AFTEREFFECTS

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

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 (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 After Effects team is tracking several issues, listed below, that affect performance or usability in After Effects CC 2015.

UPDATE: Many of the issues listed below are fixed by the After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) bug-fix update. The After Effects team is continuing to investigate the remaining issues for a future update.

Please note: some of the issues included in this article are not bugs, but changes to how previews work in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5). These behaviors are described here so that the explanations are easy to find.

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


issues with plug-ins


Most plug-ins need to be updated for After Effects CC 2015 (13.5). 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 (13.5) are being tracked in a different blog 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.


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.


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, would 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 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.


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


When you stop an audio-only preview with the period (.) key on the number pad 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.


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.


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 behavior is by design, part of the changes to how previews work in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5). The default preview settings for the spacebar key now use caching behaviors similar to how RAM Preview worked in previous versions of After Effects.

To stop a preview immediately, you can:

  • Change the settings for spacebar: in the Preview panel, set Preview Favors to Length for the Spacebar shortcut. This will change the caching behavior when previews are started with the spacebar key, including that stopping a preview that was started with spacebar stops immediately instead of looping the cached frames. This is similar to how the spacebar key worked in previous versions of After Effects.
  • Press the Esc key to stop a preview. Esc immediately stops any preview, regardless of how that preview was started. Note that Esc also leaves the current-time indicator (CTI) at its previous position instead of moving it to the preview time.

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 a fix for this bug for a future 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.


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.

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

We are continuing to investigate the following issues for a future 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.

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


We have received reports of 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.

We are investigating this problem for a future update.


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


We have received reports that 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 it appear as if After Effects has not recognized the change you requested.

We are investigating this problem for a future update.


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


We are investigating related problems where using multiple still image sequences from the same directory cause one of those footages to display the wrong frame.

  • 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.

We are investigating these problems for a future update. You can avoid these problems by placing each still image sequence into its own directory.


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.


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.

We are investigating this problem for a future update. You can work around this problem:

1. With at least one 3D layer present in the composition, hold the Command (Mac OS) or CTRL (Windows) key and click on the renderer button (“Classic 3D”) in the upper-right corner of the Composition panel.

2. Change the Shadow Map Resolution in this dialog and click OK.


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).


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.

We are investigating this problem for a future update.

To work around this problem, you can open your project in After Effects CC 2014 (13.2), use the motion tracker in that version, then save the project file and open it again in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5).


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.

You can work around this problem by moving the Timeline panel to the primary monitor; by setting the monitor used by the Timeline panel as the primary monitor; or by changing the arrangement of monitors so that the secondary monitor is above, below, or to the right of the primary monitor.

We are investigating this problem for a future update.


exporting to AVI, MXF OP1a, AIFF, MP3, or WAV contains no audio


When you export to .avi, .mxf, .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 is a new problem introduced with the After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) bug-fix update. We are investigating this problem for a future update.

You can work around this problem by exporting to .avi, .mxf, or audio-only formats via Adobe Media Encoder. Choose Composition > Add To Adobe Media Encoder Queue. Or you can open your project file in After Effects CC 2014 (13.2) and export the audio file from the Render Queue in that version.

Adobe Character Animator (Preview 1) now available

Last month, within the halls of the Seattle office of Adobe, one could hear the bustling of people working hard on the first preview version of Character Animator. And all of that hustling has brought us to today, when I’m so excited to exclaim that it’s finally here! Install the most recent version of After Effects, and Character Animator will be installed with it.

Those that have used After Effects to do character animation will be pleasantly relieved that Character Animator is a complement to your workflow, because it avoids the tangle of expressions that you might have experienced when rigging characters or setting up lip synch in After Effects.

The Advanced Product Development and Creative Technologies Lab groups behind Character Animator include many of the people (or should I say characters?) who brought you After Effects.

“After Effects is very powerful — anything you can imagine as moving imagery you can probably create in After Effects if you spend enough time and you know the application,” says David Simons, principal scientist in the Advanced Product Development group and original developer of After Effects. “But creating a character that looks like it is alive is always a lot of work and it doesn’t need to be that way.”

David and his team were really drawn to the idea of creating an application that could take someone who knows how to draw in Photoshop or Illustrator and allow them to create a puppet that’s already alive the moment you place it on the stage. Thus Character Animator was born.

Check out these tutorials and other resources get started.

This version of Character Animator is being released as a “preview”, which means that we know that we have a lot of work left to do, but we think that it’s far enough along for you to use and give us feedback. We want to hear from you about what capabilities we need to focus on to make Character Animator most useful for you. Let us know what you think on our new Character Animator forum. Also, please, share your puppet creations on Twitter (#CharacterAnimator). We can’t wait to see what you produce!

