12 Replies Latest reply on Feb 20, 2017 3:29 PM by bens62914537 Branched from an earlier discussion.

    XFL

    Navarro Parker Level 3

      Side question: What was the original intent of XFL? What did the developers envision for future versions? I'm always curious why a feature is introduced then completely removed (it doesn't happen often in AE)

        • 1. Re: XFL
          Todd_Kopriva Level 8

          The original intent was to be able to create animations in After Effects and then bring the pieces of that animation into Flash Professional so that you could add interactivity, et cetera, to the individual pieces.

           

          This turns out to have been harder to do right than we had originally intended.

           

          Usually, what happens when a feature gets only partially completed, or completed to a level that isn't actually useful, is that we don't release it. We may either continue working on it and release it later, or we may kill it and never release it. In this case, we made the wrong decision, and we released the barely useful and not complete feature. We should not have done this.

           

          And here's the real reason for the failure: We didn't build this feature because of customer requests. Almost no one was asking for this feature. We built it because someone within Adobe thought that we needed it to better integrate two of our applications. We learned from this failure and have for the past several versions been focused on adding things that people actually tell us that they need/want, and when we do add soemthing outside of that realm, it's innovation, not mindless "integration" just for the sake of checking a box.

           

          I'm one of the people who pushed to finally put XFL out of its (and our) misery, since almost no one used it, we got almost no feedback about it (showing that hardly anyone even seemed to care about making it better), and maintaining unused features like this is a big drain on our resources when we update the software, test it, and so on.

          • 2. Re: XFL
            Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

            [I was drafting my reply to this question while Todd moved the thread out from under me and answered it himself. I'm stubborn enough that you now get two answers, including my request to opt in to the Product Improvement Program.]

            Navarro Parker wrote:

             

            Side question: What was the original intent of XFL? What did the developers envision for future versions? I'm always curious why a feature is introduced then completely removed (it doesn't happen often in AE)

             

            The short answer is that AE's XFL exporter didn't get much use. The functionality was limited and the feature didn't achieve its intent of promoting better interchange between AE and Flash.

             

            Every feature that we carry from version to version carries a maintenance cost. At the very least we have to test it to make sure that it still works. Nothing comes for free.

             

            The XFL file format is alive and well. Flash adopted XFL as its project file format in CS5 (FLA files saved from CS5 and later are compressed XFL files). Here is some useful information:

            http://helpx.adobe.com/flash/using/opening-cs6-files-cc.html

             

            We had no specific future plans for XFL and AE. The AE team develops improvements based on feedback from users. We received very little feedback about the XFL exporter.

             

            This is a good example of why we like it when you opt in to the Adobe Product Improvement Program. This sends data to us about how you use our software, which we use when we are planning improvements to AE. You should have received a pop-up request to join after a new installation of AE, or you can opt in or opt out at any time by choosing Help > Adobe Product Improvement Program inside of AE. Here is more information about the program:

            http://www.adobe.com/limited/apip.html

             

            We really do appreciate it when you choose to join the program. Your usage data helps guide the development of AE.

            • 3. Re: XFL
              Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              This kind of transparency and honesty are what makes me really love Adobe and the After Effects team in particular. I wish the majority of my AE work wasn't on offline machines because I would love to be able to help you all guide AE to bigger and better things.

              • 4. Re: XFL
                joshweiland Level 2

                I used XFL once, to take a printed document created in InDesign into Flash.  It worked very nicely.

                 

                I did not realize XFL exporting was available through After Effects.  But that's something for Adobe to consider.  Did no one use the feature because it wasn't useful?  Or because they didn't realize the feature was even there?

                • 5. Re: XFL
                  Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

                  joshweiland wrote:

                   

                  I did not realize XFL exporting was available through After Effects.  But that's something for Adobe to consider.  Did no one use the feature because it wasn't useful?  Or because they didn't realize the feature was even there?

                  Both.

                   

                  XFL export was a late addition to AE CS4. There was not enough time to provide robust functionality.

                   

                  As Todd mentioned, the feature was not requested by customers, because at that time the XFL format did not exist. The request came from inside the company, to promote the new format.

                   

                  The problem now really isn't promotion of the XFL format, which Flash continues to support quite well. It's a matter of use of interchange between AE and Flash. There are people using this workflow, books have been written about it, but we do not get many feature requests for improvement, less so (zero?) specifically for an interchange format that allows you to modify your AE animation in Flash. My suspicion is that both the number of people using this workflow is dropping and that their existing workflows are satisfactory.

                   

                  Nonetheless, feature requests can as always be submitted here: http://www.adobe.com/go/wish

                  • 6. Re: XFL
                    joshweiland Level 2

                    I completely understand, Tim!  My comment was not intended as a request for this feature (I no longer use Flash) or a criticism for dropping it.

                     

                    It was just something to consider, in relation to other features.  With software as feature-rich as Adobe's, that's not an easy job!

                    • 7. Re: XFL
                      Tim Kurkoski Adobe Employee

                      Thanks. I may be a little sensitive to XFL because it was the first feature I tested when I joined the After Effects team. It was sort of my baby, especially since the developer who wrote the code has since left the team. Nonetheless, I am relieved to see it gone and to not have to test it any more.

                       

                      FWIW, I think our social media teams are doing a good job of spreading the word about new features. That's something we didn't have 5 years ago.

                      • 8. Re: XFL
                        Pixelschiebr

                        I must say I am now in a company where I could really use this functionality and I've been searching for ages because I find Info in your support sites here explaining how to export the XFL File out of after effects CS4 and CS5 but have been picking my brains how to do it in CC.
                        So I must say this intended workflow would be extremely useful for me and my colleague. Hew orks wit AE CC, I work with Flash. It would help us save a lot of time.

                         

                        So please AE Team consider working on that Format again! Thank you!

                        • 9. Re: XFL
                          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          If you want Adobe to do something, you need to file a feature request. Posting on a user-to-user forum isn't trackable for them.

                          • 10. Re: XFL
                            HB_pencil Level 1

                            Is there any way to export After Effects text for my FLA document now? Im not sure if I am behind but Im trying to create rich banners under 40 kb. And I learned that After effects text presets were a great way to do this by exporting them as a XFL.

                             

                            Im learning that feature isn't there so now im not sure if I am able to do so. Any thoughts or directions?

                            • 11. Re: XFL
                              Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                              You can export the animation from After Effects in any video format that Flash Professional can read in, including H.264, F4V, FLV, or even SWF (though I don't recommend the last couple unless you have a very specific need for them).

                               

                              Also, if you want to use the XFL export, you can still do so by saving your project back from After Effects CC (12.x) to a copy that can be opened by After Effects CS6 (11.0); then, you can use After Effects CS6 to export the XFL file.

                              • 12. Re: XFL
                                bens62914537

                                This is really too bad.  We use AE as one of our primary mock up environments for video game production.

                                 

                                The XFL export was the only way I knew to conveniently get the the location, scale, and skew coordinates for all the assets in an after effects scene so I could give them to an engineer to recreate the arranged assets.

                                 

                                Are there any other tools that can get an AE project to spit out the location data for all the assets? 

                                 

                                I was really hoping that my recent upgrade from CS6 to CC was going to allow me to now have a way to go from AE to HTML5 by way of XFL to Adobe Animate.

                                 

                                Any recommended replacements for this functionality would be much appreciated.