Why I Use After Effects 7

The short answer is so that more people are able to utilize the project files. Most of the techniques I demonstrate do not require the newer version and I like to focus on core techniques and workflows. I’m sure I’ll start using it in my tutorials but I just haven’t made the leap.

I do use CS3 for my own work because there are many great new features.

April 9th, 2008 @ 6:42 pm
first to comment!

i just watched your smoke screen tutorial awesome!
April 9th, 2008 @ 6:43 pm
Well i agree with you on that. 7 has everything we need to make these awesome effects. I still can't wait thought for you to start using the puppet tool. I could only imagine a dancing Sam coming up in one of those tutorials.
April 9th, 2008 @ 6:52 pm
It' s nice that you do that. I have CS3 at home, but at school I have to use the old 6.5 One thing I would like to see is more projects using the built in plug-ins AE already has. I still like to watch any tuts you put out though. If you keep making em' I'll keep watchin'! :)
April 9th, 2008 @ 6:53 pm
I've found 7 to be very stable and reliable. The only key feature that I love about CS3 that I wish I could bring over to 7 was the multicore rendering.

There are some neat things in CS3 that AK has shown in the past that needed CS3 (such as Infinite Zoom, Vanishing Point, etc...) But the core features are more important then the "make it sexy button".
April 9th, 2008 @ 7:03 pm
Andrew, Thx for the great tutorials!! It sure would be nice to have them all on one DVD!! Are you still looking into creating a tutorial DVD?? I know that was on your list a few months ago. I'd love to see you finish it.

Keep up the great work!
April 9th, 2008 @ 7:14 pm
I'm at school at the moment so I can't watch the new tutorial!
I have CS3 at home but school only had 7. seeing as I am in my final year and am doing film as a major project, I practically forced them to install CS3. (sounds snobby I know, but they had already bought it and it was just sitting there going to waste)

Anyways, can't wait to watch the new tut and am waiting with baited breath for that bullet flyby tutorial on the DVD!

Keep it up Andrew!
April 9th, 2008 @ 7:15 pm
Adobe After Effects CS3 is amazing. I used to own a computer back from Millenium Edition and upgraded to XP, could run AAE, but I only had like 100MB of RAM, it was horrible. I upgraded and now my movies look amazing! One question.. I don't know if something is wrong with my Composition Settings or not, but when I export a video to .avi from AAE CS3 it looks choppy and doesn't play as smoothly as Premiere Pro.. is there anything I need to take a look at? Most everything I know from AAE is what Andrew Kramer taught me! Thanks Andrew!
April 9th, 2008 @ 7:15 pm
I use 7 because I bought it last year and I don't want to spend more money. :D

The puppet tool would be fun, as would whatever else lives in there, but now that the Adobe Creative Suite is available on Macs again I'll just buy the next incarnation of the entire package. That way I can have the new after effects and not have to shell out money on Automatic Duck for roundtripping.

Besides, I have yet to run into a situation where I've been like, 'crap, if only I had CS3...' Knock on wood.
April 9th, 2008 @ 7:17 pm
Andrew, what is your opinion of AfterEffects in the professional field? I seem to run into so many prospective clients who seem to view any program that is popular with the public as somehow being inferior. Personally, I think that anything that gets the job done is a viable solution. Am I right in thinking that people who are prejudiced against certain programs are merely playing a different version of Pepsi vs Coke? I have found that AE has been able to handle any of the jobs I've been tasked with and I love it. To those who ask me to use something else, I say "Okay," then do it AE anyway. I don't let them know until they tell me that they love the results. I guess I'm out to convert them. Anyway, just wondered what your thoughts on the subject are. In the meantime, I love all your stuff. Keep it coming, and so will we.
April 9th, 2008 @ 8:05 pm
The fact is AE is getting more respect from industry and artists because of people like Andrew Kramer and the work of the VideoCopilot team.

What was widely regarded as just a entry level compositor package has been gaining respect for both flexibility and compatabilty between platforms.

Nobody seems to laugh anymore when you suggest VFX solutions by using AE.

@Andrew Kramer

Adobe should buy you a rocket car and a house made of gold!
April 9th, 2008 @ 9:19 pm
Hey andrew,
I have got to say that your amazing in that you would use ae7 just for us. Although I do use cs3 its all the same to me. I have always loved working with video but I have recently got serious and your tutorials have really helped me jumpstart my skill with ae.
I plan on going to USC and becoming a hollywood director. Not an easy feet I know but might as well set my sites high than low.

