The other day my cousin, an architecture student getting his master’s at Harvard, texted me. He asked me what he should be using to edit a video – Adobe After Effects or Adobe Premiere Pro. A few of his architecture friends said that After Effects was the way to go. He had thought Adobe Premiere would be better. The answer depends on what sort of project you are working on.

This question – the difference between Premiere Pro and After Effects – keeps coming up.

So I figured, I might as well write a post about it, to clarify for anyone else who is asking this question. Another person wrote on a forum that the difference between Premiere and After Effects is like the difference between Microsoft Word and Excel. Sure you can do some of the same things like add a table  in Word, but each has their specific strong points and choosing the right tool will help you be more efficient. So without further ado, here is the difference between Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects – and what program you should be using.

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Adobe Premiere Pro

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  • Premiere Pro is a video editing program. It’s key functionality is to edit video clips together. Whether this is an interview with bRoll, a narrative film, a music video, or any other type of video – Premiere Pro is the program for this.
  • Premiere Pro has lots of other functionalities like adding text and transitions, editing audio and adding effects.
  • Premiere Pro’s timeline is better than After Effects for editing video and audio together. Trimming clips and moving them around your timeline is a lot easier to use than After Effects timeline (for video editing purposes).
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Learn How to Use Adobe Premiere Pro

 

Adobe After Effects

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  • After Effects is a digital motion graphics, visual effects and compositing software.
  • For titles, shapes, 2D animations, adding special effects, After Effects is your tool.
  • While you can create motion in text, images, and any other layer in Adobe Premiere Pro – it is a lot easier to do in After Effects.
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Learn How to Use After Effects

Does this make sense? So basically if you are editing a video – use Adobe Premiere Pro. If you’re making title sequences, motion graphics, or adding advanced effects to your video, us After Effects.

Now, I said that I use both. Why?

It may be obvious, but many video projects require the use of both Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects. In fact, I use both in 90% of my projects nowadays. I’ll edit video in Premiere Pro and then add titles using After Effects. I’ll edit the audio in Premiere Pro and then use After Effects to create a motion graphic of something in the video. Using Adobe Dynamic Link, I can use both programs at the same time. They talk to each other – so clips within Premiere Pro can be easily edited in After Effects without exporting and reexporting.

Get Started with After Effects for Free

learn after effects for free

The After Effects tutorial below is a great introduction to creating motion graphics in After Effects. Or watch the free After Effects webinar that will help you get started.

 

What do you think? Do you want to learn After Effects or Premiere Pro? I have courses for both. Feel free to check them out!

Cheers,
Phil

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