I’ve used Adobe After Effects for over 10 years so here is a very quick guide on getting started. Adobe After Effects is one of the best motion graphics and animation software products out there and these tips will be ideal for anyone who is interested in starting out. This is a short and sweet draw from many years of experience.

Adobe After Effects looks scary – can you recommend any tutorials?

YES. YouTube – all day long. YouTube is an unlimited library of highly focused and extremely good quality videos available and they are free.

YouTube producers earn good money from advertising revenue, so there is incentive for them to make quality content.

It almost doesn’t matter how specific you need it, a tutorial seems to exist for nearly everything.

  1. Begin searching “Adobe After Effects tutorials for beginners” and watching a couple 10-20 minute “getting started” “user interface basics” tutorials
  2. Try to make something and render it from what you’ve picked up
  3. Look for tutorials for animated abstract backgrounds and text effects. Just following these, you will pick up all of the basics – keyframes, basic expressions, using shape layers, using solids, using adjustment layers and null objects to control other layers
  4. Watch tutorials at 1.5-2.0x speed (press shift + <, or shift + > on the keyboard to change video speed). When you watch a tutorial, it’s one thing to copy it to perfection, but ultimately you’ll get to the point where you just want to pick up a few random tips – watching it at a higher speed gets you there quicker
  5. Go out of your way to control everything using shortcuts. When you first begin to use any new piece of software, you will quickly develop workflow habits. In the long run, it makes a massive positive difference to learn shortcuts.

Future tutorials in this series will show how I edit my Custom Song Preview videos in full detail.