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what’s new and changed in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.7) update

The After Effects CC 2015 (13.7) update is now available.

For details of the updates for all Adobe professional video and audio applications and services, see this page. Also, in January 2016 Adobe Stock added over 100,000 4K high-quality video assets, which you can search for, download, and license in the Libraries panel in After Effects and Premiere Pro.

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.

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.

summary of what’s new in the After Effects CC 2015 (13.7) update

  • Maxon CINEWARE 3.0
  • new preference to auto-save when starting the render queue
  • improvements to Cache Before Playback previews
  • … and many bug fixes

Maxon CINEWARE 3.0

Maxon’s CINEWARE plug-in for After Effects has been updated to version 3.0, and includes the following features:

  • Live Link, which synchronizes the timelines in After Effects and Cinema 4D (R17 SP2)
  • support for the Cinema 4D Take System (R17)
  • extract .c4d timeline markers
  • other enhancements and fixes

CINEWARE 3.0 also includes the following rendering improvements:

  • OpenGL renderer
  • renderer limitations have been removed: Physical, Hardware, and Sketch and Toon renderers will now render using CINEWARE
  • multi-pass alpha channels

You will need Cinema 4D R17 to use the Take System, and Cinema 4D R17.048 (SP2) to use Live Link. Even if you don’t have access to Cinema 4D R17, the rest of the new features can be used with After Effects and Cinema 4D versions R14-R16, including the version of Cinema 4D Lite R16 included with After Effects CC 2015.

Live Link

Live Link enables the timelines of Cinema 4D and After Effects to be synchronized. Live Link requires Cinema 4D R17.048 (SP2) or later. If the selected version of Cinema 4D does not support Live Link, the Enable button will be greyed out.

To use Live Link, ensure that the Cinema 4D paths in the CINEWARE Options dialog is set to a version of Cinema 4D that supports Live Link (Cinema 4D R17.048 or later). When you click the Enable button for Live Link (under the Show help button), the specified Cinema 4D version will open the current file. If Live Link has not been enabled in Cinema 4D, brief instructions will appear. To enable Live Link in Cinema 4D, choose Edit > Preferences > Communication > Live Link, then enable Live Link Enabled At Startup. The timelines will now be synchronized when switching between After Effects and Cinema 4D. When you select a different C4D layer in After Effects, press Enable to synchronize that layer.

Take System

The Cinema 4D R17 Take System has been integrated into CINEWARE. The Set Take button in the CINEWARE effect will be enabled if the .c4d file contains takes. If the current renderer does not support take selections then the main take will be used.

extract .c4d timeline markers

Timeline markers in .c4d files are now added to the C4D layer in After Effects when you click the Extract button.

Note: To avoid problems extracting scene data in After Effects, enable Save Polygons for Melange and Save Animation for Melange in Cinema 4D preferences.

OpenGL renderer

The CINEWARE renderer can now be set to OpenGL.

renderer limitations removed for Physical, Hardware, and Sketch and Toon

Renderer limitations have been removed in CINEWARE. When your .c4d file has been saved in a full retail (e.g., Studio) version of Cinema 4D with Render Settings set to the Physical or Hardware renderer, it will render with those settings when the CINEWARE renderer is set to Standard (Final) or Standard (Draft). Sketch and Toon will render when the CINEWARE renderer is set to Standard (Final).

Note that this limitation is only removed for CINEWARE. The version of Cinema 4D Lite included with After Effects CC 2015 is not affected by this change and still has limitations on which renderers it can use.

multi-pass alpha channels

Multi-pass layers are now created with an alpha channel.

Synchronize C4D Layers

When the Cinema 4D Layers option is enabled, a new option to Synchronize C4D Layers becomes available when there are multiple instances (including extracted passes) of the C4D layer in the composition. All instances of the same layer with Synchronize C4D Layers enabled will synchronize changes made when enabling or disabling Cinema 4D layers by clicking Set Layers.

Note the difference between the two synchronize options in CINEWARE:

  • Synchronize AE layer: Render Settings and Camera options are synchronized on all instances of the C4D layer.
  • Synchronize C4D Layers: Cinema 4D Layers settings are synchronized on all instances the C4D layer.

other changes in CINEWARE

The No Pre-calculation option is now enabled by default. This disables pre-calculations for computing motion dynamics or particle simulations. You may need to disable No Pre-calculation for final rendering, depending on the animation used in the .c4d file.

new preference to auto-save when starting the render queue

In Preferences > Auto-Save, you can now control whether After Effects automatically saves the project when you start the render queue. The new Save When Starting Render Queue option is enabled by default.

