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Create stunning motion graphics with Adobe After Effects

  • Published on January 8, 2014
Create stunning motion graphics with Adobe After Effects

Even if you're not aware of it, motion graphics are everywhere. From the intro sequences of popular TV shows to commercials, motion graphics can enrich virtually any video project and breathe new life into even the blandest corporate promo. If you're hoping to catch customers' eyes or spice up your marketing materials with engaging video, After Effects training can help you master these exciting and diverse animation principles.

What are motion graphics?
Simply put, motion graphics is the art of combining assets such as images, type and vector graphics with animation. In After Effects, motion graphics work is done using compositions, which function similarly to Photoshop's Layers system. You can incorporate hand-drawn illustrations, vectors, raster images and even typography into a single composition, which can then be "nested" inside another composition to accomplish some very impressive effects. Each individual element can be animated by itself, allowing you complete control over what appears in your shot and when, in addition to the various effects you can apply to each layer. 

What can you do with motion graphics?
The applications of motion graphics are endless, as you can use this technique to accomplish a remarkable range of tasks. Need to simplify a complex topic? Use animated graphics to break it down step by step. Want to bring a little more excitement to your next presentation at the office? Why not animate bar graphs instead of using a PowerPoint presentation? You can use motion graphics projects to add greater visual flair to an existing video project, or you can create an entire sequence of animated graphics that will stand alone and blow your clients away.

How do I get started with motion graphics?
Taking After Effects training courses with the American Graphics Institute is an excellent place to start. During these training courses, you'll learn the fundamentals of the After Effects interface, before moving onto topics such as importing footage and other assets, the principles of animation and how to use the timeline, and the application of various effects such as motion blur, color correction and even animated presets such as explosions, shattering and more.

Once you've mastered the basics of After Effects, you'll be ready to learn how to bring your compositions into existing video projects using editing software such as Final Cut Pro. After Effects training is the ideal way to dive headfirst into the exciting world of motion graphics and post-production. Whether you're looking to make a career change or expand your skill set, the American Graphics Institute can help you realize your goals.

About the author

Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which have sold more than one million copies. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he delivers Google Analytics training along with workshops on digital marketing topics. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.