What is the difference between Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects? Here’s a detailed guide on Premiere Pro vs After Effects along with an infographic.

Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects are two of the most famous video editing software out there. As mentioned many a time, these two have always been pitched against each other in a battle of the best, with people always wondering which one of these is the right video editing software for them.

However, both of these software have their own key perks and most professionals suggest using them together as a package to make the most of your editing.

The problem that most people face while working with these programs is that they do not know the difference between the two and hence miss out on some main features that the software has to offer.

Most people suggest using Premiere Pro first, to cut, edit, and audio sync your footage, and then using After Effects for compositing, adding graphics, VFX, and more of the fun stuff.

Then there is dynamic linking.

Dynamic Linking Adobe

This feature creates a link between Premiere Pro and the After Effects project. In simple words, if you make a change in After Effects, it will automatically update the project in Premiere Pro.

What Is Compositing?

“Compositing is the combining of visual elements from separate sources into single images, often to create the illusion that all those elements are parts of the same scene.

Live-action shooting for compositing is variously called chroma key, blue screen, and green screen, which is what After Effects does, in comparison to Adobe Premiere Pro.

The Ideal Post-Production Workflow

Many of us – especially those who have been dabbling in video editing a bit longer might have started with Premiere and are “stuck” there because we’ve learned enough to get by.

But the reality is that if you want the best workflow possible, you’ll use both tools.

Premiere pro and after effects

The ideal workflow might look something like this:

  1. Start with Premiere and get your video clips in the format you want with the desired content.
  2. Use the timeline in Premiere (it’s better here than in After Effects) to get audio and video synced in the way you want.
  3. Then switch over to After Effects to polish your video content. Add titles, shapes, 2D or 3D animations, special effects, and other extras.

This seems like a very simple way to find the difference between Premiere Pro and After Effects, but it runs deeper than that. Most of the differences that lie in these apps are defined by the users themselves.

Premiere Pro Works Best With After Effects And Vice-Versa

Both the apps are a product of Adobe so the variation that lies in these two are defined by the public rather than anyone else.

Testing out these two apps can be a tricky task since these work better as a comprehensive and complementary tool to each other than standalone software themselves. Both have a huge backup of loyal followers who swear by the functionality of the software but these followers use them together for the most part too.

Adobe Premiere Pro makes it easier for beginners to learn video editing in a few simple steps.

Premiere Pro User Interface

By just researching about it for an hour, you can go ahead and edit your own videos and it gives space for even amateurs and students to edit their footage in a professional manner.

I have used Premiere for all of my video projects and they have all turned out great. The process was not complex at all.

I edit my videos in Premiere Pro for leisure nowadays too. After Effects on the other hand has also come in handy for my projects and with just a few After Effects Tutorials, I was able to work with it with ease.

While I have not used After Effects much since my projects did not require any complex motion graphics, VFX, or text, I can still understand why some people are so obsessed with it.

After Effects User interface

After Effects has some pretty cool features that have the ability to completely transform your video. I am looking forward to working with After Effects in the future and making my projects stand out a little but for now, I am good with Premiere Pro as a basic video editing software.

That being said, I know that if I want to make creative videos for my YouTube channel, I have to equip myself with After Effects skills. Most of the people I know use both of these apps rather than just one so there’s that.

Premiere Pro Vs After Effects – Major Differences

Here are a few differences between Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects that you need to know about.

The Definition

Premiere Pro is a timeline-based video editing app developed by Adobe Systems and published as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud licensing program.

Adobe After Effects is a digital visual effect, motion graphics, and compositing application developed by Adobe Systems and used in the post-production process of filmmaking and television production.

Among other things, After Effects can be used for keying, tracking, compositing, and animation. Premiere Pro is geared towards professional video editing, while its sibling, Adobe Premiere Elements, targets the consumer market.

The Order of Use

The prime difference, as mentioned earlier lies in the order in which these two software are used.

Premiere Pro is a video editing program. Its key functionality is to edit video clips together. Whether this is an interview with bRoll, a narrative film, a music video, or any other type of video – Premiere Pro is the program for this.

Premiere Pro has lots of other functionalities like adding text and transitions, editing audio, and adding effects. It’s timeline is better than After Effects for editing video and audio together.

Premiere Pro vs After Effects timeline

“Trimming clips and moving them around your timeline is a lot easier to use than After Effects timeline (for video editing purposes),” says Video School.

After Effects is great with VFX and graphics and has better typography, so any addition of text to the video can be made using this software.

Premiere Pro can be used to edit the raw footage that you upload and After Effects can be used to add the final touch to it, polishing off the video to make match up to the kind of content you want to create.

The Kind of Things You Can Edit

While Premiere Pro is a great tool for editing your videos, it cannot edit still images the way After Effects does.

After Effects is often called the “Photoshop of video editing”. Images can be imported to After Effects and graphics, texts, VFX, kinetic text, etc. can be added to them.

Some people even prefer using After Effects to edit some of their pictures as it provides a bigger creative curve for the user.

