Integration of Anywhere with the AE/C4D Pipeline Will Come This Summer

Adobe today officially announced new features inside a coming version of After Effects that will take rotoscoping in a entirely new direction and will further enhance workflows that rely on roundtrip comps between AE and Maxon's Cinema 4D. Although Adobe is bringing this technology as a preview and not in a new version of Creative Suite to NAB this year, the depth of that preview reveals a company engaged in deep and rigorous R&D in the range of the pro video suite's individual software features but also in how each one works with the other. The preview will be on display in the company's booth during the Las Vegas convention next week. "We are definitely not talking about version numbers at this point," said Bill Roberts, director of video product management, "but we are excited about what is coming next and we wanted to share it with our users at the show."

A new iteration of Warp Stabilizer, first introduced in After Effects CS 5.5 and subsequently in brought into Premiere Pro in version 6, is coming to the next version of After Effects as Warp Stabilizer VFX. The refined tool will let users stabilize a specified section of footage, allowing for more subtle differentiation, for example, between objects in the foreground or background of a framed shot.

The rotoscoping revolution comes in the form of a new refine edge tool that makes fast and much easier work of marking edges in a key than CS6's roto brush did. In the coming version of After Effects, applying the edge tool to various lines—regardless of how clumsily it's done—will launch an analysis of finer, more difficult edges within proximity (as illustrated in the photo at top) to create an astonishingly cleaner key. "It seems to be the only thing like it on the market," said After Effects senior product manager Steve Forde.

Adobe is calling its new After Effects and Cinema 4D integration a "Live 3D Pipeline" and Forde compared it to Dynamic Link in the way the real-time roundtripping works. "What we've done in our collaboration with Maxon is to put the entire 3D engine," called Cineware by Maxon, "into After Effects live. Nothing has to be prerendered." This action launches Maxon's Cinema 4D Lite, where users can build, texture and apply 3D models to their After Effects comps. "After tweaking, all you do is hit save and the footage is still live in After Effects—no rerendering at all," said Forde.

Maxon's president and CEO Paul Babb pointed out that only a few features from the full version of Cinema 4D R14 are removed from the C4D Lite version. These include C++ and Python scripting APIs, support for a 3D mouse and a handful of interface tools like the ToDo List, Doodle Viewport annotation tool and stereo display in the Viewport.

The connection to the cloud will come in due time. "The integration of the AE and C4D pipeline with Adobe Anywhere is coming in July," said Forde.

Watch the video clip below for an overview of the major new features coming to After Effects.