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After Effects CC Digital Classroom Book with video training

Adobe After Effects CC Digital Classroom is like having a personal instructor guiding you through each lesson, while you work at your own pace. This After Effects book and training videos includes 12 self-paced lessons helping you learn essential skills and explore new features and capabilities of Adobe After Effects.

  • Full color lessons with easy to follow step-by-step instructions
  • Video tutorials highlight key topics in each lesson
  • Covers all essential After Effects skills
  • Gets you up-and-running quickly with included lesson files and video tutorials you access online
  • Written by expert instructors who regularly teach After Effects training courses – it's like having your own personal tutor
  • Used by hundreds of schools and more than 100,000 readers

After Effects CC Digital Classroom Book with video training Sample Video

After Effects CC Digital Classroom Book with video training Contents

Starting Up

  • About Digital Classroom
  • Prerequisites
  • System requirements
  • Starting Adobe After Effects CC
  • Fonts used in this book
  • Loading lesson files
  • Working with the video tutorials
  • Viewing the video tutorials
  • Additional resources

Lesson 1: Understanding Motion Graphics

  • Starting up
  • Defining motion graphics
  • Television and video graphics
  • Internet and mobile devices
  • Desktop distribution and presentation graphics
  • Understanding the animationw workflow
  • Pre-production
  • Production
  • Post-production
  • Digital video basics
  • Understanding video formats
  • High-definition television
  • Standard-definition television
  • PAL
  • Web and mobile device video
  • Film
  • Understanding frame rate and resolution
  • Understanding transparency
  • Self study
  • Review

Lesson 2: Understanding the After Effects Interface

  • Starting up
  • Understanding and working with menus
  • Opening an existing After Effects project
  • Understanding the After Effects panel system
  • After Effects panels
  • Primary panels
  • Understanding the workspace
  • Viewing and hiding panels
  • Docking and undocking panels
  • Resizing panels
  • Saving a custom workspace
  • Resetting the workspace
  • Setting After Effects Preferences
  • Changing the default undo levels
  • Enable Auto-Save
  • Syncing After Effects settings
  • Self study
  • Review

Lesson 3: Media Management— Working with Images, Video, and Audio

  • Starting up
  • What is Media Management?
  • Locating missing files
  • Projects, compositions, and layers: an overview
  • Creating a new project
  • Importing media files
  • Organizing the Project panel
  • Modifying the column displays
  • Creating folders and subfolders
  • Renaming files
  • Using the Footage panel
  • Previewing stills and video
  • Previewing audio
  • Trimming a video clip
  • Importing multiple files
  • Importing Photoshop and Illustrator files
  • Importing image sequences
  • Importing After Effects compositions
  • Locating missing files
  • Using the Interpret Footage dialog box
  • Looping an audio or video file
  • Using Remember Interpretation
  • Using the Collect Files command to consolidate files
  • Self study
  • Review

Lesson 4: Animation Workflow in After Effects CC

  • Starting up
  • Setting up
  • Understanding the animation workflow
  • Creating and working with compositions
  • Creating a new composition
  • Understanding composition settings
  • Importing compositions 
    from Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Working with layers
  • Understanding layer stacking order
  • Changing layer names
  • Creating movement by animating the Anchor Point
  • Animating rotation
  • Using layer parenting to ease repetition
  • Animating position
  • Understanding motion paths
  • Using layer motion blur
  • Adjusting Motion Blur settings
  • Using blending modes
  • Applying layer styles
  • Understanding nested compositions 
    and precomposing
  • Adding nested styles
  • Pre-composing layers
  • Creating a fade-in by animating Opacity and Scale
  • Self study
  • Review

Lesson 5: Working with Masks, Track Mattes, and Keys

  • Starting up
  • Working with masks in After Effects CC
  • Creating masks with the shape tools
  • Selecting and manipulating masks
  • Animating the position of masks
  • Working with mask feathering
  • Setting the Mask Feather Property
  • Setting Per Vertex mask feathering
  • Creating freeform masks
  • Setting up the project
  • Creating vertices with the Pen tool
  • Animating the shape of masks
  • Understanding track mattes
  • Creating track mattes
  • Creating mattes from animated Photoshop files
  • Creating a chroma key with Keylight
  • Creating a garbage matte
  • Creating a chroma key
  • Refining the matte
  • Self study
  • Review