We should talk have lunch or something.
April 9th, 2008 @ 10:33 pm
yo, word to Price. just had to back that one up ;)
April 9th, 2008 @ 10:40 pm
Hi Andrew i have a question for you can i install After Effects CS3 when i already have After Effects 7pro installed? Can i have both programs on my PC?
April 9th, 2008 @ 10:55 pm
Hey Langalot,

I don't know if you'll read this but I found this interesting...

The movie 300 about the spartan soldiers (an amazing film with pretty much CG everything BUT the actors) Well they used After Effects to do a lot of the effects in that. So if Hollywood is using it, who can complain?

April 9th, 2008 @ 11:44 pm
yup good point andrew, AE has almost everything for a VFX artist.

My Salute to Andrew & VCP Team for making AE more popular with these awesome tutorials.

I agree with James, Adobe should buy you a rocket car and a house made of gold ++++++ FREE Adobe products for Lifetime. :D

April 10th, 2008 @ 12:41 am
You could make a Tutorial where you show the new Features in Action. And what you are able to do with them. What you were not able with afx 7. gruß
April 10th, 2008 @ 12:47 am
"I do use CS3 for my own work because there are many great new features."

Can you present this new features ?

THx Andrew ;)
April 10th, 2008 @ 1:57 am
...are you sure that 300 FX were done in AE? Because everthing I've read mentions Eyeon Fusion5 as the comp/fx program they used...


Please correct me if I'm wrong.

AE/Fusion/Shake/Toxik etc. are all awesome programs, it just depends on how good you know either one of them to get the results you require
Michel Greco
April 10th, 2008 @ 4:29 am
@ Noddy and Ben

I know some guys who worked on 300 here in montreal, what they did told me is that they used Shake, but what they also told me is that the vfx was done in many places, i think theey splitted the job around 4 or 5 business, in quebec i know Buzz image worked on it and also Hybrid, i think Hybrid used Fusion

For the post itself... i think it is a pretty good thing that VCP use AE 7 for the project for the tuts, it does give a chance to many more people to benefit the tuts and the project file!! On the otherhand, it help us to use the base of AE to create almost anything we can think of and that we earned the base technique from VCP i we surely are thankfull!!!

Greetings on your awesome work from Montreal!!
April 10th, 2008 @ 4:49 am

Thanks for the info, it makes perfect sense.
I had a feeling it would have been more than one company and therefor software package as many big budget flics are done that way these days.

Keep up the great tutes VCP, they're very much appreciated
Morten Enoksen
April 10th, 2008 @ 6:35 am

You just got pwned bt the AE-King himself;)
April 10th, 2008 @ 6:40 am
@ Noddy: I saw this info on the Adobe website: http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/showcase/index.cfm?event=casestudydetail&casestudyid=301411&loc=en_us

I went to the link you sent and I don't know which one really did the job of the 300 movie...
April 10th, 2008 @ 6:57 am
Thanks for keeping us poor folks in mind.

I am still on AE6! (But I can still do a large percentage of your tutorials, and apprreciate it very much)
April 10th, 2008 @ 8:09 am
@ Ben,

I actually know the Special Effects Supervisor for "300". His name is Jeremy Hunt and he owns Screaming Death Monkey. Whenever they do a large scale film like this, many VFX guys are used from many different VFX companies. In this "big boy" arena, it doesn't really matter what software an artist uses, as long as it can produce the results the director is after. Lots of different software was utilized.

I believe what you are talking about is the end credits. They were definitely done in AE.

Each piece of software has it's own advantages and disadvantages and reasons why someone would choose to use it. If you have a client that needs it to be done in Shake, it might be for a reason.

However, if they need it done in Motion (I own it), tell them that you will also be finishing in iMovie. j/k

April 10th, 2008 @ 8:15 am
Sorry, I just noticed I mis-spoke.

Jeremy is the VFX Supervisor for Screaming Death Monkey, not the whole movie.

AE still rules!

So do you, AK!
April 10th, 2008 @ 8:30 am
I'm sure 300 utilized a wide array of software. Screaming Death Monkey had a blip on the Lightwave website for a while discussing some of the programs that were used. I know they worked a lot with lightwave for modeling and some effects (like the smokey effect in the oracle scene). They also used Realflow for the blood.

When it comes down to it, the workflow seems to include whatever the particular artist is most comfortable using for a given task. In my experience at least. Let's face it, some programs have better, or easier ways to achieve certain effects than others.

I myself am a fusion and shake kind of guy. However, there are certain things that come easier to me in after effects because of the GUI that is provided.

April 10th, 2008 @ 9:55 am
thanks for using 7 I can't afford to upgrade everytime they update
April 10th, 2008 @ 10:07 am
I think it's just fine you use AE7, but im hoping for a tutorial on the puppet tool or something new later :) Keep up the good work!
April 10th, 2008 @ 10:26 am
That makes sense, but I'd also like to see some innovative techniques for the puppet tool, shape layers etc. You're the creative type with the technical prowess to come up with things that we would never see anywhere else. Thanks!
April 10th, 2008 @ 10:26 am
Do you have a demo real or somthing I would love to see some of your own work. Have you worked on any movies we might know?
April 10th, 2008 @ 10:51 am
wat kind of work do you do outside videocopilot?
April 10th, 2008 @ 1:02 pm
ya ANDREW show us some of your short films if you done any we would love to see some of your work as a director DP AD 1AC WHAT EVER LETS US SEE THE MAGIC.
April 10th, 2008 @ 2:58 pm
Hey Andrew,

I found something that might be usefull to someone out there. I know you might already know this, but I found a way to make a button in Encore from Adobe After Effects. This was pretty useful as I'm working on a Wedding DVD for a friend. I found that if you select the Text layer in the composition then go to Layer -> Adobe Encore -> Create Button It will place the layer in it's own composition which you have to then open and render out photoshop layers. You can then take the rendered out layer and add it to Encore. This came in handy especially since I was using a cursive type font. It keeps the size and I was able to line it up perfectly in Encore for my DVD. Again you may have already known about that, but I thought it would be helpful in case someone was having my same problem. I'm using Adobe CS3, I'm not sure if it's in AE 7.
April 10th, 2008 @ 3:02 pm
Hey andrew after your permitiom ,
i have a question to the pros out there .now we have the preset of the old 8mm film and we have the paint spatter from the roitgear collection .right
my question is how can i make the paint spatter dripp on to the 8mm film .
and make it look like its dripping on the screen?
thank you and make sure to buy some dvds they are great.
April 10th, 2008 @ 3:38 pm
just to show you what i mean .
there will be blood.
Lynton Brown
April 10th, 2008 @ 4:09 pm
Andrew, Can you show us some of the work you've done for your clients over the years or when you were employed by other companies?
April 10th, 2008 @ 4:28 pm
Here is a link to the last project I did:
Lynton Brown
April 10th, 2008 @ 4:38 pm
Very funny. Actually I watched that last week after someone posted it in the Australian Video Producers Forum.
April 10th, 2008 @ 4:38 pm
My work is really getting around :)
April 10th, 2008 @ 4:54 pm
shoot if that was your work you will be in a mental hospital by now:)
April 10th, 2008 @ 4:55 pm
Andrew could you help sell my RV? Actually I'm having a Sell My RV/Costume Party so it looks like you could really help me out!

I think that video just inspired my t-shirt submission.
April 10th, 2008 @ 5:22 pm
oh man, don't tell me you made this video too:

Please make a tutorial about the 3D modelling and the "SEAMLESS" :-) integration in live action footage!
April 10th, 2008 @ 5:38 pm
Sorry for the double post, here is the real link:

you have to read the comments they are as funny as the video!
April 10th, 2008 @ 6:12 pm
i hope this blog not going to turn to comedy central!
April 10th, 2008 @ 6:26 pm
That's some of the best work you've done AK :)

Sharon is really stealing the spotlight in this vid.
April 10th, 2008 @ 7:10 pm
Hey, Back off Fred & Shar.. They're Canadian..
Well, they're from Kelowna
April 10th, 2008 @ 11:00 pm
i found out that i dont need trapcode to do the breath tut ,i can use the particle playground insted and halaloya.i hope iam not wrong.
April 11th, 2008 @ 2:07 am
Andrew, Thanks for sticking with AE7. A lot of people will only move to CS3 later so thanks for considering us.
Cheers :-)
April 11th, 2008 @ 2:10 am
I say we start a petition and send it to Adobe to get Andrew this rocket car and gold house..I like to see people rewarded properly...
April 11th, 2008 @ 5:00 am
What I want to know is how do you become an advanced user quicker? I spend 4 hours studying each day on average after a good 9-10 hour day at work. For me the best way to learn is to watch or read something once then try something on my own with the techniques I just learned. Anyone have a different work flow that works for them? Any thoughts from anyone?
April 11th, 2008 @ 7:25 am
Back to the movie 300. If I remember well, 5 Post/FX house worked on that movie so I bet everyone of these houses used their onw workflows and their own tool sets (Discreet Logic, Softimage, Maya, Adobe, custom in house softwares, etc).

