After Effects CS3: my Top Ten

After Effects CS3 has officially released, giving me opportunity to feature my own top features list from this release, including a few items easily lost in the shuffle, as well as a few major ones whose use for readers of my book might not be readily apparent. This list pertains predominantly to visual effects work as is covered in my book, although I’m firmly in the camp that believes that what is good for vfx people is good for motion graphics artists too.

Starting with the most easily overlooked, my top ten:

+ Motion Blur is Upgraded for the First Time, like, Ever
+ Expressions: Pickwhip a Mask
+ Expressions: Sample a Pixel Value
+ Color Management: Now Entirely Useful for HDR
+ Timeline Workflow: Parent Composition Button (and more)
+ Puppet Tool: Click and Drag Distortion Animations
+ Shapes and Masks are Interchangeable
+ Capture 3D Direct from Photoshop (of all places)
+ Clip Notes: Darkhorse (or Favorite?) to Change the Client Workflow
+ Brainstorm: Truly (even Literally) Innovative, and Possibly Even Useful

For an encore, the eleventh feature, and the one that will probably lead Mac users in particular to the beta in droves, is full support for Intel Macs (not to mention optimization for multi-proc/multi-core machines). No more need to optimize Rosetta. Previews that use all of your processors are no longer the sole domain of Nucleo Pro, although beware – my experiments running under Rosetta on Mac to use all those legacy plug-ins indicate that Rosetta doesn’t come along for the ride, so turn it off in that case.

I’m certain you’re intrigued about the above list and want to hear more; I hope to add details to these in the weeks to come. Meanwhile, enjoy your holiday week, fellow Americans.

1 July 2007 | after effects, news | Comments

2 Responses to “After Effects CS3: my Top Ten”

  1. 1 Austin Wallender 1 July 2007 @ 9:14 am

    That’s what I love about after effects – while there’s always the new features for the marketing folks, my favorite additions never make the press releases. The motion blur and linking maks are my top two as well (well, #2 + #3 after native intel code). The camera mapping via vanishing point looks amazing too, but I haven’t got a chance to play with it.

    Where do you sample a pixel value in expressions? That would be unbelievably handy.

  2. 2 Flowseeker » Blog Archive » AE Expressions: Sample a Pixel Value 15 September 2007 @ 10:03 am

    […] It looks as though Dan Ebberts, who is The Man when it comes to After Effects expressions, is in the process of updating his excellent site, and featured there now is a great example of how to make use of the new expression to sample a pixel value, an addition to AE CS3 that I listed as one of my top ten. […]