50 After Effects tutorials to sharpen your motion skills

Use After Effects tools

Get to know your way around After Effects toolset, and unlock the special features that can help you become more productive and creative.

27. Understand the Roto Brush settings

After Effects tutorials: girl

Learn how the Refine Edge tool improves the underlying Roto Brush effect in this tutorial by Chris Meyer.

28. Get better keying with Refine Edge

After Effects tutorials: girl

Following on from the above, learn how to use the Refine Edge tool after the Roto Brush tool to erase an edge refinement.

29. Export comps to the Render Queue or Media Encoder

After Effects tutorials: illustration of woman with hairdrying

There are two ways to export compositions from After Effects: the Render Queue and Adobe Media Encoder. Each method has its benefits, Maria Corte explains how to use both.

30. Apply motion blur for smoother playback

After Effects tutorials: bird feeder

This tutorial by Chris Meyer explains how to apply the Pixel Motion Blur effect to avoid visual strobing when playing back some footage and 3D renders at normal speed.

Work with other software

One of the big advantages of After Effects being part of the Adobe Creative Suite is that it plays nice with other creative tools. These tutorials will help you make the best of this interoperability.

31. How to prepare Illustrator graphics for After Effects

After Effects tutorials: art deco graphics

When Adobe Illustrator files are passed across for animation that not ready for After Effects, it causes a lot of confusion and friction between the illustrator and animator. Follow this checklist from Jeff Hurd to ensure your designs are ready for animation.

32. Export After Effects animations to HTML5

After Effects tutorials: cartoon characters

From a web perspective, After Effects is very well suited to tweaking and trying out motion before committing it to code. Ditch heavy GIFs and try animation tool Bodymovin.

33. See what’s possible with Cinema 4D Lite

After Effects tutorials: desk illustration

Cinema 4D Lite is the 3D creation and animation software included with After Effects that makes it easy to integrate 3D elements directly inside your compositions. Here, Timo Kuilder and Thanassis Pozantzis Learn explain how to use it.

Create effects

After Effects isn't just for making edits. Follow these top tutorials and learn how to add spectacular and professional looking effects to your videos.

34. Add special effects to a video

After Effects tutorials: UFO scene

Get to know the basics of motion graphics and video compositing techniques using After Effects CC in this series of tutorials. You’ll become familiar with the workspace and how to import footage and other assets, and learn to combine elements in the scene using layers and nondestructive blend modes. 

35. Apply immersive effects

After Effects tutorials: gondala

Charles Yeager explains how to stylise your 360/VR footage in Adobe After Effects CC by applying or generating seamless effects – formatted specifically for equi-rectangular footage – without incurring any unwanted artefacts.

36. Use masks to control effects

After Effects tutorials: bird

In this tutorial by Brian Maffitt, you'll learn how to limit an effect to a specific area using a mask on the layer without additional adjustment layers or track matte layers, and then change properties on a per-mask basis and save masks and effects as animation presets.

Next page: Advanced After Effects tutorials