After Effects Gets an Overhaul

Friday, 25 January 2019

Following on from last October’s Adobe MAX extravaganza the industry giant has released a full breakdown of what we can expect from their latest After Effects CC offering. Here are five of the best new features for VFX artists and hobbyists alike.

After Effects Gets an Overhaul

Mocha Goes Native

Mocha is currently up there as one of the best third-party plugins for After Effects, and Adobe has really ramped up all things Mocha this time around. Users now have the option to deploy the plugin as an effect layer within AE, then with one click of the Mocha icon get straight to work. All changes and data stay within your project, totally eliminating the previous pain of having to toggle between programs to copy and paste keyframes.

Native 3D Depth Passes

Using the built-in C4D renderer, users can now generate 3D depth passes internally within AE. Effects such as Depth of Field, Fog 3D, Depth Matte, and a 32-bit version of 3D Channel Extract can now all be used to composite 3D scenes with hyper realistic detail.

New and Shiny Puppet Pin Tools

Two all new pins have arrived for mesh sculpting: Advanced and Bend pins. These two additions afford users the ability to create dynamic animations for scaling, twisting, and curving with ease, with an interface that grants a much higher level of control. Deforming landscapes from explosions has never been easier.

Selective Color Grading Curves in Lumetri Color

This year has seen the addition of selective colour grading curves in Lumetri Color, a brilliant new feature when grading and manipulating frames (and one that’s also now available in Premiere Pro CC 2019). Users can composite and blend assets much more naturally, and even fine tune skin tones without being a skilled colorist beforehand.

JavaScript Expression Engine Gets Overhauled

Frequent users of expressions rejoice! After Effects 2019’s entire JavaScript engine has been remodeled to allow for a 6x reduction in processing time. For users who aren’t currently au fait with coding expressions but are keen to learn, this new update features an overhauled editor that makes it much more intuitive than past iterations.

With the advancements we’ve seen from Adobe and where they’ve brought us it’s amazing to look back on where AE was just a couple of short years ago. That, combined with the fact that Premiere Pro has also undergone such a transformation, alongside the addition of the cloud-based Premiere Rush app - make it easy to see why the Creative Cloud has cemented itself firmly within the toolkit of many VFX artists. And with their recent acquisition of Allegorithmic, big things are on the horizon for Adobe.