Adobe After Effects can be quite intimidating. It is a graphics program that allows you to add photos, videos, and audio to your graphics. Graphics are more common than you realize and can boost your production or project. Here are some tips on tackling Adobe After Effects.
The first thing you need to know is what you want to use After Effects for. There is a common misconception that After Effects is a different type of video editing software, this is not the case. After Effects is not designed to directly edit video. You can import video into it to add to your graphic, but you should not directly edit a video in After Effects or use it strictly for video editing purposes. After Effects is perfect if you want to create a title sequence, interesting text, or an effect you are unable to make in a video editing program.
A good first step is to play around with text. Type up some words and bring them on and off screen, make them bigger, or make them disappear. This will help you learn the after effects controls and see what it is capable of. A good exercise is to write a word with a them and make it appear that way. For example, type the word “fuzzy” and make fur appear on the word.
The next thing you can try is importing photos in and make a composition moving them around. Build a scene with a city background and play around with masking out a character to put onscreen. This will teach you to anchor your background image and how to create masks in After Effects.
Now you can try adding different effects such as rain or particles. These require a lot of patience, practice, and playing around. Unfortunately, you’re not going to build exactly what you are trying to make in five seconds or less. This program is wonderful, but requires patience and time. Practice is key, even dropping it for two weeks can set you back. There are also options to create 3-D spaces in After Effects, after much practice.
Now you can try using After Effects! It is a program that requires time and practice, but can create wonderful graphics for your projects. What will you start with?