All requests and remarks posted on this blog, have been shared with the developers of the concerning products. The Feature Requests blog is my independent way of sharing, and recording both ideas and annoyance about software. Improvement is the main goal.

dinsdag 28 november 2017

After Effects Stereo Mixer

OK, AE is a graphics app, not audio. But maybe that's a good reason to make the basic audio features even more basic. So - why not make the Stereo Mixer simply having 2 parameters: Level and Pan.
Instead of 2 levels and 2 pans?

Or even better: make Pan a standard part of the Audio Levels parameter.

dinsdag 21 november 2017

Add some Artificial Intelligence to Adobe Media Encoder / Smart Presets

Most of the time, my encodings are quite predictable:

-Convert .mxf from Avid to ProRes422HQ for use in Mocha AE
-Convert .m4a recorded on iPhone to 48kHz .wav for audioguide purposes in After Effects
-Convert to H264.mp4 for mail / Previews

That's 90% of my AME jobs.

Wouldn't it be great if there was something like 'Smart Presets' (turn on/off in preferences), that adds the right scheme to a dropped file?

Smart Presets should be defined by user - but maybe even by artificial intelligence! AME can figure out my wishes after a while, I guess.

maandag 13 november 2017

Ai: 16 bits for Adobe Illustrator?

When creating  Illustrations with gradients, we can only use 8bits. When imported in Photoshop or After Effects 16bits projects, the gradients stick to this poor 8bits - resulting in banding.

Especially when working on normal/displacement maps for 3d materials, 8bits is not enough.

How great would it be if Illustrator had a possibility to switch to 16 or 32 bit mode!

donderdag 2 november 2017

Generate Report does not reflect actual Collect Files operation

Today I ran into an interesting situation.
I wanted to make a safety backup of a project, by ussing the Collect Files… command.
My project contains 3d renders, .ai-files, .psd-files and a lot of imported footage.
The footage was copy pasted from Premiere Pro, which I use to preselect clips.
The clips were shot on Sony XDCAM-discs and some of the clips had the exact same name (e.g
AE does not make any problem of this, and worked like a charm.

When I collected the project, though, I got a warning that several files were not collected, without any explanation.
Investigation lead to the double-name issue.

So, to solve this, I generated a report, hoping to get a list of double trouble. But the report did not mention any possible failures.

I think that AE should give a more discriptive warning, and that the report should include a warning about uncollectible files.
Best would be if the doubles were placed in folders that copy the names of the os-folders where the files were found.
In that way, doubles can not appear in the same folder.

maandag 16 oktober 2017

In-app droplets for Adobe Media Encoder

I find myself using 3 or 4 presets over and over.
And most of the time, when dropping files in the Queue, the wrong preset is applied.

How great would it be when a new window was added to AME, containing customizable dropzones, each connected to a preset!

That's the idea: add dropzones to AME, for instant conversion of clips.

dinsdag 26 september 2017

Ae: Set Matte

I think the Set Matte effect could be much more versatile, if there was a switch to make it independent of scale and position of the masked layer.
In the current and previous versions of Ae, a matte set by Set Matte behaves different than e.g. a track matte.
We would like to move the masked layer around, without taking the matte along.

woensdag 16 augustus 2017

Adobe Illustrator GUI: highlight activated Window/Panel

Once in a while, a Panel or Window is lost in the GUI clutter. Choosing it in the menu shows a checkmark to tell that the element searched after should be somewhere. Wouldn't it be great if Ai highligted the GUI-element when hovering the menu?

donderdag 20 juli 2017

Better .pdf support for AE?

I use an InDesign - After Effects workflow in many projects that involve some less basic typography e.g. paragraphy styles, grep styles, intials and all things AE can not do very easily. This workflow is great and very CC-ish, since it uses 3 apps in conjunction. There are two things to be aware of, listed at the end of this post.

