After Effects

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Creation Date: Sunday, June 12, 2011 | Page Was Last Updated on:

Adobe After Effects is a digital motion graphics and composting software published by Adobe Systems, which is used in film and video post-production. Its main uses are the origination of 2D and 2.5D (3D) animation, visual effects composting and finishing. After Effects can also be used an a image editor alongside Adobe Photoshop for creating 3D realistic images and banners for websites, video, and motion pictures.

Background Information
Developer(s): Adobe Systems 
Stable Release: CS6 (11) / « 
Written in: C++ 
Operating Systems: Mac OSX, Microsoft Windows 
64 Bit Future:CS5 and above for 64Bit only 
Type: Motion Graphics / Visual Effects / Animation / Still Imagery 
License: Trialware, software as a service 
Website: « 


Adobe After Effects is used for post-production work and visual effects. As well as being used alongside Adobe PS (Photoshop) for creating 3D realistic images and banners for websites, video, and motion pictures. AE (After Effects) is used in Hollywood to produce some of the shows that we all enjoying watching, and some of the effects that simply blow us all away. Adobe continues to re-innovate themselves on every new release, so keep your eyes open for the next greatest release.
After Effects allows users to animate, alter and composite media in 2D and 3D space with various built-in and third-party tools/plug-ins, as well as individual attention to variables like parallax and user-adjustable angle and observation.
If you are a 3D or a 2D artist, you will enjoy using After Effects in your working environment.

