Adobe has released After Effects CC 2017.2, the latest update to the compositing tool, adding a template system for motion graphics work, and introducing the Lumetri Scopes panel from Premiere Pro.
The update also adds a new Camera Shake Deblur effect, GPU-accelerated versions of a number of existing effects, and support for footage with frame rates higher than 99fps.
Create templates to share with Premiere Pro
Motion graphics artists – or actually, anyone who works with Premiere Pro – get a new Essential Graphics panel for creating project templates to share with the editing software.
Users can now drag properties – for example, the colour of the title text – onto the panel, create a template, and have those properties remain editable in Premiere, while everything else remains locked down.
The system works with properties inside nested precomps; and can also be used to add textual instructions for Premiere Pro editors.
Lumetri Scopes brought over from Premiere Pro
The Lumetri Scopes panel, originally introduced in Premiere Pro 2015, has now been added to After Effects.
The panel provides vectorscope, histogram, parade, and waveform scopes for colour correction work, and complements the Lumetri Color effect, itself introduced in to After Effects in the 2015 release series.
New Camera Shake Deblur effect fixes problem footage
The update also introduces an optical flow-based Camera Shake Deblur effect, which can be used to sharpen small groups of blurred frames caused by camera shake.
It can be used on its own, or in conjunction with the existing Warp Stablizer VFX effect.
More GPU-accelerated filters
After Effects CC 2017.2 also continues Adobe’s ongoing process of introducing GPU support for the software’s effects.
Drop Shadow, Fractal Noise, Gradient Ramp, Levels and Offset get GPU versions; and there is a new Fast Box Blur effect, which combines the controls of the old Fast Blur, Box Blur and Gaussian Blur effects.
Other smaller changes
Other changes in the core software include the option to include masks and effects when referencing a layer in another effect, reducing the need for precomps; and support for footage with frame rates over 99fps.
There are also are a number of smaller workflow changes, set out in this blog post, including support for Indic languages, and those written right-to-left, like Arabic and Hebrew.
New cloud-based Team Projects system, new tools in Character Animator
The update also introduces Team Projects, a new work-in-progress cloud-based collaboration system integrated into After Effects, Premiere Pro and Prelude.
At the minute, it’s essentially a version control and live-linking system – there don’t seem to be any features for shot review or change tracking – but Adobe says that it will evolve in future releases.
Character Animator – the in-beta 2D character animation tool that ships with After Effects – also gets a useful-looking update, adding a new viseme editor and tools for creating walk cycles.
Pricing and availability
After Effects CC 2017.2 is available now on a rental-only basis. New subscriptions for After Effects alone cost $19.99/month, while subscriptions to all of Adobe’s creative tools start at $49.99/month.
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