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After Effects CS6 (11.0.2) update: bug fixes and added GPUs for ray-traced 3D renderer

Today, the After Effects CS6 (11.0.2) update was released.

If Adobe Application Manager hasn’t already told you about this, go ahead and check for new updates by choosing Help > Updates. The best way to check for updates is by closing all Adobe applications other than Adobe Bridge, and choosing Help > Updates in Adobe Bridge; this ensures that all processes related to Adobe video applications have been quit and can be updated safely.

Ideally, you should install the updates automatically by choosing Help > Updates, but you can also directly download the update packages from the download page for Windows or Mac OS by choosing the “Adobe After Effects CS6 11.0.2” update for your operating system. Unfortunately and confusingly, these links are not at the top of the list of updates, so you’ll have to scroll down the respective page of updates to find each of them.

Updates are cumulative, so this update includes the changes made in the After Effects CS6 (11.0.1) update.

For information about updates for other Adobe professional video applications, see this page.

If you have difficulty with this update, please bring questions and issues to the After Effects forum. Don’t ask questions in the comments on this blog post, which fewer people will see.

We have also been working with several providers of plug-ins, codecs, and hardware devices to assist them in updating their software to fix some errors and crashes. Please take this opportunity to download and install updated codecs, plug-ins, and drivers from these providers, as relevant to your work. For more information about plug-ins for After Effects CS6, see this page.

changes to GPU functionality in this update
  • three additions to the list of Nvidia GPUs that After Effects will use for CUDA acceleration of the ray-traced 3D renderer:

    • GeForce GT 650M GPUs with 1GB of VRAM (Mac OS)
    • GeForce GTX 670 (Windows)
    • GeForce GTX 690 (Windows)

    Note: An additional delay (approximately one minute) will occur the first time that you start After Effects with a Kepler-class GPU as the new ray-traced 3D library is initialized. Installation of updated display drivers may require this initialization step again.

  • Intel HD Graphics 4000 chipset added to the list of devices that After Effects will use for level 2 GPU functionality (Fast Draft, Hardware BlitPipe, and GPU acceleration of Cartoon effect) on Mac OS. This functionality was added for the Intel HD Graphics 4000 chipset on Windows with the After Effects CS6 (11.0.1) update.

See this page for details of GPU features in After Effects CS6.

new memory handling preference

After Effects CS6 (11.0.2) has a new preference in the Memory & Multiprocessing category: Reduce Cache Size When System Is Low On Memory.

In After Effects CS6, memory accounting was made more strict to avoid swapping the contents of RAM (e.g., items cached by the OS for other applications) to the hard disk during a RAM preview. Because swapping contents of memory to disk is very time-consuming and thus a severe drag on performance, After Effects CS6 checked for how much memory was free before starting a RAM preview. However, because of some idiosyncrasies in Mac OS memory management, this strict check for free memory before performing a RAM preview sometimes caused After Effects to report that there was not enough free memory for RAM previews (“After Effects error: RAM Preview needs 2 or more frames to playback”).

The new preference in After Effects CS6 (11.0.2) gives you the ability to choose whether to keep the After Effects CS6 (11.0.0 and 11.0.1) behavior of performing the strict check and never swapping or allowing swapping to sometimes occur and not performing this strict check.

  • preference disabled (default): Behavior is similar to that in After Effects CS5.5, though there are some improvements compared with After Effects CS5.5 with regard to how After Effects tracks used memory on Mac OS. With the preference disabled, swapping may occur under some circumstances, but you won’t get the spurious occurrences of the “RAM Preview needs 2 or more frames to playback” error.
  • preference enabled: The strict memory check is performed. If you encounter the “RAM Preview needs 2 or more frames to playback” error, it may be because Mac OS has a very large amount of memory marked as “inactive”, rather than as “free”. To free inactive memory on Mac OS, you can run the purge command from the Terminal command line, or you can restart the computer (restart the computer, not the OS).

bugs fixed in this update
  • We fixed several bugs with the global performance cache, which were causing the cache to not be invalidated at some times when it should have been. This meant that sometimes old, invalid image information was being read from the cache and used instead of re-rendering when an aspect of the composition had changed. Among the bugs that were fixed in this area were some that affected RE:Vision Effects Twixtor and Trapcode Form.

