ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS: Forum Expressions Tutorials Creative Cloud

How to excel at After Effects?

COW Forums : Adobe After Effects

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Cole SkoryHow to excel at After Effects?
by on Jan 28, 2014 at 5:47:29 pm

So I'm 15 and want to go into video creation as a profession so I bought a camera I bought the entire Cs6 Production Suite, and have been using after effects religiously. At the moment I'm at a stand still with my skills. I know all the basics of after effects but I want to excel at it and be amazing with it. I've done all of andrew Kramers Video CoPilot's after effects training but at the moment I don't know how to get any better? What advice would you have? I am learning blender so I can add 3d graphics to my videos. Thanks again.


Return to posts index


George GoodmanRe: How to excel at After Effects?
by on Jan 28, 2014 at 7:29:35 pm

Video Copilot is a great resource. I also recommend Lynda.com - I find that they do a little bit more on explaining the building blocks where as Video Copilot feels a bit more like tips and tricks to me. They are subscription based, but have all types of software. It's worth the investment if you're truly committed and have the time.

Get really comfortable with Illustrator and Photoshop as well, this helps a lot. Now that c4d Lite comes with AE, you might want to get a jump start on that too. I prefer it to blender.

Learn expressions as best as you can. They can automate sooooo much work for you when used well and can make things look awesome!

Peruse the creative cow forums often. Ask questions. I answer as many questions here as I can. Not just to be helpful, but also to learn. You can see what other people are doing by what kind of questions they ask. Sometimes, even if they don't know how to do something, the idea behind what they are trying to accomplish is very valuable and can help you in future projects. And, if you can't answer it, follow the thread if it's of interest because someone probably will.

Find your style. Follow video creators that you like and watch videos daily. Dissect what you like about them and try out some of their techniques. I use vimeo because I do a lot of explainer videos and some of the best animators are there. I also follow youtube channels that have AE tutorials.

Compile resources and then put them into an RSS aggregator. It helps sort everything out for you, and you can always stay on top of what's new.

Do projects for other people and companies. When you have to solve other peoples problems, it takes you a bit out of your comfort zone and will push your limits a bit. Also, if you want a job in this, you're going to have to be able to do it anyway.

So those are a few things you can do. The short version is just keep doing it and finding ways to push your limits and you'll get better.

Hope that helps!


"|_ (°_0) _|"

Sincerely,

George


Return to posts index


Greg NeumayerRe: How to excel at After Effects?
by on Jan 28, 2014 at 11:15:40 pm

It's hard to know what you don't know. I'd recommend finding someone that needs some work done and get messy doing a real world project. You'll start to discover all the things you don't know, and the things that you'd like to be better at for a particular project. The skill-sets can be far-reaching, from big things like C4D integration, keying, compositing, expressions, scripting, footage, and output, to small things like bugs, workarounds, and memory efficiency.

I've been using AE professionally for 15 years and every project has me Googling something to get some input or a solution.

Dive in! Each new project will stretch you, especially if you have a real project (even free) where you have aclient that requires you to solve the problem. Clients are especially good at helping you know where you skills need improving!

Enjoy!

Antifreeze Design
http://www.antifreezedesign.com


Return to posts index



Walter SoykaRe: How to excel at After Effects?
by on Jan 28, 2014 at 11:44:55 pm

My short answer is this: don't excel at After Effects. Excel at design or compositing.

Tutorials teach specific techniques. You can learn the mechanics of animation or motion graphics or compositing from tutorials, but you cannot learn art direction or design from them. Strong visual and design skills come with study, intention, and practice -- not anything you can get in 30 minutes of web video.

Find work you admire, and study it. Take it apart and try to understand what makes it work. Don't just look at the mechanics of the animation or the comp (how the animator or compositor did it), but actually try to see how each element moves the story forward (why the animator or compositor did it). Study as many pieces you admire as you can find and see how they use visuals to convey a feeling or message.

