Feature summary | After Effects (October 2020 release)

Learn about new features and enhancements in the October 2020 release of After Effects (Version 17.5)

Roto Brush 2

Use Roto Brush 2 to separate a foreground object from its background faster and more accurately. Powered by Sensei, it uses machine learning to propagate selections over time, saving hours of laboriously rotoscoping frame by frame.

3D Design Space

Use the new mode to design and navigate content in 3D space better and faster in After Effects. This release introduces the following tools:

  • 3D Transform Gizmos
  • Camera tools for improved navigation in 3D

3D Transform Gizmos

Use the new 3D Transform Gizmo to rotate, scale and position a camera. Use the Dimensional guides to view how far a camera has moved or how many degrees it has been rotated. Quickly switch between gizmo modes to focus on a single task.

Improved camera tools for navigating 3D

Quickly move around 3D space right after turning a 2D layer into a 3D layer. Add multiple cameras to a scene based on various viewpoints. Intuitively orbit, pan, and dolly around a scene using customizable keyboard shortcuts.

Roto Brush 2

Roto Brush 2 is a faster and more accurate rotoscoping tool that separates a foreground object from its background. Powered by Sensei, Roto Brush 2 selects and tracks the object, frame by frame, isolating the subject automatically. You can identify the subject by drawing a rough stroke through it. After Effects automatically highlights the selection around the edges, and tracks the object. If you don't like the selection, you can simply add or remove areas of the selection using intuitive keyboard commands.

Though the UI remains the same overall, Roto Brush 2 is different because it uses machine learning solution to propagate selections over time making the tedious process of rotoscoping a quick and easy task.

For more information, see Roto Brush and Refine Matte.

Work in the 3D Design Space

Developing 3D content is a common workflow for motion designers today. This release introduces a new mode to help you design and composite 3D content natively in After Effects. You don't have to constantly jump back and forth between 3D applications just to animate a single scene. This mode helps you make working in 3D faster and more approachable. This release introduces the 3D Transform Gizmos, and Improved camera tools in the 3D Design Space.

For more information, see Work in 3D Design Space.

3D Transform Gizmo

The 3D Transform Gizmos allow you to rotate, scale and position a camera. Similar to Adobe Dimension, the 3D Transform Gizmo gives you the power to see how far you have repositioned the camera, the amount of rotation you have applied, and how small or large you have scaled. The camera can also be controlled using the new keyboard shortcuts, which make it easier to switch between them. Instead of having to select a specific gizmo, you can hold down the option key on your keyboard and use different mouse buttons (left, middle and right) to orbit, dolly and position the camera. When done, simply deselect the option button, and you are right back to the original tool you were using. For more information, see 3D Transform Gizmos.

Improved camera tools for navigating 3D

Improved camera tools for navigating 3D space give you more flexibility and control over the objects in your scene. Unlike earlier versions where you can only orbit around the center of your screen, you can now select a focal point and orbit, pan, and dolly around a scene layer, viewing it from every angle.

If you have a particular framing of a shot in your composition, it helps to apply a camera viewpoint to refer to. As soon as you make a 2D layer 3D, you are instantly able to move around in 3D space because the camera is applied automatically. You can now animate from this viewpoint. This makes it more intuitive and fluid when combining 2D and 3D elements together. 

The camera controls are now quicker to access with spring-loaded keyboard and mouse shortcuts, something artists expect from other 3D applications. Instead of having to select a camera tool directly, you can use the numbers (1, 2, 3) on your keyboard or hold down the option/alt key and use your mouse buttons (left, middle and right) to orbit, pan and dolly your camera.

For more information, see Improved camera controls to navigate in 3D.

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