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By Chris Meyer | Friday, November 15, 2013

After Effects 12.1 Update

After Effects CC - Mask Tracker

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Adobe recently released a nice update to After Effects for Creative Cloud subscribers. Todd Kopriva of Adobe has provided an exhaustive list of what’s new in his blog. I’ve also added to my After Effects: Creative Cloud Updates course on lynda.com to demonstrate my favorites among the new features, including:

• The Rigid Mask Tracker, which can take an initial mask shape you’ve drawn, and adjust it from frame to frame as the enclosed object moves around the screen. There are some limitations (the object must be “rigid”) but it works surprisingly well. The temptation will be to use it for windows, signs, license plates, and similar objects, but I’ve found it useful for tracking irregularly shaped objects in order to correct their color or add effects, for example, to reduce the glare or reflections on a pair of glasses an actor or presenter is wearing. The movie demonstrating this feature is free for all to view—not just lynda.com subscribers.

Watch the movie here:

• A new and improved way to cleanly scale up your footage. The first is the brand-new Detail-preserving Upscale effect, which introduces a new scaling algorithm, and includes slider adjustments for edge enhancement and noise reduction. The other is the addition of bicubic scaling as an option for the versatile but underused Transform effect.

• A new Property Linking function. It automatically writes expressions for you that link one or more properties from one layer to another by copying and pasting. You can select targeted parameters, or even an entire effect or set of transformations, and use Edit > Copy with Property Links. Then select your target layer and paste as normal. These links even work across different compositions inside the same project.

I also cover a number of smaller but still very useful enhancements and changes, such as the audio waveforms now being drawn “rectified” by default, to better match Adobe Premiere Pro. I updated the captions for several movies in the After Effects Apprentice courses affected by this release, as well as my Editing and Animating to Sound with Adobe After Effects course that was released a few months ago.

As Adobe makes further significant changes to After Effects, I’ll continue to update my After Effects: Creative Cloud Updates course and keep it current. Enjoy!

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