Adobe After Effects Fundamentals

1: Welcome to After Effects

In the first installment of our 10 part series, After Effects Expert Mikey Borup walks us through a simple animation workflow. In this video we cover the AE interface, effects, solids, layers, animation, and rendering.

After Effects Fundamentals Lesson 2: Pre-Comps, Parenting & Expressions

Take your After Effects knowledge one step further in part 2 of our 10 part After Effects Fundamentals video tutorial series. In this video tutorial we cover pre-comps, parenting and expressions.

Welcome the second installment of our 10 part Adobe After Effects Fundamentals series. In Lesson 1 we learned all about the After Effects interface, shapes, effects and rendering. In this AE tutorial we will cover a few more essential concepts:

  • Pre-compositions
  • Parenting
  • Pick whipping
  • Basic expressions

After Effects Fundamentals Lesson 3: Compositing, Keying & Rotoscoping

Develop your skills in lesson 3 of our 10 part After Effects Fundamentals course. In this video tutorial we take a look at chroma keying, transfer modes and rotoscoping.

Welcome to lesson 3 of our 10 part After Effects Fundamentals series. In this lesson we will take a look at a few techniques which utilize transparency features in After Effects.

  • Compositing
  • Transfer Modes
  • Chroma Key
  • Rotoscoping
  • Masking
  • Track Mattes

The ability to key out multiple layers is one of the reasons why After Effects is such a powerful program. If you are interested in taking your keying skills one step further check out our quick-tips for After Effects post.

After Effects Fundamentals Lesson 4:

Editing & Animating Text

Learn how to animate text in lesson 4 of our After Effects Fundamentals course.
We’ve arrived at lesson 4 of our 10 part Fundamentals of After Effects series. Up to this point we’ve learned about the After Effects interface, basic expressions, and keying. In this lesson we share some tricks for working with text in Adobe After Effects.
Learning how to animate and work with text is an essential skill for every motion graphic designer to know. Unlike still designs made in Illustrator or Photoshop, text in After Effects requires a designer to take into consideration the length at which the viewer will be reading the text. This makes it more complicated but also more dynamic . This After Effects video tutorial covers:

  • Text layers
  • The character window
  • Stylizing text
  • Key-framing source text
  • Working with path options
  • Animating text

After Effects Fundamentals Lesson 5:

Shape Layers

 Become a shape layer master in Lesson 5 of our After Effects Fundamentals course. We’re at lesson 5 of our 10 part Adobe After Effects Fundamentals Course.
So far we’ve learned all about the After Effects interface, parenting, compositing and text layers. All of these skills are crucial to getting the most out of After Effects and the skills we learn in this lesson are no different. This video tutorial will cover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about shape layers in After Effects:
For those looking to become motion graphic designers, shape layers are one of the most important techniques to master. Shape layers are complex, so if you don’t learn how to use them correctly you might fall into some bad habits…but have no fear. The video covers:

  • Shape Layers
  • Shape Modifiers
  • Repeaters
  • Transformations
  • Stylization

Want to take all your new shape layer knowledge and put it to work? Check out some of our After Effects tutorials including making fireworks and hipster badges.

After Effects Fundamentals Lesson 6:

Manipulating Footage

Learn how to manipulate footage in Lesson 6 of our After Effects Fundamentals course.
We’ve arrived at lesson 6 of our 10 part Adobe After Effects Fundamentals course.
So far we’ve learned all about the After Effects interface, parenting, compositing, text layers, and shape layers. In today’s lesson we will take a look at how to integrate footage into After Effects.
As you probably already know, After Effects has the industry strong-hold and is the go-to motion graphics and compositing app for tons of professional visual effects professionals. It’s popularity comes from the ability to mix effects with live action footage (among many other features). There are an infinite number of possibilities when working with footage in After Effects, but the following video demonstrates the basics so you don’t get overwhelmed. The video covers:

  • Working with footage
  • Color correcting
  • Speed changes
  • Noise reduction

fter Effects Fundamentals Lesson 7:

Particles, Paint & Puppets

Learn advanced design techniques in Lesson 7 of our After Effects Fundamentals course.

We’ve arrived at lesson 7 of our 10 part Adobe After Effects Fundamentals course.
So far we’ve learned all about the After Effects interface, parenting, compositing, text layers, shape layers, and manipulating footage. In today’s lesson we will learn a few advanced design features in After Effects.
If you are familiar with motion graphic design than you probably know that particles are used on almost every professional project, but how can you make those awesome particles in After Effects? The following video tutorial will show you everything you need to know to get started using particles, the paint feature, and much more. The video covers:

  • Creating particles
  • The paint tool
  • Transfer modes
  • Puppet tool

After Effects Fundamentals Lesson 8: Expressions & Presets

Learn how to use expressions in Lesson 8 of our After Effects Fundamentals course.
We’ve arrived at lesson 8 of our 10 part Adobe After Effects Fundamentals course.
In our previous tutorials we covered the fundamentals of getting started with After Effects. In today’s lesson we raise the bar and tackle a few advanced features in AE, including expressions and presets.
You may have heard of expressions in the past or even experimented with them. Unfortunately, expressions can be scary to someone just getting into After Effects but they are actually a lot easier than they look. Expressions use the JavaScript coding language to perform all sorts of different functions to automate processes in AE or execute more complicate effects. The following video will get you introduced into expressions. The video covers:

  • Advanced expressions in After Effects
  • Rigging
  • Controllers
  • Presets

After Effects Fundamentals Lesson 9: Tracking

Learn how to use trackers in Lesson 9 of our After Effects Fundamentals course.
One of the coolest features in After Effects is the ability to track footage. Tracking opens up a world of possibilities for both the visual effects artist and director of photography. Instead of shooting VFX on a locked-off tripod, filmmakers have more leeway when shooting (even with camera shake). VFX can then be applied to a scene courtesy of motion tracking.
Tracking in After Effects comes in 5 varieties: Track Camera, Warp Stabilizer, Track Motion, Stabilize Motion, and the Mask tracker. Each tracker is designed to tackle a unique situation. In the following video tutorial we will cover all 5 and show you in detail how to use them. The video covers:

  • All 5 tracking tools in After Effects
  • The Shy Tool
  • Finding track points
  • Working with 3D cameras

After Effects Fundamentals Lesson 10:

Lights, Cameras & 3D

It’s all about 3D in the final lesson of our 10-part After Effects Fundamentals course.
We’ve arrived at lesson 10 of our 10 part Adobe After Effects Fundamentals course.
In the last few updates, namely CS5.5 to CS6, Adobe After Effects has completely changed in the way users work with 3D. Normally users would treat After Effects compositions as though they were layers of paper, stacked on top of each other, void of any realistic 3D qualities.
However, the current version of After Effects provides much more than this…gone are the days of using the shatter effect to simulate 3D. In fact, there are multiple ways you can create awesome 3D models and in today’s AE Fundamentals Lesson we will learn them all. The lesson covers:

  • 3D Fundamentals in After Effects
  • Lights
  • Cameras
  • Cinema 4D LITE
  • Ray-Traced Renderer


This was the final installment of our 10-part Adobe After Effects Fundamentals Course. Hopefully you now feel ready to begin designing and compositing in Adobe After Effects. If you want to learn more techniques, explore more After Effects tutorials here on the our blog, read the latest helping tip and tutorials, and pick up some post-production tricks!
Having trouble tracking in After Effects? Have any questions? Have you enjoyed this course? Let us know in the comments below.

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