By Simon Brough

 
Video marketing offers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with clients and customers in a direct and evocative way. Strong, polished video editing is absolutely essential for the savvy communicator, which is why we’ve rounded up the top 49 most essential After Effects tutorials for marketers. Every day, hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people might have the opportunity to interface with your brand—and these are the lessons you’ll need to showcase your company at its best.

If you’re not familiar with it, Adobe After Effects is a motion graphics and video editing program, which allows users to modify pre-packaged AE templates, or build effects from scratch using any number of its tools. I’ve been using it for many years as the Creative Director of Enchanted Studios, where I produce broadcast-quality animation for television campaigns and create templates that you can find at VideoBlocks.

Whether you’re just getting started with After Effects or have already worked with the program before, the tutorials below can help you learn the editing essentials for consistently professional brand videos.

 

For New Users

 
1. What is After Effects?
From totaltraining

Brian Maffet explains why After Effects is the go-to software tool for motion graphics and video compositing.

 
2. How to Get Started with Adobe After Effects CC – 10 Things Beginners Want to Know How To Do
From Terry White

Terry White provides an extended look into getting started with this industry standard motion graphics animation tool.

 
3. Introducing the Interface and Workspace
From by lynda.com

Ian Robinson introduces the After Effects interface, identifying the program’s most essential panels: the Project panel, the Timeline, and the Composition panel.

 
4. Creating A New Composition
From O’Reilly – Video Training

Compositions are the canvases for any video production. O’Reilly Video Training explains how to create, set-up, and use Compositions for canvases.

 
5. After Effects User Interface Tutorial
From JMDesignco

Jeff McIntosh walks through the After Effects user interface, including the timeline and composition window. He also discusses layers and their basic properties.

 
6. How To Add Audio
From Technologyguru

In this video tutorial. Technologyguru explains how to add and work with Audio files within Adobe After Effects.

 
7. Animating Transform Properties With Keyframes
From O’Reilly – Video Training

The foundation of animation in After Effects is keyframing. O’Reilly Video Training shows us the basics.

 
8. Keyframes & Interpolation
From Dan Stevers

Dan Stevers expands on basic keyframing to cover fine-tuning keyframes for smoother animation.

 
9. The Preview Panel – AE Versions Before CC 2015
From totaltraining

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

 
10. Preview [RAM Preview is Dead] – From CC 2015
From peregrinecommando99

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

 
11. Blending Modes Overview: Modes explained
From FilmMaking Tuts

FilmMaking Tuts provides the best explanation of blending modes. This tutorial refers to Adobe Premiere but the exact same principles apply to layers in After Effects.

 
12. Shape Layer Repeater (radial)
From ECAbrams

Evan Abrams teaches how to create simple, radial motion graphics using only After Effects shape layers.

 
13. Pre-comping Like a Pro
From Dan Stevers

Pre-comping is a vital aspect of After Effects production. Dan Stevers explains why it’s important to get your head around the process to have a professional workflow.

 
14. Creating & Using Masks in After Effects
From www.tale2tell.com / Creative Cow

This tutorial from tale2tell explains how to quickly create masks and apply them to multiple layers.

 
15. How To Render and Export Your Video
From Technologyguru

Technologyguru explains how to send your video to the Render Queue to render and export your video in After Effects.

 
16. Building Backgrounds with Effects
From Lynda.com

This After Effects tutorial describes how to generate a background from scratch using gradients, animation, and preset effects.

 
17. Intro to After Effects
From Dan Stevers

Dan Stevers shows how to create a project with simple animations and render out your movie.

 
18. How to Edit Adobe After Effects Templates
From VideoBlocks

If you’re short on time, why not grab yourself an After Effects template? Simply add your text and logo, as Mike from VideoBlocks shows us in this short tutorial.

 

For Users with Intermediate Knowledge

 
1. Top 25 After Effects Keyboard Shortcuts
From Adveo

The best way to navigate around After Effects is through keyboard shortcuts. Adveo shows us some of the most useful ways to navigate.

 
2. After Effects Expressions 101
From School of Motion

This tutorial from Joey at School of Motion is a quick overview of how expressions work in After Effects.

After Effects Expressions 101

 
3. Top 5 After Effects Expressions
From Sean Frangella

In this tutorial, learn how to work with expressions in Adobe After Effects, plus Sean Frangella gives his top five expressions for simplifying your workflow.

 
4. Parenting
From WP_tale2tell

In this tutorial Andrew from tale2tell media explains what “parenting” in AE is and shows how helpful it can be in different types of animation situations.

