Friday, January 25, 2013

I'm Older than After Effects! (Just Barely)

Over the summer, After Effects turned twenty.  Given that this was a big milestone, there has been a lot of history coming out about the program, that I thought would be interesting to post here.  Development on After Effects was started in June of 1992.  It was created by the Company of Science and Art, and codenamed "Egg".  Version 1.0 was released in 1993 under the name we all know, "After Effects".  With After Effects' recent anniversary, screenshots of the original interface have been popping up.  Let's take a look:

Image Credit: Daniel Wilk via Motion League
The thing that I find most interesting about this screenshot, is that if you look past the old-school mac interface and the floating panels (which are still part of the Photoshop interface, among other Adobe products), remarkably little has changed.  Sure, the tool set has expanded dramatically, and After Effects has grown exponentially more powerful now that we are up to version 11.0, but the fundamentals are the same.  There is still the project bin with all the media, effects controls, the layers panel, properties, and timeline (now combined under the timeline panel); all the basics are there.  There are even more similarities if you take a look at the 1993 After Effects Demo Reel...

Besides being an enlightening look at the graphics and music of the '90s, you can see that all the basic tools used by graphics artists on a daily basis were all there.  There are masks, text, layer styles, keyframe animation, even 3d layers, all on display.  This is not to say that After Effects has not improved, but rather to show that the basic core functions are still used and relevant.  Just for kicks, I'll leave you with one more bit of After Effects history before wrapping this up: An unopened AE 1.0 box.

Image (and box!) by redefinery.  Check out their scripts, they're useful!
And here are some other interesting links pertaining to the After Effects anniversary or it's development (or both).

1 comment :

  1. Just wrote a long note about all this (The center image is my work and I edited the first Demo). I wasn't signed in so the whole note got erased. No time to re write but this brings me back to the good old days.

    R. Cates