“You can use AE for creating stunning motion graphics such as animation, visual effects, explosions, lightning, etc. In a video editor, you can slice things up, rearrange things, adjust audio and panning.”, says CreativeDojo.net

Here’s what a Premiere Pro project looks like — it’s a pretty straightforward video-editing interface.

Premiere Pro user interface

These four main windows make up your workspace:

  • Project (bottom left): Where you import and organize your media.
  • Source Monitor (top left): Where you view and trim your raw media.
  • Program Monitor (top right): Where you view your timeline sequence.
  • Timeline (bottom right): Where you create your edit.

With the release of .mogrt templates, you can also purchase and download templates that work directly in Premiere Pro.

The Kind of People That Use Either

Premiere Pro is mostly used by people who want to edit their videos the traditional way. It provides that user with all the right features that one would expect from a basic video editing app.

The user of the software can cut and edit all of their videos, sync them, and use the green matte blending feature of the software at their own discretion.

Users of After Effects can loosely be stated as having contemporary uses for the software. These users need more than just software that helps them cut and edit the footage. 

They need software that would help amp up their content through means of creative tools like motion graphics. This can easily be done with After Effects as many users work with this software for this sole purpose.

The Workflow

The workflow with either of the software might be assumed to be similar owing to the fact that both of these are video editing software but this is not the case.

The workflow with Premiere Pro is simple since the kind of functions you use the software for are not complex. You can do all your basic mixing and editing of your videos in the most hassle-free way possible with Premiere Pro.

Once you know how to use it, going about the actual editing of your footage can be done in record time with little to no effort at all. This is where After Effects can prove to be a little complex.

“Typically, because of its heavy computational needs, it is really hard to work in After Effects in “real-time” with your video. You can apply your edits, and then you’ll need to do some rendering to watch the results.”, says a user of Quora.

The type of work you do with the software gives you the need for precise and detailed layering and detailing of the content you upload to the software. That being said, exporting the edited content is quite simple and similar in both of these apps.


While both Premiere Pro and After Effects can be purchased along with an annual or monthly full Creative Cloud package, they can be bought as stand-alone software too.

The pricing of After Effects is slightly at a higher cut than Premiere since the features that are involved in the software are of a higher, more detailed range.

The annual cost of Premiere Pro is about $20 a month. While the same applies to After Effects, it can be accessed only with a subscription to Creative Cloud.

Device Premiere Pro & After Effects Are Used In

Both of these are available for download and use on a wide range of devices.

That being said, Premiere Pro is best used on a PC. Windows or IOS work well with Premiere but the device that you use the software in matters.

Owing to a number of known reasons, Premiere Pro does not function very well on Android devices. It tends to crash and take your entire project down along with it. Hence it is quite risky and practically pretty useless to use Premiere elsewhere other than your own PC.

This, however, is not the case with After Effects. After Effects can be called a better, highly functional alternative to Premiere when it comes to device usage.

Essential Features

Another one of the most important differences lies in the key features that are present in both of these apps. These apps differ in the features that they provide to the user.

Some of the features that differ in both of these apps, according to Educba are:

Editing Tools

Premiere is designed to edit videos so it has first-class, easy, and precise editing tools for both audio and video. Whilst After Effects has some editing tools they are not user-friendly as one has to learn the procedure of operating.

Audio Mixer

This is one of the major factors because even audio is equally important as video. Premiere has a perfect panel called “Audio Mixer” which gives all possible effects to audio.

Premiere Pro audio mixer

After Effects doesn’t have the perfect tool for audio editing.


This is the mind-blowing tool in Premiere Pro that extracts all possible single images from the video and allows which to keep and which to remove. Again these are part of editing tools so After Effects lags in such kinds of tools.

Camera Tracker

This is a versatile tool of After Effects that allows the user to make multiple copies of the camera movements which further allows adding new layers that match precisely to the original movements.

This function is not available in the Premiere Pro.


After Effects has a huge collection of these tools. It is built around creating unlimited and enormous varieties of effects. It has motion control effects tools, color control tools, blurring shadows, and transitions.

Even though Premiere Pro has some of the readymade tools to put some effects on edited videos they are in a lesser amount.

Premiere Pro vs After Effects (INFOGRAPHIC)

I’ve created this infographic to help you understand some of the major differences between Premiere Pro & After Effects.

Difference between adobe premiere pro and after effects infographic

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While After Effects and Premiere Pro can be differentiated from each other, The line of this difference between these two is very thin but prominent. Both of these apps are used for two different reasons altogether by video editing enthusiasts and as mentioned before, these two are mostly used together one after the other.

We cannot entirely say that one is different from the other since the software engages in a lot of functions it specializes in.

So understanding or trying to pick one among these two as the best video editing software is rather a moot point since it can only be chosen according to user preference.

Having asked Shaheen which software she would prefer to use, “I can’t choose between either of them. Both of these are close to my heart. I am a Premiere Pro enthusiast but I am just beginning to understand After Effects so I cannot really base my opinion on this. From what I have heard, both of these are great engines and are pretty good at what they do and what they are meant to be doing”, she said.