After Effects for Beginners: Create Custom Transitions! | Duncan Rogoff | Skillshare

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After Effects for Beginners: Create Custom Transitions!

teacher avatar Duncan Rogoff, Video Editing & Motion Graphics

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Transition1

    • 3. Special Tip!

    • 4. Transition2

    • 5. Transition3

    • 6. Transition4

    • 7. Rendering

    • 8. Outro

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About This Class

In this course I'll teach you how to build your own custom transitions in After Effects using shape layers and basic keyframes to create a cascading animation for motion graphics.

I'll also share a tip for changing the colors of all your layers throughout multiple compositions in one place, by using the Color Control effect and a simple expression.

Fun, easy, fast to render, and looks great!  Use the basics I share to create your own unique transitions!


Other Beginner After Effects Courses:

After Effects for Beginners: Create Sexy Titles!


After Effects for Beginners: Simple Logo Reveal!


Meet Your Teacher

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Duncan Rogoff

Video Editing & Motion Graphics


Freelance video editor and motion graphics artist based in San Francisco, CA. Almost entirely self-taught and has spent many hours gaining knowledge from online tutorials on sites like

Check out my website:

Always looking for new, fun, creative projects, and to keep learning.

Clients include: Apple, Nissan, PlayStation, Charles Schwab, Visa, Salesforce, Facebook, Apple, WeChat, FICO, Slingbox, Marc Jacobs, Kat Von D, Sephora...

