by Simon Brough

Adobe After Effects is one of the most popular tools for filmmakers looking to add polish to their video projects. From intro titles to credit rolls and everything in between—including color correction, chroma key or green screening, and specialized visual effects—we’ve pulled together 47 of the most useful After Effects tutorials for auteurs. Whether you’re working within royalty-free After Effects templates or looking to brush up on your AE design skills, these video lessons will teach you program essentials, time-saving tricks, and professional video production techniques.

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Top Guides for After Effects Essentials

1. Learn After Effects in 20 minutes

From KriscoartProductions

Kris Truini offers a beginner’s overview of After Effects including many of the basics needed to get started.

2. 20 Useful Tricks in After Effects You May Not Know About

From ukramedia

Sergei Prokhnevskiy explains several useful tips and shortcuts to make After Effects that much easier.

3. Markers In After Effects

From TutorialsForGraphics

If you’re not sure how to work with markers in AE, TJ Style explains where to place them—and why.

4. Top 25 After Effects Keyboard Shortcuts

From Adveo

The best way to navigate around After Effects is through keyboard shortcuts—Adveo demonstrates some of the most useful.

5. Common After Effects Problems and Mistakes

From Surfaced Studio

Tobias at Surfaced Studio discusses some of the common problems and mistakes with After Effects and how to fix them.

6. The Preview Panel – AE Versions Before CC 2015

From totaltraining

Previewing is essential for assessing the progress of your sequence. In this tutorial, Brian Maffet explains how to make best use of the preview tools available.

7. Preview [RAM Preview is Dead]5

From peregrinecommando99

With an updated Preview panel in After Effects CC 2015, Nate Lovell shows how to use the new preview tools, and gives tips for making it go faster.

8. How To Remove Black Background From Stock Footage in After Effects

From Surfaced Studio

Tobias explains how to quickly remove black backgrounds from stock footage clips without an alpha channel.

9. The Vectorscope in After Effects

From Andrew Devis / Creative COW

If you need to check the chrominance values of your footage, Andrew Devis shows you how to find, set up, and use the vectorscope in After Effects.

10. Refine Edge Tool (Roto Brush)

From QuickVFX

If you need to isolate foreground footage from a background, QuickVFX shows how the amazing new rotoscoping tool in After Effects CC 2014 onwards is sure to help.

11. After Effects Motion Tracking Basics Tutorial

From matt01ss

Motion tracking is the mainstay of most Hollywood VFX. Matt01ss demonstrates the basics of both 2D and 3D tracking.

12. Adobe After Effects Basics Tutorial 4/8—Adjustment Layers

From Surfaced Studio

Tobias demonstrates how to more efficiently manage effects on multiple elements by utilizing adjustment layers.

13. Using The Clone Stamp Tool To Replace Parts of Scenes

From O’Reilly – Video Training

If you’ve ever wanted to remove unwanted objects from your footage, O’Reilly has a great tutorial on cloning video elements.

Guide for Text and Graphics Effects

1. Introduction to Masking

From Surfaced Studio

Here is an excellent tutorial to teach you one of the fundamental concepts of creating amazing visual effects: masking.

2. Cinematic Titles

From MotionMile

Need cinematic movie titles for your next production? Mackenzie Criswell demonstrates how.

3. Iron Man HUD After Effects Tutorial

From lonearcherfilms

Want to know how to add an Iron Man-style HUD to a subject’s face? Grant Cook explains how.

4. Creating a Text Card Wipe Transition

From VideoBlocks

Looking for a smooth text card wipe kinetic typography effect? This tutorial from VideoBlocks makes it easy.

5. How to Create An Animated Text Intro in After Effects

From VideoBlocks

Mike from VideoBlocks demonstrates how to quickly and straightforwardly create dynamic text title intros in After Effects.

6. After Effects: 3D Camera Animation With 2D Images Tutorial

From Dope Motions

Looking to add some depth to your 2D images? Dope Motions demonstrates how to transform them into dynamic 3D animations.

7. VideoBlocks After Effects Template Tutorial

From lonearcherfilms

If you want to make your own customized introduction or title sequence, lonearcherfilms teaches you how to use After Effects to do just that.

8. Promote your brand using After Effects Templates

From Creatrix #Visuals

Learn how to customize ready-made After Effects templates to personalize them for your specific project needs.

Guides for VFX in After Effects


1. Sky Replacement & Film Terms!

From Film Riot

You can’t always rely on good weather when filming outdoors, so Ryan Connolly demonstrates a basic technique for sky replacement.

2. After Effects Tutorial: Creepy Dark Energy

From BakersTuts

This creepy motion-tracking tutorial from Baker explains how to create a dark and creepy energy VFX.

