Two decades ago, after struggling to animate sprites using interpolation in Macromind Director, I read a brief announcement in MacWeek about an upcoming application that promised smooth motion and “sub-pixel rendering”. The software was called CoSA After Effects; I pre-ordered my copy of version 1.0, and 20 years ago today the first boxes shipped to customers (I still have mine in my basement).
Thus I was introduced to the software that arguably gave me a career for the last two decades. I founded a company called Total Training–but the name of the company was originally “Total AE”, which also happened to be the name of our first product, an 11-hour video series on 9 VHS video tapes, all about After Effects.
In the late 1990s I designed some plugins for After Effects called “Evolution” with the very gifted engineer Jonathan Shekter. Adobe acquired them from my company Atomic Power in 2000, and thus my name became part of the code base, in the about box for plugins like “Shatter” and “Radio Waves”, among others. It remains one of my proudest accomplishments to this day.
My thanks to the original team, to Adobe for buying and nurturing the product from CoSA, and for all of the members of the community who keep pushing After Effects to be better and do more. It’s been a great ride, and I’m proud to have been a small part of it.