Learn Adobe After Effects in 30 Minutes | Phil Ebiner | Skillshare

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Learn Adobe After Effects in 30 Minutes

teacher avatar Phil Ebiner, Video | Photo | Design

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

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

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1 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Learn Adobe After Effects in 30 Minutes

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About This Class

In this beginner Adobe After Effects tutorial, you'll learn how to get started. Understand the program layout. Start new projects and compositions. Learn how to work with different tools like the shape, text, and pan behind tools. Learn how the composition window works, and how to navigate the timeline. Learn how to add and adjust effects.

Download the After Effects Project Files.

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Phil Ebiner

Video | Photo | Design


Can I help you learn a new skill?

Since 2012 have been teaching people like you everything I know. I create courses that teach you how to creatively share your story through photography, video, design, and marketing.

I pride myself on creating high quality courses from real world experience.


I've always tried to live life presently and to the fullest. Some of the things I love to do in my spare time include mountain biking, nerding out on personal finance, traveling to new places, watching sports (huge baseball fan here!), and sharing meals with friends and family. Most days you can find me spending quality time with my lovely wife, twin boys and a baby girl, and dog Ashby.

In 2011, I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Film and Tele... See full profile

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1. Learn Adobe After Effects in 30 Minutes: Hey, Phil. Embitter here from video school online dot com In this 30 minute adobe video, we're going to learn how to use Adobe after effects. So let's get started. I'm gonna open up adobe after effects. I'm using the C C 2017 version. Right now you can use really whatever version a lot of what we're going to do. In this lesson, you can do even in a previous version of after effects. When you open up after effects for the first time, you won't see recent files like I see right here these urges projects that I've worked on in the past. What you'll want to do and what I'm going to do is just click new project. Nothing happens in after effects. Unlike if you're used to Premier Pro, where it opens up a box where you have to set your settings and name your project, nothing is actually happen. And I actually don't have a project that I've saved yet The first thing we have to do is start doing something and so a quick sort of tour of after effects. We have our files up here are menus up here. We do a lot of stuff up here, like creating new project sequences or compositions, adding effects. Ah, lot of that can be done right within all these panels as well. If you're aftereffects doesn't look like this, just go upto window workspace and set it to the default workspace on the left. You have your project panel. This is where you can import footage, media, any type really photos, videos, graphics, anything Kenbrell in there in the middle is your composition window. This is where you will actually see the video you're working on. You'll do a lot of changes and editing right within their on the right. You have your different panels for adjusting settings such as here. You see the character panel is open. You can just click on any of these to open any of these other panels and then down below. You have the timeline, which is also a very important part of after effects. The first thing I do in after effects. If I'm not importing any graphics or media because with aftereffects, a lot of what you can do is either importing video footage and editing that footage, doing visual effects or creating more motion graphics within after effects and a lot of those effects and graphics you can create right within after effects without anything else . And that's what we're going to do today to create a new composition, which, if you're used to Premier Pro, is similar to a new sequence. Just click this new composition button here. You'll want to choose the settings that match the video project you're working on. If you're just creating a graphic or a video project all within adobe after effects, you can really choose whatever you want. HD TV They have these prep recess. The HD TV 10 18 29 97 is a great one. The with height 1920 by 10 80 is great for HD viewing online. The frame rates great if you are using after effects in conjunction with another video project or video, say you're using After Effects and Premier Pro, you'll want to match the settings that your choose here with the settings that you're working with in Adobe Premiere Pro. So, for example, a lot of my video issue at the 23 976 frame rate. So all changed the frame rate of my aftereffects project to that the duration of your composition. This is like the duration of your sequence is set in after effects. You can always extend it later. But for me, I'm just going to change it to five seconds. Leave the rest of these as isn't click. OK, now I have this composition open up in the middle and now I can save my project, which is the first thing you should do. So I'm going to press command as to save. Now I can choose where I want to save this. Let me save it in our after effects folder E in 30. Think click Save quickly. If you do want to import graphics, I have some graphics that I can show you how to import from the other adobe in 30 minutes courses that I've done, For example, if we have video that we want to bring in, we can just bring in that video right here, drag it into our project panel is going to import that video like Premiere Pro again. If you want to organize your footage, you can click this been or after effects. It's called a folder to create folders. So, for example, I personally would create video folders, photo folders, music folders, sound effects. If I'm doing that within after effects. Ah, lot of that kind of editing. I'll I'd personally like doing in Premiere Pro. Like any audio editing any just normal video editing, I typically only use after effects to create the graphics or to add visual effects toe add video to a composition. What I can do is just drag it right into the composition window here or drag it into the timeline right here. And I don't have any tracks like Premiere Pro. But if I drop this in here, what happens is I create a new