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My top 12 After Effects feature requests for UI animation

after effects Jun 13, 2019
Ae Fix me
Here is my list of 12 After Effects UI Animation feature requests. 
The backstory: some folks at Adobe reached out to me about my UI animation workflow and pain points. I think the larger context is that Adobe is really trying to figure out UX prototyping and they're starting to realize that XD doesn't cut it for animation, and that while using AE is a premium skill, it still doesn't do interactive.
I realized that I had a pretty strong POV on some improvements that would go a LONG way in saving time, and encouraging more folks to use AE in their projects. 
Let me know what you think and if you have any others to add. I'll forward it on to the Adobe folks. 
1. Buy GifGun
Nearly everyone doing UI animation in AE is exporting in a combination of ways. GIFs are key to that. The fact that you can’t export a GIF natively is mind blowing. Not sure if this is possible. 
2. Buy Flow
Design systems are key. For folks doing UI Animation in AE there is currently no way to import or export easing curves without using a 3rd party plugin. Everyone seems to use Flow. Not sure if this is possible. 
3. Buy Bodymovin
The Lottie framework created by Airbnb was a game changer. It lets designers use their AE projects directly in products via a simple export option. Let us use it without going through a 3rd party. 
4. Feature request: custom easing defaults
The fact that we block with linear keyframes THEN ease them THEN apply custom easing is patently ridiculous in 2019. For the dinosaurs who love the linear keyframes, let them select them from a dropdown. For the rest of us, let us choose an industry standard curve that our keyframes default to and then customize from there. 
5. Feature request: Enable spring (somehow)
Tons of digital products use springs in their transitions. Tons. The fact that you basically have to call Keanu to come over and hack the Matrix to make this happen is absurd. All the prototyping tools have one click spring easing. Should be able to make this happen. 
6. Feature request: Pixel mode
Screen designers ONLY work in pixels. Not sub pixels. There must be a way to make this happen.
7. Feature request: Mobile presets
When you’re building a new project, have the option to choose something that makes sense like Dribbble, or Mobile sizes. 
8. Feature request: Gesture Animation presets
This would be amazing. Essentially the idea is you could select a preset like swipe, trap, tap & drag, or pinch to zoom and drag/drop it onto your comp/layer.
9. Feature request: preview on device
Just a simple window that previews your work into a device of your choice. 
10. Feature request: built in export of asset basic properties in a way that engineers can work with 
  • Scale
  • Position
  • Rotation
  • Opacity
11. Feature request: simple/basic interactivity!
A basic framework that allows us to export our project and load it on devices and interact. Could start with tap & swipe for now and build on that. No idea how this would work but could figure it out from a UX standpoint. Would possibly involve an ‘AE-Connect’ app where you could select your project, select your project, select comp, load it up and interact. Would be a game changer. Big time. 
12. Feature request: publish
We’re in 2019. Let’s do this. Publish to the standard YouTube/Vimeo/Dribbble/Behance/Slack (maybe), and other productivity tools. Seems crazy we can’t do this. Instead, we have to render at basically uncompressed, than re-render to get the file format that works. Then we delete the unused file. Just let us publish directly. 
Anyway, that's my 12. Let me know yours! 

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