Edit/finishing timeline within After Effects.
I've use AE as a finishing tool for about 10 years and have finished thousands of commercials within in it with clients in the room. It has the potential to be a world class finishing system up there with Flame/Smoke/Nuke Studio. All it needs is an option for a new non-linear timeline much like what is found in Premiere and that plays back from disk as I mentioned here https://adobe-video.uservoice.com/forums/911311-after-effects/suggestions/35022373-disk-playback-instead-of-ram I see this as an addition to the layered timeline, not to replace it. It wouldn't need a ton of edit features just so long as we can drop traditional comps and footage which can be moved and slipped. Make it GPU based and with a few basic realtime effects (blur, levels, curves, text etc) and this would be a game changer.
Antoine (Autokroma.com) commented
Another side question would be : what do you find in Adobe AE that you don't find in others softwares ?
Chris Brearley commented
Hi Adam, thank you for your interest in my post.
I've never been a fan of dynamic link. Constantly switching between apps for small tweaks is cumbersome, as is organising two projects at the same time for one output. It feels like I'm doing twice the work. I also experience Mercury Transmit issues where one app will take control of the output. This seems to change over the years depending on which version of CC and Blackmagic drivers but currently if I have Prem and AE open at the same time I only get the output from AE. Opening and shutting AE for tiny amends is so time consuming that it's quicker to just stay in AE and wait for things to cache.
I like your idea of permacache, I just don't think it takes things far enough. In a way it would be not too similar than just proxying comps with DPX. My main gripe here is that it still needs to go into RAM before playback. This is more to do with my other post which you might have seen where I don't believe RAM playback should be necessary any more. An OK SSD should be able to playback a 10bit DPX sequence, if not then there's nothing wrong with DNx 10/12bit.
When you say that AE is not focused on these things you are absolutely right. My argument is that it should be. Back in 1993 it would not have been feasible to get all this in under one app running on home hardware. Things have change dramatically. Modern hardware and coding has changed significantly and now AE should be capable of way more than what currently can do. Just look at the development of Resolve in the last few years. Autodesk added batch to Smoke, Lustre to Flame. The Foundry gave us NUKE Studio (pretty much the basis of what I would like to see happen to AE) and now there are software versions of traditional turnkey systems like Quantel Rio, edit and finishing all running on off-the-shelf hardware. Software is being merged and is capable of doing more than one thing.
Adobe need to aim higher.
Adam Elder commented
Arguably, this is already there via dynamic link with Premiere.
I personally think it needs a bit of work in the playback / cache / proxy departments to start contending with "real" finishing platforms. Its definitely far from ideal for a client-in-the-room setting. Not to be mean or talk it down... AE is just.. not focused on such things.
That said, I share your desire in this department. I think we need to be clear on HOW it would work. See my request here for a similar thing that I think would be the solution without introducing an entire secondary NLE-style timeline