Have a fireside chat with the After Effects team

Every Friday at 4 pm, the After Effects development team has a casual gathering in our video studio to close out the week. It’s all about unwinding from a busy week, viewing customer demo reels, or chit-chatting about the future of After Effects. Of course, it almost always involves a couple bottles of wine. These Friday “wine downs” (as they’ve become known) are one of our team’s oldest traditions.

This week we’re going to try something different. I’m going to publish a phone number that will let you call into our Friday wine down.


Anyone can call and there is no agenda. We just want to invite you to share some time with us. You can ask us questions, tell us about something cool you’re working on or urge us to go in a certain direction, pitch your favorite feature — whatever. We may even have a few questions for you.Big companies tend to create a lot of barriers between themselves and their customers. This is an experiment in breaking down a few barriers and being more open. When I proposed this idea, more than one person said I was nuts. “You’ll get crazy people calling to rant about pixel aspect ratios”, I was warned. So be it. We may get some of that. But I’m hoping that we’ll also have some cool conversations and meet some interesting people. I’m sure we’ll learn a thing or two.Now, for some practical issues:

  • This starts at 4:00 pm and ends at 5:00 pm, US Pacific Daylight Time (GMT -7 hours).
  • We can only take one call at a time, and because we only have an hour, we don’t want the calls to take too long (maybe 5 minutes each?). Also there is no cuing system, if you get voicemail, you’ll just have to call back. Pretend it’s a radio show.
  • You’ll be on a speaker phone, talking to a group of real people who make After Effects — product management, engineering, quality engineering, marketing & technical writers.
  • If you are an angry, bitter person with an axe to grind, don’t bother to call, we’ll probably hang up on you.
  • This is the After Effects team and although we are full of opinions, we’re not necessarily experts in Flash, Acrobat, Photoshop or InDesign.
  • This may be a one time deal. We’ll see how it goes. The phone number will allow you to leave a message any time, but we’re not going to be able to return calls or answer this line except during times that we announce, and we can’t promise to do this every week.

I’ll post the telephone number on this page tomorrow. If you want to be notified when the number is posted, you can follow me on twitter: my twitter ID is motiongfx.So grab your phone and a glass of wine and give us a ring![Update — Here’s the number. +1 (775) AFTERFX, or + 1 (775) 238-3739. — MC ]

27 Responses to Have a fireside chat with the After Effects team

  1. Pat McGowan says:

    Great idea!! I think you’ll see one or two of our staffers taking part.Any chance your PPRO team might do the same?

  2. Jonathan says:

    Is there a way for people not calling in, to just hear the conversation? Maybe web cam or adobe connect? I’d love to be a fly on the wall.

  3. Michael Coleman says:

    Interesting idea, but we’re not currently set up to do this. Maybe at some point in the future we can figure out how to do open it up for more than one at a time.

  4. Michael Coleman says:

    Not sure, but they’ll be aware of it. We’re off the beaten path with this one and it was a spur of the moment idea. If it goes well, other teams might pick it up.

  5. Tonton says:

    Excellent idea !Maybe you’ll have to write a summary of what has been talked about, for those who weren’t on the phone. And also to avoid having to answer the same questions over and over again.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Maybe you could set up a Connect room with a laptop mic so others can listen in.

  7. Phillip says:

    Sounds Great!Good Way To Communicate!

  8. Jay Kinghorn says:

    Fantastic idea! I’ll give it a try.Jay

  9. Brooks says:

    +1 for the fly on the wall recording route-I’d love to listen in.

  10. mrnext says:

    Excellent idea !Sounds Great!

  11. It was very nice to chat with you all, today!

  12. Jeff Foster says:

    Michael – this should be recorded and posted as a Podcast at least!!Cheers, Jeff

  13. haitham says:

    would you tell me there is away to make working with scripts easier.or and site can make us understanding the scripts to work with ?

  14. Marco says:

    I haven’t got the chance to take part on this.The only thing I’d had like to ask is, any chance to see Adobe on Linux?

