AdminTim Kurkoski (After Effects Senior Quality Engineer, Adobe DVA)

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  1. 2 votes
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    2 comments  ·  After Effects » User experience/interface  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    There is not a built-in method to do this. The best I can suggest is that you copy your custom keyboard shortcut text file from the 17.1 preferences folder to the 17.5 folder. (Choose Preferences > General and click the Reveal Preferences in Finder/Explorer button, then open the aeks folder.) I'm not 100% sure that the old file will be accepted or upgraded perfectly; worst case scenario is that you can copy/paste your changes from the old file to the new one.

  2. 1 vote
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    1 comment  ·  After Effects » Workflow & interoperability  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    There are a couple of different ways that you can accomplish this now.

    Master Properties: https://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/user-guide.html/after-effects/using/master-properties.ug.html

    By using master properties, every time you duplicate the pre-comp, the individual properties you define in the Essential Graphics panel become independent instances. Changes to these properties are not pushed back from that single instance to the source pre-comp unless you choose to.

    Copy with Property Links: https://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/user-guide.html/after-effects/using/edit-expressions.ug.html

    If you choose to copy with property links, the properties of the pasted layers will be linked to the original layer with expressions. This allows you to quickly duplicate a layer and link it's properties to the layer it was copied from.

  3. 9 votes
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    5 comments  ·  After Effects » User experience/interface  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    This is an interesting idea. I'm not personally convinced at the moment. Things this makes me think about:
    1. Holding Option/Alt while drawing with the shape tools is already in use: it toggles between drawing a parametric shape and a Bezier path. (For the Pen tool, holding Opt/Alt enables the Convert Vertex Tool.) Command/Control and Shift are similarly occupied. What keyboard shortcut alternative would you recommend?
    2. This only seems useful when the selected layer is a shape layer, and the only action it would engage is drawing a mask on that shape layer. How commonly do you draw masks on shape layers?

    My intuition is that what you're asking for is a way to quickly switch between drawing a shape layer vs. drawing a mask. That is not solely dependent on the single switch in the toolbar, it is dependent on what type of layer you have selected. (The switch doesn't even appear if a non-shape layer is selected.)

    Other proposals have been to separate drawing masks and shapes into separate tools, which could be a way to go although I have concerns about bloating out the toolbar with nearly identical functionality.

    Rather than work on solutions for the moment, let's focus on this: what problem are you trying to solve?

  4. 5 votes
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    4 comments  ·  After Effects » Workflow & interoperability  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Hi David,

    You can currently use templates that automatically name your rendered files, including the comp name, file path, and other naming options; as described here:
    https://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/using/basics-rendering-exporting.html#specify_filenames_and_locations_for_rendered_output

    Does this solve the problem you're describing, or do you desire some additional functionality?

  5. 81 votes
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    5 comments  ·  After Effects » User experience/interface  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Rather than "unexpected", I think the problem here is that After Effects is using sorting rules that aren't obvious. There ARE rules, they just don't conform to your expectations. ;)

    I'd like to add to this suggestion (which is good, and I did vote for it) that perhaps instead of just changing the universal sorting rules to be different, that After Effects gives you some sort of control over the sorting rules.

    For example, you could choose whether or not that hyphen on the end of "04-" causes a different sorting order. The option could be called something like "names that end in numerals sort separately" or something like that. And then we can argue over whether it should be enabled by default. :P

    Regardless, hopefully that clarifies that the sorting rules that After Effects uses were intentional and put there for a reason a long time ago, so if we're going to reassess those rules we should do so in a way that doesn't look archaic in another 20 years, and maybe also gives you some flexibility.

    (As you think about this, I encourage you to look at how other apps with sorted lists do this. macOS Finder, Windows Explorer, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, etc. etc. What do you like about those solutions? What would you like to bring to After Effects?)

  6. 1 vote
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    1 comment  ·  After Effects  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    I do not recommend using an external drive of any sort for the disk cache directory. There are two complications that an external drive (USB, network, or other can cause):
    - Disconnecting the drive could cause the error message that you are experiencing.
    - Speed of external drives is generally slower than internal drives. The intent of the disk cache is to be a high-speed backup for the RAM cache, so slower drives negate the intent of the disk cache.

    I do recommend an internal SSD for the disk cache. If you are using a laptop and don't have the ability to install a second drive, use the laptop's internal drive (which is hopefully an SSD) for the disk cache, and limit the disk cache size in the After Effects preferences to prevent it from overfilling the internal drive.

  7. 100 votes
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    15 comments  ·  After Effects » User experience/interface  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    > Didn't they just release this in the latest version? I'm surprised this feature hasn't been flagged as "We actually did this one!"

    The April 2019 release of After Effects (version 16.1) does include the new customizable expressions editor. We closed a different request for that functionality:
    https://adobe-video.uservoice.com/forums/911311-after-effects/suggestions/33837631-improve-the-expressions-panel-with-basic-scripting

    We consider this request to be different. The functionality that was added in After Effects 16.1 allows customizing the editor interface. This request, as I understand it, is for a console UI in which you can run expression code and evaluate it to test the output.

    That said: part of the new expression editor includes in-line error messages, which can be especially helpful when combined with the JavaScript throw statement. Using throw will always produce an error, so you can force a check on a given value (ex., throw thisLayer.name will show an error containing the layer's name).

    @Joe Clay, is the above helpful towards your request? Would you change your request above based on this new functionality, or do you still want a separate console for expressions?

  8. 1 vote
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    1 comment  ·  After Effects » User experience/interface  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Jan, in After Effects, "view" refers to the viewer panel, or if the viewer is set to multiple 3D views (top, left, right, etc.), one of those 3D views.

    I don't agree that the existing Center in View command should be changed.

    A different solution is needed to solve your problem, I think. Maybe a new command, "Center in Zoomed View"?

  9. 60 votes
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    55 comments  ·  After Effects » Stability  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    For anyone who is experiencing this problem, please comment here with your OS and hardware configuration. Include the GPU and driver version. Thanks.

  10. 18 votes
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    1 comment  ·  After Effects » General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  11. 2 votes
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    1 comment  ·  After Effects  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Interesting idea, Warren.

    Can you expand why this would be helpful? I understand the basic visibility part, I want to understand the workflow better. What does this allow you to do that you couldn't do before, or how does it make working in After Effects faster for you?

    Also: would you expect to be able to snap to these keyframe indicators, by holding the Shift key while dragging the CTI or other keyframes, as you can with markers and visible keyfrrames?

  12. 3 votes
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    3 comments  ·  After Effects  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Thank you for filing this bug report.

    We need more information in order to investigate:
    - Does the problem persist after you restart After Effects?
    - Does the problem occur only in this project, or in any project?
    - What version of After Effects are you using? (ex., After Effects 16.0.1, from the About After Effects dialog box.)
    - What OS and version are you using? (ex., Windows 10 or macOS 10.14.3)

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    Thanks for the additional detail. Knowing the problem isn't persistent, that restarting After Effects clears it at least temporarily, is helpful. But what we really need to understand what condition After Effects is getting into that causes the problem.

    Just prior to the problem occurring, what actions do you take in After Effects? What have you changed, clicked on, or asked After Effects to do before it starts misbehaving? In order for us to investigate this problem, we need to be able to replicate it, which means understanding what you're doing that puts After Effects into this state.

  13. 3 votes
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    0 comments  ·  After Effects » Animation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  14. 10 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Media Encoder » Batch Processing  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    After Effects has similar functionality as requested, the output file naming templates:
    https://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/using/basics-rendering-exporting.html#specify_filenames_and_locations_for_rendered_output

    Would it be sufficient to port this functionality from After Effects to AME, or is there additional or different functionality that you're looking for?

  15. 34 votes
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    5 comments  ·  After Effects » General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    @Nick R. - Sorry, no, there's not currently a built-in method to force new projects or the Save As command to default to a particular folder. (You could rig something up with scripting, but there's nothing in the UI.) That would be a great, separate request. Please file it here at this UserVoice site!

  16. 6 votes
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    0 comments  ·  After Effects » Stability  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  17. 13 votes
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    3 comments  ·  After Effects » User experience/interface  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Thanks for posting your idea.

    I agree that double-tap keyboard shortcuts are easy and useful. There are, however, some challenges:

    1. They're not discoverable. When you're new to an application and trying to learn how it works, keyboard shortcuts are actually one of the best ways to hide application functionality. The functionality, at the very least, needs to be discoverable via a different method and keyboard shortcuts should only be a time-saving method. However, that still leaves them farther up the learning curve. Personally, I'd prefer to design an application that is discoverable and intuitive.

    2. They're difficult to implement in code. Not impossible, just difficult. The double-tap (or triple-tap, as you suggest) require specific code to capture the timing of the keyboard input. This is different from single keyboard presses where existing, OS-provided event listeners can be used; much simpler. Additional code is required if the double-tap shortcut is going to be customizable separate from the equivalent single-press keys: the customization code needs to be able to capture that difference.

    I'm not saying that we couldn't ever do this in After Effects, and I look forward to seeing who else will vote on or comment on this idea. I'm just pointing out some of the challenges that we face as application developers. What seems easy and logical on the surface is not always simple when you start digging into the details of implementing that idea in code.

  18. 351 votes
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    27 comments  ·  After Effects » User experience/interface  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    Thanks all for the great feedback so far.

    As this discussion has progressed both here and on Twitter, I'm wondering if this request needs to be split into two parts. While I appreciate the universal approach of "Alt/Option + drag = duplicate", it sounds like there's a wider variety of behaviors desired here. So we'd need two different stories:

    1. Alt/Option + drag = duplicate for layers, Project window items, shapes, effects, and other objects where it makes sense.
    2. A larger story around better behaviors for duplicating or copy/pasting keyframes that covers the issues people have raised here regarding multi-layer cases, selection boxes, and modified paste behaviors like time-reverse.

    Your thoughts?

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    We were recently evaluating part of this request, to duplicate keyframes by holding the Alt/Option key and dragging. This is something we'd love to add to After Effects. But we've run into a couple of issues.

