After Effects is probably my favourite tools in the Adobe Lineup. Essentially, it is for video what Photoshop is for stills. It has a whole lot of very powerful features to let you animate, composite, and otherwise manipulate your video footage. It also lets you do motion graphics, camera tracking, and a host of other cool things. But it can be a little overwhelming at first.
This new course from motion graphics artist Roland Hartmann (graphicINmotion) will help to introduce you to the application gently. It guides you through the whole process from first loading and setting essential preferences to rendering out your final video. And, it’s completely free.
It is a really extensive course, albeit starting at Part 2. Not sure what happened to Part 1. Regardless, Part 2 is in 6 sections and walks you through the application itself.
- 2.1 – Preferences
- 2.2 – Open projects & find missing footage
- 2.3 – Work area & layouts
- 2.4 – Navigation
- 2.5 – Tools Part 01
- 2.6 – Tools Part 02
Part 3 delves into actually creating and manipulating things with Adobe After Effects. It is primarily geared towards motion graphics, rather than video, but the principles of working with them is fundamentally the same. You still use all the same animation and keyframe features.
- 3.1 – Import footage
- 3.2 – Save projects
- 3.3 – Interpret footage
- 3.4 – Create compositions
- 3.5 – Add & manipulate layers
- 3.6 – Basic layer workflow
- 3.7 – Basic effects workflow
- 3.8 – Text layers
- 3.9 – Basic animation
- 3.10 – Create previews
- 3.11 – Time remapping
- 3.12 – Motion blur
- 3.13 – Layer styles
- 3.14 – Colour correction & adjustment layers
- 3.15 – Precomposing (nesting)
- 3.16 – Exporting video
It’s a pretty in-depth series covering a lot of ground and lasts for around 4 hours in total. So, this isn’t just a handful of 2-minute tips. I didn’t get the chance to sit through all of it yet, but what I did see is very well put together and explains the fundamentals very well.
As I said, it is geared a little more towards motion graphics than video effects, but this is all stuff you’ll need to learn anyway. All of the things shown in this series apply to video work, too. So, you might as well learn it now as you get introduced to the application.