Why learn After Effects
It is useful to attend an Adobe After Effects course because After Effects is widely used in animation as well as post-production of video. If you want to work in these fields, After Effects is a critical skill. After Effects is the industry-standard software application for creating visual effects and motion graphics and can be purchased on its own or as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. It is used to create animation, motion graphics, and visual effects. Work created in After Effects is used in broadcast TV, video, on the web, for in-store displays, and kiosks.
After Effects can be used to design titles, create cartoon characters, and apply animation. After Affects is used to create and stylize 2D objects and video in a 3D space. After Effects is not a video editing software application. It program is best used to apply effects after footage has been edited, or to create animation and motion graphics from otherwise static objects. It is a tool for storytelling, creating visually appealing motion graphics that integrate into any medium to enhance a presentation, story, image, or mood.
The primary uses of After Effects can be divided into three categories: Animation, Effects, and compositing. After Effects classes teach these skills.
The specific type of animation for which After Effects is mostly used is known as Motion Graphics, which involves creating motion and movement of traditionally static objects such as logos, text, and other graphic elements.
The type of Effects, sometimes called visual effects (VFX) are well known from film and video. Adding snow to a video scene, creating fire or water, making objects appear to turn into liquid are all examples of effects. You can use After Effects to create these visual effects from your own video.
After Effects is also used for digital compositing, which involves assembling multiple videos into a single product. Whether the videos are layered on top of each other, or in separate corners of a screen, After Effects makes it possible to merge together multiple videos using compositing.
Who attends After Effects Classes
After Effects classes are attended by visual artists, animators, advertising agencies, video artists, video editors, visual designers, social media professionals, video producers, motion graphics designers, UX professionals, and animators. Professionals working in these fields and those seeking these roles attend courses to learn compositing, motion graphics, and animation. Gaining proficiency in After Effects program comes from in-depth training such as the hands-on courses at American Graphics Institute, and through practice and use creating projects.
After Effects classes for TV and video graphics professionals
After Effects started as a program for graphics professionals to create high quality video for broadcast on television. It is still is an important tool for broadcast-design professionals today, and professionals in these fields are commonly found in After Effects courses. Walk into just about any post-production facility, advertising agency or motion graphic design studio from New York to Los Angeles and you will find After Effects being used to create original content for video such as lower-thirds, bumpers, commercials, and title treatments. Many video professionals consider it an essential tool in their daily work for both motion graphics creations and compositing. In fact, you can see it in use by networks such as MTV, NBC, Spike, truTV, and the Food Network, where it’s used to produce stunning, high quality graphics and motion design packages quickly and affordably.
After Effects courses for creating Web Content
Companies of all sizes use the Internet as marketing and public relations tools and it is an excellent medium for displaying high quality motion graphics created using After Effects, and these professionals often attend After Effects classes.
Whether user-created content being shared on YouTube and Vimeo, or professional level content created for Netflix and Hulu, After Effects has a place in online content creation..
After Effects training for presentation graphics
Digital displays, such as high-definition televisions, monitors, and projectors, are some other areas where motion graphics are used. Whether you walk into a bank and see a display with an animated logo, or attend a sporting event at an arena and see animation on the scoreboard, you are viewing After Effects in action. The professionals creating these graphics often learn their skills in our After Effects courses. Many major sports teams across different leagues send their graphics professionals to After Effects classes or hire AGI to assist with training on motion graphics and animation training for scoreboards and displays using After Effects. After Effects is used to add impact to otherwise static objects. This can also involve corporate presentations with animation for slides, charts, and graphs. With the proliferation and affordability of high-definition televisions and other digital displays, many public venues, such as malls, retail stores, schools, and even military bases, are using motion graphics to both inform and entertain, and After Effects training helps make this possible.
After Effects training to understand animation workflow
There are some general principles for animation, motion design, and compositing projects that are helpful to understand when using Adobe After Effects. These concepts are covered in greater detail in the introductory After Effects course. Most video and animation projects can be divided into three distinct phases; pre-production, production, and post-production. Keep in mind that each project is different, and depending on the scope and size, some of these stages, such as production and post-production, might be consolidated. For many designers, the distribution step only involves determining the technical specifications for distribution.
Pre-production before starting After Effects projects
Pre-production is the planning or organizational phase of a project. Once a designer is brought on to a project, one of the first jobs that he or she will often have involves idea generation. For narrative projects, this is the point at which the script will be written and the look and feel of characters, background, props and other elements is developed. Much of this occurs before working in After Effects. Additionally, at this stage storyboards might be created. Storyboards are graphical representations used to visualize a project and are commonly used as visual organizers to conceptualize the flow of a motion picture, animation, motion graphic or interactive project. If a project is to utilize a voiceover or accompanying music, it will often be created at this point before the actual animation work begins.
Production using After Effects
For many animators and designers this is the main phase of a project. During this phase the assets that will be used in the animation are created. Depending on the type of project you are working on, these assets might include logos, characters, backgrounds or even abstract graphical elements. Once sufficient elements have been created, the layout and animation work can begin. When working on a project that will utilize After Effects, this often starts with creating layout mockups in Photoshop or Illustrator that can later be incorporated into your After Effects project files. The actual animation is usually what takes up the most amount of time during the production phase. Much of the introductory After Effects course covers skills needed during this phase.
