Adobe is shipping After Effects 5.5, its motion graphics and visual effects software.

Two versions are available: the Standard version offers core 2D- and 3D-compositing and effects tools; while the Production Bundle offers these with additional keying, motion-control and distortion tools, audio effects, 3D-channel effects, 16-bit-per-channel colour, vector paint-tools and network-rendering support.

Adobe After Effects 5.5 has native support for Mac OS X. As a bonus, Zaxwerks 3D Invigorator Classic is included with the After Effects 5.5 Production Bundle and Standard to Production Bundle upgrade. This allows users to turn 2D artwork into 3D elements without leaving the After Effects environment.

Tips and tricks Brian Diecks, president and creative director of the Diecks Group, said: "One of the greatest assets of After Effects is its global community of users. The unfettered exchange of tips, tricks and solutions to problems via the Web and the many user groups is representative of one of the most generous groups of artists I've ever encountered. With After Effects 5.5, Adobe has once again raised the bar, giving us all exciting new tools for both creativity and productivity."

Adobe After Effects 5.5 integrates with Adobe Premiere, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. New features include RealMedia output, 3D camera data import from Alias|Wavefront, Maya and 3ds Max, and additional 16-bit per channel colour file support including Maya IFF, RPF and QuickTime.

Adobe After Effects is £499 for the Standard version, and £1,200 for the Production Bundle. Upgrades from After Effects 5.0 are available at an estimated price of £75. (All prices exclude VAT.)