View Full Version : Adobe After Effects ?

14th October 2005, 03:20 PM
I'm thinking of getting Adobe After Effects as I have Adobe CS2.

The reason being I use my iSight to take video (sometimes time lapsed vids as well) and I would like to edit it eg: remove elements, add sound effects, music that I have created, add titles, special effects, etc. I also want to use images I have photographed and edited in PS + Illustrator.

Now I do have Flash 8 so I would like to be able to edit the videos I create and from time to time convert them to flash for web and sometimes to QT.

I would like to read the point of view of people who are familiar with After Effects in regards to what I want to do.

I'm not interested in Final Cut Studio folks, so can we please just stick with discussing After Effects.


17th October 2005, 11:03 PM
i found it like photoshop, it has a steepish learning curve (as do most programs of this level of complexity) but it's still managable to work things out as you go.

the help files that comes with it are very very good IMO.

i don't have experience with FCP, but i once used adobe premiere thinking it was the best thing to use to edit movies.. i hated it and found it cumbersome..

whereas after effects seems to me to be like photoshop but for video - there's concepts i already know, like layers, plus the timeline. it seemed a lot more intuitive to me. i have actually edited 3 short films and made several special effects titles and shorts using it (including a 'james bond gunbarrel' sequence with my godbrother as bond).

17th October 2005, 11:20 PM
I'm no After Effects guru, but isn't it more like a moving Photoshop? And aren't you after something that's more of an editing package?

If you want to do anything complex with music/sfx, you might be better off editing and mixing in an audio app with video playback in there to score to. I don't know if GarageBand does this, but Logic and ProTools do. Soundtrack might.

Originally posted by cmetom@Oct 17 2005, 11:03 PM
i once used adobe premiere thinking it was the best thing to use to edit movies.. i hated it and found it cumbersome..
There's a very good reason it disappeared from OS X as soon as Apple released FCP. FCP kills it. Sorry for mentioning FCP.

Peter Wells
17th October 2005, 11:22 PM
i found it pretty hard going at first, but after understanting that you have to import as a composition, or make a new composition, its pretty easy. very similar to photoshop...

but, yeah, i know you said no final cut, but i find it much easier to do 99% of what i do in final cut than after effects.

17th October 2005, 11:33 PM
It sounds as though the line between After Effects and Final Cut is rather blurred given the essential difference of what both are meant to be?

I haven't really tinkered with Final Cut, but essentially most of what I produce is meant for the web hence the Flash or QT requirement. I like the idea that AE is basically a PS for video (like I said I use Adobe CS2). I'm still a little confused about the essential difference between these two apps however.

Peter Wells
17th October 2005, 11:44 PM
the essential difference is final cut is video editing software ie, designed to give you full control over all aspects of video and audio editing. After Effects is more of a 'tweaking' software, designed to give you control over graphics and special effects over already edited video.

Because of that i find final cut much easier to use, as there is much less effort in synching audio to cuts for instance. After effects makes this a chore. basically, i edit in final cut, then move to after effects for titles, or for really specific effects.

but i'm biased, final cut pro is the reason i bought a mac! i love it to death!

17th October 2005, 11:48 PM
So from what you say it sounds as though After Effects may just be what I am looking for? I can do the tweaking, special effects, etc then render into Flash or QT to publish it on the web? Whereas Final Cut would be more suited to DVD output with perhaps a little less control over the tweaking of what I have filmed?

Peter Wells
18th October 2005, 12:08 AM

final cut can do almost 99% of the tweaking after effects can do, in a user interface beautifully design by apple. after effects for me seems a little clunky and very processor hungry.

i've never used flash, all my stuff is for video or dvd, so i dont know what you can create in that program. but i can suggest visiting Ken Stones (http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/fcp_homepage_index.html) website, the greatest site on the web for all things editing.

Did i say i love final cut? its brilliant. Editing is such a joy on that program, even editing wedding videos!

18th October 2005, 12:19 AM
Maybe you should look at Motion (http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/motion/) as well.

18th October 2005, 01:44 AM
The only thing that AE has over FCP is a tracking environment for compositing.

If you intend to 'remove elements' as you mentioned in the first post, I assume you might mean the idea of grabbing a moving element off it's background or somthing similar.

AE is pretty decent at this sort of thing, FCP can be used but isn't quite as useful.

However, AE isn't the sort of program that exels in doing audio editing.

The titling in FCP is okay, but wont do real 3D without plug-ins. AE is much more versitile in titles, but requires a bit more user knowledge to get the most out of it.

Livetype, Soundtrack Pro and Motion are included in the FC Studio, and combined with FCP make a pretty compelling package and give you a lot of extra editing ability over what AE can provide by itself.

The real question is: do you really need the level of 3D that AE provides? If the answer is yes, then go for it! If 3D is something you'll really only do every once in a while, then you might be better served grabbing a package that allows you to do decent compositing (Motion & FCP) great audio (soundtrack) & brilliant 2D & faux 3D titles (Livetype & FCP).

I know you asked not to talk about FC, but you really can't have a discussion on "if" AE is worth buying without comparing it to "what else".

18th October 2005, 08:16 AM
Originally posted by uncyherb@Oct 18 2005, 01:44 AM
I know you asked not to talk about FC, but you really can't have a discussion on "if" AE is worth buying without comparing it to "what else".
Haha I'm starting to see that .

speedway boy
18th October 2005, 10:15 AM
After effects is for lovely complex multi layed motion graphics and effects. Particularly if you want to work in a 3D environment (but with 2d layers). But from what I guess of your posting, it sounds like this is a very expensive solution for what you want to do.
I think you would find an editing application like final cut a much better option.

Put it this way, if you want to cut a story together, grade the picture and do some simple composition and text animation. then its a no brainer. Final cut is for you.
If you want to do motion graphics, and need endless effects to combine and finess and produce things like title sequences, animations, complex motion graphics then maybe consider After effects.
But like someone else said, if you are are just beginning on this route (motion graphics etc). Motion from Apple might be a better solution and more intuitive. And cheaper.

In any case, from what you described in your original post, I would strongly reccomend an edit program like FCP, avid express, Premiere etc over After effects.