This document describes the new and updated features in the October 2014 release of After Effects CC. The latest features include the HiDPI support for Mac and Windows, CINEMA 4D R16 compatibility, Anywhere collaboration, and a refreshed interface design.
What's new and changed
- Refined user interface with HiDPI support
- Enhanced 3D pipeline with Maxon Cineware 2.0 plug-in and CINEMA 4D Lite R16
- Copy with Relative Property Links
- Dynamic Link color management (Rec. 709 only)
- Automatic encoding of After Effects projects using watch folders in Adobe Media Encoder
- Support for native encoding and decoding of movies using GoPro CineForm codecs
- Updates to mocha AE
- Show All
Refined user interface with HiDPI support
After Effects has a new darker design. You can change the brightness of the interface in Edit > Preferences > Appearance, though the slider range is more limited; you can no longer change the appearance of the user interface to a light mode.
There is some simplification to the panel functionality. The following changes have been made to the icons, panels, and buttons:
- The icon for the panel menu has been moved from the upper-right corner of the panel to the panel tab, making the panel menu easier to discover.
- The panel grabber and frame grabber icons have been removed; you can drag panels using the panel tab.
- The close button (x) has been removed from all panels except the Timeline, Composition, Layer, Footage, Effect Controls, and Flowchart, and Render panels. In these panels, the close button has moved to the left side of the panel tab. To close a panel without the close button, open the panel menu or right-click on the panel tab and choose Close Panel, or use the keyboard shortcut, Command+W (Mac OS) or Ctrl+W (Windows).
- The panel tabs for the Composition, Layer, Footage, Effect Controls, and Flowchart panels have been updated. Clicking the blue text of the composition, layer, or footage name in the tab will display the viewer menu.
- The application's title bar now shows the full path to the project file.
The latest release of After Effects CC includes HiDPI support for both content viewers and user interface scaling. This inclusion makes After Effects easier to use on high pixel density monitors.
User interface elements such as icons, text labels, pointers, and buttons now scale according to the display settings of the operating system. Mac OS computers with a Retina display scale to 200%. Windows computers with a HiDPI display scale to 150% or 200%.
If you want content to appear the same on HiDPI displays and non-HiDPI displays, set the zoom value of the HiDPI display to be twice that of the non-HiDPI display.
Enhanced 3D pipeline with Maxon Cineware 2.0 plug-in and CINEMA 4D Lite R16
After Effects CC now includes Cineware 2.0, which adds CINEMA 4D R16 compatibility. Cineware 2.0 includes the new Reflectance Channel, enables you to work with 3D elements faster, and provides improved layer support.
Automatic settings synchronization - The Synchronize Layer setting enables you to automatically synchronize your Cineware settings with all the layers in a composition. When you add multiple instances of a CINEMA 4D scene layer in a composition, including adding Multi-Pass layers, you will see a new checkbox, Synchronize Layer at the top of the Effect Controls panel. When the box is checked (default), the Cineware effect settings on all instances of the layer synchronize automatically. If the checkbox is disabled for a specific CINEMA 4D scene layer, then that layer's settings will not synchronize with the rest of the layers in the composition.
Default Layer support - The CINEMA 4D layers dialog displays a Default Layer option if the renderer supports it. Layers that have not been assigned to an explicit layer in the .c4d project files are displayed with the Default Layer enabled.
Content Browser support - When using a full retail version of CINEMA 4D R16 as the renderer, textures applied through installed content libraries (.lib4d files) are rendered in After Effects using Cineware.
Region of Interest - You can now render substitute composition regions using the Region Of Interest control in the composition panel. When a Region of Interest has been defined in the composition panel, and the Renderer control is set to Standard (Final), Cineware renders only what is inside the bounds of the region.
Collect Files: Collect Files now collects assets associated with .c4d footage items, such as textures.
Purge Memory - For complex scenes, the render server may use memory for internal caches. To free up the internal memory, click Purge Memory to extend the length of previews in After Effects.
The Purge Memory option works only when the CINEMA 4D render path is set to one of the following:
- The default render server Cineware R16.
- A full retail version of CINEMA 4D R16 or later.
Cineware 2.0 for After Effects adds CINEMA 4D R16 compatibility and the version of CINEMA 4D Lite included with After Effects CC (October 2014) is R16.
