How to Learn After Effects

How to Learn After Effects

If you cut video, or are into production you might have the desire to learn after effects. It's a very deep program with fairly steep learning curve. But it's really not that bad and you can quickly learn to do simple things if you learn to understand the core functions of how the program works.

I was working early in my career one day and I said to myself, "I'm sick of this, I'm learning after effects." When I started to learn it wasn't as easy as it is today. There wasn't nearly as many tutorials as there are now, and didn't even exist. So what did was get one of those DVD packs that teaches you everything. The one I used was Total Training for After Effects 6.

Here is a link to it on amazon Total Training for Adobe After Effects CS5: Essentials. It's very affordable.

You can also use After Effects CS4 Essential Training. I used these guys to learn Apple Logic. I like them but they don't go as deep as Total Training. 

Once I had Total Training I dedicated an entire weekend and went through every tutorial, not just watching them, but doing them. That is important. Once that was done, I had a pretty solid understanding of how the program worked and could figure out a lot of things on my own. Then it was all just about learning trick's and learning the different plugins. A lot of things are done with plugin's these days. 

Here are a list of some great sites with amazing After Effects tutorials. (This guy's good. He's the guys all the youtubers use now for all their bullet effects and explosions. Notice they all look the same?) (This site has been around a long time. It's got a great user base. Andrew Kramer from Video Copilot was here first. It's a great forum with a lot of information.)

Youtube (Try doing a youtube search. There are a ton of great tutorials little whippersnapper post now. Most  will usually just be rehashes of what's already on

You'll find a lot of tutorials will use 3rd party Plugin's that you do not have. VideoCopilot is actually really good about not doing this. So again, start there. 

Here is a list of some of the very popular plugin's people are using.

Trapcode Suite

RedGiant Effects Suite (They actually now own Trapcode but still have a different set of plugins)

Borisfx (They have some great tools as well.) 

Of the top listed the most popular is probably Trapcode Suite. RedGiant has the Magic Bullet plugins which are really good for color correction looks. 

If your interesting in learning more color correction techniques you can go here.

Follow these steps and you should no longer be lost on how you should learn After Effects.

It really helps to go through the DVD and find a small project to work on that you can practice with do you don't forget. 

Here is a video some friends and I made as a little joke using some of these turoials on

Have fun!


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