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Most efficient and sensible way to learn

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Joe Stas
Most efficient and sensible way to learn
on Jan 15, 2011 at 4:37:40 pm

Hi,
I have been using various video editing programs for some time and thought I should now learn to dip my toes into After Effects. I have a fair bit of time on my hands so can put in the effort as I heard it's a very hard piece of software to master.

I've done the basic tutorials on VCP and some of the more advanced ones. I coped OK with those but I am still at a point where I'd struggle to produce an effect without having a tutorial in front of me.

Is there any particular advice you could give me with regards to learning? Are there any good books or DVDs or online tutorials that you would recommend?

Thanks a lot for your time
Joe


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Todd Kopriva
Re: Most efficient and sensible way to learn
on Jan 15, 2011 at 5:02:28 pm

I recommend starting here to learn After Effects. That post points to resources (including books, a DVD training series, and some online video tutorials) that will take you from the very beginning to having a very good understanding of After Effects.

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Most efficient and sensible way to learn
on Jan 15, 2011 at 10:08:51 pm

All that you mentioned and what Todd recommended are excellent resources.
I will add one more- spend time playing with the software, experiment, give yourself assignments and try to decompose effects on paper or in your mind and then replicate them in the software. If you can, ask an experienced AE artist (or a vfx artist that uses other soft) to let you sit in and watch. Don't focus on the specifics of the soft, but on the way they think. Some of the craft is passed on that way- software is a tool, but the ideas come from the mind. You can learn how to use a tool from videos and books, but to make magic happen it takes skill and experience and that can only be "stolen" from a master or acquired in time.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Joe Stas
Re: Most efficient and sensible way to learn
on Jan 16, 2011 at 10:30:33 am

Thanks ever so much for your helpful advice. I will take it all onboard!


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Cory Petkovsek
Re: Most efficient and sensible way to learn
on Jan 17, 2011 at 6:55:57 am
Last Edited By Cory Petkovsek on Nov 5, 2014 at 11:28:41 am

Learn by doing. You need a project. Get a client, or make your own creative project. Tutorials are cool to show you new ways of doing things, and explain features, but your learning will be severely limited relying on them. You'll learn best by needing to do something, then figuring out how to do that. A tutorial is most effective in this situation.

Cory

--
Corporate Video


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Walter Soyka
Re: Most efficient and sensible way to learn
on Jan 17, 2011 at 4:57:42 pm

[Cory Petkovsek] "Learn by doing. You need a project. Get a client, or make your own creative project."

As usual, Todd, Tudor, and Cory have offered outstanding advice.

I think the thing that makes learning by doing through projects most meaningful is that projects impose contraints. Working within a set of rules forces you to generate creative solutions to a project's challenges.

Check out Nick Campbell's Five Second Projects [link] for some good constraints to help you learn. Every few weeks, Nick posts a theme and challenges his readers to develop a five-second animation around it.

On the subject of tutorials, I'd add this: tutorials teach techniques. Blindly duplicating a tutorial is no different than slapping on an effect with a canned preset. If you want to stand out, you can't be like everybody else -- so work to understand the technique from a tutorial and adapt the concept for the specific needs of your own work.

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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