Adobe After Effects CS5
Adobe After Effects CS5 delivers the visual richness required to get noticed in today's media culture. Use open-ended creative tools. Work efficiently on high-resolution projects thanks to native 64-bit support. And benefit from tight integration with Adobe's other leading software. Whether you're working in film, broadcast, online, or mobile media, Adobe After Effects enables you to create groundbreaking motion graphics and blockbuster visual effects.
Native 64-bit application
One of the most significant advances in After Effects is that it is now a fully native 64-bit application. This yields numerous advantages, including the ability to fully use your computer's memory for dramatic improvements when working on high-resolution projects.
Just a few years ago, it was normal to work on standard-definition video at a color depth of 8 bits per channel (bpc). Today, it is common to work on high-definition video at a depth of 16 bpc. And while some artists have used After Effects on film projects since the earliest versions, digital cinema cameras such as the RED One are now commonly in use--making 4K images in 32-bit floating-point color increasingly common. And the memory demands don't stop there.
For example, RED has announced cameras that sport 5K, 6K, 9K, and even 28K frame sizes. Native 64-bit OS support in After Effects CS5 means you can work on ever-higher-resolution projects with confidence.
On 32-bit operating systems, the 2GB to 4GB memory restriction for each application sharply limit how many image frames can be held in RAM at the same time--which in turn constrains the length of full-motion previews and the complexity of projects overall. Even with disk caching and virtual memory, working with HD content using older versions of After Effects on 32-bit systems means you may be forced to wait while images are swapped in and out of RAM or re-rendered the next time they are needed. Resourceful artists have developed strategies to work around these limitations--such as working at lower resolutions or frame rates or using "proxies" of lower-quality sources--but these come with the trade-off of not seeing your composition in its final form while you work.
With After Effects CS5, these limitations no longer apply. Support for 64-bit operating systems means After Effects CS5 can access all of your computer's available RAM. This has a dramatic, positive effect on the type, size, and complexity of projects you can take on--as well as how fluidly you can work. With After Effects CS5 running on a 64-bit operating system with 32GB of RAM, you can preview a 30-second HD comp at full resolution and at 32 bpc. This enables you to preview your entire composition at maximum fidelity without interruption.
Beyond being able to preview longer continuous stretches of your project, rendered image frames are more likely to be kept in memory, allowing you to move around a project's timeline or between compositions without losing already-rendered frames. Additionally, memory buffer errors due to RAM constraints are virtually eliminated. These improvements increase productivity, which in turn facilitates creativity.
Integrated memory management
In Adobe Creative Suite 5 Production Premium, you can coordinate RAM allocation for After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro , Adobe Encore, and Adobe Media Encoder thanks to cross-component memory management. This allows you to make the most of your system resources without learning complex memory-management settings.
Many shots require separating a foreground object--such as an actor--from its current live action background so that the object may be placed in a completely new environment. The revolutionary new Roto Brush provides a fast, efficient solution for isolating these foreground elements in complex scenes. In the past, this kind of work was time-consuming and expensive, and as a result, the technique was often reserved for big-budget projects. The new Roto Brush is so fast that After Effects artists can now perform rotoscoping on virtually any project--from previsualization to final composites--with greatly reduced concern about project budgets or deadlines.
To use the new Roto Brush, just draw simple paint strokes inside the foreground object, and let After Effects calculate where the rest of the foreground object is. If the foreground and background are similar, you can draw additional paint strokes to teach After Effects which elements are in the background. After Effects determines where the foreground and background are on subsequent frames; you can refine results with additional strokes. The process is fast and intuitive--and because After Effects does the hard work of finding the edges, Roto Brush eliminates the tedium traditionally associated with the task.
Once you've defined the foreground and background areas, you can control the quality of the edges between the two using options for smoothing, feathering, or choking (spreading inside or outside of the original edge). After Effects can calculate motion blur for fast-moving portions of the edge to deliver photo-realistic, professional results with minimal effort. "Edge chatter" from frame to frame is automatically reduced, and in addition you can remove background color from semitransparent edges of the foreground object. And if the resulting alpha channel still requires additional refinement, you can use the paint tools already built into After Effects to further tweak your results.
The Roto Brush expands your creative options by enabling you to offer results that require sophisticated rotoscoping--on virtually any project. Professional-quality results can be realized dramatically faster and with far less tedium: artists are already reporting that the process of rotoscoping is taking a fraction of the time it required in the past. This means you can accomplish creative treatments that previously were feasible exclusively on big-budget projects--from isolating elements for targeted color enhancement to placing design elements such as text or logos between actors and their backgrounds.
mocha for After Effects CS5
Real-world projects typically require motion tracking, and many shots present tracking challenges such as elements that go partially out of frame or include motion blur. mocha for After Effects CS5--an updated version of the software included with After Effects CS5--has a unique planar tracker that makes it easy to handle even the most difficult tracking and stabilization tasks. Also included in this release is the mocha shape plug-in, which enables you to use tracking data in new ways. stabilization tasks. (mocha for After Effects CS5 and mocha shape have user interfaces that are English only.)
