Aug 18

Getting Started with Adobe After Effects

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 14:06 — julie

After Effects' extensive and professional-level array of tools and features has made it the first choice for professional and amateur filmmakers and animators for a number of years now.

But for anyone that is just starting out with the application, it can have an intimidating learning curve. So, to help you create video backgrounds for your website and to also help get you on the path to visual storytelling genius, we have a 10 part video course that has been specifically designed to help anyone that is stepping into the world of After Effects for the very first time.

Logo_x2_retinaThis tutorial series has been published as part of our Master Video in Web Design event. For more articles, tutorials and free files click here.

Before you dive into the tutorials, perhaps you should download this After Effects cheat sheet, it will help, especially when it comes to learning After Effects terminology.

Course Overview & Introduction to After Effects

Part 1. Overview and Getting Started

In the first part of this series, you are taken on a guided tour of the perplexing After Effects interface. You will learn how to open all of the project files that accompany each part of the tutorial, how to import assets into your project, and how After Effects projects actually work.

Download the Part 1 Source Files via Tuts+

Part 2. Intro Project

In part 2 you'll discover how easy it is to create a simple motion graphics product. The idea of this straightforward task is to give you more confidence and a better understanding while working within the AE interface, and also to learn some of the more common After Effects processes.

Download the Part 2 Source Files via Tuts+

Part 3. Animation, Pre-Compositing, and Nesting

This where the fun begins! In this part, you will learn all about the various animation tools and how to activate the animation for the layer and effects properties.

Download the Part 3 Source Files via Tuts+ via Tuts+

Part 4. Effects and Video

In part 4, we are shown many of the effects that are available in After Effects, and how to apply and animate each one. It all covers the importance of understanding the layer order of the applied effects and also gives an introduction to working with video.

Download the Part 4 Source Files via Tuts+

Part 5. Text

In part 5, you’ll quickly learn how to create and manipulate text assets, how to edit fonts, and also take a look at paragraph boxes and how to add layer styles to text layers.

Download the Part 5 Source Files via Tuts+

Part 6. Color Correction

This part covers blending modes and how to brighten and darken your footage, you will also discover how to create vignettes and how to use them for creative focus.

Download the Part 6 Source Files via Tuts+

Part 7. Masks, Shapes, and Rotoscoping

In this part of the series, you'll learn how to create masks and how to manipulate mask settings, also learning how to create shape layers and explore the differences between shapes and masks.

Download the Part 7 Source Files via Tuts+

Part 8. 3D, Tracking, and Stabilization

In this in-depth part, you'll explore the built-in 3D capabilities of AE, learning how to create lights, cameras, and 3D layers. You'll also learn how to use Depth-of-Field and how to apply 3D-specific effects. And finally you'll be introduced to Motion Tracking, Footage Stabilization, and 3D Camera Tracking.

Download the Part 8 Source Files via Tuts+

Part 9. Audio, Parenting, and Expressions

This part is all about the audio features in AE, and how to use audio assets. You will learn how to parent layers and how this can save you a lot of time and effort in compositing motion graphics. You'll also learn how to implement expressions and how to amend them.

Download the Part 9 Source Files via Tuts+

Part 10. Rendering

Finally, we are at part 10! In this final video, Dave takes a look at the rendering features and how to add your project to the "Render Queue". Finally, you'll learn about video codecs, why they exist and then take a look at some of the more common output versions.

Download the Part 10 Source Files via Tuts+

This video series has been produced by Dave Scotland, a 12 year CG expert with a natural gift for making the technical seem simple. We are in good hand here folks!

Finished!

After watching these tutorials, hopefully you will feel more comfortable working within After Effects.

Where do you go from here? Your next step could be to take your skills to the next level by heading over to Tuts+ and exploring their extensive library of After Effects tutorials, or you could grab an AE template from VideoHive and learn how the real pros put their projects together. Or, just have some fun with the template and put into practice some of the skills you learned today.

Logo_x2_retinaThis tutorial series has been published as part of our Master Video in Web Design event. For more articles, tutorials and free files click here.

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