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Digital Video & Audio

December 1, 2011 /Region of Interest /

video training providers for After Effects

We like to point people to free video tutorials as much as possible, such as in this set of resources for beginners and this much more comprehensive set of resources; but we often get asked where people can get more complete, in-depth training materials. Of course, many of these in-depth materials are not free, since creating a lengthy, deep set of video training materials is the sort of work that people tend to want to get paid for. This article is a brief summary of the best providers of paid video training that I know of. In all cases, you can find free sample videos on the websites of these providers, which they’ve generously provided as a way for you to try out their materials before you buy anything.

  • video2brain: In the past couple of years, video2brain has emerged to be one of the best providers of video training content for After Effects… and I don’t just say that because I helped to create many of the After Effects courses. The other person doing much of the training for video2brain is Angie Taylor, who is as delightful to listen to as she is informative. In addition to giving you the ability to purchase DVDs of individual courses, video2brain also has subscription options that give you access to all of their materials.

  • For several years, has been providing video training for After Effects, but I think that they’ve really improved their offerings lately with courses by Chris & Trish Meyer and Mark Christiansen. has several different subscription options.

  • Total Training: I learned After Effects largely by using Total Training DVDs and tapes (yes, tapes) by Steve Holmes, Dean Velez, and Brian Maffitt. It was truly excellent training. (Thanks, guys!) Brian Maffitt did a set of training for After Effects CS6 recently, much of which is free on Adobe TV, and the After Effects CS5.5 and CS5 materials presented by Luisa Winters are quite good. You can order DVDs of the courses, or you can subscribe for online access.

  • Motionworks: The Making It Look Great series from Motionworks is not the sort of video training that teaches a beginner the basics of how to use After Effects. Rather, this series presents detailed, real-world workflows and tips for creating motion graphics that… well… look great. The later DVDs in the series concentrate on Cinema 4D, whereas the first several concentrate on After Effects and companion plug-ins and applications.

  • Creative COW: The Creative COW website is mostly known for its forums and free video tutorials, but they also produce some very good video training on DVDs for sale. For example, the best resource that I’ve ever seen for rotoscoping in After Effects is Pete O’Connell’s DVD, which is unforunately listed as “permanently out of stock”. (Maybe if enough people ask nicely, Creative COW can reissue that course.)

  • Video Copilot: Video Copilot is another website that is mostly known for its free video tutorials, but they also sell some premium video tutorials on DVD that aren’t available online. Additionally, they collect their free tutorials into very reasonably priced DVDs so that they can be used offline. These training offering are available on their products page, along with all of their plug-ins, stock footage, et cetera.

  • Creative Edge: The Creative Edge website collects resources from several providers into one subscription service, so you can watch videos by Total Training, some by video2brain, and so on–all in one place.

Did I miss any providers of video training that you like? Let me know in the comments.

Also see the companion to this article, “video training providers for Adobe Premiere Pro”.

(Full disclousure: I’ve worked with most of the organizations listed here–peforming such tasks as creating videos for them, helping them plan their courses, and reviewing their materials. None of them pay me, though.)

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