Want to try out Adobe After Effects 5.0, the latest edition of Adobe’s motion graphics and visual effects software? A demo is now available. But you’d better want to try it out in a bad sort of way because the download is a whopping 104.4MB file.
After Effects 5.0 adds new features such as:
Composite layers in 2D or 3D space with fine control over multiple cameras and lights;
The ability to animate layers hierarchically by defining a parent-child relationship between any two layers;
The capacity to use nondestructive vector paint tools to reveal an image over time, draw animated cartoons, and much more (this is available in the Production Bundle only — but more on that in a moment);
The capability to use expressions to define relationships between parameters so that you can create natural-type animations without using keyframes;
The ability to apply new effects such as Shatter, Radio Waves, and Vegas;
The power to take advantage of masking enhancements. You can edit masks in the Composition window, assign mask colors, apply Motion Blur to masks, and more.
After Effects comes in two flavors. The Standard version provides the core 2D/3D compositing, animation, and effects tools that are targeted to motion graphics professionals, Web designers, and video professionals. The Production Bundle version is aimed at visual effects professionals, and includes all of the tools in the Standard Version, plus additional keying, motion control, and distortion tools, audio effects, 3D channel effects, 16-bit-per-channel color, vector paint, and support for network rendering.
The disappointing thing for Mac OS X fans is that the new version of After Effects isn’t Carbonized, though it will run in the Classic environment. To use it, you’ll need a Power Mac (a multi-processor G4 is recommended); Mac OS 9.0.4, 9.1, or Mac OS X Classic; 64MB of RAM (128MB or more is recommended); QuickTime 4.1.2 or higher; 120MB of available hard-disk space for installation (500MB or larger hard disk or hard-disk array recommended for ongoing work); and a 24-bit color display adapter. You can download the After Effects demo at
Adobe’s download site.