Starting with Adobe After Effects in 2020 — 5 Must-Know Features
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Adobe After Effects is exceptionally versatile software. If you don't start doing this until 2020, there are five things you should learn ASAP.

Whether you want to create high quality motion graphics or develop stunning VFX, Adobe After Effects is more than the right choice. Of course, since the software can do so much, it can be intimidating to learn.

Where should a new user even begin? Exactly here. Here are five things I wish someone had shown me in my earliest days with After Effects.

1. Terminology

Before starting my journey with motion graphics, my experience was limited to Final Cut Pro X. That meant the first time I opened After Effects, I was exposed to a number of new terms, some of which related to features and concepts I was familiar with other names in other programs. For example, a project in FCPX is a sequence in Premiere Pro is a composition in AE.

Let's clear everything up. Here is a quick reference to the various name differences between Premiere, FCPX, and After Effects.

2. Keyframes

Keyframes mark the point in time when you specify a value for a layer property. Using them effectively is central to working with motion graphics.

For example, if you want text to move from left to right within two seconds, use two keyframes by creating a keyframe with the X position on the left side of the screen. . .

Adobe After Effects: First keyframe

And then another two seconds later – the X value that brings your text to the right. Once you've played it from the beginning, the text will move between the two X. values ​​you entered.

Adobe After Effects: Second keyframe

When a piece of text moves between two points at a steady pace, it looks very unnatural. This type of rigid, steady movement is not common in everyday situations.

Think about it. When you cycle between two points – say fifty meters apart – you start slowly and increase in speed. Then, before you stop, slow down gently rather than stopping abruptly.

That's how you add Simple ease works in After Effects. This is what moving text looks like without Easy Ease.

Here is the same text with Easy Ease. Notice how much more natural everything feels when the speed changes slightly at the beginning and end of the movement.

To apply this to your own footage, Right click Your keyframes and choose Simple easeas shown in the following screenshot.

Adobe After Effects: Easy to use

With that, you can have even more control over how your assets move between keyframes Diagram editoras seen in the following clip.

3. Motion blur

Motion blur is an absolute game changer! When animating an asset, it is important to keep the asset's movements from looking mechanical, jittery, and good-looking, as if they were slammed into a computer program. This is where motion blur comes into play. This is what moving text looks like without motion blur.

Why does motion blur make a difference? Most of the footage you see has a shutter speed of 1/50, which means that each frame is longer than 0.2 seconds. If something is moving quickly, this is long enough for the object to have moved in that time, resulting in a slight blur around the moving object.

Beautiful, smooth, and visually pleasing footage is the result of all of these blurry images coming together. Our eyes and cameras add this blur, of course, but we have to artificially apply it when we create motion graphics, as shown in the example below.

Adding this effect is surprisingly easy:

  1. Create an asset and animate it.
  2. Go down to Toggle switches / modes and click until the multiple boxes appear next to the layer you want to animate.
  3. Look for the middle left box with the multiple circles. Switch This on.
  4. You'll see the same icon at the top of the timeline, next to the search bar. You need click here Activate motion blur.
  5. To fine-tune the effect, navigate to Motion blur Section in Composition Settings. Increase Your shutter angle to increase the amount of blur you get.

4. Dynamic connection

If you plan to work on the same project using Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, you will love this.

You may have thought that you need to import your animations into Premiere Pro and then import them again. You may also have thought that you need to make changes to your After Effects export in order to re-export and re-import. No

Thanks to them dynamic connectionYou can avoid all of this potentially confusing, definitely time-consuming nonsense and import your AE comps straight into Premiere.

Here's one way: just drag yours AE project file from your Finder window to a container in your Premiere window. You then have the option of importing the comp of your choice. Then you can drag the comp into your sequence to work with.

Here's another way: in the Premiere Timeline, select footage to work on in After Effects. Navigate to Replace with After Effects composition. As you've already found out, your footage is automatically replaced with an AE composition that includes your footage.

Replace with After Effects

Select a footage in the Premiere timeline and replace it with After Effects.

Just right? Any changes you make in After Effects are automatically reflected in Premiere. This saves you so much time. Lock these bases asap.

5. Pre-composing

If you are used to terms like "nest" or "compound clip", you will be familiar with creating precompositions. I think they are used more often in AE than in a lot of other editing software. This is how it works.

Just select the layers of your choice, right click and choose Create a precomposition to put these levels in their own mini-comp. They are now represented by just one layer in your main timeline. Double-clicking this layer gives you access to make changes that are now visible when you return to your main composition.

Adobe After Effects: Pre-Comp

Adobe After Effects: Pre-Comp created

Pre-comp created in Adobe After Effects.

By working this way, you can avoid the mess on the timeline and make effects on multiple layers easier.

If you are new to After Effects, these handy tips / tricks / techniques / tools are just the tip of the iceberg. This software is also extremely robust. So read on, read the tutorials, and most importantly, keep trying new things. If you spend enough time on resources like these, you will be amazed at how fast you level up.

Cover picture above DANIEL CONSTANTE.

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