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Getting started with Adobe After Effects: Video 101

Posted By Guest Post On May 3, 2011 @ 9:00 am In How-Tos | Comments Disabled

The following lesson was created by Vimeo for its Vimeo Video School [1]. It’s used here with permission. Look for a new lesson each week.

Want to get started with After Effects but don’t know where to begin? In this lesson Nick Campbell will guide you through you some basics to help you create your very first project.

The first thing you want to do is make a new composition. The composition window resides in the middle, all of the elements will be on the left hand side, effects on the right hand side and your timeline is at the bottom. Each thing you add to your canvas will create a new layer in your timeline so each item can be controlled separately. As you’re working you’re going to want to sometimes render your project to play it back and watch it. Instead of rendering the entire project you can scrub in the timeline to where you’d like it to render and hit “B” for the beginning, then scrub to the end and hit “N” so it will only render the part you’d like to see.

You can create inverted alpha mattes on top of objects to effectively cut holes into other objects if you were to place one on top of another. If you want to duplicate a layer or layers, highlight the ones you want to duplicate in your timeline and hit Command D.

You can create a pre-composition by highlighting all your layers and hitting Shift Command C. What a pre-comp will do it merge all your layers into one which references your original animation. Now you can use that one piece of animation and easily duplicate it and manipulate it.

So what have we learned?

  • Each item you add to your canvas creates a new layer
  • You can create masks to cut pieces of of those layers
  • Only render and playback the piece you’re working on
  • Create a pre-comp to easily duplicate certain animations for re-use

Here’s another great example video done by Nick in After Effects using precomps!

Check back next week to learn the difference between frame rate and shutter speed, or view more lessons at the Vimeo Video School [1].


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URL to article: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/getting-started-with-adobe-after-effects-video-101/

URLs in this post:

[1] Vimeo Video School: http://vimeo.com/videoschool

[2] Keep it in Focus: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2013/04/keep-it-in-focus-video-101/

[3] Understanding Jump Cuts: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2013/04/understanding-jump-cuts-video-101/

[4] How to Make a Non-Profit Promo: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2013/03/how-to-make-a-non-profit-promo-video-101/

[5] How to Connect Your Computer and TV: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2013/01/how-to-connect-your-computer-and-tv-video-101/

[6] The Many Uses of a Ring Light: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/12/video-101-the-many-uses-of-a-ring-light/

[7] How to Make an Infinity Wall: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/12/video-101-how-to-make-an-infinity-wall/

[8] How to Make an Animated Title Sequence: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/12/how-to-make-an-animated-title-sequence-video-101/

[9] Essential Video Gear for Traveling: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/07/essential-video-gear-for-traveling-video-101/

[10] Learn Final Cut Pro Keyboard Shortcuts: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/04/learn-final-cut-pro-keyboard-shortcuts-video-101/

[11] Get Great Results from Smartphone Video Cameras: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/03/get-great-results-from-smartphone-video-cameras-video-101/

[12] Light up Your Videos with a Bounce: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/12/light-up-your-videos-with-a-bounce-video-101/

[13] What Is Motion Design and How Can You Use It? Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/12/what-is-motion-design-and-how-can-you-use-it-video-101/

[14] Fast Focus Tips for DSLRs, Video Cameras, Smartphones: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/11/fast-focus-tips-for-dslrs-video-cameras-smartphones-video-101/

[15] Color Your World with Gels and Light Diffusors: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/11/color-your-world-with-gels-and-light-diffusors/

[16] Get Some Perspective with POV: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/11/get-some-perspective-with-pov-video-101/

[17] Learn to Create Scary Special Effects: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/10/learn-to-create-scary-special-effects-video-101/

[18] Learn to Use Zoom, Moving Camera, & Moving Zoom: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/10/learn-to-use-zoom-moving-camera-moving-zoom-video-101/

[19] What Is Crop Factor and Why Does it Matter? Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/10/what-is-crop-factor-and-why-does-it-matter-video-101/

[20] Who's Who on the Crew? Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/10/whos-who-on-the-crew-video-101/

[21] Room Tone -- Why You Should Capture the Sound of Silence: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/09/room-tone-why-you-should-capture-the-sound-of-silence/

[22] How to Create Storyboards: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/09/how-to-create-storyboards-video-101/

[23] The Best Tripod Tricks: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/08/the-best-tripod-tricks-video-101/

[24] Varying Your Shot Composition: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/08/varying-your-shot-composition-video-101/

[25] Learn to Create a Tilt-Shift Effect in Your Videos: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/08/learn-to-create-a-tilt-shift-effect-in-your-videos-video-101/

[26] Setting the Pace While Editing: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/08/setting-the-pace-while-editing-video-101/

[27] Nighttime Video Shooting with a DSLR Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/nighttime-video-shooting-with-a-dslr-camera-video-101/

[28] Create a Timelapse Video with a DSLR Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/create-a-timelapse-video-with-a-dslr-camera-video-101/

[29] Recording Sound for DSLR Cameras: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/recording-sound-for-dslr-cameras-video-101/

[30] Shooting Video with a DSLR Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/shooting-video-with-a-dslr-camera-video-101/

[31] Choose the Right DSLR Accessories: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/choose-the-right-dslr-accessories-video-101/

[32] Choosing a DSLR Lens: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/06/choosing-a-dslr-lens-video-101/

[33] Learn How to Set Up Your DSLR Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/06/learn-how-to-set-up-your-dslr-camera-video-101/

[34] The ABCs of DSLR Cameras: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/the-abcs-of-dslr-cameras/

[35] The 180-Degree Rule Explained: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/the-180-degree-rule-explained-video-101/

[36] Learn the Difference Between Frame Rate and Shutter Speed: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/learn-the-difference-between-frame-rate-and-shutter-speed/

[37] Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 (CS5.5) Now Available: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/adobe-creative-suite-5-5-cs5-5-now-available/

[38] How to Create a Timelapse Movie: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/04/how-to-create-a-timelapse-movie-video-101/

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[41] Mastering Three-Point Lighting: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/04/mastering-three-point-lighting-video-101/

[42] How to Color Correct Your Videos: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/how-to-color-correct-your-videos/

[43] How to White Balance Your Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/how-to-white-balance-your-camera-video-101/

[44] Learn to Hold Your Camera Like a Pro: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/learn-to-hold-your-camera-like-a-pro/

[45] The ABCs of Tripods: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/the-abcs-of-tripods-video-101/

[46] The Basics of Image Resolution: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/the-basics-of-image-resolution-video-101/

[47] Stop Shaky Camera Syndrome: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/02/stop-shaky-camera-syndrome-video-101/

[48] Editing with Windows Live Movie Maker: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/02/editing-with-windows-live-movie-maker-video-101/

[49] Editing with Apple iMovie: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/01/editing-with-apple-imovie-video-101/

[50] The Basics of Video Editing: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/01/the-basics-of-video-editing-video-101/

[51] How to Shoot Your Video: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/01/video-101-how-to-shoot-your-video/

[52] How to Choose a Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/01/video-101-how-to-choose-a-camera/

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