layer in after effects, and I can drag this footage left to right to adjust where it's playing. So it's a little different than Premiere Pro. And the way I explained how Premiere Pro Works is that it's an editor for sort of linear editing across time, you know, going from one shot to the next to the next to the next, whereas aftereffects is all about layering, you know, adding text than shapes than other visual effects adjustments lives, so it's more of a vertical style of editing. So here we have our shot that we put in, which is a great background if I delete this or if I want to turn it off with this little eyeball but an hour on here, which you can do for any layer, you see that the background of this composition is transparent. How do I know it's transparent? Because I see this checkerboard pattern. If you don't see that, check this little toggle transparency grid button that will change what it looks like. It's not actually changing what the background is. It just allows you to see if it's transparent or not. If that bothers you, though, and you just want a black background, you can just turn that off. But I like having that there for now anyways. The next thing I want to cover are all the tools, or at least the main tools that you have up here to use. You have your selection tool. The keyboard shortcut is V, and if you hover over any of these, you see the keyboard shortcut. You have rectangle or shaped tools, and if you click and hold any of these tools, they might have other options. For example, in the lips or ah Polly Hunt. The pen tool is a great tool for creating custom shapes or masks the type tool. You've got other, more advanced tools, like the clone Stamp Eraser Tool Rodeo Brush Tool, which is great for rotoscoping and actually sort of getting rid of backgrounds. Green screen motion tracking, that kind of stuff. The puppet pin tool, which is cool for animating to those air. A little bit more advanced. And I have. And we'll have more tutorials on these kinds of things on the video school online YouTube channel. To use any of these tools, just click it and then, depending on what it is, you just kind of click and drag in the composition window. So now I have the shape tool selected. There's properties that pop up depending on what tool you have. So for shape, I have the Phil and the stroke, but I want to add a stroke. Say I want to just make sort of an outline of a rectangle. I can turn off the fill by clicking the film text right there, choosing it to none. And with the stroke, Aiken set the with to something a little bit whiter by clicking and dragging the pixels from left to right or by clicking in there and setting a pixel with you can change the color by clicking this little color box right here and say, We want to read sort of reddish grey box click. OK, and now if I click here finally, we have this red rectangle that I've created. You'll notice that a shape layer also pops up down here in our timeline. If we move this down beneath our other layers, it's going to disappear. Let me turn on the shop one. So now you don't see the shape layer, but if I put it on top, you see the shape layer. Let's add one more layer to this, and then we're gonna work with our timeline. Let's take the text tool if I just. If I click anywhere on my composition and start typing, you'll see that textures to appear over here on the right hand side, the character panel opens up, and if I highly all of this text, I can change the size, the spacing, the current ing, the leading, all kinds of things in this shape. One cool thing about aftereffects is there's an align panel. So if I have any layer selected, and I might just go back to our selection tools so I can easily select our layers and then I click thes center and horizontal, vertical and horizontal center. It will center to the composition, or if I select both of these and I horizontally and vertically center them, it will center them to each other on it. So first, let's actually just center the background shape layer to the composition itself and then the tax. Let's change the color of the text, go to the character panel, choose the fill color, and let's just pick something like light blue or something like that, something a little different. Cool. So now we have three different layers in our timeline. One of the biggest aspect of after effects are the properties for each layer. To get to the different properties on each layer, you can click this drop down triangle, which brings the transform properties of the layer, and pretty much any layer down here will have these same transform our properties anchor point position, scale, rotation, opacity, click and drag any of these, or click within and type in a number to adjust what this property is scale, for example. We can scale up and you can see that the skill is scaling from the bottom of the middle. L And that's where the anchor point is. If we want it to scale from, say, the center, we have to move the anchor point. We can do that with this anchor point position property down here. Or there's actually a tool that allows us to move the anchor point up here, the pan behind tool. And if we do that and then select our anchor point, then if we hold down the command key, that actually helps us because it allows us kind of locks or snaps the anchor point to different points of this layer. And if we wanted to be perfectly in the center, so that when we scale it it skills from the center, that's how he would do it. Keyboard shortcuts are great for making you a more efficient editor for any of these properties. You have a keyboard shortcut t brings up a pastie s springs up scale p brings up position are brings up rotation and a brings up anger point. So the weird one there was t for opacity, And that's just because oh takes you to the out point of this project or this timeline. So we have a different anti. Say you want to adjust multiple layers at the same time, you can select two layers. Say we want to change the size press s and then dropped the scale of those two layers with them both selected In terms of working with your timeline, you can use the scrub tool. Teoh Just scrub to you. You can press the space bar to play through or to nudge one frame at a time. You have to press command on a Mac or control on on a PC and use the arrow keys to go one frame at a time. These are basic properties, and knowing how to use these properties and animate these properties is what will really take your after effects Work to the next level, and you can do some amazing animations just with some simple animations. Toe enemy Any of these properties for any of these ones we've seen or any