If you have a Creative Cloud membership, you have access to the latest version of After Effects and now Character Animator, as it’s available with After Effects and your Creative Cloud subscription. Download your update to After Effects now, and Character Animator will automatically be installed with it. From within After Effects, choose File > Open Adobe Character Animator, and you’re ready to play.

If you’re not a member yet, you can download the After Effects trial version or go to the Creative Cloud site to sign up for Creative Cloud. For information about purchasing a Creative Cloud subscription, see this page about plans and this page with current promotional offers.

plug-ins and After Effects CC 2015 (13.5)

After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) is now available. For details about what’s new and changed in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), see this page.

IMPORTANT: Before installing the new version of After Effects, please read this page about the default behavior of the updater, which is to remove all previous versions of the application, and this page about why you might not want to do that.

The biggest piece of work for After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) has been a complete re-architecture of how rendering occurs, specifically regarding separating the main render thread from the thread that controls the user interface. Because of this very large change to the fundamental workings of After Effects, most plug-ins needed to be updated; this includes the hundreds of plug-ins included with After Effects, as well as the thousands of plug-ins provided by various third parties. We have worked closely with the makers of all of the popular plug-ins for After Effects (and many of the makers of many not-so-popular plug-ins) to make sure that they were able to update their software for this new version of After Effects.

Please, check with the vendors of your third-party plug-ins for updates that are compatible with After Effects CC 2015 (13.5). Most are ready.

I said that most are ready. That is in part because we still have a few bugs to fix before some of the plug-in makers can finish their plug-in updates. I’m listing the bugs that we know about below, with some information about when each is expected to be fixed.

As usual, Toolfarm is doing an excellent job of tracking which plug-ins have updates, and where to get them.


Trapcode Sound Keys (Red Giant)

[UPDATE: This bug that affected Trapcode Sound Keys is fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) update.]

This bug is our fault, not the fault of Trapcode or Red Giant. We have a fix in development now, and we are targeting a fix for next month (July 2015), after we have had a chance to fully implement and test the fix.

If you need to use Trapcode Sound Keys, we recommend running it in After Effects CC 2014 (13.2), saving the project, opening that project in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), and then continuing to work in the new version. The bug only affects the phase of the plug-in’s operation when the audio is analyzed, so the data from this analysis can be used in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) with no problem.


other Red Giant plug-ins

Image Lounge: In After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), Red Giant’s Image Lounge plug-in will render black frames, and the UI may not work properly. Red Giant is currently working on this issue and will release an update soon.


RE:Vision Effects

[UPDATE: This bug that affected RE:Vision Effects plug-ins is fixed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.5.1) update.]

We have a bug that causes a problem when you use any combination of two effects from a certain category. The error message that is reported is this:
“After Effects error: internal verification failure, sorry! {Effect is I_MIX_GUID_DEPENDENCIES but did not call GuidMixIn in PreRender}”

Effect plug-ins from RE:Vision effects are not the only ones that trigger this problem, but they are notable in that several effect plug-ins from this one vendor do use the problematic programming interface element.

This bug is our fault, not the fault of RE:Vision Effects. We have a fix in development now, and we are targeting a fix for next month (July 2015), after we have had a chance to fully implement and test the fix.

If you need to use these effects, there is a rather simple workaround: Precompose the layer on which the first problematic effect is applied, and then apply the second effect to the precomposition layer. Or you could pre-render the intermediate result from the first effect and then apply the second effect.

Despite the existence of this bug, you should still update to RE:Flex v5.2, Twixtor 6.2, ReelSmart Motion Blur 5.1, and RE:Match v1.4 to work with After Effects CC 2015 (13.5).


Boris FX

Boris FX has release notes for their newly updated plug-ins here:
http://www.borisfx.com/bcc-9-aepremiere-pro-9-0-4/

Here’s an excerpt about the known issues:

BCC 9.0.4 AE contains extensive revisions required to fully support the plugin API changes made by Adobe in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5). BCC 9.0.4 is fully compliant with the requirements of After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), with the minor exception of the known issues outlined below. (Note that versions of BCC prior to 9.0.4 are NOT compatible with After Effects CC 2015 (13.5).)

  • The obsolete BCC Degrain filter (which has been replaced by the more modern BCC Noise Reduction filter) will continue to render any projects in which the grain samples were previously locked. However Degrain will not support saving new grain samples going forward in CC 2015 and beyond. The Degrain filter is in the obsolete category and it is recommended that future projects use BCC Noise Reduction instead of Degrain.
  • The BCC Motion Tracker will continue to render previously saved motion tracker analysis passes and it will continue to support loading externally generated tracker data files, but conducting new motion analysis passes is temporarily disabled in BCC 9.0.4 for CC 2015. A revised (and improved) version of the BCC Motion Tracker which is fully compliant with AE CC 2015 will be released in BCC10.
  • When enabling the stabilization feature in BCC Motion Key you may sometimes experience a longer than expected pause while motion analysis data is recomputed after events such as saving a project or cloning a layer or an effect instance. This occasional performance delay will be eliminated in BCC10.

others?

