The 2015 releases of After Effects CC allow you to create dynamic, visually stunning motion graphics and visual effects wherever inspiration strikes. After Effects connects with Creative Cloud mobile and desktop apps seamlessly, allowing your creativity to inspire you — wherever you are.

Native support for QuickTime files that use Animation, Avid DNxHD, DNxHR, AAC codecs


New in After Effects CC  13.8.1 | August 2016

As part of Adobe’s efforts to provide high-performance native support for QuickTime codecs, After Effects CC 2015.3 (13.8.1) has been enhanced with the ability to:



  • Natively import and export QuickTime files that use the Animation codec
  • Natively import QuickTime files that use the PNG codec
  • Natively import QuickTime files that use the AAC audio codec

This functionality allows After Effects to import and export these codecs on Windows without QuickTime 7 being installed, and on macOS without using the Adobe QT32 Server process.


  • Native import of Animation currently only supports I-frame only movies (no compression key frames set).
  • Native export of Animation currently supports only I-frame-only movies (no compression key frames set) at 100% quality.
  • Native export of Animation only supports the Uncompressed audio codec. Attempting to export a QuickTime file with the Animation codec and compressed audio codecs will result in a compressor format error.
  • Native import of AAC does not support AAC LD (low delay) or AAC ELD (enhanced low delay).

Enhanced video and audio playback


Enhanced in After Effects CC 2015.3 | June 2016

This release of After Effects introduces a superior video and audio preview architecture that delivers real-time playback of cached frames with synced audio. The new preview engine architecture shares its foundation with other Adobe video applications for a more consistent experience across Creative Cloud applications.

Interactive performance improvements


Enhanced in After Effects CC 2015.3 | June 2016

After Effects CC is now significantly faster and reliable across workflows, from file import and project load through to final render. You can now swiftly work through scrubbing your timeline, working with complex masks, and editing large numbers of keyframes.

GPU-accelerated effects


New in After Effects CC  2015.3 | June 2016

Some of the most commonly used effects, such as Lumetri Color and Gaussian Blur, now use GPU acceleration. GPU-accelerated effects deliver up to 5x performance, enabling you to make changes and view the results instantly. 

Improved Maxon 4D Cinema importer


Enhanced in After Effects CC 2015.3 | June 2016

You can now export animated 3D text and shape layers to Cinema 4D for a roundtrip Live 3D motion graphics workflow. Customize your exported elements in Cinema 4D using the integrated Cinema 4D Lite application, save your changes, and see them update live in After Effects via CINEWARE.

For more information, see Cinema 4D and CINEWARE.

Faster image sequence import


Enhanced in After Effects CC 2015.3 | June 2016

After Effects now imports image sequences up to 10x faster. You can see the improved performance especially when you import image sequences from a shared network storage. Some of these changes were introduced in the recent 13.7.1 patch.

For more information, see Importing and interpreting footage items.

Improved Creative Cloud Libraries and Stock experience


Enhanced in After Effects CC 2015.3 | June 2016

Searching Adobe Stock and CC Libraries for assets just got faster. You can now add Adobe Stock assets to your project — including 4K video — and then license them directly within After Effects. Licensed Adobe Stock assets in your library are now badged for easy identification. Videos in your library are displayed with duration and format information and have links to video previews. With this Creative Cloud libraries update, the library owner can be sure that the library users always get the latest version of the assets and be informed about the changes. The following new capabilities are available:

  • Filtered Stock and Library search results that help you find the content you want faster.
  • Licensing Stock badging in the Library view to make it easier for you to identify if a Stock asset is licensed.
  • Video badging and Linking to Preview in Library view to ensure consistency across the users’ view of assets in both search results and their libraries.
  • Search for Stock 4k video to provide users with the full breadth of Stock video content and ensure a consistent user experience with the Stock site.

For more information, see Creative Cloud Libraries and Stock in After Effects.

Character Animator Preview 4


New in After Effects CC  2015.3 | June 2016

This release of After Effects includes with the Preview 4 of Character Animator, which offers the following features:



  • Visual layer tagging: The new tag-based rigging system that enables you to assemble your puppet directly inside Character Animator.
  • Dynamic Link to Adobe Media Encoder: Export directly to a wide array of video and image sequence formats via Adobe Media Encoder.
  • Syphon support: Pipe your performance to any Syphon client application in real time to work with Character Animator in a live production environment.
  • Get precise control of your animation: Control recording and playback speed to capture and review detailed performances, or capture frames individually for a pose-to-pose workflow.
  • Improved behaviors: Improved behaviors include take grouping for draggable handles and smoothing for face tracking. This makes creating and performing expressive characters easier and more intuitive. Improved lip sync gives you more accurate tracking and support for new visemes.
  • New Motion Trigger and Auto Blink behaviors: Motion Trigger enables users to drag their character across the screen and have it animate in response to their movements. And Auto Blink makes it easy to control blinking without using facial tracking.
  • Simplified puppet setup: Multi-view characters now require only one set of Face and Lip Sync behaviors. Dangle behaviors are much easier to apply and configure, and include per-puppet gravity controls.

