Film School: Polish Your After Effects

School of Motion | 3 Powerful Tips for After Effects Beginners School of Motion | 3 Powerful Tips for After Effects Beginners

Easy-to-apply tips, powerful results.

School of Motion is one of the best resources I’ve found for After Effects lessons, and their tutorials often reveal hidden, powerful possibilities with basic tools of which you’ve perhaps only scratched the surface.

Quick Reference

  • Graph Editor – go beyond simply adding “Easy Ease” for more control of the speed up / slow down of movement, to customize the look of your animation
  • Adjustment Layers – as in Photoshop, affect the look of several layers at once
  • Posterize Time – slows the frame rate; often used to give the “staccato, jittery feeling” of a vintage animation look
  • Roughen Edges – gives clean lines a worn, “evolving” look
  • Sneaky Transitions – a basic technique for switching out objects – without effects

Here are five more tools & techniques, which allow for more refinement of both the final animation, and your workflow:

Quick Reference

  • Motion Sketch – drawing a motion path by moving the object
  • Motion Smoothing – either after or while drawing the motion path
  • Copy/Paste Shape as Motion Path – “automagic animation”
  • Convert to Paragraph or Point Text – toggle “rectangle type” (as in Photoshop or Illustrator) functionality to text in After Effects
  • Mask Effect  – localise an effect to a particular section of a layer

More lessons at School of Motion.