This document describes the new and updated features in the June 2014 release of After Effects CC. Read on for a complete list of updates and the latest features including the Key Cleaner and Advanced Spill Suppressor effect, the new Compositing Options, and editing the live text templates workflow with Premiere Pro.
What's new and changed
- Video: What's new in the 2014 release of After Effects
- Key Cleaner effect and Advanced Spill Suppressor effect
- Compositing Options (including effect masks)
- Importing masks from Premiere Pro
- Live text templates - Edit After Effects text templates in Premiere Pro
- Video preview on external monitor using Mercury Transmit
- Add fonts from Typekit in After Effects
- Show All
Video: What's new in the 2014 release of After Effects
Steve Forde talks about the latest features in the 2014 release of After Effects at NAB
Key Cleaner effect and Advanced Spill Suppressor effect
The Key Cleaner effect recovers alpha-channel detail from a scene keyed by a typical keying effect, including recovering detail lost due to compression artifacts.
The Advanced Spill Suppressor effect removes color spill on a foreground subject from a colored background used for color keying. It has two methods for spill suppression:
- Standard - The Standard method is simpler, automatically detects the dominant key color, and requires less user input.
- Ultra - The Ultra method is based on the spill suppression in the Ultra Key effect in Premiere Pro. See the Ultra Key section in Premiere Pro for details about the Ultra Key.
Starting with the 2014 version of After Effects, the Spill Suppressor effect has been moved to the Obsolete effects category. Users are recommended to use the Advanced Spill Suppressor effect instead.
An easy way of applying these effects is by using the Keylight + Key Cleaner + Advanced Spill Suppressor animation preset.
For more information, see the Keying Effects section.
Use the new Key Cleaner and Advanced Spill Suppressor effects with any keying effect that can provide the original RGB data as input. The new effects are found under the Effects > Keying menu.
Compositing Options (including effect masks)
The Compositing Options property group for each effect includes a new Effect Opacity property, which provides similar functionality as the Blend With Original compositing to every effect. The Effect Opacity allows you to blend between the effect results and the image without applying the effect. You can precisely apply any effect to a particular area of an image by masking and matting the desired area.
You can also restrict the area of effects applied to a layer using a new mask. The Mask Reference option is found under the Compositing Options under each effect in the Timeline panel. Click the plus sign next to the Compositing Options heading and choose a mask listed under the Mask Reference menu.
For more information, see the Compositing Options and Mask Reference article.
Importing masks from Premiere Pro
When you import a clip from Premiere Pro that includes masks, the masks from Premiere Pro are preserved and converted to After Effects masks. This works for all methods of importing clips from Premiere Pro including:
- Using the Replace With After Effects Composition command in Premiere Pro
- Copying and pasting the sequence from Premiere Pro to After Effects
- Importing a Premiere Pro project into After Effects.
The mask shape, feather, opacity, expansion, and inversion properties are all preserved and the keyframes on those properties are also included.
However some After Effects mask attributes, such as variable-width mask feathering, will not get imported into Premiere Pro.
Masks are either effect masks or layer masks and the mask mode is always set to Add when the mask is imported from Premiere Pro into After Effects.
Live text templates - Edit After Effects text templates in Premiere Pro
You can create text template compositions in After Effects wherein the source text can be edited in Premiere Pro. Any composition with text layers can be used as a text template, and any unlocked text layers in that composition can be edited in Premiere Pro.
For more information, see the Editing text templates article.
Video preview on external monitor using Mercury Transmit
The video preview system for external monitors has been replaced with the Mercury Transmit-based system.
The Mercury Transmit system for video previews sends the contents of the Composition, Layer, or Footage panel to an external monitor. The external monitor can be one of the following:
- A video monitor connected through third-party video hardware such as AJA, Blackmagic, and Matrox I/O devices
- A DV device connected over FireWire
- A computer monitor connected to your video display card via such as HDMI, DVI, VGA, or DisplayPort.
For more information, see the Video preview using Mercury Transmit article.
Add fonts from Typekit in After Effects
You can download and install hundreds of fonts from within After Effects CC through the integration of Typekit in the June 2014 release of After Effects CC. Click File > Add Fonts from Typekit.. to launch the Typekit website.
For more information about using Typekit with Creative Cloud, see the Typekit Help Center.
Integration of Kuler panel into After Effects
The Kuler panel that is integrated into After Effects CC (Window > Extensions > Adobe Kuler) is one of the first instances of an HTML5 CEP panel built for After Effects. Using the Kuler panel, you can :
- Browse color themes that other users have shared through Creative Cloud
- Load color themes from your own library on Creative Cloud
- Create color themes on your iPhone or in your browser using various color models. You can use the color swatches within each color theme as a source from which to sample colors for any purpose within After Effects. (This replaces the old workflow of creating a document in Illustrator that held your color swatches and then importing that file into After Effects as a a source from which to sample when matching colors in a logo or other other branded item.)
HTML5 panels using CEP infrastructure
Improvements to Curves effect user interface
The primary user interface element in the Curves effect (the curves themselves) is now resizable using buttons immediately above the curves. The icon-based buttons for Open, Save, Smooth, and Reset have been replaced with word-based buttons that make their functionality more discoverable and the interface has been changed to increase the size of the default window.
The new improvements have the following advantages:
- Click one of the three sizing icons at the top of the effect to adjust screen sizes.
- Channels will show separately and concurrently in White, Red Green Blue, and Gray(alpha).
- Channel selection is automatic when a curve or vertex is clicked to add or move a point.
- The curves are drawn more smoothly.
To adjust the curves in the Curves effect automatically, click the Auto button beneath the curves in the Effect Controls panel. This automatic adjustment is based on a database of curve adjustments performed by color and photography experts on a broad range of input images. This will enable users to get a good starting point for their color adjustments.
The adjustment made to an image is based on the adjustments made to reference input images with similar color distributions.
Supported file formats
The following files are supported for import in the 2014 release of After Effects CC.
- Sony RAW files (raw footage files from F5, F55, and F65 cameras)
- MPEG-4 SStP (Simple Studio Profile) Sony SR MXF files
- indexed-color PNG files and grayscale PNG files with transparency
- Photoshop Large Document (.psb) files
- CMYK JPEG files
- RED EPIC Dragon 6K files
- Cinema 4D (.c4d) 3D scene files
- DNxHD MXF OP1a and Op-Atom files
- QuickTime (.mov) files using DNxHD codecs (without installing additional codecs)
- QuickTime (.mov) files using ProRes codecs (without installing additional codecs) on Mac OS
- XAVC (Sony 4K)
- AVC-Intra 200
- Use File > Save As > Save A Copy As CC (12) to save a project as a copy for the previous version. To open a project created in the latest version of After Effects in After Effects CS6, you have to save back from After Effects CC (12). See Save and backup projects for detailed information.
- You can now import raw files from Sony F5, F55, and F65 cameras into After Effects. As with ARRIRAW files, the source settings are not carried over when transferring a clip from Premiere Pro to After Effects.
- After Effects CC now installs mocha-AE version 3.2.1. Previous versions of After Effects CC installed mocha-AE v3.1.0. See the release notes (pdf) on the Imagineer Systems website for details of what's new in mocha-AE v3.2.
- You cannot export to the following formats in the 2014 version of After Effects CC. See this blog for additional information. However, you can still import these file formats into After Effects.