After Effects and Premiere are two completely different products. I can't even begin to list the differences because they are so many.
On a technical level, I will adapt something I heard Rick Gerard say once:
Premiere and other NLE's (Non Linear Editors) are specifically designed to playback a video stream. If you stack enough layers or effects on the video they will have to render a new video stream based on pixel based calculations for every pixel in the stack. This rendering, especially for HD sources or for complex plug-ins, will take quite a bit of time. However, for cutting together a bunch of video into a story, they excel.
After Effects (and other compositing programs) -- are all pixel based image processing applications that act very much like Photoshop. They calculate the values of every pixel in every frame, come up with a new pixel, and then play those pixels back as a video stream. More importantly, AE and all the other pixel based compositing apps, always work internally with completely uncompressed pixel data. NLE's rely on codecs and in some cases, hardware, to playback the video.
It's an entirely different way of working with moving images.
Premiere is for putting shots together to tell a story. After Effects is about creating shots that can be used to tell a story.
AE is for compositing, visual effects, and motion graphics. There is some overlap, but they are very different tools for very different jobs. You could cut together a scene in After Effects and you could hammer in a nail with a screwdriver, but neither are the recommended tool.
Go to Vimeo or YouTube and look at some demo reels by motion graphics artists and compositors; that is what After Effects is for.
If you want to join us in this wonderful world of AE, COME ON IN! But please start here: http://adobe.ly/AE_basics
There is a much steeper learning curve to AE than there was for Premiere and you can't rely on your NLE experience to help much in AE. For example, don't press spacebar to start a preview in AE unless you hate yourself. A solid foundation in the basics of how AE works (in the link I gave you) is necessary to avoid much frustration. Don't let that scare you though. After a few months of working with it, it'll start to be tons of fun! I've enjoyed it so much that I've worked with it for over a decade.
Thank you for this reply! It's really helpful!
I have been doing pretty mcuh everything (cutting and editing/visual effects) in premiere pro. But I'm at that point now where I'm getting into it so much, I want to be able to so some better quality stuff. And I guess after effects is the route to go!
I will definitely check out that link, looking forward to getting into it! I love a good bit of frustration, massive learning curves, and confusion! Hee hee!
Thanks again Szalam Any recommendations on a first good tutorial?
Any recommendations on a first good tutorial?
Yes; that link I sent you. It's a whole path of tutorials curated specifically for the beginner to get you started off on the right foot.
Hehe, I looked at the link AFTER I sent that. Stupid question that was!
That link you provided is great, thank you! Heaps of stuff to get started on there!