Adobe After Effects is a digital visual effects, motion graphics, and compositing application developed by Adobe Inc.; 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.[3]

Adobe After Effects
Original author(s)Company of Science and Art
Initial releaseJanuary 1993; 31 years ago (1993-01)
Stable release
2024 (24.2.1)[1] / February 7, 2024; 4 months ago (2024-02-07)
Written inC/C++[2]
Operating system
TypeVisual effects, Motion graphics, Compositing, Computer animation
LicenseTrialware, software as a service (SaaS)



After Effects was originally created by David Herbstman, David Simons, Daniel Wilk, David M. Cotter, and Russell Belfer[4] at the Company of Science and Art in Providence, Rhode Island. The first two versions of the software, 1.0 (January 1993)[5] 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++[6] 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.[7]

Scripts can also use some functionality not directly exposed through the graphical user interface.[8]



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++.[9]

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.[10]

Similar products


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.[11][12][13]

See also



  1. ^ "Release Notes, After Effects". February 7, 2024. Retrieved 2024-02-07.
  2. ^ After Effects SDK Guide. Release 22.0.0. Adobe. October 18, 2022.
  3. ^ "9 SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENTS TO BE HONORED WITH ACADEMY AWARDS". | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. December 12, 2018. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  4. ^ "AE Codenames & Credits". Retrieved 2019-03-14.
  5. ^ Simons, David (2013). "Adobe After Effects Turns 20". Computer Graphics World. Vol. 36, no. 3. Retrieved 2018-12-26.
  6. ^ "SDK Audience — After Effects SDK Guide 1.0.0 documentation".
  7. ^ "What are After Effects Scripts? | Saving Time in Motion". Retrieved 2023-04-13.
  8. ^ "Overview — After Effects Scripting Guide 0.0.1 documentation".
  9. ^ "Adobe CEP APIs | Adobe Developer Connection".
  10. ^ "Creative Cloud Extension SDK - CC extension resources | Adobe I/O".
  11. ^ "Blender features page". Retrieved 2011-03-19.
  12. ^ "How 'The Simpsons' Used Adobe Character Animator To Create A Live Episode". May 18, 2016. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  13. ^ VanHemert, Kyle (May 11, 2015). "What GIF Masters Can Do With Three Seconds and 4 Colors". Retrieved 2016-12-15.

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