After Effects is the software from whence a new art form, motion graphics, was born.
Motion offers many advantages and disadvantages to AE. The two can work together, AE users can use Motion to generate layers for their AE compositions.
Owners of both, before starting many projects, will have to pause and consider which program to use.
So when would you use Motion?
- projects involving interaction between elements (attracting, repelling, orbiting, bouncing much easier in Motion)
- users needing something cool-looking quickly without having to create it from scratch (because of the large library of text behaviors, particle emitter presets, replicator presets (LiveType also good for this)
- particle emitter design (because of real time playback)
- Designs with repeated elements (because of Replicator)
- prototyping (because of Motion’s real time capability with simple projects)
- easier integration with FCP (don’t have to render a movie)
- matching motion to audio (due to real time playback)
- With complex motion, using Motion behaviors and stacked behaviors is simpler than keyframes
When would you use AE?
- projects needing high quality keying (greenscreen/bluescreen)
- projects needing high quality resizing, rotation, changing tracking, etc.
- as projects get more complex, the AE interface handles projects with dozens or hundreds of layers better when moving or scrubbing the playhead, manipulating objects, adding filters etc.
- there is such a huge variety of AE plug-ins, some projects depend on them, so a project requiring a special AE plug-in will need to be done in AE
- AE is happy running on any semi-decent Mac or PC made in the last few years, Motion really requires the fastest possible computer with the very fastest video card and a lot of of RAM to be viable in a professional environment
- some features, like Motion Math, offer power to do things Motion cannot
- 2K or 4K projects for filmout
- output to .swf
This is not a comprehensive list, just a general guide. All in all, both programs are so deep and offer so much no one will ever come close to exhausting their potential.