To Adobe and the Members of the Adobe After Effects Team

New Here ,
Dec 20, 2016 Dec 20, 2016

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I have been using After Effects since CS 5, a version I absolutely loved because it was solid, stable and rarely crashed and because of that, fun to work with. Your latest major release, After Effects CC 2017, is the exact opposite of stable. This is not new, all of the Creative Cloud (CC) releases have been buggy at best, fundamentally broken at worst upon initial release. The 2017 release, however, has been the worst by far. In my line of work, we create some pretty complex projects that older versions had no problem handling. But now I cross my fingers hoping After Effects did not crash overnight while rendering. This would be forgivable except any project file touched by 2017 is somehow 'tainted' so attempts to roll back to a previous version with the same project will start causing similar crashing issues in CC 2015

I am totally blown away that someone at Adobe looked at 14.0, saw it's functionality, said "f&#+ the customers" and greenlit it for release. Based on all the bugs and crashes I've seen both personally, from other people I work with and on forums, 2017 has at least 6 months of development and 6 months of testing before it is a viable software.

The AE platform isn't going to make you guys any money if you continue down this path. I'm telling you that you might actually cripple the software's reputation so badly that no one is going to use Adobe products. Nuke and other competing alternative softwares may be ridiculously expensive but at least they can render a shot without crashing all the time. I feel bad for the 10 software engineers who coded this and were forced to release this crap so early in it's development. Apparently, the Adobe executives got wild hairs up their — about only releasing new versions every 3 years. Instead of giving the mere 10 person AE team plenty of time to TEST and FIX the software bugs themselves on a rainbow of computer hardware configurations, you guys decided it would be best if the CUSTOMER tested the software in before it has even reached the beta phase and then release patches for it over the course of it's one year lifetime so you could release a new version every year like some crappy sports video game. The customers. The people who are not a quality control department! The people who basically rely on your software to eat and pay the bills!

People pay money for this, companies pay money for this. A lot more cumulatively than with the Creative Suite releases and the return on our investment is becoming increasingly not worth it. The only idea I have right now is to remove all versions from my system and re-install a solitary older, stable, tested by customers version of After Effects and not opening but IMPORTING my previous projects that were saved out of 2017 as CC13. At home, I have my own box that I built myself, happily running (and rendering) smoothly on AE CC 2015 and 2014. I would've been done with several of my projects from work weeks ago if I had taken them home to render.

Here is a small list of things that can (but not always) cause After Effects CC 2017 (14.0) to crash:

-Opening After Effects

-Closing After Effects (Error literally says "Stuff not in right order")

-Starting a RAM preview using the spacebar (Fixed in update but still worth mentioning)

-Stopping a RAM preview (Fixed in update but still worth mentioning)

-RAM previewing clips containing audio

-RAM previewing audio

-Having layers with keylight at the bottom of a layer stack vs the top

-Rendering

-Rendering with keylight

-Doing anything else on the computer while AE is rendering even if half of my 64GB of RAM is allocated

-Opening Preferences (Fixed in update but still worth mentioning)

-And my personal favorite: Absolutely nothing

P.S. After 5 years, your software is still unable to utilize high performance graphics cards that are recommended on your website.

Computer Specs:

-ASUS SABERTOOTH X99 LGA 2011-v3 Intel X99 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

-Intel Core i7-5820K 3.3 GHz LGA 2011-v3 Desktop Processor

-G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series (64GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2400 (PC4 19200) Intel Z170 Platform

-PNY Quadro M4000 VCQM4000-PB 8GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 Full Height Workstation Video Card

-2 Samsung 1 TB + 2TB SSD Drives

-Windows 10 Pro

-Latest AE CC 2017 version as of 12/20/16 according to Creative Cloud desktop app

Moderator note: This is a warning. Please do not use profanity in your posts. It is against our community guidelines. Remember. There are those under 18 using our forums too, so please be respectful. Thank you.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 20, 2016 Dec 20, 2016

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You are not addressing Adobe here.  This is a user to user forum.  Please make your suggestions here:

Feature Request/Bug Report Form

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Advocate ,
Dec 27, 2016 Dec 27, 2016

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In a previous life I was a product manager in life sciences.  If the engineers working on my product line were not starting or ending their days perusing customer forums they would be taken to the woodshed, once or twice.  If it happened a lot they were encouraged to find other work.  So your post is akin more or less to the old question when did you stop beating your wife.  If the people writing and testing the product are not reading these comments there really is no hope.

The other thing I learned in development is teams know how good their products are.  Always.  It's commercial pressure and bean counter decision making that releases products early.  Every time.  And anyone who thinks a corporation can get ten products done and tested at the same quality level on the same deadline has been drinking too much Koolaid.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 20, 2016 Dec 20, 2016

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Oh our community ranter Dave LaRonde is going to LOVE you .