In short, this is the workflow (60% InDesign, 40% After Effects):

-Create pages in InDesign for each title
-Export to .pdf
-Extract separate pages in Acrobat
-Import each page.pdf in AE
-Create a Comp with each of the pages
-Render all Comps

A more advanced,  is this (95% InDesign, 5% After Effects).
This method is especially productive when repetitive typographics complex titles have to be made;
it takes some time investment at the front, but will save loads of time, annoyance, boredom and errors in the end:

-Create pages in InDesign for each title
-Export to .pdf
-Extract separate pages (these get sequential numbers)
-Import pages as image sequence in AE
-Place the image sequence in 'Comp 1' (can be any name, as long as it ends with the digit '1')
-Use expressions and Time Remap to get the right page, based on the number in the Comp name
-Duplicate 'Comp 1' to get Comp 2, 3 etc. - the Expression makes sure that the next page is loaded
-Render all Comps

When reloading footage (the .pdf image sequence), AE is complete broken, and has to be Forced to Quit

How great would it be when AE can handle multipage .pdf's as an image sequence, without having to extract separate pages first!

maandag 3 juli 2017

AE Expression editor - upgrade

Please add line numbers and a possibility to print/output/monitor values of variables.

How would you like the feature to work?
Please add line numbers and a possibility to print/output/monitor values of variables.

Why is this feature important to you?
Since I'm counting line numbers by hand all the time (Ae refers to numbers in it's error messages, but there are no visible numbers)

More... there is no satifying way to get the values of variables out of the expressions. Sometimes copy to a text layer will do, but in general, some kind of console//monitor would be very helpfull.

woensdag 21 juni 2017

AE: Alt-Drag to replace Layer Source should leave the dragged footage selected

An example:

We have 10 compositions with a Layer that refers to a certain Project item.
We want to replace that item in each of the 10 compositions.
To do this fast, it is nice when AE keeps the last modified Composition selected in the Project window.
But - when Alt-Dragging the new item (to replace the Layer Source), IT SELECTS THE DRAGGED ITEM!

This is very inconvenient for the workflow, since the last modified Composition is not highlighted, making it hard to subsequently change a bunch of Compositions.

dinsdag 20 juni 2017

After Effects: Paused Render Queue - allow to reshuffle / de-activate

How would you like the feature to work? 
When Rendering is paused, let the user uncheck next render items / reshuffle the order.

Why is this feature important to you?
Because when a Render Queue is started, we can get a feeling about the estimated render time, resulting in new priorities, we would like to see reflected in the Render Queue.

Default Layer Styles for After Effects?

I hardly ever need a 3 px red stroke - so why is that the unchangeable default for the Stroke Layer Style?

Wouldn't it be great if Ae remembers the last settings used? Of even better: offers a styles panel (like InDesigns Object Styles)

donderdag 15 juni 2017

AE: autosize expression editing field

Let the AE expression field automatically show all code.

AE: allow to reveal fx parameters while editing an expression

While editing an expression, the Pick Whip is great to make connections. But when clicking a triangle to reveal properties, the expression is no longer active, generating syntax errors. Annoying behaviour. How cool would it be when we could reveal properties while keeping the cursor active in the expression-edit area!

dinsdag 6 juni 2017

Adobe Media Encoder pops to the front when an After Effects Composition arrives in the Render Queue

How would you like the feature to work?
A Preference setting to let AME stay in the background.

Why is this feature important to you?
Because it is very disturbing that AME pops to the foreground for each AE Comp I send to the AME Queue.

dinsdag 16 mei 2017

Lock the Top Layer, just like the Background Layer

The Background Layer (name in Italics) has a special status: it's always the lower most layer. Can't be place anywhere else in the hierarchy.
What I would like, is a special Layer that's always on top. I'd use this for a general Adjustment layer, a texture, vignette or anything else that should affect anything beneath. When this specific layer could be defined as 'Top Layer', it's no longer possible to (accidentally) place something above it.

dinsdag 2 mei 2017

InDesign: auto apply Paragraph styles to threaded text boxes

In an Object Style, "The Paragraph Styles category is ignored by default, even if you’re creating a text frame. This category is applicable only if the object is an unthreaded text frame."

I would like it to work with threaded boxes as well.

woensdag 12 april 2017

After Effects Mask Shape by size

For some reason, a rectangular mask is defined by distance from the edge of the layer.

