Creating videos has become one of the most popular pastimes amongst young people over the past two decades – a scenario that was completely unimaginable as recently as the 1990s. Back then, video editing was the exclusive preserve of a handful of skilled technicians working for television stations and movie studios, who could never have imagined just how widespread their work would eventually become.
The internet, and computers in general, have changed our lives in almost every conceivable way during the past twenty years. The availability of cheap, high-powered laptop and desktop computers has allowed fledgling moviemakers to create professional, polished content, and YouTube is now filled to the brim with tens of thousands of aspiring channels – many of which appear every bit as professional as the content seen when you turn on your television.
But how are these videos created? Video editing is a common use case for personal computers in 2022, and there are countless software packages available catering to everyone from children making a school project, to the professionals who compile Hollywood movies. There is one tool that is ubiquitous no matter where a video editor falls on this spectrum – Adobe’s After Effects.
What is Adobe After Effects?
After Effects is one of the most powerful creative tools currently available. Everybody who has watched television, animation, or movies, has almost certainly seen work that has been created using After Effects. The software is available for every platform, and is used by everyone including visual artists, animators, advertising agencies, video artists, video editors, visual designers, animators, motion picture producers, and more.
The software is most commonly used as a plugin for Adobe’s Premiere video editing suite, but it can also connect with other industry-standard video editing software such as Apple’s Final Cut Pro. After Effects takes a little time to get used to, but most users can pick up the basics in a matter of hours. Like all the best tools, however, it takes a long time to master!
Who uses After Effects?
After effects provides the facility to create digital visual effects, motion graphics, and video compositing. This makes it a useful tool for anybody involved in the post-production process of video making, including the creation of movies, television, and even video games.
After Effects integrates many of the features of Adobe’s well-known Photoshop image editing platform, making it one of the most adaptable means of creating captions and titles to accompany a video project. There are other software tools which are better suited for high-end, specific use cases, but After Effects remains one of the easiest ways for post-production professionals to create attractive visuals quickly and reliably for TV, film, and the web.
What Can After Effects Do?
After Effects is often the go-to tool for creating anything that cannot be achieved during live-action shooting. Crafting a final video from multiple composited sources, modifying the contents of a piece of film, or enhancing the look and feel of existing recordings; After Effects helps with all these things.
After Effects does not provide full video editing capabilities by itself – you will still need a video production environment such as Adobe Premiere to edit your video. After Effects provides a means to create visual effects, so compliments Premiere rather than replacing it.
Do Hollywood Movies use After Effects?
Many Hollywood studios will use After Effects to create elements of their productions. As an example, the famous scrolling introduction to Star Wars: The Force Awakens was created using Adobe After Effects, as well as many other elements later in the film. The largest studios have other software packages for handling the heavy-duty CGI work such as the space battles seen in the Star Wars movies, but for anything that is not three-dimensional, After Effects remains the fastest way to get the job done to a high-quality level.
Adobe themselves love to boast of all the Hollywood movies that were created using their software – Todd Kopriva stated all the way back in 2009 that recent productions including Sin City, Iron Man, Sky Captain, and Stranger Than Fiction had all been created using their Premiere, Photoshop, and After Effects software packages.
The first version of Adobe After Effects was released all the way back in 1993, so it is to Adobe’s credit that the software is still being used at the professional level almost thirty years later.
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