Bob I believe Op want's to rant and maybe start a discussion. This has a place here in the forums.

this is a painful, somewhat understandable critique of the software's situation over the past years and hopefully should be addressed officialy because as we all know, the Team does appear on the threads on occasion. my hope is that whatever comes up from this post will be focused on FACTS and not theories and speculations about Adobe's corporate management's intentions.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 21, 2016 Dec 21, 2016

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Roei Tzoref wrote:

my hope is that whatever comes up from this post will be focused on FACTS and not theories and speculations about Adobe's corporate management's intentions.

Well, that's the problem.  The FACTS are a long-running litany of software malfunctions that appear in this forum day after day.  So I have to ask myself, "WHY is this happening?  It never used to be as bad as it is now."

Now, if you have some FACTS that can explain the "why", please present them.  If you have none, where does this leave us?  It leaves us no other recourse than to speculate why this is happening.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 21, 2016 Dec 21, 2016

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Now, if you have some FACTS that can explain the "why", please present them.  If you have none, where does this leave us?  It leaves us no other recourse than to speculate why this is happening.

I don't understand how these assumptions get us anywhere. if this is just about blowing hot steam then fine, rant away.

I for one want answers from legitimate adobe representatives. if this thread will be just another one with the worn out "Corportate Weasels" metaphors Dave is copy pasting all over the web then I feel this would be missing an opportunity and missing the point.

when I say Facts I mean that in my opinion this should be focused on technical Facts:

1. Ae today vs Ae 10 years ago. what's broken, for how long?

2. the team is not 10 people, its more than 50 but why aren't there more people working on this software when it is so commonly used obviously and there are major issues to address?

3. more questions could appear here...

I think this should be taken seriously and written in serious tone. not disrespect, no weird metaphors but an open letter to the ones responsible for this software's condition in the past decade.

saying CC2017 is a useless app  is simply not true. saying it has been useless since CC is not true. I have been working with this software daily and extensively for the past 13 years. teaching it for the past 4 and observing every other feature in CS6-CC2017 and getting feedback from hundreds of students about what works and what does not. working everyday at home, in various workplaces where it's installed on various platforms. I had crashes on 5.5 and I had crashes on 7.0 and I had preview problems with CS and we had useless features like Open GL that crashed and many many more. then there was the fact that it only used 2 GB or RAM until it became 64bit. I can't remember all the history but this software always had all kinds of issues. guess some feel nostalgic here and forget it was sometime a struggle with this software. so let's not pretend that Ae was fine and stable and perfect and then came subscription model and all went down hill.

sorry for being personal here but Dave has been answering every other complaint about the performance and even some features that would not work with "the software does not work as advertised", even when a user asks for something that was never supposed to work, spreading fallacies as if everything is broken. this is what it's come to: when you focus on complaining, on conspiracy theories and other imaginative speculations, when the director of the engineering team himself respectfully asks personally to talk to him and hear you out - and you respond with "No, Thanks" and a childish response, then all I can say is you don't really want to help make things better by giving a useful feedback, you just want to complain and that's unfortunate and a missed opportunity.

if this is some ranting movement of just saying nay to everything then fine but I want answers and I want users here to get serious answers to serious questions from the ones involved with this software's development. if we keep this serious and to the point, there's a chance this might happen.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 21, 2016 Dec 21, 2016

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Let's not get too rosy-toned with our rear-view mirrors. Every version of AE has had its issues. Some people may have forgotten (or didn't experience it), but when CS5 first came out (it was the first version to be 64-bit), the forums were filled with complaints about it. Bugs galore. Plugin issues. Etc. It was a madhouse!

Every major version has had a wave of issues when it is first released. But that's true for most software - this isn't an Adobe thing. Out of all of the software packages I am familiar with, Cinema 4D is the best at releasing stable first releases of major versions, but they even have had some big issues and have had to rush patches out to fix them once in a while.

Now, I don't want this to be seen as discounting the concerns in this thread! The CC 2015 release was a particularly notable release for After Effects due to the massive amount of problems it contained in its initial launch. It's unfortunate. It should have been notable because it had the beginnings of a new code base introduced in that release. That should have been exciting news. It was the first time AE has had a completely new architecture put in since its debut a couple of decades ago. That should have been the headline. Instead, the bugs took all of the limelight. I mean, issues with the new code were to be expected, to be fair, but not that many! It felt like it wasn't a finished piece of software yet. It led many to feel like they were beta testing the new architecture without being asked.

The subsequent versions seem to have been mostly focused on fixing the issues with the new architecture that was introduced in CC 2015 and it has been steadily improving, but slowly. The fixes have been hampered a bit by OS changes I would expect - especially on the Mac side. Apple seems to be going a bit willy-nilly with their API changes. At least, that's what I've heard from bunches of disgruntled Mac developers (not from Adobe - they are always too polite to say anything like that; I'm just extrapolating from what others have said).

Anyway, my point is that AE has never been a perfectly stable, bug free experience. Sure, maybe it was for certain people on certain releases with certain workflows (maybe including you), but that's your personal experience only. The wider community has always had lists of issues of some kind or another.

What would be really nice is if the AE team were allowed to get a version all tested up, bugs fixed, and launch it only when they are good and ready, but that's unlikely to ever happen. It's frustrating, but it's true of any software development; not all bugs will be fixed - it must go out eventually. "The perfect is the enemy of the good," or whatever the saying is. (Probably more common: "The management has set the deadline date, so hurry up!")

Now, speaking of personal experiences I am finding the new versions (especially CC 2017) to be rather stable for me on my computers - both Mac and PC. (It might help that I'm not running Sierra yet on my MacBook.) I've got CC 2017 in production in my freelance studio on Windows 10 (main workstation) and El Capitan (on my 2011 MacBook Pro for travel) and I don't even open CC 2014 anymore on either of them.

So, as a counterpoint to the negativity and bad experiences some people are having: it may seem bleak for you, but it may be great for others (just like earlier versions were great for you, but awful for others).

At least these days we get access to any version we want. Back in the day, you would pay for a version and, if it didn't work, you were straight out of luck. Now, our subscriptions include versions as far back as CS6! I always tell people, you aren't paying for the latest release of AE; you are just paying for AE! So use the version that works the best for you. You can have them all installed alongside each other without issue, so use what you know works for you when you're under deadlines and play with/test new versions when you've got a bit more time. Eventually, you will find a newer version that works for you and you can move your main production to that version.

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New Here ,
Dec 21, 2016 Dec 21, 2016

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I'll be honest, when I wrote this I had just gotten home from work and was very upset with how many render crashes I had trying to render a project that I would've loved to complete before going on Christmas vacation. As of now, that is not going to happen. That being said, I do not feel that my rant about AE 2017 isn't valid, neither do I think my speculations about what Adobe is doing are invalid either.

Maybe I'm a newbie compared to you guys but when I was in school, CS4/CS5 was my introduction to After Effects. I cannot remember a time in school when I had After Effects crashing on me so often, so inexplicably and during renders. When AE did crash it always seemed to have a legitimate reason. For example; something was wrong with your source files, you pushed an effect's parameters too far or the hardware couldn't handle what you were trying to do. I once had an assignment where we were supposed to model and animate airplanes and an environment using 3D layers in After Effects, loading even one frame took forever and yet I do not remember it crashing  inconsistently during a render with deadlines fast approaching. I was using a variety of systems, some computers at school were old store bought Dells from 2005, some were 2008 or so model Mac Pros and my own 2011 iMac at home. This is very anecdotal, I know but it seems to me like the CC apps ARE much worse upon release than any CS4-CS6 version that I or my coworkers have used.

Right now, where I'm working I have a system that should be able to handle anything I throw at it (specs above), yet I've had to restart my renders over and over and over again with 2017. My coworkers too and a few of them have completely different systems. Today I rolled back to CC 2015.3 and 2014 since it has a really stable UI. Fingers crossed. While it is true you can go all the way back to CS6 on creative cloud, I don't think it's wrong to point out that 2017 is the most unstable version I've ever used and it is messed up and damaging to Adobe's reputation that it was released in it's current state. I felt the same towards 2015 when it first came out.

My rant is a rant, there's no other way to look at it, I wanted to vent but now I would also like to open up a dialogue. I was not trying to be mean to the guys who code this software, I'm sure it's not their fault that they have a yearly deadline now. Plus, some of the new features in the CC versions are really cool, some I have even become reliant upon. But at the same time it seems like they're having to sacrifice quality just so Adobe can get something shiny out as soon as the application has the possibility to open. It's frustrating for everyone.

I've learned my lesson. I'll hold on to the old versions as long as possible and only download a new version when they stop making patch downloads for it.

Also,

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 21, 2016 Dec 21, 2016

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Robert1317 wrote:

I'll be honest, when I wrote this I had just gotten home from work and was very upset with how many render crashes I had trying to render a project that I would've loved to complete before going on Christmas vacation

I completely understand the frustration! Your list of issues would drive anyone batty!

Robert1317 wrote:

I do not feel that my rant about AE 2017 isn't valid, neither do I think my speculations about what Adobe is doing are invalid either.

