After Effects CS5

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The program is one of three in the new version of Adobe's Creative Suite to go bit native, taking full advantage of the multi-core processors and expanded RAM capacity of the newest Macs. The new version introduces some high-end features: The Roto Brush tool lets you easily isolate foreground elements in complex scenes. It also offers an auto-keyframe mode, supports custom color look-up tables, includes an updated version of Synthetic Aperture's Color Finesse 3 LE color correction tool, and now includes the Digieffects FreeForm plug-in.

Adobe engineers have touted 20 to 40 percent shorter render times on single-core machines and 30 to 50 percent shorter render times on multi-core processors. This is huge news for post-production and motion graphics pros, especially if you have a loaded multi-core workstation. One caveat: And you will need to upgrade all of your third-party plug-ins to bit versions, which will most assuredly cost you extra--and that's assuming the plug-in manufacturer has a bit version available.

After Effects is not backward compatible with older versions, so it's a good idea to keep your copy of After Effects CS4 installed so you can work on your existing projects and access your bit plug-ins. AVC-Intra and RED compatibility As the popularity of tapeless HD digital video workflows increases, so do the demands for post-production to accommodate these new formats with a minimal amount of pre-processing and data wrangling.

With improved color management and the included plug-ins like Synthetic Aperture's Color Finesse 3 and Apply Color LUT, it's easy to add these native formats to your production directly from the source. At first glance, it appears similar in function to the old Photoshop Extract plug-in, but it works much differently, since it spans several frames of footage at a time. You start by selecting the foreground object with broad strokes of the green brush, and then reduce the brush size to pick up stray elements such as edge highlights, hair, ears, and so forth.

Then use the red brush to identify the background. When you first apply the Roto Brush tool to a footage sequence, it creates a keyframe point and then looks for edges and changes across several frames forward and backward from the point at which you apply it.

You can make adjustments on each frame as needed, but mastering this workflow takes time and practice. I was able to use the Roto Brush tool on about 20 shots for a commercial in which I needed to do color grading on the background.

After working on the first few shots, I was continuing to perfect my process. The new Refine Matte effect, which is also applied when you use the Roto Brush tool, can be used with any matte layer as a standalone effect. It affects edge smoothness, feathering, chatter, and even motion blur--which is critical when matting people and objects when they're moving. A simple change on one frame may affect 10 to 15 frames after it, so it's best to create short sections of about 15 frames instead of a full footage sequence from the beginning.

Also, don't expect the same quality matte results that you would get from shooting your subject against a green screen.

Depending on your footage, if you have a busy background or the lighting is uneven and dark, the Roto Brush tool has a hard time distinguishing between foreground and background.

Locked-off shots with a still background and contrasting colors and lighting seem to work best. This tool is great for separating your foreground elements from the background to apply affects and do simple composites and color grading, but it won't work miracles and it is still quite time-consuming to achieve a good extraction.

Mocha provides 2. The Mocha Shape plug-in is now included, which allows you to create roto-mattes in Mocha 2 and import the rotoscope data, with variable, per-point edge feathering.

The full version of Mocha 2 that does not ship with After Effects CS5 has a newly designed interface, motion blur mattes, an image stabilization module, and is bit optimized. The Mocha for After Effects 2 is still bit. There is a product comparison chart available on the Imagineer Systems Website that describes the differences in detail.

Digieffects Freeform AE Using displacement maps and meshes that you can distort and animate, the Digieffects Freeform effect formerly known as Forge Freeform by Mettle. You can apply either a displacement map to the 3D layer or sub-comp, or manipulate the distortion mesh to create interesting effects in 3D space. It still doesn't create true volumetric 3D modeling or extrusions, but the distortions do react to the After Effects' 3D lighting and shadows appropriately, and interact with other 3D layers in your composition, unlike imported Live 3D layers from Photoshop.

Photoshop CS5 Macworld rated 4. However, as with all imported 3D objects from Photoshop, there is no real 3D interaction with After Effects lights or other 3D layers.

All of the lights on the objects must be applied in Photoshop and remain static on the surface of the object, regardless of how you place this 3D layer in your After Effects scene. You can still animate the position of the 3D object in After Effects, but there will be no interaction or shadows on or from other 3D layers. This is an area in After Effects that I feel Adobe needs to focus on in future versions.

Macworld's buying advice After Effects CS5 is a much-needed and critical upgrade for speed and productivity in a bit workflow. The Roto Brush is handy once you get the hang of it, and the added plug-ins offer advanced capability right within the program. Make sure you keep your CS4 version installed, though, for updating your old projects and to use with all of your older bit plug-ins.

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Adobe has changed to a subscription format for it's creative suite products. So why just not use it? The problem is, other products are very inferior and for someone who has grown up with Photoshop products, having to get used to some other clunky UI can be quite frustrating.

If you're thinking of getting photoshop, check out these best laptops for adobe photoshop. There are a few ways to still buy Adobe Photoshop CS6 without subscribing to the creative cloud subscription service. One of the most common options is to use Ebay and purchase someone's copy. Depending on when you read this blog, the price might vary quite a lot from those values.

Sometimes, buying a copy from Ebay means you just buy the serial product number. Then you download the software yourself from Adobe and enter your product key.

This is a legitimate way, but you don't get a physical copy. You can use Photoshop on up to 2 computers at a time you need a separate license for Windows and Mac. You can deregister a product key too, so if you ever need to transfer your copy to another computer, you can. The below method no longer works. However, you can still contact the Adobe Support Staff, usually via Live Chat, and they can process a payment for you for a full one-time purchase for CS6.

EDIT 2: A new deal from Adobe is their Creative Cloud subscription for Photography. It's much better than their single app plan. You can buy the plan here. EDIT 3: The other option, is to buy a copy directly from Adobe. You can still get copies from their website, it's just hidden and not advertised anymore they want you to use their Creative Cloud option instead. Note, that the Creative Cloud Photoshop CS6 is updated with new features and contains bug fixes and such.

It's also supported for newer operating systems, whereas older versions aren't. To buy from Adobe, you need to follow this link: It is the original full version of CS6 but it doesn't contain any of the new updates to the software made when Adobe changed to the subscription service. I'm using this version and I don't really feel like I'm missing out on anything.

So for anyone looking for a legitimate version of Photoshop CS6, I hope this helps:


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