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Adobe After Effects facts for kids

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Adobe After Effects
Adobe After Effects CC icon.svg
Adobe After Effects CC.png
Adobe After Effects 2020 running on macOS Big Sur
Original author(s) Company of Science and Art
  • CoSA (1993)
  • Aldus Corporation (1993–1994)
  • Adobe (1994–present)
Initial release January 1993; 31 years ago (1993-01)
Stable release
2024 (24.2.1) / February 7, 2024; 4 months ago (2024-02-07)
Written in C/C++
Operating system
Type Visual effects, Motion graphics, Compositing, Computer animation
License Trialware, software as a service (SaaS)

Adobe After Effects is a digital visual effects, motion graphics, and compositing application developed by Adobe; it is used in the post-production process of film making, video games and television production. Among other things, After Effects can be used for keying, tracking, compositing, and animation. It also functions as a very basic non-linear editor, audio editor, and media transcoder. In 2019, the program won an Academy Award for scientific and technical achievement.


After Effects was originally created by David Herbstman, David Simons, Daniel Wilk, David M. Cotter, and Russell Belfer at the Company of Science and Art in Providence, Rhode Island. The first two versions of the software, 1.0 (January 1993) and 1.1, were released there by the company. CoSA, whose CEO was William J. O'Farrell. CoSA with After Effects was acquired by Aldus Corporation in July 1993, which in turn was acquired by Adobe in 1994. Adobe acquired PageMaker as well. Adobe's first new release of After Effects was version 3.0.

Third-party integrations

After Effects functionality can be extended through a variety of third-party integrations, the most common integrations are: plug-ins, scripts, and extensions.


Plug-ins are predominantly written in C or C++ and extend the functionality of After Effects, allowing for more advanced features such as particle systems, physics engines, 3D effects, and the ability to bridge the gap between After Effects and another application.


After Effects Scripts are a series of commands written in both JavaScript and the ExtendScript language.

After Effects Scripts, unlike plug-ins, can only access the core functionality of After Effects. Scripts are often developed to automate repetitive tasks, to simplify complex After Effects features, or to perform complex calculations that would otherwise take a long time to complete.

Scripts can also use some functionality not directly exposed through the graphical user interface.


After Effects Extensions offer the ability to extend After Effects functionality through modern web development technologies like HTML5, and Node.js, without the need for C++.

After Effects Extensions make use of Adobe's Common Extensibility Platform or CEP Panels, which means they can be built to interact with other Adobe CC apps.

Similar products

  • Nuke – The Foundry
  • Flame – Autodesk
  • Motion – Apple Inc.
  • VSDC Free Video Editor
  • Natron
  • Boris RED – Boris FX
  • Silhouette – Boris FX
  • Fusion – Blackmagic Design

While not dedicated to compositing, the open source software Blender contains a limited node-based compositing feature which, among other things is capable of basic keying and blurring effects.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Adobe After Effects para niños

  • Lottie (file format), a standard for the JSON export of an After Effects animation.
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