General Specialist


After Effects 8.0.2 Update Available Now

The update just went live via Adobe Updater (choose Update... from within a CS3 application) or via the web (8.0.2 for OS X and 8.0.2 for Windows) but before you do, please note that you should avoid QuickTime 7.4 at all cost, since the iTunes DRM causes rendering errors in all versions of After Effects.

Important installation note: Quit all web browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera etcetera) before running the updater, and stop yourself from starting any web browsers while the update is running. This is because the browsers lock certain Flash components that must be updated.

If you have created your own interpretation rules (by editing the interpretation rules.txt file) you need to copy and paste those into a new file, as detailed in this article: Custom interpretation rules don't work after the After Effects 8.0.2 update is applied.

If you have been having gamma shift issues (QuickTime renderings appearing darker or lighter compared to inside AE,) the 8.0.2 patch tries to circumvent these QuickTime issues by not following Apple's guidelines so strictly and instead applying different meta tags depending on what QT codec is use (matching the quirks in Apple's own products that don't follow the standard.) More about these gamma issues.

New features in 8.0.2:
Work with Panasonic P2 video

Here's the goodies from the Read Me file:

Noteable fixes in After Effects 8.0.2:
  • On Mac OS X v10.5 (Leopard), Dynamic Link didn't work correctly in Premiere Pro when switching between UI and non-UI versions of After Effects. Fixed. (5482671/W1610284)
  • On Mac OS, clicking a folder alias in an import or replace file dialog box in All Acceptable Files or All Footage Files mode displayed a “Can’t import file” error. Fixed. (45378)
  • On Mac OS, OpenGL and hardware acceleration used all VRAM on the GPU until the driver failed, causing display corruption of the OS and After Effects, or possible crash. Fixed. (44855)
  • On Mac OS X v10.5 on PowerPC with OpenGL enabled, received an error "composition too complex..." on NVIDIA GeForce 6800 graphics card. Fixed. (45295)
  • On Mac OS with OpenGL enabled and project in 32bpc mode, colors were dropped. Fixed. (45475)
  • PSD layers didn't import properly from PSD files with layer groups. Fixed. (45320)
  • Crash when saving a project with a custom output simulation when output profile is the project's working color space. Fixed. (45404)
  • On Mac OS with OpenGL enabled, better memory management on low memory cards. (45492)
  • Fixed support for AJA's QuickTime codec suite. (45351)
  • On Mac OS X v10.5: After Effects dock icon was not updated while RAM previewing: the progress bar appeared on the AE icon after RAM preview starts and it stayed on. Fixed. (45791)
  • When Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously was enabled, there was a significant pause >12 sec, on an 8 core, 16gb Mac between when RAM preview finished building and when it started playback. Fixed. (45181)
  • When you import a PSD file with vector masks inside layer groups using the import Composition - Cropped Layers/Layer size option; the PS vector masks are no longer offset from their original location. (45319)
  • If you import a PSD file with Photoshop shape layers into After Effects 7, save the project, and then open that project in After Effects CS3, the masks created from the Photoshop vector masks are no longer scaled up to fill the composition. (45341)
  • Linear light footage setting is now preserved cross-platform. (45653)
  • When animating type to drift slowly, the tops of the type (when moving vertically) and side (when moving horizontally) of the letters were clipped on every other frame. Fixed. (45898)
  • Low-end laptops that don't meet minimum OpenGL requirements crash on quit in some cases. Fixed. (45937)
  • Adaptive motion blur for layers in collapsed compositions was based on the local speed in the composition, rather than the effective speed---so static layers only got two samples of blur even if the precomposition layer was moving fast in the containing composition. Fixed. (45967)
  • Preserve Underlying Transparency is no longer ignored when layer styles are applied. (45974)
  • Layers that are inside of a PSD layer set no longer have the layer set's opacity applied twice. (45975)
  • Photoshop clipping group was applied twice on import. Fixed. (45976)
  • Layers inside a PSD layer set with a mode other than "pass through" were cropped to document bounds rather than reflecting layer data. Fixed. (45977)
  • Footage conformed to a higher frame rate left footage frozen on a frame before the end is reached. Fixed. (45986)
  • After Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously was enabled, After Effects CS3 would show high CPU activity even when idle. Fixed. (45993)
  • QuickTime gamma handling scheme broke WYSIWYG color management workflow common to video users. Fixed. (46027)
  • QuickTime footage that imports with SDTV/HDTV profile will be assigned an sRGB profile on Power PC, or with the "Match Legacy After Effects QuickTime Gamma Adjustments" option checked on any platform. (46032)
  • After Effects CS3 v8.0.2 fixes Mac OpenGL support for supported video cards under OS X v10.4.10 and v10.5. See also
  • Multi-machine rendering rendering of Photoshop files failed with error "The Photoshop Library operation failed because the file name was not valid". Fixed. (46119)
  • Error occurred when using Increment And Save if the project was saved at the root volume of a boot drive. Fixed. (46120)
  • The current frame didn't finish rendering if you switched away from application. Fixed. (46128)
    To enable this fix, please modify the preferences file and restart the application:
    ['General Section'] 'Allow Idle Application Rendering in 8.0.2' = 01
  • Wav files listed as 24-bit 48 KHz played back as noise or highly distorted. Fixed. (46149)
  • Camera raw files now display correctly after being adjusted in the Camera Raw dialog box on import if color management is off. (46194)
  • Important bug fixes for encoding and decoding H.264-compressed content.
  • On Mac OS, support has been fixed for Apple's Uncompressed 10-bit (v210) codec when FCP Studio 2 is installed. (45324)
  • Incorrect layout and functionality of localized PSD choose-layer dialog/radio buttons has been fixed. (45273)
  • A mask path or shape path can now be correctly extended from its first point using the Pen tool. (45365)
  • Decoding of PAL v210, UYVY, and 2vuy formats has been corrected. (46201)
  • With Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously enabled, QuickTime footage was sometimes not included in rendering by background processes if any QuickTime footage was missing when the project was opened. Fixed. (45302)