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1. Intro: everybody Duncan Rogoff Fear with another tutorial for skill shared dot com. In this course, I'm gonna teach you how to make four different custom transitions inside of after effects, using only shape players and some basic parameters. These transitions are easy to execute, fast surrender and look great, so let's get started. 2. Transition1: Okay, so here we are on aftereffects and this first transition, we're gonna be created, have some nice, simple shape players moving across the screen. And at the end, we go ahead and we reveal our footage underneath. Now it's footage is just here for an example. I'm gonna go ahead and shut that off so we can work a little quicker. So why don't we go ahead and start from scratch and go ahead and make a new composition by clicking on its composition icon here and make sure it's a set to 1920 by 10. 80 frame rate of 30 frames is good. I would probably don't need 20 seconds here. So why don't we just go ahead and drop that down to something like five? We'll just go ahead and name this transition one. Excellent. So here we are, inside of composition, we're just gonna go ahead and make our first shape. Let now we compress Q on the keyboard to bring up the shape tool. Or you can go up here in new toolbar to the rectangle tool and just select that now there are other options here. If you quick and hold can use a rounded rectangle on the lips, a polygon or star. So sometimes if you press Q, you'll see that this was just cycle through those options. But we really want to work with the rectangle here, someone to go ahead and draw a rectangle and you'll see that automatically creates a shape layer in our composition. The actual size of this doesn't matter, because I'm just gonna go ahead in here in my rectangle, going to the path and re sizes to 1920 by 10. 80. Now, you see that this didn't work correctly because actually, these properties are locked to each other. So whatever size that original rectangle is, it's going to scale it up proportionally. Someone's gonna un select this link here and set this X value back to 1920. Now a little off center here. So it is going to this Transform will set the position here. Zero here. Now, here we go. We got our first shapewear When a press you on the keyboard to hide all those parameters, we'll select this layer, gonna make our first animation now because of how I know this is gonna animate. In the end, I want to reset my anchor point, which will make things easier in the longer so I can take my ankle point and I can select the pan behind or anchor point tool. Or just press why on my keyboard, grab the anchor point. Move it all the way to the left, and if you hold down shift while you do this, you'll make sure you move on. Lee left and right and not up and down. So there we have. So let's go ahead and create a first animation. I'll select the shapewear will press P on my keyboard to bring up the position parameter. I'll go ahead and set a key frame. We'll drag this out to write about the one second mark right here and now. I'll go ahead. I'll drag my shape layer all the way off screen to the right. Now, if you find that this is moving a little slow, hold down shift while you drag these numbers and it should move a little bit faster. If I press space bar to preview our animation, There you go. Now that's a little boring. Not very exciting for me. I'm going to go ahead and said and ease on these key frames either by pressing F nine on the keyboard or right clicking and go into key frame assistant Eazy E's. Now we have these eases. This will ease in and I'll slow as you come to the end here. Now, even want to add a little more character, this a little more life. So I'm gonna hop into the graph editor here. I'm gonna grab the second key frame, and I'm gonna drag handle all the way to the left. This graph represents speed, so you can see here that we shoot up really quick and slow ease down into the final position. So now if you go back to our competition and I press space bar, you'll see this comes out really fast and then slowly eases into place. Now, we basically already done most of the work, which is great. So I was gonna take this first shape layer. I'm gonna duplicate the layer by pressing commands D on my keyboard or going up to edit duplicate. And now we won't really be able to see the difference quite yet. So first things first. I'm gonna go ahead. I'm gonna When 12 these arrows down go into my fill and change the color. It's making something different. Maybe a blue. I would offset this animation by five frames, going to go to the beginning on a frame forward, five frames by pressing command on the right arrow five times 12345 I can also come in here and just hit the number five and press enter. And that was not my play. Head to the fifth frame. Now I could just drag the second shape layer to my play head. And if I hold down shift, that's just snap into place. I can also Desprez the left bracket on my keyboard to achieve the same thing. And so now when I play this animation with two layers doing the same thing one right after the other. So let's go ahead and we'll make one more copy and then you see here we can go up to the failed or we can go back and 12 down these arrows and find it in the contents while we change. This fell to Dark red or something like that, and again we'll go to the beginning. Here will go forward five frames or just type in 10 Go to frame 10. Get the left bracket to snap my layer in place. We're going on a preview this again Pretty nice Now, for the final thing that we want to have happen is you want to have the shapewear scale that don't press s on my keyboard Instead, a key frame and your forward 30 friends frame to 10 and I'm gonna unclip constrained property here will set my ex value down 20 Let's see here and now we have this way. But because of our layers underneath, all we do is get back to blue not to the transparency that we want. So we can Dio is right here When this red layer is completely filled the screen you just take our other two layers by selecting both by holding shift could trim the ends by either holding All right bracket Or we could just come to the end here drag him all the back again holding shift to snap that into bless So now we play We'll see every nice transition. Now again, we're gonna want to ease these key friends again. Give it a little more life We'll select both the key frames and press F nine on the keyboard or right click and go to key frame assistant Yeezys. Well, pop back into a graph editor. I don't have the same speed round by dragging out that now we preview one more time, we're gonna have a made our first transition. Pretty