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February 28, 2013 /Ae & Me /

Ae & Dave Bittner

Mixin' Pixels from the StartNot long out of college, with a contract position in a government broadcasting facility and a little bit of money in my pocket, I purchased a Mac Quadra 700 and a product called Digital Film from SuperMac. Digital Film claimed to be a complete TV studio on a card (it wasn’t) and bundled with it was a new software package called CoSA After Effects, version 1.

I returned the Digital Film card, but a couple of years later, in 1995, when I started Pixel Workshop with my wife and my best friend, After Effects (at version 2.0, and dongled) was at the top of our list of must-have software. Even in its comparatively primitive state, it was one of the key technologies that empowered those of us who pioneered the desktop video revolution. Thanks to After Effects, Media 100 and Photoshop, we could compete with traditional online suites at a fraction of the startup cost.

We found other folks just like us, swapping tips, tricks and workaround on the dialup AOL forums. Our shared enthusiasm for blazing these new digital trails bonded us together, and communities like the IMUG and the After Effects list sprouted and flourished. One of the most gratifying elements of my career has been the friendships formed in those early days, friendships which last to this day.

The world of digital media has evolved, we’ve changed right along with it, and After Effects has been our constant companion throughout, one the cornerstone tools we rely on every day. The power and sophistication of the systems we use now was unimaginable back in those early days of Power PCs and SCSI drives.

Best of all, After Effects is just plain fun. It’s a tool with limitless possibilities, feeding our creative sensibilities and, oh yeah, helping us earn a healthy living, too.

So here’s to twenty years of After Effects. We’re looking forward to twenty more!

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Ae & Me