Speculations may be interesting, but they're not enlightening. I think that's what Roei was trying to say. Our speculations are just guesses, but they could be helpful for an Adobe person who sees this. It could help them understand how their company is being perceived. Whether right or wrong, this is how things appear to us.

Robert1317 wrote:

Maybe I'm a newbie compared to you guys but when I was in school, CS4/CS5 was my introduction to After Effects. I cannot remember a time in school when I had After Effects crashing on me so often, so inexplicably and during renders.

...

This is very anecdotal, I know but it seems to me like the CC apps ARE much worse upon release than any CS4-CS6 version that I or my coworkers have used

You are a newbie compared to some of us, but you're a veteran compared to many users here, but your time in the software is irrelevant; your frustrations are valid! That being said, my point is that while it may seem worse to you, it is better for other people. It's just your turn (lucky you) to have things be sucky. That's not to say that you should just sit there and take it though. AE should be great for everyone! That's what bug reports are for!

You are right that a lot of AE's issues seem to be inexplicable. That being said, you can push AE a lot further than you used to be able to in the older versions and still keep working with it. The errors and issues are just a lot more mysterious now.

As I mentioned, AE is running a whole new architecture under the hood that isn't yet complete. It's not an excuse or anything (not that I'd be making them anyway, I am not employed by Adobe, so I don't care), I'm just trying to explain why things seem so different with the recent releases.

Robert1317 wrote:

While it is true you can go all the way back to CS6 on creative cloud, I don't think it's wrong to point out that 2017 is the most unstable version I've ever used and it is messed up and damaging to Adobe's reputation that it was released in it's current state. I felt the same towards 2015 when it first came out.

Agreed to the first point. If you are having problems with the current release, you should DEFINIETLY not keep quiet about it. Nobody can help you if they don't know there's a problem.

As to the second point, you are in in the minority on this one (thankfully). A majority of people (especially after the 14.0.1 update) are finding the CC 2017 release of After Effects to be useable and stable. There aren't any good excuses for how Adobe handled the release of CC 2015 though. The AE team tried to warn people, but not many people read their blogs or these forums.

Robert1317 wrote:

My rant is a rant, there's no other way to look at it, I wanted to vent but now I would also like to open up a dialogue. I was not trying to be mean to the guys who code this software, I'm sure it's not their fault that they have a yearly deadline now. Plus, some of the new features in the CC versions are really cool, some I have even become reliant upon. But at the same time it seems like they're having to sacrifice quality just so Adobe can get something shiny out as soon as the application has the possibility to open. It's frustrating for everyone

I was extremely frustrated with CC 2015, but have become increasingly more optimistic with each subsequent release. Again, I understand your frustration; you seem to be having an especially "interesting" time lately and I would feel the same way if I had your symptoms! It might not hurt to contact Adobe support (and make sure you specify right away that you need someone in the video queue or the DVA team). If you can get a higher level support person who has expertise in the video software, they might find what's causing the issue for you and your coworkers.

Robert1317 wrote:

I've learned my lesson. I'll hold on to the old versions as long as possible and only download a new version when they stop making patch downloads for it

That's not how I do things. It's a somewhat safer way to work, but, for example, AE CC 2015 - even with its latest bug patches - didn't work as well for me as the first release of CC 2015.3 or CC 2017 did. That's why I suggest installing new versions as soon as they come out, but only using them to test with at first. You never know; the next version might contain the silver bullet that would get things working for you again. For example, 14.0.1 fixed the playback issue that was being caused by MacOS for MANY AE users and it made CC 2017 far superior to any of the previous CC 2015 and CC 2015.3 releases. Imagine never getting real time playback of your previews even if they were fully cached? Awful!

Again, I understand your frustration. A lot of my responses to you here are just trying to reassure you that things are getting better, to maybe explain why things seem different now, and to encourage you to push Adobe to make things better. I can't push them on the issues you're sharing because they are not issues I'm experiencing. You can though! And if they're happening to you, they're probably happening to somebody else. So if you can help Adobe get them fixed, you'll have helped a lot of other folks besides yourself in the process.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 21, 2016 Dec 21, 2016

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so let's not pretend that Ae was fine and stable and perfect and then came subscription model and all went down hill.

Nothing to do with the subscription model. Really poor decision making, shortsightedness and plain incompetence that goes back for years before CC even came about. Since you insist on citing technical reasons:

  • Raytrace 3D - epic fail. Five years of wasted development resources.
  • Cineware/ Cinema 4D renderer - another epic fail. Reliance on a technology that in itself is dated and poorly optimized.
  • DynamicLink - has existed since CS4 and still is unstable and notoriously unreliable.
  • General hardware acceleration: "There and back again." I can't count the many ill-conceived attempts to get this going over the years, be that Fast Draft modes or partially accelerated effects.
  • New render pipeline - a major cramp in the rear and a prime example that realtime playback of some 4k file may impress tradeshow attendees, but in the end may not at all be that relevant for your daily work.

