What is the best editing app?

As an experienced photo, video and documentary editor, I often spend considerable time in my own editor’s toolbox of editing tools. One such tool is After Effects. This program makes it relatively easy to edit video and photo content into amazing finished product, even in the quickest of hours.

I love the simple, modern interface, the fast performance, the ease of use when editing in the time saved it takes me to do something else. It even supports exporting and importing to external formats to share with your friends or family. It’s a lot of very good things, but there are drawbacks.

One is the limited number of color channels an editor can edit in, and they have to be pre-set. I’m going to do a quick demo to illustrate how this works. In my photo editing application I usually use a standard eight color channels (RGB = red, green, blue, alpha, magenta and white), in After Effects, only 16 color channels can be edited simultaneously, or only 3 channels each. That means, the maximum number of color channels in After Effects is 40 (this number doesn’t change when you increase the size of the project).

In short, it can’t handle 32-bit color depth, so it takes a long time to edit. It does support video editing, but it can process only JPEG files (if the file type isn’t saved as “JPEG”). I’ve never seen an editor take more than a week to edit a video, however, so maybe there is a limit in how fast it can go.

I don’t know the reason for this limitation, but it certainly can be frustrating to edit long footage with lots of colors on screen, with no sound.

So the next time you write an e-mail announcing the release date for an album and then ask “why can’t I edit it in After Effects,” make sure you read up on color depth for the best results.


In the past 10 years, how many times have you seen a photo, video or documentary edit go through five iterations with lots of tweaking before landing on the final product?

You don’t have to live the life I do. After Effects is great for creating short videos, but for larger, more complex clips, I prefer Photoshop.

Now, there is a difference between a video edit and a documentary edit, but that doesn’t mean that you have to create videos every day. There is a lot of room for improvement in After Effects,