I'd LOVE if AE would put a dot next to any footage that I've used in a project.
This. Oh my gosh this. I don't know why I've never thought of it before, but this would be so helpful. It could be in one of those little columns.
actually AFX already has a feature like this. if you look at the info section in the project panel. every time you select a footage item you can see how often and where the item is used in your project.
I know it's already there if you highlight the footage. Not only can you see that it is used, but where it's used! However, it's no good if there are hundreds of items and you need to see, at a glance, what's used. It takes a while to click one at a time to see what's used. I mean, you can use the down arrow, but if you're going fast, you better hope you don't blink or you'll have to go back to double-check.
Having an easily seen little tick mark, dot, etc. next to it would let you skim through a whole lot of items very quickly. If it were one of the columns and you found it unuseful, you could hide it.
Unlike everyone here I'd like to see Adobe go back to the Photoshop 5 (not CS5) palettes and user interface. You remember those, the ones they took Macromedia to court over, forcing Macromedia to change theirs. It was simple, intuitive and I personally found it very easy to look at. I loved that interface and have never forgiven Adobe for dumping it right after winning the lawsuit and going with these horrible panel interfaces. Hate'm, always will (the panels, not Adobe). Just an opinion from an old timer who hates all these interface changes every release.
Thank you for the opportunity to make suggestions. Currently have CS4 Design Premium, will soon upgrade to 5.5
Using InD, PS regularly for years, AI frequently. Hoped to learn DW but found the gobs of minute icons way too confusing to recognize, let alone master.
Have appreciated many leaps forward in PS over the years! Please address this simple request: I often use purchased stock photos when creating images and typically will open several and use Duplicate Layer to add images to my working file. Why not let the file name copy over as well so I don't have to type in the photo name or number into the layer palette? Also: where did show Hidden Characters disappear to? I think this was there in CS2, now gone. Why? Need it!
I have had massive point selection problems with AI for years and find it impossible to develop a "flow" when working. Constant halting to try again, switch views, magnification, etc. Please: can't it just work better?
Now I am teaching groups of 20 students on 28" iMacs and seeing that some problems are exacerbated. They are not allowed to change the resolution settings on the monitors, so the icons and all details of the interface are way too tiny. The default "Open" position of the window to full screen and far left and right positioning of Toolbar and Palettes stack is especially problematic for newbies searching for the right tool among dozens of choices. I know they can customize the positions, but the main problem is still the size. The single most diffilcult issue is being able to even see the points and handles of paths. PLEASE offer options to make anchor points and handles larger!!! People have been begging for this for years!! My eyes are worn out after a 4-hour lab. And the students are straining forward, searching for things, must be in pain by the end of the day!
I am getting a new iMac myself and glad I realized this problem before ordering a 28"! Prefer 2 monitors anyway, each angled comfortably for viewing. As other posters have mentioned, setting and maintaining one's preferred two-monitor setup would be a great feature. Now the constant management of open, closed, attached and hidden palettes is so tedious.
In my own work, I wish there were more layer functions available in the Layers palette: especially drag Selected Art block to dupe in another layer. If it's possible, I haven't found it. C'mon, can't you combine with one af the command keys? More/easier actions in layers palette!
Love the Erase tool in AI, btw. Now that's a timesaver!
FWIW, I am not linterested in monthly/yearly subscriptions to run these programs, and I don't want to work in the cloud. Internet is nowhere near fast enough in USA to keep up with all of us trying to create!
One thing that I don't think anybody has mentioned yet, is the ability to automatically synchronise saved workspaces (and ideally preferences too, although off-topic here) between different machines via the cloud. More and more hot-desking is going on, and laptops becoming increasingly capable of high-end work. It makes sense to me.
If all of my settings, including workspaces, shortcuts, color tweaks, labels, etc (all settings) were synced in a Chrome/Rockmelt-esque way, I'd save a whole lot of time doing it manually on all the machines I work on.
