20 years. Wow…in a culture that loves to build things up to tear them down, this is quite an achievement. Congratulations to the team at Adobe!
My name is Ross Shain and I’m the Chief Marketing Officer of Imagineer Systems, developers of mocha planar tracking software and partners with Adobe. I’ve had an interesting career in post-production: working on the creative side as VFX compositor/motion designer and on the technical side in software development. After Effects has pretty much been with me all the way and in many ways has played a big part in my life.
Going back to college, I experimented with stop motion & collage animation, even projecting 16mm frame by frame onto paper, tracing then re-shooting (old school roto!). I was always interested in combining my interests of experimental animation, film and art. Unfortunately in the late 1980’s, computer animation was not accessible and non linear editing was still being developed.
Jump a few years and I am working in tech support at Avid Technology in early 90’s when I come across COSA After Effects in our support lab. For me this was a great moment and I became a big proponent within Avid, always talking up After Effects to those that would listen. While at Avid I also worked on effects and paint packages that ran on Silicon Graphics hardware. These large and expensive computers were what it took to process uncompressed film and video at the time, but I always came home to After Effects on my desktop.
Over the year, I used After Effects on many films, music videos, commercials and broadcast promos. I think it really stands to mention that even while using expensive finishing systems like Avid|DS or Flame, that there are certain things that AE simply does better. There is no other system that has the accessibility, usability and breadth of features that AE offers. When presenting or lecturing, students often ask how they can learn about visual effects, I always point them to AE for learning all the foundations.
Lastly, I’d mention that Adobe’s commitment to the plug-in & script community has also been a great part of this success. AE has certainly improved with every release, but it is equally important to salute the amazing 3rd party products that in their own way help AE fit into so many varied markets: broadcast design, visual effects, web, editorial… you name it. The team at Imagineer is proud to be associated with Adobe AE and the plug-in community.
On February 8, the team from Imagineer Systems will receive an Academy Award for mocha’s planar tracking technology. While we support many host applications, I believe it is the bundling of mocha AE with Adobe that really helped put our technology on the global map. So from all of us at Imagineer, happy anniversary!
Mocha Reel: https://vimeo.com/40242159