Improving After Effects

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Old 11 November 2012   #1
Improving After Effects

I wrote a rather lengthy post here: http://fusepilot.com/improving-after-effects/ Too long for a post here. I want to know what other people think about this. All too often I only hear praise about After Effects, usually from people that just installed it. And the criticism that there is, is drowned out. After Effects is largely my lively hood and I'm tired of being frustrated with it. If you're curious why I don't just constantly use the suggestion form for these types of requests, be sure to read the first paragraph in the post.

Thanks.

Last edited by fusepilot : 11 November 2012 at 08:05 AM.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #2
All valid points, but you're not selling them well. You should better explain why you want some of those features. Just saying things like "would help AE users immensely" on e.g. the timeline folders is not particularly meaningful. I completely disagree with that assesment from the bottom of my heart and have for years (check my blog, if you feel like it) for instance. I do agree with e.g. that Python thing (though then again I still don't agree that JS is a "bad" language). That being said, I don't think there's much point in writing such lists beyond poking a bit of fun at Adobe. Over the years I have written up much more detailed stuff in various places down to almost implementation ready feature descriptions, yet very little has come to pass and I'm now quite literally in teh "What will be, will be." phase. It's just software and I'm long past going OCD over it, especially considering that Adobe clearly have different priorities...

Mylenium
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Old 11 November 2012   #3
Thanks for checking it out.

Originally Posted by Mylenium: All valid points, but you're not selling them well. You should better explain why you want some of those features. Just saying things like "would help AE users immensely" on e.g. the timeline folders is not particularly meaningful.


Point taken.

Originally Posted by Mylenium: I completely disagree with that assesment from the bottom of my heart and have for years (check my blog, if you feel like it) for instance.


I just read "Fold this!". I think theres a time where you should pre-comp and a time that a maskable, blend mode-able, folder would be a better alternative. It wouldn't be redundant because they are solving different problems. I'm certainly not afraid of using pre-comps, considering how deep some of my projects have gotten. I just don't like losing context in the main composition to do something trivial like apply a mask to a selection of layers in the timeline. A nodal interface would be the best solution to this particular problem but I know that Adobe would never implement it, so I didn't include that argument.

Originally Posted by Mylenium: That being said, I don't think there's much point in writing such lists beyond poking a bit of fun at Adobe. Over the years I have written up much more detailed stuff in various places down to almost implementation ready feature descriptions, yet very little has come to pass and I'm now quite literally in teh "What will be, will be." phase. It's just software and I'm long past going OCD over it, especially considering that Adobe clearly have different priorities...


And who doesn't like to poke a bit of fun at Adobe? I also needed a way to express my frustrations and relieve a bit of stress. Can't say I've reached the "What will be, will be." phase myself. It's not just software, I make my lively hood from it. And is just too bad I dread opening it up sometimes. And until they improve their suggestion form, this is the best way to share ideas for improvement and hopefully garner support to get them actually implemented.

So I found "Fold this!", would you please link some of your other articles you were referring to?

Thanks.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #4
Michael,

As I said to you on Twitter, you are mistaken about submissions using the feature-request form being ignored. In fact, they go straight to my inbox. The feature-request form is the best way to submit suggestions, because then there is no way that we can miss them. Suggestions on a forum like this or on a blog are likely to be missed by us---and they're harder to keep track of even if we do see them.

Have a look at this post on the After Effects team blog:
http://blogs.adobe.com/aftereffects...year-or-so.html

That tells about the top feature requests that we received in 2011. Note that we managed to get a large number of those into After Effects CS6, which we released in 2012. We based our decisions on what to put into After Effects CS6 in very large part on what we received through the feature-request form. And we're doing the same for the version under development right now.

(I'm actually in the process of summarizing the top requests for this year in a post that should come out in a few days.)
 
Old 11 November 2012   #5
Sorry Todd, I didn't mean for you to have to re-iterate yourself. I posted on Twitter and here at the same time. But glad to see you browse the forums here too. I'll edit out the stuff saying I don't think anybody reads it since I believe you.

The only point then that I'm trying to make about the suggestion form is that there is no community collaboration. For example, say someone has this brilliant idea everyone would love and want more than any other feature. But using your current form, only that person and the person reading the incoming suggestions at Adobe would know about it. And then when they tally up how many requests each suggestion they've received has, this particular idea would come in with only one request and probably appear undesirable by the AE community as whole and most likely not be high on the implementation list. A forum with a voting system (like this) would solve this issue and should not take long to implement either.

So the reason why I'm posting these ideas on my blog is to hopefully get more people aware of possible features that they might not have considered themselves.

Originally Posted by ToddKopriva: Note that we managed to get a large number of those into After Effects CS6, which we released in 2012.


It looks like only 3 of the 16 ideas on that post were implemented. I know some of those were big requests and not really possible within a year, but some features that didn't get implemented were pretty small, too, in comparison.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #6
We do appreciate the blog posts, but the best thing to do is to also send the requests in through the feature-request form. That way, you are sure that we'll see them. Some people do things similar to what you did, write up a list of things on a blog and invite feedback from others, but then also send us the link.

Quote: It looks like only 3 of the 16 ideas on that post were implemented. I know some of those were big requests and not really possible within a year, but some features that didn't get implemented were pretty small, too, in comparison.


I count five:
  • import of AAF files
  • variable-width mask feather
  • saving projects backward so that they can be opened by a previous version of After Effects (This was in CS5.5, but there's a lot of work each version to extend this feature.)
  • extrusion of vector graphics
  • GPU/CUDA acceleration
Plus, we put a lot of work into supporting our various partners on this one:
  • import of 3D objects
The various improvements in 3D integration (like AtomKraft, Cinema 4D, and Element 3D) required a lot of work from our team on the APIs that those other software developers use to integrate with After Effects.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #7
I've been wanting some of those things for years like master opacity for every effect.

Mainly I just want 100% floating point support for all effects and a checkbox for each effect to calculate transforms after that effect instead of always being before all effects.

and more right click options instead of having to memorize a billion hidden keyboard shortcuts that are nowhere in the menus

...and more speed


At least some of my past requests to adobe have been heard and implemented.

Last edited by sentry66 : 11 November 2012 at 04:51 AM.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #8
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