Users and employees share their thoughts on how After Effects has impacted their career.
People have “moments” in life that stand out — in terms of impact or influencing their career direction. That was one such moment for me. I quickly bought my first version of After Effects (2.0, the box still sits on my shelf), and since then my career has been closely related to AE.
In 2001 I returned to formal school. I finished a B.A in Film, then a Masters in Cinematic Interaction Design. My goal was to work at “Adobe or Macromedia” creating the tools that I used every day that were so powerfully impacting the world.
In 2005 I was hired by Adobe shortly after they announced their merger with Macromedia. I’ve been honored to be the interaction designer on the After Effects team ever since.
We could not imagine doing our music videos without After Effects. We started using After Effects three years ago, and making simple text editing and mixing with 2-3 clips for music videos. It was so intuitive and our previous experience in Photoshop helped a lot. After that we have made many music videos with the latest being our own small promo we’re showing here. It was all made in After Effects.
It’s now so embedded in our workflow. From launching any promo, or video or teaser, all the editing + color correction + vfx all is done in After Effects.
I have fallen in love with creating beautiful graphics. I had the talent for it when I was young and it was then I heard about After Effects from my best friend. When I was in secondary school, I took a course in After Effects and worked through the content in the After Effects Classroom in a Book and Mark Christiansen’s After Effects Studio Techniques. It made me a better artist and I am very happy with the results. Now I am a professional compositor in AfterEffects.
I love you, After Effects. You made my hobby into a career. Happy Birthday!
I first met 2 young software guys back in 1989 or 1990, Dave Herbstman and Dave Simons in Boston, when they came up from Rhode Island to the studio where I was working. They were doing some R&D for a program they were working on that would be like the expensive compositing systems we were using at the time, but it would run on a Mac, and it would be relatively inexpensive. I got a t-shirt with the CoSA logo, and on the back it said “There’s a fifty percent chance my name is Dave”.
As I kid I wanted nothing more but to become an inventor when I grow up. My hero at that time (and perhaps to this day) was Prof. Grumpy. (I have a TEDx talk about that subject and how it led me to After Effects – http://tinyurl.com/aewgpus).
My parents sent me to a music school which oddly enough got me into programming. From there I moved to more dynamic areas like websites, graphics and video editing where effects of ones work could be seen almost instantaneously. But I wasn’t happy. I couldn’t really draw or paint – I have no manual skills, so when I was viewing myself as a designer I felt bitter. It’s only when I found After Effects I came to peace with myself, my work and my mission in life (if you wan’t to call it that).
20 years ago, I was introduced to After Effects. Created by the enigmatic CoSA corporation. After Effects was an artifact from the future – the natural extension of Photoshop, projected into the fourth dimension. It took my work into a radical new direction, allowing me to move and combine imagery in ways I had only imagined.
After graduating with a design degree back in ’98, I moved to London and was lucky enough to be offered a junior design position at a tiny post-production studio called Blue Source. It was here that I was introduced to Ae for the first time; the only software I had used till then was Photoshop and Quark, so as you can imagine, the learning curve was pretty steep!
However, back then, desktop motion design was still ahead of its time (and very slow) and sadly the studio suffered due to clients’ nervousness using this new, slower technology. I was let go and ended up in publishing, which was fine for a while but eventually found I was missing the excitement and challenges that Ae and motion design had given me.
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.
I first got involved in the visual effects industry in the 1990s. I’d gone to film school and art school and thought I might try to be a director someday. I went to work as a PA at a VFX boutique house, Foundation Imaging, which was starting to do visual effects on desktop machines. It was the early 90s when most visual effects were still done by machines that cost far and away more than Adobe After Effects. I watched people using Macs running Photoshop and After Effects to break into the visual effects world and I thought, “I can do that!”
Soon I was doing screen displays on the television show Babylon 5 using After Effects. I learned on the job from the likes of Kevin Kutchaver, Mitch Suskin, and Ron Thornton. I moved up to doing more compositing, visual effects and lighting shots on other TV shows, including Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Deep Space 9, and a TV movie called Superfire. We were nominated for some Emmys for work that we did—all using After Effects and LightWave.
I’m from India, Mumbai city. After finishing my Animation course in school, I wanted to become a compositor but had no idea where to start. I started with After Effects 7.0 and foudn it very user friendly. After one year working on After Effects, I realize how powerful it really is! I started my career as a graphic designer and now I m working as a compositor in Redchillies.VFX.
After Effects has changed my life! I make good money creating graphics with After Effects, leaving my poor-artist life behind. Using After Effects, I make content that I can share with others and they like it as well as respect me. Plus, I’m really proud of myself.