This list could go on an on and similar lists could be drawn up for every other Adobe app. Where AE is concerned, the recognizable trend has always been to throw on marketable features with every new version without ever truly polishing up existing ones. What's painful to me is that the team behind this all never seemed to acknowledge what AE is great at, but instead pushed it into directions that it just doesn't have the chops and technical underpinnings for. It's great on paper to attempt to compete with DaVinci and provide realtime scrubbing and color correction with Lumetri, but in the end it's a lousy way to work when you're struggling with cache issues and project corruption as happens in CC 2017. So there you have it. And no, I'm certainly not being nostalgic - I complained as much back then as I do now, but still I can't help but feel that AE has gone down the drain. If I started out today I certainly wouldn't consider it and that is saying a lot, considering how OCD I used to be about the program for quite some time. Many of its concept are just plain dated and flawed and the lack of technical sophistication is a nightmare.

Mylenium

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LEGEND ,
Dec 21, 2016 Dec 21, 2016

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I can agree with the general things of what Mylenium is saying but actually don't use much Raytrace/C4D renderer or Cinema4D or dynamic link with premiere. Maybe that means something about these features, maybe it does not but can't speak about them other than the fact that my workflows don't rely on them.

Here are my main concerns:

  • New features or functionalities are added while old more useful features and functionalities are broken for quite some time. this contributes to a notion that the marketing is more important than fixing what's broken. of course saying "this is new" sounds better than saying "now it works" but especially long time users of the software feel discontent as they should. C4D Renderer or Cinema 4D integration or team projects is no way near as important to users as fixing what is broken since CC2015. I think most users would be happy if CC2017 had nothing new and only fixes to all the issues: playback, memory leaks, and general performance is top priority obviously. right after that multi-threading more and more so that users can finally say goodbye to a version dated 3 years ago that has multi-processing.

  • The biggest issue for me is that Ae has too many bugs popping up on each release. users are left  to find out and even veteran users are puzzled by some of these bugs. UNRELIABILITY is a very serious problem for any software and based on user feedback here and other forums, this has been a problem with Ae for some time now. more users are saying they should only update after a few updates and this shows they don't trust the initial release anymore. This also contributed to the general feeling, that was also expressed here and other forums, that Ae users are all "beta testers". "a Known bug" is a term that we should not get used to, but we are, and it is used here too much in my opinion. it's also safe to say that a user needs to have a pretty good experience in technical troubleshooting and being a bit of a support agent to perform some of the steps required when trying to overcome Ae's bugs and problems. I could be contradicting some statements I said earlier but I don't remember this being that bad with Ae. I could say that part of the reason I am here so much is to keep up with the fixes and staying ahead of the storm.

  • For a software with this vast magnitude of users, a software that could probably be the most commonly used (and loved) video / compositing / motion graphics / anything that moves software in the world, a modest 50+ Team count handling it's function and development, as talented and resourceful as they may be, is not enough. I don't know if the rumor is true that the Photoshop Team consists of 500 staff members but if it does, it should be the other way around. We deserve better.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 22, 2016 Dec 22, 2016

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I agree with every point you make in this particular post. 

I also agree with Mylenium's points, especially that the issues started cropping up before CC, and have since become worse.

Yet Adobe's response -- in a nutshell -- appears to be little more than, "We're sorry you're having problems."...  "Please file a bug report." ...  "Please send us a project file." ... "Maybe the latest bug fix will help."

Why is this happening, Adobe?  Why does the maker of what was once INDUSTRY STANDARD software appear to be incapable of releasing software that works problem-free for the vast majority of its users?

The silence leads us to come up with our own explanations.  I have formulated mine, and it is NOT complimentary.

Tell us why.  If you dare.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 22, 2016 Dec 22, 2016

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Mylenium wrote:

  • Raytrace 3D - epic fail. Five years of wasted development resources.
  • Cineware/ Cinema 4D renderer - another epic fail. Reliance on a technology that in itself is dated and poorly optimized.
  • DynamicLink - has existed since CS4 and still is unstable and notoriously unreliable.
  • General hardware acceleration: "There and back again." I can't count the many ill-conceived attempts to get this going over the years, be that Fast Draft modes or partially accelerated effects.
  • New render pipeline - a major cramp in the rear and a prime example that realtime playback of some 4k file may impress tradeshow attendees, but in the end may not at all be that relevant for your daily work.a

1. Agreed. The ray-traced renderer worked okay on certain GPUs, but was useless on any other systems.

2. Disagree. Cinema 4D is the industry standard 3d package for motion graphics which is AE's strong suit too. MAXON just released a really good new version of Cinema 4D this year building on the new core they've put in C4D. I think tying AE into C4D more is a good move. The huge leaps in usefulness of the Cineware feature in just a few releases points to great things as they develop it further. Hopefully MAXON's recent deals with AMD and NVIDIA rendering technologies means there will be native GPU-rendering features in C4D soon too.

