13.6), when you try to resize a panel in the workspace when using a tablet pen (e.g. a Wacom tablet), the panel border either continues to drag after you lift the pen, or doesn’t appear to move at first and then moves when you click down with the pen again. After this, a single click with the pen will start a drag action.

To get out of this bad state, click on any single-click object in After Effects, such as an application menu.

This issue is fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.7) update.


zooming with the scroll wheel only scrolls the first view in a multi-view Composition panel


In After Effects CC 2015 (13.6), when you place the mouse pointer over a multi-view Composition panel and use the scroll wheel on a mouse to zoom in or out, only the first view in the Composition panel zooms.

You can work around this problem by clicking to zoom with the Zoom tool, or by using the keyboard shortcuts to zoom in and out:

  • Zoom in: . (period) on main keyboard, or Command + = (equal sign) on Mac OS or Control + = (equal sign) on Windows
  • Zoom out: , (comma), or Command + – (hyphen) on Mac OS or Control + – (hyphen) on Windows

Tip: hold the Z key to temporarily switch to the Zoom tool; add Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) to modify the tool to zoom out.

This issue is fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.7) update.


audio drops out and preview frame rate slows down during interaction while previews are playing back


Certain actions can cause the preview frame rate to slow down while a preview is playing back in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5). This, in turn, could cause audio to drop out.

Two causes of this problem have been fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) bug-fix update: placing markers or moving the mouse cursor over the previewing Composition, Layer, or Footage panel no longer cause the preview frame rate to slow down.

The most significant remaining cause of frame rate slow downs during previews is moving the mouse cursor over UI controls such as layer or effect property controls.

For the remaining problems, the Mute Audio When Preview Is Not Real-Time option is now disabled by default in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) bug-fix update. This will prevent the audio from dropping out, though it does not affect the remaining bugs that cause the preview frame rate to slow down.

Note that when Mute Audio When Preview Is Not Real-Time is disabled, and the preview frame rate drops below real-time, the audio will stutter. This stuttering is by design: in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), the audio playback clock was fixed so that audio always stays in sync with video; to account for cases where preview is slower than real-time, audio slows down by dropping samples (stuttering).

Audio drop out problems (not the stuttering described above) occur due to an interaction between the Mute Audio When Preview Is Not Real-Time option and the bugs:

  • The Mute Audio When Preview Is Not Real-Time option by design causes audio to stop playing when the frame rate of a preview drops below real-time. (This option is new to After effects CC 2015 (13.5), and was enabled by default, but it is now disabled by default in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) bug-fix update. You can still enable this option if you choose.)
  • Bugs that affect the ability of After Effects to play previews consistently at real-time frame rate once the frames are cached. When this happens, the Mute Audio When Preview Is Not Real-Time option causes audio to stop playing.

Remember that only previews of cached frames are expected to play back in real-time. If you modify a composition during a preview in a way that invalidates cached frames, After Effect will need to render and cache the new frames, which will slow down the preview frame rate. Once the new frames are cached, the preview frame rate should again be real-time.

You can monitor the frame rate of a preview in the Info panel.


compositions of 60fps or greater do not preview in real-time


If you preview a composition with a frame rate of 60fps or greater, on some computers After Effects CC 2015 may not be able to play back the composition at real-time speed. This is due to a change in how After Effects synchronizes playback with the video card.

In the After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) bug-fix update, a new, experimental text preference has been added to disable OpenGL vertical sync. This allows After Effects to refresh frames to the video card as often as necessary, however it may cause tearing in the preview image if After Effects sends frames to be displayed faster than the video card is capable.

This preference is located only in the text preferences file, not in the After Effects user interface. To enable this preference:

1. In After Effects, choose After Effects CC > Preferences > General (Mac OS) or Edit > Preferences> General (Windows), then click the Reveal Preferences in Finder (Mac OS) or Reveal Preferences in Explorer (Windows) button. The After Effects/13.5 preferences folder will open.

2. Quit After Effects.

3. Open Adobe After Effects 13.5 Prefs.txt in a text editor. In the [“GPU Display Transform”] section, change the value for “DisableSyncToVerticalRetrace” to 01.

