After Effects’ extensive and professional-level array of tools and features has made it the first choice for professional and amateur filmmakers and animators for a number of years now.
But for anyone that is just starting out with the application, it can have an intimidating learning curve. So, to help you create video backgrounds for your website and to also help get you on the path to visual storytelling genius, we have a 10 part video course that has been specifically designed by Envato Tuts+ to help anyone that is stepping into the world of After Effects for the very first time.
Before we get started, here’s a few more resources on Adobe After Effects that you might find useful:
- 50 Best After Effect Templates of 2017
- How to Best Use Video in Email Marketing Campaigns
- Current Video Background Design Trends & Best Practices in Web Design
Course Overview & Introduction to After Effects
Part 1. Overview and Getting Started
In the first part of this series, you are taken on a guided tour of the perplexing After Effects interface. You will learn how to open all of the project files that accompany each part of the tutorial, how to import assets into your project, and how After Effects projects actually work.
Part 2. Intro Project
In part 2 you’ll discover how easy it is to create a simple motion graphics product. The idea of this straightforward task is to give you more confidence and a better understanding while working within the AE interface, and also to learn some of the more common After Effects processes.
Part 3. Animation, Pre-Compositing & Nesting
This where the fun begins! In this part, you will learn all about the various animation tools and how to activate the animation for the layer and effects properties.
Part 4. Effects & Video
In part 4, we are shown many of the effects that are available in After Effects, and how to apply and animate each one. It all covers the importance of understanding the layer order of the applied effects and also gives an introduction to working with video.
Part 5. Text
In part 5, you’ll quickly learn how to create and manipulate text assets, how to edit fonts, and also take a look at paragraph boxes and how to add layer styles to text layers.
Part 6. Color Correction
This part covers blending modes and how to brighten and darken your footage, you will also discover how to create vignettes and how to use them for creative focus.
Part 7. Masks, Shapes & Rotoscoping
In this part of the series, you’ll learn how to create masks and how to manipulate mask settings, also learning how to create shape layers and explore the differences between shapes and masks.
Part 8. 3D, Tracking & Stabilization
In this in-depth part, you’ll explore the built-in 3D capabilities of AE, learning how to create lights, cameras, and 3D layers. You’ll also learn how to use Depth-of-Field and how to apply 3D-specific effects. And finally you’ll be introduced to Motion Tracking, Footage Stabilization, and 3D Camera Tracking.
Part 9. Audio, Parenting & Expressions
This part is all about the audio features in AE, and how to use audio assets. You will learn how to parent layers and how this can save you a lot of time and effort in compositing motion graphics. You’ll also learn how to implement expressions and how to amend them.
Part 10. Rendering
Finally, we are at part 10! In this final video, Dave takes a look at the rendering features and how to add your project to the “Render Queue”. Finally, you’ll learn about video codecs, why they exist and then take a look at some of the more common output versions.
This video series has been produced by Dave Scotland, a 12 year CG expert with a natural gift for making the technical seem simple. We are in good hands here folks.
Where do you go from here? Your next step could be to take your skills to the next level by exploring our extensive library of Envato Market and learn how the real pros put their projects together. Or, just have some fun with the template and put into practice some of the skills you learned today., or you could grab an AE template from
This article was originally published in 2015. Featured image: Devotchkah on Envato Elements