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Adobe After Effects Level 1: Introduction

Adobe After Effects is the industry-standard tool for designing professional motion graphics and digital visual effects for use in film, television, and web video. Motion-graphics professionals, visual effects artists, and other professionals use animations and composites created in After Effects everywhere from your local news station to Hollywood’s biggest blockbuster films.

During this three-day training course, students will discover the tools and techniques necessary to create high-quality motion graphics in After Effects. We will start with the basics -- importing footage, adding effects, and animating a composition -- and then progress to creating a brand-new composition using content from Adobe Illustrator, built-in effects, layering, and transparency. The combination of animated text, layers, and custom shapes will soon coalesce into a full multimedia presentation – and perhaps a cornerstone of your professional portfolio.

Students will learn the secrets behind the movie magic of green screens and special effects -- how to utilize masks, keying effects and the Roto Brush tool to create these complex compositions. We will use the Roto Brush tool to isolate objects and either change the background or apply effects to the foreground. Our course concludes with lessons on color correction and 3D camera tracking.

Prerequisites: Some experience with Adobe Photoshop and/or Premiere Pro is beneficial but not required for success.


After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Navigate the After Effects interface and identify how the different tools are used in the workflow
  • Create basic animations and special effects using presets
  • Manipulate key frames and layers to add production value to a project
  • Add professional touches to projects by creating, importing, and animating text
  • Distinguish the impact between parenting layers versus nesting compositions
  • Generate composites using transparency, mattes, and other effects
  • Harness the power of motion tracking to create compositions with movement
  • Define transparency with keying to easily remove backgrounds
  • Clean up footage by removing unwanted elements and correcting colors
  • Enhance 2D footage with the 3D elements using the 3D camera tracker

  • Course Content

    LESSON 1: Your workflow

    • Creating a composition and arranging layers
    • Adding effects and modifying layer properties
    • Animating the composition
    LESSON 2: Creating a basic animation
    • Creating and rendering a new composition
    • Working with Illustrator layers
    • Applying effects, animation, and transparency
    LESSON 3: Animating text
    • Creating and formatting point text
    • Using a text animation preset
    • Animating with scale keyframes, parenting, Photoshop text, path animation, text tracking, opacity, and a text animator group
    LESSON 4: Working with shape layers
    • Creating custom shapes
    • Incorporating video and audio layers
    • Applying Animator effects
    LESSON 5: Animating a multimedia presentation
    • Animating the scenery using parenting
    • Adjusting an anchor point
    • Keyframing a motion path
    LESSON 6: Animating Layers
    • Simulating lighting changes and lens flare
    • Duplicating an animation using the pick whip
    • Animating movement in the scenery
    LESSON 7: Masks
    • Creating and editing a mask with the Pen tool
    • Adding a reflection
    • Creating a vignette
    LESSON 8: Using the Roto Brush Tool
    • Creating a segmentation boundary
    • Changing matte and background
    • Adding animated text
    LESSON 9: Performing Color Correction
    • Color balance and color correction
    • Replacing the background
    • Removing unwanted elements
    LESSON 10: Working with 3D Camera Tracking
    • Tracking the footage
    • Creating a ground plane, a camera, and the initial text
    • Realistic shadows and ambient light