5. Better Photoshop 3D integration
3D layers were added to After Effects all the way back in version 5, and CS4 brought the ability to import true 3D models into AE's composition space. One of our new favorite features technically isn't in After Effects, but might as well be. Photoshop's new Repoussé tool can extrude text or other 2D objects and create true textured 3D models that can be opened and animated inside After Effects. There have been other native methods to creating 3D text before, but really those were big cheats relying on creating dozens of layers that were slow and could be difficult to manipulate. Using Repoussé makes it possible to easily create and animate 3D models that actually live inside AE's 3D space. Products like Zaxwerks 3D Invigorator still have much to offer, but Repoussé is a nice starting-off point for 3D and is available to those who purchase AE as part of Adobe's Production Premium or Master Collection bundles.