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Old August 6th, 2007, 03:15 PM   #1
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Should I get After Effects?

Looking for some advise...

I have a Mac with Final Cut Studio along with Shake. I'd call myself proficient with FCS and a beginner (for now, but I'm learning) with Shake.

I also have Photoshop CS2, and I am trying to decide whether to upgrade it to the 'Photoshop CS3 Extended" version or to the "CS3 Production Premium" suite. I would do the latter only to get my hands in After Effects - I see no advantage of switching to Premiere or Encore in my situation.

The problem is, I don't have a good feel for how much I could benefit from After Effects. I like Motion, and I am impressed with (and, I admit, a little overwhelmed by) Shake, and I wonder what adding yet another application (AE) to my application set will do for me (other than cost money and add to the learning curve).

So, to all you guys that use Motion, Shake, and AE: Is AE a good addition if you already have Motion and Shake? And if so, how would you characterize the learning curve I should be prepared for?

Thanks in advance for your opinions!

- Martin
Martin Pauly
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Old August 10th, 2007, 07:57 AM   #2
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After Effects


I am using Final Cut Studio 2 as well as shake 4.1 and have recently added the latest Adobe Creative Production package for the Intel Mac that includes, among many others, After Effects. Motion does indeed provide some very useful and convincing effects but Shake, although extremely competent and flexible, is for compositing. So, if special effects are what you desire, motion and beyond may be required.
Ultimately,I guess that the answer to your question resides in the intended use of AE. That said, given the fact that AE is external to Final Cut, moving back and forth between both programs will likely prove to be a bit of a nuisance, to say the least. Therefore, with this in mind, I am personally considering the addition of Boris Red 4.1, which provides a Final Cut plug in. I suspect, however, that there may still be a case for AE in terms of the effects options that it may offer beyond those of Boris or Motion 3 but I assume that its use, at least from my own perspective, will be limited.
I hope that this wordy diatribe may in some way prove useful in your decision making process.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 10:03 AM   #3
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So you would buy the premium package, only to work with AE? Then I would say, don't waiste your money on it. Working with the premium package eliminates the problem what Ronald pointed out; AE en PP work so well together and make it easy to import AE projects right into premiere without rendering the whole thing first.
Also prepare for a very steep learning curve with AE, if you allready have FCP2 and shake, what is it you require more that those programs can't handle?
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Old August 12th, 2007, 11:40 AM   #4
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Martin, it strongly depends on the kind of work and your persona preferences. I have Shake, Motion and After Effects. By far I do more work on AE than with anything else. If I have to narrow it down to why I would say that AE is way more intuitive than Shake and easier than Motion. The idea behind Motion is kinda cool if you start from the assumption that keyframing is such a burden. Most times than not I found that it's just easier to set a couple of keyframes than trying to coax a behavior to do exactly what I need with precision. Also, AE is a much more mature product which is getting better and better. The puppet tool and the ability to obtain 3D models by using PhotoShop's Vanishing Point are just some of the great new features of AE CS3.
BTW, there is a downloadable demo of AE so I would suggest to download it and try it for yourself. Find some good tutorials and you should be all ready to go. See Andrew Kramer VideoCopilot, it's quite hard to beat when it comes to AfterEffetcs tutorials that are effective, to the point and plain fund to follow:
Demo Reel
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