New way of mapping (virtually all) properties
After AE got that nice update with track mattes I think it may be the time to take another great step and make many more the properties mappable.
This will definitely require a new dialogue window, where you can bind a comp layer to virtually any parameter and set the remapping ranges applied to the pixel data. The current property mapping approach is very limited. Imagine if you could map any of the AE's blurs' radius, or the stroke radius/color/softness, or the glow's brightness/radius/color, or you could even drive the main layer properties like position/rotation with an animated texture. This would give A LOT of creative and technical freedom to us!
By now there's a small selection of the properties that can be mapped, this entire approach would completely replace those dropdowns with a new interface, and all the properties would have a new internal property of being mappable, like now they have the animatable property.
I am attaching the image demonstrating the general idea. I think these new settings can live in the new properties window as well.
Blender is already doing this sort of thing with the texture and geometry nodes, just quietly.
Rob Barrett commented
It's a great idea! I'd like to add that it would be nice for all of the dropdowns to also be keyframeable.
I believe the properties that are already mappable can be auto-converted into this new interface (with some extra features being locked until fully updated).
I understand this goes into the AE core, but the benefits of this approach are simply countless. Also so much of the clutter of mapping parameters will be gone from the main fx interface.
Just look at how the Set Channel fx can be reimagined. It also extends its functionality a bit by letting the user set constant per channel values
Michael Szalapski commented
I absolutely love this idea. Just think of all the creative possibilities! Drive the size of a grid with fractal noise!