This is not almost convenient. (actually: almost never) It is relative to layer dimensions, and not very intuitive.

I would like to have the option to define it by size and position (with anchor point selection on either a corner or the center).

maandag 3 april 2017

the ultimate audio interface / next gen home studio mixer

There is really no good all-in-one solution for the home pruducer who needs 1 mic input, 1 or 2 guitar inputs and 3+ stereo line inputs for drumcomputers and synths.
I currently use my Edirol FA-66, which unfortunatally lacks extra line inputs.

Available products have multiple microphone inputs, that no homeproducer needs.

Personally, I would love to see a product with the following specs:
-1 high-end mic pre-amp/channelstrip
-2 hi-z guitar inputs
-4 stereo line inputs
-an onboard 24bit/ 192kHz AD converter
-inputs selectable from within any DAW
-output mixed to direct monitoring, combined with USB input
-optional a compressor, and reverb for direct monitoring
-optional a mixer for channels, with a switch to select which channels are output via USB

woensdag 29 maart 2017

AE: export selected Composition

Once in a while, we need to copy a single Composition from one Project to another.
The way to do this:
1-Save the Project under a new name
2-Select the Composition you want to copy
3-Choose File/Dependencies/Reduce Project
5-Open the destination Project
6-Import the Saved Project (#step 4)

Wouldn't it be great if steps 1-4 could be replaced by a new function called:
Export Selected Composition


woensdag 22 maart 2017

Cinema 4d: Fit to Image / keeping the aspect ratio of a texture

Today I learned about Fit to Image. Never was aware of its purpose. Wouldn't it be more clear to add a function called 'Original Aspect Ratio', or 'Constrain Aspect Ratio', to keep an image undistorted?

maandag 13 maart 2017

After Effects: copy color

Wouldn't it be great when with a right click on any color patch in any effect/text/solid/etc. dialog, the color could be copied to the clipboard and pasted elsewhere!

Think it's a great addition and a real time saver.

donderdag 9 maart 2017

InDesign unlogical stroke alignment

Strokes are still a pain in InDesign.
It just does not work as expected. In Adobe Illustrator and After Effects strokes work like they should.

Example 1 of 2:

When we choose for center aligned stroke (see Stroke panel Align Stroke),
the handles of the Object are still on the outside! That is not what the icon promised, and it is not what we need.

Example 2 of 2:

InDesign changes the size of objects when stroke alignment is changed! That's not what we want! The stroke width should not influence the size of an object. None of the other Adobe Apps shows that behaviour, since it is not logical.

woensdag 8 maart 2017

Better use for the project filter/search

In AE, I think the filter/search in the Project panel can be improved in this way:
When selecting an item while a filter is active, it would be helpfull when this is kept selected when the filter is cleared.
This is especially needed, when the found item is deep in the hierarchy. Clearing the filter wil hide it again.
I think the hieararchy should be unfold to show the found item.

maandag 6 maart 2017

After Effects: paste Layer above active Layer

One of my workflows uses selecting, trimming and coloring footage in Premiere, and then paste the clips in After Effect.
But the clips are always pasted on top of the AE Composition.
I would like to have more control:
For instance select an AE layer, and let the pasted layer appear right above the selected one.

After Effects: Interpretation Rules

In After Effects, setting the default interpretation for your footage, is a rather archaic process. You have to edit a textfile to do this.
I think it's better and modern to have a 'Learn' button in the footage interpretation dialog:
Set the right interpretation for an item, hit the Learn button and AE adds the new rule automagically to the interpretation rules for the user. All subsequent footage item of the same nature will be interpreted in the way you learned AE.

After Effects ui: Layer Styles and Compositing Options in Effect Controls panel

I think it would be convenient when Compositing Options (and Layer Styles) are accessible from Effect Controls.
Since Effect Controls is vertical oriented, and the Time Line horizontal, I like Effect Control more to edit such parameters.

