Adobe® After Effects CS5. January 2011 . Vol. 17 No. 1, Page 2

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column published for parents, teachers & business owners featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles, a free resource since 1995.

December 2010 --Adobe® Premiere Pro CS5 and CS Live Services
November 2010 --Adobe® Illustrator CS5 and Adobe Flash Professional CS5
October 2010 --Adobe® Fireworks CS5

Adobe® After Effects CS5

After Effects is Adobe’s special effects program used to add creative enhancements to any video or animation.  You can combine video, still images, graphics, text, and sound in 2D or 3D space and then animate any aspect of each element for a creative effect.  Also, support for 64 bit operating systems allows improved performance for higher resolution HD projects.

When you run After Effects CS5, you'll see it has a similar look to Soundbooth CS5 with a gray main menu but divided into several sections, not just four.  A Welcome screen appears over the main menu with the Tip of the Day (1 to 286 days) and quick access to Recent Projects. You can click on Open Project, New Composition, Help and Support, Browse Templates, New Features and Getting Started.  Clicking on Getting Started takes you to the Adobe Community Help for After Effects.  Here you’ll search the online “Community” for answers to your questions, or you can start with some tutorials, like the Learn After Effects CS5 series from Adobe TV.  If you click on Browse Templates, a new window opens displaying several pre-designed effects you can use.  Double clicking on a template will open it as a new project with all its elements listed. You can also access the templates from the File menu by clicking on Browse Template Projects.

The drop-down menu tool bar at the top is similar to Soundbooth and includes File, Edit, Composition, Layer, Effect, Animation, View, Window and Help.  The tools bar is below the main menu and is divided into sections.  At the top left is the Project tab, to the right are the Info and Audio tabs and the Effects & Preset tab is in the middle section.  When you create a new Composition, it opens in the top center of the screen moving Info and Audio tabs to far right and with the Effects & Presets tab below. After loading a template, the sections change a bit. The Preview tab appears on the top far right of the screen, where you can play and pause the video, mute audio and change the loop options. Also, the layer elements of the project are displayed below the composition window along with the timeline.

To test a template, select New Composition from the Composition menu, open the Templates window from the File menu and select a template.  Intro.aet looked intriguing and I selected it.  In seconds the template opened with a moving background and an animated light bulb spinning next to the word INFORMATION.  You’ll find several designs to choose from including Spider Web, Sports Turn, Spring Forward, Strategy, Timeline, Winter, Wispy and more.

To start a new project, click on the File menu at the top, and then click New.  Now from the file menu you can import your audio, video and graphics files in several different formats for editing.  This is a powerful, but complex program, so before you do any serious design work, it’s best to run a few of their video tutorials for practice.   A great place for in-depth tutorial help is at Adobe Community Help accessed via the After Effects CS5 help menu.

What’s New and Enhanced in After Effects CS5

Native 64-bit OS Support - New

Work fluidly on high-resolution projects — even at 32-bit-per-channel color inside HD, 2K, and 4K compositions. Use all of your system's RAM.

Roto Brush - New

Isolate foreground elements from backgrounds in a fraction of the time it would otherwise take using this revolutionary new tool.

AVC-Intra and Enhanced RED Support - New

Work natively with tapeless footage from the newest high-quality Panasonic cameras thanks to AVC-Intra 50 and AVC-Intra 100 support. Take advantage of improved support for RED R3D formats, and gain additional controls for working with raw footage.

Color Finesse – Enhanced

Enjoy an enhanced color correction workflow with the new features, finer control over hue and saturation, and ability to export settings as color lookup tables (LUTs) in Color Finesse LE 3.

Digieffects FreeForm - New

Turn flat objects into virtually any 3D shape using this popular 3D mesh warp plug-in.

Mocha for After Effects v2 – Enhanced

Apply motion tracking to hand-drawn masks and import variable-width mask feathers. The powerful mocha shape plug-in is also included.

Auto-Keyframe Mode - New

Animate quickly by setting starting keyframes automatically.

Color LUT Support - New

Get consistent color in your workflow by using industry-standard 3DL and CUBE lookup tables.

Refine Matte Effect - New

Apply intelligent edge tracking, dechattering, and motion blurring capabilities to any layer with a problematic alpha channel, such as keyed footage.

Adobe® After Effects CS5 sells for $1699 and is is available for the IBM PC or compatible multi-media computer with an Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor (Intel Core™2 Duo or AMD Phenom® II recommended) or faster processor running Windows 7 / Vista / XP with 2 GB RAM, 3 GB of hard disk space for installation, 64-bit operating system required. Also available for the Mac with a Multicore Intel processor, Mac OS X v10.5.7 or v10.6, 2 GB RAM, 4 GB of hard disk space for installation, 1,280 x 900 screen resolution, QuickTime 7.6.2 software and a DVD-ROM drive. For more information, or to order, visit

Software Companies Mentioned

Adobe Systems Incorporated
345 Park Ave
San Jose, CA 95110-2704
Phone: 800-833-6687