Copy with Relative Property Links
There is a new command in the Edit menu, Copy With Relative Property Links. This command is similar to the existing Copy With Property Links command, except that it creates expressions that do not reference the source composition by name.
This command maintains a relative link between the layer with the expression and the composition containing that layer. Use this command when, for example, you want to move expression-rigged layers from one composition to another but let the layers reference a control layer only in the same composition.
The expressions created using the Copy With Relative Property Links command are identical to those created using the expression pickwhip.
Copy with Relative Property Links - thisComp.layer("control_layer").transform.position
Copy with Property Links - This command specifically references the layer's source. comp("source_comp").layer("control_layer").transform.position
See the Expression basics section for detailed information about adding, editing, and managing expressions in After Effects.
Dynamic Link color management (Rec. 709 only)
When color management is enabled for an After Effects project, compositions viewed over Dynamic Link will be transformed using the Rec. 709 color profile. This prevents color or gamma shifts in the appearance of these compositions in Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder.
Dynamic Link always assumes that all incoming frames are in Rec. 709. In previous releases of After Effects, compositions in a color managed project were sent to Dynamic Link in the project's working color space; they were not adjusted for Dynamic Link's assumption of Rec. 709. This mismatch resulted in a noticeable color or gamma shift when the project's working color space was significantly different from Rec. 709 or when Linearize Working Space (under File > Project Settings) was enabled.
In the latest release of After Effects CC, a color transformation is applied to the composition as a last step before the images are passed to Dynamic Link for use in Premiere Pro or Adobe Media Encoder. This corrects the composition image to the color space used by Dynamic Link, similar to how the View > Enable Display Color Management option in After Effects corrects the image for your monitor.
See the color management section for detailed information.
Automatic encoding of After Effects projects using watch folders in Adobe Media Encoder
If you copy an After Effects project (.aep) file into one of Adobe Media Encoder's watch folders, the compositions at the top level of the project (compositions that are not in folders in the Project panel) are automatically added to the Adobe Media Encoder encoding queue.
See the Encode files automatically using Watch folder section in Adobe Media Encoder for detailed information.
Support for native encoding and decoding of movies using GoPro CineForm codecs
After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Adobe Media Encoder can natively decode and encode QuickTime (.mov) files using the GoPro Cineform codecs on Mac OS and Windows. This means that you do not need to install additional codecs to use and create such files.
Use this codec with the higher-quality settings, to send intermediate files from one application to the next application in a post-production pipeline. Movie files encoded with the GoPro Cineform codec at the higher quality settings include an alpha channel.
To use the GoPro CineForm codec for output:
- Choose Output Module Settings > QuickTime.
- Click the Format Options button.
- Choose GoPro CineForm as the video codec.
- To control the quality and channels exported using this codec, use the Depth and Channels controls in the Video Output section of the Output Module Settings dialog box.
- To use the highest-quality 4:4:4:4 option with an alpha channel, do the following:
- Choose RGB+Alpha from the Channels menu
- Choose Trillions Of Colors+ from the Depth menu; this creates a movie with a precision of 16 bits per channel.
- Choose RGB+Alpha from the Channels menu
Updates to mocha AE
mocha AE has been updated to mocha AE CC 2014 (version 4.0.1) that includes compatibility with mocha Pro 4 project files. For details about what's new in mocha 4.0, see the Imagineer website.
- The Anchor Point icon on selected layers has been enhanced for better contrast and visibility. The icon's hit area changes with the Path Point & Handle Size preference.
- While tracking masks that are applied to an effect, the mask mode now no longer changes to None. This preserves the appearance of the masked effect during tracking.
- Double-clicking a project in Finder or Explorer automatically closes the Welcome Screen dialog.
- Use the new Browse Add-ons... command in the File menu to open the Adobe Add-ons page (formerly Adobe Exchange) in your web browser.
- The new Adobe Color Themes replaces the previously named Adobe Kuler panel. Choose Window > Extensions > Adobe Color Themes to open this panel. See the Select a color with Adobe Color section in the Color basics article to learn more about the Adobe Color panel.
- You can speed up VFX-heavy After Effects compositions using the new Render and Replace feature in Premiere Pro. This feature enables you to flatten After Effects compositions into video clips thus speeding up the performance of VFX-heavy sequences. See the Render and Replace After Effects compositions section in Premiere Pro for detailed information.