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July 19, 2016 /After Effects /

After Effects CC 2015.3 In-Depth: UI Changes and Other Improvements

Earlier this summer, we released After Effects CC 2015.3 (13.8), which features a variety of performance and workflow enhancements.

In this article, we’re sharing more detail about changes to the user interface, bug fixes, and the many other small improvements.

Please, if you want to ask questions about these new and changed features, come on over to the After Effects user-to-user forum. That’s the best place for questions. Questions left in comments on a blog post are much harder to work with; the blog comment system just isn’t set up for conversations. If you’d like to submit feature requests or bug reports, you can do so here.

scroll tabbed panels using the Hand tool

When a panel group has more panel tabs than you can see at once, you can now scroll the tabs by panning with the Hand tool. This helps you navigate between panels faster, especially in the Timeline panel when your project has many compositions open at the same time.

Scrolling with the Hand tool works similarly to panning the view in the Composition or Timeline panels: activate the Hand tool, then click and drag left or right in the tab well of a panel group to scroll the view of those tabs.

To activate the Hand tool, do any of the following:

  • Select the Hand tool in the toolbar.
  • Hold down the spacebar key or the H key to temporarily activate the Hand tool when a different tool is selected.
  • Click and hold the middle mouse button (often the scroll wheel on a mouse or the first button on a tablet pen) when the mouse pointer is over the tab well.

Tabbed panels will only scroll when there are more tabs than are visible for the width of the panel group. Stacked panel tabs do not scroll.

You can also scroll tabs by holding the Shift key and scrolling with a mouse scroll wheel or scroll gestures on touch input devices. Without holding the Shift key, scrolling tabs with the mouse wheel or gestures continues the existing behavior of moving from tab to tab.

additional native format support

  • Apple ProRes QuickTime files can be decoded natively on Windows, without needing QuickTime installed on the system.
  • RED camera raw (.r3d) file decoding has been updated with the newest RED SDK. New functionality includes support for the RED Scarlet-W, Raven, and Weapon cameras, including 8K .r3d footage.

other changes

  • Double-clicking on active panel’s tab, or in the fallow area of the tab well of a panel group, will maximize or restore that panel group, the same result as pressing the ` (accent grave) key with the mouse pointer over that panel group.
  • Previews with Cache Before Playback enabled no longer automatically start playback if After Effects is in the background when caching completes. The After Effects icon will bounce in the dock (Mac OS) or flash in the task bar (Windows) to indicate that caching is complete.
  • Snapping now allows 2D layers to snap to 2D layers inside of a nested composition with the Collapse Transformations switch enabled.
  • A new workspace named Libraries has been added to make it easier to view, organize, and import assets from your Creative Cloud libraries.

notable bug fixes

  • Previews no longer exhibit banding in 16bpc and 32bpc projects on Windows with Nvidia display cards when the Hardware Accelerate Composition, Layer, and Footage Panels option is enabled.
  • Dragging with the Unified Camera Tool in the Composition panel now refreshes the view faster.
  • Region of Interest now displays the contents inside the region as you draw.
  • 3D Camera Tracker no longer reframes the layer when Region of Interest is enabled.
  • Viewing the alpha channel or straight alpha in the Composition or Layer panel again displays the alpha channel as black, instead of the composition background color, when the Hardware Accelerate Composition, Layer, and Footage Panels option is enabled.
  • ARRIRAW files can again be imported on Mac OS.
  • Adobe Stock still image preview assets are now automatically replaced with the full-resolution, non-watermarked version when you purchase a license.
  • After Effects again automatically recognizes changes to the dimensions of a .psd file.
  • Animation presets included with After Effects that include a mask no longer fail to reference the mask path correctly.
  • Auto-save no longer saves the project during a preview. If the timing of auto-save would have occurred during a preview, the project is saved when the preview is stopped.
  • Auto-save no longer saves the project when After Effects is run from the command line.
  • Scrolling tabs in a panel group with the mouse wheel or other gestures now scrolls in the gestured direction, instead of the inverse.
  • Scrolling in the expression editor in the Timeline panel no longer exits the expression editor when the scroll reaches the top or bottom.
  • Panning the Graph Editor view with the hand tool works again, including with the middle mouse button.
  • Resetting the Time Remap property no longer produces an error message, “internal verification error, sorry! {asked for invalid component of property path}”.
  • Clicking with the eyedropper on a solid in the Project panel, on either the solid’s icon or the thumbnail at the top of the panel, now returns the expected color.
  • Pausing the render queue no longer sometimes causes the current render item to stop and the next item to start.
  • Migrate Previous Version Settings now does not fail when you save the open the project before quitting.
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