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Thread: how to put after effects into premier pro?

  1. Default how to put after effects into premier pro?

    I have been playing with video editing for several years but just the last year or two got into serious editing using premiere pro and i could pretty much do what I wanted with that program but now I'm starting to see all the more creative I can get if i use after effects with it. I have after effects because it came with my package but I'm just confused on how to start using after effects and then take it to premiere pro to finish the eiditing? I'm looking for a tutorial on the complete basics of using the two programs together but I cant find anything that is telling me what I need. Also when people make videos to they spend more time in after effects and then just put the video on the time line on premiere pro? I'm starting to think premier pro is only what I would need to use when Im putting the video together because after effects seems to be able to do anything you can think up that premier wont. I'm overwhelmed because I have learned a lot with premiere and now after effects is coming into the equation and Its like im learning the whole thing all over again

  2. #2


    There a few ways to work between Premiere and After Effects, both are excellent pieces of software but they don't work that great together.

    While it is tempting, it's not ideal to do editing work in After Effects, it doesn't have the tools suited to editing and there's no real time playback.

    I (most often) tend to put an edit together in Premiere (or receive one from a client), with place holders for graphic elements. Then create individual titles, animations etc. in After Effects, export the video's from After Effects (with alpha if necessary) and import them in to the Premiere timeline. Sometimes this means exporting sections from premiere to work on in After Effects before returning to Premiere with the new versions. It's not ideal, it's unnesesarily time consuming and it's poor in media management.

    There are other things you can do.

    In Premiere you can go to "File", "Dynamic Link", "Import After Effects Composition" or "Create new After Effects Composition". You have similar options in After Effects for Premiere Sequences. The problem with this is that you can't really make changes to anything. They open like a single clip that you can see and add to in each of the other programs. Any changes you make in the original one of the 2 programs will show in the referring clip in the other, but that's as good as it gets.

    One thing that is usefull: you can select everything/anything in the timeline in Premiere and copy it and paste it into a Comp in After Effects. This can be great but once you go to AE with it and make changes they don't appear back in Premiere. It's good to lock down an offline edit in Premiere, being careful to only use simple transitions that will be translated in AE, then do all the onine/colour/FX work etc in After Effects. But it's a bit of a linear workflow in a non-linear world.

    I'm overwhelmed because I have learned a lot with premiere and now after effects is coming into the equation and Its like im learning the whole thing all over again
    I remember that feeling oh so well at the same moment. Then it happened all over again when I wanted to learn 3d modelling/animation. The good news is that after a while you find the benefits of knowing different types of software and pick up an outside the box way of thinking. Adapting to new programs soon becomes a lot easier too.


  3. #3


    I just realised I missed a bit. You can create "After Effects Compositions" in Premiere and just add a section or 2, 3 etc. of video that need FX work, do that in After effects, then put that sequence (in Premiere) in another main sequence that holds your main edit. You can then have a number of these smaller "After Effects Compositions" in your premiere edit and can continue to edit (shorten only) them if you like. That way cuts down in exporting from Premiere, importing into After Effects, exporting from After Effects and re-importing into Premiere. It cleans up the media management on your drives and saves space, but it transfers it into your Premiere project.

    Sometimes it's a compromise, doing that will save drive space and take longer to export/render etc. as you go. But if you did do it the other way, once it's done it's done, and Premiere will read it easier. A mixture of both techniques can work, but trying to find a balance drove me mad.


  4. Default

    thanks david that will help with what I'm trying to do I'm sure. It seems like making a video using after effects and premiere is not normally used by professionals If I understand what you said correctly. what are professional/good editors using when they are making action sports videos with all sorts of crazy FX with the text, intros or maybe to the extreme where the take a clip and make a unrealistic thing happen in it? I'm trying to get into this type of work for my future job or career because I believe I have the imagination and talent for it and I also love doing it so I just want to make sure I learn the proper programs the proper way so when I get closer to that level I don't realize that the programs I have been using and mixing are the incorrect and hard way of doing things.

