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Is After Effects an essential requirement for an editor

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Simon D
Is After Effects an essential requirement for an editor
on Oct 9, 2006 at 6:59:35 pm

Hi

I am a relatively newbie editor and have been working solidly for the past 4 years studying and working on various projects from music performance DVD's to Documentaries, and hoping to Direct, Edit and Score a re-make of a Hitchcock Film next year. Hopefully!

Having absorbed so much knowledge about editing, operating, lighting, script writing and directing, the only avenue left to explore is the art of visual effects.

Am I best leaving this field to experts in After Effects/Shake, or should I go for the whole hog and spend countless months munching on tutorials and manuals?

I want to freelance as an editor, and wondered if the visual effects side is a prerequisite?

Thanks

Simon


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epontius
Re: Is After Effects an essential requirement for an editor
on Oct 9, 2006 at 10:16:28 pm

I use AE to supplement a lot of my edits (mostly corporate video work). AE has a lot more control and many more creative options than various motion graphics effects that are built into most NLE's. Animated titles, animated lower 3rds, show openers, etc... can all be done in AE with just basic knowledge of AE. The COW has plenty of good tutorials on it.
I think it's a great addition to any editor's toolkit. Like I said, quite a few things can be accomplished with just a basic knowledge level. It's great when you need something in a pinch and/or on a real limited budget. Keylight keyer that is included in AE is one of the best around. Anything to wickedly complicated could be farmed out to some dedicated mograph guys.

Erik



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person
Re: Is After Effects an essential requirement for an editor
on Oct 10, 2006 at 4:08:18 am

almost everything i do is offline and film based. meaning, once the cut is approved i take it to finish elsewhere (picture and audio). i use AE to roughly composite and stabalize when needed. but rarely is it something that lasts to the final product. do many offline editors get along without using AE/Shake? absolutely. it is not the easiest thing to learn. and quite frankly, if i get caught spending more than 9% of my time away from creative editing, fire me. it's not what i'm paid to do. but, it can be quite useful for selling a cut (reducing distractions to clients) or to help confirm my thoughts for finish.

many editors do one stop shopping for post. that's cool. it just distracts from what we're trying to do in the first place...

edit


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Mark Raudonis
Re: Is After Effects an essential requirement for an editor
on Oct 10, 2006 at 5:06:39 am

Person,

I think you're too narrowly defining what an editor does. There are MANY kinds of editors. What you might consider "creative", in many shops doesn't go far enough to visualizing the final picture. If you're defining an editor as the traditional "person" who simply cuts together film in a "cuts only", off-line fashion... then your stuck in the 80's. Too many visual storytelling techniques now depend on technological mastery that was unthinkable just a short time ago.

To answer the initial question re "After Effects", no, it's not crucial to becoming an editor, or even having a successful career. But, when I'm looking to hire an editor, I certainly take notice if they can bring sophisticated visual skills to the table. In my opinion, a working knowledge of After Effects or Motion or Shake is a feather in your cap worth pursuing.

mark




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Simon D
Re: Is After Effects an essential requirement for an editor
on Oct 10, 2006 at 9:36:53 am

Thankyou all so much for your advice. My conclusion is that I need a working knowledge of AE and Shake to lift my game and catch the gigs by having a wider breadth of skills and abilities.

Thanks again all

Simon


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Mark Suszko
Re: Is After Effects an essential requirement for an editor
on Oct 10, 2006 at 3:05:13 pm

AE is the most commonly used one out there in terms of sheer numbers. I think every editor should haev some level of compositing skill, and you can pick one of the various choices out there, AE being one of the most popular.

If your question is about what skillsets make me the most flexible and marketable tot eh widest number of employers, then I think you answered your own question fromt he start. A person could (and many Do) make a career entirely out of mastering A.E. alone. Not everyone is going to have or need to have the same depth of skill in it to get their jobs done, but it can solve a LOT of editing problems such as those where you have to create shots that were not there originally.

And in these days of faster-cheaper, most employers prefer "renaissance people" with a greater group of skills. If you can demonstrate that you can build good graphics, sweeten audio, and put together some basic composites like greenscreens and DVE moves, or motion-track footage to stabilize it, or add-in some set extensions or fiddle with the colors, you're likely to get hired over someone who is good at only one of those things. Stands to reason.

Yes, there are always exceptions. You hire Walter Murch for his cutting eye; making him fritter time away building composites or rotoscoping mattes is a waste of his talent and expensive, productive time.

But I'd say 90 percent or more of the editing jobs out there are not cutting major motion pictures, but more pedestrian things, with smaller budgets. And darned tootin' an editor who also has AE or other compositing skills is going to get more work.





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person
Re: Is After Effects an essential requirement for an editor
on Oct 11, 2006 at 2:20:49 am

" If you're defining an editor as the traditional "person" who simply cuts together film in a "cuts only", off-line fashion... then your stuck in the 80's. Too many visual storytelling techniques now depend on technological mastery that was unthinkable just a short time ago."

obviously i hit a sore spot with you that i never inteneded. most off-line editors use NLE's, obviously. using a "cuts only" system for cutting anything other than basic assemblies would be foolish. i'm just saying many 'professionals' get too involved with doing it all while losing sight of the original intent. and that is providing a well executed product. obviously budget dictates this. i completely understand that. fortunately, i can leave the picture and audio finish for the specialists. a good colorist (tape to tape, or film) can take the images to the next level. a good sound designer can make bad footage look interesting. and a good compositor can make the impossible reallity. and so on.