3. I don't know. Dynamic Link used to be awful. However, in the new versions of AE and Premiere Pro, it is a lot more stable, is significantly faster, and the text template feature is actually quite handy. I think this one might be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

4. Agreed. Hardware acceleration in general has been flakey. It needs to happen, but it needs to happen better.

5. I'm willing to give them a bit of a pass on the new pipeline ASSUMING that this is building towards a much better option as promised. It's just...development needs to be faster! It's been three major releases without a replacement for multiprocessing. That's not good. Adobe has resources and I wish they would use them to make one of their industry-standard pieces of software amazing again.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 22, 2016 Dec 22, 2016

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Hopefully MAXON's recent deals with AMD and NVIDIA rendering technologies means there will be native GPU-rendering features in C4D soon too.

They might, they might not. I basically see it as Raytrace 3D happening all over again, just on a different level, outsourced to Maxon's responsibility and the technology isn't even theirs to begin with. Two versions down the road this will be the same mess when AMD decide to change something, development on ProRender ceases or an alien invasion hits Earth. IMO it's shortsighted and in the long term will lead to another dead end. Maxon is just looking for a quick fix without having to rewrite their own renderer and Adobe is conveniently jumping on the train. The rest is debatable. I've been around too long to place any value on phrases like "industry standard". People used to say that about programs whose names have long been forgotten... It's the nature of this industry. There's some new whizz-kid every ten years...

Mylenium

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 22, 2016 Dec 22, 2016

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Mylenium wrote:

I've been around too long to place any value on phrases like "industry standard". People used to say that about programs whose names have long been forgotten... It's the nature of this industry. There's some new whizz-kid every ten years...

That's true. Maya has been trying to do some motion graphics tools recently and Blender is coming along nicely too. C4D is still king though and their recent release proves they know what they're doing and are still making good choices with their development. I hope it continues (and I wish Adobe would have managed the transition to the new architecture in AE the way MAXON managed the transition to the new core in Cinema 4D).

I'd like to see some more competition in the motion graphics space for AE. Competition might help Adobe put more of a priority on AE. I know the AE team has grown recently, but I still feel like corporate Adobe doesn't really pay much attention to the DVA space in general or AE in particular. One of the strengths of Adobe is that they have great pieces of software (for the most part) that work together fairly well (again, for the most part). And, what I think Adobe is missing is that, if I don't need AE for motion graphics, I might not need Premiere to edit and I might not need Photoshop for my graphics and then it snowballs from there to where they have no more customers. I mean, there are decent alternatives for Photoshop, Premiere, Illustrator, etc. out there (some better than others), but there's really no competitor for AE yet (there are some good compositors, but nothing for motion graphics).

Again, I don't fault the AE team for any of this stuff. I think they've been doing a great job with what they've been given. I just wish they were given more.

That being said, I see reason to be positive. DVA stuff got a much bigger focus at Adobe MAX this year than in years past, that gives me hope that they're putting more emphasis on us video folks. Plus, I got the feeling from this latest release that there is light ahead for After Effects. The overall response in the community to the CC 2017 release has been very positive. The really major issues in the new architecture have been sorted out, progress is being made on native GPU-acceleration of effects, integration with other Adobe apps is tightening... I know I sound naively hopeful sometimes, but to me it feels like they've made a turn. They can start building on the foundation they've been laying. High hopes, I have. High hopes. Doesn't help people who are having issues now though. It can take a while for changes made at the top to make the way through software development and out to the users. So, my hope is that the changes have been made and we are beginning to see the fruits of those changes.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 22, 2016 Dec 22, 2016

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I don't know if Adobe is even coming close to the end of the tunnel.  There's too much of the past to live down, I think.  About the time of CS4 & 5 the emphasis seemed to be on "software for everyman".  Any Platform.  Any hardware configuration.  Any level of expertise.  Adobe seemed to ignore the past, and started to rely on its reputation as a purveyor of really good software... but you too can use it!

Bad idea.

A lot of their products have a pretty steep learning curve.  They're not iMovie or Motion, yet they tried to be.  With none of the no-brainer ease of iMovie or Motion.  They remained as complex as Autodesk applications, yet they didn't have the hardware restrictions of Autodesk applications which would have helped.  Instead, Adobe Adobe formed temporary hardware alliances... Nvidia, everyone?

