By Sean Safreed
Published on Thursday, April 8th, 2010
As many of you may have heard, Adobe’s next versions of Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premiere Pro are going 64-bit. Not only are they going 64-bit but these products will be exclusively 64-bit. Here are answers to three common questions about our plug-ins and 64-bit.
So what does this mean for my plug-ins? It means you will need all NEW plug-ins to work in the 64-bit world. We have been working in earnest with Adobe to update all of our currently shipping plug-ins to work in 64-bit mode. In fact, we have had multiple engineers and quality assurance folks rebuilding our plug-ins over the last 5 months to make them work efficiently in After Effects in 64-bit mode.
Will you need to buy an upgrade to the new version? Yes. Many of the products required extensive reworking of code because the product was originally designed when Mac OS 8 and Windows 95 ruled the world. Some of our tools go back to the mid-90s and they were never designed for 64-bit. To recoup the cost of months of engineering, we must charge something. Since this upgrade is mostly about speed (more on this below) and compatibility, we are only charging $29 to upgrade to any single 64-bit version of our plug-ins. For Trapcode and Magic Bullet Suite customers, we will have a special discount price for the whole suite.
Are there any benefits to the new versions in 64-bit mode? Yes. 64-bit applications get to take advantage of all the memory in your system. So on a Mac Pro, the 64-bit native version of After Effects can use a big chunk of the 16 GB (or more) in a system for doing longer RAM previews, better caching, and dealing with larger file sizes like 2K, 4K or even larger images. Anyone who has ever run into memory limits with large 3D comps will find a big benefit to working natively in 64-bit.
As Michael Coleman recently wrote, After Effects will also be faster in 64-bit (you can read about it here). We have found that our own tools are also benefiting from 64-bit. We ran a quick test on Peder Norrby’s Trapcode Particular v2 – Massive benchmark project (you can find it here) which uses most of the Trapcode plug-ins including Form, Lux, Particular and Horizon and the speed improved by about 34%. The total render time dropped by 11 minutes on the same project compared to CS4. Multiply that out by many renders or RAM previews in a day, and that adds up to significant time savings when you use a 64-bit optimized app and plug-ins.
Rest assured that Red Giant is going to be ready with many of our most popular tools soon after Adobe releases the next version of After Effects. All of our plug-ins will be 64-bit ready in Summer 2010. Welcome to the future.