3. District 9 Tutorial

From Youssef Sarhan / Envato Tuts+

Youssef Sarhan explains how to turn simple outdoor video footage into a scene from a sci-fi blockbuster.

4. After Effects Basic Beginners Tutorial 1/8 – How To Create Cool VFX

From Surfaced Studio

Tobias from Surfaced Studio walks through the process of creating a cool explosion visual effect from start to finish.

5. Learn to Do a Slow Motion Gun Shot!

From Film Riot

Ryan Connolly gives a fun and in-depth tutorial on creating a realistic slow motion gun shot.

6. How To Blow Up A Motorbike – Adobe After Effects VFX Explosion

From Surfaced Studio

Learn how to blow up a motorbike in this exciting After Effects VFX explosion tutorial from Surfaced Studio.

7. Top 10 Plugins for After Effects

From SonduckFilm

Plugins are a great way to expand the capabilities of After Effects. SonduckFilm lists their top ten favorite plugins.

8. How to Freeze Time Cheaply

From Film Riot

Another fun tutorial from Film Riot demonstrating how to achieve a frozen time shot.

Working with Video Footage


1. Video Editing Basics

From Fmlad

Fmlad has the perfect introduction to video editing in After Effects, covering many of the basic techniques for non-linear editing and simple video effects.

2. After Effects Tutorial – Adding sound effects

From short-form video

Laurence Grayson introduces the basics of audio editing in After Effects.

3. True Detective Titles HBO after effects tutorial

From After Effects Tutorials w/ Mikey

Mikey demonstrates how to achieve a double exposure look using green screen footage in After Effects.

4. Changing Time (Reverse, Slow Motion, Speed Up)

From RiverCityGraphix

Here’s a short tutorial, from River City Graphix, on how to reverse video footage, slow it down, or speed it up.

5. TimeWarp Tutorial | Slow Motion Footage in After Effects

From Video School Online

Video School Online’s advanced tutorial for getting a great result when slowing video footage down using the Timewarp effect in After Effects.

6. How to Color Correct/Grade in After Effects

From braproductions

Alex Allgood demonstrates how to properly color correct footage in Adobe After Effects.

7. Creating a Vintage Look in After Effects

From Ignace Aleya

In this tutorial, Ignace Aleya demonstrates how to create a cool ‘vintage look’ in AE.

8. How to get the “Film Look” inside After Effects

From braproductions

Alex shares some tips and tricks for treating footage in AE to look as cinematic as possible.

9. How To Create A Clean Plate In After Effects

From TunnelvizionTV

A clean plate is essential for many high-end visual effect techniques. Ruan Lotter demonstrates an easy way to create a clean plate in post-production.

10. Stabilizing Shaky Video in Adobe After Effects

From photoshopCAFE

Colin Smith shows how to stabilize shaky video footage using After Effects CC’s Warp Stabilizer tool.

11. How to stabilize shaky footage in After Effects CS5


If you’re using After Effects CS5 or older you can use the Tracker to stabilize shaky video footage. This tutorial from shows how.

12. After Effects TUTORIALS – How to Make Subject/Object Fly Using Wire Removal Effect

From Tara Arts Movie

Wire removal is a technique used to hide supporting wires, which suspend either props or actors, from video footage. Tara Arts Movie shows how to achieve this in After Effects.

13. Removing Chromatic Aberration

From Carl Larsen / Creative COW

Carl Larsen demonstrates a quick but effective method for removing chromatic aberration from your video footage.

14. Simulating Whip Pans

From Carl Larsen / Creative COW

Carl Larsen shows how to create a whip pan—sometimes known as a swish pan—effect using Adobe After Effects’ built-in tools.

15. Cinematic Fade | Additive Dissolve

From Ch-Ch-Check It

A great tutorial from Eli discussing the much-sought after “Cinematic Fade” using After Effects.

16. After Effects CC: Motion Tracking the Impossible

From Adobe Creative Cloud

Andrew Kramer talks in-depth about professional 3D motion tracking in After Effects CC.

17. Easy Color Grading Using Magic Bullet Looks

From Tom J. McCoy

Tom McCoy demonstrates an easy way to produce professional-looking color grades using Magic Bullet Looks plugin.

18. Advanced Hollywood Colorgrading Tutorial in After Effects

From Ignace Aleya

Ignace Aleya helps you color grade your photos with After Effects to make them look Hollywood produced.

Looking for more After Effects tips and tricks? Check out our Ultimate Guide to After Effects Shortcuts. You can also download ready-made After Effects templates instead from our library to get started in AE.

Simon Brough is the Creative Director at Enchanted Studios and an After Effects contributor in the VideoBlocks Marketplace. See Simon’s work in his portfolio.

Working in After Effects is fun but also time consuming. Speed up the process by downloading these AE Templates on us!