effect that we apply, we have to use what's called a key frame. A key frame basically is telling after effects that at this point in time, we want this layer to have this property. So, for example, if we want the size of Hello right here to be right here at the start of the video, we can set a key frame for the scale and to set a key frame for any property. Just click the stopwatch icon to the left of that property's title. So there you see that I click there, and now we have this little diamond that appears on the timeline. That's a key frame. So at that point in time, we've told after effects that we wanted to be 100% scale at one second. What if we want that Hello to be 150%? What we can do is just type in 150%. What happens is because we've changed the actual number here. The it created a new key frame because it's telling that after effects that from this point to this point, it needs to change well. What happens if at zero seconds it's 100% and then at one second it's 150%? There's an animation it doesn't just jump. So here you can see that if you play this, it actually increases in size. What if we want to do the same sort of thing, but with the shape layer, we can actually just copy these key frame so I can hover over them or click and drag over those two key frames. Copy them by pressing command. See, select my shape layer and then paste Command V. Now if I play this both the shape layer and the hello kind of increases in size, what if we want to reverse this animation easy? We can just reverse thes key friends by just dragging this 1st 1 to the right in this 2nd 1 to the left. So now if we line them up, we have a kind of interesting animation that goes like that now, not perfect. It's not a really amazing animation, but now you know how to create an animation with key frames. And you can do that with really any of the properties in after effects. So say we want to create a quick transition and opacity transition. I can select both these layers press tea on my keyboard, said a key frame for 100% and actually select those two and drag to the right and then drag the opacity down to zero to set another key frame for zero. So now these actually fade on. Pretty cool, huh? So you can imagine all of the different types of motion graphics you can create with those kinds of animations. And if you go to the video school online YouTube channel, you can learn how to make all kinds of lower thirds titles, other types of motion graphic animations. The last thing I want to talk about in this sort of preview of after effects is the effects tab. If we go toe effects and presets, you have all kinds of different effects that you can add everything from color correction to style izing. Let's just drop down stylized, and you can see if I take any of these and I drag it onto our video layer. What happens is it's applied, and in the top left, the effects control tab was opened, and that was behind the Project tab. With basically any of these effects, you'll have properties. I can open up these properties and see what I'm doing. Some of them. There's different presets. I change this. There's different presets, or I can go in and customize it myself. I have never even used this this kind of effect, but it's kind of cool. There are also presets, so if you go toe animation presets, there's lots of little presets that you can add. For example, if we want a transition, let's do a transition wipe. And then, if we just drag one of these corner, reveal onto this, you'll see that now there's a transition, a corner wipe transition from top to bottom. How do we change this animation, the speed or the timing of it? We bring up the key frames, and we added the key frames to bring up the key frames for any layer select layer and press you on your keyboard. You'll see that this corner reveal transition goes from 0% to 100%. If we want to make this animation faster, what do we have to do? We have to bring those key frames closer together, so let's take this second key frame and put at 12 frames instead of one second. So now it's a lot faster, so I'll let you play around with all of the different effects that you have over in the facts and presets Window. How do you export a graphic if you want to just export as a video file, The easiest ways to go up to composition goto add to render queue. This will open up the render queue tab down here where you can choose your settings. There are different presets if you click this down arrow next to Output module. I've created an H 264 preset, but they have different presets, or you can click the text to the right where it says lossless. And here you have your output module settings. Here you can go into the format options you can choose what you want. Apple Pro Rez is a great full resolution file, So if you're actually using this for a video project, I would suggest using either an animation or an Apple Pro rest for four for four type of Kodak. That's going to be perfect quality, full resolution, no sort of compression at all or, if you're trying to exported by, have a similar file size H 264 And if you have H 264 you can limit the data rate depending on how big your your video project is. For example, of its 1920 by 10 80 you might want to do something like 16,000 the data rate or, if it's, you know, 12 80 by 7 20 maybe 8000. Or if you're trying to save space, you can decrease that. When you're happy with these settings, click OK to choose where you're actually going to save it. Just click this text next output to I can choose what, the folder that I want to save it. We'll call this graphic click save and now to actually export it, just choose render. You can also do a very similar thing where you can export via adobe media encoder. If you want to actually work on your after effects projects while things are exporting in the background, what you would do is go up to composition at Adobe It media encoder que you can set your settings there is similar to in Adobe Premiere Pro and render there, too. So that's a quick rundown of how you can get started with adobe after effects. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial If you thought this was a little too fast. If you still don't understand how to use after effects, I have a full adobe after effects. Course that I encourage you to check out. It will break down all of these steps and walk through things more thoroughly with more detail. And it's more project based, so you can actually be creating your projects as we work through the lessons. So check that out at video school online dot com. Thank you so much for watching this video. Have a beautiful day and we'll see you in another tutorial.