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features not available in After Effects CC 2015

[For details of what’s new and changed in each version, see this article.]

In After Effects CC 2015 (13.5), some features that were available in previous versions of After Effects were 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) and later 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. Some such features have already been re-implemented in the After Effects 13.6, 13.7, and 13.8 updates, and in After Effects CC 2017 (14.0). 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 (13.5-13.8) 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:

  • 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The Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously feature has been superseded by the new architecture in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5).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

Watch Folder rendering is available in After Effects CC 2017 (14.0), and After Effects CC 2014 (13.2) and earlier, but not in After Effects CC 2015 (13.5-13.8).

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

Watch Folder rendering required additional work to the new architecture, completed in After Effects CC 2017.

You can use Watch Folder rendering in After Effects CC 2014 or CC 2017 with projects saved by After Effects CC 2015.

  • 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 in the Mac OS dock does not display a progress bar, frame count, or render item count while previewing. 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.

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. The new Play Around Current Time option in the Range menu in the Preview panel is intended to provide similar but more generally useful functionality.

  • Ping Pong loop

The Loop button in the Preview panel can no longer be set to Ping Pong mode.

After Effects, General, Region of Interest