Note: Character Animator has come a long way since Preview 1, but Character Animator remains a preview software. Though we think that the software is ready to be used in real animation workflows, but we would like more input from you to bring it to the level of completeness and quality that you’ve come to expect from Adobe creative applications. When you use Adobe Character Animator, you can submit feedback through a forum that is directly linked from the application. We would like to hear from you for building the best possible experience for you.

For more information, see Getting started with Character Animator.

Improved Cache Before Playback


Enhanced in After Effects CC 13.7 | January 2016

When the Cache Before Playback option is enabled in the Preview panel, After Effects previews the frames as they are rendered.

As the frames are rendered:


  • Only newly rendered frames are previewed; previously rendered frames are skipped over.
  • Newly rendered frames are played back as fast as possible (note that the maximum preview frame rate is limited by the monitor refresh rate; for example, 60Hz = 60fps). 

After all the frames are rendered, preview of the cached frames begins (with audio, if it is enabled).

Auto-save while starting render queue 


New in After Effects CC  13.7 | January 2016

You can now control whether After Effects automatically saves the project when you start the render queue by choosing Preferences > Auto-Save.

The new Save When Starting Render Queue option is enabled by default. This new option is a separate control from auto-saving at intervals ("Save every X minutes"). The Auto-Save options have been modified to make it clear that you can choose to save at intervals, save when starting the render queue, or both.

Since After Effects 13.6, auto-saving does not occur when the render queue is rendering. In After Effects 13.6, if the Automatically Save Projects option was enabled in Preferences > Auto-Save, projects were always auto-saved when you started the render queue; After Effects 13.7 now allows you to control this behavior.

Maxon CINEWARE 3.0 integration


New in After Effects CC  13.7 | January 2016

This release of After Effects gives you the capability to work natively with Maxon CINEWARE 3.0 Cinema 4D files. The integration provides the following features:

Live Link

Live Link enables synchronization of the timelines of Cinema 4D and After Effects. To use Live Link, ensure that the Cinema 4D paths in the CINEWARE Options dialog are set to a version of Cinema 4D that supports Live Link. When you click the Enable button for Live Link (under the Show help button), the specified Cinema 4D version opens the current file. If Live Link has not been enabled in Cinema 4D, brief instructions appear.

Note: Live Link requires Cinema 4D R17.048 (SP2) or later. If the selected version of Cinema 4D does not support Live Link, the Enable button is disabled. 

To enable Live Link in Cinema 4D:

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences > Communication > Live Link.
  2. Select Live Link Enabled At Startup. The timelines synchronize while switching between After Effects and Cinema 4D.
  3. When you select a different C4D layer in After Effects, press Enable to synchronize that layer.

Take system

The Cinema 4D R17 Take System has been integrated into CINEWARE. The Set Take button in the CINEWARE effect is enabled if the C4D file contains takes. If the current renderer does not support take selections, After Effects uses the main take.

Extract C4D timeline markers

Timeline markers in C4D files are now added to the C4D layer in After Effects when you click the Extract button.

Note: As before, to avoid problems extracting scene data in After Effects, enable Save Polygons for Melange and Save Animation for Melange in Cinema 4D preferences.

OpenGL renderer

The CINEWARE renderer can now be set to OpenGL for hardware-accelerated rendering.

No renderer limitations for Physical, Hardware, and Sketch and Toon

Renderer limitations have been removed in CINEWARE. When your C4D file has been saved in a full retail version of Cinema 4D with Render Settings set to the Physical or Hardware renderer, it renders with those settings when the CINEWARE renderer is set to Standard (Final) or Standard (Draft). Sketch and Toon render when the CINEWARE renderer is set to Standard (Final).

Note: While you do not need to have a full retail version of Cinema 4D installed for CINEWARE to render using the Physical or Sketch and Toon renderers, Cinema 4D Lite is not affected by these changes and still has limitations in which renderers it can use.

Multi-pass alpha channels

Multi-pass layers are now created with an alpha channel.

Synchronize C4D Layers

When the Cinema 4D Layers option is enabled, After Effects give you a new option to Synchronize C4D Layers available when there are multiple instances (including extracted passes) of the C4D layer in the composition. All instances of the same layer with Synchronize C4D Layers enabled will synchronize changes made when enabling or disabling Cinema 4D layers by clicking Set Layers.

The difference between the two synchronize options in CINEWARE is as follows:

  • Synchronize AE layer: Render Settings and Camera options are synchronized on all instances of the C4D layer.
  • Synchronize C4D Layers: Cinema 4D Layers settings are synchronized on all instances of the C4D layer.

Other changes

The No Pre-calculation option is now enabled by default. This disables pre-calculations for computing motion dynamics or particle simulations. You may need to disable No Pre-calculation for final rendering, depending on the animation used in your c4d file.