From beginners to early-career editors, every filmmaker needs to learn a few basic After Effects quick tips to take advantage of this powerful (but complicated) software. With practically endless creative possibilities, Adobe After Effects can truly enhance the production value of video projects. Unfortunately, the program’s interface can appear quite intimidating at first glance—even if you’re using royalty-free After Effects templates—which is why we’ve curated 10 tutorials into this useful and easy-to-understand After Effects quick start guide. With these pointers and pro-tips, you’ll master its visual effects wizardry in no time.

The first question to answer is what effect you’re trying to accomplish with the software. After Effects is capable of everything from chroma key (also known as green screen) to motion graphics, and each of its features requires a different skill set. You should also decide if your project requires you to build an effect from scratch or if you could save time with a ready-to-use After Effects template.

There are many fantastic online resources that can assist you in your After Effects training and we’ve assembled some of the best below. We hope that these lessons can demystify Adobe After Effects and make it more approachable.

Sidenote: If you’ve never used the software before, you may want to start with the tutorials that cover the layout and tools of the program, as well as how to use a template. The rest of this collection focuses on specific techniques that will be helpful once you’ve learned the basics and determined the needs of your project.

Adobe After Effects Basics and Tips by Real Motion


How to Edit Adobe After Effects Templates by VideoBlocks


How to Chroma Key (Greenscreen) by ECAbrams


2D Motion Tracking by KriscoartsProductions


How to Motion Track 3D Text in After Effects by ieDekay


Animation Basics by NYVS


Basic Typography and Motion Graphics by thevfxbro


Lightsabers for Dummies by Rough Edit

Looking for more resources to improve your After Effects game? Try out our Ultimate Guide to After Effects Shortcuts, or explore the hundreds of new templates we’ve just added to our Unlimited Library.


Explore AE Templates