Adobe Intros "Master Properties" for After Effects Ahead of NAB (Exclusive)

The new tool is aimed at speeding up VFX and motion graphics work.
Courtesy of Adobe
Master properties in After Effects

Just ahead of the annual NAB Show, which opens Saturday in Las Vegas, Adobe is introducing a new version of its widely used After Effects CC software that includes a new tool aimed at helping to increase the efficiency of visual effects and motion graphics work for features, TV and other types of content.

Dubbed “master properties,” this feature is “all about the speed at which you can get work done. It enables users to create something once and then create versions from that one property,” explains product manager Victoria Nece.

In other words, artists can create something and the properties will go to additional versions, without the need to duplicate the original work. Nece suggests that this could be especially useful, for instance, where versions in various languages are required. She adds that it could also help VFX artists save time when creating multilayer composites.

Title designer/director Danny Yount and Cantina Creative's creative director Stephen Lawes are among the artists that have already given master properties a test drive.

The new version of After Effects, including master properties, will be available on Tuesday, and additional NAB news also will be announced this week. Last year, Adobe emphasized new features for its editing system Premiere Pro CC, which also took aim at features and TV work.

All software upgrades will be demoed at NAB Show. Also during the convention, Adobe and NAB will co-present a session on how After Effects was used in the VFX behind season two of Netflix's Stranger Things. Paul Graff, senior VFX supervisor; Christina Graff, senior VFX producer; Michael Maher Jr., senior concept illustrator; Fred Raimondi, associate visual effects, and Matt Carson, VFX editor, will join Mike Kanfer, principal strategic development manager at Adobe, in the conversation.

The Stranger Things VFX team used After Effects to develop the look and strategy for VFX assets before production so the crew could move quickly on set. A critical use of After Effects, as well as Adobe's Photoshop, was for establishing shots of the Hawkins Lab.