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Teaching After Effects

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Gary Looft
Teaching After Effects
on Sep 15, 2011 at 8:51:17 pm

I have been using AE for quite some time and was recently asked to teach it to someone one-on-one for $. Are there any resources out there for someone getting into the teaching thing? There are some old posts on this forum about a syllabus but the links are dead.

If anyone has any guidance regarding teaching, please post.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Teaching After Effects
on Sep 15, 2011 at 10:16:00 pm

I'd suggest you consider having your student buy an existing book and using it as the guide for your one-on-one sessions. Let the book provide the structure for your lessons and serve as a reference for your student when you're not there. You will provide the individual attention, explain and demonstrate the concepts, help your student through the parts they find most challenging, and show a few tips and tricks along the way.

Here's a thread from a few months ago that may be helpful to you:

Teaching is tough if it's your day job, and it's very tough if it's not.

You have to try to understand what it's like to approach After Effects without all the knowledge you already have. You have to start with many concepts that we take for granted: how the user interface works, what media is, what a composition is, what frame sizes and rates mean, how images are comprised of pixels, and how those pixels are mixed from channels, and how to change those values. You have to cover how layers may be combined to create comps. You have to cover properties of a layer, and then the idea of changing those properties over time. You have to review the tools and the effects, and show how they can be combined. You have to touch on compositing, animation and design basics.

If your student is already familiar with other video software, it's very helpful if you know that too, so you'll understand the language they'll use and the biases they'll have.

Good luck! Teaching is very difficult, but a lot of fun and incredibly rewarding!

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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Todd Kopriva
Re: Teaching After Effects
on Sep 16, 2011 at 6:53:11 am

I've done little other than teach After Effects for a living for the past several years. This video series is the culmination of that:

You can just check out the outline without buying the video series and get an idea of what I think a good curriculum is for learning the basics.

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support

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Gary Looft
Re: Teaching After Effects
on Sep 16, 2011 at 5:21:15 pm

Thanks Todd. I'll definitely take a look.

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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Teaching After Effects
on Sep 17, 2011 at 1:21:05 am

1) Teaching AE in a classroom environment is many times more difficult than creating online tutorials.

- you can and should expect questions on the most basic AE rudiments to very advanced post production issues outside of AE and your syllabus

2) Your syllabus and its structure is the most important aspect of your training

- your syllabus should be attuned to your students such that the syllabus takes into account their prior knowledge and experience and ensures that they complete the training with a level of competency that will allow them to tackle projects suited for the course level that they have attended.

- you have a choice between having a syllabus that is tutorial-based where different topics are covered more or less at one go OR a topical-based course in which a particular topic is covered singularly, in greater detail.

- just a few weeks ago, I was asked by an Adobe Authorized Training Centre to conduct a 1-day, introductory course involving 3D in AE, MochaAE, and other basic and advanced topics. It was the craziest/silliest request I have received in my 10 years of conducting AE training to professionals and final year college students.

- within 10 minutes of looking at the content of a syllabus and how it is structured, I can tell if the trainer knows their stuff. it is imperative that students increase their knowledge and gain confidence progressively. while there are many ways to do one thing in AE, when it comes to teaching AE, many times there is only one way in which to cover a range of topics. take note that my classes are topical in nature and not tutorial based which takes a different route to teaching AE.

3) Ensure that students leave the training with course materials that will allow them to revise and pick up new stuff on their own.

- where possible, I ensure that my students obtain a copy of the Meyers' "Creating Motion Graphics with AE". most students will only retain about 40-60% of what you teach them in class.


Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Asia.

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