Adobe applications didn't have the price tag of Autodesk applications. But CS4&5 is when the really big hardware issues started cropping up... along with a host of Clueless Users.

So what do you do about that, Adobe?  How do you overcome the mistakes of the past?   How do you stop alienating longtime users? 

It almost seems the company is stuck between a rock and a hard place.  At least for one piece of software.  A piece of software that still seems to be trying to live off a reputation earned 10 years ago.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 23, 2016 Dec 23, 2016

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the emphasis seemed to be on "software for everyman".

Agree. The company trying to get "everybody & their mum" to use their software to bolster their business is part of the problem. The rest of your points can be argued in any direction. The decline in intellect and qualifications even in the creative industry isn't exclusively an Adobe thing and hasn't even to to with the programs. Peoply just don't know how this stuff works anymore and lack critical prerequisites liek an artistic education.

Mylenium

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 23, 2016 Dec 23, 2016

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In it's current state AE is what it is - far from perfect but very good at a few things. Did the Adobe AE team intentionally go off half cocked trying to throw something together that they could sell to a bunch of stupid consumers that hoped for a magic potion to make their mundane lives more creative? I doubt that. Did the team make some mistakes and head down some blind alleys? Yes, but anyone trying to push the boundaries of their understanding is bound to make mistakes. Did they release some buggy versions of AE that probably should have undergone some more development before the public got their hands on the product? Yes.

So what does that at mean to me and to the AE team? For me, especially for the things that I know that AE can do reliably, CC 2017 is the best release in a long time for a lot of my work. If I find a buggy feature I don't waste any more time going down that alley, I report the bug and work around the problem or use some other software to do the job. I have never expected any software product to do every job they try to do perfectly. Let's take Scrivener for example. A robust word processing app that I use all the time as a first step in the writing process. There is no better tool for me to use to organize my thoughts, compile research, and get something down quickly that moves directly to my point - unless I'm writing a one or two page document. But getting the words down is only the first part. Scriviner is HORRIBLE at formatting text and polishing a document. HORRIBLE, so I use other tools for that part of the writing process.

It's the same with Premiere Pro, AE, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, C4D, Fusion, Nuke, Final Cut, Lightroom, CinePaint, DaVinci, Mischief, Corel Draw, MSWord, Excel, Pages, Numbers, Key Note, Power Point and every other software that I use on a regular basis. Did I leave out Mocha Pro, Photo Scan, Sunth Eyes, even GoPro Studio? Yes I left them out of the list but they are still on my system and I use them all the time for what they are best at.

So, for me, I spend little time complaining about the folks at Adobe and the decisions they made. I use AE for what it does best that I can't do in less time in another app. I hope they value my bug reports and my feedback on features that I wold like to see. I hope they make better decisions in the future. I hope they don't miss something really big in the next release that the beta testing team should have caught. I encourage innovation and experimentation.

About a zillion years ago someone came up with a scan line rendering solution for their compositing app. I do not remember exactly who it was right now because I've been up for hours working on a book (in Scrivener), but their rendering system was amazing. Their node based compositing system was very awkward, but the rendering was amazing. You never had to wait to go on to the next step and part of the frame was always rendering. System resources were always available to move things around in the frame and at least part of the final image was almost always available in the comp frame. I, along with a bunch of other folks encouraged Adobe to explore this rendering technology, and as far as I know they looked hard at it and decided that it was too far to go at that time because of the underlying architecture that everything else in AE was built on. I was a little disappointed, but hat software and that rendering system has gone away so in the long run, maybe the decision not to pursue scan line rendering was the right one.

Listen up Adobe, this is what I want you to do. Keep working on the broken things that are giving problems to highest number of users first. Try and make better decisions and listen to the feedback you get from your customers. It's as simple as that.

I'v heard a lot of comments about how great previous versions of AE were and how stable the platform was, but I can tell you from my records and my production output that I get way more pixels processed in a day now with CC2017 than I ever did with CS5 or other earlier versions. I hope that the mother ship gives the AE team the resources they need to make faster progress and better decisions on what technology to pursue, but I leave those decisions up to them because I am no expert in software development. I have no crystal ball telling me which GPU or what OS is going to be the best in 2 years. I'll leave those prophecies to the Adobe team. I'll encourage development, I'll report bugs, but I'll always be studying the latest developments in software and demoing apps that will help me do my job more efficiently and more profitably. If AE or even the entire Adobe Suite is rendered obsolete or even ineffective by another package I will change platforms because my customer loyalty ends at my bottom line. I will not call anyone on the Adobe team stupid or suspect them of conspiracy.