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Mark Raudonis
Re: Is After Effects an essential requirement for an editor
on Oct 11, 2006 at 2:46:38 am

Person,

Not a sore spot. I actually follow the same paradigmn... off-line picture editors with specialists for color and audio. I just am pointing out that most of the world doesn't work that way! And... even in this classic workflow, there are ideas and solutions that can only be expressed with a "higher skillset" than just a basic NLE.

My best advice to Simon is that presenting as "mutli-talented" skillset as possible to a prospective employer makes you a much more attractive candidate for any position available.

mark






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Pixel Monkey
Re: Is After Effects an essential requirement for an editor
on Oct 11, 2006 at 1:41:42 pm


[Mark Raudonis] "There are MANY kinds of editors."

Totally.

I never use AE. For the PBS and indie film stuff I do, 100% of it can be done in the Avid with plug-ins (Boris, Sapphire, 55mm, Stage Tools). It's all story-based editing, so there's no call for any MSNBC-looking CG or bouncing digital bunnies. Most producers are now growing beyond that need to muck-up the screen with Digital Juice. (Thank friggin' hell!)

But that's just me. Another editor could use 40% AE because her/his client base is all ad agencies who like bouncing digital bunnies.

Honestly if you're no expert, hire someone to do the AE work. If someone is passionate about that software enough to become a pro in it, they'll do 1000X better than an editor who resents having to learn it just to keep up. (It's the same reason I hire-out my color correction whenever I can.)



______
/-o-o-
`(=)`/...Pixel Monkey
`(___)

A picture says 1000 words. Editors give them meaning.



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person
Re: Is After Effects an essential requirement for an editor
on Oct 11, 2006 at 1:52:15 pm

"Another editor could use 40% AE because her/his client base is all ad agencies who like bouncing digital bunnies"

MANY ad agencies/clients waiste their money on Call Now!! spots, no doubt. i have yet to bounce bunnies in my work fortunately ;-)


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seminewbie
Re: Is After Effects an essential requirement for an editor
on Oct 17, 2006 at 12:18:43 am

I have found something that I think is worth noting. The art of editing appears to be undervalued in the low end of the market where I live. I get the impression that clients think they can do the editing themselves or give it to their 10 year old.

However I never have a problem when I discuss charging for my work in AE even with my limited skillset.

Is it just me or have others run into this as well


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Mike Cohen
Re: Is After Effects an essential requirement for an editor
on Oct 18, 2006 at 2:08:23 am

I am learning new things I can do in Premiere every day. People often ask if I use AE, and in 10 years I have not yet found a use for it in the type of work I do. I have AE and Flash on my list of things to learn the rudimentary function of, but my editing load keeps me plenty busy.
In our small shop, each editor is usually the director, shooter, editor, DVD authorer and graphic artist if need be. Knowing a little about a lot of software is not so useful, but knowing a lot about what you use every day and enough about what you might use once in a while to get out of a jam is worthwhile.
For example:
Last year I noticed a shot of a guy wearing a "Jesus is my final anwer" t-shirt. While Jesus may in fact be his final answer, I thought it was distracting in an educational video for first responders. Knowing a tiny bit about Commotion, I was able to paint it out. Ask me how to do anything else in the program, forget it.


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Steven L. Gotz
Re: Is After Effects an essential requirement for an editor
on Oct 18, 2006 at 2:41:07 pm

I bought After Effects for the ability to fly a camera through stills like I saw at DVExpo. I never got any good at that and it sat on the shelf, so to speak. I saw a demo of using it for titling and I was hooked. In 6.0 it was possible, in 6.5 it got easy, and in 7.0 it is just so easy that I don't even think twice about using it.

I now use it for Slow Motion as well. And Chroma Key using Keylight.

Is it necessary? Probably not. Do I find it very handy? You bet. Am I any good at it other than those things I use all the time? No way. Is it worth the money? For me it is, especially as part of the Production Studio.

I highly recommend that you lock yourself in a room with the Total Training DVDs and watch them straight through. That will give you a great tour of what is possible and a vague idea of how. One you know where to find everything in the training, it will be easy to go through that part of the training again when you need it. And then, watch some of the clips from my Inspiration site on your browsing PC while your editing PC renders now and then. http://www.stevengotz.com/inspiration.htm - you will notice at the very top a link to the Demo Reels barn here on the Cow.

If, after all of that, you decide that it won't help you in your work, at least you will know for sure and be happy in your decision. But, that is just my opinion.

Steven
http://www.stevengotz.com


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grinner
Re: Is After Effects an essential requirement for an editor
on Oct 20, 2006 at 11:10:28 pm

the more apps ya know the more marketable you will be. Surely can't hurt to know AE. If you are an Avid editor on anything below DS, you have to know AE as Avid's DVE is old, crusty and was in need of a revamp ten years ago.
Do you like motion grafix? Thats really the bottom line. If ya do, it's the one to learn first, imo.



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