After Effects PreviewCoolest. Effects. Ever.
This preview tutorial series preps students to learn how to integrate Adobe After Effects into their video workflow. While there is no Adobe Certified Associate yet for this software, we here on the ACATestPrep/Brainbuffet team have been working with Adobe on developing standards and expect to see a NEW ACA exam within the next year or so! This is of course, is not our decision to make- but we get the feeling there’s support from both Certiport and Adobe and suspect it will happen!
Keep checking back- this tutorial set will soon be available to our members to preview!
Kaiden Barlow; Digital Compositor
Joe Dockery teaches digital arts courses at Mount Si High School in the Snoqualmie Valley School District, Washington. He weaves community service into all aspects of his curriculum to ensure his students receive authentic learning experiences. Dockery also consults and trains nationwide on the use and integration of Adobe software.
Special Note For Teachers:
Editing video with Premiere Pro or After Effects will probably challenge your computer lab computers. It’s really important to have the right system setup for working with video! We recommend that you read this article from Adobe on “Improving Performance” when using After Effects. You might even want to share this with your tech people that help you manage your lab.
We developed a pacing guide for the course that should help you in planning your delivery of the material. Remember that every student will work through the material at a different pace so try to build in some extra credit opportunities for your speedsters.
Project 1 - Introduction
Project 2 - Rightside Car Wash Commercial
Project 2 – Getting Started
Creating a new composition
Place art into a composition and fixing broken links
Working with shape layers and blend modes
Animating the opacity transformation
Building a reflection using a pre-composition and effects
Working with text
Adding preset text animations
Find a photograph of an emergency vehicle to animate the flashing lights. Time to pull out your old matchbox cars or Lego vehicles!Quiz 2
Project 3 - Animated Quote
Project 3 – Company Slogan
Find a short quote or goal statement to animate. Make sure to practice moving the anchor point and putting a little bounce in your scale.Quiz 3
Project 4 - Mountain Outfitters Commercial
Project 4 – Mountain Outfitters Commercial
Take a photograph of your favorite club, sport or class to use as the background for this challenge project. Then animate some text or a logo onto the background using rotation and at least one other transformation property.Quiz 4
5 - Mount Baker Commercial
Project 5 – Mount Baker Commercial
Using guides to layout design
Working with typographical options
Animating with the position transformation – Spacial Interpolation
Animating with the position transformation – Mt Baker Project
Using a track matte
Exporting – Multiple exports with the Media Encoder
Take a selfie or use a great photograph of yourself as the background. Then animate your name onto the project using a track matte and position keyframes.Quiz 5
6 - Cool Credits
Project 6 – Cool Credits
Storyboarding with a client
Working with text
Creating a new workspace
Animating with the anchor and scale transformations
Adjusting a motion path and easying keyframes
Exporting and challenge projects
Find or take a photograph of a large group of objects, people or other things. This really helps if you start with a high-resolution image. Then zoom in/out of several locations using the anchor point and scale.Quiz 6
7 -Travel Map
Project 7 – Travel Map
Planning Your Route
Starting Your Map
Designing a path
Animating the path with the stroke effect
Animating the stars
Creating an expression controller
Duplicating visual elements
Exporting and challenge project example
Challenge Project Ideas:
This is your chance to be creative and practice the techniques, shortcuts, and workflow. Use your own images and try combining techniques for each of the lessons. This projects will be the video that you can add to your portfolio, they will be unique and personal so unleash your inner creative beast!
Option 1: Use your school map to create an animated clip that illustrates the emergency exit routes. You could also twist this into designing parking routes or bus flows. I bet your old elementary school would love one! Example
Option 2: Design a treasure map and then animate at least 4 steps.Quiz 7
8 -3D Projects
9 -Tracking and Time
Project 9 – Tracking and Time Remapping
Trimming video clips with the footage panel
The motion tracking workspace
Motion Tracking controls
Motion tracking options
Analyzing your motion tracking
Working with a null object
Parenting a visual element to your null object
Time remapping with keyframes
Applying time remapping and working with adjustment layers
Exporting two comps with the render queue
Talk with football or soccer team about getting some highlight footage. Use your new time remapping and tracking skills to create a highlight reel for an athlete.Quiz 9
10 - DJ Project
Project 10 – DJ Project
Organizing the project panel
Project panel options
Keying out green screen with Keylight
Green screen shooting techniques
Obtaining permissions from models and “Greeking”
Motion Tracking the eye
Masking tools and techniques
Animating the mask
Option 1: Try combining a variety of photos, video and text using blend modes and mattes to create a cool moving title for a project.
Option 2: Shoot your own green screen footage and practice using Keylight to replace the background.
Option 3: Take a photograph of your stereo and a snippet of a cool song to replicate this activity.
11 - Sounds Awesome
Project 11 – Sounds Awesome!
Animating text on a path
Connecting an effect to an audio track
Converting audio to keyframes
Using an expression to animate an effect to the audio keyframes
Using Adobe Media Encoder to add meta data to your exports
Create a 10 second intro for your school television broadcast that includes at least one thing that is connected to the music. Try the audio waves effect and make sure to animate a little text on a path.Quiz 11
12 - Master Of Puppets
Project 12 – Master of Puppets
Find a photo of your favorite actor or cartoon character and use Photoshop to cut them out. Save the file as a .png file with a transparent background. Then use the puppet tool to animate the image.Quiz 12
After Effects Practice Test
Quiz yourself on EVERY question in all the After Effects quizzes here on ACATestPrep! Great practice and review for the real thing- and remember, when you miss a question… DON’T JUST MEMORIZE THE ANSWER! Figure out why you missed it, and if you aren’t totally solid on the concept, review the video that covered the concept.
Certification is a nice piece of paper to have… but only because it opens doors to make movies for a living!!! Make sure you know what you need to know to have fun with After Effects as a hobby or a career! BOOM!
Quizlets: These are great as individual or partner study tools. You can download the app on your smart phone and study anytime!
Kahoots: These are great as a whole class study tool. You can use them as an exit assessment or review before the exam. It will even give you a spreadsheet of your student results if you want to use it as a formative assessment tool.
Study Guides: We have created some .pdf study guides that you can download or print off as references or study guides throughout the course. They focus on the keyboard shortcuts and After Effects Interface.