but using your own computer then the best option is Adobe After Effects CS 5.5. The latest version was released on June 30th 2011 and now is a good time to try it out, not only because Adobe has a free 30 day trial on their website, but also because the release cycle of this product is very recent so you are getting the absolutely latest iteration of the software without having to fear that it is about to be updated again.
After Effects is actually a much older product then you may realise, because version one was released as far back as January 1993. Since then there have been no less than 23 versions and partial versions of After Effects, and so the codebase is now extremely refined and streamlined which makes it a pleasure to use.
The latest CS 5.5 version has added in a whole slew of new features that videographers who use the software will love, including:
Camera Lens Blur Warp Stabilizer Effect Source Timecode Support Expanded R3D Features Timecode Effect Enhancements
And many more.
Which new features you hone in on will largely depend on how you use the software. As for example being able to import SWF files is a massive boon if you are an expert Adobe Flash user, as it opens up a whole new world of opportunities to change Flash files that a web developer has already sweated over into compelling visual effects for much wider mediums such as television or cinema.
There is also the fact that the software is now available in 64Bit mode, which is a massive boost for productivity over the 32BIT version. The difference in terms of processing speeds between older versions of After Effects and the new 5.5 version is quite striking.
In terms of individual features that make the software worthy of an upgrade from version 5, the most striking is the Warp Stabilizer feature.
The way that this works is to stabilize video footage that is out of focus or shaky, either through the unsteady hand of the cameraman, or because footage was filmed without stabilization options being active on the video camera during filming.
After Effects then takes this footage and through the magic of its digital wizardry stabilizes the footage.
It really is rather incredible to behold how quickly you can change an unusable piece of footage and turn it into something that looks like it was shot by a professional videographer.
The software also offers some very neat new postproduction features that speed up some of the more mundane, but necessary parts of the creative process and has a great new scaling option that is integrated into Warp Stabilizer.
The new After Effects CS 5.5 is a worthy upgrade to the old version, and with the addition of some compelling new features, and a lot of polishing of old features, it is an upgrade that is well worth checking out.
Sign up for one of our workshops to learn how to use the special features in Adobe After Effects CS5 to create award winning video effects from an experienced professional. Learn more about the Adobe video editing software through our Adobe After Effects CS5 Classes in Denver, Colorado.