Powerful Tools In The Hands of Idiots – Part 1: After Effects

I’ve just started messing around with Adobe After Effects. You might wonder why. I sort of wonder why too.

Thing is I’ve been working with Keynote recently and getting a bit inspired at how it can do cool stuff with video. Then it dawned on me that by blurring the lines between video and presentation using something like After Effects maybe I could do some really cool stuff. You know, disguising a lack of substance using style.

It might just be a waste of time. But I’m sort of enjoying it.

After a couple of hours of playing around and watching a few online tutorials I realised just how powerful After Effects is. Even in the hands of a total imbecile.

This (very badly done) floating head was executed in about 30 minutes (once I’d got to grips with some basics). If you know anything about this kind of thing you’ll spot how shoddy it is. But in my defence I’ve got bad lighting, a severe case of impatience and very little skill:

Once I’d done that I realised that I had to do the thing that everyone does when they get a shot at After Effects. MAKE A LIGHT SABER!!! Star Wars kid here we come…

But I decided I’d try sticking it up my nose instead:

Obviously it needs sound effects and it’s very short because my impatience kicked in again…

I wasn’t going to share these videos because they’re not very good.

But then I figured that perhaps it’s good to share the fact that it’s easy to have a go at this kind of thing. And actually it is possible to teach yourself new, seemingly very complicated things, quite quickly – albeit to a fairly rudimentary standard.

I’m thinking that modern software is really rather excellent.