Intro to After Effects for Designers

Lesson 2/9 - Tour of the Interface


Intro to After Effects for Designers


Lesson Info

Tour of the Interface

Let's take a jump into After Effects. So like I said before, After Effects can be a little intimidating when you start, when you first open it up. There's lots of panels, lot of places that things are sort of hiding. But again, we talked earlier about sort of what's in a name, how we relate pieces in After Effects to pieces inside Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. So in the upper left hand corner, by default, actually I should bring up the fact that at the very top where in the default workspace if you've launched After Effects for the first time, it'll be in the default space. In the upper left hand corner will be the Project panel. So the Project panel's broken into two sections. This is a preview area, and this will show all the files that are linked in, just like the Linking panel in InDesign and Illustrator. In the center is the Composition panel. This is where we see all of the artwork that we're working with. And down at the bottom is the Timeline panel. As we add artwork to...

our composition, it shows up down in the Layers panel, so that's where our Layers panel's gonna show up down here. This is called Timeline, but again, it'll work exactly the same way. Over in the right hand side you'll see the Libraries panel here, this'll be open by default. The panel we're gonna be most concerned with is this one here called Effects and Presets. This is where we're going to apply all of our effects. Now in Photoshop if you go to the Effects panel, you'll see maybe eight or nine different effects inside of there. After Effects has hundreds of possible effects. There is tons and tons of things we can do. I'm only gonna show you just a couple. But if you don't take anything else away from this class, I want you to take away the, sort of the desire to play with all the different effects in Photoshop, or I'm sorry, in After Effects. So just go through and pick them and just keep playing. There are so many really interesting things we can do. The other thing I'll bring up before we jump into creating our layout is the panel that's missing here by default is the Effects Controls, so in After Effects, just like Photoshop, you apply an effect, and then you have to run the controls. So if I go to the Window menu and come down to Effect Controls, right down here, this will bring up a control panel where I can change the properties of an effect. In Photoshop, this comes up as a dialogue box whenever you apply an effect. So by default, in the default preset, this will show up next to the Project panel so now these two panels I can click back and forth. So what I like to do is I like to take the Effect Controls, drag this panel out, and I like to put it on the left hand side of my Effects and Presets. And I'm also gonna come in here and just close some of these that I'm not gonna use. I'm not gonna use audio, and again, the workspace here works exactly like the other Adobe applications, so this is the way I like to set this up. I like to have my Effects and Presets on the right, my Controls next to it, my composition, my Project panel, and then the timeline. This makes me the most happy, this makes my brain feel good.

Class Description

Get to know the 4th member of the core design applications in Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Chances are you know Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. But did you know After Effects supports just as many file formats, provides amazing design and compositing features, and can be used in any print, web, animation, video or photo compositing project?

What you’ll learn:

  • The After Effects interface
  • Starting a new project from scratch
  • How After Effects is similar to Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign
  • How the Timeline Panel is similar to Layers
  • How the Project Panel is similar to Links
  • How the Composition Panel is similar to artboards, or pages
  • How to import photos, videos, and artwork into your project
  • Applying effects (it’s all about effects!)
  • Introduction to animation in the timeline panel

Software Used: Adobe After Effects CC 2017 (14.2)


Latoya Burris

I started out playing with small text animations for my job using Photoshop. After taking this course, I feel much more comfortable and ready to execute my ideas using the Adobe After Effects tool. I highly recommend this course for designers at any level who don't know how to use After Effects. Thank you Chris Converse and CreativeLive for giving me an extra pep in my design skills.

John Goldie

The first couple of minute of class where Chris went through and did a 1:1 comparison of Photoshop/Illustrator/Indesign --> After Effects had me hooked. That was the one thing that I wasn't getting that was holding me back. The heavens opened, a light shone down, and my mind was opened :) Thanks. It just got more interesting from there!

Nina Braddock

After Effects can be such a tricky program if you never use it. I was very familiar with other Adobe programs, but every time I needed to use After Effects I had no idea what I was doing. I have watched many videos online on how to make things with After Effects, but those videos never taught me how to use the program itself. This class was so great, I now understand how to work with After Effects and it's no longer intimidating! Take this class if you are wanting to learn the basics of After Effects!