New public beta of 3D workflows in After Effects
Wednesday, September 16, 2020 | Written by Jim Thacker
Adobe has released a new public beta of After Effects, which it describes as a "redesign" of 3D workflows in compositing software. New camera navigation tools are added and gizmos for 3D layers are transformed.
The beta shipped with After Effects 17.1.4, the September 2020 version of the software that extends support for GPU acceleration under the channel effects.
New camera controls make it easier to navigate After Effects scenes in 3D space
Adobe describes the beta release as saying that working in 3D space in After Effects becomes "much more intuitive," especially for motion graphics, where 3D is now a "required skill".
One important change is that there is no longer a need to create a camera plane to start navigating a scene in 3D space. The software now creates a scene camera by default.
Users can move around a scene with "completely redesigned" Orbit, Pan, and Dolly controls, each with a range of interaction modes and new keyboard shortcuts, as shown in the video above.
It is now also possible to create a new camera plane directly from the current camera view, which allows bookmarks to be set and to switch between viewpoints in 3D space.
New 3D transform gizmos use a design shared with Adobe Dimension
The beta also adds new gizmos for manipulating 3D layers: both a new universal transformation gizmo and individual gizmos for rotating, scaling or moving layers in 3D space.
The XYZ coordinates of the gizmos are displayed on the screen along with important information such as angle or distance traveled to facilitate precise adjustments.
The design of the gizmos is shared with Dimension, Adobe's 3D rendering and compositing software.
According to Adobe, the new functionality is part of a cross-product development project that will result in more new 3D tools in After Effects in future releases.
Pricing and system requirements
The new camera navigation tools and 3D transform gizmos will be available as part of a public beta version of After Effects, which will be available free of charge to existing users of the software. New users can install a trial version.
The stable version After Effects 17.1.4 is only available on a rental basis for Windows 10 and MacOS 10.13+.
An annual Creative Cloud subscription to After Effects alone is $ 31.49 / month, while a subscription to all Adobe Creative Cloud tools is $ 79.49 / month.
For more information on the new 3D workflows, see After Effects on the Adobe Blog
Read Adobe's online FAQs about the beta releases
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