I think it makes a ton of sense. Every user should be able to pop in a usb key (for those workstations not connected to the internet) OR log in to their Adobe account and immediately get all of their settings.
I'm mostly relating to Premiere Pro, maybe AE but not as big of a deal, but it could apply to everything in the suite.
First of all thank you for asking the question!
The two biggest UI quirks that bug me are:
1. Many times I'll accidentally click the "Browse in Bridge" item in the File menu. In Dreamweaver in particular it's adjacent to the "Open" menu item. It's very frustrating to do that and wait for it to load. Please either (1) allow me to customize menus in all applications (you could model it after Photoshop's menu customizer) or (2) allow me to remove Bridge from CS5.
2. I prefer to maximize my app windows. Between a coworker and I, we in the past we've had Adobe appplications' chrome bleed onto a second montitor, even though the app is maximized on another monitor. This occured for most but not all Adobe programs. It may have been fixed by now, because for the life of me I can't get it to occur now.
I think one of your best UI assets is the very convenient Workspaces presets dropdown.
The focus of attention problem still plagues media production workspaces. When crafting things in the digital media, we are forced to constantly "find" that panel or button. I did some research years ago 2001 that sought to understand the focus of attention problem in Illustrator, but findings could be applied to all of Adobe's products. You can see a short video demonstration (no sound) of this research. Basically, the solution is to come up with a palette container that allows a user to transport to a different palette at any given time, in any given context. So, the question of "where do I put this UI palette" goes away, and it allows the creator to focus on what they are making.
Thought this link would be relevant to this discussion:
I really like Audition CS5.5's ability to type in a numerical value for UI brightness. I also like Audition's ability to save custom presets for different UI colors, as well as Adobe made presets. I wish all Adobe Production Premium apps had these features.
I'm glad you posted that because it's been on my mind for a while that Adobe really should be doing in-depth UI research at least every few years if not constantly. The fact that they start threads like this makes me wonder if they do it at all. God knows what a miniscule proportion of global users are actually aware of this thread, less than 0.1% I would guess. One hopes this is just to cover all bases and that the real research is going on concurrently.
The number of people who have replied to this thread with 'Thanks for asking' makes me nervous about the future of the monopoly apps PS, AE and especially AI. In a healthy market Adobe would be the one thanking us for our help in making it's products better than it's competitors. The apps/features get the most attention when they have a strong competitor - that's why InDesign, Lightroom and now Premiere have accelerated so fast. Illustrator has been in the doldrums ever since Freehand was eliminated. Perhaps the problem for Adobe is that it is so much easier and cheaper to implement and market new features than a re-designed UI. With such a huge and dependent user-base there will always be some people who dislike changes (see FCPX). Whereas if you don't like a new feature - don't use it, no problem.
I firmly believe that it is possible to improve the UI's, possibly significantly. By which I mean make it easier, quicker and more intuitive to achieve one's desired results. Apple obviously screwed up with FCPX by omitting key features, I think they just made the wrong decision with the release date. But I really hope that event hasn't made Adobe nervous of being bold and brave with the CS UI - they just have to get it right. My guess is the way to do that is by heavily investing in proper research. Maintaining a focus on making things optional and improving consistency across apps might also help.
One problem with Workspaces in After Effects is that in order to update a layout you've already made, you have to choose "New Workspace…", remember to type in the name exactly, and then approve to overwrite the existing workspace. That seems really clunky and unintuitive to new users.
"Do you use After Effects, Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom? Other Adobe applications?"
>Yes to the 5 apps, with different levels of proficiency.
"Regarding the panels, palettes, workspaces, and overall UI paradigms in these applications: What do you like? What do you hate? Do you care that the applications are different in this regard? What differences do you even notice?"
What I love, and miss in other apps:
In Photoshop: it is possible to show/hide the contents of a panel, by double-clicking on its title. I miss it sorely in other suite apps. Especially in AE, when using the all panels.
