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Adobe Premiere Pro vs After Effects: Quick Comparison

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Adobe Premiere Pro vs After Effects: Which one should you use?

Video editing software can be intimidating, especially for beginners. The choice between the variety of excellent software available can be even more intimidating.

The most common first choice for most people is Adobe Premiere Pro. While Premier is a top-rated video editing software, there’s another offering by Adobe that confuses beginners. Another popular software is called After Effects.

In this article, we distinguish between the two so you can decide which one to use and when.

Adobe Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro, at its core, is a video editing program above else. Several options are available inside Premiere for you to take complete control of your footage and edit it just how you want.

Apart from regular trimming clips and repositioning them, there is a lot more to Premiere. You can animate the physical attributes of your clips. You can even add many visual effects, transitions, colour presets, LUTs, animations, titles, text, etc.

How to colour grade in Adobe Premier Pro | Candid.Technology

Premiere Pro also features a fantastic timeline that makes it extremely easy for anyone to navigate through it while editing footage. If you’re working on a more complex project and have multiple short clips, titles, transitions etc., Premiere makes it easy for you to manage everything on your timeline.

It also provides numerous file management capabilities for your project files. You can import and keep files in separate bins and colour-code them on the timeline. This makes it incredibly easy to identify a particular type of footage when your timeline becomes all spaghetti.


  • Amazing video editing capabilities
  • Several templates/ downloadable resources regarding effects, animations, transitions, LUTs, etc, are available.
  • Easier to learn for beginners


  • Not a lot of VFX/SFX capabilities
  • Mediocre animation capabilities
  • Quite expensive at about $239.88/yr

Also read: Cinematography 101: Introduction to colour grading in Premiere Pro

Adobe After Effects

In layperson’s terms, After Effects is a digital motion graphics, visual effects and compositing software.

That pretty much sums up what After Effects does. It’s a very different software compared to Premiere, as both deal with other parts of video editing. They are often confused as both work closely with the term video editing.

The Windows Task Manager is an extremely useful application that is built into Windows. It acts as a one-stop solution to all your application and hardware resource consumption related problems. Originally introduced as “Tasks” in Windows 95 and Windows 98, this application has evolved over time and come a long way. Microsoft improved the Windows Task Manager by a considerate amount. Adding various features that help understand the computer better and also to kill those forever Not Responding applications. All you Windows users exactly know how important the Windows Task Manager is, all of us have countlessly spammed the Ctrl, Alt, and Del keys trying to open the Task Manager back in the days when Windows XP was widely used. Some of us still do it, Windows may not be the most stable of Operating Systems but sure is more capable than other Operating Systems out there. So, what does the Task Manager exactly do except for closing Not Responding applications? In this article, we take a deeper dive into the technicalities of the Task Manager and all it has to offer. Where to find and how to open the Windows Task Manager? There are various ways to access the Task Manager in Windows, some of the easiest are mentioned below: Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys together and select the Task Manager option from the Windows Security menu. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys together. Right-click in an empty space on your Taskbar (the bar on the bottom of your screen) and select Task Manager from the menu that pops up. A breakdown of the Windows Task Manager The Task Manager provided by Windows has a total of 8 tabs, each with a different purpose of their own. These tabs cover a lot of technical areas of the computer. It gives us a deeper look into the processes and tasks that the user doesn’t even know are being executed in the background eating resources, The Task Manager is a complex application that is hard to be explained completely in detail because of the many hidden options available. Note: In Windows 10 & Windows 8, Task Manager defaults to a “simple” view of the running foreground programs. Tap or click “More details” at the bottom to see everything. Processes The Processes tab shows a list of all the programs that are currently running with all details such as, the CPU memory it occupies, the RAM it occupies, the Disk Space and if the application is using any network speed. It shows all processes running, which may include various Windows Services that need to be active all the time. It can be used to End Tasks that are Not Responding or need to be shut down. Performance The Performance tab is an interesting one as it shows real-time graphs for various hardware resources such as the CPU, Memory, Disk, Ethernet, and GPU. It gives the exact values of hardware resource utilization which can help keep a track of any unwanted event that is noticed, such as a spike in GPU usage even when the machine is idle. App History The App History tab is used to keep a track on hardware resource usage for every third-party app but over a period of time. It gives a vague idea of which application consumes the most CPU usage or network utilization. Startup The Startup tab shows a list of all the applications that boot up as soon as you start up Windows. It shows important details for every app with different levels of startup impact ratings of High, Medium, or Low. This tab is useful to identify apps that need not be running in the background eating up useful resources. Sometimes, various applications startup during boot and constantly feed on resources unnecessarily. Users The Users tab shows all the different users that are logged into the computer and the tasks that are running under each user. If there is only a single user, then, this tab is no different to the Processes tab. Details The Details tab shows every stand-alone application that is running at this very instant. It is not really user-friendly and shows all technical information about the app that is running, it also shows the PID (Process ID) which is useful to specify the process when attaching a debugger to it. Services The Services tab shows a list containing some of the Windows services installed on your computer. Most services showed will be Running or Stopped. There is an entirely separate configuration used for Services which is available in the Microsoft Management Console. This tab is a quicker and easier way to get information on all the major and important services that are being used.

While you can do some of the animations in After Effects in Premiere, it’s much easier and cleaner to do them in After Effects. You get a more detailed timeline that deals with everything in layers and much more control over your clips and files.

Also, After Effects has many tools that make VFX editing a breeze in the park; you can do so much more with the interactive layer-based timeline and the composting methods present. You can create complete animation videos by incorporating Adobe Illustrator into your workflow.


  • Excellent VFX/animation capabilities
  • Easy to create motion graphics, titles or advanced effects
  • Cheaper than Premiere at about $135/year


  • Slightly tricky to learn for beginners
  • Poor video editing capabilities

Which one should you use?

Our advice would be to use both in close tandem.

Premiere Pro handles all the video editing, and After Effects can take all the animations, VFX, titles, and other motion graphics your project might need. You can use Adobe Dynamic Link to transfer clips to and fro between the two programs without having to export and import them individually.

Individually, if it is a simple animation, After Effects can take care of it, and Premiere Pro can take care of it if it is a simple video project.

Related read: Adobe Photoshop vs Lightroom: Which one should you use when?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: