After Effects and Snow Leopard

I know many people are looking forward to upgrading to Mac OS X 10.6, also known as Snow Leopard. There’s been a lot of buzz about application compatibility. There are some recent blog posts about Photoshop and Flash Professional and some general Adobe information. In addition, I thought I’d shed some light on how it’s working with After Effects.

We have tested After Effects CS4 with Snow Leopard and there only a couple known issues. Some 3rd party plug-ins are not compatible with Adobe After Effects CS4 running on Snow Leopard. As of now, this only applies to plug-ins that use Quartz Composer. Customers are encouraged to check plug-in compatibility before upgrading. Also, on Snow Leopard, QuickTime files with a Quartz Composer track are not compatible with After Effects CS4.

After Effects CS3 has also been tested with Snow Leopard and has the same issues as CS4. Please be aware that CS3 preceded Snow Leopard by a few years and Adobe no longer issues updates for After Effects CS3. Therefore, there may be issues that we do not know about and for which there is no resolution. Rest assured, Adobe still offers support options for CS3 products, but there may be issues beyond our control. It’s probably best to do some research when upgrading critical systems.

We are working closely with Apple and our 3rd party plug-in developers to solve these issues as soon as possible. I’ll update this blog post when more information becomes available.

[ Update — Aug 31, 2009 — It is also very important to install the latest update for After Effects CS4 (version 9.0.2) You can update After Effects from another Adobe CS4 application (Bridge, Premiere Pro, etc) or download an update installer from the Adobe support web site.]

21 Responses to After Effects and Snow Leopard

  1. Miles Reetz says:

    Thank U for addressing this issue directly as I am ready for Snow Leopard to fall but not snow me in!!!

  2. Note that you need to deactivate CS4 applications (or just one CS4 application if you are using a suite) before upgrading to Snow Leopard, as you’ll need to reactivate after the upgrade (the OS version is somehow linked to the activation).If you already have used all your reactivation credits (you get two), you’ll need to call Adobe support. When you get through, getting a new activation credit is a matter of seconds.To be on the safe side: better deactivate before upgrading!Joost van der Hoeven[Editor’s note: Joost’s suggestion is only required if you are re-installing CS4 from the original Adobe installer disks. I used Apple’s migration utility, which preserves the activation information and avoids the need to reinstall your CS4 apps.]

  3. Dave Smith says:

    Do you have a list of problematic plugins somewhere? I am setting up a new MacBook Pro (came preinstalled with 10.6) and AE CS4 (9.0.2) won’t launch. It bounces in the dock once and quits.The console sites a 2857 error code.I contacted support but wanted to see if it might be a plugin I could trouble shoot while I wait for a response.

  4. mark says:

    hii have a full purchased design premium installed plus an educational also.and i cant start up after effects. it just bounce a couple of times and the stop. everything is registered.what can i try to do to solve it? i have tried uninstall and install…

  5. Michael Coleman says:

    Make sure that you update to the latest version of After Effects. Reinstalling 9.0 won’t fix the problem, you need to be running After Effects 9.0.2 on Snow Leopard. You can run the Adobe updater from another CS4 application (Bridge, Premiere Pro, etc.). A standalone After Effects 9.0.2 update installer can also be downloaded from the Adobe support web site.

  6. Michael Coleman says:

    We don’t have a list. If you suspect 3rd party plug-ins are causing issues, try temporarily removing them all and trying again. It’s also worth double checking that you’re running After Effects 9.0.2.

  7. Simon says:

    There is definitely some 10.6 RAM preview issue, two separate machines, two different files with different plugins and on both machines I get weird pauses during the rendering or RAM previews, and then they never play through full speed first time but then play full speed after a few seconds of choking.These are files that worked fine on 10.5 AE

  8. Dave Smith says:

    Michael,Reinstalling AE itself didn’t help. I had to reinstall the entire bundle but now all seems to be working.

