While the program doesn't attempt to do 3D modelling, it does allow you to create a 3D space in which different two-dimensional objects or video clips can be arranged in front of a virtual camera. You can zoom the "camera" among graphics and light sources, which can also be positioned at will, giving some effects which can't be achieved using conventional techniques.
New interface features include property value settings that can be changed using an innovative virtual slider that's hard to describe but very easy to use. This saves a lot of screen space while making complex adjustments, but doesn't limit your ability to type in exact numerical values.
Other additions include the ability to export to Macromedia Flash format for Web use, more effects, improved preview performance, and vector paint tools for animation (in the advanced version). After Effects 5 also has all the standard capabilities of previous versions.
Adobe After Effects Standard 5.0 beta
Price: $1669; Upgrade $538; Phone: 1300 550 305; URL: http://www.adobe.com.au