Photoshop vs After Effects – Explanation in Easy Steps

ADMEC Multimedia Institute > Post Production > Photoshop vs After Effects – Explanation in Easy Steps

We are becoming more and more digital with each passing day and often found ourselves surrounded by one or other form of technology. People are spending more time in streaming online platforms. In the midst of all this, there’s one industry which is blooming at an unstoppable rate and has recently come into the spotlight- Graphics design

The graphic industry has become one of the offbeat industries in the city. With the increasing popularity of this genre, every second person is opting for graphic designing courses and wants to excel in this field.

Design is everywhere and its ubiquity has made us realize the importance of design in our daily life. From our morning newspaper, the hoarding, pamphlets to the videos we see in our free time, every single element has some design in it. I guess this is enough to tell how Graphics is reigning over every industry.

In this world of graphics, Adobe is the world-class leader in providing the most updated and latest digital software in the industry. Adobe is recognized as one of the best companies in terms of offering design, motion graphics, and video editing software to the industry.

Whether we take Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects, Premiere Pro, XD or any other, they are the best in their particular field.

Photoshop is considered as the finest image editing software while After Effects is widely used by the professionals for doing motion graphics stuff across the globe.

These software by Adobe has become ‘Go to tools’ for the artist. In this blog, we are going to look at two major industry software by Adobe.

We will be discussing about Photoshop and After effects- what are they used for, how they are similar and what are the basic differences between these two. Let’s dive into this understand what all it has stored for us.



Photoshop was the flagship product of Adobe. It was Photoshop that gave Adobe a much-needed push in the industry and took it to other heights. We have seen Photoshop as an emerging software- from basic editing software to leading image editing and manipulation software, Photoshop has become a favorite tool for many people out there

Whether you are starting your career in graphic designing or a professional in the industry, you are always incomplete without the knowledge of this software. People not only using this for commercial purposes but it has gained popularity as a household tool too.

Since its inception, we haven’t found a viable alternative for Photoshop that can beat Photoshop is image manipulation and editing. For years, it is considered as leading image editing software but it has the potential of doing much more than that

The software is also used to create web banners, logos, designs for flex boards, billboards and hoardings, web template mock-ups, digital paintings and much more.

To learn Photoshop professionally, you can get yourself enrolled in a certified institute that can provide excellent Photoshop training to you.

After Effects

After Effects

After Effects is another popular software by Adobe. After Effects is a leading motion graphics and compositing tool that lets designers explore the untapped version of creativity.

The software comes with various tools and presets through which you can add motion to different inanimate objects. After Effects is quite popular among professional artists across the globe.

After Effects is used in creating various motion graphics like lower thirds, title animation, Logo animation, intro and outro slides and visual effects for every industry.  Once the editing of the video is done, it is then After Effects come into the play.

The major portion of After Effects deals with enhancing the visuals of video by adding relevant effects to it. It allows the artists to add motion to each and every layer separately which we can’t do in Premiere Pro. Adobe always comes up with the latest and updated versions of the software which makes the designer work easier and more effective.

The major advantage of using Adobe Product is that you can always switch between multiple software and work seamlessly without any hassle. The same goes for After Effects too. Designers can simultaneously work on different software at once and can import files from other software like Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere Pro.

Both, Photoshop and After Effects is dominating the Graphic Industry and they are becoming an essential tool that artists should learn. You can look up for various professional institutes that can offer Adobe After Effects training along with Photoshop course. 

So, this was the basic introduction to both the software. Let’s move forward and understand what are the similarities and differences between these two.


Getting into motion graphics from static one can be really fascinating. After Effects is considered as one of the best software in the industry for Motion Graphics. When people move on from Photoshop to After Effects, they found it relatively easier to cooperate with After Effects because they share some common elements. 

Just like Photoshop, After Effects is also a comprehensive software which comes with tons of tools, effects, and filters. A person who regularly works on Photoshop can easily learn the basics of After Effects in a week for sure.



Both the software comes with the timeline option. While starting with After Effects, the first thing that beginners got familiar with is the timeline. When you look at the timeline of After Effects, you will notice the similarities between the timeline of Photoshop and After Effects timeline.

If you have spent time making GIFs in Photoshop, you already know the basics of the working of the timeline. You can animate different layers simultaneously by changing their position, transformation, opacity, and orientation.



Layer is another common feature that you’ll find in both the software. However, there is a slight difference in the way they work. In After Effects, you will find no layer panel, changes in a layer can only be done on a timeline. You can consider timeline as your layer panel in After effects

You can also bring Photoshop layers into After effects and add animation to it. For that you have to simply do that while importing, you are asked whether you want the complete footage or want to retain composition layers. You can select composition- retain layer and that’s it. That’s how you bring layers directly into it. 



Masks work in a similar way in all the applications of Adobe. You can use them to hide or show the elements on the layer they are applied on.

In Photoshop there are 4 types of masks available for the users while in After effects there is only one mask. Of course, you can apply multiple masks and you can animate it too.

Filter and Effects

Filter and Effects

After effects and Photoshop, both come with effects and filters. However, the number of effects present in After effects is almost 5 times larger.

From special effects to color correction, you will get tons of effects to explore. You can apply effects to either a single layer or a group of layers just like Photoshop. In fact, many filters work in the same way as gaussian blur, sharpen, liquify, etc.

To quickly add effect to the layer in After Effects, you just have to drag it from the presets over the layer you want to apply.

Adjustment Layer

Adjustment Layer

Adjustments layers work in the same way in both the software. A Photoshop master can easily understand the use of the Adjustment layer here in After Effects.

In After Effects, the Adjustments layer is much more flexible than in Photoshop. You have the option of animating the adjustment layer too. You can apply whatever element you like on them and can adjust it as per your needs.

So, these were some common things that you can find in both the software. But every concept has two sides, there is another side of these software too!

Despite so many similarities there are some major elements that make one software better than the other.


Their Major Purpose

Their Major Purpose

This is the biggest and major difference in AE and Photoshop. After effects is known as the leading software for Motion graphics while Photoshop is considered as one of the best software for image editing.

Photoshop is used by industry professionals to edit, manipulate or correct Images whereas it After Effects allow the artist to add motion to any kind of object, be it stock images or vector illustrations



Another significant difference in Photoshop and After Effects is Photoshop has better capabilities when it comes to handling text formatting.

Photoshop offers various styles and options to edit text. You can also create character and paragraph styles in Photoshop but on the other hand, After Effects does not offer such options

And this makes sense too! Well After Effects is created for video editing and motion graphic purpose and not to work as a word processor. So that’s why software contains basic text formatting options only.

Which one you should learn?

Both the applications are interrelated to each other and offer numerous opportunities to the candidates. Industry demands versatility from every candidate. It would be good if you get yourself trained in both the software.

Both the software opens up various job profile options for you like:

  • Logo Artist
  • UI Designer
  • Logo Animator
  • Motion Graphic Artist
  • Image Manipulation Artist
  • Image editing Artist
  • Digital Painting Artist

As a leader in digital education, ADMEC Multimedia Institute offers high-quality industry-oriented courses in Graphic Designing, Motion Graphics, and Video editing. Our competent faculty focus on the overall development of students and hence provide both practical and theoretical knowledge. You can check out our training courses that are curated while keeping the industry needs in mind.

I hope you are now clear about your queries. If you have anything to share with us, write to us in the comment section. Stay tuned for more Informative blogs.

Till then, Keep Exploring!

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap