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Thread: Why use After Effects instead of SE?

  1. #1

    Why use After Effects instead of SE?

    I am confused after all of my years as a video editor. I know, I know, AE is a compositor and SE is an NLE. I do not understand the difference though. What can I do in AE that I cannot do in SE? I watched this video from Video Copilot:

    http://www.videocopilot.net/basic/tutorials/07.3d/

    It shows how you can take 2D images and make them into 3D. If you look around the 2-3 minute mark, can anyone tell me what is being done here that cannot be done using the control tree. I was about to take a course using AE (not cheap) because, while I use it and dabble in it, I would like to learn a lot of stuff I do not know or fully understand. But if I can do most of it in SE, why bother.

    Please enlighten me. What can be done in AE that cannot be done in SE? Plus I cannot stand that Ram preview. At least I stay in Real time in SE.

  2. #2
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    AE vs SE

    Hi Tony,

    What can you do in AE that can't be done in SE?

    Well, where to start?

    As you rightly point out, AE can be a compositor, but also, so much more.

    To give you an idea of a feature where SE fails and AE succeeds, check out AE's motion tracking feature. This feature is a godsend for 3d animators or vfx effects artists.

    This just simply cannot be done SE as it has no motion tracking facility.

    Also, SE has no spline based masking, so rotoscoping is out of the question. AE does.

    AE has FAR superior matting tools to SE.

    Simply put AE makes rich content creation a LOT more easier and affords much more possibilities than SE.

    Effectively AE is PhotoShop for video. Creative types only.

    SE is exactly what it says on the tin. A tool to tell a story.

    If you're a creative type I would seriously advise you to learn AE. You will not be sorry.

    Shabazzy

  3. #3
    Lynn Cress lcress's Avatar
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    Yikes! this question is sure to spark a debate..

    First off, you could save some $ by purchasing a copy of "After Effects CS4 Classroom in a Book". $35 from Amazon. I have the one for AE 7 and refer to it when I have a question. Also, the tutorials are useful and will get you further down the road.

    However, likewise, I've come to appreciate the Control Tree more and more. I just finished creating a multilayer open for a documentary in SE in a lot shorter time than it would have taken me to set up the same effect in AE.

    As an old timer I find the layering in SE to be a lot like setting things up in a video switcher - which is how I learned to think back in the day.

    AE is sophisticated yet cryptic. SE is simple yet fast. Depends on your tool of choice.

  4. #4
    AeroAnimator 4dartist's Avatar
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    What is SE?

    After Effects, is the bomb digity.

    I <3 my AE.


    Although it's multi-processor support on the mac is about as sharp as a nurfball. I had to turn it off because it basically kicked my mac in the balls. So now im working on 1 core instead of 8. It's still fast enough though.

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    VT5 USER Rich Deustachio's Avatar
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    Last edited by Rich Deustachio; 02-15-2010 at 10:54 PM. Reason: additional info
    Dynamic Video Productions
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  6. #6
    haha,

    have you seen the OTHER videos at videocopilot.net?

    if you watch like 3 of them (any 3) and you still need to ask this question... ummm... i don't think anyone can help ya.

    jin

  7. #7
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Deustachio View Post
    I skimmed through the first page at the first link, and would have to say the majority of them, honestly. The exceptions are mostly those that require particles.

    A quick glance at the second link raises the bar substantially though. An NLE for editing, a compositor for compositing, advanced motion graphics and effects ... you're going to want both in time.
    --
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  8. #8
    Registered User Dufusyte's Avatar
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    The main failings of SpeedEdit as a compositor:
    • Erroneous alpha support will uglify your elements
    • Lack of layer blend modes (Screen, Multiply, etc)
    • Relatively low bit space (8-bit) means artifacts will begin to appear the more you process your colors with effects
    • Poor keyer

    I really like SpeedEdit's positioning tools, and I like to use it for compositing, but you quickly run into its limitations as a compositor. I had to get a real compositor to solve a number of issues.

    Compositing is the opposite of speed; compositing and effects require lots of processing. SpeedEdit is built for realtime playback, and so it does not support alot of compositing features. I think blend modes are a good example of this: easy to implement, but would bog down the processor. Same story for higher bit support: easy to implement, but it is against the speed-first nature of SpeedEdit.

  9. #9
    Registered User Dufusyte's Avatar
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    ...and garbage mattes, and animated masks...you would find very useful.

    These are all basic compositing features you will need a real compositor for.

  10. #10
    Registered User Dufusyte's Avatar
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    ...and the ability to zoom in on your workspace in the Positioner. I mean, zoom in on the spot you are interested in. SpeedEdit only zooms in on the Center.

  11. #11
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    I agree with most of that, but just to mention it, a few of those things (not going to say which) are not unusual in an NLE context and can be expected in upcoming SE versions.
    --
    Regards, Steve
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  12. #12
    Registered User Dufusyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBowie View Post
    a few of those things are not unusual in an NLE
    Yes, there are a number of NLE's with a strong compositing feature set. Something like Vegas could serve as a solid compositor.

    Glad to hear SE is making progress. I would especially like to see the ability to zoom in on a specific area. The interface of SE is always its weakest part, and apparently the most overlooked in terms of development.

    I would highly recommend the hiring of an Interface Specialist to systematically indicate the things that need to be implemented in the interface of SE. And do a big release and entitle it, "SE 3.0, We fixed the Interface".

    and there was much rejoicing

  13. #13
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dufusyte View Post
    Glad to hear SE is making progress. I would especially like to see the ability to zoom in on a specific area.
    I agree it's dumb not to be able to pan the view in the Positioner. This has been on the list of things needed for a very long time.
    --
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  14. #14
    You can sign up for lynda.com, $37.50/mo with project files. Excellent materials. Just sign up for a month or two and you save boucoup bucks over buying the DVD's.
    http://doc3d.com

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  15. #15
    VT5 USER Rich Deustachio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBowie View Post
    I skimmed through the first page at the first link, and would have to say the majority of them, honestly. The exceptions are mostly those that require particles.

    A quick glance at the second link raises the bar substantially though. An NLE for editing, a compositor for compositing, advanced motion graphics and effects ... you're going to want both in time.
    Take a quick glance at this one! http://videocopilot.net/tutorials/glass_orbs/ Wow AE is so powerful!

    But in all fairness, SE was never sold or meant to be a compositor, but having some of the nice features that are in AE added to SE would be welcomed.

    I have always said that to make NewTeks editor more powerful they should combine the power of Lightwave to it so you have some 3D and 2D effects together, but my voice was never heard.
    Dynamic Video Productions
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