AE Slip Edit without moving keyframes

Most of the time I use the Slip Edit tool, I want the keyframes to keep their place in time. AE has no fast solution for this. There is a workaround, but I think AE needs a more comfortable way to do this. Just by ALT-dragging for instance: drag the Slip tool to take the keyframes along, ALT-drag to only move the footage time, not the keyframes' time.

AE negative colors

Today, I was able to enter negative color values in After Effects.
I checken with Adobe, but this was not on purpose. Aglitch or bug.

But it made me thinking of a feature that allows negative colors: per channel subtracting color from underlying layers. I think that would open a range of possibilities for keying, color correction ans masking!

donderdag 2 maart 2017

After Effects Folders in the Timeline

Wouldn't it be great when Compositions with massive numbers of Layers could be organised in Layer Folders (a bit like Photoshop can do).

These Folders are different from PreComps:
1-the folders are foldable/unfoldable to give access at any moment, without leaving the Composition
2-the Layers withing the Folders act like normal Layers, and can have different compositing modes to influence all Layers underneath.
3-Layers inside and outside the Folder can refer to eachother (Set Matte, Parenting, Expressions, ...)

woensdag 1 maart 2017

maandag 27 februari 2017

After Effects alt-drag to copy items

A rather general accepted behaviour throughout many graphics apps is alt-dragging to copy things.
wouldn't it be great if in AE we could copy Project items this way, in stead of choosing Duplicate and then remove the automatically added sequential number?
Same for Layers: alt drag to copy them to the right place in hierarchy in one go, would be fast and convenient.

maandag 20 februari 2017

C4d: Add All Used Object Buffers

For some reason, adding output channels for the Object Buffers in the Render Settings is very uncomfortable.
Why not add an option 'Add All Used Object Buffers'?

Adobe Illustrator two step numeric scale is broken

One of my favourite Ai tricks is what I call 'two step numberic scale'.
Is use it to match typography to the size of other objects.
Typography has some characteristics that makes the bounding box not usable: rounded characters are optically aligned to the baseline, x-height and cap height.
I had this trick to first scale vertical, by snapping vertices, and then copy the resulted vertical scale to horizontal. But for some reason Ai 2017 does not support this. When accessing the values in the scale dialog, all scale values are overwritten with some unimportant value.
Please repair this!

dinsdag 24 januari 2017

C4d: some basic sound control, please

-Add a main volume slider
-Add a simple Sound Object that can be accessed directly from the Object Manager, without having to add a (useless) track

maandag 16 januari 2017

Ae: use full width of panels

On my 30", I can make panels quite wide. But unfortunately, Ae does not strecth the Histogram to get more accuracy.

vrijdag 13 januari 2017

Ae: Please bring back the reverse path direction function.

Sometimes its easy to paste a bunge of paths and stroke 'm sequentially. In old versions of Ae we had Set First Vertex (still available) and Reverse Path Direction (gone - for some reason.

I know the power of Shape Layers / Trim Path, but it's not as fast to setup when many Paths are involved.

AE: please stop uncollapsing position tracks when a layer's 3D switch clicked.

donderdag 12 januari 2017

C4d bug: Edit multiple, identical Noise Shaders together not working.

When two materials have exactly the same Noise Shader applied to a channel, I would like to be able to edit those together. But C4d says that the Texture has <>

woensdag 11 januari 2017

C4d - easy access to creating Custom Layout

Wouldn't it be great when this menu

had an entry at the bottom called:

'Save current Layout as preset'.

maandag 9 januari 2017

C4d: better icon for Break Tangents

When dealing with Curves in the Timelin, I'm always puzzled by the icons.
Especially the icon for Break Tangents is unclear.

Here is my reworked version for that icon
(left is the original, right the new, more clear one)

Arguments for the change:
-The arrow is not very important, so I gave it less contrast.
-The difference between the situation before and after is more clear.
-The new Icon is inuitively the thing to click for breaking tangents

maandag 2 januari 2017

Ai Simplify Path needs to be reworked

I think Ai needs a more intelligent Simplify Path function. The current function, when set to 100%) adds points to straigth lines, ending with more points than the Original. That indicates that the algoritm is not correct.

Maybe some smart settings can be add, like contrain angle options  etc.