Since its inception, PRIME has developed rapidly. Although it does not currently support Adobe After Effects import, this feature is on the roadmap. It is found in some CG systems on the market today, and can be useful, but it isn’t a perfect solution. This blog post explores the pros and cons of creating graphics natively or importing from After Effects.

It might seem that the “best of both worlds” means being able to create assets with After Effects and then import these assets on the playout system. Admittedly, there are certain advantages to this approach. 

  • With After Effects, designers can use a tool they already know, without having to re-learn tasks in the CG application.
  • Organizations may already have a library of media assets built with After Effects and may not want to invest time in re-creating them in the CG application.

Another perceived advantage of creating in After Effects is the array of tools for high-end design and animation. However, the modern CG has come a long way, and top-tier graphics systems, such as PRIME, have many of these same tools.

PRIME Graphics Design Toolset

Since its launch four years ago, PRIME has been rapidly developing and boasts a robust design feature set similar to what may be found in After Effects. PRIME includes hundreds of specialized features, but the short list of key features and functionality used and appreciated by designers includes:

  • Full control over keyframes
  • Edit keyframe velocity with Ease In and Ease Out
  • Multiple modes of interpolation, for example, linear, bezier and others
  • Spline editor with handles for fine tuning the curve
  • Alignment and distribution tools
  • A full library of 2D and 3D objects
  • Cameras
  • Complex materials and textures
  • Full control of all objects in scenes via a scene tree
  • Fully editable object properties

The following demo videos illustrate a few of these features.

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Advantages of Native Graphics

Although some CGs in the market today offer After Effects import, it is often not fully developed and is an option that should be used with caution. Limitations that may be encountered include:

  • Effects do not work
  • Plugins do not work
  • Nesting does not work

This leaves the designer with lots of time-consuming repairs to do, when in fact, creating natively in the CG from the start may have been more efficient.

Of course, assets from After Effects can simply be exported and imported as rendered clips, but then they are not editable. This may be efficient for a one-off, or an asset that will never require changes. However, on-air graphics are often reused hundreds of times, with different text or images. Implementing a workflow where the edits occur in After Effects, the asset is exported, then imported to the CG with every new iteration creates a massive workflow inefficiency.

Recommended Graphics Worklfow

At the time of writing this blog post, PRIME does not currently support After Effects import, but it will soon. This will give users the flexibility to choose native creation or import. 

To create long-term workflow efficiencies, the graphics experts at ChyronHego recommend creating your graphics natively, on your CG whenever possible, especially for graphics that will be used and modified often.

Although After Effects import is a “nice to have” feature, and we plan to introduce it soon, it is not necessary to have, even for high-end graphics and animation creation. Viewed holistically, the overall adaptability to multiple use cases and video formats is a much more important criteria for evaluating a broadcast graphics system. And of course, you want to be sure your CG has those important features for building exactly the scenes and animations you want.

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