Adobe After Effects is Faster Than Ever
Accelerate your creativity with the latest release.
We know the pressure of increasing content velocity — the demand to produce more stuff, faster, for less money — is on your mind. It’s on ours too. We only had one goal for After Effects this time around: deliver a rock-solid, high-performance update that gets your mission-critical productions done in a timely manner.
What’s new in performance
Performance means many things to many people, from workflow efficiency to render times. But it all comes down to one thing: how fast can you get your work done?
That’s why our top performance priority is enhancing the rendering core. We’re starting at the end of the pipeline, with smooth, fluid playback of cached previews. The combination of CPU threading improvements and a new GPU architecture for pushing pixels to your screen means you can interact with the app while previewing in real time. After all, how can you make creative decisions if you can’t see what you’re working on?
There are lots of under-the-hood changes as well that should make things faster all around. But we’re not done yet! We’re going to continue to accelerate After Effects’ core in future releases. Stay tuned — we’ll share more information about where we’re heading (and how you can help us get there) soon.
And we didn’t just tackle performance at the core of the application. We’ve made some of our most-used features faster, too:
- Multichannel EXR files are up to 10-12 times faster, and you can import them as layered compositions. Save time on setup and start compositing right away. The new workflow includes native support for Cryptomatte for more power and precision, and there’s even a handy contact sheet view to quickly locate a specific pass.
- Shape layers are snappier — especially when snapping. Working with complex, shape-heavy compositions is now a much more pleasant experience. And shape grouping and ungrouping are quicker and easier with a new context menu, enabling you to manage multiple shapes at once, right in the timeline.
- In previous releases, expressions that don’t change over time were still recalculated on every frame, slowing down your composition’s performance. Now, expressions that should only run once actually only run once. You’ll also see a noticeable performance improvement when working with expressions and master properties together. But making expressions more productive isn’t just about speed. We’ve added expression access to text style properties, enabling you to change or customize fonts and styling with expressions, and keep multiple layers in sync. Save your expressions as presets and reuse them again and again.
- Content-Aware Fill for video was a big hit when we released it earlier this year. Good news: it’s now twice as fast and uses half as much memory.
There are refinements designed to help you work more efficiently. New custom drop-down menus for expressions enable you to control layer properties with easy-to-read menus. Just like the slider, checkbox and color controls, they work in your compositions, with master properties, and with Motion Graphics templates, giving you and your colleagues a streamlined graphics editing experience. Combine drop-down menus with text style expressions to control the text formatting on multiple layers in one place.
Updated Cinema 4D
The new release of After Effects includes an updated version of Maxon Cinema 4D Lite (based on Cinema 4D Release 21). Use Cinema 4D Lite to create and import 3D content for After Effects projects. Add Cinema 4D content to After Effects projects just like footage; extract scene data, like cameras or 3D objects, which you can manipulate in After Effects.
The latest release of C4D Lite can be launched within After Effects and as a standalone application. New features include the caps and bevel tools for creating extruded text and splines with more personality. A new high-performance denoising filter improves visual quality and reduces rendering times. Cinema 4D gives After Effects users a great way to explore the exciting world of 3D motion graphics — including basic modeling, texturing, lighting, and animation.
Format and system support
After Effects offers new native support for Canon XF-HEVC, as well as import support for two legacy formats: Animation with delta frames and MJPEG. Plus, we’ve improved performance for 10-bit H.265 HD/UHD, HEVC HD/UHD, and ProRes files.
After Effects will now detect and alert you to any known issues with specific hardware or drivers being used on your computer, and help you update to ensure compatibility and optimum performance.