9 exciting creative cloud 2021 updates for vfx artists & content creators blog banner

9 Exciting Creative Cloud 2021 Updates For VFX Artists & Content Creators

9 Exciting Creative Cloud 2021 Updates For VFX Artists & Content Creators

Adobe Max 2020 was full of major updates! Here's everything you need to know.

It's an exciting time to be an Adobe Creative Cloud user. At Adobe MAX 2020, Adobe unveiled its largest feature update lineup yet for Creative Cloud apps like After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Photoshop. You’ll also see a running theme of Adobe’s Sensei AI powering almost every new feature.

While there were several new additions to almost every app, we're going to get straight to the biggest Creative Cloud features you'll want to know about as a content creator or VFX artist. 

The best part is, these features are all available for you to download and try out right now, so let’s take a look at what’s new in CC 2021!

After Effects CC 2021

Roto Brush 2
No one likes to hear the words, “we’re going to need to roto that!” However, Sensei AI makes rotoscoping in After Effects easier than ever with the Roto Brush 2. This tool has been available in beta for quite some time, but it’s finally been rolled out in this official release.
If you’re new to After Effects’ Roto Brush tool, we cover the basics on it here and the process remains the same with this new update (just be sure to check that “version 2.0” is selected in the drop-down).

3D Design Space & 3D Transform Gizmo
Working with 3D scenes in After Effects hasn’t exactly been an intuitive process, but with some simple new innovations, it’s now a much more fluid process.

The updated 3D Transform Gizmo allows you to also change an object’s rotation and scale directly from the viewport.

You can also use the Camera Orbit tool to orbit not just around your scene as a whole, but also around a specific 3D object for increased precision. Once your camera is in the right location, you can even create a camera that is aligned with your desired angle.

Real-Time 3D Rendering Engine
The most exciting 3D feature has to be the new real-time rendering engine that’s currently available in the public beta version of After Effects 2021. As described in the video above, this new engine is designed to replace the OpenGL renderer with something much more akin to a game engine. 

When you think about how far 3D graphics have come with real-time game engines, it only makes sense that Adobe would incorporate the same type of functionality for much less technically-demanding motion graphics/VFX work in After Effects.

This should make working with 3D in After Effects a completely different experience, and is a welcome change for AE users.

Premiere Pro

Faster Hardware Decoding on PC
If you’re a PC user, you’ll be glad to know Adobe has added much faster hardware decoding that harnesses the power of your AMD or Nvidia GPU to give you a much smoother experience editing on your timeline.
Scene Edit Detection
Scrubbing through video clips to find edit points can take up a huge chunk of time. Now, you can breeze through your edit with AI-powered Scene Edit Detection. Premiere Pro can now find all the natural cut points for you automatically, and can even apply cuts or markers to your clips to save you a ton of time.

Improved Color Capabilities
Both Premiere Pro and After Effects support the new Rec2100 PQ standard for working with HDR content for broadcast. In addition, ProRes RAW support has been added to the Windows version, along with ProRes to LOG color space conversion.


Just when you thought Photoshop couldn’t possibly bring anything new to the table, Adobe has added some truly useful tools that are hard to ignore!
Sky Replacement
If you’ve ever shot a subject outdoors with an overexposed sky, it can be a challenge to liven the final image up in post with a sky replacement. Fortunately, Adobe has streamlined this frequently-used process by adding a dedicated Sky Replacement tool!

You can select from several preset images, or even import your own skies. If you plan to use this method when shooting outdoors, grab a properly-exposed still of the sky to import later for maximum results.

And until this feature is available for video, be sure to check out our guide on how to replace a sky in Premiere Pro or After Effects!

Neural Filters
Photoshop now utilizes AI to fundamentally change portraits, with one of the most effective uses being to completely shift your subject’s gaze with a simple slider control.

Refine Hair
Keying hair has never been easy, but the Refine Hair tool can bring you closer than ever to your desired results with a single click.  

At Adobe MAX 2020, there were also several glimpses into what’s to come in the near future for Creative Cloud users. The most compelling previews were for an effect that can actually remove motion blur from video, as well as a new app that essentially builds a comic book simply through users importing text from a comic script. 

The comic can even add animation! This could be particularly useful for quickly generating storyboards for filmmaking and VFX.

There’s also a new 3D-scanning tool called “Scantastic”, which allows you to create a photorealistic 3D model using only a smartphone.

It’s clear that Adobe is poised to challenge the status quo with its commitment to super-charging its products with AI. They’re leading the way into a new era where creativity is truly the only limiting factor, and it will be interesting to see how the industry evolves in this AI-fueled frontier. 

If you’re interested in learning more about everything that was covered in Adobe MAX, from product news to best practices and inspirational talks, there are a whopping 350+ sessions available to watch right now!

From Fire and massive Explosions to Blood and Gore VFX, we have the largest VFX library in the world ready to be composited in your project. Check out over 3,400 VFX stock footage elements right here.

We've also just launched our new initiative: CreatorVault.com. CreatorVault creates the best curated collections of video editing assets for video creators. Quickly find the perfect lens flares, animated mattes, transitions, glitches, and more. Shop CreatorVault now.

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