Lesson 6: Working with Text

  • Starting up
  • Creating text in After Effects CC
  • Setting text properties globally
  • Formatting individual characters
  • Animating text properties
  • Saving an animator as a preset
  • Working with text animation presets
  • Modifying animation presets
  • Creating a few common text animators
  • Creating a typewriter effect
  • Creating a blur-in effect
  • Creating text on a path
  • Self study
  • Review

Lesson 7: Working with Audio

  • Starting up
  • Audio in After Effects
  • Previewing audio
  • Adding audio files to the Timeline
  • Viewing audio file metadata
  • Looping audio files in After Effects CC
  • Animating audio levels
  • Working with audio effects
  • Using composition markers to set the beat
  • Naming composition markers
  • Refining the position of composition markers
  • Syncing animation to composition markers
  • Creating keyframes from audio files
  • Self study
  • Review

Lesson 8: Working with 3D in After Effects

  • Starting up
  • Previewing animation with RAM preview
  • Working with the After Effects 3D
  • Creating 3D layers
  • Using multiple viewports
  • Understanding 3D Transform properties
  • Understanding Material Options
  • Animating 3D layers in After Effects CC
  • Creating and using lights
  • Understanding light properties
  • Animating light properties
  • Creating and using cameras
  • Understanding basic camera options
  • Animating camera properties
  • Creating the depth-of-field effect
  • Creating a Rack Focus shot
  • Working with the After Effects 3D Layers
  • Creating a Ray-traced composition
  • Extruding and Beveling Text
  • Creating Reflections
  • Importing Cinema 4D files
  • Self study
  • Review

Lesson 9: Advanced Animation

  • Starting up
  • Animating with effects in After Effects CC
  • Applying effects to layers
  • Animating effect properties
  • Saving animation presets
  • Applying and modifying effects presets
  • Time-reversing a layer
  • Using the Motion Sketch panel to capture motion
  • Controlling layer orientation
  • Using the Smoother panel to soften movement
  • Using the Wiggler panel to add frantic motion
  • Creating acceleration and 
    deceleration using Easy Easing
  • Changing spatial interpolation in After Effects CC
  • Adding easing to keyframes
  • Using squash and stretch to enhance the animation
  • Animating with the Graph Editor
  • Create a strobing effect using hold interpolation
  • Self study
  • Review

Lesson 10: Tracking and Stabilizing Footage

  • Starting up
  • Understanding Video Stabilization and Tracking
  • Using the Warp Stabilizer in After Effects CC
  • Using the 3D Camera Tracker
  • Attaching 3D layers to Track Points
  • Creating screen replacements
  • Tracking motion in video footage
  • Self study
  • Review

Lesson 11: Using Expressions and Scripts

  • Starting up
  • Automating animation with expressions
  • Finding pre-built expressions online
  • Adding expressions to properties
  • Using the loopOut() expression
  • Using the random() expression
  • Using the Time property with expressions
  • Using the wiggle() expression
  • Working with scripts
  • Installing and running scripts
  • Creating scripts
  • Finding additional scripts
  • Using and running scripts
  • Using scripts included with After Effects CC
  • Using third-party scripts
  • Self study
  • Review

Lesson 12: Outputting After Effects Projects

  • Starting up in After Effects CC
  • Rendering files for output
  • Understanding the Render Queue
  • Adding compositions to the Render Queue
  • Adjusting render settings
  • Duplicating jobs in the Render Queue
  • Rendering compositions in the Adobe Media Encoder
  • Creating render templates
  • Exporting an SWF
  • Trimming and cropping compositions
  • Rendering an individual frame
  • Self study
  • Review


  • Appendix A 
    Adobe After Effects keyboard shortcuts
  • Appendix B 
    After Effects secondary panels
  • Appendix C 
    Importable media formats
  • Appendix D 
    Understanding bit rate
  • Appendix E 
    Understanding Video Displays