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I use After Effects CS4 every day, and I think that the large number of small changes to improve efficiency and smooth out the workflow kinks make it much faster, easier, and better. I enumerate these changes in this blog post about new features in After Effects CS4.
A few folks give their opinions in reviews and articles that I point to from this blog post.
Of course, some may call me biased, but even we Adobe folks have a choice about which software we use, and I've been happily using After Effects CS4 instead of After Effects CS3 for my personal projects.
Thanks for the response.
I'm still using a P4 PC (planning on a mega upgrade soon, but holding off until I really need to). Does CS4 need more CPU power? In other words, would it slow me down?
>Does CS4 need more CPU power? In other words, would it slow me down?
No. Its performance is actually better than CS3 as several bugs in MediaCore and the interface have been fixed. I'm also using an older P4 (one of the first "dual cores") at home and it works nicely within what you can expect from a 3.5 year old computer...
That is excellent news. You reckon it's worth the upgrade then. Good.
What about integrating with other CS3 products? I don't need or want (or can afford)to do the whole lot.
And another question - do my plugs need upgrading too? If AE has been tidied up rather than completely overhauled (as would be the case had it gone to 64 bit) seems to me they should just work...? What's anyone's experience on this?
I haven't found a single plugin that needs an upgrade between CS3 and CS4. I'm sure there's some plugin somewhere that needs to be updated, but I haven't found it.
Thanks Jonas. That's good news indeed. Looks like a no-brainer now.
Did you need to re-install your plugs?
Put another way: Do I uninstall AECS3, install AECS4 and will find my plugs still there? Or do I need to uninstall them and start again?
You will need to install your plugins for CS4. Remember that you don't have to uninstall CS3, you can have both versions installed at the same time.
- Jonas Hummelstrand
As long as you keep CS3 installed, you can just place shortcuts/aliases to your CS3 plugins into the plugins folder of CS4, negating the need to reinstall.
It can get a little messy to manage that way, however. If you have the time, I'd follow Jonas' advice and reinstall them.