If you've recently been impressed by an animation or movie VFX, know that it was probably the result of Adobe After Effects. It is one of the best creative tools that designers have at their disposal.

With Adobe After Effects, you can composite, stylize, and create 2D layers footage in a 3D workspace. And it can be used in tandem with other editing software to provide compelling results.

The versatile software provides value to anyone who may depend on it. For example, an indie VFX artist may only need Adobe After Effects to composite 3D rendered footage, or an animator may rely on it to create 2D character models.

It isn't easy to pinpoint the exact use of Adobe After Effects because it is just so versatile. The software has various applications, and it does them all well!

Adobe After Effects open on iMac, a keyboard and mouse are on the desk. On the left-hand side, there is also a printer present. Some of the best documentaries we see on TV, even those narrated by David Attenborough, have been enhanced using AE!
Adobe After Effects is also part of the creative cloud; therefore, now you can sync your files from any device. Whether you are working on your desktop at home or are on the move with your laptop, the creative cloud will provide your files everywhere. (Source: Unsplash)

However, there is a drawback: Adobe After Effects is not ideal for the editing of footage. And this is primarily because it does not have a similar layout to an application for video editing.

It is mainly used to apply effects after the footage has been roughly edited. This functionality provides a lot of context to the actual name of the software.

Adobe After Effects' strong suit is creating motion graphic effects and Animation. Unlike Adobe Premiere Pro, which focuses on video editing, Adobe After Effects aims to add the final touches that make motion graphics shine.

The best thing about Adobe After Effects is that it works well with additional Adobe tools. Creative professionals in the industry use it for TV, film, and social media content.

It also allows the user to import native files from accompanying Adobe software, like Illustrator, Adobe XD, Photoshop, Character Animator, and Animate.

If all of that doesn't gain your trust, read this: Adobe Photoshop and After Effects were presented with two Scientific and Engineering Awards by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Such is the relevance and value of the software!

If you want to know more about it, keep reading:

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Adobe After Effects' History

After Effects was established in 1993. Initially, two versions were created by the original developers, the Company of Science and Art (CoSA).

Both provided limited functionality, allowing for composite layers and transforming numerous layer properties.

After its acquisition in 1994 by Aldus, the program brought new features such as motion blur and multi-machine rendering.

However, before 1994 ended, Adobe entered and acquired the technology and is still the owner of After Effects.

Since the acquisition, Adobe has launched 50 different versions of this industry-leading software, adding new functionality every time.

Difference Between Motion Graphics And Classic Animation

There are some misconceptions about the differences between a traditional animator and a motion designer.

Even though there are a few overlaps and blending between these two industries, their workflow is quite diverse.

Read on as we define them:

Traditional Animation

There are widely considered to be two forms of conventional animation:

  • Illustrating frame by frame via a physical medium
  • Cel animation creation in programs such as Adobe Animate

This is a lengthy process involving a sequence of planning key poses and illustrating between them. It provides different creativity advantages; however, the most significant disadvantage is the time it takes to create projects.

When thinking of traditional Animation, the first thought you may have would be original Disney movies such as The Lion King and Pocahontas.

A computer screen displaying an ongoing editing project with the overall video, different layers, and a lot more! Designers, especially those working with Adobe After Effects, may need years of practice before they can become pros
If you want to work with 3D in Adobe After Effect, it is not a problem. The scenes and objects made in Cinema 4D can directly be used without rendering as footage on the software, opening up multiple creative possibilities and saving more time. (Source: Unsplash)

Motion Graphics

Adobe After Effects takes on a completely different approach to create movement. The animation in motion graphics works by manipulating vector and rasterized art to tell a story. Furthermore, you can also incorporate physical media via videography and photographs.

Adobe After Effects depends on in-built tools, user input, and coding to manipulate movement in a graphic.

You have the option to twist, rotate, move, scale, and do much more to transform your videos and images.

