by Alan Sheckter, Videomaker news editor

Adobe Systems has announced Version 5.5 of its popular After Effects motion graphics and video effects software, promising editors expanded creative tools and access to more media types.


Expanding its import and output options to include Advanced RealMedia export and compatibility with Alias|Wavefront’s Maya and Discreet’s 3ds max, After Effects 5.5 is designed to give editors more flexibility. In addition to supporting additional file formats, including Maya IFF, RPF, SGI and QuickTime, the company said that 5.5 is the fastest After Effects yet.


New features, Adobe said, will include multiple views, colored shadows and stained glass lighting. In addition, the program’s new Advanced 3D Renderer is designed to create high-quality intersecting layers.


After Effects 5.5, which supports Mac OS X as well as Windows XP, is expected to ship in early 2002. The standard version will come with a $649 MSRP, and upgrades for After Effects 5.0 owners will cost $99.


Adobe will also release the $1,499 Production Bundle version, which will include Zaxwerks 3D Invigorator. In addition, according to an Adobe senior product manager, the Production Bundle offers superior visual effects tools for bluescreen and greenscreen keying, a greater selection of warping and morphing effects, and tools for shrinking and expanding mattes. The Production Bundle also offers editors vector paint tools, motion stabilization and a color stabilizer. Production Bundle users can take advantage of network rendering, saving time by simultaneously rendering a project on several desktop computers.

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