Adobe Systems has began shipping Adobe After Effects 4.0, the latest version of the software tool for motion graphics designers and visual effects artists. Highlighting this release is tighter integration with other Adobe applications (e.g. Premiere, Photoshop, Illustrator). Also new to the update are expanded masking capabilities (up to 128 open- or closed -path masks per layer); new visual effects like Beam, Motion Tile and Transform; adjustment layers à la Photoshop; enhanced audio-processing features; real-time RAM Preview; and a more streamlined interface with tabbed windows and color-coded layers. In addition, Adobe is also offering the 4.0 Production Bundle which includes thirty-five extra tools. Among these features are a new audio pack with advanced sound options (Flange & Chorus, High-Low Pass, Modulator, Parametric EG, Reverb and Tone), a Key Pack for better control over hard-to-key elements such as glass, hair and smoke; new warping effects (Bezier Warp, Mesh Warp and Reshape); and the Particle Playground, a new tool to aid in creating simulation effects such as swarming bees, falling leaves or exploding text. Adobe After Effects 4.0 is priced at $995 U.S. for the Standard Version and $2,195 U.S. for the Production Bundle. After Effects runs on Power Macintosh, Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0 platforms. For additional information and upgrade prices, visit www.adobe.com/prodindex/aftereffects.