Frame One

On an otherwise forgettable day, a small thing happened. A co-worker stopped by my desk and gave me a new piece of software. “Hey, I heard you know about multimedia. Take a look at this software. Tell me what you think”, he said.

The word ‘multimedia’ should date the conversation like red Reebok pumps and fanny packs. It was 1993 and I was working as a designer in the creative services department at Aldus. Revolutionary publishing wasn’t a blog or even a web page. It was a CD-ROM that came in the mail.

I installed the software and played with it all day and nearly all night. When my co-worker returned, I told him I wasn’t giving it back. Sorry. It’s mine. The software was CoSA After Effects 1.0 and I was hooked.

The next day I found out that Aldus would be aquiring CoSA and soon I became co-workers, friends, and literally neighbors with the team that created this amazing software.

The experience was powerful enough that my career pivoted around these events. I left Adobe (which had aquired Aldus) to take on a career in visual effects & motion graphics. In 1999, I returned to Adobe to be the user interface designer for After Effects and the lead user experience designer for the Adobe Production Studio.

I now find myself lucky enough to be the product manager for After Effects. And you know, I think I might just have the coolest job in the world. I’ve created this blog to reach out with news, tips, and thoughts on After Effects and related topics. To the community of After Effects users, I hope you’ll enjoy what I have to share here. Feel free to drop me a line and contribute your thoughts and suggestions. My name is Michael Coleman and my email address is mcoleman {at}

They say all big things start small. To that I would add: Every movie begins on frame one.

Welcome to Keyframes.

10 Responses to Frame One

  1. Kay says:

    Interesting story for sure.I’m just getting started with AE as part of some college projects, but man, do I love it!Looking forward to many interesting posts.

  2. TriX says:

    Greetings Mr Coleman.Just wanted to drop by and wish you the best for your blog.Also, if ones wish in life where ever granted, my simple request would be only to walk in your shoes.On that note I’m sure in a few years or so our paths will cross, and just a heads up before such an event takes place,I’ll be after your job 😛 hehe.Naa in all seriousness, I’m 19 and living in Australia, and greatly desire to be in a similar position as you are now,But is a long road ahead, even so I’m certain nothing will get in my way :DTake care,Regards,TriX.

  3. Artur Obrzut says:

    Looking forward to next posts :)I believe my adventure with After Effects is beginning, but it already amazes me. Incredible how powerful and easy to learn this program is. Power, power, power!

  4. Hi Michael, Great to see you’ve started blogging. Sorry I missed you at NAB. JD

  5. Stewart Whaley says:

    Glad you have started blogging. Perhaps you could comment on how you iterate over interface designs.

  6. alba says:

    i look forward to reading your insight and posts. good luck!

  7. Izzy says:

    Hey Michael.Can’t wait for more!Your in my bloglines now:)

  8. Ben X says:

    Hi Michael,Interesting on how things began, love these sort of titbits. Looking forward to seeing more from your blog and others too. Btw so where do Trish and Chris Meyer come in, I heard they had something to do with the development of AE!!!oh, this part is for TriX, from Australia, love to discuss more about what you do, maybe something could come of it, if you are available as a freelance or more. No email link for you here, so contact me.

  9. josh ngwee says:

    Keyframs is an appropriate name. Will you soon be able to call it keyframs and nodes? 🙂 Look forward to more from your blog.

  10. movibe says:

    Hello Michael,I wish I have started my AE endeavour that early but hey, it’s never too late.. heehhee. Thanks for you guys for coming up with this wonderful software and I would love to see more of your sharing over here.cheers,movbie

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