Photoshop or AfterEffects?

I haven’t been spending much recently, so lately I’ve had a good chunk of free money in the credit union besides what I’m saving for school.

My question to you is this: When I get enough money, do you think PS CS4 Extended or AfterEffects would be a better investment?

Photoshop sounds pretty tempting, but AfterEffect’s 2D motion tracking and advanced compositing capabilities are equally enticing. There is also an awesome collection of video tutorials for AE at Anyway, what are your thoughts?

Right now I’m leaning toward AE.

Hey! Long time no see. Remember me? :slight_smile:

Check out this site:

I bought the Adobe CS3 Master Collection from them a few months ago for only $250!
My order came in only a day and a half. Also, I know of someone who had to return their order (for whatever reason), and they got their money back no problem.
The only thing is, you don’t get a fancy box or anything. They sell keys purchased at auction from companies hoping to recover some of the cost after having to buy 3 dozen licenses for all their artists. :slight_smile:

Anyway, that’s something to look into… They just emailed me a day or two ago to say they got in some CS4 products…

Take care!

Your username is very familiar, but I don’t know where I remember it from. :frowning:

Anyway, I don’t know if I want to buy my Adobe products from such a site. My parents bought Nuance’s ‘Dragon Naturally Speaking’ from a supposedly reputable site called The software worked fine, but eventually for other reasons my dad’s computer needed Windows re-installed. When we went to reinstall the software, the registry key did not work. Upon calling Nuance, they claimed that our particular product ID was registered to at least 10 different people. (The fact that 10 people could register with the same key in the first place sounds a bit fishy to me in itself, but still…) They wouldn’t give my dad a way to unlock the software since they did not consider the website an approved dealer, so he had to buy a copy of the latest version straight from Nuance’s website. At least they gave him a 50% discount on it for his trouble.

If you don’t have Photoshop already, get that first, before After Effects. You could buy a slightly older version off eBay. I still use version 7 on my laptop since it runs under Wine in Ubuntu… and 8 (CS) at work. You could probably find an older After Effects on eBay also, but again, I would get Photoshop first.

isn’t buying from those kind of sites illegal to begin with? For instance you can’t resell a max license afaik. I can imagine it’s the same for other autodesk applications. You don’t generally buy the software, you buy the license to use it.
If it were legal, I’d buy that master collection in a heartbeat.

I don’t understand the choice… they do completely different things.

but anyways how have you been working without photoshop? to me AE is optional for animation work, but I wouldn’t know what to do without photoshop.

you can get the photoshop cs4 extended if your working on 3d’s

Photoshop CS4 doesn’t really have a lot of differences from the last version. CS3 would be much cheaper and still provide all of the important features.

If you already have CS3, get After Effects. Otherwise, I would start with buying Photoshop first.

I would get photoshop first. To me, it’s essential not only for graphic design etc. but also for textures. Like others have said, CS3 will most likely provide everything you really need.
On the other hand, I don’t know what you’re most into. If you think you’ll be doing a lot of compositing etc. I can see getting after effects… but I still can’t see doing anything serious in Blender without Photoshop somewhere in the workflow.

Given a choice i would say neither…spend ur money on a better-ing ur computer instead…
and work with gimp for photoshop stuff and blender for compositing and editing :stuck_out_tongue: or many other capable free editors,
But since u asked…I’d go with after effects…
mainly because spending that much money on photoshop is pointless when gimp can do pretty much everything pshop does…unless ure into publishing/print then the cymk stuff in pshop is top class…
but other than that…i havent found one good reason to stick with pshop…
as far as AE is concerned…u said it urself…its a complete pro compisiting/editing suite and has tracking…and many many other awsome features that makes film work sheer pleasure.


I think I will be doing a good bit of compositing in the future, as I want to go into the visual effects industry, but perhaps PS is needed first to create the design elements to manipulate in AE as well as for texturing. (Currently I only have GIMP.)

Dang, I didn’t expect choosing to be this hard. :spin: The input is helpful guys, keep it coming. I’m still on the fence, but I think I’m leaning more toward the Photoshop camp now. (As much as I would LOVE to have AfterEffects.)

What do u find is the limitation in Gimp which doesnt allow you to make elements for AE with it???
just curious…

Why don’t you just go for the Production Premium package at Education pricing??

It’s got AE, Photoshop, Premiere and a TON of other programs. I got it for roughly $850 Canadian…and all I needed was a scan of my current school ID, it’s pretty sweet!

because if you want to do any commercial work with it you’re wasting your money.
Dang it, go for the full price production premium! it’s less than the total price of PS extended and AE. Plus of course you get illustrator, which is practically essential if you have AE.

The production premium collection would be nice, but 1.7 grand is a bit more to spend than I had in mind. :wink: I have a bit of extra money, but I’m not swimming in it.

@nirmaldavid: I think getting away from GIMP’s multi window design alone is worth the price of Photoshop. Not to say that is the only reason though.

Please stop buying pirated software. OEM copies of those products DON’T exist.

@Lord of the Rings Junkie: Save your money until after your course. If you are really itching to own them during your education then you maybe able to get student copies. Unless you are actually making enough money off of these products to condone their purchase, don’t buy them. Spend the money on learning resources instead, which are far more valuable to yourself and future employers.

Very hard choice, Aftereffects is absolutely awesome, but Photoshop is needed for like… everything.

I’ve been using Paint Shop Pro for years instead of PS. I like it due to the single window interface as compared to the Gimp. You can get previous versions for cheap from Amazon or ebay for under $50. It will allow you to do most of the texture, layering, post process, etc for now until you really have a ton of cash.

As far as I know, there is no cheap After Affects, so for me the decision would be easy. I’d go with After Affects.

one comment about the gimp - if you’re planning to work in the 3d/art industry, you need to have the “mainstream” apps on your resume. Even if gimp has all the features of photoshop, it’s not really recognized and certainly won’t help your chances of getting a job. The same applies to blender - you really should learn at least 1 mainstream app, if only for the resume. Unfortunate but necessary…

plus, AE is a very specialized compositing app whereas photoshop can be used for just about anything.

I got my job with blender in 3D, it’s not games, and prolly not art, but it’s a decent job.

One more thing, if you use a tablet of sorts and like to draw, do NOT get photoshop CS3, but go for CS4. Photoshop CS4 seems to have loads of workflow enhancements, one of which I’ve been waiting for ages in any image editing software. ROTATE CANVAS NON DESTRUCTIVELY!!!
I wish the gimp would have that… maybe with more and more things being ported to GEGL they will eventually…