After Effects Tutorials for Film Editors
- Watch After Effects tutorials for common tasks editors face
- Learn about the latest features and improvements in After Effects
- Tutorials on animated lower thirds, logos, compositing and more!
Learning how to use After Effects is an valuable use of any editor’s time. Having the skills to perform common tasks like creating animated lower thirds and titles, compositing, stabilisation and even object removal can greatly enhance not just your current projects, but your future job prospects too.
In this second instalment of After Effects for Editors, I’ve gathered together a host of useful tutorials on the kind of tasks that editors might frequently encounter.
Check out Part 1 for a decent round up of resources to help you get started with After Effects, understand fundamental design principles behind motion design and animation and grab some free projects and assets. Plus there is a run down of some free and paid for After Effects plugins.
But first I thought it was worth quickly re-capping the latest Adobe After Effects announcements from IBC, which will be ‘shipping sometime soon’. This first video will take you through them all in under 2 minutes.
The biggest new thing coming to Adobe’s Creative Cloud is the introduction of Team Projects, which allows for seamless multi-artist collaboration. This will be an additional paid service by the sound of things.
This video will give you a bit more detail about the new improvements to the 3D workflows in After Effects thanks to the tighter integration with Cinema 4D Lite.
If you’re not up to scratch on the previous update to After Effects (2015.3) then check out Karl Soule’s presentation from NAB 2016, which runs through all the new features which were announced in June 2016 and bug fixed in August 2016.
In this episode of AE Blues from Roei Tzoref you can get some wise advice on updating Adobe apps and his favourite features in 2015.3 and why you will want to upgrade including performance improvements, Media Encoder queuing and more.
Lower Third After Effects Tutorials for Editors
If you’re an editor who doesn’t use After Effects all that much, then sometimes you just want to learn how to do a few things effectively and jump into AE to get them done in a jiffy. These tutorials should set you up for completing day-to-day tasks with ease.
Although this first tutorial from Maxwell Ridgeway is fairly slow paced, the benefit of seeing all of the trial and error (keyframe placement etc.) is that it helps you understand how each adjustment improves the final animation.
Maxwell creates several common lower thirds mimic those from an After Effects lower third pack. A variant or combination of the techniques used to create each of these should set you up for making animated lower thirds for life!
If you have more money than time, or no time at all, grab some free and paid for lower third packs in the first AE for Editors blog post.
In this shorter tutorial from a much younger sounding instructor you can learn how to create a straight forward animated lower third. The benefit of this tutorial is that you’ll learn the essentials of masking, keyframe interpolation, and the graph editor. All of these were also covered in detail in the first blog post in this series.
In this tutorials from Mikey you can learn how to create dynamically re-sizing lower thirds, that will expand or contract depending on the length of the contents.
The techniques here are more advanced but Mikey takes you through them step-by-step and creating one of these templates will be a huger time-saver in the future.
In this last lower third’s tutorial from the always excellent PremierePro.net you can learn how to create ‘Premiere Pro driven After Effects templates’, so that you can make adjustments to your After Effects templates with parameters in Premiere Pro. This totally removes any need to render and replace or round-trip between the two apps.
What can you achieve with these techniques?
That’s entirely up to your imagination and your coding skills. Basically, any parameter for any effect on any layer in any comp can be controlled from Premiere. Use your imagination!
Anything that’s keyframable in After Effects can also be controlled by expressions – and you can control expressions with text links from Premiere.
Jarle covers everything, including the expressions code that he uses, in this supporting blog post so be sure to check that out, if you want to replicate that he’s doing.
As an extra tip for on-screen graphics check out Video Revealed’s Colin Smith’s great little tutorial on creating animated bullet points in Adobe Premiere Pro.
It’s a much smarter and more efficient way to create these kind of graphics, especially in text heavy corporate videos!
Basic Compositing Tutorials in After Effects
The other task you’ll mostly turn to After Effects to effectively solve is compositing elements into your scene, or taking them out.
In these easy to follow tutorials from Evan Abrams Youtube Channel you can learn some very useful techniques. To download the project files from these tutorials and for more of Evan’s work check out his official site. In this first tutorial you can learn how to put signs over people, which will teach you how to motion track a video and apply that tracking to another element.
In the first part of this series I talked about Fayteq’s Fayin plugin which does a lot of this stuff for you in a couple of clicks.
In the second tutorial from Evan Abrams you can learn how to put things behind things in a scene in After Effects. This is a three part process of tracking, adding the element and using mattes to solve the occlusion problems.
What’s great about each of Evan’s tutorials is that he regularly adds in little tips how to do the basic things that he’s doing as he goes along, such as keyboard shortcuts etc.
In this more advanced tutorial Sean Mullen from Rampant Design demonstrates how to do ‘wire removal’ from a stunt shot. These techniques would work for removing any kind of object from a scene, so it’s worth taking the time to fully digest what Sean’s doing.
Roto tip: Sometimes it's faster to have a completely new shape each frame per frame than tweak existing ones. pic.twitter.com/EfIsSuUql1
— Thrill Strahl,C.S.I. (@PhilStrahl) September 14, 2016
This tweet from colorist Phil Strahl has a good tip for anyone doing difficult rotoscoping work.
Sky replacement is not a paint by numbers thing. Each time you do it… it might be the same as other shots, it might be easy, it might be difficult.
For a quicker overview of some further sky replacement techniques check out this nice behind the scenes/tutorial from Marc Lediard.
Last but not least, is this super famous tutorial (1.4 million views) on how to add motion to a still photograph using the parallax effect. The second video goes into a bit more detail in response to viewer comments.
Learning how to do this well can really add polish to a documentary or corporate project that involves a lot of still photos.
Logo Reveal Tutorials in After Effects
In this recent tutorial from Evan you can learn how to create an animated fly through logo reveal. They key to this is having a vector graphic for your logo file which means that it can scale to any size and now lose quality, something that you might not always have to hand.
If your client can’t provide this you might need to re-build their logo in Illustrator. Evan talks through some of this at the beginning of the tutorial.
In this interesting tutorial from Mikey you can learn how to combine page peel and an animated mask to create an animated ribbon logo reveal.