Adobe is a front-runner software tool provider when it comes to video and film production — but sometimes it can be hard to know which one is best suited to the outcome you’re looking for. So we decided to put together a side by side Premiere Pro vs After Effects breakdown.
What we can say upfront: Adobe’s Premiere Pro and After Effects don’t necessarily compete against each other but rather have a specific function in the video production tool stack. Premiere Pro is the go-to video editing software on the market, while After Effects takes things to the next level — it’s a compositing tool you can use to add visual effects and motion graphics. Both work very well together; you can even transfer your video via dynamic link seamlessly.
Here’s are the main differences when it comes to their interfaces, prices and features.
Interface User Experience
|Premiere Pro||After Effects|
|Premiere Pro’s interface is straightforward and intuitive — with a timeline to drag and drop video files and plenty of effects and filters to edit your video. It’s an interface you can master quite quickly and is also suited for beginners.||After Effects is not very intuitive and takes time to master, you will have to watch plenty of YouTube videos and try things out several times to get the hang of it. But once you do — it’s incredibly powerful.|
In terms of usability, Premiere Pro wins — it has been known to be a lot easier to navigate and get the hang of.
|Premiere Pro||After Effects|
No winner here — so choose what best suits your needs. If you plan on using both or more Adobe products, you should also consider the Adobe Creative Cloud plan — which gives you the option to tap into the entire Adobe tool range.
Premiere Pro vs After Effects: Features
Both Premiere Pro and After Effects come with a ton of features — the question is, which ones do you need most?
|Features / Effects||Premiere Pro||After Effects|
From splicing to adding transitions and soundtracks or effects, Premiere Pro is the way to go. It’s intuitive and ultimately delivers what the tool sets out to do.
|Basic, but we wouldn’t recommend it.|
You can do these things in After Effects, but we wouldn’t advise it— it’s a lot less intuitive and inefficient; not built for video editing.
|Audio editing and sound effects||Advanced.|
Premiere Pro makes audio editing and adding sound effects easy and efficient.
|Advanced, but we wouldn’t recommend it.|
You can do similar audio edits in After Effects, but it’s neither intuitive, easy, fast, nor efficient.
|3D motion graphics||Basic.|
Premiere Pro has recently made quite a lot of advancements offering templates for basic motion graphics.
Features like Key light and Rotoscoping will take your video to the next level.
In Premiere Pro, you can create 2D text animation.
In After Effects, you can create more advanced 3D text animations.
|Cartoon animation||Not possible in Premiere Pro.||Advanced.|
Create advanced professional cartoon animations.
One of the main features of Premiere Pro: easily color correct with the Lumitri Color panel.
Although not recommended for advanced color correction, you can edit things like shadow, highlights, and add filters in After Effects.
|Removing video background||Advanced.|
You can easily remove and/or replace a video’s background in premiere Pro using the Unscreen extension. Learn more about how to remove video backgrounds in Premiere Pro here.
Removing and/or replacing a video’s background in After Effects with the Unscreen extension is simple. Find out more about how to remove video backgrounds in After Effects here.
Which one is best suited to what roles?
Whether you should use Premiere Pro, After Effects or both, depends on your role and the outcome you’re looking for.
Here are our recommendations.
The videographer & video editor
Premiere Pro is usually the option to go for if you’re a professional videographer and need an advanced editing tool. It has all the functions to:
- Clip & merge videos: edit existing video footage
- Color correction tools: easily color correct with the Lumitri color panel
- Timeline: easily place transitions, cut, and edit your film
The animator / visual storyteller & motion designer
After Effects focuses more on motion graphics and visual effects and is usually a tool more advanced videographers and video producers go for. It’s a lot tougher to learn and master — but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be flying.
To sum it up
Premiere Pro vs After Effects makes for an interesting comparison. Still, it has to be said that each tool has its place in video editing and production — plenty of videographers/editors use both to achieve different effects. While Premiere Pro is the most versatile and user-friendly, After Effects can help take your videos and films to the next level. If you’re planning on using both — be sure to use the dynamic link function so you can work on one project and edits are synced in real-time.
Now that you’re up to speed, hop on over to our latest article on how to use the new Unscreen pro plugin for Premiere Pro & After Effects to accelerate workflows.