  9. Frank says:

    Unfortunately it is no longer possible to run After Effects in a different language in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. Apple has removed the option to deselect languages in the finder info window.I tried to move German.lproj to ‘Recources Disable’, but that doesn’t work either. I tried to use , which alters com.Adobe.After Effects.plist, didn’t work.I have a german version of After Effects, but want to run it in english. I use Mac OS X in english, too.Frank

  10. I think I’ll have to do a reinstall – the stroke plugin, for example, is not behaving itself at all!

  11. Ryan Ragle says:

    Sadly, a 3rd of my plug-ins are quartz based (fxfactory/noise industries/coremelt, etc) Should the solution for this problem in After Effects be solved by Adobe, Apple or the 3rd party plug-in developers?

  12. Rick Coombs says:

    Under OSX10.6x on an 8 core Particle World crashes upon invoking. BUT!!!! The big issue I have come across that’s going to mess with roduction is that when making a movie from CS4 the resulting QT .mov video is disturbingly washed out. I tested several files and each one outputted a QT file that was lighter and lacked contrast vs. the native images even as displayed in AE CS4. Pain in the butt since this has to be post corrected (and since Apple’s new QT X iteration takes away all the export controls that were previously in QT Pro…). Here’s a test. Take any PS image and then export the frame out of AECS4 – looks fine. Export a couple frame of the same image as a .mov file and notice serious brightening and loss of contrast – I KNEW I SHOULD HAVE WAITED BEFORE GOING CS4 AND SNOW LEAPORD!!!!

  13. Vance T says:

    Rick. Apple has changes the default gamma of Snow Leopard to 2.2. All previous versions of Mac OS X used a screen gamma of 1.8. I think this is the source of your problem. Check out

  14. Ryan Ragle says:

    Just an update. FX factory has released a 2.1 update, which for me, has stabilized both fxfactory’s effects and the C2 coremelt plug ins as well (even though they broke up last version)

  15. Ryan says:

    I’m on a new quad core MacPro running 10.6.1, updated AE to 9.0.2 and it’s still amazingly slow. Is there anything else that can be done, or is this what I should be expecting from AE?My Macbook Pro seems faster at this point.

  16. JR says:

    We just upgraded our Macs to snow leopard and upgraded the xsan as well. We have latest plugins that are snow leopard friendly. We have had nothing but problems and errors I’ve never have seen in the 15years i’ve been using after effects. We have worked with “Apple support” which is a total joke. Quicktime has been a problem since day one. SO many issues that it’s overwhelming and it has crippled our shop. Lessoned learned, should have waited to upgrade !!!

    • Elias Huch says:

      Has the issue with AE CS5 and XSAN been resolved? We are ready to upgrade to CS5 but want to make sure it won’t effect the function of our XSAN.

      • mcoleman says:

        At this point, the solution relies on a fix from Apple. We are actively working with them to resolve the issue.

    • Elias Huch says:

      I just noticed that you didn’t mention what version of AE are you on? We are currently using CS4 with no issues on XSAN 2.2 and Intel Mac Pro’s. We have stayed at 10.6.4 to optimize our Final Cut and AE/Maya boxes and been running smoothly. So I am interested to see if the CS5 version will behave like our CS4. We have all of the 64 bit plugins and are really excited about all of the new features in both AE and Photoshop. I really want to give my stamp of approval to the upgrade, but if it’s going to “cripple” us I obviously can’t. Can anyone elaborate on the problems and confirm the version they are using?

  17. gabbyn says:

    AE simply fails to launch since I installed idustrial revolution’s Particle Metrix. What seems odd about this incompatibility is it works fine with Final Cut and Motion. What’s really frustrating is I had to buy a super charged Mac Pro to run Adobe Premiere and now I buy plugins and then the Adobe products still won’t work. It seems more logical to fix the CS4 problems before rushing to release CS5. Meanwhile the CS3 folks remain stuck too.

    • mcoleman says:

      CS5 has been extremely stable and fast release of After Effects. Much better than CS4, in fact. If ParticleMetrix is causing a crash, I am sure that Industrial Revolution would want to know so that the issue can be addressed. I will also contact you offline and we can look into helping out on a fix. Thanks.