I was first exposed to After Effects at Passion Pictures where they were using it for compositing animated material into live action commercials. Often a comp would come to me – I was editing at the time – and it would need to be “tweaked” or rendered in a different codec on the network to make it “edit-system friendly”. This was back in the days of After Effects 4/4.5.
Learning the basics of After Effects I became aware that plug-ins could be used to enhance its capabilities and to this point I explored the possibility of using After Effects to “up-rez” material from SD to HD and even 2K. By using a plug-in I was able to achieve this goal without the expense of having to go to an expensive post house to achieve the same result. Plug-ins are truly the democratization of production techniques, showing that desktop software is just as capable as larger, more-expensive bespoke solutions. Using this technique I got a number of short films transferred to 35mm, some actually being nominated for major awards.
Whilst using this technique to work with video and 35mm, I came onto Adobe’s radar and they offered me a Business Development role working with After Effects and the other video tools. My time at Adobe was fruitful; I was even able to air my views on the future direction of After Effects through the beta forums.
Plug-ins have become more and more part of the After Effects story with one of the manufacturers, Boris FX, being very prolific in producing high quality and innovative plugins.
Now I find myself actually working for Boris FX, evangelizing the power of After Effects complemented by these amazing plug-ins. So After Effects still plays a huge part in my day-to-day life and I wouldn’t be employed without it.
So happy Anniversary Adobe After Effects – and may you run for another 20 years, if nothing else just to keep me employable.