Adobe’s brand new CS6 product line includes a number of improvements, but the most-awaited for us here at Rewatchable is the new raytracing engine in After Effects CS6. Prior to CS6, 3D in After Effects has always been more like ‘2.5D’, since it was just flat objects being manipulated in 3D space. This new rendering engine allows motion graphics artists to create and manipulate real, extruded and beveled 3D objects and text within the After Effects application. It’s not as robust as a high end 3D package like Cinema 4D or 3DS Max, but it will allow us to do the vast majority of what we need right inside After Effects, saving countless hours and allowing us to offer greatly upgraded visual effects without greatly upgraded prices.

So here’s our quick test of the new raytracing engine in After Effects CS6:

Overall, it’s incredibly easy to work with for anyone already familiar with After Effects. There are a few new materials to work with, and some new light-related options to get used to, and outputting is S-L-O-W (this 8 second animation took about 10 minutes to render on a fully tricked-out Macbook Pro), but real 3D is a great capability, and we’re looking forward to adding it to our ‘bag of tricks’.