Adobe After Effects 5.0
In true AE style, all layer properties in X, Y and Z-axis can be fully animated over time. You simply select your layer in the first frame, and change any required property values by dragging or selecting the property and typing in numeric values. Then go to the next frame, create a new keyframe, change some values there or drag any properties you want changed, and then rewind the clip. Click on RAM Preview to see your work of art. As you add camera and lights to your 3D layer, AE lets you choose options that represent the properties of real cameras and lenses. A Preset menu contains sets of properties that correspond to common lens sizes, (from 35mm to 200mm). AE lets you choose light types, such as Parallel lights to model distant sources such as the sun, Spot lights, Point lights, and Ambient light. For example, you might define a camera using a wide angle 15mm preset, then cut to a second camera created using a 200mm lens to capture close-ups from a different perspective. Best of all, in AE 5, you can create and save custom camera presets for a later user. At any time you can switch between views – such as Top, Bottom, Left, Right, Back and Front (orthographic view) – in the Composition window, and also customize predefined views. However, AE’s Composition window lets you interact with the orthographic views only one at a time, not simultaneously in “split-view” like in other 3D packages. While in a custom view, however, you can use the Orbit Camera tool from the toolbox to change the 3D view interactively – and thereby gauge the distance between your layers in Z space. After all, this feature – and a “split-view” feature for that matter – is for reference only, since you can’t animate them. You can, however, add cameras, animate your own arbitrary movements, and then cut between them in the timeline. Fixed files
With this upgrade, Adobe has more than successfully managed to make AE a strong motion-graphics application. This upgrade was due ages ago, and has managed to satisfactory touch most areas where competitors such as Pinnacle Systems’ Commotion Pro have had an edge. Above all, AE 5 has brought visual effects and motion design to the widest possible audience, thanks to its multi-publishing capabilities and support for Macromedia SWF. The latter could be a threat to rivals in the Flash-design scene. As it stands, for £450, creatives can easily take projects into the next dimension with 3D-compositing. Until now, these features were found only in high-end resolution-independent packages, such as Discreet Combustion. High-end users may find better integration and support for third-party 3D objects in other packages, but for a considerably higher price. This upgrade is a must for multimedia and Web creatives, and film and video professionals alike.