  15. Amit Zinman says:

    Phone calls are nice, but you could also take some e-mail gripes….Do you maintain a list of requests for next versions somewhere? Cause I sure do have a few…

  16. Michael Coleman says:

    There are no plans for a Linux version of After Effects. However, if you’re thinking of buying 100,000 copies, you should let me know and I’ll see what I can do. 🙂

  17. Michael Coleman says:

    @Amit — No, the whole point of this is to get out of email, web, etc. and speak to people in person. Of course, you may also submit feature request and bugs via a web form that is routed to the After Effects team.https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform

  18. Jonathan Brandell says:

    Wow Michael! This is what people have been waiting for, a direct contact with the software producers!Great idéa and very kind gesture from you! Thanks all the way from Sweden! /Jonathan

  19. Kim Jerbo says:

    Thanks Michael!This is great news for me. I know that there is a lot of people with great ideas and that this will sure make AE into an even better tool for me in the future.Would be extra awesome to be able to hear your talks and discussions. Like a podcast hehei wish you guys and girls all the best!big love from sweden!

  20. scott h says:

    so how did it go? will there be more? I agree with idea for a sort of radio talk-show format where people can listen in, or download a podcast after the fact. I may have a question, but I wouldn’t want to be the 9th caller asking “what are the chances we’ll see nodal based compositing any time soon…?” Being able to listen in on the conversation allows me ask questions or make comments that are well-informed and that aren’t redundant.

  21. Thomas says:

    About Adobes “chat ‘n’ wine”: would’nt it make more sense to you guys to chat with the Pros from the scene like Andrew Kramer, “Maltaannon” Jerzy Drozda, Harry J. Frank from “Graymachine”, Nick Campbell from “Greyscalegorilla”, Mathias Mohl from “AExtensions”, Lloyd Alvarez, and many, many more who are important to listen and are really contributing to the Ae Scenery?That would be the most interesting part of making Ae a better experience with the help of the pros.And what about all the feature requests from the past that still did not found their way in any of the last major Ae releases. You guys woud do yourself a big favour to take a look into these feature requests at least since 2005.I’m afraid you have missed a lot of echo from the community.cheers,T.

  22. Michael Coleman says:

    @Thomas — It may grow to something like that, but that wasn’t our original intention. This is about giving our customers a chance to talk to us, not the other way around. All the people you mention are fantastic members of the AE community and they all have their own wonderful web sites. This is a path for our customers to talk directly to us.Regarding your second point: We have literally thousands of feature requests and a limited amount of time and resources. Asking for “all the feature requests from the past” doesn’t really help us. If you have specific favorites, let us know. — MC

  23. Thomas says:

    Thank you for your Reply Michael.I get the idea of getting closer to the user.But personally i see a bigger coincidence getting in touch with the people i mentioned above and getting much quicker to the points and facts instead of picking “some” people randomly by the phone which i believe is a much bigger consumption of you and your teams stamina, patience and passion.I’ts not about that im afraid that “some” people would not have great ideas on their mind, but i believe that the process takes much longer than talking to people who are experienced with the community sourrounding them every day for years.However, maybe the wine will help you pulling it trough.”in vino veritas”

  24. Adam says:

    I think this is a great idea. It will be great to hear from people of all levels too. To humanize the customers who love this product will be great. I think this software is amazing – it’s the coolest thing I’ve ever used.

  25. kishu says:

    i want a friend………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  26. Brian J. says:

    You should definitely release AE for Linux. No offense intended towards Adobe or its engineers, but being stuck with AE as our primary compositing software is the only reason my studio can’t switch to a vastly more efficient and versatile Linux render farm. If AE doesn’t come to Linux, it will only last until we reach a consensus upon which node-based compositing software will replace it. We will buy fewer licenses of AE and it will be relegated to the ghetto of local rendering.

  27. dennis says:

    hi, i have some basic question, i think its simple…how to keyframe the alignment of your text?i want the chars to come slideley closer, like in some movies.please let me know