How To Play Adobe After Effects

Adobe After Effects is a robust software used for digital visual effects, motion graphics, and compositing in film making, video games, and television production during the post-production stage. The purpose of this blog post is to provide step-by-step guidance to those new to the software on how to utilize its features more efficiently.

Getting Started: Setting up Your Workspace

When you first open Adobe After Effects, you’ll be greeted with a welcome screen. Click on ‘New Project’ to start fresh. Once you’ve done that, you’ll find yourself on the main interface. It may seem overwhelming at first, but you’ll soon get the hang of it.

To start, let’s set up our workspace. This is highly personalized and depends on what kind of work you’ll be doing. For starters, go to ‘Window’ in the menu bar, then ‘Workspace’, and select ‘Standard’. This will give you a balanced workspace to start with.

Creating a New Composition

Think of a composition as a ‘scene’. It’s where all your layers will live and where most of the actual work is done. To create a new composition, click on ‘Composition’ in the menu bar and then ‘New Composition’.

You’ll see a dialog box where you can name your composition, set the size, frame rate, and duration. For beginners, the default settings should be fine. Click ‘OK’ when you’re done.

Importing Media

Next, let’s import media so we can start editing. To do this, go to ‘File’ in the menu bar and select ‘Import’, then ‘File’. From here, choose the files you want to edit and click ‘Open’. Your files will appear in the ‘Project’ window.

Adding Layers

Adobe After Effects works with layers, similar to Photoshop. To add a layer, simply drag and drop the media file from the ‘Project’ window onto the timeline at the bottom. You’ll see your media file appear as a new layer.

Playing with Effects and Animations

Now comes the fun part – adding effects and animations. Click on the layer you want to add effects to, then go to ‘Effect’ in the menu bar. You’ll see a huge list of categories – choose one that suits your vision.

To animate, you’ll be using keyframes. Click on the stopwatch icon next to any property (like ‘Position’ or ‘Opacity’) to create a keyframe. Then move the playhead to another point in time and change the property’s value to create another keyframe. After Effects will automatically create smooth animation between those two points.

Rendering Your Composition

Once you’re happy with your work, it’s time to render it. Go to ‘Composition’ and choose ‘Add to Render Queue’. Set your output settings and click ‘Render’. After Effects will now begin to render your composition.

That’s it! You’ve just created your first composition in Adobe After Effects. This software is a deep ocean with limitless possibilities, and while it may seem daunting at first, practice and exploration will make you more comfortable. Happy creating!