If you encounter other plug-ins that cause problems with After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), please come to the After Effects forum and let us know. Be sure to note whether the problem is new with After Effects CC 2015 (13.5)—i.e., whether the same plug-in behaves correctly in After Effects CC 2014 (13.2).

After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) is now available.

After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) is now available. For details about what’s new and changed in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), see this page. And that also means that Character Animator (Preview 1) is available. For information about what’s new in all of the Adobe professional video and audio applications and services, see this page.

If you’re a Creative Cloud subscriber, you can download the new version by checking for updates through the Creative Cloud desktop application. For information about purchasing a Creative Cloud subscription, see this page about plans and this page with current promotional offers.

For more information about Creative Cloud, see this overview video and the Creative Cloud FAQ list.

IMPORTANT: Before installing the new version of After Effects, please read this page about the default behavior of the updater, which is to remove all previous versions of the application, and this page about why you might not want to do that.

keeping previous versions installed when installing CC 2015 applications

By default, when you install a CC 2015 version of an application using the Creative Cloud desktop utility, previous versions of that application will be uninstalled, leaving only the most recent version. For example, by default, installing After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) using the Creative Cloud desktop utility will uninstall After Effects CC 2014 (13.2) and After Effects CC (12.2).

If you want to retain these previous versions during the installation of CC 2015, then you need to deselect the Remove Old Versions option in the Advanced Options section of the updater interface. See this page for details and a screenshot of the relevant interface item.

You can choose to reinstall previous versions at any time by following these instructions.

Here are some reasons that you may want to keep the previous version around for a little while, with some tips for how to manage the migration to the new version:

  • plug-in compatibility: Because the interactive performance improvements for After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) required a complete re-architecture of the application, most plug-ins need to be updated to work with this new version. If you need to use a plug-in that has not yet been updated, then you may wish to use the previous version—After Effects CC 2014 (13.2)—for the parts of your work that require that plug-in until the updated version is available. For more details about plug-in compatibility, see this page.
  • need to work with collaborators or clients who have not yet upgraded: Of course, you should urge these folks to update as soon as possible, but you may need to keep a previous version around until everyone that you work with has caught up. Since you can save projects back one major version number from After Effects, you can still work with the most recent version for your creative work and then only save backward as occasionally needed. Note that you don’t even need to use the command to save backward one version when going between After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) and After Effects CC 2014 (13.2), since the project file format is unchanged, as indicated by the major version number (the part before the dot). For details about saving backward in After Effects, see this page.
  • need to use features not available in the version: With each new version, we take the opportunity to prune features that haven’t gotten much use or for some reason no longer make sense to keep in the application. And, as is the case with After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), we sometimes need to remove a feature because of a major architectural change. Even if you do need to use a feature not available in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), we encourage you to do the bulk of your creative work in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) and then open the same project in After Effects CC 2014 (13.2) for the part of your work that requires that feature. For details of features not available in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), see this page.

features not available 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.]

In After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), some features that were available in previous versions of After Effects have been removed or disabled. All of these features are related to rendering or previewing frames. The interactive performance improvements in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) required re-architecture of the code for how frames are rendered and then returned for processing, i.e. previews or exporting.

In some cases, a feature has been disabled temporarily because it is being rewritten for the new After Effects architecture, and that work is not yet complete. We intend to re-enable some of these features in a future update to After Effects. In other cases, the feature has been removed permanently.

If you still want to use these features with your project, you can open project files saved by After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) in After Effects CC 2014 (13.2). Project files are directly compatible between these versions; you do not need to save back a version. Both versions of After Effects can be installed on the same computer at the same time.

The After Effects team understands that the removal of features can be disruptive. We would appreciate you telling us on the After Effects forum which of these features is most important for you (and why) so that we can best prioritize the rewriting or replacement of these features.

The following features have been removed or disabled in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5):

  • Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously (Multiprocessing)

The Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously feature has been superseded by the new architecture in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5). The new architecture will allow a future version of After Effects to utilize processor threads and RAM more efficiently than the Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously functionality ever could.

Options related to Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously have been removed from the preferences, and Preferences > Memory & Multiprocessing has been renamed to Preferences > Memory.

If you want to use Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously to speed up final rendering via the render queue, you can still do so by opening the project in After Effects CC 2014 (13.2).

  • Cache Work Area in Background

The Composition > Cache Work Area in Background command has been removed. It was dependent on the now-removed Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously functionality. Similar functionality utilizing the new architecture could be implemented in the future.

  • Brainstorm

Brainstorm has been removed.

  • Watch Folder rendering

Choosing File > Watch Folder in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) will display a dialog with a link to this page.

Watch Folder rendering requires additional work to the new architecture.

You can use Watch Folder rendering in After Effects CC 2014 (13.2) with projects saved by After Effects CC 2015 (13.5).

  • Render Queue previews

After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) does not display a preview of compositions being rendered via the render queue. For the new architecture, the code for both the render queue and previewing compositions was substantially rewritten, and this functionality requires additional work.

The related option in Preferences > Video Preview, Video Preview During Render Queue Output, has been disabled.

We plan to reimplement this functionality in an update to After Effects CC 2015 (13.5).

  • Progress indicators on the After Effects icon in the Mac OS dock during previews and render queue rendering

The icon for After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) in the Mac OS dock does not display a progress bar, frame count, or render item count while previewing or render queue rendering. This functionality requires additional work to the new architecture.

  • Save Current Preview (formerly Save RAM Preview)

The Composition > Save Current Preview command is disabled. It requires additional work to the new architecture. We plan to reimplement this functionality in an update to After Effects CC 2015 (13.5).

This command was previously named Save RAM Preview. It was renamed due to the removal of the term “RAM Preview”.

  • Alternate RAM Preview

The Alternate RAM Preview functionality and its options in Preferences > Previews have been removed. Improved functionality utilizing the new architecture could be implemented in the future.

  • Ping Pong loop

The Loop button in the Preview panel can no longer be set to Ping Pong mode. This functionality requires additional work to the new architecture.

  • Hardware Accelerate Composition, Layer, and Footage Panels

The Hardware Accelerate Composition, Layer, and Footage Panels option in Preferences > Previews is disabled. It requires additional work to the new architecture.

all about previews 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.]

How you preview compositions, layers, and footage has changed significantly in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5). Previews are now easier to start, interactive, and configurable.

This article contains everything you need to know about what has changed with previews. If you don’t read the whole article, you should at least know this:

  • RAM Preview is dead, long live Preview: After Effects still caches frames in RAM for real-time playback, but starting such a preview is no longer a unique command in After Effects, so the term “RAM Preview” is no longer used. It’s just called “Preview” now.
  • Spacebar joins the club: Spacebar can now start a preview that optimizes frame caching for real-time playback, and that also plays audio. (Both are formerly unique features of what used to be called “RAM Preview”.)
  • Have it your way: You can configure the preview behaviors for each of the preview keyboard shortcuts: Spacebar, Numpad 0, and Shift + Numpad 0. If you want spacebar to start a preview with audio that also displays active layer controls, you can do that now.
  • Don’t interrupt me: In previous versions of After Effects, clicking anywhere during a preview stopped playback. In After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) you can now continue to work in your composition or project at the same time that you preview a composition, layer, or footage. This necessarily changes the behaviors of starting and stopping previews. We will soon post an article with more detail about the architectural changes that mad this possible.

While a lot has changed, it’s important to also clarify what has not changed in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5):

  • Real-time playback still requires that rendered frames be cached to RAM. While simple compositions may render and cache faster than real-time, previewing always caches frames to RAM before playback regardless of the composition content.
  • There is no new use of the GPU during previews. The After Effects team is continuing to evaluate opportunities to optimize use of the GPU, but the changes in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) are all related to optimizing CPU resources.

Here is the full description of how previews have changed in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5):


modify projects and compositions during previews (uninterrupted preview)


You can now make changes to the open project while a preview is playing back in After Effects.

In previous versions of After Effects, after you started a preview in a composition, layer, or footage viewer, clicking anywhere in the user interface would stop playback of that preview. In After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), preview will continue to play back until you take an explicit action to stop it, such as a keyboard shortcut like spacebar. Read “stop a preview” below for specific actions that will stop a preview.

When you preview a composition you can modify its layers in the Timeline, Layer, or Effect Controls panels. After Effects will immediately begin to cache the updated frames, which will cause the preview frame rate to slow down until the new frames are cached. However, you can not make modifications inside the previewing Composition panel because clicking in the panel will stop the preview.

Tip: To modify composition by clicking in the Composition panel during a preview, for example to modify a mask path, open a second viewer panel for the same composition and make modifications there. Changes in the non-previewing viewer will be reflected in the Composition panel where the preview is playing back.

You can make modifications during a preview in any non-previewing Composition, Layer, or Footage panel. More examples of what you can do:

  • Create new layers, including sub-compositions, and modify them.
  • Apply or remove effects and keyframes, and change the values of any property or keyframe.
  • Import footage and change interpret footage settings of any footage.
  • Add compositions to the render queue and modify settings or render item order. Note that starting the render queue will stop previews.
  • Rearrange the workspace, including opening new Composition, Layer, or Footage panels.
  • Change the view settings of a Composition, Layer, or Footage panel. e.g. Display the alpha channel, zoom in or out, switch from a single to a 4-up view, or change the 3D view.

As noted above, any time you make a change that affects the frames being previewed, the preview frame rate will slow down while the new frames are rendered and cached.


current time vs. preview time

With the ability to modify a composition during a preview, a distinction needs to be made between the current time and the preview time.

In After Effects, the current time in a composition is the frame at which many actions are recorded, such as where keyframes are added. The current time is indicated by the current-time indicator (CTI) and by the current time display in the upper-left corner of the Timeline panel.

During a preview, the CTI now draws a vertical blue line through the time graph area of the Timeline panel. This helps to identify what keyframes or other points of interest are at the current time.

The preview time of a composition is different from the current time. The preview time corresponds to the frame displayed in the Composition panel during a preview. The preview time is indicated by the preview-time indicator (PTI), the vertical red line through the time graph area of the Timeline panel which moves left-to-right during a preview, and also by the time display at the bottom of the Composition panel. (In previous versions of After Effects, neither the preview time nor the preview-time indicator had proper names.)

When preview is stopped, the current time and preview time are the same frame.


change the current time during a preview

As in previous versions of After Effects, the CTI in the Timeline panel does not move during a preview, and if you drag the CTI during a preview, playback will stop in order to display the frame at the new current time.

To move the CTI without stopping a preview, hold the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key while you either drag the CTI or click in the time ruler. If you also hold the Shift key while you drag, the CTI will snap to keyframes and other points of interest, as it would when preview is not playing back.

Other methods to change the current time will not stop a preview.


simplified and configurable preview behaviors


In addition to the ability to modify a composition during a preview, After Effects CC 2015 (13.5) changes how you can start and stop a preview. Preview behaviors for the preview keyboard shortcuts can be customized with new controls in the Preview panel. The spacebar key by default now starts a preview that caches for real-time playback and that plays audio.

Because these changes have dissolved the differences between the old RAM Preview and Standard Preview (spacebar) behaviors, those terms are no longer used in After Effects. Preview has been unified, with user-configurable behaviors.

Summary of the major changes to preview behaviors:

  • The term “RAM Preview” is no longer used to describe a separate preview mode. The RAM Preview button has been removed from the Preview panel.
  • Spacebar now starts a preview that plays audio and optimizes frame caching for real-time playback.
  • Preview behaviors for the spacebar keyboard shortcut can now be configured.
  • New controls in the Preview panel allow you to configure preview behaviors per-keyboard shortcut: audio, looping, caching, range, and layer controls.
  • New range option: Work Area Extended By Current Time.
  • When caching a preview, After Effects starts playback immediately. Audio will play, if enabled. When frames can be cached faster than real-time the playback speed will be limited to the real-time frame rate.
  • Audio can now play with all previews, regardless of how the preview was started.
  • When the preview frame rate is slower than real-time (e.g., during caching), audio is muted by default. A new preference allows you to choose whether to mute audio or to play audio. If you choose to play audio the audio will stutter in order to maintain sync when the preview frame rate is slower than real-time.
  • Explicit action is needed to stop a preview because previews are not interrupted while you modify a project or composition.

Note: Audio-only preview has not been incorporated into the unified preview behaviors. Pressing Numpad period (.) or Option + Numpad period (.) (Mac OS) or Alt + Numpad period (.) (Windows) will still engage an audio-only preview. These shortcuts are not configurable nor affected by the new Preview panel controls.


removal of RAM Preview terminology and button

The term “RAM Preview” is no longer used in After Effects, and the RAM Preview button in the Preview panel has been removed. The new preview behaviors have dissolved the differences between the old RAM Preview and Standard Preview (spacebar) behaviors. The term “preview” is now used to describe playing a composition, layer, or footage viewer in After Effects, regardless of the behaviors.

While the term “RAM Preview” has been removed, the behavior of caching frames until RAM is full still exists, although the underlying code has been completely re-written. This is now enabled by setting the Preview Favors control to Frame Rate. This and other behaviors associated with RAM Preview and Standard Preview, such as whether or not layer controls are shown during preview, are now user-configurable.


default behaviors when starting a preview with spacebar and numpad 0

Pressing spacebar now starts a preview with audio and caches the frames until available RAM is filled, so that real-time playback can occur. This will help both new and experienced users of After Effects feel comfortable with using spacebar to start previews.

In previous versions of After Effects, before new users learned about RAM Preview they would first reach for the spacebar key. The resulting preview probably wasn’t in real-time and never played audio, which caused confusion and generated many requests for help.

Experienced After Effects users working on a laptop or other keyboard without a numeric keypad will also appreciate the ease of starting a cached preview with the spacebar key.

Pressing Numpad 0 starts a preview that is substantially identical to RAM Preview in previous versions of After Effects.
The preview settings for both keyboard shortcuts can be configured in the updated Preview panel, including resetting spacebar to behave similarly to previous versions of After Effects.


new Preview panel controls

The Preview panel has been updated to allow you to configure the behaviors for any of the keyboard shortcuts that start a preview, including spacebar. To change the behaviors for a keyboard shortcut, first select it from the Shortcut menu, then change the options as desired.

