Make CC (CS7) work for you!

Because last year’s edition still ranks as the top popular post on this little shabby blog of mine, I thought it might be a good idea to update and expand it a little for After Effects CC. Some things stay the same, some things have improved, several things have gotten worse, actually, so let’s cut to the meat of this after you have read the old article as a primer first.

  • It’s still a good idea to update your graphics driver.
  • The raytrace 3D stuff has been declared deprecated (indirectly by not mentioning and promoting it further in the marketing materials), so don’t bother with it anymore unless you open your CS6 legacy projects.
  • While Cineware may be the new kid in town, it has several issues that are listed on the Error Code Database. And if you read my blog regularly, you know how lame I find it on a quite general level, so tread lightly and consider learning a real 3D program before wasting too much time with this and being disappointed.
  • Despite Mr. Kopriva repeatedly claiming “We have fixed a ton of bugs in the cache system.” on forums I find it’s just as quirky and unreliable as in CS6. Just turn of the disk cache if you have a reasonably large amount of RAM and have more peaceful sleep.
  • Similarly, despite the marketing making a point about enhanced Unicode support, things actually seem to have gotten worse. Just today a user was only able to fix an import issue where he could not import any file only by setting his system language from Polish (which, after all uses standard Western encoding) to English which is, pardon me, a big WTF?.
  • On a related note, the Numbers and Timecode effect do not work or crash the program, if the system has a font installed, that uses a special character in its name such as an accent or a trademark symbol on Mac.
  • The newly introduced edge/ point snapping is at best so-so and has a bug. Mainly it suffers from the same limitation like guide snapping – it’s dependent on the comp resolution and zoom level and thus After Effects‘ sub-pixel sampling. A slightly frustrated user also noted that it’s pretty useless as long as it doesn’t snap to mask paths, shape layer paths, points and edges or includes auto-align features like in Illustrator or InDesign. I think it’s safe to say that many people will agree with that. On the bright side, they are aware of the bug and are gonna fix it in their September/ October update or whenever.

Anything more? I’m sure there would be plenty to go on even without mentioning the many issues with the Creative Cloud App, installation and applying updates, so if you have anything to add, feel free to comment…

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