tutorials on using linear expression method, null control layers, and expression controls
Sometimes, a tutorial doesn’t primarily teach what the title says it’s teaching.
For example, Andrew Devis recently released a pair of video tutorials that seem from the titles to be primarily about synchronizing animation to audio:
- Using audio to control effects – part 1: the workmanlike approach
- Using audio to control effects – part 2: the more elegant approach
Yes, these video tutorials show quite well how to use the Convert Audio To Keyframes command and then link the result to animation of various properties. But the real strength of these tutorials isn’t in the audio part of that instruction; it’s in the linking part.
Andrew shows very clearly and methodically how to use expressions (specifically the
linear expression method), the expression pick whip, null object layers, expression control effects… all of which are immensely powerful and crucial features. Unfortunately, these same features are usually very intimidating for new users.
In other words, I think that Andrew may be selling himself short by saying that these are tutorials about something as easy to do as converting audio to keyframes. In fact, they are great resources for teaching some of the most important and universally useful features to help someone to move from the basics into doing seriously complex and advanced work in After Effects.
As my colleague Kevin Monahan recently pointed out, Andrew has been creating a lot of tutorials lately. They’ve nearly all stood out from the vast crowd of tutorials by actually teaching people how to use After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Soundbooth—unlike many tutorials that just show how to create a specific look or result without imparting much actual knowledge.
Great work, Andrew!
For more information on expressions, see these sections of After Effects Help: