Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Adobe ships After Effects 17.1

Adobe has released After Effects 17.1, the latest update to its compositing software, adding new motion-graphics-friendly options for offsetting paths and tapering strokes when working with shape layers.

The update was rolled out alongside new versions of Adobe’s other professional video tools, including Character Animator 3.3 and Premiere Pro 14.2.

Another performance-focused release
As with its November 2019 updates, Adobe describes performance and stability as key foci of the release.

Most of the specific examples in its blog post are for Premiere Pro, but in its online news conference, Adobe commented that Content-Aware Fill in After Effects is now “up to twice as fast”.

Dragging or snapping is now “up to 50% faster” in projects with “large amounts” of shape geometry.

New offset and taper options for working with shape layers
Compared to recent releases, the changelog itself for After Effects 17.1 is fairly short.

Of the new creative features, the most versatile is probably the new Copies and Copies Offset options for the Offset Paths shape effect, which creates an array of concentric copies when used on a closed shape.

It can be used to create a range of interesting text animation and motion graphics effects, as shown above.

Users working with Shape layers also now have the option to customisable Wave and Taper effects to strokes, the latter helping to create a more hand-drawn look.

Workflow improvements: ProRes RAW import, updates to Team Projects
Workflow improvements include the option to import and edit footage in ProRes RAW format. Import requires the relevant Apple decoder, and is supported on Windows and macOS 10.14.5+ only.

In addition, the Minimax effect is now GPU-accelerated.

Users of Adobe’s Team Projects collaboration system get the option to copy media to a shared location for multi-user access, and to enable collaboration on cloud documents.

Mac users also get the option to manage new audio devices according to their macOS system defaults when connecting new headphones, speakers or microphones.

Pricing and availability
After Effects 17.1 – in the online documentation, it is also sometimes referred to as the May 2020 or 2020.1 update – is available for Windows 10 and macOS 10.13+ on a rental-only basis.

An annual Creative Cloud subscription for After Effects alone costs $31.49/month, while a subscription to all of Adobe’s Creative Cloud tools costs $79.49/month.

Read a full list of new features in After Effects 17.1 in the online documentation