This new option is a separate control from auto-saving at intervals (“Save every X minutes”). The Auto-Save options have been modified to make it clear that you can choose to save at intervals, save when starting the render queue, or both.

Starting in After Effects CC 2015 (13.6), auto-saving does not occur while the render queue is rendering. In After Effects CC 2015 (13.6), if Automatically Save Projects was enabled in Preferences > Auto-Save, projects were always auto-saved when you started the render queue; After Effects CC 2015 (13.7) now allows you to control whether or not this auto-save occurs.

improvements to Cache Before Playback previews

When the Cache Before Playback option is enabled in the Preview panel, After Effects CC 2015 (13.7) now previews frames as they are rendered. As the frames are rendered, only newly rendered frames are previewed; previously rendered frames are skipped. Audio is not previewed during this caching phase of the preview.

After all frames are rendered, preview of the cached frames begins (with audio, if enabled).

notable bug fixes

  • Resizing a panel by dragging panel borders with a tablet pen (e.g. a Wacom tablet) no longer causes the pointer to continue to drag the panel border the next time you touch the pen down, or to unexpectedly begin dragging after a single click.
  • Zooming with the mouse wheel in a Composition panel set to multiple views will again zoom the view under the pointer as expected, instead of only zooming the first view.
  • Audio is no longer silent for the first 2 seconds of real-time playback of previews after the composition has been fully cached, if the Mute Audio When Preview Is Not Real-time preference is enabled. Important: This fixed bug addresses a specific problem in which audio did not engage when the playback frame rate is real-time; we are continuing to investigate a similar bug some users are experiencing where the preview of a cached composition starts out slower than real-time, and ramps up to real-time after a similar delay (~2-3 seconds). In this case, if Mute Audio When Preview Is Not Real-time is enabled, you will not hear audio during until the preview frame rate is real-time; you can work around this bug by disabling Mute Audio When Preview Is Not Real-time.
  • Audio no longer plays out of sync if the frame rate of the comp or footage is different than the Frame Rate option in the Preview panel.
  • Visual artifacts no longer occur in layers that use time remapping with frame blending set to Pixel Motion, or with Timewarp, Rolling Shutter Repair, and other effects that use the Pixel Motion (optical flow) method.
  • Antialiasing in viewer panels (Composition, Layer, Footage) is improved when downsampling (e.g., viewer resolution is set to full and zoom is set to 25%) and the Hardware Accelerate Composition, Layer, and Footage Panels option is enabled in Preferences > Display.
  • Layers draw their contents as expected, instead of a wireframe, when you hold the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key while dragging the anchor point with the Pan Behind tool.
  • Fixed several cases where the render progress bar in the Composition panel failed to appear or update as expected after modifying a composition.
  • Resetting a workspace to its saved layout no longer opens empty Timeline panels.
  • The Paint workspace now opens the Paint and Brushes panels instead of the Character and Paragraph panels.
  • Audio-only previews no longer restore the workspace when the Timeline panel or other non-viewer panels are maximized.
  • Choosing Replace With After Effects Composition in Premiere Pro no longer fails with an error, “Importer reported a generic error”, if the Premiere Pro sequence is set to greater than 99fps. Note that while the new composition in After Effects will be at the expected frame rate, changing that composition’s settings will reduce its frame rate to 99fps. (99fps is the maximum value allowed by the Composition Settings dialog. This bug fix behaves similar to dragging footage that is greater than 99fps to the New Composition button at the bottom of the Project panel in After Effects.)
  • Previews now play the composition, layer, or footage only once when the Loop control in the Preview Panel is set to Play Once, even when the playback requires frames to be cached and causes it not to play in real-time. Note that when Cache Before Playback is enabled, the caching phase is separate and not considered to be playback; once all frames are cached, then the single playback loop begins.
  • Scrolling in the Render Queue panel during rendering works again.
  • Previewing with Full Screen enabled no longer causes an error message: internal verification failure, sorry! {no current context}
  • After Effects no longer crashes when you select multiple keyframes, then open the Keyframe Velocity dialog and enable Continuous.
  • Executing After Effects via the command line no longer fails if the file path to a project file or script contains “-ep”.

If you’d like to let us know what you’d like to see addressed in a future update, let us know with a bug report or feature request here. You can also talk with us on the After Effects user-to-user forum. Please, do not leave comments on this blog post, since the blog comment system is not set up well for bug reports or conversations.

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