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Forums Adobe After Effects AE CS5.5 to CC17 – how to open

  • AE CS5.5 to CC17 – how to open

  • Hope Holmesby

    January 11, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    Hi, thanks for reading

    Have been using CS5.5 for all AE projects

    Now getting the latest AE version.

    How can I open those projects?

  • Michael Szalapski

    January 11, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    What happens when you try to open the project files in the latest version?

    The latest version, by the way, is called CC 2020 by some people (which is inaccurate; it should be 2020 without the CC). Actual version number is 17.5.1

  • Hope Holmesby

    January 12, 2021 at 1:31 am

    Michael….so sweet of you to reply.

    I have not tried yet. My computer died and I need to install the latest ae in my new Computer, but have not bought the new AE yet, nor done it.

    I wanted to be prepared for what is to come…smile😊

    Your answer implies that maybe there is no issue.?

    or… is so old cs5.5, that no one has even mentioned the need to do such a thing in years?



  • Walter Soyka

    January 12, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    The current release of Ae can open CS5.5 files no problem — I just tried to make sure. I think it can even go back a couple of releases beyond that. Ae’s backwards compatibility is pretty good.

    Forward compatibility is a different story, though. Ae will require you to save the project file in the current AEP format after you open it, and only this version or newer will be able to read that. You can manually save back 2 versions in Ae — and you have to do that explicitly via Save As — so you will not be able to open your new, updated files in CS5.5.

  • Hope Holmesby

    January 12, 2021 at 9:19 pm

    Dear Walter,

    Thank you so much for this…what a relief. wow. so great.

    Appreciate you all helping me.



    I suppose i am going to have a major learning curve now going from cs5.5 to 17.6 – that is 30 updates newer per online info…OMG….

  • Michael Szalapski

    January 12, 2021 at 10:59 pm

    Wow. The amount of new features is going to be mind blowing.

    Okay, first of all, you now have effects that reference other layers can now reference those layers WITH their effects. So, for example, if you want to use Fractal Noise on a solid to drive a Displacement Map effect, you don’t need to precomp that solid with the Fractal Noise; you can just use it in the same comp. Makes it much faster to try out different looks.

    Second, essential properties. A HUGE game changer. Hard to explain, but it could save you DAYS of work. You can pick some properties to “promote” to essential properties that you can control outside the composition when you nest it. For example, you can have a dozen copies of a precomp of a lower third with complex animation, and all with different names and titles, but when the client changes their mind about colors, shapes, fonts, etc., you only have to change it once since it’s just one composition. And, even better, you can export a comp with essential properties as a Motion Graphics Template (or mogrt) and hand it off to someone working in Premiere Pro and they can make as many duplicates as they want in their Premiere Pro timeline and change the parameters in Premiere!

    Roto Brush – so handy! For a lot of shots, you don’t have to manually roto anymore!

    3d Camera Tracker

    Content Aware Fill for Video

    Variable Width Feather for masks – that is, you can have feathering of nothing to 300 pixels and back again at any number of arbitrary points along your mask.

    Maxon Cinema 4D Lite is now included for free with AE.

    Key Cleaner and Advanced Spill Suppressor effects

    You can mask effects now (see my video on it:

    Copy With Property Links (and Relative Property Links) commands

    Face Tracker


    Lumetri Color

    Advanced Puppet Tool engine

    Depth passes for your 3d comps – that is, you can get a depth pass of your AE layers!

    ProRes is native on Windows now.

    A new expression engine and way better expression editing experience.


    And tons more. Like…there has been so much new stuff added to AE since CS5.5, it’s mind-blowing.

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  • Hope Holmesby

    January 13, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    Dear Michael and Walter,

    Wonderfully kind of you and all the fellows here, to write all this and help a girl out. 🙂

    What a very kind bunch of guys.

    I so look forward to listening to the video and going thru all your points. Thank you very much for this. Wow. I am so touched.

    And you have a great youtube channel.

    This is the first time anyone has sent me a video they made about something on this forum.

    Awesome and blowing me away.

    Have a great and fabulous New Year…2021

    Can’t wait to read all your amazing points.

    🙏 ✨ ⭐️ ✨


    ps i am especially excited about the Maxon 4D….wow.

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