When it comes to high proflie SFX movies, Post houses like to grab the credits. A little like the 3D artist who puts Titanic on his resume, even if the only thing he did was the texture on the birds in the background. Hybride in Montreal is 1 of the 5 houses that worked on 300, but judging from what was written in the local papers, they were the only one. It's very hard to tell who did what. I remember a software company boasting that their product was used X-Men as if the movie depended on it. In fact it was only used on a 34 frames shot.
April 11th, 2008 @ 9:24 am
nice information Dany thanks! and about the CS3 I think I need to try it, I saw these new features but only few and already impressed me in some tutorials on creativecow.net, anyways, nice to see news on the blog, looking forward to the next tutorial, dvd and next blog topic :D

keep up the good work
Christopher Gruber
April 11th, 2008 @ 9:40 am
@ Dany

A lot of those post/FX houses you speak of are starting out, and must rely on these types of VFX films (and the credit) to help get them a started. Just like that 3D artist using Titanic, if they don't use the credit, they won't find work with ease....

I can tell you that our workflow consists of quite a few programs. For instance, I use Shake, Fusion, After Effects, Cinema 4D, Blender, Realflow, bits of Maya, and modo on a regular basis. It all really depends on what task I've been given.

Our company is small, but vastly growing. Until we have designated departments for compositing, character animation, modeling etc....We all use what we know in order to accomplish tasks we are given. Being that I'm a recent graduate from a piss poor experimental film program, I need to ensure I can put every possible credit on my resume. No matter if its just the birds in the background


April 11th, 2008 @ 10:02 am
Who was in charge of all the CG muscles? I could do with that knowledge for my facebook pics....
April 11th, 2008 @ 10:29 am
Hey john, I found that faster worflow is a combination of Andrew's tutorials, being an After Effects nutter and getting yourself little jobs to do that test your knowledge when it comes to problem solving. Check out one of your local websites that post up work that is expenses or less only. Doing this you meet new folk and are given a creative challenge, which you invariably solve in your minds eye through the knowledge of the program you have, or indeed a tutorial you may have seen which displays the skills you need or tricks you need to tackle your acute task...I just find the more problems you come across the more solutions you obviously find...I'm still far from being an advanced user, but I will be!(thats the nutter bit!)
Nothing in the whole of the film and new media industries, beats expierience!
April 11th, 2008 @ 11:47 am
Typically I don't use the project files as I prefer to follow along and make my own so it doesn’t make much difference to me what version you use. I find that I learn more that way.

The only thing that is sometimes troublesome, and this applies to all tutorials, is when a plug-in is used that I don’t have. Fortunately, you’re pretty cool about using the stock plug-ins whenever possible. One of your favorites is Particular which, fortunately, I have.

Great job by the way Andrew. My creativeness and overall understanding of what some of the features in AE are truly useful for has skyrocketed thanks to your videos. There’s a great deal of difference between knowing how to use the software and knowing what to do with it.
April 11th, 2008 @ 12:20 pm
I was not criticizing the Post houses or the 3D artist that did the bird textures on Titanic. I'm sure he's damn proud of the bird textures he did and am sure it helped him get work after that. I was just stating that it is hard to know for sure who did what using what piece of software on a feature film.

In the end, it's the artist that really matter. If cou can produce kick ass work in After Effects, it probably wouldn't be nicer in a $500,000 compositing solution used on the $200,000,000 blockbuster.

