Adobe After Effects

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Adobe After Effects is a digital motion graphics and compositing software developed by Adobe Systems. It is commonly used in the creation of commercials, as well as other pieces which require digital effects to be integrated with live video or film. It has extensive plug-in support, and a broad range of plug-ins are available.

After Effects was originally created by the Company of Science and Art (CoSA), and then acquired by Aldus corporation in 1993; this company was then in turn acquired by Adobe in 1994, and with it PageMaker and After Effects.

Competitors to After Effects include Discreet Combustion, Apple Shake and Apple Motion.

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Description

After Effects does not create something of its own; instead, it combines material from other sources. For example, if you have a picture of a space ship and a picture of a star background, you could use After Effects to place the ship in front of the background and animate it to move across the stars.

Each picture or movie is layered on a timeline, in a way similar to a video editing program. The timeline can get extremely complex very fast because a very large number of layers are required to hold a typical animation. For instance, you might have a coral reef background, a few corals in front of it and fish dancing around the corals. Each fish could then be animated separately, and you could even put them in front of or in back of different parts of the background. This can build up a very realistic effect.

After Effects is famous for high output quality and notorious for being sluggish, both in previews and renders.

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Reviews

  • Millimeter (http://www.adobe.com/cgi-bin/redirect?http://millimeter.com/mag/video_apple_adobe/index.html), by Steve Katz, July 1, 2004
  • MacNETv2 (http://www.adobe.com/cgi-bin/redirect?http://www.macnet2.com/more.php?id=502_0_1_0), by Lisa Swanson, June 21, 2004
  • PC World (http://www.adobe.com/cgi-bin/redirect?http://www.pcworld.com/), by Anush Yegyazarian, April 22, 2004
  • Digital Producer (http://www.digitalproducer.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=25293), by Stephen Schleicher, April 28, 2004


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