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Movies wouldn’t be where they are today without the ability to use special effects. CGI (computer generated imagery) and other special effects are used in a huge variety of movies today to allow characters to do things that can’t be done in real life or to add imaginary creatures that look and act realistically.

If you want to add special effects to your movies, you’ll need the right software. Adobe After Effects is a fully featured editing software that makes it possible for you to add any special effects you might want for your video. The program includes many different tools as well as the help you need to do just about anything you want, whether that’s adding in a special character or using a blue screen to transport your characters to a different location.

Before you can do amazing things with your movies, you’ll need to learn how to use After Effects. With the tutorials available today, you don’t have to figure out everything on your own. With just one class, you can get a good overview of how the program works, what you can do, and what else you might want to learn.

About After Effects

Adobe After Effects was initially released only for Mac computers in 1993. Version 1.0 had limited abilities, but you could use the software for composting. Since then, the program has expanded and improved to add the ability to create just about any effects you might want. The latest version, CC 15.1 released in April 2018, added an advanced puppet engine, added Adobe Immersive Environment for VR head-mount display support, and improved RAW file support.

Today, CGI is almost standard for movies and shorter videos. It’s also used a lot in modern video games to make them as realistic as possible. Though there are other types of special effects software available for big movie producers to use, After Effects is still used in the production of major movies. Some movies that have used After Effects for at least some of the special effects include the recent Star Wars movies, Sin City, and Iron Man.

The pros may not use After Effects for everything, but they do still use it in a lot of the movies you see today. When you want to create your own movie, it’s an affordable way for you to create many of the same special effects you might see in the movies, such as composting. It’s also fantastic for the title or closing sequences as you can use special effects for the text to appear, move around, and disappear from the screen.

Get Familiar with the Setup

After Effects is a subscription-based software you can download on your computer. Review the computer requirements before downloading the software to ensure your computer can handle everything you’ll want to do in the software. Then, purchase your subscription and download the software.

After the software has downloaded and installed, go ahead and open it up to see how it all works. After Effects is made from various panels to make easier for you to do everything on one screen. You will want to notice that the panel you’re currently working on is highlighted in blue, so it’s easy to see which panel is selected while you’re working.

Before you learn how to use Adobe After Effects, you may want to play around with the software for a few minutes and learn how everything works together to help you create your movie. Even if you don’t know much about video editing or special effects, go ahead and check out a few of the menus to get an idea of what is where and what you might want to learn to use.

Move onto a Beginner Tutorial

Once you’re a little familiar with the program, it’s time to start learning how to use it. When you’re ready, check out the Adobe After Effects tutorials available online. These are perfect for beginners because they give you a broad overview of how to use After Effects and what you can do with the program.

For the most part, the beginner tutorials are going to start with the assumption you don’t know anything about using the program. They’ll review the interface, how everything works, and the terminology you’ll want to be familiar with. It’s a good idea to pay careful attention here as you’ll expand on this as you continue to learn.

Beginner tutorials are going to show you how to do different special effects and how to import your movie, make the edits you want to make, and export the movie again. Often, a beginner tutorial will walk you through creating a short video step-by-step so you can get an idea of the overall process of how to create your own movie.

Try Out the Exercises in the Tutorial

A lot of the beginner Adobe After Effects tutorials are designed for you to work along with the instructor so you get a hands-on learning experience. When you’re actually trying what you’re learning, you’ll find it’s easier to remember everything you’ve learned. As you go through the tutorial, take the time to try out any exercises provided by the instructor. You’ll work with some exercises along with the instructor and others you may do on your own to see how well you learned the previous lessons.

If there is a final project for the tutorial, go ahead and do this as well. The final project will require you to use everything you’ve learned during the tutorial. Don’t be afraid to go back to the lessons to learn more about how to do something if you’re a little bit stuck. The goal is for you to learn to use the program, not show you memorized all of the instructions.

Experiment with Your Own Work

Once you’ve completed a beginner’s tutorial, go ahead and play around with Adobe After Effects on your own. You’ll want to use footage you’ve taken to see what you can do and what you enjoy doing. The tools and effects you use may differ depending on the footage you use, so experiment often and try out different things you may want to do.

Taking the time to learn how to use After Effects can help you create the ideas you have in your mind for a movie. They’ll also show you how to do everything efficiently so you can create your own movie faster. The more you experiment and play around with the program, the more efficient you’ll become and the easier it will be for you to turn your ideas into reality.

Look for Advanced Tutorials for What You Want to Learn

Don’t stop once you’ve completed a beginner tutorial and played around with what you can do on your own. There are likely special effects you want to learn to use, but that were only briefly covered in the tutorial or weren’t covered at all. If you’d like to learn how to go from a beginner to an intermediate user, advanced tutorials will give you the help you need.

You’ll want to check out all of the different advanced tutorials that show you how to use Adobe After Effects features and tools to do specific after effects. These are more detailed than the beginner tutorials, but they may be shorter simply because they’re only covering one topic.

There is no particular order for most advanced tutorials. However, if you find you’re having trouble following along because the tutorial requires skills you don’t have yet, back up and take a tutorial that covers what you’re missing first. You’ll then be able to easily follow along with the tutorial you’re interested in so you can learn how to do the effects you desire.

Keep Practicing and Learning to Continue to Improve

There are so many Adobe After Effects tutorials, you can always try out something new and learn more about how the software works. Keep trying out different effects with your own movies and learning more about what you can do with the program to improve your movies and actually create videos from your own ideas. When you have help from tutorials and you know the basics of how to use the software, you can use it to create just about any special effects you can imagine.

If you’ve always wanted to create your own movies, After Effects is invaluable. There are other types of video editing software available, such as Adobe Premiere, that you can use to edit your own videos. If you’d like to use special effects, however, After Effects is the software you need.
Take the time to learn more about how to use Adobe After Effects by checking out the tutorials available today. You can easily learn your way around the program and learn how to turn any of your ideas into the movie you’re imagining. When it’s inexpensive to get started and you have unlimited potential for your own creations, it’s easy to see why you may want to start using After Effects for all of the movies you want to create.