After Effects Celebrates 25 with an Upgrade

Featured in Creativity
After Effects Celebrates 25 with an Upgrade

Adobe After Effects CC turns 25 this year and it’s faster and more efficient than ever. In celebration of a quarter-century as the industry standard tool for motion graphics and visual effects, we’re pleased to announce our latest innovations. Speed up and streamline your graphics-creation process, animate with greater flexibility, and immerse yourself in your creations with these updates.

Create multiple variations of a single composition with Master Properties. Choose properties like text, position and color to adjust in context, without having to open a precomp to make changes.

Master Properties and the Essential Graphics Panel

Master Properties. Introducing a powerful new workflow that will transform the way you organize your projects.

Save time building and navigating complex graphics. Create endless variations of a single composition by adding key layer and effect properties to the Essential Graphics panel. When you nest that composition inside another composition, they become Master Properties, directly accessible in the Timeline — keyframes and all. Master Properties can override their original values, allowing you to re-use the same composition to create multiple instances with different values. Push changes you like to all versions of the composition, or pull selected changes from the master to keep things in sync.

Users who’ve seen a sneak peak have been raving about Master Properties.

Victoria Nece, After Effects Product Manager, tells what it is like managing a 25 year old product.

Essential Graphics panel updates. Several improvements have been made to the Essential Graphics panel to make it easier to create Master Properties and Motion Graphics templates. You can now add additional property types, including 2D point and Scale properties as well as Angle controls. Drag multiple selected properties from the Timeline to the Essential Graphics panel, use a context menu to add them from the Effect Controls panel, or assign a keyboard shortcut to make the process even faster.

Open motion graphics templates as a project. Motion Graphics templates (.mogrt files) created by After Effects can now be opened as a project. Once open, you can make changes to the composition and re-export it as a .mogrt file. When you open a .mogrt as a project, After Effects will extract the project file and assets.

Animation enhancements

Twist and bend layers with greater control and smoother deformations. Add pins to any shape and the Advanced Puppet Engine adds mesh detail where you need it most.

Advanced Puppet Engine. After Effects pioneered the Puppet Tool several years ago and it remains one of our most popular features. But, as it’s grown to power flexible transformations across Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator CC, and Adobe Character Animator CC, we know our users have been getting a little jealous of all the advances in the other apps. So we’ve revved up the engine! The Advanced Puppet Engine offers more customizable deformations, with easier controls. We’ve kept the classic Puppet engine so you can still work on existing projects, while giving you an expanded feature set in the new version. Here’s what’s inside:

  • Dynamic Mesh Density gives you more triangles where you need them most — in areas with detailed animation. Adjust the overall density level for smooth deformations.
  • Mesh Rotation Refinement allows you to customize the way the mesh deforms. At low values, pins do not rotate very much and the deformation will be stiffer, more ribbon-like. At high values, pins rotate more and the deformation will be more flexible or bendy.
  • Starch pins affect stiffness in the region between the Starch pin and other pins and no longer have a position property — they animate automatically alongside your Puppet pins.

More easily import and use native data files (including JSON, CSV, and TSV) right in the timeline. A public API lets third parties implement other data file format support. Link properties to data more easily with the pick whip without enabling expressions first.

Data-driven animation improvements. First introduced in the Fall of 2017, our tools for creating data-driven animations have been streamlined to make it easier than ever to visualize information and automate repetitive tasks. Build show promos, communicate schedule changes, present motion capture data, or generate the same graphic in multiple languages. In this release, we enable you to import spreadsheet files, such as .CSV, and .TSV, and to view and link to all supported data types, including JSON, right in the Timeline. You can also drag and drop Timeline properties into the Composition window to generate linked text layers displaying their values. Create reusable graphics that respond to data, with less coding, and keep up with demand for ever-increasing content velocity.

Property Link pick whip. The Property Link pick whip allows you to quickly link properties together to simplify complex animations and keep multiple properties in sync. It automatically adds an expression to the linked property, without having to enable expressions first. You don’t need to be familiar with expressions in order to easily link properties using the Property Link pick whip.

Immerse yourself with new and improved VR tools

Revamped VR Plane to Sphere effect. Last release, we introduced a new suite of tools for creating immersive VR content. This cycle, we’ve completely revamped one of the core pieces of that pipeline — the VR Plane to Sphere effect — for fast, high-quality conversion of media from flat to spherical.

Adobe Immersive Environment. Experience your content the way your audience will, without leaving After Effects. First introduced in Premiere Pro, the Adobe Immersive Environment lets you preview your VR compositions with a head-mounted display, including HTC Vive or Oculus Rift headsets on Mac or Windows.

Additional Developments

Enjoy these time-saving shortcuts that help give you more control of your creative workflow.

The After Effects team has even more developments to share with you, including new support for camera formats and color management, and performance improvements.

Performance enhancements. The Add Grain, Remove Grain, and Match Grain effects are now multi-threaded, giving you up to five times faster performance. Work with larger frames with more efficient GPU memory usage.

Color Improvements. The new GPU-accelerated Video Limiter effect can be applied to individual layers or an adjustment layer to keep content within broadcast-legal color ranges. Install custom LUT files into After Effects to retain consistency of projects between Creative Cloud applications.

Video and audio format support updates. Get new support for raw formats including Canon EOS C2000 Cinema RAW light (.crm), RED Image Processing Pipeline (IPP2), and Sony VENICE X-OCN 4K 4:3 Anamorphic and 6k 3:2 (.mxf). You’ll also get hardware-accelerated H.264 decoding on supported Intel CPUs on Windows.

And more:

  • Navigate the font menu with arrow keys to preview fonts in the Composition window.
  • Enhanced disk cache management enables you to clear caches from all versions of After Effects at once.
  • Get more control over your design workflow with a new option to automatically center anchor points of shape layers and new shortcuts for cycling through mask modes.
  • Team Projects improvements include collaborator presence indicators and support for aerender.

Join the conversation

If you have questions about these new and updated features, visit us in the After Effects Forums — it’s the best place to have a conversation with us. If you’d like to submit feature requests or bug reports, you can do so at this page.

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