Update to After Effects CC available.

For more information, see the New features summary.

This document describes the new and updated features in the After Effects CC (December 2013) release.

Migrating your settings from a previous minor version of After Effects

The General > Preferences > Migrate Previous Version Settings option in After Effects 12.2 enables you to migrate settings from After Effects CC (12.0) or from After Effects CC (12.1).

The following settings are migrated:

  • Preferences
  • Interpretation rules
  • Workspaces
  • Render settings templates
  • Output module settings templates
  • Composition settings templates
  • Keyboard shortcuts - The shortcuts can be migrated from version 12.1, but not from version 12.0.
  • User scripts - Scripts saved in the Scripts folder in the user's settings folder.

Follow the steps below to migrate your settings:

  1. Click the Migrate Previous Settings button. After Effects checks to see whether there are settings folders on the computer for the previously installed version.
  2. Click the button corresponding to the previous version from which you want to migrate the settings. After Effects copies and processes the settings files from the previous version into the current version.
  3. When prompted, quit and restart the application to complete the process and load the migrated settings.


When you start After Effects CC for the first time with default settings, After Effects will automatically initiate the settings migration process.

File name and location templates updates

Project Folder template


A new element, Project Folder, has been added to the Add Property menu under the File Name and Location template.

To choose this element:

  • Click the Output To drop-down list in the Render Queue panel.
  • Choose Custom.
  • Click the Add Property button.

You could also simply type [projectFolder] in the Template dialog box with Custom Preset. The [projectFolder] keyword can be used in the combination with other "path" keywords.

For example, the template [projectFolder]/output/final_[compName].[extension] specifies the following:

  • Place the output file in a folder named output inside the project folder.
  • Begin the name of the output file with final_.
  • End the name of the output file with the composition name and the file name extension.

When you choose the Project Folder element, the output file is placed in the same folder as the one in which the project is saved.

When you specify an output file name and location through the Output Movie To dialog box, you can choose the Save In Subfolder option to create a subfolder at the time of output.
The Save in Subfolder option works in combination with the new path support in the templates. Therefore, adding a folder in this field will add the folder to the template, and vice versa.

Comp Folder and Comp Name preset


There is a new output file name and location template preset called Comp Folder and Comp Name. When you add a composition to the Render Queue panel (Composition > Add to Render Queue), and click Output To, the composition folder and name is added to the file name and location template.

Note the following additional changes to the template functionality:

  1. The new templates use existing folders (or create new ones), in the path which is defined by the output location for the Output Movie To dialog box. Previously, paths and folders were not supported in the templates.
  2. Output Movies that use image sequence formats will automatically use the new Comp Folder and Comp Name template, so that image sequence files are contained within this folder. This feature grew out of user discussions and requests to have image sequence files into a single folder. This feature thus helps users avoid clutter especially if they save a large file sequence into a folder.
  3. Absolute paths can be defined in a template. For example, you can define and save a template that always places rendered files in E:\Output\[compName].[extension].

Snapping improvements

You can now snap together the following features by dragging them in the Composition panel:

  • shape layer paths
  • bounding boxes for shapes within shape layers
  • cameras
  • lights

When you click near a shape layer path, After Effects will use a point on that path that is nearest to where you clicked as the snapping point. This behavior is similar to the way it is with masks.

  • You can snap a shape in a (shape) layer to a shape in another (shape) layer.
  • You cannot snap shapes to one another within a single (shape) layer.
  • To snap two shapes together, the shapes must be in separate (shape) layers.

See the Changes to snapping to align layers in 2D and 3D and Snap Layers in Composition panel for details about the snapping features that were introduced in previous versions of After Effects.


Snap a light layer to a camera layer, so that you can effectively 'look through' a light or simply illuminate wherever your camera is pointing.

Reload footage works with missing footage

Suppose that you opened a project and had a volume with footage that was not mounted. With After Effects 12.2, you can context-click on a footage item in the project and choose Reload Footage. All footage on the remounted volume is found automatically as long as the footage is in the same location as before.

Previously, if the volume was mounted after the project was opened, you had to close and re-open the project or double-click a missing footage item and find it manually.

Bezier paths for shape layers


When a shape tool is active, use the new Bezier Path option in the Tools panel to create a shape based on a Bezier path. The earlier default behavior created a shape based on a parametric path.


If the Bezier Path option is enabled, holding the Alt or Option key causes the shape tool to create a parametric path; if the Bezier Path option is disabled, holding the Alt or Option key causes the shape tool to create a Bezier path.


Choose the Convert To Bezier Path command from the context menu to convert a parametric path to a Bezier path after the parametric path has already been created. If the parametric path is animated (keyframed), the converted Bezier path is a static path based on the parametric path at the current time; keyframes are lost.

Changes to location of installed scripts

In After Effects 12.2, if you drag and drop a script (.jsx or .jsxbin) file onto the Project panel, the script is copied to the following user location:

  • (Windows) \Users\[user_name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\After Effects\12.2
  • (Mac OS) /Users/[user_name]/Library/Preferences/Adobe/After Effects/12.2

Relaunch After Effects to see the scripts (that are located in the user space) under the File > Scripts submenu.

However, the preferred location for the scripts is in the folder next to the application itself. If you want to explicitly copy scripts to this folder, ensure that you have administrator privileges.

  • (Windows) Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects \Support Files
  • (Mac OS) Applications/Adobe After Effects

After Effects loads scripts from both the above locations. See the Scripts article for additional information.


If you uninstall the After Effects application and choose to Remove Preferences during uninstallation, any installed scripts that are located in the user’s Scripts folder will be deleted.

Miscellaneous updates

  • Cycore (CC) effect plug-ins have been updated to fix a bug with the CC Power Pin effect's UI drawing incorrectly.
  • The Synthetic Aperture Color Finesse plug-in has been updated to address several bugs. Installation and activation of the plug-in is also easier on render-only systems.
  • The Auto-keyframe button has been removed from the default state of the Timeline panel. You can enter auto-keyframe mode by choosing Enable Auto-keyframe from the Timeline panel menu . The Auto-Keyframe button is still displayed on the Timeline panel when it is enabled.
  • The Brush Size properties in the Stroke effect and in the Write-on effect now have a maximum value of 200. The previous maximum value was 50.
  • The Channel Mixer effect is now a 32bpc effect.
  • The default value for the Zoom Quality preference in the Viewer Quality section of the Previews preferences is now set to More Accurate. The previous default value was set More Accurate Except RAM Preview.
  • You can move effect control points in the Mesh Warp effect using the arrow keys.
  • Purging the disk cache for the current version also purges the disk cache for other minor versions within the same major version. For example, purging from within After Effects 12.2 also purges After Effects 12.0 and 12.1 disk caches. Use the commands under Edit > Purge to clear memory.
  • In the Color Picker dialog, the hex value field is highlighted by default. This makes it easier to type, copy, or paste hex values.
  • Negative times can now be used in composition settings, and negative times can be represented in the Timeline panel.
  • After Effects CC (12.2) integrates a new version of the Nvidia OptiX library. The new library provides the following advantages:
    • Fixes some crashes related to the ray-traced 3D renderer.
    • The library is now loaded and initialized when the ray-traced 3D renderer is used for the first time, rather than when the application starts.
      • This reduces the time that the application takes to start.
      • Prevents users who don't use the ray-traced 3D renderer from being exposed to any problems that might remain with this renderer.
  • The Automatically Save Projects preference in the Auto-save preferences category is now on by default.
  • Layer names are not forced to be unique except when you use the Copy With Property Links command or the pick whip expression.