Adobe After Effects is a digital motion graphics and compositing software published by Adobe Systems, used in the post-production process of filmmaking and television production. Its main uses are the origination of 2D and 2.5D animation, visual effects compositing and finishing (image adjustement, color correction etc.). After Effects can also be used as a basic non-linear editor and a media transcoder.
Flash and After Effects each include many capabilities that allow you to perform complex compositing of video and graphics. Which application you choose to use will depend on your personal preferences and the type of final output you want to create.
Flash is the more web-oriented of the two applications, with its small final file size. Flash also allows for run-time control of animation. After Effects is oriented toward video and film production, provides a wide range of visual effects, and is generally used to create video files as final output.
Both applications can be used to create original graphics and animation. Both use a timeline and offer scripting capabilities for controlling animation programmatically. After Effects includes a larger set of effects, while the Flash ActionScript® language is the more robust of the two scripting environments.
Adobe After Effects is commonly used for creating visual effects and motion graphics. It allows users to animate, alter, and composite media in 2d and 3d space with various built-in tools and third party plug-ins. This software is really amazing and powerful.
Both applications allow you to place graphics on separate layers for compositing. These layers can be turned on and off as needed. Both also allow you to apply effects to the contents of individual layers.
In Flash, composites do not affect the video content directly; they affect only the appearance of the video during playback in Flash Player. In contrast, when you composite with imported video in After Effects, the video file you export actually incorporates the composited graphics and effects.
Because all drawing and painting in After Effects is done on layers separate from any imported video, it is always non-destructive. Flash has both destructive and nondestructive drawing modes
After Effects was originally created by the Company of Science and Art in Providence, RI, USA. Version 1.0 was released in January 1993. Version 2.1 introduced PowerPC acceleration in 1994. CoSA along with After Effects was then acquired by Aldus corporation in July 1993; this company was then acquired by Adobe in 1994, and with it PageMaker and After Effects. Adobe`s first new release of After Effects was version 3.0.