After Effects is the motion graphics and visual effects tool of choice for many topnotch video professionals (see Figure 13.1). It's the software used to create the 12 video effects featured in this hour.
After Effects is a master of many trades. In some ways it's like Premiere in that you can take graphics and video and add special effects, put images in motion, and create 3D elements. But After Effects goes well beyond Premiere in its capabilities and technology.
As shown in Figure 13.2, in After Effects most of your work takes place in one window. If you layer (also called composite) several graphics or video clips, you can see how they all work together as you make fixes. It's a phenomenally powerful interface.
After Effects comes with a set of special effects that blow Premiere's out of the water. Its price tag reflects its utility: $650 for the standard edition.