Post-production with After Effects
When working on video projects, the post-production phase is extremely important, since this is where the editing, compositing, audio mixing and finishing occur. However, when working on smaller animation or motion design projects, the production and post-production phases can be consolidated. For larger projects, the After Effects animator might not be involved in this phase at all. These skills are covered in both the introductory and advanced After Effects class.
Primary Panels in After Effects
If you are considering taking an After Effects course, you will be learning about the many panels used in the After Effects interface. Here we describe many of the panels you’ll be using when creating motion graphics, compositing video, or visual effects.
Composition: The Composition panel is one of the most important panels in After Effects. It is the preview window and the main animation space that you work in when building an After Effects project. You can build your animated projects in this panel, and it has features you can use to change how your composition previews. Perhaps you want to create, show, or hide guidelines. Or maybe you need to isolate the alpha channel of your composition so that you can see which areas are transparent and which are opaque. This can all be accomplished in the Composition panel. In this exercise, you will work with the Composition panel to change the preview resolution of the display and learn how to reveal a composition’s alpha channel.
Effects Controls Panel: Use the Effect Controls panel to edit effects you have applied to layers in your Compositions. While this panel is not a part of the Standard workspace, you can access it using the Window menu by choosing Window > Effect Controls or by double-clicking any effect displayed under a layer on the Timeline. To access effects you have applied to a layer, you must first select the layer by clicking it in either the Timeline or Composition panels, or by using a keyboard shortcut. The layer numbers in your active composition correspond to the digits on the number pad if you are using a full-size keyboard. If you do not have a layer selected, or if the selected layer doesn’t have any effects applied to it, this panel remains blank.
After Effects Flowchart Panel: The Flowchart panel provides an organizational chart, or a graphical representation of the relationship between compositions and footage items in your After Effects project. The Flowchart panel is a passive tool that displays the relationship between elements in your project; you cannot use it to change those relationships. This panel can come in handy when working with very complex animations that might contain multiple nested compositions. To view the flowchart for a Composition, you must first select that composition in the Project panel or make it the active Comp in the Timeline, then chose Composition > Composition Flowchart.
The After Effects Footage panel: When working in After Effects, you will use the Footage panel to preview individual pieces of footage. Double-clicking any piece of imported media in your Project panel causes it to preview in the Footage panel. You can also use the drop-down menu at the top of the panel to choose footage to preview.
The After Effects Layer panel: Once added to a Composition in the Timeline panel, a footage item becomes a layer inside of that comp. In fact, any item that is added to a Composition becomes a new layer; this can include audio, video, text, solids, lights, cameras, and more. One of the aspects you will get used to when working in this application is that every item in the Timeline panel is its own independent layer. Double-clicking a footage layer in the Composition panel opens it in the Layer panel. A footage layer contains a file that has been imported into the Project panel, as opposed to an item that is created in After Effects, such as text or a composition. Some effects, such as paint, motion tracking, and stabilization, cannot be applied in the Composition window but must instead be applied in the Layer panel. Here, you will explore the Layer panel.
The Project panel in After Effects: The Project panel contains references to all the footage files (video, audio, and images) that you have imported into your After Effects Project. It also contains all the Compositions that you have created in your current project. The media items are denoted as references because of the way the program treats imported files. When imported, your media files remain in their original location on your hard-drive; After Effects creates a link to them. If these files are modified outside After Effects, the application generates a new preview and updates your project accordingly. This linking system is helpful because you can still manipulate imported objects in their original programs, such as editing an image in Photoshop. While very useful, linking files in this way can also cause problems: if you move, rename, or delete your original media files, After Effects will lose the link, and it will be unable to display the content. When working with imported media files in After Effects, you should always remember where the files are located and what their names are, because your project files need to be able to locate the objects you import to display them.
The Render Queue Panel in After Effects: Once you have completed your animation, you use the Render Queue panel to produce, or render, your project to deliver it for final output. Whether you are producing content for broadcast or broadband distribution, the Render Queue is your tool for exporting. You can use this panel to add multiple compositions, set the render options and destinations for each, and then render the compositions sequentially.
After Effects Timeline panel: The Timeline panel is one of the main panels used for creating animations. Each composition has its own independent Timeline panel, where you can animate layer and effects properties, position layers in time, and change the layer blending modes. When working with two-dimensional layers, the stacking order of the layers controls which layers appear farthest back, or behind, the other layers. The Current Time Indicator, also called the playhead, is the red vertical line that runs perpendicular to the Time Ruler. It indicates the current frame that is being displayed, moving as the animation or composition is played. The default display of the Timeline panel is the layer bar mode. It displays the composition time as a Time Ruler across the top of the panel, while layer names and properties are displayed to the left. The layer bar mode can also be switched so that the panel displays the Graph Editor, an advanced tool for animation that allows for more precise control of animated properties. Here, you will work with the Timeline.
Benefits of After Effects Courses
With all of the panels and complex capabilities, it's understandable that you may want help learning After Effects. Classes from AGI make After Effects easy to understand through hands-on practice and real-world exercises. Our proprietary curriculum developed by our expert instructors is included with the class, as our project files and the ability to re-take the class at no additional cost for a full year. Our five-star reviews from past clients make it clear that After Effects classes are a highly effective way to learn After Effects.
Other Resources for Learning After Effects
AGI also offers free After Effects tutorials including tutorials to help you understand the After Effects Workspace as well as help finding missing files in After Effects. These are all created by the instructors that teach our After Effects courses. You can also find related After Effects training news and information.