Beginner's Guide to After Effects Digital-Tutors

Beginner's Guide to After Effects Digital-Tutors
This free online video course, Beginner’s Guide to After Effects, from Digital-Tutors will introduce After Effects, one of the most popular motion graphics software. The instructor, who identifies himself as Chris, will introduce you to the terms, definitions, techniques and common tasks in After Effects.

Starting at the very basic, Chris answers the question "What is After EffectsR and what can you do with the program". He discusses the difference between compositions and motion graphics and how the Timeline is important to motion graphics in After Effects. Next he demonstrates how to start a new project and open an existing one. He also discusses how an After Effects project file links to the various media resources that are part of the project.

Drilling down to the composition level, Chris discusses the Composition panel and project settings. He walks through the most common settings for various types of projects. Next he covers the layer types in After Effects such as image, shape and text. He discusses how the layer order and alpha channels control the visual elements in the composition.

The effects that can be created in After Effects is an important feature of the software and Chris covers how to apply effects to layers and fine turn the results in the Effects Controls panel. As with alpha channels, Chris points out that the order of the effects applied to a layer determines the end results. Next, Chris discusses how to create masks in After Effects with the Pen and Shape tools and how to adjust the mask on the layer.

Next, Chris covers transformations and animation. His demonstrates how to transform a layer by changing the position, rotation, scale or opacity. He then discusses how to use these transformations to create keyframe animations. He demonstrates how to create and ram preview a rotation animation. He discusses how to work with the memory cache for better playback.

In the final video, Chris discusses the different types of rendering from image sequences to video and how to control the settings in the Render Queue.

This was a nice introduction to After Effects because it didn’t concentrate too much on the details of the program but accomplished the task of telling the audience just what Afters Effects can do. I especially liked that Chris didn’t emphasize the keyboard shortcuts too much. This is a common problem in training videos because it adds a layer of complexity to the training that isn’t necessary in this type of introductory course.

Disclosure: This online course is free at the Digital-Tutors website. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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