Last Thursday I found myself drifting way downtown to a meeting of AfterEffects NY, which promised a special lecture by Steve Forde, the new Sr Product Manager at Adobe After Effects. It was a quaint affair, with a tingle of promise and excitement. AE has been around for 18 years (barely legal!) and all of the original team-members from AE 1.0 COSA (1993) are still working there! Steve Forde used to be in charge of the company that made NucleoPro, but now he heads the AE production group, which consists of 20 guys and 1 girl. He collects all of their photos… He is in charge “of the one application I literally spend my life in.” [random Twitter quote] And he wants to “give our lives back 30 seconds at a time.” Steve Forde totally did, because I learned you can just pull the Effects tab off to the side so you can see the Project tab, and it’s dumb little things like that, that help my workflow.
“All of this stuff may or may not happen to be in a new version of After Effects at some future point in time, maybe.” That was the legalese they produce at Adobe… But at any rate, there are A FEW EXCITING THINGS you can look forward to:
Light Falloff -
Tired of those pesky lights being unrealistically bright and not conforming to our sketchy understanding of the physical universe? Worry no more! Now there is a built in slider that will simulate light-fall off from spotlights and more, so you can have murky shadows…
Rack Focus -
Possibly the coolest thing I’ve seen. They took a video of a boy pretending to hold something in his hand, animated in a ball of fire, separated the hand (foreground) from his face (bkgd) and then applied a rack-focus-map to all the layers. Then you just slide back and forth and viola, simulated rack focus!
Source Code -
all videos will be coordinated and you can switch between any source code you want… I’m sure editors are happy about that
Image caching -
each layer will individually cache their data, so if you change one little thing, it will take less time to update the whole image
Multi Ram Processing -
didn’t actually understand this, except that when you use it, limit the number of virtual CPUs, use a smaller amount of RAM, and disk caching will now default to 20gbs, and u should use it with an ext HD.
3D Glasses -
apparently they already had this filter, but now there will be a one click 3d-stereo-camera rig you can set up and different preview options to try out all the diff kinds of 3d glasses that exist today
RED film -
raw film data can be processed in AE, just like those snobby fashion photographers instantly color correct their pics on set
WARP STABILIZATION & SUBSPACE CONTROL!!!!!
A new stabilization filter that uses a default cloud of 500+ tracking points to stabilize an image. We got to see all the crosshairs, but that won’t be available in the future. They had no idea how to term their controls, so one is actually called Subspace. It is all to reduce artifacting and warping around the edges of stabilized footage. Also cuts back on the amount of scaling and cropping. A vast improvement, but not universal for every shot. Personally I think it might cause a little motion sickness, but you’ll have to judge for yourself.
I was going to include a video preview of the Warp Stabilizer, but even though AENY promised it would be up the next day, all my Google efforts produce nothing but Star Trek engine designs… but keep an eye out!