5 Replies Latest reply on Apr 26, 2013 9:08 AM by cfg_2451

    Advice req'd - when to use After Effects vs. Premiere Pro


      Sorry if this seems like a ridiculous question...


      I'm doing a video project using greenscreens.


      I learned about and played with keying in Premiere Pro, then learned that After Effects did it a little better.


      Then I heard that PP was for 'editing' while AE is for adding effects, but that PP renders better.


      My question is; When do I use After Effects, and when do I use Premiere Pro, and what is the general workflow?


      My Project: I want to put together a 5 minute video that is composed of a couple dozen short clips of actors in front of a green screen. I have all the clips, and lighting was done properly.


      Do I;


      1) first bring in each clip individually into AE to add the keying and effects I want, then,

      2) render each clip separately, then

      3) bring them all into PP and trim and edit and clean up the sound, then

      4) render the final video in PP (using media encoder)


      OR, do I;


      1) bring all the raw clips into PP, trim and edit and clean up the sound, then

      2) import the project into AE and apply the effects to the various clips

      3) render final video in AE or PP (using media encoder)


      OR, is there a different more effective workflow to use?


      Your insights would be immensley appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Advice req'd - when to use After Effects vs. Premiere Pro
          BenjaminMarkus Level 4

          The second general workflow you mentioned is the one I would reccomend.  You want to use After Effects to apply effects only to the portions of video that you're actually going to end up using.  Therefore, if you make the cut in Premiere first you'll know exactly which portions of your clips will need keying work and you won't be wasting your time keying clips that will get cut out of your final edit later on.  In other words After Effects is a compositing application and it's used to add effects and composite clips together after you've finished a final edit.  Also, I wouldn't say that Premiere Pro renders better After Effects.  It may preview faster than After Effects, but that's because it's an NLE and After Effects is a compositing application.  They are designed to do two completely different things and therefore work very differently.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Advice req'd - when to use After Effects vs. Premiere Pro
            Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            My production workflow is usually to trim and pick clips in PPro, send the clips that need processing or VFX to AE, render to a production codec and then do the final edit in PPro.


            On smaller projects I'll rough cut in PPro and then select specific shots in the PPRo Sequence (timeline) and then right click and choose Replace With After Effects Composition to work on that specific shot. I then complete the edit in PPro.


            In almost all cases I then take my completed edit in PPro into Audition to process the audio. The Audio is returned to PPro and I do the final render for delivery from the AME through PPro's export functions.


            For some projects I will transcode and color grade the original footage before I edit. For others I will do the color grading last. It all depends on the project. There is no hard and fast rule, but as you get more proficient you'll figure out the best workflow's for each project.


            The key to making a living in this business is to set up workflow's that allow you to make changes easily and give you options without redoing the basics like capture or rendering. Work on that first. Changes are a part of visual story telling. Nobody is smart enough to completely visualize a project in their head and then start with scene 1 shot one and proceed to the end and end up with the best product on the first pass. I figure on at least 3 re-cuts on every project. Plan for that. Some scenes may get cut 10 times before they tell the story I want them to tell.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Advice req'd - when to use After Effects vs. Premiere Pro
              muuver Level 1

              Thanks for your insights Ben. I'm getting to understand things a little better.

              • 4. Re: Advice req'd - when to use After Effects vs. Premiere Pro
                muuver Level 1

                Thanks for all this detail Rick, especially the Audition part because our audio is a little messy. Some of it is going over my head as I'm a newbie to vid editing and this is pretty much just a single project I'm working on... though I must say I love doing this and look forward to the next project! I'll try and dissect what you have here and plough through this!  I'm sure i'll be posting another question or two but the online help on adobe.tv and youtube is awesome. I just couldn't get a grip on when to use what.

                Thanks again mate.

                • 5. Re: Advice req'd - when to use After Effects vs. Premiere Pro
                  cfg_2451 Level 2

                  If I have to choose between your two listed choices, I'll take the second one.


                  I'm just one guy, not working as part of a team. So my time is limited and efficiency is the name of my game. As a result, I tend to work from most general to most specific. So I bring my clips into PPro, sync up my clips, and do my editing and multicamera work, When that's done, I add motion lower thirds that I build in AE, and still photographs I process in Photoshop. When this is done I send to AE those things that need effects work, like your green screen work, animations, corrections I just can't do in PPro, etc. Now I'll do color correction and usually grading at the same time (typically in PPro, but could send it out to Resolve at this step just as easily. I wait until the project is completely assembled because to do otherwise is to do it in pieces, and I hate having to do the stills a week or so after the footage, because then I start rethinking what I did on the footage.... which can be a time suck). Then I start work on audio, sending my audio to Audition for sweetening, leveling, etc. Then I'll add Foley (if any), sound effects, and music. Then... I'm done. Hopefully. And sometimes that actually happens!


                  But really, the workflow you use is normally dictated by the project's requirements. Most of my projects work as I described, but that's probably as much a function of the niche I'm working in as it is anything else. For example, if you're working on a music video, music would likely be the first step. Just sayin' to use a workflow that makes sense.