Here is a description of all of the controls in the Preview panel:

panel height snap points: When you change the height of the Preview panel, it will snap to three different points to show:

  • transport controls only
  • transport controls and Shortcut menu
  • all controls

First, Previous, Next, and Last Frame: The behavior of these buttons has not changed.

Play/Stop button: Pressing the Play button will start a preview with the settings currently displayed in the Preview panel.

Note that this means the Play button’s behavior will change when you select a different Shortcut. For example, if Shortcut is set to Spacebar and Play From is set to Current Time, pressing the Play button will start preview from the current time. If you change Shortcut to Numpad 0 and this causes Play From to change to Start of Range, pressing the Play button will start preview from the beginning of the range.

When you start a preview with Preview Favors set to Frame Rate, the Play button will change to a “cache and play” icon while frames are being rendered and cached. Pressing the Play button in this state will interrupt rendering and caching and play back the cached frames, and the Play button changes to the Stop icon.

Click the Stop icon to stop a preview.

The Composition > Preview > Play Current Preview menu command is linked to the Play/Stop button. Choosing this menu command gives the same result as pressing the Play/Stop button.

Loop: The Loop control is now remembered for each keyboard shortcut. Ping-Pong loop mode is no longer available.

Mute Audio: The Mute Audio control is now remembered for each keyboard shortcut. Audio can be muted or unmuted during a preview by clicking this button; when you do so the state of the Mute Audio control is applied to the shortcut that was used to start that preview, and will affect the next preview you start with that shortcut.

Shortcut: Choose between the three different keyboard shortcuts that can start a preview to configure their behaviors: Spacebar, Numpad 0, and Shift + Numpad 0. The Play/Stop button uses the behaviors of the currently displayed keyboard shortcut.

The default configuration for the three keyboard shortcuts are:

Spacebar
  • Loop: on
  • Audio: on
  • Preview Favors: Frame Rate
  • Range: Work Area Extended by Current Time
  • Play From: Current Time
  • Layer Controls: Off
  • Frame Rate: Auto
  • Skip: 0
  • Resolution: Auto
  • Full Screen: disabled

When Spacebar is used to stop a preview (not configurable in the Preview panel):

  • CTI: moves to playback time
  • Interrupt caching: start playback

 

Numpad 0
  • Loop: on
  • Audio: on
  • Preview Favors: Frame Rate
  • Range: Work Area
  • Play From: Start of Range
  • Layer Controls: Off
  • Frame Rate: Auto
  • Skip: 0
  • Resolution: Auto
  • Full Screen: disabled

When Numpad 0 is used to stop a preview (not configurable in the Preview panel):

  • CTI: stays at current time
  • Interrupt caching: start playback

 

Shift + Numpad 0
  • Loop: on
  • Audio: on
  • Preview Favors: Frame Rate
  • Range: Work Area Extended by Current Time
  • Play From: Start of Range
  • Layer Controls: Off
  • Frame Rate: Auto
  • Skip: 1
  • Resolution: Auto
  • Full Screen: disabled

When Shift + Numpad 0 is used to stop a preview (not configurable in the Preview panel):

  • CTI: stays at current time
  • Interrupt caching: start playback

Reset: Click the Reset button to restore the default preview settings (above) for all of the shortcuts. Hold the Option key on Mac OS or Alt key on Windows and click the Reset button to change the settings of the keyboard shortcuts to closely match their behavior in previous versions of After Effects:

Spacebar (classic)
  • Loop: on
  • Audio: muted
  • Preview Favors: Length
  • Range: Entire Duration
  • Play From: Current Time
  • Layer Controls: Use Current Settings
  • Frame Rate: Auto
  • Skip: 0
  • Resolution: Auto
  • Full Screen: disabled

When Spacebar is used to stop a preview (not configurable in the Preview panel):

  • CTI: moves to playback time
  • Interrupt caching: stop playback

 

Numpad 0 (classic)
  • Loop: on
  • Audio: on
  • Preview Favors: Frame Rate
  • Range: Work Area
  • Play From: Start of Range
  • Layer Controls: Off
  • Frame Rate: Auto
  • Skip: 0
  • Resolution: Auto
  • Full Screen: disabled

When Numpad 0 is used to stop a preview (not configurable in the Preview panel):

  • CTI: stays at current time
  • Interrupt caching: start playback

 

Shift + Numpad 0 (classic)
  • Loop: on
  • Audio: on
  • Preview Favors: Frame Rate
  • Range: Work Area
  • Play From: Start of Range
  • Layer Controls: Off
  • Frame Rate: Auto
  • Skip: 1
  • Resolution: Auto
  • Full Screen: disabled

When Shift + Numpad 0 is used to stop a preview (not configurable in the Preview panel):

  • CTI: stays at current time
  • Interrupt caching: start playback

Preview Favors: Choose to optimize the caching and playback behavior for better Frame Rate performance or unlimited Length of preview. This control is similar to choosing between RAM Preview and Standard Preview in previous versions of After Effects; however, there are a number of differences in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5).

