After Effects CS6 (Review)

MicroFilmmaker Mag by Mark Colesgrove

The latest release of Adobe’s After Effects (CS6 if you’re counting) is a monster. While the crux of the program remains the same, there are several new changes that make this update a major one. Let’s delve right in…

Ease of Use

For those new to After Effects, you’ll find the basics fairly easy to step right into. The interface is sort of a combination of Premiere and Photoshop. Your composition serves as your time line, made up of stack-able layers, which you can manipulate with key-frames. It’s not rocket science… until you start playing around with some of the more advanced features. The layout in CS6 is relatively unchanged, so users of older versions will not have a learning curve.

After Effects CS6 has (finally) added “Extrude,” which makes doing simple 3D extruded text easier than ever. Extrude eliminates the need for a separate plug-in and ultimately saves you some cash!

Extrude works for EPS files as well, and the results are impressive. The scaling reacts to lighting and camera with ultra-realism. Although After Effects product manager, Steve Forde has stated that After Effects will never be a 3D modeling program, finally having Extrude as part of the package will add a lot of quick and easy production value to your otherwise 2D animations. For those of you (like me) with no desire to ever be a 3D animator, being able to quickly dabble within After Effects is a wonderful addition. read more...

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