Version History & Requirements

The following information was compiled with help from «

DeveloperDateVersionCodenameMajor features added
CoSAJan-931Egglayered compositing with mask, effect, transforms, keyframes; Mac only
May-931.1more effects
AldusJan-942TeriyakiTime Layout window, image sequence support, motion blur, multi-machine rendering, frame blending, proxies
May-942.0.1Power Macintosh version (PPC)[2]
AdobeOct-953Nimchowrender queue, bezier masking, time remapping, keyframe assistants (wiggler, motion sketch, smoother), multiple effects per layer, advanced keying, velocity graph, 1/2/4 point motion tracking, motion math, first Japanese version, layer transfer modes, continuously rasterize Illustrator files, Photoshop as comp import with layer/transfer mode/alpha channel support, 3:2 pulldown, non-square pixel support
Apr-963.1file formats, multiprocessing; last Mac 680x0 version
May-973.1 (Windows 95/NT)Dancing Monkeyfirst Windows version, contextual menus, first French & German versions; in November 1997, Path Text effect and Animated GIF output were released for free to registered users of 3.1[3]
Jan-994ebeertabbed windows, movable time layout columns, multiple masks per layer, warping effects, particle playground, audio effects, transform effect, adjustment layers, align palette, rulers & guides, RAM preview, glows/blurs no longer clip at layer edge, Premiere import, Illustrator layers support, label colors in timeline; first simultaneous Mac & Windows release
Sep-994.1Batnipflowchart view, watch folder, 3D channel effects, collect files command, auto deinterlacing, sequence layers, save favorite effects (.ffx), separate text fill/stroke, 30,000x30,000 image support
April 2001[4]5Melmet3D layers, 3D lights, dynamic previews, parenting, vector paint, expressions, pick whip, draw/edit masks in comp window, integration of Atomic Power plug-ins (foam, wave world, card dance, shatter, vegas), 16 bits per channel color, Illustrator transparency support, SWF export, mask colors, mask motion blur, mask expansion, RAM Preview region of interest, Photoshop 6 vector mask import, PDF import, solo switch, scrubbable property values, custom workspaces, effect reordering, PAR correction, reveal file on disk, reduce project, trim comp to work area, >2GB movie output
January 7, 2002[5]5.5Fauxfuadvanced 3D renderer, multiple 3D views, import camera data, colored shadows, projection layers, effects palette, post render actions, advanced lightning, adjustment layer lights, smart mask, looping via expressions, RealMedia output, expression controllers,Zaxwerks 3D Invigorator Classic bundled; first OS X version
Aug-036Foodfitepaint, scripting, text layers and animators, editable Photoshop text layers, OpenGL support, new motion tracker, Rotobezier, Keylight, Liquify, Scribble, Dust & Scratches, background rendering of RAM Previews
16-Jun-046.5Chambantadvanced clone tool, presets gallery, grain management, integration of Cycore Effects plug-ins, Color Finesse bundling, disk caching, Firewire video output, interface light/dark controls, motion track with scale, Grain Surgery bundling, AAF & OMF support[6]
Jan-067Clamchopnew unified window UI, timewarp, graph editor, OpenGL 2.0 support, 32 bpc HDR color, 32-bit audio, Adobe Bridge support, display color management, dynamic link with Premiere Pro, script editor, auto save, Photoshop file creation, smart blur, lens blur, per-character text blurring, first Spanish & Italian versions
2-Jul-07CS3 (8.0)Metaloafshape layers, puppet tool, brainstorm, clip notes, Photoshop vanishing point import, adaptive motion blur, per character 3D text animation, real-time audio playback, simultaneous multi-frame rendering, SWF vector import, 32-bit linear blending, full color management; first Universal Binary Intel Mac version
22-Feb-08CS3 (8.0.2)LoafdotPanasonic P2 support; last Mac PowerPC version
23-Sep-08CS4 (9.0)ChinchilladaQuickSearch in the project & timeline, mini-flowchart, breadcrumbs, live PSD 3D layer import, separate XYZ, Imagineer Mochabundled, cartoon effect, XFL export, XML export, XMP metadata,
10-Dec-08CS4 (9.0.1)ChinchidottaRED R3D file support (via REDCODE v1.3 plugin)
29-May-09CS4 (9.0.2)Lottadottafixes several types of crashes, clip-level RED R3D support (via REDCODE v1.7 plugin), XDCAM HD (Avid-style MXF) support
October 6, 2010[7]CS4 (9.0.3)Yaddadottafixes "locking existing frames" message delay at start of RAM preview, decreased performance due to Wacom driver conflict, aerender not shutting down background processes, and miscellaneous crashes especially on Mac OS X 10.5 during drag-and-drop operations
April 30, 2010[8]CS5 (10.0)Esgocart64-bit native (mandatory) on OS X and Windows, Roto Brush tool, Refine Matte effect, mocha v2, LUT support, AVC-Intra import and improved RED (R3D) support, Align panel improvements, Synthetic Aperture Color Finesse 3, Digieffects FreeForm, auto-keyframe mode[9]
