I've been lurking around here since '99 when I found myself in the graphics department of a regional TV station in southern England, I'd worked for the company before, in the late 60s, but after leaving to start up my own design business and then opening a restaurant (that failed) I found myself jobless but the then head of graphics thought I'd make a knowledgable gopher so - I had a job.
I was given a desk in the corner and there happened to be small Mac that had been bought to "see what it can do" and I was told that it was next to useless for broadcast work. All the designers worked on Hals and Paintboxes.
When I had a few spare moments I'd turn it on and dig around, at some point I clicked on 'After Effects' - I messed around and created something really simple, a move around a big 'still' ... the boss saw this and said that Hal "couldn't do that" images were confined to the screen size and if you needed to track across one it was a boring process of joining adjacent sections of a still together ... he was now more interested in this little box that had cost some loose change in comparison to the Quantel kit they were spending all of their money on !
To cut it short, over the next few months I spent every morning before work watching the videos (I'd persuaded them to buy from Brian Maffitt) and proved that After Effects was more than a toy ... within the next year or so we were all on Macs and After Effects.
I was made redundant a few years ago but still keep messing with AE and doing the odd bit of freelance and still come back to the COW on occasions for some help and advice from this friendliest of communities, so thanks to Ron and Kathlyn and all the generous people that have helped me over the years.
The first NLS that I was able to work on was Adobe Premiere 5.0. After working with it for a little bit a friend introduced me to After Effects 4. I've come a long ways with After Effects. I remember playing with the rain filter on a clip that was shot during the day with no rain. I'm sure you can imagine how well it turned out :-). Later on I took a class on SFX and After Effects was briefly mentioned and the instructor showed us how to make a clip look like a bunch of shattering bricks. Fast forward to now, I use it all the time and it plays a role in almost every project I do. Just like this book trailer I created.
Utah Video Productions
Check out my Motion Training DVD
Check out my Vimeo page
After Effects will always be my favorite piece of software because it is the one piece of software that has vividly shown me the effects of Moore's law through a simple render test. . .
I have been using After Effects since 1998. I think I started using version 3.1 and I rendered on a Powermac which I had over-clocked to a whopping 333Mhz!
I was also a big fan of Brian Maffitt's Total AE Training Series in those early years! Thank God for his training series on VHS!! Still got them somewhere.
Since the late nineties to this day a few of my production buddies and I (Jeff, Keith, & Pete) have been performing a "Render Test" every time one of us upgraded our computers or got a new mac. The render test consists of standard def comp with a 800x1042 JPEG that slides across the screen for ten seconds with frame blending turned on.
In 1999 it took my feeble Powermac 26 Minutes and 44 seconds to render this simple 10 second comp.
That same year after upgrading to a $3K Blue Ice Board it rendered in a blazing 20 Minutes 39 Seconds!
In 2001 on a Blue and White G3 it rendered in 17 Minutes
In 2002 on a G4 it rendered in 8 Minutes
In 2006 on a dual core G5 it rendered in 1 minute
In 2009 on a quad core Intel Xeon in 10 Seconds
Over the years I've often wondered when computers would be fast enough to do our simple render test in real time.
In 2012 it rendered on a Quad Core iMac in 5 Seconds. Finally faster than real time.
Happy Birthday AE! Maybe someday we won't need to render. . .
If all else fails give it a whack!!