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Desktop publishing Reviews
15,103 Reviews

Adobe After Effects CS4 review

£968.36 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Adobe

Just when you thought there was nothing more to add to After Effects, Adobe has crammed a large number of new features and enhancements into the CS4 release of its flagship visual effects and motion graphics software.

Just when you thought there was nothing more to add to After Effects, Adobe has crammed a large number of new features and enhancements into the CS4 release of its flagship visual effects and motion graphics software.

This major upgrade to After Effects CS4 lets you more easily search and navigate around your project, import 3D layers from Photoshop, fine tune your composites with separate X-, Y-, and Z-position keyframes, create a cel animation look from live footage, and export projects to open and edit inside Flash.

A new add-on program, now shipping with After Effects CS4, helps you track hard-to-manage shots.

Here's what to expect when After Effects CS4 arrives next month with the rest of Adobe's Creative Suite 4 (CS4) updates.

See also: Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) review

Production and authoring

Adobe has added much-needed production features to After Effects CS4, such as keyword-searchable timelines and projects and nested composition navigation. In keeping with the inter-application integration touted in the other CS4 updates, you can now export rich media from After Effects to Flash CS4 Professional while still retaining layer and keyframe data for further editing. (We'll talk more about integration with Flash below.)

Even better, After Effects CS4 improves asset management and copyright tracking by letting you add and maintain XMP metadata throughout your After Effects projects from start to final render.

After Effects CS4 also integrates mobile-device authoring into the workflow, complete with multi-device previews.

See also: Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) review

INDIVIDUAL CS4 APPS REVIEWED IN DETAIL:

Adobe InDesign CS4 review

Adobe Photoshop CS4 review

Adobe Illustrator CS4 review

Adobe After Effects CS4 review

Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 review

Adobe Flash Professional CS4 review

Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 review

Adobe InCopy CS4 review

Adobe Version Cue CS4 review

Adobe Contribute CS4 review

Adobe Soundbooth CS4 review

Adobe Fireworks CS4 review

THE SIX ADOBE CS4 SUITES REVIEWED:

Adobe CS4 Master Collection review

Adobe CS4 Production Premium review

Adobe CS4 Web Premium review

Adobe CS4 Web Standard review

Adobe CS4 Design Standard review

Adobe CS4 Design Premium review

NEXT PAGE: functionality

PLUS:

Adobe After Effects CS4 Expert Verdict »
1.5GHz or faster processor
Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (Service Pack 3 recommended) or Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1 (certified for 32-bit Windows XP and 32-bit and 64-bit Windows Vista)
2GB RAM
1.3GB of available hard-disk space for installation, plus 2GB of space for optional content
additional free space required during installation (cannot install on flash-based storage devices)
1,280x900 display with OpenGL 2.0–compatible graphics card
DVD-ROM drive
QuickTime 7.4.5 software required to use QuickTime features
broadband internet connection required for online services

After Effects CS4 represents one of the most significant and useful upgrades in recent history. The new version's interface now integrates more seamlessly than ever into the CS4 suite and is even easier to use on a Wacom Cintiq tablet, with less need for pull-down menus from the top menu bar. While available as a standalone product, After Effects CS4 also ships as part of Adobe's Production Premium and Master Collection suites.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Adobe Soundbooth CS4 review

    Adobe Soundbooth CS4

    Adobe Soundbooth CS4 is something more akin to a professional audio editor than its predecessor ever was.

  • Adobe Fireworks review

    Adobe Fireworks

    New features in Adobe Fireworks CS4 provide designers with advanced tools to create websites, applications, and interactive designs.

  • Adobe Flash Professional review

    Adobe Flash Professional

    Flash CS4 features a radically revised animation environment.

  • Adobe Illustrator CS4 review

    Adobe Illustrator CS4

    Illustrator Creative Suite 4 (CS4) enjoys a revamped interface, new gradient tools and much, much more.

  • Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) review

    Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4)

    Among the highlights of Adobe Creative Suite 4 are a simplified workflow system, new tools for integrating Flash animations into projects. CS4 also enjoys expanded support for community features.


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