I believe that the subscription model is a sound economic  business model that has given Adobe, and the other companies using it,  the financial resources required to hire enough talented people to improve their products in a timely manner. I won't complain about it at all because I remember when, and it was not too long ago, that every piece of software that I bought and maintained to keep my business running was a bigger part of my cost of doing business than it is now. My first NLE cost about half of what I billed in an entire year and It had to be replaced in about a year and a half. The current individual cost of the complete CC suite including an generous Adobe Stock subscription is just under $80/month, $45 without the stock footage. If you don't need stock images that about a half hour (or hour with Adobe Stock) of billable time per month for your tool box. That's pretty darn cheap and a good value in my book. On a side note, if you are doing pixel mashing for a living and you're not billing at least $95/hour anywhere in the US and you are not working on paid projects at least half of each work day you are going to go broke very quickly and you will not be able to pay your taxes. I've seen dozens of folks and even some fairly big studios go broke in the last 20 years because they never figured out how little of their billable time they get to keep to live on. Them's just the facts and there's nothing you can do about it.

I wish the development team good luck and hope they find solutions to the major issues plaguing most users very quickly. Until then I'll keep doing what I'm doing using the best and most effective tools in my tool box and I won't get angry, kick things, or malign anyone. If they stop doing their job or their products will not work for me I'll use something else. I don't have the energy to complain.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 23, 2016 Dec 23, 2016

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That's a good perspective, Rick. Very well put.

I too, am seeing a productivity increase using CC 2017 vs. CS5 (and other, earlier versions).

However, you have to remember, that's not the case for our original poster. It's too crashy for them to even use - thus their frustration. The good news is that the vast majority of users are in the same boat as you and I. Lets hope the AE team is able to get our OP in the boat with us very soon by squashing his bugs too.

Robert1317​, I understand your desire to rant and simultaneously start a discussion - and it's been a good discussion! But if you would like us to try to help with crashing and other issues you are having with CC 2017, I'd suggest posting a different thread - focusing on one, specific problem and we can see if we can help you fix it, work around it, or otherwise make it better for you.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 23, 2016 Dec 23, 2016

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And, what I think Adobe is missing is that, if I don't need AE for motion graphics, I might not need Premiere to edit and I might not need Photoshop for my graphics and then it snowballs from there to where they have no more customers.

Nah. Sorry, but that's exactly the problem - attempting to sell one piece of software to get people to buy other software. Sad as it is, but the only reason AE is still around is that it was forever bundled with the Creative Suites and is now part of CC. As a standalone software it would not be competitive. People buy licenses of Nuke and other tools regardless of how expensive they are, but I have serious doubts anyone would do the same if it was still available standalone (as in really being independent). Too many things only work or even make sense in the context of being tied to other Adobe stuff, be that just on a technical level. Conversely, a lot of stuff only makes sense if you are already are rooted somehow in the Adobe/ Maxon world. E.g. nobody, and really nobody would buy AE just to use Cineware unless he's sitting on a stockpile of C4D files or collaborates with people using C4D. The rest won't bother. Similarly, unless you have specific workflows in mind that would require some function exclusive to AE or a specific plug-in only available for the program, why would you use it? I'm having a hard time imagining someone doing a complex 3D scene on a big movie with CG set extensions, keying, tracking, manual roto etc. in AE and to me, that's what it comes down to. AE has stopped being serious about these things and adopted a "good enough" attitude without really pushing things forward.

Mylenium

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 21, 2016 Dec 21, 2016

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I agree with Dave - if only we had some facts. As it is, one can only assume that Adobe's software development has completely spun out of control with poor product and quality management, lazy Beta testers and questionable corporate decisions overriding common sense. There's really nothing more to it. The "facts", or rather public manifestations of this failed policy are staring everyone in the face - not just with regards to AE. Adobe software has become screwy to the point of being barely usable and people are paying a lot of good money for something that makes their lives more difficult and prevents them from actually getting work done.

Mylenium

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 10, 2017 Jan 10, 2017

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Thanks for your list of concerns, Robert. Please make sure that you forward them to the product team via the form mentioned. Here is the link. If it helps, I also forwarded this post to the team.

I remind you that these are troubleshooting forums. The location for off topic (or non-troubleshooting) posts is the Video Lounge. I will move your post there now. In the future, use this forum when you have a specific issue with After Effects, or you wish to help another with an issue.

Thanks so much,

Kevin

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Advisor ,
Jan 10, 2017 Jan 10, 2017

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...and not everyone has the problems you seem to have. My system is not dissimilar from yours and I do not have the problems you do. Somehow your setup or other software may be interfering with your setup - just a thought. Ranting won't fix your problems and may make you feel good for the moment, but if you are an editor use what works. You don't have to stick with Adobe products.

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