Ae & Dave Helmly
I’m not even sure where to begin or how to put in words what After Effects has meant to me and my career. I’m working towards my 18th year with Adobe and for me After Effects has been such a huge part of the “cool factor” of my job.
I run a senior field team for the Americas dedicated to the pro video space and they are unlike any other team at Adobe. Each week we have a “fire side” chat about the week and the highlight usually involves what a customer or partner is doing with AfterEffects. Stories, range from being on set of a major motion picture like Avatar to being deep in a Department of Defense area that was using AE to show how much one of the twin towers moved on impact using the difference filter.
While my passion has been to get Premiere running at full gallop (she’s now 21 years old), it has really been AE that has helped me and my team introduce Premiere to so many people in the Pro Video content creation space. Let’s face it – basic NLE editing is boring. Without AE as part of the creative process , all NLEs would look and function like an Avid–a confined set of editing rules and processes that are critical for many workflows.
After Effects is anything but that. Take a close look at any true After Effects artist (yes, I think it is an art form) and imagine them in front of a tool that defines what they do. These people are the true definition of “live free” and their expression in their work shows it unlike any other Adobe application.
Another great part of my job, is getting Adobe professional video users together for various discussions ranging from shows like NAB or video user groups across the country. Let’s just say, it’s pretty easy to pick out the After Effects users as their passion bleeds from them as they talk about what they are working on. Their willingness to share their AE composition techniques in front of complete strangers always impresses me. AE attracts a different kind of user and, for me, I know it’s a user I can have an intelligent and enjoyable discussion about their work or what they would like to see in next version of AE.
Like many people, I learned AE early on just by reading the user manual from cover to cover –several times. In the mid 90’s I started to do Adobe stage demos called “Photoshop in Motion” as it was how I looked at AE. Not being an animator, it seemed like the easiest way to get my head around it.
In those days, there were only a handful of Adobe field people that even knew how to explain After Effects much less use it. We had to teach each other on the fly – Rich Pelzar, Tina Eckman, and Steve Whatley, to name a few, fully understand what I mean. I also have to give credit to Brian Maffit and Total AE from Total Training. Brian and I have become good friends over the years and I can’t imagine learning AE without him or Total AE. It became a AE training standard at Adobe for years. I think we can all also agree that Chris and Trish Meyer were also key to the early AE revolution. They taught many of us how to think about Motion Graphics Design . If you don’t already own one or more of their books – Press Cmd+N for a new browser tab and jump over to Amazon and order it ASAP. I promise you that you will read it cover to cover.
Lastly, like any true “uber geek” , I have a tough time letting go of technology that touched me. I still carry a fully working copy of After Effects 1.0, Premiere 1.0 , and Photoshop 1.0 running on my laptop and will demo it to anyone who asks. Not exactly DynamicLink but still just as cool! I hope you enjoy my photo! 🙂