Prior to using it, I had looked at After Effects from afar for quite a while. It was powerful and a little bit intimidating but also very attractive. Seductive. It was empowering. I thought it was “painting with all of the colors.” While working at a professional video reseller, I remember After Effects back in version 3.1. An Adobe person visited and was talking about the port to Windows and new features and asking the question, “What else do we put in there? It already does everything!” Yeah, he wasn’t being overly prophetic was he? 😉
Several years had passed since that time and I was now considering a job offer from Adobe. Like many people, I built a ‘pros and cons’ list about the job. Under the Pros column I very seriously wrote, ‘Adobe will actually pay me to learn After Effects!’ Remember, this was before the explosion of free online video tutorials! Back then, I meant it and even though I don’t get to spend as much time with it today any more, it still remains my favorite.
Dean Velez, a great artist and AE user also was with Adobe at the time and helped fire that spark in me to dive into the ocean of possibilities inside After Effects. That’s when I started to understand it, become passionate about it and want to share my experience with others.
After Effects has always been a product of potential. I’ve described After Effects in presentations as follows: “If you can think it, you can do it!” While not entirely accurate, it captures the spirit and passion of the Adobe After Effects user. When presented with a challenge, the AE artist will invariably try to work through it and usually come up with a unique solution and beautiful outcome.
My own experience in learning a bit of After Effects has caused me to focus on getting people to that tipping point. You see, once people ‘get it’, they move on and become that passionate user who not only creates great content with After Effects but is constantly pushing the boundary of what can be done with it.
These days, my focus has taken me away from After Effects, but quite honestly, I look forward to the opportunity where I can get back into it and work on my own very modest skills. You see, I want to get to that point where I can not only think of something great, but that I can create it in Adobe After Effects”