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The After Effects of After Effects 6.5Adobe?s Steve Kilisky reflects on AE's success a year later
Adobes Steve Kilisky talks with Digital Media Nets Stephen Schleicher about the success of After Effects 6.5, nearly a year after it has been in the hands of users world wide. Here Kilisky discusses some of the places After Effects has shown up, points out features users may want to investigate further, and discusses the viability of After Effects on future releases of the Mac.
Steve Kilisky is a Group Product Manager for Adobe Systems Incorporated, where he is responsible for Adobe After Effects marketing. Kilisky joined Adobe in 1995, bringing a diverse background that included more than 10 years of experience in the video production, post production and computer graphics industries. His expertise and experience has helped to facilitate the merging of computer and video technologies.
Digital Media Net: AE6.5 has been out for nearly a year now. What has been the feedback on the new features and toolsets?
Steve Kilisky: Sales have been really good, but they can always be better. You can never sell too much software. We have seen strong growth of After Effects in 2004 and dont see any decline in that.
The feature set in After Effects 6.5 has been extremely well received in both the media, with extremely positive reviews, as well as from a customer perspective
DMN: Why do you think the sales have been way up for After Effects this year? Is that because of a change in the industry?
SK: I dont know that it is so much a change in the industry I think more and more people are communicating using moving imagery, and After Effects is taking advantage of growth happening within the industry. I think a lot of the tools we have put into the product have increased its relevance to the film making community. We have seen the adoption as more and more people are doing delivery for other mediums like the web. It is really just a combination of growth in the industry as well as After Effects becoming more popular as a tool for doing motion graphics and digital effects work.
DMN: What feedback have you heard from customers about the big new features in 6.5 that they like?
SK: Im not sure there is really one particular feature. The Text Animation presets seem to have been very popular with the motion graphics designers. The advancements we made in terms of our cloning tools, grain management tools, and the addition of Color Finesse have been really well received. The addition of the Cycore Effects (the old Final Effects Complete) has been a really popular feature. It has really been across the board.
One of the hallmarks of After Effects is we appeal to a diverse set of customers; from people who are doing motion graphics work for broadcast and nonbroadcast, all the way up to those doing feature film work like the recent work done in ?The Aviator and ?Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.
What distinguishes After Effects is that we can develop and deliver a set of tools that works for those very diverse ways of using an application. When you compare After Effects with other products on the market, you find that the others tend to be a little more specialized in a certain area. So we take advantage of the fact that there is a broad set of uses for our customers than you will find with other products.
DMN: When After Effects 6.5 came out with the Animation Presets I was expecting users to post and share their own animation presets for the community. I havent really seen that. Do you think users are cautious of Animation Presets for the fear it will become a crutch, which could lead to work looking a lot alike?
SK: I dont think thats it. The presets are not dead. They are not a canned effect and can be customized. I know the presets appeal to the novice users because it allows them to create something digitally compelling with a minimal amount of effort on their part. Even for long time After Effects users who do a lot of type animation, they view the presets as a starting point. They can take a preset, and because they have access to the keyframes, can customize the preset for their need.
I attribute the fact that people are not sharing them to the fact that people are just too busy.
One of the things that is an under utilized capability is the Adobe Studio and the Adobe Exchange (http://studio.adobe.com) where we have this ability for people to actually share presets, scripts, and things of that nature. Not as many people do that because they are not aware the Exchange exists. That is something Adobe as a company needs to do a better job of bringing to the forefront so people can share their ideas, action scripts, presets, etc.
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