I'm wondering if I should just create my own animated lower thirds and transitions. I'm new to After Effects, I'm very good at Premiere, and I know a lot more about flash than after effects. What would be the best way to create professional animated lower thirds? Flash? After Effects?
I don't know about Flash. I'm not partial to it. Web folks may just love it, but I don't see its value for a video editing application.
How 'bout After Effects, then? It's an industry standard. It has been for darned near two decades. The problem: it has a VERY steep learning curve. You have to know the basics or you end up hosing yourself, which isn't good. Fortunately there are some darned good training materials out there, and this can get you started for free.
Other excellent ones are at Lynda.com and Total Training. And Chris and Trish Meyer (google 'em) have an invaluable series of AE training books.
Flash is fun but you're right. I just know Flash better than After Effects. I'll start learning After Effects. I found an intersting book called "Flash + After Effects" at booksamillion, but i didn't buy it yet...
The biggest problem i have had in the past with trying to learn After Effects is how it tends to be a system hog. I have a sweet system now though so maybe now is a good time to crack the whip on it!