Just like Premiere Pro, After Effects also gets some new features with the March update (to version 18.0): real-time 3D design preview, 3D ground layers, an improved composition bar, performance improvements in Team Projects, and media replacement in animation templates.
However, the arguably most interesting new feature is only available in the current beta version, the universal multi-frame rendering requested by many users, which promises better utilization of systems with multiple CPU cores.
Media replacement in animation templates and required properties.
Animation templates can now be created in the new After Effects version with interchangeable media such as images and videos. Users can use them in then Premiere Pro to create complex graphics and animations with customizable parameters and interchangeable media.
Real-time 3D design preview
Animation designers working with 3D scenes can now examine the result faster. The new real-time 3D rendering engine provides instant feedback on designs in the Composition panel, making it easier for users to try out ideas and revise designs faster.
3D ground planes
Using the new 3D ground planes, designers can align their designs in space by having a horizon line and vanishing point. They can toggle a grid on and off for precise alignment and snap objects to align them in space or in relation to each other. The "Base Plane" button is only displayed when the new 3D design preview mode is used.
3D base planes
Improved composition toolbar.
This allows you to work seamlessly across 2D and 3D by contextually populating the most commonly used composition tools. This avoids the need to constantly enable/disable a large number of settings while switching between modes. The updated Composition panel toolbar has been reorganized to dynamically display options based on the currently selected layer.
§PIC2:Improved composition toolbar.
Performance improvements in Team Projects.
Cloud-based collaboration via Team Projects is now said to be smoother and more efficient in the new version when After Effects artists and Premiere Pro editors work together, as they can now share and receive changes to Team Projects faster. Searching is now at least twice as fast thanks to more efficient indexing.
Available for now only as a beta (available to all users) is the new Multi-Frame Rendering, which should make the motion graphics workflow a lot faster by improving multi-core utilization. Initially it will be implemented in export via the render queue, then in the coming months support will be extended to Composition Preview, Dynamic Link for rendering compositions in Adobe Media Encoder, Motion Graphics templates for rendering in Premiere Pro and more.
Speed improvements with multi-frame rendering
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