When Preview Favors is set to Frame Rate, After Effects renders and caches frames until the available RAM is filled and then plays the cached frames in real-time. During the rendering and caching phase, frames are rendered and cached as fast as possible. Playback of cached frames begins immediately, but no faster than real-time frame rate. If the cache fills available RAM before all frames in the range are rendered, only the frames in the cache are previewed. When the caching phase is completed, real-time playback will begin from the time defined by the Play From control, or simply continue if rendering was faster than real-time.

If you interrupt a preview started with Preview Favors set to Frame Rate before all frames in the range are rendered, playback of the cached frames will continue. Read “stop a preview” below for more information.

Frame Rate is the default setting for all shortcuts and is recommended for general use.

When Preview Favors is set to Length, After Effects begins playback by rendering and caching frames with only a small advance buffer, at no faster than real-time frame rate. The entire range will preview; if the cache fills available RAM before all frames in the range are rendered, the oldest frames in the cache are discarded. Real-time playback will only occur if the frames render faster than real-time, or after the first loop if the entire range fits in the cache.

Length is best used when previewing frames that render faster than real-time, which is often the case in the Footage panel, or when previewing a range too long to fit all of the frames in the cache.

For both Frame Rate and Length:

  • Playback begins immediately, simultaneous with frame rendering and caching.
  • Audio plays, if enabled. Also refer to “mute audio when preview is slower than real-time” below.

Range: Defines the range of frames that are previewed:

  • Work Area: Only the frames within the work area.
  • Work Area Extended by Current Time: This range dynamically extends the work area by the position of the current-time indicator (CTI).
    • If the CTI is placed before the work area, the length of the range is from the current time to the work area end point.
    • If the CTI is placed after the work area, the length of the range is from the work area start point to the current time; unless From Current Time is enabled, in which case the length of the range is from the work area start point to the last frame of the composition, layer, or footage.
    • If the CTI is placed inside the work area, the range is the work area with no extension.
  • Entire Duration: All frames of the composition, layer, or footage.

Play From: Choose whether to start playback from Start of Range or Current Time.

Layer Controls: Choose whether to display layer controls for selected layers and other viewer panel overlays during preview. When preview is stopped, layer controls and overlays return to their previous visibility.

Viewer panel overlays include guides, safe margins, grids, and 3D reference axes.

  • Off shows no layer controls or overlays during preview.
  • Use Current Settings shows the viewer’s layer controls and overlays during preview.

To choose which layer controls to show for the current viewer, open the View Options dialog (View menu > View Options). To choose which overlays to show for the current viewer, open the Choose Grid and Guide Options menu at the bottom of the viewer panel.

While a preview is playing back, you can dynamically show or hide layer controls or overlays by choosing the appropriate option from the View menu or the Choose Grid and Guide Options menu at the bottom of the viewer panel. Layer controls can also be shown or hidden during a preview by pressing the keyboard shortcut: Command + Shift + H (Mac OS) or Control + Shift + H (Windows).

Showing or hiding layer controls during a preview does not affect the state of the Layer Controls option in the Preview panel.

Frame Rate, Skip, Resolution, Full Screen: The behavior of these controls has not changed.


stop a preview

In previous versions of After Effects, taking almost any action during a preview would stop the preview.

In After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), because you can now make changes to the open project during a preview there are fewer actions that will stop a preview. But as in previous versions of After Effects, different preview settings and how the preview is stopped still affect where the CTI is positioned after stop and whether interrupting frame rendering and caching will continue playback of the cached frames.

The following actions will stop a preview:

  • Press any of the preview keyboard shortcuts: Spacebar, Numpad 0, or Shift + Numpad 0.
  • Click the Start/Stop button in the Preview panel.
  • Choose Composition > Preview > Play Current Preview.
  • Press either of the audio preview keyboard shortcuts: Numpad period (.) or Option/Alt + Numpad period (.)
  • Press the Esc key.

Some other actions will also cause After Effects to stop a preview. Although not a complete list, here are the most common actions:

  • Click into the previewing viewer panel. Note that clicking on the tab of the viewer panel will not stop the preview.
  • Adjust a property of time, such as the Work Area bar or Time Navigator bar.
  • Drag the current-time indicator (CTI) or click in the time ruler, without the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key held down. This action also changes the current time.
  • Change the composition settings of a previewing composition.
  • Hide the previewing viewer panel behind another panel in the workspace. For example, click on a different panel in the same group or open a new viewer panel in the same group.
  • Start the render queue.