cool. 3. Special Tip!: So I was gonna go ahead and show you one cool trick that's gonna end up having a ripple effect through all our compositions. This allows us to change the color of all our shape players without having to actually go back into each individual layer. We just do it all from one place. So I'm just gonna go ahead and make a new composition and we'll call this color control press. OK, now I'm gonna make a new adjustment layer by going upto layer new adjustment layer. You make a shape layer and no object. The type of hair doesn't actually matter, but I like using adjustment layer. We'll come over here to my effects and presets window and type in color control. It's gonna double quick. Add that to my adjustment layer when you go ahead and make three more copies of this. Because I know at one point we have four shape players and we'll set this 1st 1 that kind of pinkish red were using. Why don't we just go ahead, call this bank and we'll call this one blue and will make a nice blue uh uh, Nice on the yellow we want in there I don't want to call that yellow. And how about nice, Right? Go ahead. Call that deal. Now, this is going to use an expression, but we don't actually have to create it ourselves, so I really just want to get an expression out of here. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna make a new shape, layer. I was gonna make a rectangle again. I'm gonna hit Q draw a rectangle and I twirl this down and go into my Philip. And I'm gonna all too quick on the stopwatch here next to color cook off that for a second . It's like my adjustment layer. So it appears up here. Well, I'm just gonna drag and take this pick, whip, and bring all the way up into the pinko. You see? Now this automatically changed to match this color. Now, we're just gonna take this expression press command, see to copy it, going our transition one here press you on my keyboard to close down all those extra key friends troll this arrow down again, going to contents rectangle Bill, We'll all quick might stop. Watch again, and I'll just go ahead and taste that expression by pressing Command V. Now, if I quick off here, we'll get this error message because currently, if you look, this expression is actually representing this calm, meaning the composition that were in right now. So all we have to do let's go ahead and change this. Take out of this. Go to com parentheses, quotation marks, color space control end quote, close parentheses. We actually need a lower case C. There you have it now. One thing to be aware of is that when typing in the name of the composition, it's actually case sensitive. So if there's a space in color control, make sure you put a space in here. If the seas are capital in the name of your composition, make sure the Cesaire capital inside your expression. Otherwise, you get in hair. So there we have it. And so now this is the expression that we actually want will copy that. We'll go ahead into our shape layer to I won't click that stopwatch well paced in our expression. And here where it says pink, we'll change that the blue. Now we have our nice blue coat and we'll do one more for this last shape layer all clicked the stopwatch, paste our expression and change pink yellow again, making sure that if the wise capital in your adjustment layer the wise capital in your expression, you cook off it. And now it changed. So it's really cool about this. Now we can just go into our poor control and say, We want this to be a more saturated pink or even a less saturated, more pastel pink. We could just change it here. Now you can hit okay. If you come back into our transition, you'll see that now are pink is a much lighter shape, and this is really helpful if you're working in multiple compositions and you have a color that's repeating and you want to change it to make it a different shade or hue. And rather than having to go into each individual layer, units change it all from one place. There's a little bit of set up, but it saves you a lot of time in the long 4. Transition2: So why don't we go ahead and make our next transition? Here's what's gonna look like and again, we're only using the position and scale key friend. Super simple. So we'll start from scratch again. Popped into our main create a new composition. We settle this transition to press. OK, so we'll go ahead. We'll create a new shape layer come down here to the path unconstrained These will set this the full size and we'll hear this out for now. But actually, what we're gonna wanna have gonna wanna have this in the center of our screen is now. But breath s on my keyboard unconstrained these properties and scale on the Y value. You see that type animation? We're gonna go. So set that back 200. I'll go ahead and I'll set a key frame here, and it's only needs to scale out to about 50. We'll go ahead and won't drag that to the one second mark and we'll set this down 20 So now we preview it by pressing space. Far get slow moving animation. Not playing back in real time to see again. I said it to use on our key frames by pressing F nine. We're right looking going to keep frame assistant Eazy e's up into our graph editor. Drag out our hand. We got no, no. We compress p on the keyboard to bring up the position. Or we compress shift P to bring up the position as well as a scale property, said a key frame. Move forward 30 friends and drag this all the way off. It's the screener again will select their key. France will set an easy used by pressing F nine. Going to our graph editor will drag this second handle. Here's the first shapeless. Now we can just go ahead and duplicate this shape layer by pressing command D or going upto edit duplicate depressive you on the keyboard to bring up our key friends instead of scallion to 50. Here you just change that Tu minus 50 instead of going off screen, right and come to our last key friend and drag this one off all the way screen. Now, if we preview our animation a nice, smooth transition, well, simple, really effective kind of fun. And again, if we want to use different colors and come back into a first transition copy this expression Hop in our transition to world down or shapewear Go into the Phil Both clicked the stopwatch and paste our expression And now again, this is yellow. So if we come into our color control, change this yellow color toe to a bright green we can see that transition one has changed to a green in transition two has changed this color group playback. Now you have it. 5. Transition3: So this is gonna be our third transition. Go ahead and preview this for you again. Really simple. This is actually only using the scale cramp. It's going to start from scratch again. Great. A new composition. Call