    You seem like you know a decent amount about which programs are made for what. Would you please take a couple of seconds and watch the beginning of this trailer and tell me what programs you think were used to put it together? From what I know now i would want to think they used after effects and a program like premiere or final cut to put the video together.

    The intro with the rock particles flying around looks like something after effects would be used for so I'm wondering If they are doing what I want to do and mixing the two programs with some of the methods you have described.

    You'll most likely get hooked into watching the full 3 minutes, its a sweet trailer lol

    The Art of FLIGHT - snowboarding film trailer w/Travis Rice - YouTube

  5. #5


    All sorts of programs are getting used at the moment, since Adobe introduced the Mercury Playback engine it is even getting used in conjunction with Avid Media Composer.

    In general there are 5 types of program, but there are over laps such as basic colour/compositing/effects tools being included in an NLE. There are many more but I'll list a few of the more accessible, popular ones and their "primary" purpose, some of which you already know. It'll probably be incomplete, but it'll be a rough idea.

    1. Still Image Editor - Photoshop, Illustrator

    Can be used to create graphic element to later be composited/animated within motion graphics. Photoshop being bitmapped based and Illustrator vector based.

    2. NLE (Non Liner Editor) - Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Sony Vegas

    These are for putting an edit together. They are optimised for media management, efficient real time playback and come with a collection of tools to get the sections of video onto the time line in the desired order in a fast and efficient manner.

    3. Compositing/Animation/FX - Adobe After Effects, Apple Motion, Avid FX

    There are other more specialised tools that separate these out and tend to get used more in the film industry, but just sticking with these. They are used to create titles, composites (green screen etc.), special effects, motion graphics and for video/graphic enhancements such as colour grading old film effects, faking depth of field etc. In a way (or in part) you can kind of think of them as what you'd use photoshop for with photos but for video.

    4. 3d Modelling/Animation/Rendering - Maya, 3DS Max, Cinema 4D

    These are used to create 3d models such as virtual sets, characters or those conceptual products, cars and buildings you see. The possibilities within these are vast and their uses vary widely, but basically the models are animatable within the software and can be textured/lit and exported as a video/still image sequence.

    5. Colour Grading - Davinci Resolve

    Nothing other than to correct the colour of the clips in an edit (if necessary) and to grade the video to give it a particular look, there are others such Apple's Color (which is probably not being sold any more) and the Synthetic Aperture Color Finesse plugin that comes with After effects, But as far as I know Davinci is the only serious tool. It comes with masking and tracking tools for secondary (targeted) colour work. Other tools within After Effects can be used to accomplish this in combination with Color Finesse, but it's not the same in speed of operation.

    There are many other more specialised tools such as Syntheyes which just analyses video and re-creates it's 3d depth information for use in 3d modelling programs, the models of which are then either composited within the 3d program, or more often composited separately, with the video in a program such as After Effects.

    That intro sequence you linked to definitely wasn't done in After Effects, not unless someone has created a magic plug in since the last time I looked. It's a 3d model that's been created and animated in 3DS Max/Maya/Cinema4D etc. it has then beet exported and opened up in a program such as After Effects for the effect where the colour channels separate and close back in. To be honest this could have been an effect in an NLE, but it gets the work flow across as often 3d exports are worked further in a compositing package. Maxon Cinema 4d can even export it's camera's, lights, shadows, reflections, animation paths etc. etc. into After Effects (or other similar programs) for further fine tuning. Back to the clip, it has then (if not straight away) been imported to an NLE and added to the edit.

    When it comes to 3d modelling packages different ones suit different needs better. I like Cinema 4d, it is very easy to learn compared to others and is the best suited to motion graphics. Like you talk of and in your link.

    There isn't really any integration between 3d programs and NLE's, 3d rendering can take an age. I've recently had a 4 second 60p animation take 35 hrs to render, some have been a lot longer and some are really quick, it all depends on what is involved. So with these you tend to export a video file/image sequence and take it in to the next step manually.

    It's programs such as After Effects, Motion & Avid FX where integration with an NLE comes good. I think After effects is by far the best available when it comes to a stand alone program of this type. Many do, and it is usually used with most available NLE's, just used separately, or with plugins that allow you to import sequences from other NLE's in the way you just need to copy and paste from Premiere. Premiere is also now starting to get used as an intermediate, get the edit from Avid into Premiere, then into AE.