    If you encounter a remaining bug of this sort, purging the cache will generally fix the problem (choosing Empty Disk Cache in Media & Disk Cache preferences to clear the disk cache and Edit > Purge > All Image Memory to clear the RAM cache). If you encounter such a bug after installing this update, let us know by submitting a detailed bug report, being especially certain to list any third-party effects used.

    One remaining known issue of this sort relates to font substitution: If you load a project with a missing font, After Effects will substitute a placeholder font. If you then install the missing font, After Effects may not update cached image information with the new font. So, if you install a font after loading a project for which that font was reported as missing, purge the cache to force the cached image information to be updated with the new font.

    Another known issue in this area is that the Liquify effect will retain incorrect cached information after a use of the Undo command.

  • In After Effects CS6 (11.0.0 and 11.0.1), Reduce Project would retain any composition that had ever been referred to by the selected composition in an expression, even if that reference had since been removed. The change in After Effects CS6 (11.0.2) returns the behavior of Reduce Project to that of After Effects CS5.5 and earlier.
  • Fixed issues with refractions through extruded objects not rendering correctly using the ray-traced 3D renderer. For example, when a ray passed through an object with two parallel faces (like passing through a plate of glass), the ray did not exit at the correct angle (i.e., at the same angle as it entered). This meant that items on the far side of the object with parallel faces would seem magnified or distorted rather than simply offset.
  • Fixed scaling issues relating to lights and shadows when light layer parented to another layer.
  • Fixed expression error when using the activeCamera expression method if the composition includes an instance of the Trapcode Particular effect.
  • Fixed difference in rendered result between ray-traced 3D renderer and Classic 3D renderer when using time-remapping on precomposition layer with collapsed transformations.
  • After Effects icon in Mac OS dock grew to twice normal width and height when rendering a RAM preview on a MacBook Pro with Retina display.
  • Exporting a composition or layer containing references to a PSD file with groups of layers to Premiere Pro didn’t work.
  • Adjusting a path for 3D extruded text on a path was very difficult or impossible.
  • Rendering a precomposition layer with collapsed transformations and motion blur was taking a very long time.
  • Fixed occasional glitches when using Mask Expansion property for variable-width mask feather.
  • AA keyboard shortcut was not expanding the Options property group for an environment layer.
  • When previewing in Fast Draft mode at a zoom level other than 100%, track matte jumped out of position.
  • Shadow catchers and layers set to appear in reflections only were not rendered correctly in Fast Draft mode.
  • Light emission pattern was ignored when rendering shadows with lights that that have falloff.
  • Lights and shadows didn’t render correctly in a composition using the ray-traced 3D renderer with multiple lights.
  • Fixed incorrect rendering of shadows on shadow catcher layer with spotlight.
  • Fixed error message “Attempt to get an item from a position outside of list length (27::12)” when adding a path to a shape layer.
  • Dragging the anchor point while zoomed in was difficult or impossible.
  • “Ray-traced 3D: Ray tracer failed to launch. 5070::00” error message and composition rendered blank if a mask extended outside the layer.
  • Depth-of-field blur rendered incorrectly with iris roundness values below 99%.
  • Phase control for Wave Warp effect was only functioning for values between 0 and 1.
  • Fixed pixelation when CC Sphere effect used in 32-bpc project.
  • Fixed problems when rendering interlaced video when layer has one of several Cycore (CC) effects applied.
  • Masks pasted from mocha-AE were not correct if they contained bezier curves with manual keyframes.
  • Fixed various other crashes and errors.

Note that there are several fixes in the Adobe Media Encoder CS6 (6.0.2/6.0.3) updates that benefit users of After Effects, too. One notable fix regards the bug that prevented the creation of QuickTime files greater than 2.15GB over an AFP network. See this page for details.

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