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How to connect external projector to AE CS5.5?

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Barney HeywoodHow to connect external projector to AE CS5.5?
by on Dec 13, 2011 at 9:36:06 am

Hello everyone,

I have just got a new macbook pro 15" with After Effects CS5.5 and I am trying to connect an external projector with VGA via the display port and I can't get anything to work, please help.

I need it to display my composition full screen on the projector. The projector works fine when I connect it to the computer (though system preferences), but in AE when I go to 'Video Preview' in 'Preferences' there are only 2 options 'Computer Monitor Only' and 'Firewire', neither of which do anything.

In the past I have used After Effects CS3, with my old and very slow macbook. In this version when you go to 'Video Preview' there is an option call 'Digital Cinema Desktop Preview', which is how I have connected AF to a projector.

I have read in some other forums that you need additional hardware, but I can't figure out what I would need. It also seems like it shouldn't be that complicated as it doesn't seem to be a problem in other programs such as Final Cut.

If anyone knows how this is possible I would be hugely grateful.


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Michael SzalapskiRe: How to connect external projector to AE CS5.5?
by on Dec 13, 2011 at 7:38:25 pm

The projector is just viewed as a second monitor.
Just move your composition window over onto the second monitor.
You can set where the screens are in relation to each other in your system settings.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Barney HeywoodRe: How to connect external projector to AE CS5.5?
by on Dec 13, 2011 at 10:02:21 pm

Thanks for your response Michael, but I'm afraid that I need a full screen preview, without the window surround. I need to be able to view the preview at the same size as the exported file as I'm matching it to a physical object. Any more suggestions would be much appreciated.


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Kevin CampRe: How to connect external projector to AE CS5.5?
by on Dec 13, 2011 at 10:42:26 pm

i'm surprised that adobe would remove the digital cinema desktop option from cs5.5 (i do have it in cs5).

i wonder if it is an issue with the way the new macbook pro is connected to the vga projector.... does your new mbp have thunderbolt, and are you using a thunderbolt-to-vga adapter?

perhaps that's the problem -- though i've not seen anything documenting this issue.

in trying to troubleshoot this, if you still have either the previous system or the previous version of ae, you could try either installing the current ae on the previous system, or the previous ae on the newer system, and see if the digital cinema desktop option is available.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Barney HeywoodRe: How to connect external projector to AE CS5.5?
by on Dec 15, 2011 at 12:15:58 pm

Thanks Kevin, I'll give it try.

Yes. the new mbp does have a thunderbolt, but from what I can tell there is no change to the old display adapters. I don't think it's possible to buy thunderbolt to VGA.

Cheers B


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Kevin CampRe: How to connect external projector to AE CS5.5?
by on Dec 15, 2011 at 11:14:29 pm

i did a little googling... it does look like there may be an issue with the new mbp's and some monitor adapters...

when you plug in the projector do you a desktop image at all?

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Barney HeywoodRe: How to connect external projector to AE CS5.5?
by on Dec 15, 2011 at 11:21:55 pm

Hi Kevin, yeah the projector connects to the computer fine. I can drag windows between the two without a problem, it's just when it's through AE.


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Kumar ShanRe: How to connect external projector to AE CS5.5?
by on Mar 21, 2012 at 8:37:34 pm

Hey there.

Install Final Cut Express... worked for me... or you can try final cut studio.

Then you can use the video preview for AE.

Hope it helps

Thank you


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Kumar ShanRe: How to connect external projector to AE CS5.5?
by on Mar 21, 2012 at 8:38:56 pm

install final cut express 4. it worked for me


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