From designing animations and special effects to working with AE templates or stylizing and color correcting footage, Adobe After Effects opens the door to creative possibilities for filmmakers of every skill level. A staple in the creative industry, it’s become the “must-have” and “must-know” special effects and animation program for creatives.
 
Of course, at first glance when opening up After Effects can be a bit intimidating without a little guidance. Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Whether you’d like to enhance your shots or start animating, we’ve gathered seven of our best how-tos to help you get started in AE—plus our Ultimate Guide to AE Shortcuts.

 

1: A Quick Start Guide to Adobe After Effects

After Effects

Need an overview of the program and where to get started? This round up of beginner-friendly tutorials covers the essentials for After Effects newbies—or seasoned pros looking to brush up on the basics.
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2: Beginner’s Guide to Advanced Tools and Techniques

While there are many how-tos for using the more advanced tools in AE, sometimes you need a more comprehensive introduction to working with the program’s animations. This guide covers areas regarding workspace layouts, motion tracking, 3D setup, and expression controls.
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3: Starter Guide to Basic Effects & Animations

Ready to try your hand at creating your very own animations? This simple guide covers some of the more straight forward animations you can achieve in After Effects.
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4: How to Color Grade in After Effects: 10 Pro Tutorials for Color Correction

After Effects

From recreating iconic cinematic styles to adding a vintage color palette, these are some of the best tutorials for color grading with AE.
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5. How to Create a Zoom Effect in After Effects


From psychological thrillers to heart-pounding action films, zooming has always been used to capture a far-away subject or fill a frame with a close up—capture this big screen magic with this simple After Effects tutorial.
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6. How to Create a Scribble Effect in After Effects


The scribble effect is a hot trend in animation these days and—lucky for you—a very simple animation that can be done right inside After Effects. This tutorial will take you step-by-step into the process of creating the effect.
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7. How to Hack Your After Effects Workflow Like a Pro


 
After Effects

If you feel pretty comfortable with the basics and are ready to start working, don’t overlook the important task of organizing your workflow. Here are 5 great tips to hack your AE workflow to its full potential.
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Bonus: The Ultimate Adobe After Effects Shortcuts Guide

After Effects
In AE, keyboard shortcuts are your best friend. Sure, there’s some memorization involved, but this visual guide and printable reference sheet will have you zipping through projects in no time.
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So what are you waiting for? Fire up After Effects and start experimenting. Need some inspiration? Check out what’s trending in our AE templates.

 

Get Inspired