In AI/AE: Basic Math in text fields!
In Photoshop/premiere can change some keyboard shortcuts (I'd like more control on that, but it is easier than the scripting way in AE) (the location for both is not the same, but minor issue)
In Ps/LR: I love the Targeted adjustment tools, or the HUD for color picker, etc. On image editing feels more natural and immediate.
In Pr/AE: the interface that can be darkened, lightened as needed. Why not making it a suite-wide change? minor issue in AI: Why the sudden jump from dark to light?
Placed external files that auto-update if there is a change on the linked files in AI, ID. Scripts exist for AE, Ps. Should be built-in.
Effects controls as a panel in AE, rather than a floating window in Ps.
What I like:
In Lightroom: the solo mode that allows one to show hide all other panels from a "frame" The interface is very legible.
In Ai: I like to be able to remove some tools from the toolbar, to place them close to my image. It would be perfect if there were pie menus, so that I could select any tool or meny entry from where the mouse is.
What I dislike:
No consistency for changing values: up/down arrows in many apps, not in Premiere. On can scrub from the name of a value when holding CTRL/Cmd on Ps
On Ps, holding ALT on a scrubby slider makes small increments, it is CTRL/CMD on AE
In AE, one can show only part of a panel (i.e. preview). There should be an indicator that one is looking at a subset of the whole panel.
In Pr, I wish to have the tools at the top, like on AE. (I am learning the KB shortcuts, but still, there is empty space, and every pixel counts to show more tracks.
On Photoshop windows, I'm able to target a blending mode field and navigate with the arrow keys and see the results of the change. not on a mac. (And I know the ALT+Shift shortcut, but one can't do that with a painting tool active)
In Premiere, I sometimes wish to have taller tracks, to be able to fine-tune the opacity/sound levels.
In AI: no percentage setting for the ruler. It is so easy to place 33% guides in Ps.
I found inconsistent that some apps have different blending modes, or different names for them.
It was disconcerting to have some historical shorctuts change in Photoshop (Command+1,2,3,4) for Photoshop to match other apps, while it could be a suite wide change, that one could choose from Bridge
The timeline navigation shortcuts differs from AE and Pr. Pr offers FCP or Avid shortcuts. Why not provide AE in Pr or Pr in AE shortcuts?
In Bridge, when there is a metadata field I want to edit, the font changes from the display to edit mode (it is the case in other apps, sometimes) forcing me to move the cursor to a new location when I try to edit a typo, for instance.
It would be useful to have an intermediate setting for the metadata text size, as Bridge is often used as a DAM tool, at least to enter metadata, and we have either tiny or big text fields.
A dictionnary should be implemented in Bridge, or some spell checking. (It should be CS-wide, so that we do not need to teach new words to each app.
What I hate:
No scrubby sliders in AI!
Some apps let me change the UI language, Bridge, Lightroom, but for Photoshop, I would need to purchase another licence! I could help more people in French if I could switch the UI language in the preferences.
The loupe should be active in the content panel in Bridge.
Bridge should be able to display assets (brushes, fonts, gradients) to really be the command central of the suite.
Some apps use Open GL, some CUDA. The former works on both brands of videocards, and Apple mostly uses ATI cards on its current lineup. Using "cross-platform" hardware acceleration seems to be an option that alienates less people, but I do understand that OpenGL != CUDA and that not all functions are available.
I tried to concentrate on the UI, some functionality slipped in... I might have more to come, but in short: consistency is a big plus to learn other apps from the suite.
Basically, there is still a lot of fragmentation, and Bridge could help in gathering some settings that should be suite-wide.