this transition three. Now go into our shapewear tool Will select the lips tool will quick I will hold shift and command at the same time to drag out directly from the Senate. If you just hold shift, you'll see we scale in one direction in the direction that were moving the cursor. But if we hold shift and command, you can scale out directly from the center. Now we can go into the contents going to transform zero out of position. Make sure a circle is right, senator. And again, we can already begin Change the color, but all clicking, stopwatch, pacing our expression. We've got a yellow circle. Well, the owner keyboard to get rid all that press s to bring up the scale parameter. We'll set a key frame. We want to drag this up all the way until the circle completely fills the frame. Making sure you cover all the corners will drag this out toe one second I said a new key frame at zero playback. We'll go ahead. Well said it Use on these key frames pressing F nine going to the graph editor. Drag out our handle and he was the first shape. No, go ahead and will duplicate that shape two more times. We'll go forward. Five frames. Grab a shape layer to move that over. Go forward. Five more friends. You have a shape layer three, Move that up. You can select both of these. Press you twice on the keyboard. Now if you come in here, we can change this from yellow teal and the second layer from yellow. The book. Now, if we play back, we have a three shape legs. No, I have to do to compress you to hide all this. Press you one more time to bring up our key friends and see here on our scale we can go forward. We could scale our last layer all the way back down to zero, making sure that we've trimmed our shape players previously, once they're all full screen. My present All right bracket trip to the selected Play it. So now you see if we go to the beginning and press space bar. They all scale up and the chill circle scales back down, revealing whatever layer we have again. Super simple, really quick to render looks pretty nuts. 6. Transition4: So here's the last transition. We're gonna go ahead and make today nice cascading animation. So we'll start from beginning great new composition. We'll call this one transition for, you know, go ahead and making your shape layer press Q A couple times in the keyboard to cycle through our rectangles. And it was gonna make a rectangle here. Calm down. Going to the path. I know. I want this to be the full height. I'm gonna unconstrained it. So Aiken Genesys property independently Want this to be 10 80 tall? Why don't we just do 300 wide to start now? Go ahead and transform this and zero this out. So we're right in the center. That's you on my keyboard. Closed that down. Select my shape layer Press p Bring up the position parameter said a key frame for position . Drag that Ford one second. It's like my y value and drag us all the way down to the bottom. Play that back comes onto the screen cells in the place. Now again Slept with his key friends. Press F nine on the keyboard. Easy. Use them going to my graph editor. Drag out this handle now you can drag out the left handle, too. What'll happen here is it'll start slow and speed up as you get You see that shoot into place? I like the other way better. Someone's gonna stick with that. That's what we've been doing so far. So once we reach here, I want to bring up the scale parameter for pressing shift s set a key frame. Unconstrained our properties. Go forward to two seconds. Scale down the X value zero again. It's like both are key frames. Right? Click Got a key frame Assistant Eazy e's hoppin or graph editor. Select our Lasky friend. Drag that up now you can go ahead. Roll this down. Oh, quicker color. Hey, star expression. And now we have yellow again, All controlled by our color control. Why don't we go ahead Said this one press to you to get rid of everything. Duplicate this three more times. Go to frame five Oppressing command right era to Frank Ford frame Drag this over to play head. Go forward Five more frames bag over shape layer three and five more. Select All of these will hit you twice to bring down all our properties. We'll change this last one To teal Jane. Shape layer three, the blue shapewear. Too dark yellow press to you to get rid of all those. Now, you see, if we go back to the beginning, we have this nice repeating it. But they're all the same sex, so we can go ahead and shapewear to open up our contents. Open up our path. We can set this something like 800. Be the same for shapewear. Three for all that down said our size. Something like 1200 and once more for shapewear for and set this last one full friend 1920 can see we have this cascading animation, but our layers aren't quite in the right order. So oppressive you to hide those. We could just shift these down to below one, three below 24 all the way at the bottom. So now we go back to beginning playback. We have a nice cascading animation looking pretty nuts. 7. Rendering: Now you can build your transitions right in after effects if you just want to drop a video layer underneath and that will take the place of this transparency grid. Or you can render these out with an Alfa Channel, either as a PNG sequence or as an apple pro rez. 4444 with Alfa just gonna show you how to do that real quick, especially if you're working a different editing software like Premier. It's really nice just to have one file instead of having to create a whole bunch of different compositions so we can just go up the composition. Add to render queue combat our output module well, quick that we'll go into our options here. We'll change our Kodak toe Apple Pro Erez for 444 because this version of Apple Progress supports the Alpha Channel will select it and hit OK and so make sure and this channels dropped down. You change this from RGB RGB plus Alfa. Go ahead and click. OK, we can change the output destination by clicking here saying that something like the desktop hitting save and then cooking render now you'll be able to bring that in as an M. O. V file into all your editing software will include the Alfa Channel, and you could just drop this right over any of your video layers, and you'll have this transition. 8. Outro: thanks so much everyone for joining me just to recap in this tutorial. We weren't how to make custom transition using Shea players and after effects, we talked about creating your shapewear how to size it and position it correctly in the frame had animate the properties and duplicate the files to create a cascading animation. We also learn how to use a color control expression to change the colors of multiple layers with inside the project. Thanks to get everyone. See you next time.