Performance performance performance
There is no greater feature you can give us than performance. AE does not take great advantage of multi-core processors. Rendering is quite slow. Playback is slow compared to Fusion and other packages. While there are definitely improvements, it seems the focus at Max is always on new features.
AE has plenty for features through plugins and scripts. What I want from AE is a speed and stability.
A faster, more stable product will improve more workflow better than 1000 new features.
Ole Kristensen commented
Same here - the introduction of Motion Graphics Templates and Responsive Timing has made this even more acute.
In a broadcasting house, where branding moves from prerendered flow-tv Airlooks to user-rendered typographic mogrts for rapid-production SoMe clips, we constantly hit the performance of After Effects and the dynamic link rendering.
Our rapid-turnaround users working to brand their clips in Premiere have a hard time understanding why simple-looking designs involving shapes scaled to text strings are slowing down their timeline and making their playback jagged. They are not After Effects users and are used to live rendering everywhere, also online.
Worth noting is also that a video editor using Premiere would usually have a less capable machine than an After Effects motion designer. This is exacerbating the Performance issue, as the rendering moves from big pre-production and motion design machines to laptops for SoMe editors.
So yes, performance is the top priority, but especially for expressions, text rendering and Essential Graphics in Premiere!
Christopher Jeffries commented
Oh look! I built a new workstation! (Specs: https://pcpartpicker.com/user/Cx/saved/gWRk99 )
What's amazing: Cinebench scores are fantastic! Lowest rendering time (quickest!) of the many years I've been running the AE Total Benchmark scene! Everything else I run other than AE is much improved!
What's not amazing: AE previews are still slow and the UI is laggy. And there's seemingly nothing I can do about it.
PugetBench results: Overall score of 1156. (The School of Motion article listed in the response from Victoria Nece shows a score of 985.)
CPU-Z benchmark results: 16336 (multi thread) / 499 (single thread)
I am beyond frustrated at the state of this application. It is, without hyperbole, the greatest pain point in my professional life.
Andrew Cheyne commented
I can't agree with you more - performance & stability is our top priority - keep your eyes out for news on what is coming in the areas of performance over the next few months. We've actually made some great strides in stability recently and hope you're already reaping benefit from those efforts - still more to do but we're getting there.
There have been a series of blog posts talking about some of the changes we've been making to get to a better spot for all of this - here is the latest one: https://blog.adobe.com/en/drafts/migrated/2020/06/16/june-2020-adobe-video-audio-performance-report.html#gs.966v47
Andrew Cheyne, After Effects Engineering
Matt Lathrom commented
As a quick add-on, note the audience reaction to the Content Aware Fill presentation. He had to scream YES to get a clap. This encapsulates it. Performance and stability > New features