    As mentioned in the video, Alt/Option + dragging keyframes is currently occupied by the time-stretch keyframes behavior. The video suggests changing that behavior to use the Control/Command key + dragging, however that begins to get fuzzy because Control/Command + _clicking_ on a keyframe changes its interpolation to Continuous Bezier; there's a lot of opportunity here for accidental clicks.

    A related problem is muscle memory. Any time we change a mouse or keyboard input behavior, we get negative reactions from our user community. The video tends to dismiss the need for time-stretching keyframes, but I both disagree with that, and want to emphasize that changing muscle memory is very disruptive.

    Another complication is that Alt/Option + dragging on a layer's in/out points will time-stretch the layer. (This was added in recently, in After Effects 16.0, but we used time-stretching keyframes as the model for which keyboard shortcut to use.) If we change the meaning of Alt/Option + dragging keyframes, we may need to align other behavior as well, breaking more muscle memory.

    Regardless, we agree that the existing convention of Alt/Option + drag to copy is a desirable feature for After Effects (for both keyframes and other types of objects, but one thing at a time). We discussed what other keyboard modifiers the time-stretch keyframe behavior could be moved to, but we could not find an obvious answer because After Effects is already heavily loaded with modifier key + mouse click/drag behaviors. Even something as simple as adding the Shift key would interfere with snapping behaviors.

    Given those complications, how would you suggest the behaviors of clicking and dragging keyframes in After Effects be adapted?

    - What modifier key + click/drag combos would you like to see?
    - How do you feel about disrupting muscle memory, for both yourself and other artists?
    - Do you feel a preference or UI option would be needed to allow users to enable/disable the new behaviors and return to prior muscle memory?

    We will continue discussing this internally. Your opinions will help shape the conversation.

  19. 4 votes
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    5 comments  ·  After Effects  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Thank you for filing this bug report.

    We need more information in order to investigate:

    - What format is the footage that you are working with?
    - What version of After Effects are you using? The version number can be found in the About After Effects dialog (ex., After Effects 16.0.1).
    - What OS and version are you using? (ex., Windows 10 or macOS 10.13.6)

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    Thanks for the additional information, Nina.

    The More Options button in the Interpret Footage dialog should not be active for HEVC footage. It is a bug that you can click on it, but nothing is expected to happen. The More Options button is only active for footage types that have additional decoding settings, like raw video (RED R3D, ARRI raw, Sony raw, Canon raw, CR2/NEF/DNG still camera raw, etc.).

    I don't have a clear explanation for why your videos were being decoded as green. My best guess is related to the fact that After Effects can use Intel Quick Sync Video features to accelerate decoding of H.264 footage on Windows, and H.264 and HEVC on macOS. (This option can be disabled in Preferences > Import > Enable hardware accelerated decoding.) You said that you are on Windows and that your footage is HEVC, which is not yet accelerated, but because the decoder libraries for both H.264 and HEVC are closely coupled, the fact that your Intel GPU was disabled may have caused some sort of downstream failure in the software HEVC decoder.

    Regardless, it appears that you've solved the problem, and I'm glad to hear that. If you continue to experience issues, I recommend you contact my co-workers at Adobe Customer Care to assist you with troubleshooting the problem. You can open a case with them via call or chat at this link: https://helpx.adobe.com/contact.html

  20. 183 votes
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    13 comments  ·  After Effects » Performance  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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    > Agreed, some time ago there was a new feature that said AE can play some video formats directly, without caching - that is bull.

    It is not bull. But your description is not accurate, and the functionality is limited.

    When you start a preview in After Effects, assuming the Cache Before Playback option is not enabled, After Effects will pre-cache video footage (video footage formats only: MOV, MXF, etc.; still image formats aren't included) into it's RAM cache as fast as it possibly can, prior to playback. Basically, this means that as playback moves forward, After Effects will copy frames from the footage into the RAM cache for playback as fast as it can; you can see the green cache marks fill up in the timeline ahead of the CTI. This differs from other cases where After Effects will load the RAM cache one frame at a time as they are rendered, instead of pre-caching the frames without additional rendering, as happens in this case. (That said, After Effects always tries to load frames into the RAM cache as fast as possible. If the comp can be rendered faster-than-real-time, you'll see the green cache marks advance ahead of the CTI, so there's nothing terribly special about this behavior.)

    The major limitation here is that there must be no rendering involved. Only unaffected footage in a comp qualifies for this optimization. Any rendering (transforms, effects, blending modes, color management, etc.) will force the frames into the usual process of rendering before pushing them into the RAM cache.

    The other limitation here is that After Effects can't decode some footage formats quickly. Decoding and debayering 8K raw R3D frames, for example, isn't likely to decode quickly enough to take advantage of this optimization. (Although enabling GPU acceleration in the project settings can help a lot with this.)

    Overall, this is a small optimization, but it is helpful in certain cases and helps streamline the overall rendering pipeline.

    In regards to the overall concept of disk playback vs. RAM playback, I agree that it would be a useful improvement for After Effects.

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