    Other than that the 3 most common combinations are these:

    Adobe Premiere/After Effects - As described previously.

    Apple FCP/Motion - Motion isn't as versatile as After Effects, but it has it's strong points and is great (if a little buggy) if it's primarily motion graphics that are in question. Title, Effect, Transition etc. templates can be created in Motion. Then you just apply them to what ever bit of video you want in your edit in FCP and make what ever changes are desired/necessary as often as you want as with any other titles, effect, transitions etc that come with an NLE.

    Avid Media Composer/Avid FX

    You can open any video clip/transition that is on your edit in Media Composer in Avid FX, and work on it in there, then when you go back to media Composer the changes have been made and you can continue to adjust the edit as you like and/or go back and forward between MC and FX to make adjustments. This is a great way to work.

    There are many different areas using many different programs, but if your in the UK, Premiere and FCP are great to know for Corporate work and the vast majority of prime TV is created on Avid. After effects is always good to know, anywhere and everywhere, but if you can work with Avid FX it has obvious advantages. 3d modelling is a strange one, often when it comes to Character based stuff they do the modelling in one program, the rigging in another and the lighting/texturing in something completely different and this before any animation is done elsewhere before adding the characters to Sets often made in something else and finally rendering.

    But for what you are talking about I can highly recommend Cinema 4d as a great all allrounder.


  6. #6


    I forgot to add something else, it's more a resource than a tool:


  7. Default

    There's a bunch of helpful links and tutorials on this page in Premiere Pro Help: Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 & CS5.5 * About Dynamic Link (Production Premium or Master Collection only)
    Kevin Monahan
    Sr. Content and Community Lead
    Adobe After Effects - Adobe Premiere Pro
    Adobe Systems, Inc.
    San Francisco, CA

  8. #8


    thanks for the info david.

  9. #9


    No problem enc, and thanks for that link Kevin. I just had a quick glance, but I'll definately spend a bit of time with it in the morning and see if there's any thing I missed in relation to uncomplicating the procedure and finding a better workflow.


  10. #10


    I never waited till the morning, I just had a watch at the video's and a read through. Sadly I never picked up anything new, I kind of hoped I was missing something, or something had been introduced since I last made any real attempt to get a work flow going with it.

    But it's still stuck in that one way rut, for some simple/less complex stuff it's great to be able to cut down on rendering when making changes, but when you get more complex it doesn't really save that much, it just transfers the rendering to the timeline in Premiere and the poor media management in to the projects and off the drives. But it does cut down the pressing buttons side of opening, closing, importing, exporting etc. etc. of course and saves time that way.

    Here's the best workflow I got with it, it's as close to getting past the one way issue I could get. Create a rough edit in Premiere making sure to keep it simple, I stuck to nothing other than dip or dissolve transitions (if any). Open After Effects and create a new Premiere Pro Sequence from the Dynamic Link Menu, go back to Premiere and copy everything on your edit, then paste that into the Premiere Pro Sequence in After Effects.

    Now any graphics, colour, fx etc. etc. work you do to your edit in After Effects can be played back in real time (probably with timeline rendering) in Premiere. So you can preview your AE work on the fly, even if it's a feature length film and you don't have 40 terabytes of RAM.

    That was useful, but frustrating that it was almost there.

    What I'd like to see is the ability to open up a Premiere Project in After Effects, forget about sending it with Dynamic Link or copy and pasting, then any changes that are made in AE are updated in the Premiere timeline. I realise it could become quite complex in what Premiere can translate (as it does when copy and pasting) to become further editable and what it would need Dynamic Link to process (we don't need to know about it, it can run in the background). I can only imagine the nightmares programmers get contemplating it.

    I've thought before that binning Dynamic Link would be great idea, then just concentrate on getting the programs together as one with layout options. Imagine that menu at the top of Premiere for editing, colour work, audio, etc. layouts contain one saying After Effects that can be changed within the same program.

    Last edited by david walsh; 10-04-2011 at 09:08 PM.

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