Since then, After Effects has gone through a number of major iterations that continuously added great new features to the software. After Effects CS5.5 added the Warp Stabilizer and Camera Blur, CS6 added the 3D Camera Tracker, Global Performance Cache and 3D ray-traced shapes. The latest version for Adobe After Effects is CC, which added features like C4D Lite and the Cineware Plug-In as well as the Refine Edge tool.'CC' stands for Creative Cloud. The Adobe Creative Cloud is a subscription based licensing model. Rather than purchasing individual products from the Adobe Website for often over $1,000 for a single license, you now sign up for a monthly subscription fee of around $50 and get access to all of Adobe's products. This includes any new versions or patches released as soon as they are available.
Given that I use a number of Adobe products, namely After Effects, Premiere, Photoshop, Lightroom and occasionally Audition and SpeedGrade, the Creative Cloud is a great licensing model for me. I could not afford individual licenses for all of these products and so the (relatively) low monthly fee is more than manageable - it's the same as my internet bill each month.
I like that I can get new versions and bug fixes the moment they are released rather than having to wait for a full new version to be released that I have to upgrade to at an extra cost; and Adobe has been pretty diligent with getting new features into their Creative Cloud products.
There are just a few tiny things that I find a bit annoying and they come down to a technical issues. For example, if you install Premiere before After Effects or Audition, you will not be able to right click your video/audio files and select 'Edit in Adobe Audition' or 'Create After Effects Composition'. Somehow Premiere does not recognise that Audition and After Effects are installed
unless you install them first.
Overall, I am a big fan of the Creative Cloud over the old individual licensing model. The licences are easier to manage (you can use your products on up to two computers as long as you don't use the simultaneously) and it's great to get access to all the new features and bug fixes instantly. All of Adobe's products have become much more integrated into my VFX and film making process since I signed up.
Note that the subscription model needs to connect to the internet at least once every 30 days to verify the validity of the license.
Make sure you hop over to the blog post for the second part of VFX Vlog #6 to learn the different methods you can use to loop your video clips in Adobe After Effects!