After Effects is in its 20th year and the team had a bash in celebration. It wasn’t the red carpet event that you’d imagine. It was in a hole-in-the-wall bar in Seattle with beer and other non-exotic cocktails, a cake (for Trish Meyer’s birthday, not ours) and a lot of smiles and high-fives. We had guests come from all over the world and as far as Germany and Sweden! Long-time gurus, Chris and Trish Meyer and Mark Christiansen, traveled to Seattle just for the party. And, for added fun, Brian Maffitt skyped in for the occasion. Thank you for honoring us and celebrating a major milestone with us.
Thanks to AE Experience Designer, Troy Church, we were able to capture some memories of the party that we’d like to share with you. There is the precious CoSA banner that has traveled with the CoSA team since the beginning. It decorates our wall in the After Effects Studio in our Seattle office where we hold our weekly meetings and brainstorm the next-gen features.
If you have been using After Effects for a long length of time, you’ll know who these people are. But if you’re new, this picture depicts history. Dan Wilk and David Simons are both Principal Scientists for After Effects. They have been with After Effects since the beginning and have some stories to tell. If you want to catch the history of After Effects and how CoSA started, be sure to check out our eSeminar with Dave and Dan. Sandwiched between Dan and Dave is Trish Meyer. She and her husband, Chris, have been working with the After Effects team since the beginning and have written 12 books and produced well over 50 hours of video tutorials on After Effects. Chris and Trish were the first beta testers for After Effects, submitting their bug reports via fax. Check out Chris and Trish’s story on the Ae & Me Anniversary blog. Also, check out their Two Decades of After Effects eSeminar.
A Homage to Product Management
Long-time After Effects product manager, Steve Kilisky worked on After Effects for eleven years (1996-2007) and worked on the first Windows version of After Effects. He then went on to work at GenArts but has recently come back to Adobe. He no longer works on the After Effects team however still has a soft spot for the group and After Effects. Check out his Ae & Steve Kilisky story on the Ae & Me Anniversary blog to find out how AE has impacted his career.
Michael Coleman, product manager for Adobe Anywhere for video, is working on a product that allows users to collaborate and access shared media across standard networks from virtually anywhere there is internet connectivity. Prior to working on Anywhere, Michael was the product manager for After Effects as well as the former AE Experience Designer. While his current job takes him elsewhere in Adobe, he is still part of the After Effects family. Cheers, Coleman!
I’m the current product manager and I definitely had big shoes to fill but I’m committed to making sure users have a product that continually fuels users’ creativity. The thing is – I love debate, dissent, advocacy and challenge. The main reason is that people who espouse these values have one thing in common – passion. I have never met more people who use a piece of software that are as passionate about Ae as we are, and that’s YOU – the people who use it. I have listened intently to folks who passionately debate how something needs to work in Ae (or that something is not currently working!) like it is their own. That is so rare. As long as users are willing to partner with us and keep speaking their mind – the next 20 years are going to be a blast. To find out more about my history, check out my blog post on the Ae & Me Anniversary blog.
The genius behind the product
This is just a very small profile of a few folks, in fact I’m going to make it a mission to make the rest of the team squirm by profiling others later on! Amir came to the After Effect team right out of college and has been with the team for five years. Probably the only way I could describe Amir is pure and fresh passion. His worldview frankly is that anything is possible, and the ideas he produces on the team really do ‘have no limits’.
Paul Siegel recently just joined the team as the engineering manager, coming to the team from Adobe Audition. Paul keeps a cool hand on the tiller so to speak, and I can’t think of anyone better to shepherd a team of wildly fantastic and creative individuals. Jeff Almasol, also known as Mr. Script (just kidding – not really – but he could be!) is probably one of the most detailed oriented individuals I know. That’s fantastic as his focus is quality engineering, as part of the team that brought out the 3D Camera Tracker, Warp Stabilizer and Roto Brush.
Lastly David Cotter has been working on Ae literally since CoSA. I believe he and Dan Wilk started out as interns at CoSA and are still working on Ae to this day. When you find your calling – you stick with it.