Thanks for extending an hand for constructive criticism!
here is my wishlist for some improvements to AfterEffects:
I'm using CS5, maybe there are some changes in CS5.5
1. individual setup for shortcuts with the possibility to load/save presets
2. a kind of customizeable tool bar, where you can drag and drop every effect and action of AE as a small icon or note
3. layersets/groups for different layers directly in the timeline, like in photoshop, so you can expand and close several layers
4. masking options for individual effects on one layer, without using sub-comps, adjustment layers or motion masks
5. enhanced node-view that makes it possible to link and share different attributes between layers, like masks or effects
6. the possibilty to arrange layers one after another in the timeline, like in editing apps for sequencing clips and so on
7. editing IN and OUTs for effects on one layer and visualize with a different color in the timeline
8. see keyframes on a layer, without expanding the layer
9. abilty to have a graph for curves beside the timeline
10. toolbar to save/load selection-sets, e.g. one selection-set enables maskpoints for layer A and another set selects 2 layers in a subcomp
11. selection lock for masks or shapes, to select only points or masks or splines or tangents and so forth
more ideas to come ....
The hand tool need to work consistently throughout all Adobe Production Premium. Photoshop, AE, and Illustrator all work properly — allowing me to scroll 360° in any window.
But the hand tool can't scroll vertically in Premiere Pro. And in Audition, it's only active in the timeline overview. I can't scroll in any direction in the main waveform or multi-track window.
After Effects lacks any way to easily and accurately re-size or position a mask.
I had an elliptical mask that needed to be precise size (952px x 952px) because type was to be set on its path but there is no way to do this.
Flash needs to have the ability to do type-on-a-path (otherwise I wouldn't have needed to do it in AE).
Both of these are usually simple tasks in other graphics programs - why not in Flash or AE?
Also, all Adobe progs need more of the UI commonality that PShop, Illustrator and InDesign have.
I have been using after effects freelance for 13 years.
I try to set up the panels as much like Shake as possible and so really like the things tha have made AE more Shake like..
( so obviously I want nodes. I want nodes. I want nodes, it is still linear, it is still limited)
I put the project and effects panels on the left, because I am right handed.
I set SPACE as a keystroke to my middle click (actually middle pen button) so I can scroll around.
I love the tilde key maximise, even if the old tilde open/close all key action is now quite clunky
And does zoom and the tilde now operate where the mouse is in shake style?
My MAIN problem with UI is MOVING PANELS.
I want to be able to set up a workspace that works for me and it to stay there.
We have come a long way since floating panels, but I do not want to spend my time moving the UI around AT ALL.
I see how it is useful for some things, but I would like the option to lock some things in place.
I would love to be able to disable the double click opening on masks.
I never use the layer or the footage window, but it is them involuntarily popping up that moves all the panels around.
I love the new NEW VIEWER behaviour of popping next to each other, but would like to be able to set the order reversed so the new panel opens on the left.
I have difficulty in Photoshop and Illustrator with the auto pop panels. I need to keep some open but then I close and lose them rather than dock them back. I do not think I would be happy having that in AE but you never know till you try it.
I hated when you changed the open close behaviour of going in and out of precomps
shift escape helps a bit and the mini flowcharts help but I have lost a way of working nevertheless
I guess at some point we will get a form of layer comp
Am trying to remember the UI is a way of understanding the CODE.
So some UI weirdness is actually because of the coding inefficiencies and anomolies
Change the code, change the UI (Save the World)
UI changes could make things like the render order more apparent
Could you show how a mask won't work without precomp? or how an effect is comp sized not object sized?
I HATE TWIRL DOWNS
I find using Shape layers a nightmare as I have to open about ten twirlers before I can edit a shape.
would like camera and light windows to pop up and be live editable more than they are.
And COLOUR is still to slow to edit. make the colour palette pop straight up, under the mouse and be live in the ui
POP UP BOX BAD
TWIRL DOWN REALLY BAD
INSTANT EDIT GOOD
I guess Smoke abd Flame always had the UI edge, once you knew what you were doing. The test is how FAST can it be, which is usually how INTUITIVE can it be.
But Intuition is changing with wider experience.
