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Todd Kopriva

a very important question for every After Effects user

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I hate to reply first to this with some negativity/ranting, but I am at my wits end here with Adobe. Let me first say that Todd, I appreciate your hard work in making AE a progressive and better tool as well as your inclusion of mograph in that voice on improvement and this in no means about you or your dedication.

 

On the other hand... faster really!!! Sure faster is better, but I have built a machine to be faster and better with C4D/AE and am quite content in that matter. What I would really consider important is a functioning Creative Cloud. Please put ALL of your 2014 money into totally reconfiguring the horrible technical support that is only to be used as a last ditch effort when all else fails since they cannot and do not help.

 

Please put money into soliving all the issues of sign in/out errors on CC desktop app and issues where CC apps ask for a serial number but tech support says it's impossible to provide one. I know that my company is not the only group affected by these any many other CC issues and I could take a seriously nice vacation if I could bill Abode for all the down time and lost work hours due to the CC issues.

 

Please put money into sending out CC current edition physical discs and serials to all those frustrate users whom have had to deal with the shit storm of tech support and aggravation of the inability to use the software which is already paid for.

 

Again.. and with utmost sincerity, thank for your time and effort to make AE a better product. I guess my 2 cents is that over the next 6-12 months, I would rather have less frustration than any possible upgrade.

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The CC components are still a bit dodgy for me too. Nothing that doesn't stop me from working in my case, but it doesn't fill me with confidence that the system won't just fall over at any moment.

 

Just taking about AE itself...If the AE team did nothing but fine-tune the software for the next year I would be happy. Snappy, responsive software is one of the biggest factors in keeping motion graphics a fun job, instead of tedious drag.

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That was the same issue for me as well. We were all on Cloud CS6 at my studio and then over the last 4 months shit has gone downhill for all the CC apps. Adobe did provide us with a download of CS6 master collection and that is the only reason why we are still able to work. It does not help in the future when we will have to provide our clients with CC files using features from that version.

 

Otherwise... yes. Speed, speed, speed. Caching faster, more GPU acceleration for caching/working, maybe having all sub comps in a comp pre-render in the background using something like BG renderer to super charge everything. Ability to cache particles to GPU... all awesome. The reason I built a high end PC instead of waiting on the new MP was for responsiveness and anything that helps AE in that manner I will be a big fan of... as long as I can launch it.

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Nice to see the overwhelming positive response over yonder at the blog post's comments. Even if there are things that I'd like to see changed and improved from a feature/workflow perspective, I definitely think that the opportunity for the the AE team to spend a full year focusing primarily on "invisible" improvements is too rare and valuable of a thing to pass up. The After Effects community is wonderful at creating scripts and plugins to fill the holes left in the native AE workflow, but there's no workaround for raw speed.

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Yes: speed is crucial. But all of my clients are still using CS 5 or 6, cause nobody seems to like the whole “rent your software” idea and the web is full of horrible stories about CC licenses not working and shit.

So why should i care?

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Please put money into sending out CC current edition physical discs and serials to all those frustrate users whom have had to deal with the shit storm of tech support and aggravation of the inability to use the software which is already paid for.

 

This.

 

Has to be said though, speed would be good.

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Yes. Ditch everything else and make it faster.

Ubertwirls and a useable Cineware be damned. Give me speed!

 

Saying that, I haven't had any problems at all with the CC cloud nonsense.

Naturally if I was having problems getting the software to run in the first place that would be the priority.

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Stability > everything else

 

 

But if we are talking speed, workflow improvements (most of which you've already mentioned are in the works) would be vastly preferable to sheer software speed. Honestly, I've never had AE slow down on me that much unless a project is poorly built, or a studio decides to waste my time and theirs putting me on a 5 year old machine.

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I'm inclined to wonder what people's responses would have been if other, similarly singular alternatives were also raised. You have to be careful of the 'faster horse' thing.

 

One thing is for sure, if massive speed = massive rewrite = massive new stability issues, folk won't be happy. Might be public beta time in that case.

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I'd vote for focusing on nothing but speed/stability. I hate seeing each release just cram more stuff in it at the expense of speed.(Not just AE, but just software in general). I feel like Photoshop was the fastest before CS came, and they started adding all the 3D crap in there. I feel the same thing starting to happen with AE. Just make it fast and reliable.

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One thing is for sure, if massive speed = massive rewrite = massive new stability issues, folk won't be happy. Might be public beta time in that case.

Yepp, this would need to be tested on as many systems in as many different workflows as possible.

 

Mylenium

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Speed, stability, (and my dream of) a working node based/layer hybrid system to connect things when you need it, like alpha mattes instead of duplicating it 10 times, and the current layered overview for everything else. The new Nuke 8 has an updated Dope Sheet with a better timeline for keyframes. With my limited playing around with, although better, isn't quite there as a hybrid approach yet.

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I was calling for a "nothing but speed" update long before it was cool. ;) I will say that I work alone so I've been somewhat immune to a lot of the problems mentioned above regarding CC, etc. I have learned my lesson after extolling the virtues of Cinema 4D Team Render in another thread, only to find out that it pretty much wasn't working for anyone in a group environment.

 

Speed and stability are the two sides of the performance coin. One crash a day can nullify a massive performance improvement, so yes, any update like this would have to be bulletproof to be worth it.

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Not that people don't have legitimate performance gripes about AE (I certainly do) but I have to admit: usually when I'm cursing AE for its slowness, I'm working with someone else's file who didn't know shit about the AE pipeline and piled on layers, effects and pre comps with abandon. It seems I'm getting more and more of these lately too. If this super duper speed upgrade ever materializes, maybe it should be accompanied by an "AE efficiency 101" video for the people using 37 layers to create a glow.

