I’ve been learning and using after effects for a number of years, so i thought i’d share some of the places i learnt After Effects from. Hopefully you can learn something from these sites too.
AE tuts is one on the number of tutorial sites from brilliant Envato network. It has had a number of high profile tutorial writers who always produce high quality articles. It’s not really a site for those that haven’t even used after effects at all before, even though it does have a beginner series. Once you’ve learnt the basics of After Effects though, it’s a great site to start taking you skills to the next level.
Video Copilot occasionally get bad press from some people in the Motion Graphics industry. They argue that people just follow the tutorials and then everything they produce just turns out to be formulaic. I would disagree with this however. I personally think its an excellent site to learn some of the principles you can apply to other projects. As well as provided high quality tutorials, the site also offers amongst the tutorials, a number of high quality presets and custom expressions which will make your workflow easier in After Effects, especially when dealing with things like camera positioning.
Motionscript is a site that’s been around for a while, and was created by Dan Ebbert. The site is a great introduction to expressions in After Effects, providing some basic examples of how you can implement some expressions into your After Effects animations. Once you’ve done some of the examples on his site, you can then move onto to some of the more advanced expressions that you find.
Maltaannon is run by Jerzy Drozda and is another site that has been around a number of years in the After Effects Community. This guy really is king of the expressions. He has wrote a number of brilliant custom effects powered by expressions. He also has a number of video tutorials on his site for some fantastic looking effects. If you want to see how powerful expressions can be then this gut really is worth checking out.
Creative Cow is another site that’s been around for a number of years, and has grown into a very large creative and technology community. The offer amongst their tutorials a number of after effects tutorials. I’ll admit that some of these don’t neccesairly look brilliant but they certainly provide some good tutorials you can learn from, especially when it comes to expressions and making you animation look realistic. For example one of their tutorials focuses on how to rotate two different sized wheels at the correct rate based on their size. It also has a great forum, not just for after effects but for a number of creative and technology programmes.
Grey Scale Gorilla is one of the new boys on the block. Run by Nick Campbell, Motion Designer at Digital Kitchen. It provides a number on After Effects tutorials as well as tutorials on Cinema 4D and other video blogs on a variety of subjects on Motion Graphics. He also runs the excellent 5 seconds project competition, a great competition to enter to bulk up your motion portfolio.
Computer Arts is a magazine from the UK, printed worldwide. Whilst not exclusively just an After Effects magazine, it does have a number of After Effects Tutorials, most of which are very high quality. Like most of the sites mentioned already, the tutorials generally assume you have a at least some knowledge of after effects as the tutorials generally deal with subjects that are above absolute beginner level.
Computer Arts is also great for tutorials on a number of design subjects and programmes including Photoshop, Illustrator and flash.
Layers Magazine is a blog and tutorial site concentrating on the all Adobe creative suite. Like all the sites mentioned it has some good high quality tutorials and is worth checking out.
The following two sites come highly recommended, i haven’t done any tutorials specifically from these, but the quality looks extremely good, so it’s definitely worth checking them out.
Max After is another fairly new site in the After Effects community. The site has a number of very high quality tutorials that you can learn from. Go check it out!
Ok, i’ll warn you now. This site is in french and the majority of the video tutorials are in french, but don’t let that put you off! This guys tutorials are brilliant and can mostly be followed by watching the videos and seeing what exactly he’s doing in After Effects.
I hope that you’ll learn from these sites what i learnt from these sites, and enable you to improve your motion graphics. What you should take from these sites though, is not to neccesarily exact copies of the tutorials and use them in a project, but do the tutorials, learn the skills, and then when it comes to your next project, use some of these skills and ideas to make something great, and hopefully something that we can feature on Motion Design Love