3d & animation

After Effects Tutorial: 5 Tips That Help You Get the Most Out of After Effects

Make the best use of all the opportunities this software package provides, with Carlos “Zenzuke” Albarrán

After Effects is one of the best known motion graphics and post-production programs. This Adobe software package has become a basic tool for professional creatives, thanks to its wide range of tools and formatting options.

Carlos “Zenzuke” Albarrán (@zenzuke) is a creative director, motion graphics animator and one of the founding partners of the Maambo studio. In this tutorial, he teaches you 5 tips to help you get the most out of After Effects.

Don’t miss his video!

5 Tips that Help You Get the Most Out of After Effects

1. Create a composition using imported images

Do you know how to easily create a composition from imported images? All you need to do is import your chosen images then drag them all to the New Composition from Selection button. A window will open.

Select Single Composition and choose the image you’re going to use to create your Dimensions and Still Duration. Select Sequence Layers and click OK. All the images will appear as 5 overlapping, separate frames.

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Create a composition using imported images.

2. Key Cloner

As Zenzuke explains, Key Cloner is actually a very useful addition to After Effects. You can download this script then install and use it like a keyboard shortcut. On a Spanish keyboard:

• The Ñ clones
• The comma (,) clones and inverts
• The cedilla (ç) inverts

Key Cloner can also clone several layers in a single click, as well as correctly copying and inverting all the keyframes.

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Key Cloner.

3. How to find lost files

If you’re a regular After Effects user you will have encountered this problem. You worked on something a while ago, then when you went back to it months later you realized you can’t find some of the images or sources. What’s the best way to solve this situation?

When you enter missing in the search menu on the left of the screen you will see various options: Missing Fonts, Missing Effects, Missing Footage... If you leave it as just “missing“ you’ll find the missing file. Right click on > Reveal composition to see the composition that the file is missing from.

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How to find lost files.

4. Set Matte

Set Matte is an After Effects effect that creates a mask in another layer. To use it, go to Channel > Set Matte, then select the layer over which you want to apply the mask. Once you have it, you can move and modify the mask, which will adapt perfectly.

If you want to use this mask on a solid block or on an image with a transparency remember to: Pre-create the mask layer and activate Continuously rasterize. Then Set Matte and select Effects & Masks. It will work perfectly.

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Set Matte.

5. Download FX Console

If you download FX Console, install a plugin to use a word or letter to see all the effects and all the presets that contain it.

Then simply press enter to apply your chosen effect.

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FX Console.

Love this tutorial? If you want to learn After Effects from scratch and come to master the best motion graphics and post-production software on the market, don’t miss Zenzuke’s online course: Introduction to After Effects.

And if you want to get to know all the tools of this benchmark animation and video program in depth and improve your workflow, as well as the quality of your projects, don’t miss: Advanced After Effects.

You’ll find all the After Effects courses available on Domestika here.

English version by @studiogaunt

You may also like:

- 10 Online Courses to Learn 3D Animation For Beginners
- After Effects Shortcuts to Become a Professional Motion Grapher
- Animation Techniques with 3D Effects in After Effects, a course by Moncho Massé

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