After Effects CS5 new and changed features
A complete list of the new and changed features in After Effects CS5 (not just the top ten) is here: “What’s new in After Effects CS5”. That page contains links to details about each feature, and it even lists all but the most minor tweaks to the user interface, so you can most easily make the transition from After Effects CS4 to After Effects CS5.
Here’s a list of the top new features in After Effects CS5, with links to pages that contain more information:
- 64-bit After Effects CS5 application, with improved performance and memory features
- Roto Brush tool
- Refine Matte effect
- AVC-Intra import, improved RED (R3D) support, and improved ProRes handling
- Added Digieffects FreeForm
- Added Imagineer mocha shape for After Effects plug-in and improved mocha for After Effects planar tracker application (version 2)
- Auto-keyframe mode
- Apply Color LUT effect for using color lookup tables
- Align panel improvements, including ability to align layers to the edges and center of a composition
- Synthetic Aperture Color Finesse 3, with support for 32-bpc color
Several features that didn’t make the cut for the top-ten list chosen by our marketing folks are features that I really like:
- One thing that sounds small until you use it is the new Preview checkbox in most dialog boxes. Now you can see the results of adjustments as you make them, rather than having to click OK, see that you need to choose a different value, and then open the dialog box again. This is huge.
- We added some new color correction effects: Vibrance, Selective Color, and Black & White. It’s Vibrance that I’m most pleased with; it makes tweaking colors without messing up skin tones a lot easier.
- There are a lot of little changes in the Camera tools and 3D views, including better control of a camera with a three-button mouse and the addition of labels in the Composition panel that tell you which 3D view you’re looking at.
- Selecting vertices (like mask path points) is now much easier, both because the hit area around the vertex is intelligently larger and because there’s a new preference for setting path point size. Can I get a “Hallelujah!”?
- New keyboard shortcuts were added to make it possible to use certain features on a newer Mac that doesn’t have a numeric keypad (like the MacBook Pro that I’m typing on right now).
There’s a lot more in this release. Just read through the whole list. It’ll make you happy.
Oh, and you should also come on over to the After Effects user-to-user forum and ask questions. 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.
Chris and Trish Meyer have a great review of the new features on the ProVideo Coalition website.
UPDATE: See this page for what’s new and changed in the After Effects CS5 (10.0.1) update.