CS7 Remote Control

Christmas this year is just as awful as last year. I’m hitting heavy on pain killers and can barely sleep, so the days are quite long, considering that I even occasionally get up at 3 in the morning and post shit on forums. On the other hand roaming the forums provides a little diversion, sometimes in a productive way, sometimes for the low-brow-ness of some questions and the resulting fun factor. Suffice it to say that some users wouldn’t find the power switch on their computer if it wasn’t labeled… Anyway, on one of the forums someone asked whether something like the touch control apps for Photoshop also exists for After Effects. Now Santa has been a lazy old hag and still not dropped an iPad in my lap, but of course there could be some interesting uses.

  • You could use it as a generic input device, obviously, to control playback and scrubbing of your timeline. Too bad the program will still first have to learn how to do this in realtime.
  • You could (mis-)use it as a crude tablet for brush-based tools and rotoscoping. Certainly not the most precise way to work, but good enough for Rotobrush and other semi-automated stuff.
  • You could use it as a secondary monitor to park some large panel on it. I always run out of space for my many locked effects control panels and it would actually  be nice not always having to dig through tabs. But then again, I could of course just as well get some biggy monitors.
  • You could use it to remotely monitor your render queue. Stu Maschwitz kinda explained a hacky way here 3 years ago and now that Adobe have their own cloud service, you can bet that they’re gonna exploit it in such a manner.
  • You could use it as a hardware input for color correction or other plug-ins. Similar solutions already exist for some editing programs or color correction suites, so I guess it’s merely a matter of time.

I’m still somewhat skeptical about the practical implications as I still always get the feeling like my fingers will stick to the glassy surfaces, but one probably could get used to it.

Another crazy thought that has been running around in my head a lot lately is the likelihood that CS7 will open Cinema 4D scenes. Yepp, I think it will. Element already does and R14 expanded on that Melange stuff considerably. Combine that with enhanced Cinema 4D support and integration being one of the top feature requests, you really could ask your grandma to connect the dots and extrapolate a straight line that leads there. With the new 3D space it might actually make sense. Or does it? I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough when the current lull in activity both in the After Effects world and Cinema 4D world will wonderfully blend into a grand awakening and all those developers who are now busy adapting their plug-ins and testing out interop between the two programs might actually surprise us with something that works (given that CS6 was a bust)…

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