When you take an action to stop a preview, two different behaviors are considered:

  • Whether to stop preview immediately, or to only stop caching frames and continue playing back the frames already cached. The latter is only considered if two conditions are met: if the preview was started with Preview Favors set to Frame Rate, and if your stop action interrupts the preview before all frames in the range have been cached.
  • Whether the CTI stays at the current time or moves to the preview time (the time at which you stopped the preview).

Most of the above actions will stop a preview immediately and not start playback of cached frames, and the CTI stays at the current time.

Pressing the preview keyboard shortcuts (Spacebar, Numpad 0, or Shift + Numpad 0) results in different stop behaviors, depending on which shortcut you press:

  • Spacebar: CTI moves to the preview time. If frame rendering is interrupted, playback of the cached frames begins.
  • Numpad 0: CTI stays at the current time. If frame rendering is interrupted, playback of the cached frames begins.
  • Shift + Numpad 0: CTI stays at the current time. If frame rendering is interrupted, playback of the cached frames begins.

Important: The stop behavior for the preview shortcuts is a result of the shortcut you pressed to stop the preview, not the shortcut you used to start the preview.

Also, remember that the Play/Stop button in the Preview panel and Composition > Preview > Play Current Preview are linked to the shortcut currently displayed in the Preview panel. Using these actions to stop a preview will have the same result as pressing the currently displayed shortcut key.


mute audio when preview is slower than real-time

When the preview frame rate is slower than real-time, a new preference allows you to choose whether to mute the audio, or allow it to play.

In previous versions of After Effects, when the preview frame rater was slower than real-time, audio would continue to play in real-time and thus would slip out of sync. In After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), audio sync is maintained by stuttering the audio.

By default audio does not play during slower-than real-time previews. To enable audio during previews that are slower than real-time, open Preferences > Previews and disable Mute Audio When Preview Is Not Realtime. When this option is disabled, audio will stutter when the preview frame rate is slower than real-time so that the audio will stay in sync with the video.


primary viewer for audio and external video preview


You can now choose an open viewer panel or a view (e.g., a 3D view) in a panel to always be used for audio and external video preview. This primary view is independent of which viewer or view you are currently previewing and is separate from the viewer or view with Always Preview This View enabled. This is useful when you want a particular composition to always be displayed on your external video monitor while you work in other compositions.

The Primary Viewer button is located next to the Always Preview This View button in the lower left of the Composition, Layer, and Footage viewer panels. Primary Viewer functions similarly to Always Preview This View, except that Primary Viewer only defines which viewer or view is used for audio and external video preview.

Only one view can be set as Primary Viewer; enabling it for a viewer or view will disable it in any other viewer or view where it had previously been enabled.

When Primary Viewer is disabled, the most recently active viewer or view will be used for audio and external video preview. When you switch to a different viewer or view, that viewer or view will take control of audio and external video preview.

Andrew Kramer helps grow and inspire the VFX and motion graphics industry

Andrew Kramer started creating Adobe After Effects tutorials for fun, with no idea that his hobby would lead to an enormously successful and rewarding career. After starting his Video Copilot website when he was just 20 years old, he has become a highly respected professional in the visual effects and motion graphics industry. In addition to creating software and tools for professional designers, he also works in the film industry. No matter what he’s working on, he always finds time to train and inspire others in the community to realize their creative potential.

Andrew Kramer likes staying busy, and this past year was no exception. In addition to releasing a new 3D plug-in for Adobe After Effects CC, he’s been working with Bad Robot on a couple of new, top secret projects. He also created a new city destruction tutorial that highlights the use of 3D Camera Tracker in After Effects.

 

For the tutorial, he shot HD aerial footage of downtown Los Angeles, and broke up the city as if there was some type of monster invasion. He used the 3D Camera Tracker in After Effects to track the scene, identify the track points, and then place objects and layers in the 3D space. In one scene there is a hole punched into a skyscraper that shows the inside levels of the building in a completely photorealistic way.

 

After creating this tutorial, Kramer wanted to explore what it would be like to use this same effect on a human. He filmed an actor and used the same 3D tracking on his face. The tracker assumed the geography in the same way it would do in a landscape, added track points, and let him create the camera position for the compositing.

City_Destruction

“We’re trying to show tutorials that have deeper uses,” says Kramer. “Our city destruction tutorial shows an innovative way to use the 3D Camera Tracker in After Effects to create a popular effect. There are so many different things you can create once you have a good track on a scene or even on a person.”

 

To see more of Kramer’s work with the 3D Camera Tracker in After Effects, don’t miss his presentation at the 2015 NAB Show entitled “After Effects CC: Motion Tracking the Impossible” in the Adobe theater on Tuesday, April 14th at 2:00 pm.

 

Watch Andrew Kramer’s presentation at NAB 2014.

 

For more information on Creative Cloud, see this page for details or check out this overview video and the Creative Cloud FAQ list.