 
5. Animating Cameras
From Lynda.com

This video from Lynda.com explains how to animate a one-node and two-node camera in After Effects.

 
6. Working with 3D layers
From Angie Taylor

Angie Taylor explores 3D space inside After Effects and demonstrates how to use 3D layers, cameras, and views.

 
7. Adobe After Effects Basics Tutorial 8/8 – 3D
From Surfaced Studio

Tobias at Surfaced Studio discusses working with 3D layers, cameras, and lights using video footage.

 
8. 3D Camera Tracker
From KriscoartProductions

Kris Truini demonstrates how to use the 3D Camera Tracker in After Effects to composite elements onto footage in post-production.

 
9. All About Keyframes & The Graph Editor
From ECAbrams

Evan Abrams talks about fine-tuning motion graphics animation using the Graph Editor.

 
10. 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.

 
11. 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.

 
12. 20 Useful Tricks in After Effects You May Not Know About
From ukramedia

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

 
13. Markers In After Effects
From TutorialsForGraphics

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

 
14. Particle Flow
From Tutorial Pilot by ilumy.design

In this tutorial, Tutorial Pilot demonstrates how to create a stunning abstract background using After Effects’ built-in particle generators.

 
15. Glossy Text Intro
From Ch-Ch-Check It

Eli from Ch-Ch-Check It explains how to create a cool, clean, glossy, reflective text intro.

 
16. Animating a Camera 1: Camera Difficulties
From Andrew Devis / Creative COW

Andrew Devis explains some of the behaviors and problems that are common to camera animation and shows how to do a simple one-dimensional animation.

 
17. RGB Split Effect in After Effects
From Sean Mullen / Creative COW

Sean Mullen shows how to create the well-known RGB split effect in After Effects without the use of third-party plugins.

 
18. How to Avoid 5 Common Green Screen Mistakes
From Surfaced Studio

Before you set up that big green backdrop, listen to Tobias from Surfaced Studio as he advises on how to avoid the most common green screen mistakes.

 
19. Top 10 Plugins for After Effects
From SonduckFilm

Plugins are a great way to expand the capabilities of After Effects. SonduckFilm list their top ten plugins and how to use them.

 

For Users Looking for Advanced Techniques

 
1. Kinetic Typography Tutorial
From Jesse Rosten

An advanced tutorial on kinetic typography from Jesse Rosten. Watch how Jesse carefully matches the appearance of text with recorded dialogue.

 
2. Understanding Type Animators in After Effects
From School of Motion

Joey at School of Motion provides a great tutorial for those wishing to understand the potential of After Effects’ built-in text animators beyond the given presets.

30DAE Day 26: Understanding Type Animators in After Effects from School of Motion on Vimeo.

 
3. Green Screen Keying in After Effects with KeyLight
From After Effects Tutorials w/ Mikey

Mikey provides a succinct tutorial for getting a good, clean key from your green screen footage.

 
4. After Effects Motion Tracking Basics Tutorial
From matt01ss

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

 
5. Hand writing animation / animating still images
From flomotion.eu

This great tutorial from flomotion shows how to achieve hand-drawn animation in After Effects using Motion Sketch.

 
6. Add sketch style drawing over stock footage
From After Effects Tutorials w/ Mikey

Mikey uses the 3D Camera Tracker to accurately superimpose sketched lines over moving footage in After Effects.

 
7. Ring of Particles – Audio Reaction (No 3rd Party Plugins)
From Ch-Ch-Check It

Eli shows how to create a particle ring that “beats” along to your chosen music using in-built effects.

 
8. Create a dancing can in Adobe After Effects
From after effects video tutorials John Dickinson / Motionworks

John Dickinson shows how to use the Puppet Pin Tool’s motion sketch feature to quickly and easily animate a layer to music.

 
9. 20 Free After Effects Scripts
From ukramedia

Sergei Prokhnevskiy directs us to a whole host of useful scripts which add functionality to After Effects.

 
10. Creating The 007 Intro
From Michael Park / Creative COW

Michael Park shows how to achieve that classic introduction to all of the James Bond films using only basic After Effects plugins.

 
Need more After Effects tips and tricks? Check out the Ultimate Guide to After Effects Shortcuts. Or, if you’re looking for all of the polish and animation of After Effects without the time and effort, there are hundreds of new royalty-free AE templates in the VideoBlocks library.

 

Explore VideoBlocks Templates

 

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