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After Effects basics tutorials by Andrew Devis

There are a lot of tutorials about After Effects. A lot. But it’s rather uncommon to find a tutorial (let alone a whole series of tutorials) that does a good job of actually teaching the basics.

I’ve done my best to collect the best of these rare and precious high-quality getting-started resources on this page.

Andrew Devis has added a tremendous wealth of new material in this category in his After Effects basics series on the Creative COW website. The series is good at introducing a wide range of After Effects features, but it’s especially strong regarding shape layers, which are native vector graphics items in After Effects.

Because I couldn’t find a convenient table of contents on the Creative COW website that gave a list of these tutorials in order, here’s a set of links to them:

  1. Workspaces
  2. Importing Assets
  3. Creating Compositions
  4. Importing Photoshop Documents (PSDs)
  5. Naming & Organising
  6. Previewing Your Work
  7. Timeline Basics, part 1 , Timeline Basics, part 2
  8. Timeline Basics 3 – Work area & layer shortcuts
  9. Fitting Items and Creating Solids
  10. Transforms
  11. Animation 1 – Creating Keyframes
  12. Animation 2 – Easing Keyframes
  13. Motion Paths Part 1 – The Basics
  14. Motion Paths Part 2 – Additional Tools
  15. Motion Paths Part 3 – Masks & Paths
  16. Parenting
  17. Shape Layers Part 1
  18. Shape Layers Part 2 – Gradients & Properties
  19. Shape Layers Part 3 – Text & The Pen Tool
  20. AE Basics 20: Shape Layers Part 4 – Merge Paths
  21. Shape Layers Part 5 – Offset Paths
  22. Shape Layers Part 6 – Pucker & Bloat
  23. Shape Layers Part 7 – The Repeater Operator
  24. Shape Layers Part 8 – Round Corner & Stroke
  25. Shape Layers Part 9 – Trim Paths
  26. Shape Layers Part 10 – Twist & Wiggle Paths
  27. Shape Layers Part 11 – Wiggle Transform
  28. Shape Layers Part 12 – The Zig Zag Operand
  29. Shape Layers Part 13 – Creating a True Spiral Using Illustrator Paths (Note the comments, which recommend using the Spiral animation preset.)
  30. The Write-on Effect
  31. Brainstorm & Shape Layers
  32. Creating a Motion Background with Shapes Layers
  33. Options for Creating Text
  34. Font Selection and Faux Options
  35. The Character Panel
  36. Pimping Your Text with Layer Styles
  37. Animating Source Text
  38. Text Range Selectors, part 1
  39. Text Range Selectors, part 2
  40. Text Animators, part 1
  41. Text Animators, part 2: Fill and Stroke
  42. Text Animators, part 3: tracking and more
  43. Text Animators, part 4: per-character 3D
  44. Text Animators, part 5: shaping text and advanced text options
  45. Text Animators, part 6: additional text selectors
  46. Mask Feather tool (CS6 and above)
  47. Paint: Creating and customizing brushes
  48. Paint: panel options (part 1)
  49. Paint: panel options (part 2)
  50. Paint: Timeline panel
  51. Paint: paths
  52. Paint: spot & blemish removal
  53. motion tracking (Part 1)
  54. motion tracking (part 2)
  55. Dynamic Link
  56. Setting up for export

I hope that Andrew keeps going with this series, as it’s certainly helping a lot of people to get started with many of the key features of After Effects.

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Excellent tutorials Andrew, some of the best out there!

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