September 3, 2010[10]CS5 (10.0.1)Esgodotfixes several types of crashes and bugs (jumbled AIFF audio, .cube LUT channel swap, etc.), RED updates (color science v2, ROCKET, RMD metadata), improved LUT compatibility (.3dl with floating-point values or 3DMESH/Mesh keywords, or saved from ASSIMILATE SCRATCH systems), updates to bundled third-party plug-ins
April 8, 2011[11]CS5 (10.0.2)Esgodohfixes an "Unexpected data type" error opening project with missing effects, a crash with Directional Blur and other effects on computers with 16 or more logical processors, and a crash opening a composition created by Automatic Duck Pro Import AE.
April 11, 2011[12]CS5.5 (10.5)CodnameWarp Stabilizer effect, Camera Lens Blur and camera layer improvements for depth-of-field and bokeh, source timecode support and Timecode effect enhancements, stereoscopic 3D rig creation and improved 3D Glasses effect, light falloff, CinemaDNG import, expanded RED (R3D) features, XDCAM EX and XDCAM HD output, integration with Adobe Audition CS5.5, save project as CS5.
June 30, 2011[13]CS5.5 (10.5.1)Codotfixes for delay when typing in a text layer if mouse pointer was above the Composition panel, and inability to use an upgrade serial number.
April 23, 2012[14]CS6 (11.0)SpinalTapasGlobal Performance Cache, 3D Camera Tracker, ray-traced and extruded text and shapes, variable-width mask feather, Automatic Duck Pro Import for importing projects from other applications, including Final Cut Pro and Avid software, new and improved GPU acceleration features, Rolling Shutter Repair effect, Mocha for After Effects CS6, new and updated effects. Live PSD 3D layer import was removed.
May 25, 2012[15]CS6 (11.0.1)BigDottomsupport for Nvidia GeForce GTX 680, AtomKraft, bug fixes.
October 12, 2012[16]CS6 (11.0.2)NoneMoreDotsupport for more Nvidia cards and Intel HD Graphics, new memory handling preference allowing reversion to CS5.5 behavior, several bug fixes.
June 17, 2013[17]CC (12.0)SconehengeC4D Lite & Cineware integration, Refine Edge tool, Refine Soft Matte, layer snapping, Warp Stabilizer VFX
October 31, 2013[18]CC (12.1)Plabt Blue RibbonOS 10.9 & Retina support, mask tracker, Detail-preserving Upscale effect, property linking, improved snapping
December 13, 2013[19]CC (12.2)Pinot Butterautomatic creation of folders for image sequences, command to convert parametric shape layer paths to Bezier paths, more snapping improvements, lots of small "polish" improvements
April 1, 2014[20]CC 2014 (13.0)Goatmeal Stout[21]Key Cleaner effect and Advanced Spill Suppressor effect, text templates created in After Effects editable in Premiere Pro, compositing options for each effect including ability to confine the area affected by each effect with masks, import of Sony RAW footage (raw files from F5, F55, and F65 cameras), import of MPEG-4 SStP (Simple Studio Profile) Sony SR MXF files, video preview on external monitor using Mercury Transmit
Sept 7, 2014[22]CC 2014.1 (13.1)Hefe Marathonhigh-DPI content and UI (Mac OS, Windows), refreshed "blue" UI, Copy With Relative Property Links command, color management for Dynamic Link, Maxon Cinema 4D Lite R16 and Cineware 2.0, Collect Files for Cinema 4D assets, native GoPro CineForm codecs, scripting improvements for text layers
Dec 16, 2014[23]CC 2014.2 (13.2)Finish Limemore scripting improvements for text layers, expression access to dynamic layer bounds, new keyframe icons, various bug fixes including creating shape layers from Illustrator layers.
June 15, 2015[24]CC 2015.0 ( CarUninterrupted playback, new Adobe Character Animator (Preview 1),[25] Creative Cloud libraries, face tracker, Maxon Cineware v2.0.16, smooth experience and interaction for the user even when rendering is in progress.[26]

Production Values

AE Artist

People and or companies that utilize the Adobe After Effects systems in their business to create the visual effects that we all enjoy watching.

  1. Wayne Barron

  2. Read more about Wayne Barron here:«
  3. Andrew Kramer

  4. Read more about « for Video Copilot.
  5. Ryan Connolly

  6. Film Riot with Ryan Connolly. (More information coming soon!)
    « on YouTube
  7. James Reid

  8. « for «, has a lot of FREE Presets, as well as Tutorials, that is sure to get you up and going in no time.

Post-Production Releases

Movies, Videos Games, and TV spots where Adobe After Effects have been utilized within the post-production environment.

  1. Avatar

  2. After Effects and other Adobe programs was used through-out the full production of this movie, with live 3D character generated animation to the producer that had never been accomplished before, was done on this movie, thanks to Adobe After Effects. « The Social Networking (After shooting footage on the RED MX Digital Cinema camera, The Social Network team used Adobe Creative Suite 5 Production Premium software to create the film. An integrated workflow enabled the team to exchange files easily between Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, and Adobe After Effects CS5. «
  3. Hearst Television Inc

  4. Hearst Television aligns with Adobe to build broadcast newsroom of the future and migrate to Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium, including Adobe After Effects software. «