Known issues in After Effects 8.0.2:
  • Layer blending modes and opacity are not honored for imported Illustrator CS3 files. Please set the blending modes and opacity in the After Effects composition in the Timeline panel after importing Illustrator footage items. (45067)
  • When Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously is enabled, Save RAM Preview and Save Frame As > File render slowly because they do not used the cached rendered frames. (45202)
  • Crash may occur with ATI x700, x800 graphics cards if the project's color depth is 32bpc and Transparency Grid is enabled during OpenGL interaction. Please check for availability of updates. (45250)
  • When you import or place a PNG file that was rendered from Adobe After Effects CS3 or earlier into Adobe Flash CS3 or Adobe Illustrator CS3 and earlier, the image is several times larger than expected. See also (45274)
  • Mac OS X v10.5 (Leopard): Crash when previewing per-character 3D text animation if the project's color depth is 32bpc. Please check for availability of OpenGL support updates. (45814)
  • When importing a Photoshop file as a composition, vector mask blending modes are incorrectly set. Please set the blending modes in the After Effects composition in the Timeline panel as needed after importing. (46017)
  • Launching After Effects CS3 v8.0.2 under Rosetta on Macintosh Intel hardware breaks P2 import. To reset the functionality, please delete the following file: ~/Library/Preferences/com.Adobe.After Effects.8.0.2.plist
  • Freeze or crash when you start on a system with Realtek HD Audio (Windows XP). See also
  • Multiprocessing performance issues with multi-core machines, especially high-end 8-core hardware. When all 8 cores try to render a complex or memory intensive composition with Render Mutliple Frames Simultaneously, the application can become memory starved if each process has insufficient memory. To remedy this, there is a text preference to control the maximum number of cores that Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously will use. Open the text preference file and look in the ["MP"] section for:
    "MaxNumberOfProcesses" = "0"
    "0" is the default setting, which disables this preference setting. For better performance on an 8-core machine with 8GB RAM, for example, change the "0" setting to "4" and save the preference file and restart After Effects. This restricts multiprocessing with Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously to 4 cores, each getting approximately 2GB of RAM.
  • For other performance tips using large dimension or complex compositions, see the "Improve performance" section of After Effects CS3 Help on the Web.

