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Adobe After Effects CS3

By Ko Maruyama

WHAT EVERYBODY WANTS TO KNOW: ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS CS3, AKA ADOBE AFTER EFFECT 8.0 IS HERE... well almost. Barring expletives, all I can say is: "It's !#%@!#%***[email protected]#$([email protected]((#*[email protected]@**!#@$ wicked." There are several features in the new upgraded software, and while Adobe highlights 10, it's only because there are really too many updates to cram into a press release. This is chock full of goodness.

This morning, Adobe announces... head whirling... not only the design package, which they had hinted earlier, but also PRODUCTION PREMIUM CREATIVE SUITE 3. Ready for your Intel Mac firebreather, and 64-bit PC, the new gear is gonna smoke your old systems' performance.

Announcement - Shmannouncement. Where's my After Effects?

I've been telling you for the past year to check out Adobe Labs, here's even more reason why you should. Next: AE CS3 BETA available for Mac and Windows. Also PREMIERE PRO CS3 will be available under this beta program. (Premiere Pro CS3 runs on Intel-Mac and Win only). Starting on April 16... in step with the beginning of NAB (, you'll be able to download the new software and check it out yourself (

If you work in one of those studios that doesn't allow anything except for a gold version to be installed on your computers, you'll have to wait a little longer before the production of the final starts, but it'll be worth it.

 However, everyone will want to know: HOW MUCH?

There's a whole pricing guide that Adobe has on their website, of course.  Only looking to purchase Adobe After Effects? If you purchase a new license of AE7 after March 27, you can upgrade to CS3 for free.  There'll be separate pricing for individual software upgrades as well.  Customers will also be able to upgrade from Adobe Production Studio to Adobe Master Collection CS3 at the regular upgrade price of $1999. Customers will have until September 12, 2007 to claim their upgrade.

So what's in it?

There is really too much in the new After Effects to cover in a single article. The "What's New in After Effects CS3" release from Adobe is eight pages alone.

You can be sure that there will be PLENTY of coverage of the new software, especially at ADOBE's website.

If I have to pick three top new features, I'd have to pick four. You'll see more in-depth coverage of each of these features later, for now, I won't tease you with in-depth features you can't use until April 16.  But I'll probably have more to say later.  Here are my top three - er - four (or more), in no particular order.

My favorite three features... well.... four. More on these on the following pages.


New Shape Layers allow you some amazing control over the splines in your composition. If you remember when the Text Tool was added, allowing your creative use of type to grow exponentially - it's like that, but for splines.

Each single shape layer can contain multiple paths with several different parameters, groups of associated paths and effects, and unique characteristics. There are many different parameters to each of the new tools within a shape layer. I'm sure that there will be several animations that utilize the shape layer alone once this software gets out of the gate.

Shape layers can contain compound path shapes, or grouped component shapes. Marrying the paths in shape layers have the potential to deliver endless options.


New Shape Layer - What will YOU do with it?



Gotta talk about it...

Don't count this against the tally on my Top 3 list, but a brilliant addition to the AE CS3 timeline is an icon which will allow you to navigate to different comps if the current composition happens to be used as a precomp. You don't have to remember every place the precomp was used anymore, just click the icon, and up pops a list.

Little choir of voices ("ahhhhh").  Adobe *is* listening to us!
Thank you Michael and Michael.

This will help you to easily navigate through your older projects, or other artists projects.  There's the one arttist in the studio who doesn't organize their project panel.  Now you can decipher their jumbled comps in a couple of clicks.

On the next page - More about Adobe After Effects CS3.  (Are you calling it "After Effects 8" or "AECS3"?)

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Related Keywords:Adobe After Effects CS3, compositing tools, special effects software, visual effects,

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Most Recent Reader Comments:
  • Re: Key frames and Pre-comps are so 2000 by Ko at Apr. 16, 2007 12:02 am gmt (Rec'd 3)
  • Key frames and Pre-comps are so 2000 by tallscot at Apr. 07, 2007 4:34 pm gmt (Rec'd 5)
  • Holy %$%!!! Motion 3!!!! by tallscot at Apr. 15, 2007 10:59 pm gmt (Rec'd 4)
  • Adobe After Effects CS3 by DMN Editorial at Apr. 02, 2007 4:19 pm gmt (Rec'd 4)

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