Next, practice. This is the most important step. You will learn more by creating a project for yourself and really pushing yourself to execute it well than you will just watching tutorials. Give yourself mini-briefs to build your project around. They don't need to be huge projects -- you can still learn a lot from just working on short pieces or even single shots.

Finally, review your work with someone you respect and trust, who will give you honest feedback about what works well and what doesn't. Listen, learn, and strive to make continual improvements.

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
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


Return to posts index

Matt DavisRe: How to excel at After Effects?
by on Jan 30, 2014 at 4:42:59 pm

I agree with the other advice provided already.

And you're off to a great start! The best way to learn is to do. I also learned a lot of tricks from Video Co-Pilot and from these forums, but where I've learned the most is from DOING stuff.

I took an advanced three day course in After Effects and learned next to nothing. I spent one afternoon making one of my friends shoot lightning from his hands at my other friend in AFX and learned a TON.

So take your camera out and goof around with your friends, your siblings, or even your Mom! Even if it's just a half-baked 10 second effects idea with no story or script.

The first effects shot I ever did was when I was 19 with a point and shoot still consumer still camera that happened to shoot video. I shot my friend pretending to shoot a fireball from his hands, Street Fighter style. I spent hours playing with the footage and in the end it looked pretty sweet.

Shoot something and then see what you can make out of it. Learn from what went wrong. How could you make it easier next time? What solutions did you have to find that you can add to your tool box for next time?

Seek advice when you need it, but stumble around for yourself and see what you can work out.

Have fun!

Matt


Return to posts index

Mark SamuelsRe: How to excel at After Effects?
by on Apr 23, 2014 at 12:16:06 pm

I know exactly how you feel which is why I came across this post. I decided about 5 years ago that I needed a career change and so I went back to school. I had been tinkering around with photoshop and after effects and enjoyed it so I decided to try and find an area where I could build on these skills. I ended up doing a degree in media arts. Although this has been helpful and pushed me further to explore things it barely taught me any technical skills. I had to do a lot of stuff I had no interest in instead. I have struggled for 3.5 years now to teach myself what I could but like you Cole I feel I like I am a bit stuck. I do lots of tuts online but then I watch amazing animations by people on vimeo etc and I kind of feel depressed because I don't know how to move forward and get from where I am to where I want to be. Instead of feeling inspired I just feel frustrated and sad. Progress is so slow when you are alone trying to learn online. Quite often I will spend days just trying to find out one little thing by posting on forums but not getting anywhere. It's incredibly frustrating when you want to learn so bad , when you have a creative yearning and want to make something of yourself but don't know how. What I really need is to perhaps find an internship somewhere. Perhaps then I might begin learning something real instead of just how to make a demon face or lightning bolts out of someone's hand etc. Even getting an internship is a daunting process though as they ask for "amazing self motivated designers/animators" for no salary!! I'm at a loss of how to get anywhere with this.


Return to posts index


Walter SoykaRe: How to excel at After Effects?
by on Apr 23, 2014 at 3:16:29 pm

[Mark Samuels] "I do lots of tuts online but then I watch amazing animations by people on vimeo etc and I kind of feel depressed because I don't know how to move forward and get from where I am to where I want to be... What I really need is to perhaps find an internship somewhere. Perhaps then I might begin learning something real instead of just how to make a demon face or lightning bolts out of someone's hand etc."

Don't take tutorials literally. Look for the lessons behind the tutorial.

When you do a demon face, don't just think of it as a recipe for making demon faces. Look at the ingredients in that recipe -- tracking, distortion, coloring -- and use them in other scenarios. Can you make a baby face? A robot face? What if it's not a face at all? Can you turn an apple into a balloon?

Give yourself an internship. You will not start growing as an artist until you challenge yourself. Don't start with a huge project; just start with a single shot. Write a miniature creative brief -- a sentence or three on what you'd like to accomplish visually -- about something that's not tutorial fodder. Imagine the end result, then try to think about how to combine the building blocks you have learned from tutorials to create it.

Start up a new thread here if you get stuck. We will help you. Tell us where you want to go, show us what you've got so far, and explain that you want a hint, not a solution.

Good luck!

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
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]