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AE CS5 Gripes

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Shawn MarshallAE CS5 Gripes
by on Apr 1, 2011 at 7:44:37 pm

We've had AE CS5 for over a year now, but the only time I use it is when I'm handed project files from someone else using CS5. Otherwise, I still use CS4, because I'm finding many of the small changes Adobe's made to CS5 make me work LESS efficiently. One would think that newer versions of software would help you work MORE efficiently, but for what I do, that's not the case.

First off, why would Adobe eliminate the wireframe preview? If I'm flying around 30-50 video boxes, the ability to run off a wireframe preview was an invaluable way to set up and evaluate the basic motion very quickly. Now I have to churn through a RAM preview, and if each box contains a different video clip this can be a real time killer, despite Open GL. I'm running a circa 2008 Dual 3.0 Ghz Quad Core Mac Pro. It's not the latest and greatest machine available, but it's no slouch. If I've missed a comparable workaround to the wireframe preview, please let me know.

The Keyframe Velocity panel now requires an extra keystroke to use. In CS4, when I right-click on some keyframes in the timeline and bring up the Keyframe Velocity panel, the first field of the panel (Incoming velocity: Speed) is already selected, so I can just type in the number. When I do the same thing in CS5 I have to hit "TAB" to highlight that first field, and then type in the number. I'm frequently calling up that panel to create smooth motion drifts, and so all those extra "TABs" add up.

I posted this next point a few months ago, but I think it bears repeating. I don't like the changes they've made to the Output Module in CS5. In CS4 or earlier, if I add a comp to the Render Queue and change something on one of my 30 presets (like disabling the audio) the Output Module would say something like "Based on Lossless." That made it really easy to see, at a glance, how the various comps in the Render Queue were being compressed. In CS5, if I do the same thing, the Output Module says "Custom: Quicktime." How is that better? To see how I'm actually compressing that movie I have to click on the Output module setting or twirl down the triangle. This is LESS EFFICIENT for me. Yes, I could make 100 presets for every conceivable combination of video and audio compression so the name will be visible in the list, but why should I? The old system worked fine.

It also seems like the interface in general has gotten uglier and uglier over the years, and text fields in the dialog boxes are getting smaller and smaller. I've been using After Effects since around 1997 (version 3.0). I'll be hitting the big five-oh in a few months, and I'm missing the larger text fields and friendlier interface.

Granted, CS5 offers 64-bit functionality, and the Roto-brush could be handy, but the interface changes I've listed are a mystery to me.

I've posted these complaints to the Adobe feature request site. If anyone agrees with any of these I'd suggest posting your feedback there, too. Or maybe it's just me.


Shawn Marshall
Marshall Arts Motion Graphics

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Rob DahlRe: AE CS5 Gripes
by on Apr 1, 2011 at 9:19:22 pm

Just a small note:
The in AE-CS5 wireframe mode is switchable in the Fast Preview button pulldown along with the Adaptive Resolution, Open-GL and custom settings.

Rob Dahl
Transparent Alchemy
Boulder City, NV 89005

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Shawn MarshallRe: AE CS5 Gripes
by on Apr 1, 2011 at 10:19:55 pm

Thanks for the reply, Rob, I appreciate it.

Yes, I've played around with the Fast Preview settings and set it to Wireframe. Unfortunately, you can't RAM preview it that way. If you hit "0" to run a RAM preview it reverts back to the fully shaded mode.

It even says in the "What's New" list for CS5 that Wireframe Preview has been removed. Again I ask, why would Adobe REMOVE functionality?

With Fast Preview set to Wireframe I can hit the spacebar and have the layers play back realtime, which kind of solves the problem. But that's still inferior to the old Wireframe Preview because I don't get audio with the spacebar playback. If I'm timing a bunch of layers to hit on certain audio cues, I'm hosed.

Again, if I'm missing a way get the audio with a spacebar preview, please tell me. I'm not seeing a keyboard shortcut or preference that enables audio playback.

And I'm not griping for the sake of griping. I'd like to know whether other power users have been affected by these changes or whether there are workarounds. If other users are unhappy I urge them to contact Adobe.

Thanks again.

Shawn Marshall
Marshall Arts Motion Graphics

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Walter SoykaRe: AE CS5 Gripes
by on Apr 2, 2011 at 2:02:09 pm

For anyone looking for the bug report / feature request form Shawn mentioned, it's here:

Adobe engineers really read these, so your input is important!

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events

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