What makes Mr. Kramer great is not After Effects but his talent as an artist.
April 11th, 2008 @ 1:58 pm
I have seen all of your tutorials and they are awesome. Can you create a tutorial on warp travel (like on Star Trek) where you have the initial flash of the warp field being created and then the stars streaking by? I have tried using trapcode particular and shine but I can't get the star to come before the streak.
April 11th, 2008 @ 3:01 pm
I still have 6.5 and it's worked fine for me, haha.
April 11th, 2008 @ 4:03 pm
@ Vidvillan. The muscles were not CG. The actors went through extensive body training to give them that specific "spartan" look.
April 11th, 2008 @ 4:48 pm
what you can come up with in AFTER EFFECTS 7.0 PRO IS AMAIZING.
April 11th, 2008 @ 5:43 pm
May be Spamming, if so, I apologize, however I made a cool little facebook page for video copilot . . . figure that would give a laugh


Check it out and sign up. maybe it will be fun!
April 11th, 2008 @ 8:07 pm
Andrew you rock man!! Thanks for all these helpfulll tutorials seriously best site on the net for help! Keep it upp!!
Kevin Lee
April 11th, 2008 @ 8:30 pm
Andrew Kramer Says:

April 10th, 2008 at 4:28 pm
Here is a link to the last project I did:

LOL you dog!
April 11th, 2008 @ 8:53 pm
Hey Andrew,

Im a huge fan of your website, I constantly log on to your site to see what neat new tutorial you have up and use it in some of my vids and other work. You have an awesome site and I'm glad that you use AE for your effects. I just bought the Adobe Production Premium Creative Suite 3 and putting it to good use, I already added your presets on to AE CS3.

There are alot of things that you are covering on your tutorials, and I wanted to suggest a tutorial for you. A challenge if you will. You dont have to of course, but who knows you may get a kick out of doing this. I dont have 3D Studio Max or anything, only the product I have that I mentioned above. So I was wondering, do you think you can recreate a scene from James Cameron's T2: Judgement Day. The scene: T-1000 coming out of the elevator in the mental institution when he is running at full speed in his alloy form and morphs back into Robert Patrick while running. I think it would be a real neat tutorial for you to tackle. Once again, you dont have to do this since I can see you have your hands full with work, and the family and all to tackle this, so Im just putting it out there for you. Take care Andrew

April 12th, 2008 @ 2:43 am
Hi Andrew and all guys....

maltaannon recently launched his brand new tutorial of 3d vines... see this.. amazing tips and tricks...


comments there...
April 12th, 2008 @ 3:14 am
Is this is our Andrew Kramer??

April 12th, 2008 @ 4:56 am
hey guys, just finished our INDIANA JONES entry into the Doritos UK competition - spot the use of twitch!!!


please help us to get it on TV by clicking here and giving us 5 stars!!

Thanks everyone!
April 12th, 2008 @ 7:29 am
Realm Pictures,

Thats a really good commercial, hope you win. I also spotted the use of twitch ;)
April 12th, 2008 @ 8:52 am
Andrew Says:

April 12th, 2008 at 3:14 am
Is this is our Andrew Kramer??



not likely, he would have been a weee tot.
April 12th, 2008 @ 10:16 am
Nice job Realm!
April 12th, 2008 @ 12:02 pm
andrew i have a question ,
iam scrubing through the old tutorials trying to find somthing about the tino tutorial where the rock falls on top of him is there a tutorial on that some where on the dvds ?if so let me know. its a lot of fun to check the old stuff .
Ze Bombim
April 12th, 2008 @ 4:20 pm
Andrew I'm from Brazil. Thank you very much for your work because I learned AE watching your tutorials. My apologize about my english.
April 16th, 2008 @ 2:55 pm
The endless debate.

Could you shed some light Andrew?

Assuming the ultimate machine... latest quadcore 8GB of the best ram, best GFX card....


32bit windows and PAE switch? x64 bit windows?

And why please?

There is so many people that debate stability and performance issues. Multiprocessing seems to do more harm than good in x64 bit so please tell me your stand on this since we are talking about AAFX versions.

I would love some illumination from the great one on hardware/performance ultimate setup.
April 27th, 2008 @ 6:36 pm
Loooong time watcher, from hyphen domain days. Thanks for staying with AE7. Given my iMac, I don't get any speed benefits from upgrading to CS3, and CS3 disables some views available in AE7 due to graphics card support.

Thanks for doing this site, and for sticking with AE7.
Best, Anthony Torres
August 20th, 2008 @ 3:45 am
where i can buy after effect 7
thank you for all
November 18th, 2008 @ 11:50 am
the short answer is « because i don't have PS8 »

just kidding

big fan
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