Peter Labrow

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    377 comments  ·  After Effects » Performance  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Hello everybody!

    (This post was co-authored by Tim Kurkoski (After Effects Product Owner), Andrew Cheyne (After Effects Engineering Manager), and Victoria Nece (After Effects Product Manager).)

    This thread has been sitting here for quite a while without a response. To start, we want to apologize for that. We haven’t been ignoring you or your feedback – this is just a particularly complex topic. That said, it’s time for us to check in with you, clarify a few things, and give you an idea of what we’re looking at for the future of After Effects, especially when it comes to performance.

    To start, we fully understand that you want After Effects to be as fast as it can be – utilizing your computer’s hardware resources to render as fast as possible. Over the last several years, we have been working on the performance of After Effects constantly. Sometimes those performance gains…

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    "Between C4D and Fusion, you can do everything you should need." Simply not true for motion graphics and motion design; plus a harder way to go about things. Plus the additional cost (£3,300 for a perpetual licence or £55 per month); the cost would be additional since I still need the rest of the CC suite. Plus it doesn't solve the issue of having to deliver projects in After Effects format, which is non-negotiable for some of my clients. There's nothing wrong in keep holding Adobe to account - and don't assume we are "lazy" "morons" and haven't explored alternatives.

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    Post isn't the only thing After Effects is used for. And I use both, so I know enough to know what can and can't be done for the work I do. You've moved, that's great. Then you don't need this post.

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    Fusion is great. I use it. It can't do a fraction of the things After Effects does for motion graphics. Not a fraction. Also, doesn't help me deliver After Effects projects which are the most requested format. Also, I'm paying for the rest of the suite, I have invested a lot of money in plugins (which also do things that Fusion can't). I don't see anyone being angry other than you Martin.

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    @MrBeep that is so on the money.

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    Everyone calm down. If Adobe's track record on this thread is anything to go by, you're in for a wait of several years. If they cared, it would be fixed already.

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    I didn't want to leave an ungrateful combative response to Victoria's post, but I'm sorry, I'm finding it impossible. The majority of the post essentially is PR fluff telling us to be grateful. It starts by saying that Adobe hasn't been ignoring us... on a post with over 800 upvotes started.... back at the dawn of time. Victoria. I know it's rude to come back at you like this but please read the mood in the room. This is a critical pro issue. Updates to XD arrive so frequently training companies must be laughing all the way to the bank. Meanwhile lots of the suite has time spent on ... non-standard Sesame Street dialogue boxes rather than actually integrate with the OS. A 'major feature' of the last release was 'GUIDES', honestly. (Yes, content-aware fill... that works sometimes.) And don't get me started on the disparity of UI, shortcuts and terminology between 'integrated' products. Waste. Of. Time. The argument for going to subscription was it would fund development and innovation and I don't see enough of that to have warranted paying for an upgrade so the need for subscription is obvious. Meanwhile products like Resolve don't just gain features they smoke Adobe's performance and look more tempting by the day. If it wasn't for the fact that there isn't really anything quite like After Effects, I suspect many wouldn't be using it. And what kind of company is happy with unhappy customers?

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    I thought I'd take a look at the improvements list to see which feature users want the most. With 791 votes, it's this one. The next nearest has 421 votes. Hello, Adobe?!

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    Agreed. I'm keeping it polite.

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    I've tweeted this to Victoria Nece.

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    @Seth - thanks for this. That's genuinely shocking.

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    There's no doubt in my mind that the subscription model is failing subscribers. I'm sure Adobe don't see it this way, genuinely, I think they are proud of what they bring to us. But we used to get a decent number of features per application every full point release (the .5s were a bit lame and often just fixes we should have got anyway). How we get a few updates per app or across the suite.

    Yes, it must have been frustrating to have people upgrade every couple of full point releases or fewer. (I personally took almost every one.) But the hunger to not only innovate but to make these applications rock solid has gone. They just don't need to.

    And the subscription costs me twice what the updates used to - and I updated nearly every time.

    I have a high spec iMac Pro and After Effects can bring it to its knees. Easily. The only system crashes I have are when I'm running Adobe applications - it's no mean feat to floor OS X entirely. These issues are more important to me than any other.

    Yes, we get them spending time on dialogue box UIs which don't match the system - for what reason? To show me starter videos, or templates or something I don't need. And the UI for these doesn't work - many essential options such as page size in InDesign are hidden unless you scroll. It's wasted development time, the OS has these already. We're professionals, we don't need this stuff. And don't get me started on inconsistencies in keyboard shortcuts, naming conventions and UI between apps. Acrobat 'Professional' (the air quotes indicate irony) has back-peddled in terms of UI to be the opposite of professional, it's a literal joke.

    Adobe's monopoly came from people needing to exchange files - InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator primarily, back in the day. Using anything else wasn't optional. Today, this isn't true and they're getting a proper drubbing from the likes of Affinity.

    For video editing, the space is really hotting up. Resolve is superb. Final Cut is decent again. I only moved to Premier because one client needed me to share files, so it made sense to shift everything. But I've never seen a really viable alternative to After Effects - and as I work on projects, with a computer which cost as much as a car dragging its feet painfully, it's soul-destroying. I use After Effects because I have no choice and it's the only thing which keeps me a subscriber - if I needed to, and I'm looking at it, for everything else I can move. Easily.

    End of rant!! Thank you for your patience.

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    @Ian - I agree. I sounded off to the product lead at Fireworks (may it rest in peace) about how buggy it was and they were pretty good - drafted me in to chat about the issues and show them what happens, this contributed to the last (CS6) build which was pretty decent. Didn't save it I'm afraid and there still isn't an Adobe tool like it.

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    Good point @Ian. This is quite a long-running saga so it's understandable that people will try to find a channel which will listen but I can't see that a support person would even pass it on. And we should try to remain nice. I've personally tweeted the Adobe account in the past and - no response. I've just tweeted this to both of those accounts - perhaps others might want to do the same and show how many people are affected? "@FakeGreenDress Hi - sorry to hit your personal account but I wonder if I could make you aware of this long-running thread which doesn't seem to be getting any attention https://adobe-video.uservoice.com/forums/911311-after-effects/suggestions/33836305-full-program-multi-threaded-support?tracking_code=e18f0f298fdf9908abd03bf9eac78dd8 but is a real daily issue for many."

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    @Michael I think it's more correct that say that they will be liable. Apparently Dolby are after them for not paying fees for using Dolby technology. Adobe is passing on the pain. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/03/14/a_dolby_sues_adobe_for_dodging_cloud_license_fees/

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    @Anonymous it is true. It's been all over the media.

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    Stunning really that this continues to be a thing. It's 2019 and anyone serious about editing, effects and motion graphics has a multi-core CPU. What do we get? Content-aware fill that works "sometimes" looking at the reviews, OK that's cool and sometimes useful, but the most exciting part of the update seems to be... drumroll... GUIDES. FFS. I'd sacrifice a use-sometimes feature like content-aware fill with a performance improvement that I could feel every minute of every day.

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    @Anonymous Well that's the problem isn't it. When it was Creative Suite, many people didn't upgrade for each version because even then it wasn't always worth it. There would be a couple of changes to half of the suite. This gave Adobe a real income problem and they fixed it using digital blackmail. They are in a monopoly position with some products and to keep running your business there is no choice, you have to keep paying. I can't afford to stop paying and have CC die on me and they know it.

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    @Anonymous - interesting, I know of the Toon Boom stuff but not thought of it in that way, thanks. I'll take another look.

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    There are pretty strong alternatives to everything in Creative Suite, but not really to After Effects. Of course, it depends on your use case. There are alternative composting tools but I've not really seen anything match After Effects for motion graphics. This is where the downside of Creative Cloud really shows, Adobe says "it funds development" but I'd say "it lets us take our foot off the gas without risk". Personally I would have to be the kind of supplier that buyers resent having to buy. Forums are awash with people moving to (pretty solid) alternatives for various reasons to Photoshop, Illustrator, Premier, Audition, Lightroom - but After Effects has a feature set that basically means we have to bend over and take it.

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    Spot on, Anonymous. There isn't a single feature right now that I would put above a meaningful performance improvement. I'm sat here with an iMac Pro with 64GB RAM, 8 cores and 16GB graphics. And still After Affects crawls when you throw too much at it.

    Peter Labrow commented  · 

    No new feature is more important than performance and it's simply ludicrous that we're sat here with modern, powerful multicore machines that Adobe software ignores while software from other vendors exploits that power. I'm currently animating a simple object move in 3D with one light and it takes ages to preview fewer than 60 frames.

    Peter Labrow supported this idea  · 

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