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Get up to speed quickly with the new features in After Effects CS6. Join veteran After Effects user Chris Meyer as he explores the key enhancements to this industry standard visual effects and motion graphics software. Chris shares creative ideas and important production advice while covering the strengths of features such as memory optimization with the new global performance cache, 3D motion tracking with the 3D Camera Tracker, and the new 3D rendering engine for ray-traced 3D rendering.
One of the biggest new features that Adobe is touting in After Effects CS6 is something they call the Global Performance Cache. The Global Performance Cache actually consists of three distinct, different features. One is a Global RAM Cache. You are used to the idea of creating RAM Previews in After Effects where you cache frames for fast playback. Well, now After Effects CS6 is much better at retaining those frames and reusing them, so you have to spend less time waiting on calculating fresh previews. The second feature is something called a Persistent Disk Cache. Again, you may be used to the idea that After Effects could cache some frames onto your hard drive if RAM happens to be full.
Well now, you don't lose that disk cache once you close the program. It is saved on disk, so next time you open a project, you get all of your caches back. That's another big time savings. The third thing they've done is they've really improved the graphics pipeline. Previously, they relied on the operating system to do a lot of displays, particularly in the Composition, Footage, and Layer panels. Well, now they are taking advantage of the graphics card to accelerate that. Video card manufacturer NVIDIA has done some tests and they claim for most things we are seeing about one-and-a-half to two- and-a-half time speed increase over using the OS.
And some things include like layer boundaries or graphical elements that are overlaid on top of say the comp panel, are up to a dozen times faster with this rewriting of the core code. Now, this is a little different than the preference you may be used to inside After Effects where you could have harder acceleration of some features. That preference is still in After Effects CS6 and if you enable it, you'll get additional OpenGL acceleration of some graphical elements and displays inside After Effects. But now you don't need to worry about that preference. A lot of display elements are already accelerated in After Effects CS6.
So let's take a look at, in particular, the Global RAM Cache and the Persistent Disk Cache.
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