I've used Premiere and After Effects in the past, but I'm still somewhat unclear as to the different roles and responsibilities of each program in the process. When I need to mix audio, I do everything in SONAR or Garage Band, etc. When I need to do video, I have to figure out whether to use After Effects or Premiere.

It seems that After Effects is more for developing animations, but what's its point then? Can't its functionality be implemented within something like Premiere to make it all accessible from the same place?

Here's my goal. I have a ton of high-resolution images and HD video that I recently shot while on vacation. I'd just like to do simple things like start from black, fade in a SVG image, then fade in a video clip underneath it, all set to music. I'd then like to linearly change from pictures to video, etc. How should I go about doing this? Premiere or After Effects, or both?

4 Answers 4


Your goal is best accomplished with Premiere Pro!

They are actually completely different, though I didn't see the difference until I learned them both well.

Adobe Premiere Pro:

  • Clip video and audio together...
  • (Mix audio, mix video)...
  • Color Correct
  • Add nice transitions...
  • Add many different effects, with animations and keyframes...
  • easy.

Adobe After Effects:

  • Add explosions
  • Add other special effects
  • Add 3D objects
  • Add any 2D effect you can imagine
  • Color Correct to balance your effects (though the last color correction should be done when compositing in Premiere Pro)

Any professional DAW: (Only do this if you are intending to make a blockbuster.)

  • Make the raw video in a video editing program, and bring it over here to add the audio.
  • Do all the audio here.

Vegas Pro:

  • Mix audio (it was originally made as a DAW.)
  • Do a little bit of Adobe Premiere Pro stuff...
  • Do a little bit of Adobe After Effects stuff...
  • Do a little bit of DAW stuff.
  • easy.

That's it. Do the special effects in After Effects, and all the clipping and color correction in Premiere Pro. If you're new to video, then Vegas Pro is easier to do much of what you can do with Adobe. But when you've learned a bit, Vegas will be a obstacle in your way of creating what your imagination says. And as you already know After Effects and Premiere Pro, then you're good to go!

  • Vegas is a NLE, the same as Premiere, so I'm confused as to what you think Premiere can do that Vegas can't.
    – Gyan
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 8:51
  • Premiere Pro is better, easier and more capable of doing professional work. Commented May 2, 2012 at 15:07
  • Did you have anything specific in mind? Because all the capabilities you listed for PPro apply to Vegas as well. Till recently, Vegas had limited ability for plugins, but with OFX support, I suspect that will change in a year or two.
    – Gyan
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 16:35
  • @Mulvya I see that you are a Vegas Pro fan... I'd rather not have a discussion here. It's like having a discussion between a Windows guy and a Apple fanatic. None of us are going to switch anyway :P Commented May 2, 2012 at 19:44
  • But, the main reason why I prefer Premiere Pro, is that I like it. The reason is because I think it fits better into my workflow. I especially love the Adobe Dynamic Link feature! Commented May 2, 2012 at 19:45

Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects are very different programs. Premiere Pro (like all other NLE programs) has been designed to edit images together (moving or still). You can add clips to a timeline and play them back in real time with minimal rendering. The features that Premiere Pro has over After Effects makes editing sequences very easy and quick (obviously depending on what you are editing).

After Effects on the other hand is not designed for a video editing. You cant playback videos or sequences in real time and its very time consuming to cut together a long sequence using After Effects. The program is designed specifically for animation.

It would be very silly to use After Effects to edit together anything longer than 1 minute. Edit in Premiere and then Import your edits into After Effects:

  1. Go into your sequence in Premiere
  2. Select All then Copy
  3. Switch to After Effects
  4. Make a new Composition and open it
  5. Paste

Call me partial, but I love Sony Vegas. I'm using the current version 11 now and it's fast and good. It's the closest thing to a serious/uncrippled editor that you'll get to the top tier stuff w/o breaking the bank. There is also a decent size community out here as well to help with the inevitable questions. No good editor will have a shallow learning curve, but once you start to get the hang of it, it's awesome!


After Effects is used for animations but it's WAY more capable than that. It's can do many things that Premiere Pro cannot do (or do nearly as well) such as tracking, 3D layout of layers, pseudo-camera angles, lighting effects, amongst a host of other things. It seems that Premiere Pro isn't particularly highly regarded in cutting video, with the pros using Avid and Final Cut Pro. However, After Effects is very much used by professionals and is used in many movies - it's one of the best tools of it's kind.

I'm just an enthusiast, but I love Premiere Pro and After Effects and it's easily capable of doing everything that you're wanting to do (as described above).

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