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Don't spoil it for Adobe.... If people actually knew how to efficiently structure their work the requests for timeline folders and other stuff would condense down to minute numbers and then the big red A had one "visible feature" less to detract from other shortcomings.... *lol*

 

Mylenium

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Its snappy enough for me these days (pc only. Every

 

I have been extremely pleased with the features added in 12.1 and 12.2 and hope to see more. I even had a rep call me today to verify an answer submitted in a survey I did. I feel like Adobe is on top of things.

 

CC hasn't ever given me a problem, knock on wood. Hearing people are locked out for no reason scares me, but all in all its been a-okay in my world, on my machine.

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Speed is pointless. Its so subjective to each artist and what they're using hardware-wise.

 

I would much rather Adobe focus on stability of their current features, and bring ALL of their features into the 64-bit world. SampleImage() should no longer be an issue with Multi-processor rendering. Thats just silly at this point. Speaking of Multi-processor rendering, Adobe should just dedicate the entire year to just THAT. Just fix THAT terrible mess. If it falls under the umbrella of "Speed improvements", fine. But seriously guys. Get that shit together. Adobe should be embarrassed by how terrible the multi-processor feature is. And despite what some may say, it STILL ins't stable or improved in CC.

 

If Adobe needs suggestions of where to start dedicating their time for this year, they need not look further than AEscripts.com and just look at the most popular scripts and tools. Most of them are "Band-aids" for all the shortcomings that AE has (BG Render pro to counter the pitiful Multi-proc render, PuppetTools 3 for the terribly clunky puppet tool workflow, Fontlist+ because we STILL don't have a visual dropdown for fonts, pt Open Sesame to deal with the incredibly asinine backwards compatibility issues that plague ONLY AE, Immigration because the library workflow of AE is horribly dated and no longer a good fit for advanced production pipelines, I mean the list goes on and on...).

Address those kinds of issues and I would call that an incredibly productive year. THAT's worth my 50/month CC membership.

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All temporal expressions go defunct with MP rendering, BTW. Agree, though. Fixing MP rendering and all the tiny things would probably mean more. As I wrote on my blog (http://myleniumblog.com/2014/01/13/the-promise-of-performance/), e.g. a keyboard editor that allows me to assign shortcuts that I really need instead of having to drill down endless hierarchies would be so much more useful as would a million other things. It's about workflow, not fancy features. Would be great if Adobe (and Maxon as well) would realize that one day instead of dumping more half-baked "new" features in every release...

 

Mylenium

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Here are a couple of requests that spring to mind:

 

1. Vary stroke widths over length - shape layers are amazing to animate with, if you could vary the stroke widths so paths tail out or have sharp ends that would make them even more powerful. In fact any additional controls on shape layers would be good to achieve more unique looking effects.

 

 

 

2. On the Fill effect, allow an option for opacity on original - sure I could always just duplicate the layer and and toggle the opacity to see the layer below but it would be nice to have it in the same effect.
3. Invert colours on Ramp effect - just a simple switch to be able to quickly reverse the colours around on this effect would help.
That would certainly add to what is already a fantastic product.

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Movult,

2. Look into CC Composite effect... under Channels I believe.

 

3. It's in the latest version. 12.1

 

Hope that helps.

 

 

All I want is that goddam Vector Paint to return. Have been forced to using my 2007 iMac as it still has CS4 on it. Drawing and rotoing on that machine and then moving renders to my 12-core to comp for 3 weeks is getting really old. Adobe has been teasing that Vector Paint is "coming soon" for like 3 years now. Fingers crossed for this summer.

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I'm a new guy around here, but since the blog comments are closed, I would say the single biggest need is improving responsiveness when making iterative changes to heavily layered animations and effect stacks. Think real time or something very close, at least for hardware released in the last 18 months or so. (Dual GPU utilization in Mac Pro would be great if you can swing it this year). And I realize "uber optimization" becomes an impossible task when you start talking about older CPUs and GPUs.

 

But, RAM previewing feels like... something from the 90s that was left behind in the app. I understand why it's been needed for so long, and the new caching scheme from a couple years ago does help, but it would be fantastic if people could spend a minimum of time waiting for previews and tweaking preview settings when things slow down, and a lot more time experimenting in real time with various looks. I realize when you're playing back high-res footage with effects, that becomes problematic (as compared to a bunch of vector graphics, particles, and lights bouncing around the scene) but to the degree you can make the motion graphics workflow real time, I'd consider that to be the best feature you could add.

 

Being able to forget about RAM and previewing and caching and all that stuff (or being able to set it up once and forget about it), and just iterate a design on the fly... make a few changes and bam! instant playback... that would be so helpful from an artistic perspective. And from the perspective of mastering all elements of the app (because every day you're trying more stuff and seeing what works).

 

Moreover, I suspect it would be helpful for every user level, not just pros. Think of how much more friendly it would make the app (without dumbing it down) for someone coming from the world of Illustrator or Flash. The intimidation and frustration factor would go away. It's easier to start experimenting right away and learning how things work (or don't work). In short a highly responsive previewing system would mean more users, IMO.

 

And please, no more CUDA-only features. Whether you've got a Mac Pro on the way or not, that's an annoying thing for anyone with a decent AMD GPU. ;)

 

 

The second biggest thing IMO would be continued improvements to Cineware (speed, options, ease of use). Third I guess would be uber-twirl, at least for a lot of part-time users. I can see how it would help to organize and visualize projects in some sense.

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