This updated release of mocha includes the ability to apply motion tracking to hand-drawn masks, which is a significant time-saver. In addition, motion-blurred or semitransparent areas are easily handled with new support for varible-width mask feathers. And like After Effects CS5, mocha for After Effects CS5 is a native 64-bit application.
Included for the first time in After Effects CS5, the mocha shape plug-in enables you to copy and paste multiple motion-tracked masks from mocha to any After Effects layer, fully preserving all their qualities, including any variable-width mask feather settings. This is particularly useful for shots that contain camera movements or moving objects that require masking.
One of the other new features you will find useful is that Bezier or X-spline animated roto shapes created in mocha may be converted into mask shapes in After Effects, where they can be further refined and manipulated without requiring a trip back into mocha. Also with mocha for After Effects CS5, motion blur data is now included in the exported tracking data. This enables you to re-create the motion blur that occurred in the original footage.
VC-Intra support and expanded RED camera support
After Effects CS5 includes native support for the new AVC-Intra 50 and AVC-Intra 100 codecs, as well as expanded native support for footage from RED cameras.
AVC-Intra is used by high-quality Panasonic cameras like the AJ-HPX300, AJ-HPX3700 VariCam, and AJ-HPX2700 VariCam, as well as recorders like the AJ-HPM110. According to Panasonic documents, AVC-Intra 100 is the highest recording quality available in a one-piece camcorder--comparable to mastering video quality--and is explicitly designed and optimized for broadcast and production. Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 also supports AVC-Intra, so there's no barrier to integrating After Effects with Adobe Premiere Pro projects if you want to use AVC-Intra.
After Effects CS5, like Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, provides full native support for RED R3D files, allowing you to import them directly without transcoding, rewrapping, or installing additional software. Because the files you import contain raw sensor data, you edit footage that is as close to what the camera captured as possible, enabling you to work nondestructively on the color and look of your projects. This includes the ability to edit enhanced parameters such as Debayer Detail, Chroma Denoise, White Balance, ISO settings, and more.
With After Effects CS5, you can work with content in all common RED R3D file permutations, including 2K, 3K, 4K, 4K HD, 16x9, and 2x1, using a number of different frame rates.
After Effects has long featured powerful, flexible keyframing. However, artists new to After Effects have expressed a wish for an automatic way to begin keyframing their animations.
To assist these artists, After Effects CS5 offers an Auto-keyframe mode. When Auto-keyframe mode is on, modifying a property automatically turns its stopwatch on and adds a keyframe at the current time. This prevents you from working with a layer's properties only to realize later that After Effects did not capture any of your changes. Parameters that can be automatically keyframed include position, rotation, shape properties, mask properties, effect point controls, and camera manipulation.
New Refine Matte effect and dozens of other enhancements
In every release, After Effects introduces dozens of refinements to popular features. Experienced professionals know that while individually these changes may seem subtle, collectively they make the day-in and day-out experience of working with After Effects smoother and more intuitive. Among many such features added in After Effects CS5 are:
Color Look-Up Table support
After Effects CS5 adds support for custom color look-up tables (LUTs) in the popular 3DL and CUBE file formats, which may be loaded into the new Apply Color LUT effect. This makes it possible, for example, to receive from a film output facility a custom LUT that reflects the specific color correction they are performing on a project, and simulate within After Effects what the result would look like on a specific piece of footage or final composite. You can also use this new feature to predict how your images will look through an unusual output chain such as displaying through a certain projector at a trade show or site-specific installation. In short, Color LUT support gives you confidence that the creative and technical decisions you make will translate properly to final output in an even wider variety of situations than before, and help ensure color consistency across multiple devices.
Color Finesse 3 LE
After Effects CS5 includes an updated version of one of the most powerful desktop color correction tools available: Synthetic Aperture's Color Finesse 3 LE. (Color Finesse has a user interface that is English only.) The latest release of this versatile tool introduces numerous refinements, providing you with new ways to perfect your images. New features in Color Finesse 3 LE include:
Color Finesse LE is also capable of exporting your "looks" as color look-up tables, which can then be applied in After Effects CS5 using its new Apply Color LUT effect. Plus, Color Finesse 3 LE has been updated to natively support 64-bit operating systems.
Digieffects FreeForm--included with After Effects for the first time in Creative Suite 5--vastly increases your 3D design options, allowing you to do more in After Effects, such as creating flags, bending floating video panels, and extruding layers without requiring a side trip into dedicated 3D software. FreeForm automatically responds to 3D cameras and lights in After Effects, making it easy to integrate the results of this effect into any 3D scene. (FreeForm has a user interface that is English only.)