- Jonas



30 Courses to Die For

I've been meaning to post about great training resources for my beloved After Effects, but here's something even better; training for the entire video / animation / graphics / broadcasting / film business.

Regular readers know how I'm a big fan of and that you can't get any more current and professional training even for ten times the price of one term. I've been a member from the start, and believe me; you won't get as much value for your money anywhere else!

You have 30 courses to choose from, ranging from motion graphics in AE with Tim Clapham and typography with Frank Jonen, to RED production and 3D tracking.

Here's a complete list of available courses. The term starts on January 14, 2008, but you can join later and have access to all the classes you've signed up for.

If you want to know more about fxphd, take a look at the fxphd Tour Movie and the Orientation Week movie (torrent link) that covers all the upcoming classes. There's also a great FAQ.

Oh, if you enter humlan in the Referring Member field on the signup page, I'll get an extra class, which would be really nice. Thanks in advance!

- Jonas

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Avoid QuickTime 7.4 for Now

UPDATE: QuickTime 7.4.1 Fixes Rendering Bug


Just like with QuickTime 7.2, the newly updated QuickTime 7.4 seems to be creating problems when rendering, not only from After Effects but even from FinalCut Pro. People report getting a errors like:
After Effects error: opening movie - you do not have permission to open this file (-54)
There are some suggestions that this is the movie rental DRM in iTunes that tries to verify the copy-protection in all open QuickTime movies every 10 minutes.

The work-around is to render to a file sequence, such as TIFF, and then either assemble that into a QuickTime movie in QuickTime Player Pro or by importing the sequence into AE and rendering out a movie from that sequence.

Apple's discussion board: QuickTime
Thread about AE and QT 7.4

- Jonas


Better Corner Pinning with Mocha

When you import tracking data from Mocha, you get the four corners applied to the Corner Pin effect. To get better edges, use the same data but apply it to the CC PowerPin effect instead, which has better edge anti-aliasing and also supports expanding the layer outside the actual tracking points.
Just line up the corners of the two effects on the first frame and copy the keyframes from the Corner Pin effect and paste it into a CC PowerPin effect, or link each point with an expression.

- Jonas

Tip by Danny Princz on AE-list

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Choosing a Professional Mic

I'm no audio guy, but I am a geek fanboy, so I just couldn't resist the temptation to link this thorough review on how to choose a mic. It even has has sound samples and cool looking graphs for all the tested mics. Respect!

- Jonas

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If You Built a TV Studio Today, What Would You Build?

I've spent the last few years around TV studios that have slowly been upgraded to handle new additions like 16:9, overlapping projectors, animated LED lighting. In the good-old tradition of public service, everything installed has been proprietary and expensive broadcast equipment.

This slow update-cycle means that older equipment is moved to shows deemed less important. I'm currently re-rendering a title sequence I did four months ago for a show that was shot in 4:3 since their old cameras didn't have a widescreen option. This season they are changing to 16:9...

That's why it's so interesting to see a behind-the-scenes look at how Revision3 is building a studio using cheaper equipment, based on the production principles of today, rather than yesterday. So much has happened in post-production that seemed impossible just a few years ago, and it's inspiring to not have to fight old broadcast engineers that want to spend great wads of cash on dinosaur stuff.
I love how the studio engineer gets all worked up over all the equipment.
"I love patch-bays!"

PS. There's a HD QuickTime available if you want to get motion-sickness from the really bad camera handling.
"It aint't rebel if it ain't shaky..."

- Jonas

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