October 2017 release of After Effects CC (version 15.0)

The October 2017 release of After Effects (version 15.0) introduces Data-driven animation, which allows import of JSON files and use as a new type of project footage. After Effects now offers native support for complex VR workflows for an immersive video experience. This release also expands on multiple performance ehancements such as additional GPU accelerated effects for a seamless user experience.

Read on to know about a quick introduction to the list of new features and enhancements introduced in this release.

For a summary of features introduced in earlier releases of After Effects CC, see Feature summary | Earlier releases.

What's New in After Effects CC (October 2017)

What's New in After Effects CC (October 2017)

Data-driven animation

 New in the October 2017 release


Import JSON data files into After Effects to drive interactive animations inside the application. The JSON file format is flexible and can contain static data easily represent database such as election statistics, survey results, or weather reports. MGJSON can be created and imported for time based sampled data from data sources such as fitness trackers, telemetry, and motion capture. These data files can be used as footage, to create animations, pie charts, sliders, or create high-quality motion graphics in After Effects.

To learn more, see Data-driven animation.

Data-driven animation
Data-driven animation

Visual keyboard shortcut editor

 New in the October 2017 release

Change the way you work with keyboard-driven editing with the new visual keyboard shortcut editor. You can assign shortcuts to keys to suit your requirement and simplify the keyboard-driven editing process.

Visual keyboard shortcuts
Visual keyboard shortcuts

Expressions access to path points on masks, shapes, and brush strokes

 New in the October 2017 release


You can now use expressions to read and write the x and y coordinates of path points, or vertices, for Layer masks, Bezier shapes, Brush strokes on the Paint, and Roto Brush & Refine Edge effects.

Create Nulls From Paths panel

 New in the October 2017 release


Create Nulls From Paths panel enables you to create expression-driven animations without having to write expressions yourself. The panel creates nulls for each path and shape point. This script automates the linking of these nulls using the new expression access to paths points and creates interactive animations.

To learn more, see Create Nulls From Paths panel.

Animate nulls with Create Nulls From Paths panel
Animate nulls with Create Nulls From Paths panel

360/VR transitions, effects, and titles

 New in the October 2017 release


After Effects offers a cutting-edge line-up of tools for 360/VR editing. Create high-quality VR productions, effects, titles, and seamless transitions to enhance the Immersive video experience.

360/VR support
360/VR support

Performance enhancement

 New in the October 2017 release


The following effects are now GPU accelerated in After Effects: 

  • Layer transforms (position, rotation, opacity, etc.)
  • Layer motion blur
  • Bicubic sampling
  • Transform effect
  • Directional Blur effect
  • Immersive video VR effects
  • Third-party effects that use Premiere Pro's Mercury GPU acceleration API

Performance enhancements in After Effects

Performance enhancements in After Effects

Motion Graphics templates improvements

 New in the October 2017 release

Premiere Pro does not require After Effects to be installed on the same computer to render most Motion Graphics templates exported from After Effects. However, there are certain requirements to render without After Effects. You can confirm on export that your template meets the requirements.

Motion Graphics templates now have scripting access.

To learn more, see Motion Graphics templates.

Team Projects 1.0 support

 New in the October 2017 release


Support for Team Projects 1.0 includes various improvements to auto-save functionality and other improvements.

Auto-save improvements:

  • You can now browse through the auto-save versions of your project in Team Projects.
  • You can change an earlier auto-save version to the current version of a Team Project.
  • You can create a Team Project from an auto-save version.

Other improvements:

  • Team Projects in After Effects now includes Sync status.
  • You can now assign collaborator badges from the Toolbar.

To learn more, see Team Projects New features summary.

Maxon CINEMA 4D renderer and CINEWARE render engine update

 New in the October 2017 release


Maxon CINEMA 4D Lite, which is included with After Effects, has been updated to version R19. Changes include:

Viewport OpenGL enhancements, BodyPaint 3D now uses OpenGL for painting, Updated Spline Tools, Live Link, Take System, Parallax Effect, Vertex Color tag support, and Import Alembic 1.6.1 and FBX 2017.1 files.

To learn more, see Cinema 4D and Cineware.

Maxon CINEMA 4D Lite R19

 New in the October 2017 release


The render engine used by the Maxon CINEMA 4D renderer and the CINEWARE plug-in has been updated to version R19.

Text input improvements

 New in the October 2017 release


You can use the new text input improvements to enter text in text layers more efficiently. The text improvements include:

  • Switch between right-left and left-to-right text direction
  • Font ligature and Hindi digits support
  • Simplified Text Engine options to support the new character and paragraph options

Font previews and other improvements to the Font menu

 New in the October 2017 release


The Font menu in the Character panel now includes a preview of the font's appearance. Along with the preview, the new Font menu also allows you to:

  • Set fonts as favorites, and show only your favorite fonts.
  • Show only fonts downloaded from Typekit.
  • Choose the style for the font family such as Regular, Italic, Bold, Light, and Oblique.

To learn more, see Font menu.

New getting started experience

 New in the October 2017 release


After Effects has made it easy to get you started with your first project with the new getting started experience. A new Start screen helps you speed through the project setup process so you can start animating right away. The Composition panel now displays buttons for creating a composition; or creating a composition from footage. You can directly click one of the buttons to get the work going.

The Import Footage dialog has a new Create Composition option, which automatically adds the footage you import to a new composition.

New getting started experience
New getting started experience

Other enhancements

 New in the October 2017 release

  • The After Effects UI uses a new Adobe Clean font.
  • After Effects offers easy identification of shy layers (layers with shy switch enabled). Shy layers are represented by a bold line in between visible layers when the Hide Shy layer option is enabled.
  • Mercury Transmit video preview in After Effects supports 10-bits per channel color output when using 10-bit capable preview hardware, like the AJA Io 4K. On Windows, you can also use a secondary monitor for 10-bit color preview if the GPU computer's GPU and monitor support that color depth.
  • The Show Start Screen When Opening a Project option in General menu has been removed.
  • Video footage from ARRI, RED, or Sony cameras once again retains custom source settings when exchanged with the latest version of Premiere Pro CC.
  • After Effects no longer automatically installs Character Animator CC. You can install Character Animator from the Creative Cloud desktop application along with other desktop applications.

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