2 Replies Latest reply on Jun 24, 2016 10:18 AM by Rick Gerard

    After Effects needs a better UI for the timeline

    rooattack Level 1

      I just want to know how to make feature requests. I had a hay-day trying to even find this forum as it was sneakily hidden away in multiple nested pages and tucked to the bottom of the help page. Maybe I landed somewhere I'm not supposed to be

       

      For After Effects:

       

      1. The timeline has always been the most frustrating component to navigate in AE. Its TOO SMALL. I am requesting at least the ability to increase the height of the rows in the timeline so I'm not squinting at expressions and effects. The text is also too small. It feels extremely busy because of this also. I think its time for an upgrade

       

      2. There is no form of organization in the timeline other than a linear row set. Another request would be the ability to group rows on the timeline together so there could be some form of organization, just like Photoshop. It would allow us to group and rename sections based on what is happening during that duration in the timeline. (I.e. 'logo animation', 'logo outro'). Precomposing everything as a solution is a nightmare as it requires us to manage a ton of comps separately and doesnt allow us to reference what the actual output is going to be when its 'all put together'. (You have to go to the other comp, change and save it, then go back and see if it fits in the final comp, over and over until its right). Why not just make groups? So much easier to manage and view.

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: After Effects needs a better UI for the timeline
          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          rooattack wrote:

           

          I just want to know how to make feature requests.

          There is a handy-dandy feature request page for you to use right here.  (I've used it several times )

           

          rooattack wrote:

           

          I had a hay-day trying to even find this forum as it was sneakily hidden away in multiple nested pages and tucked to the bottom of the help page. Maybe I landed somewhere I'm not supposed to be

          You landed in the right spot! This is the main After Effects forum. Welcome!

           

          rooattack wrote:

           

          1. The timeline has always been the most frustrating component to navigate in AE. Its TOO SMALL. I am requesting at least the ability to increase the height of the rows in the timeline so I'm not squinting at expressions and effects. The text is also too small. It feels extremely busy because of this also. I think its time for an upgrade

          You can make expression boxes larger so you have many rows listed, but that doesn't help on the size of the text. Are you using a high-dpi screen? Most of the complaints I've heard from folks about the AE UI are from people using 4k screens and the like. What version of AE are you using? Is it 13.8.0.144?

          What do you mean by the timeline being too small? I have my timeline filling a monitor in my freelance studio setup and it works quite nicely for me.

           

          rooattack wrote:

           

          It would allow us to group and rename sections based on what is happening during that duration in the timeline. (I.e. 'logo animation', 'logo outro').

          You can set markers for this kind of thing or null layers. You could even shy the layers for each section so you don't have to see them until you want to work with them for easy navigation between sections.

           

          Although, I know a lot of people who only do very short sections of work at a time in AE and they put the whole thing together in Premiere. They find it a lot easier to mess with timing and audio in an NLE compared to AE - which makes sense.

           

          rooattack wrote:

           

          Precomposing everything as a solution is a nightmare as it requires us to manage a ton of comps separately and doesnt allow us to reference what the actual output is going to be when its 'all put together'. (You have to go to the other comp, change and save it, then go back and see if it fits in the final comp, over and over until its right).

          Working with precomps can be a little less painful if you work with them in mind.

          For example, you can have multiple composition panels opened and/or multiple timeline panels open at a time. So you can see how a change in one comp affects another comp immediately.

          You can also make great use of the handy tab shortcut to see the flowchart. Or you can access the project-wide flowchart to get an even better idea of how things feed into each other.

           

          As to your grouping layers idea, the AE team has discussed this for years. There are a couple of different ideas kicking around. Read the section on grouping layers in the timeline from this blog post. Let it inform how you write your feature request(s). Remember, you'll need to be as specific as possible for how YOU would like to see it work.

           

          You might consider looking at the suggestions made in  this massive feature request project from a long-time After Effects user and let it help inform how you do your feature requests as well.

           

          Remember, the more quality requests the AE team gets for a feature, the higher up the priority list it will go.

          • 2. Re: After Effects needs a better UI for the timeline
            Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            I agree with you on the font size in the expressions, but I disagree on nested or pre-comps. UBER Twirl, the ability to spin down a nest comp and see the settings would be nice but it's not a game changer for me. I often have two views open and two timelines at the same time so I can work in a nested and see what's happening in the main comp. It's easy to set up as a custom workspace. I have 4 that I use all the time and I switch workspaces several times for each project depending on what I'm doing.

             

            You can use the Graph Editor view to work on your expressions, the font size is a little bigger there.