4. Save the file and then start After Effects and test previewing your composition.

IMPORTANT: If you enable this preference, tell us about it on the After Effects user-to-user forum. We need to understand better under what conditions After Effects is not syncing correctly with the video card. Include what operating system you are using, model of video card (and driver version if on Windows), and the playback frame rate of your composition before and after enabling this preference.


playback of cached previews is not real-time on Mac OS X 10.11


When you preview a composition, layer, or footage in After Effects on Mac OS X 10.11, playback of cached frames is not real-time.

We’ve been working with Apple on the main issue preventing real-time playback on Mac OS X v10.11, and we have a good understanding of the problem. Apple made a change to an API for drawing items to the screen in Mac OS X v10.11 (El Capitan). That change, coupled with some drawing changes for the Timeline panel that we made in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), causes the entire Timeline panel to be redrawn each time that only a subset of the Timeline panel should be redrawn (e.g., when the preview time indicator moves, the whole panel is being redrawn to the screen instead of just the part that has changed).

We are investigating this problem for the next update to After Effects.

You can work around the problem by hiding the preview time indicator (red line that moves across the Timeline panel during previews) during previews, such as the following:

  • close the Timeline panel
  • enable Full Screen the Preview panel, or press the accent-grave (`) keyboard shortcut while the mouse is over the composition panel
  • reduce the height or width of the Timeline panel, and/or twirl up layer properties to minimize the amount of screen space used by the Timeline panel
  • zoom in on the Timeline panel and move the current zoomed view up or down the composition to avoid showing the portion of the timeline you are currently previewing (thus hiding the preview time indicator)

modifying a camera view with the unified camera tool is slow


Using the Unified Camera Tool (UCT) to modify the view of a camera layer at the same time that camera is used for the view in the Composition panel causes the view to update slowly in Off (Final Quality) preview mode or downsample excessively in Adaptive Resolution preview mode.

This problem doesn’t occur with the individual camera tools: Orbit Camera Tool, Track XY Camera Tool, and Track Z Camera Tool.

We are investigating this problem for a future update.


no audio when using motion sketch or animating a puppet pin


When you use motion sketch to animate a layer’s position, or animate a puppet pin by holding the Command (Mac OS) or CTRL (Windows), audio does not play.

We are investigating these problems for a future update.

To work around these problems, you can open your project in After Effects CC 2014 (13.2), use the motion sketch or animate a puppet pin in that version, then save the project file and open it again in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5 or 13.6).


unable to import ARRIRAW (.ari) files on Mac OS


ARRIRAW (.ari) files are grayed out and not selectable in the Import dialog in After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) on Mac OS.

Also, if you open an After Effects project that references ARRIRAW files, the files will be reported as missing.

This problem is new to the After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) update, and only occurs on Mac OS. On Windows, After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) can import ARRIRAW files as expected.

If your workflow allows, you can work around this problem by transcoding the ARRIRAW files to an intermediate format (such as the GoPro CineForm codec) using Adobe Media Encoder, or with After Effects CC 2014 (13.2). If you want to modify the ARRIRAW settings in Adobe Media Encoder before transcoding, right-click on the ARRIRAW file in the Queue panel and choose Source Settings.

We are investigating this problem for a future update.


licensing an Adobe Stock image does not automatically replace the watermarked preview image


When you import a preview (watermarked) Adobe Stock image from the Libraries panel to your project, and then later license that image, the preview image is not automatically replaced by the non-watermarked, licensed image.

This problem only affects still images; licensing an Adobe Stock video will automatically replace the (watermarked) preview video as expected.

To work around this problem and replace the use of a preview image in a composition: add the licensed image into your project, select the preview image in the composition, then hold the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key and drag and drop the licensed image from the Project panel onto the preview image layer in the Timeline panel.

We are investigating this problem for a future update.


PSD is cropped after changing document dimensions in Photoshop


When you edit a .PSD file in Photoshop that is used in your After Effects project, if you change the dimensions of the document After Effects CC 2015 (13.6) does not recognize the new dimensions. Any changes to the image are visible in After Effects but the image is cropped or padded inside of the old dimensions.

We are investigating this problem for a future update.