The single greatest next step will be eye recognition, so click and keystrokes effect what I am looking at. I often forget to click on the window or App I want...
But that's a bit LAB for now.
Has anyone tried a live configurable grid, with sliders?
I would like to set a grid based on what I need visually
actually I never use sliders either, just scrubbable numbers
My eyes are getting old so font size, checkbox size customisation maybe useful. Always liked everyones custom SHake UIs
more thoughts later after breakfast.
I said more than 5 things so you won't rememeber them anyway.
More dreaming in AE.
The UI has got pretty good
but we could make it perfect.
Expression editor window seperate and usable
Expressions to be turnable off in U shortcut
(does shift EE do this?)
Why can't I have the Curve editor and the timeline open at the same time?
I can in Maya
I miss them being linked, even though it was terrible before at least it was in context
I would love the conflicting options of
A. being able to see what was off the artboard
B. AE to only render the content in the window Like Shake
I think the real opportunity in UI design could be education.
Updates can inform people how the Application actually works, educate them in greater efficiency / quality.
What about project template creation, like Maya, to encourage a bit of organisation amongst some of the operators out there.
(You know who you are)
In darker screen settings I can't find the seperator for filepath so I can widen the panel and actually read the file path when relinking files
A REALLY REALLY useful thing would be if when I selected an object in the project, its file path was displayed along the full width bottom of the screen, like Shake's sort of tooltip thing.
Then I could relink much much easier
I often cannot click a cross hair with a pen
maybe a wider tolerance is needed or a box
intelligent zoom a la silhouetteRoto, with education about what it is.
I know this has changed recently, but I still do not know what I am looking at.
Please a project wide vector aliasing setting I can turn on at render
Proper Project browser.
quick, scrubbable clips,
full screen and large thumbnail
Icon view with Live content
This MUST be possible?
If Color Finesse was somehow integrated / made obsolete by proper color concatenation, then this would require UI design to instruct users on how not to break it etc.
i.e. encourage the correct order of effects (tranforms, color, filter) by colour or something.
what about a precomp effect? Does this make any actual sense.
I mean we have a calculations effect... Not sure this really comes under UI
again, change the code, save the UI
Actually there needs to be some way to inform people about the spatial differences when switching to 32 bit.
at the moment effects show when they do not fit a 16 bit colourspace, but nothing shows/indicates how a linear filtering effects sub pixel rendering in 32 bit projects.
Live Folder in AfterEffects Project, so anything I put in that folder in the finder would be automatically in the project.
wow. imagine. yes.
How about an improvement to consolidate footage so any file with the same path would be consolidated to one, with conflict dialogues for different inport/interpretation settings...
Basically some way of speeding up the import of other projects hassle.
Very specific options in COLLECT FILES
I do not need the extra project files, the extra vector layer folders etc. that are created.
wonder if an "honour finder file structure" could work
The option to remove the brackets from the (Footage) folder etc.
maybe a Force local setting in filepaths for moved projects...
Agree on removing all buttons from round the window.
If I can use a keyboard shortcut I don't need it on screen.
Did I say no twirl downs?
Did I say nodes.
Did I say nodes?
Did I say pop up colour palettes (think Painter)
Did I say LOCKable seperate effects control windows so you can pick whip between them.
Main thing is really to be able to keep the main composition window the same size and position no matter what as I am always resetting it.
Effects control palette should be able to automatically open to the correct full width. I use levels as the indicator of this.
Though I have not used it much, I do like Motion context relative palette windows.
Though I have not used it, I like context relative palettes in AutodeskAliasSGIWhoever
collapsible / hideable comments/markers.
They get in the way of layer end points.
Actually, is a triangle the best/most accurate way to show a marker?
I would like a hairline if possible
you know i really miss OS9 pop up palettes. I know you sort of have that now in Photoshop, but what if I could stick and collapse a palette ANYWHERE.
Now if only I could tuyrn OFF apple's pesky dock entirely.
If we look at Lion etc. are we to believe that auto hiding UI is the future? That users are now used to looking for things to pop up and becme usable.
I would love a single clear space with as much as possible hidden till required
plus I still don't trust screen burn from any machine that just does one task all day
Are there plans to make AE 10 bit display compatible as Photoshop has begun to do?
just poppig things in as I think about them
In Illustrator, If I release to Layers it wold be AMAZING if it kept the names. I alwys forget, name everything, then allthe names disappear.
And why does the text highlight disappear so often?
And have you fixed the spaces in layer names AI bug? Just stick an auto underscore in, don't make me keep renaming it from scratch
- Overall the UI's feels way too slow - i'd love to have instant reaction to klicking & dragging, even in complex AE Comps with 100+ Layers. With "caps lock" pressed all interactions should be possible be in realtime.
- The controls for shape layers, layer styles and text propertys are currently hidden deep inside the layer propertys and it takes a lot of klicks to acces them. Also when unfolded, they take up a lot of precious room in the timeline, wich makes it hard to keep track of multiple layers. So we need either hotkeys for each of them, just like "p" for position, "m" for mask and so on (wich would make up for a lot of shortcuts you'll have to remember) or an all new attributes panel (think of an effect palette for layer attributes). As an alternative the layer attributes could reside inside the effect panel as well (might lead to confusions regarding the render order though).
- The window layout often gets messed up when resizing one panel. Would be nice if panels try to retain their ideal size when others are changed in height - or restore their former size as soon as possible.
- The interface feels very cluttered - especialy for former Freehand users. Instead of a bunch of single palettes i'd prefer fewer but context sensitive panels, that change according to the current tool you are using.
- The fact that Guide lines are affected by dragging a selection feels more like a bug than a feature.
Is AE using AIR to render Script UI panels? I have a bunch of scripts palettes in my workspace. And I notice each palette is white with a thin AIR-like loading bar for each window when I launch AE (or switch workspaces). It would be nice if AE could load Script UI palettes more transparently (the correct interface color) and faster.
Two features on UI: AE compared to Premiere/ Edit in Mocha
Using the timeline, I wish I could hold an alternate key and reorder the layers (up and down) by dragging them on the timeline area. At the moment afaik this is just possible by dragging from the layer’s name.
The Premiere flexibility grabbing tracks is what I’m missing here.
Edit original/Send to Mocha
I’d like to be able to place on Mocha a trimmed layer with the ease of use of the “Edit original” command. Sending the trimmed layer to Mocha and be ready to track with a key shortcut would be a great timesaver.
This could not have come at a better time. I have been using the following Adobe products religiously since 1992 (some before they belonged to Adobe)
In all this time, and with the exception of the Flash plugin problems a few years ago, nothing has truly bugged me until I began using dual monitors. On two occasions, one being today, I am stuck not being able to get to my preferences panel because it's position on my screen is anyone's guess. Oh it's out there somewhere I can hear it laughing at me from the dark corners of my monitor. Ding! when I click here. Ding! when I click there. It's enough to drive a person to drink...err....more. To top it off, the option to save or not save palette locations is where? You guessed it, in the preferences panel. The ONLY other thing even more annoying is when I go to select an object on the canvas, and the layer selection jumps to a locked layer BELOW the one I'm clicking, and then DING! Photoshop informs me that I can not modify anything on a locked layer. A LOCKED LAYER, that PHOTOSHOP SELECTED, NOT I. Why photoshop would jump the selection to a locked layer in the first place is baffling enough, but to then tell me that I can't do that as though I'm the one who selected the locked layer, it is just plain rude.
FYI: The "Reset Palette Locations" has no affect on the preference panel, nor on that other annoying little "Maximize Compatibility" prompt when saving which is ALSO off gallivanting somewhere in the ethers.
Thanks for asking,
Europe, Middle East and Africa