… for Visual Effects

Tip #1009: Getting Started with After Effects

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

After Effects is intimidating. This article can help get you started.

(Image courtesy of PremiumBeat.com)

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This article, written by Joe Frederick, first appeared in PremiumBeat.com. This is a summary.

Adobe After Effects is an exceptionally versatile piece of software. If you’re just starting out with it in 2020, here are five things to learn ASAP.

  1. Terminology. Before I started my motion graphics journey, my experience was limited to Final Cut Pro X. That meant I was faced with a whole new set of terms upon opening After Effects the first time, some of which were attached to features and concepts I knew by other names in other programs. For instance, a Project in FCPX is a Sequence in Premiere Pro is a Composition in AE.
  2. Keyframes. Keyframes mark the point in time where you specify a value for a layer property. Using them effectively is a linchpin of motion graphics work.
  3. Motion Blur. Motion blur is an absolute game-changer! When animating an asset, it’s important to prevent said asset’s movements from looking mechanical, twitchy, and, well, like it was slapped together in a computer program. That’s where motion blur comes in.
  4. Dynamic Link. If you’re planning to work with both Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects on the same project, then you’re going to love this. Thanks to the dynamic link, you can avoid all of that potentially confusing, definitely time-sucking nonsense and import your AE comps straight into Premiere.
  5. Pre-Composing. If you’re used to terms like “nesting” or “compound clip,” you’ll be familiar with creating pre-compositions. Simply select the layers of your choice, right-click, and select Create Pre-composition in order to put these layers into their own mini comp. They’ll now be represented in your main timeline by just one layer. If you double-click this layer, you can go into it to make changes that’ll now be visible when you return to your main composition.

The link above has additional tutorial videos, images and links for more information.


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