After Effects 18.0 & New Beta

After Effects 18.0 was release yesterday along with a new public beta for 18.1. These releases bring some great new features to your workflow and a BIG new feature to test.

After Effects 18.0

The latest release brings us up to version 18.0.

A few features previously in beta have graduated to the release version of After Effects. The 3D ground plane and improved composition toolbar are now ready for prime time after the After Effects team solicited feedback last month. Media replacement in Essential Properties and MOGRTs first went into public testing last fall and is now shipping.

Real-Time Draft 3D will be a great benefit to anyone working in 3D space. While still limited to the composition bounds, the performance is much smoother as it utilizes a proper real-time engine. We’re excited to see this continue to improve.

You’ll also find improved performance for Team projects.

New in Beta

Multi-frame rendering in the new Render Queue status panel. (Image courtesy of Adobe.)

The biggest news for the public beta is the return reimagining of a feature everyone’s been waiting for: Multi-Frame Rendering. This is not the old “Render multiple frames simultaneously” setting from v13. This was a years long effort that touched literally millions of lines of code.

Performance improvement of the new Multi-Frame Rendering feature can range from 1.2x on lower end systems to over 3x on higher end systems.

Since Multi-Frame Rendering is being tested in beta, there are still lots of things to iron out. Right now the feature is limited to rendering through the Render Queue and not available for timeline previews. Some plugins (including third-party) might not be optimized for or support Multi-Frame Rendering, but performance degrades gracefully back to the old rendering in this case.

You can learn a lot more on the official FAQ, including how to provide feedback.

Featured image: Closeup of Windows CPU utilization with After Effects Beta 18.1 — MFR enabled. Via Ryan Shrout, Chief Performance Strategist at Intel. (Source)

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