2014 was only a slightly slower year in feature releases, with After Effects development underway that one might assume will help speed work within the app in 2015. In January 2014, the AE team hinted that performance, workflow, and improved creative capability was the main focus behind the scenes, which is great with 4K gaining steam. Performance in Premiere Pro was addressed several years ago and the emphasis now is more on usability and workflow.
◊ For a more general industry take, see A Look Back on 2014: The Year in Review on ProVideo Coalition by Jeremiah Karpowicz and the PVC Roundtable discussion What Will You Remember About 2014?
Here are some of the highlights & new releases from the world of After Effects and Premiere Pro in 2014 (see also After Effects 2013: features & requests).
- Element 3D version 2 for After Effects was released by Video Copilot and is jam-packed with new features at a low price.
- Hitfilm 3 has an extremely wide toolset for a young app, and now comes with a lower price and additional AE-format plug-ins for general use in NLEs and other compatible apps.
- Yanobox Nodes 2 creates beautiful network nodes seen in data visualizations, and much more. It has easy-to-use presets, but has surprising power under the hood. For Mac, but Windows users have Plexus 2 at least.
- Fusion 7 Free and DaVinci Resolve Lite 11 (training) are both free from Blackmagic Design. They’re serious options.
- Red Giant Universe has a constantly-updated mix of free and subscription effects for AE, Premiere, and other NLEs.
- The growth of tutorials and blogs on After Effects continued, making it too difficult to track part-time. Mikey Borup alone blasted out at least 120 tutorials on his YouTube channel, plus additional tutorials and presets for other websites. Unfortunately, paid tutorials and templates often get lost in the fanfare.
- Lynda.com courses offers high quality comprehensive courses on Adobe products. See especially the expert videos from Chris Meyer (Creative Cloud Updates, Premiere and AE, screen replacement with mocha AE) and Mark Christiansen (on keying, matching foreground to background, advanced matching and looks). And of course, there are AE and related courses from Eran Stern, Maxim Jago, and others.
- AEscripts.com saw about 200 releases and updates in 2014, and Jeff Almasol updated his 50 free scripts, so it’s a bit too like the wild west for a perspective roundup on AE scripting. You can see what’s popular at AEscripts.com by clicking the tag on the main page. Rowebyte Plexus 2 by Satya Meka is still flying high, but it seems like animation speed control might be the dominant theme recently. My vote for the funniest promo is the one for Rubberize It!:
- Actual conferences on Adobe video apps and other tools were held this year: the Premiere Pro World Conference in July and the After Effects World Conference in September (keynote by Andrew Kramer). Be sure to see the impressive private developments in character animation in AE by the makers of Angry Birds from Adobe Max 2014.
- Also, in January 2015, DuIK Tools is crowdfunding for a new version of their donationware IK tools, which are expanding to new vistas.
- Todd Kopriva (@ToddKopriva_AE) became the new product manager for After Effects. His detailed articles on each software release are essential to staying abreast of new features and fixes. Last year, his comparison of feature requests to the updates for 2013 was eye-opening even if you thought you were already paying attention.
- GoPro Cineform in Creative Cloud 2014 is just one among hundreds of new features and fixes added by Adobe to their video apps in June and October this year. Even in a slower year, After Effects had one major release, two minor releases, and four bug fix updates.
- Premiere Pro and the other video-oriented tools were busier in feature releases. Premiere already has realtime 4K ability, and was even battle-tested in 6K on the 2014 Hollywood movie Gone Girl (storage: 36 TB for offline 2K, 320 TB for online 6K). Adobe shared numerous customer success stories for Creative Cloud apps, as well as 14 Ask a Video Pro webinars in 2014 (roundup).
- The Premiere team provided hundreds of updates and fixes, including live AE Text Templates, improved Direct Link to SpeedGrade CC, output to virtually any format (even DCP and AS-11 content packages), UI and workflow enhancements, Consolidate and Transcode, Masking and Tracking improvements (with Imagineer Systems mocha 4 imports), a cross-platform GoPro CineForm codec, improved GPU native support for 4K, 5K, 6K, and higher content, with expanded file format support including debayering. Adobe Anywhere, which comes with a $150 grand system buy-in, also carried on.
- You can find more info on other app team blogs, like the Premiere Pro blog posts from product manager Al Mooney, and team blogs on Adobe Prelude, SpeedGrade, Adobe Media Encoder, Adobe Story Plus, and Adobe Audition.