Adobe has hit another home run with After Effects CC, expanding the software's capabilities and refining the tools that professional filmmakers and motion-graphics artists depend on. Further enhancements in performance make After Effects CC a must-have partner for animators and video editors working with Premiere Pro CC.
In addition, several upgraded tools--including the Refine Edge Tool (for use with Roto Brush), Warp Stabilizer VFX, and Pixel Motion Blur--make the CC version a substantial revision for compositors and animators. Also new are the enhanced 3D Camera Tracker, bicubic sampling for layers, and the ability to send a comp to render through the Adobe Media Encoder, which allows you to continue working in After Effects while your project renders in the background.
For me, however, the real beauty of Adobe's Creative Cloud is the ability to sync my user profiles and preferences between machines and to access my software and settings when I'm working remotely--simply by signing in with my Creative Cloud User ID.
Above the clouds
The benefits of Creative Cloud have turned out to be the most talked-about topic since Adobe's announcement of the subscription-only program. The two primary benefits are continuous upgrades and the accessibility and flexibility of the software license. As a user, I no longer have to wait for new features or tool enhancements, because they become available as soon as the developers test them and ready them for distribution--they aren't restricted to an arbitrary schedule.
Better still, my license can follow me wherever I'm working. Working animators and motion-graphics specialists often have long-term assignments on-site with clients who may not have the latest software. Because I have the option to log in to Creative Cloud, I can download and install After Effects CC (or any other CC software) and use it on my clients' machines. Once I'm done for the day, I log out; the software remains installed, but it is not functional until I log back in again on my next visit. The best part is being able to sync my user preferences and settings when I change machines. This way, After Effects CC looks and feels exactly the same no matter where I'm working on a particular day.
Roto Brush gets a boost
The Roto Brush is my favorite tool because I rely on it for my compositing work. With the addition of the Refine Edge Tool, getting a clean edge around features such as hair, animal fur, or even trees on the horizon is as easy as wiping a brushstroke over the edges where you need more detail.
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