In addition to vector and photo artworks, you can also control words using text features, import videos, and much more.

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What Can You Do With Adobe After Effects?

With that many tools to choose from, the question arises: What can be done with Adobe After Effects?

It is fundamentally designed to work with and create motion graphics. With After Effects, you have the option of working with 2D layers and footage in a 3D space.

Therefore, let us discuss some of the additional abilities and some drawbacks of the software. Although, because Adobe After Effects has so many uses, we may not be able to point all of them.

However, if you are new to after effects, a basic understanding of its capabilities is presented below:

  • Compositing 3D rendered footage
  • Creating 2D characters and cartoon animations
  • Creating title sequence for video or movie

Animation

By transforming and moving layers, you can bring your artwork to life. Adobe After Effects provides digital tools to help users edit and manipulate various properties.

There are several ways to work with animations, and the user experience keeps pushing the boundaries of what is possible!

This usability is further augmented with third-party software integrations and contemporary artists breaking the boundaries of day-to-day workflows.

Without delay, here are the various animations that you can create in Adobe After Effects:

  • 2D Vector Animation
  • Visual Effects
  • Basic 3D Animation
  • Kinetic Typography
  • Character Animation
  • UI/UX mock-up animations

This is just a small example of the animation possibilities when working with Adobe After Effects.

Visual Effects

Adobe After Effects is not just adept at assisting animators; its scale of VFX capabilities is also quite impressive.

Visual effects workflows have built a comfortable home in Adobe After Effect. For a long time, people have been manipulating film and video to add multiple effects post-production, and AE has always provided a helping hand.

Explosions, smoke, fire, scene tracking, and replacing background via green screen technology are just some movie magic elements made possible by After effects.

There are multiple ways of collaborating with different programs as well. You can use Adobe After Effects to import 3D scene data and add an extra level of finesse by compositing.

Simply put, After Effects has been designed to enhance animations or raw footage and add effects. However, it is not a tool for editing.

There are a desktop, mouse, and laptop on the table. The laptop is partially hidden due to the leaves. A drone picture is visible on the desktop computer, whereas Adobe After Effects is open on the laptop
Adobe After Effects provides users with the Pixel Motion Blur feature. It allows you to enhance and add motion blur on moving objects in rendered scenes or live footage. Pixel Motion Blur helps you exaggerate movement, add realism, align shots, and make shaky footage easy on the eyes. (Source: Unsplash)

Cool Features

Adobe After Effects is filled with additional features for a variety of projects. Depending on the type of work you require, some options might be more valuable than others.

  • Removing objects or elements from video clips using the nifty content-aware fill feature and adding newer effects for a complete VR experience
  • Bringing text animation letters to life using kinetic typography. You can also add 3D text motion, animate logos, and even start projects with a preset template
  • Animating virtually anything in any space
  • 3D effects extensive palette for enhancing clips
  • Using mesh sculpting tools to create movement and making animations seem lifelike
  • Using the preset effects to create animations you did not know you had, like swipes, slides, and spins

Adobe After Effects is well-known due to its flexibility. Furthermore, the work created by this program is virtually everywhere.

There are multiple ways users can create visual magic using Adobe After Effects, and there is a lot that the entertainment industry must thank Adobe for!

Learn Adobe After Effects With An Industry Professional

If you're interested in learning and using Adobe After Effects, you are in luck. Learning Adobe After Effects is entirely possible at your choice of pace, with multiple resources accessible online to help you start.

Apart from the easy-to-learn Adobe After Effects tutorial available on YouTube, amateurs can also go for curated courses offering an introduction to After Effects

There is no shortage of resources on the internet for new users wanting to learn and work with Adobe After Effects.

However, the best way to learn would be to log in to Superprof, find an instructor in your area, and hire them according to your schedule.

Superprof has made it easy to learn just about anything, especially with the pandemic! And Adobe After Effects is no exception.

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