Adobe After Effects is an essential post production editing program that helps filmmakers do everything from color correction to 3D animation. Because our Membership Library is full of customizable, royalty-free After Effects templates, we often receive questions about how to use the program–that’s why we’ve rounded up answers to the top 27 Google’d After Effects questions.

1. What is After Effects?

After Effects is one of the many programs included in the Adobe Creative Suite. AE is a popular tool among video editors, and it’s most often used for video composition and motion graphics.


2. What is After Effects used for?

You can use After Effects for a variety of purposes, but some of its common uses include improving the quality of video clips, color correction, adding artistic color effects, chroma keying (“blue” or “green screen” keying), and creating animations.

3. How can I use After Effects?

After Effects can be used very differently depending on the skillsets and needs of its users. Some creatives use AE for compositing footage, while others use it to alter templates, such as video intros and text titles. How you will use After Effects depends on your needs and experience.

4. What are After Effects templates?

After Effects templates are pre-set files that have been created by a designer for others to customize for their own project needs. The best AE templates are designed to make it easy for users to tailor them with their preferred text, colors, video clips, and other design elements. Common AE template categories are text titles, logo reveals, video intros, and slide presentations.

Download this customizable Film Strip AE Template from our Membership Library.

5. What kind of media types are supported by After Effects?

After Effects supports almost any type of video or still footage, and Adobe recently announced it was adding support for 3D and VR. After Effects also pairs well with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and Premiere, so you can easily incorporate elements designed in other Adobe programs into your AE project.

6. Where do you learn how to use After Effects?

There are a number of ways to learn how to use Adobe After Effects. Many users are self-taught by watching or reading free AE tutorials online, while others might pay for production and design courses.

7. Where do I find After Effects tutorials?

YouTube and blogs are a great source for AE tutorials. Our blog is full of tutorials for all skill levels. Check out these three guides for getting started.


8. How do you edit After Effects templates?

For a detailed explanation, check out our post on How to Edit an After Effects Template. To start, you can check your downloads folder or the template’s .zip file to see if the AE template came with instructions, usually labeled as a “ReadMe” file.

After Effects Templates

9. Where can I get AE Templates?

Our Membership Library is the only source you need for AE templates and stock footage. Once you have a membership, you can download as many clips and templates as you want.

10. How do you crop in After Effects?

To crop in AE, you need to create a new composition and then move the chosen file onto the new composition icon. Select the Region of Interest tool and then select the area you want to crop. Next, go to Composition > Crop Comp to Region of Interest. Click on Play to preview your result. You can also check out our guide to essential After Effects tools.

11. How do I export in After Effects?

If you are exporting your work to another program, then you should go to File > Export and select the file type that you want. The best way to export your movie as a final project is by using the render queue.

12. How do you render in After Effects?

Check out our guide to rendering your movies in AE, complete with step-by-step images.

After Effects Templates - Rendering

13. What are masks used for in After Effects?

Masks can be used for a variety of purposes including creating vignettes and hiding an effect or layer from a specific area.

14. How can I create a slow motion effect in After Effects?

The quick answer to this question is to right click on the appropriate layer, select Time > Time Stretch, and choose a Time Factor of 400%. This will cause the video to play at a quarter of its original speed.To vary the quality of the slow motion, try playing around with the Time Factor percentage.

15. What are After Effects expressions?

Essentially, expressions are a way to work with complex animations without creating hundreds (or even thousands) of individual keyframes. Expressions will link the properties of one layer to dynamically animate other layers, creating a faster and more efficient workflow. Expressions are similar to scripts, and allow the user to have more granular control of layer attributes. For more about keyframing, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Keyframing.


16. How can I save a snapshot in After Effects?

If you need to save your current image, then go to Composition > Save Frame As. Next, go to File > Export > Copy Frame to Clipboard, and then paste into Photoshop. You can also paste the snapshot into Skype or another messenger to show it to a client.

17. How do I create titles in After Effects?

The easiest way to create titles in After Effects is to download one of our AE title templates and customize it to fit your needs. If you want to create something from scratch, then take a look at our guides for text and graphics effects.

18. How do I make an After Effects animation?

Check out this video tutorial for a step by step guide.


19. What is an alpha channel in After Effects?

The color information of an After Effects file is contained in three channels: R (Red), G (Green), and B (Blue). In addition to the three color channels, there is another invisible channel referred to as the alpha channel. The alpha channel contains transparency information and can be used to separate images in AE.

20. Where is optical flare in After Effects?

Optical flare is another name for lens flare. Typically, photographers and videographers take actions to prevent lens flare, but it can be used in post production for an artistic effect. There is a built in lens flare under Generate > List of Effects, but the best way to get optical flares in AE is through third-party plugins.

21. Where are the text effects in After Effects?

AE has a number of text animation presets that can be applied to your project and modified to meet your needs. The text animation presets can be found in After Effects using the Effects and Presets panel.

22. How do I get explosion footage for After Effects?

You can find all of the royalty-free explosion footage you need in our Membership library. Download as many clips as you want with a single membership.

Download this Quick Spherical Explosion Footage from our Membership Library.

23. Where can I find fire footage for After Effects?

You can also download all of the fire footage you need from our Membership Library at no additional cost once you have the membership.

Download this Fireplace Footage from our Membership Library.

24. Where do I buy After Effects?

You can purchase a monthly After Effects Creative Cloud subscription on the Adobe website. If you’re a student or educator, your college or university may already have an institutional subscription that you can join.

25. How much does After Effects cost?

You can get Adobe After Effects CC for $19.99/mo as a single product or as part of the entire Adobe Creative Cloud for $49.99/mo. Students and teachers get an amazing discount, and can get the entire Adobe Creative Cloud for only $19.99/mo. If you need After Effects for your business, then you will need to look into pricing for businesses.

26. How much do After Effects templates cost?

That depends, and sometimes AE templates can get expensive. With a VideoBlocks membership, you get unlimited downloads of amazing royalty-free AE templates and stock footage from our Membership Library. Your subscription also gets you a discount on all of the videos in our Marketplace, and 100% of the commission from our Marketplace sales go directly to the artist who created the content. With unlimited downloads from our Membership Library and a discount on Marketplace items, you get a huge savings, especially considering many AE template retailers sell individual templates for upwards of $79 per template.

27. Where can I download After Effects for free?

Adobe offers a 30-day free trial so that you can test out After Effects before making a commitment.

Still have questions? Check out the rest of our blog to see if we’ve answered it or leave us a question in the comments section.

Sign up for our membership for access to royalty-free After Effects templates, stock footage clips, and backgrounds to practice your new skills.


Discover After Effects Templates