What is After Effects?
After Effects is an application used to create visual effects and motion graphics. As part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, After Effects is a top choice among designers and compositors for creating GIFs, animations, and post-production effects.
One of the best aspects of After Effects is its ability to integrate with other Adobe applications. Animators and motion artists often use After Effects in combination with Photoshop and Illustrator to bring still images to life. For film projects, After Effects is used with Premiere Pro and Adobe Audition. The ease of moving graphics and video between these apps creates a cohesive workflow that helps you stay productive.
That said, the features that come bundled into After Effects make it a powerful tool on its own. One of the most-used is Puppet Pin, which allows you to turn a static image into a moving one with a few quick clicks. Another popular feature is Content-Aware Fill, which digitally removes objects from video footage. Interested in learning how to edit footage for virtual reality projects? With the VR Comp Editor in After Effects, you can add effects and animations to 360 video.
Motion graphics are utilized throughout numerous industries to enhance video, create narratives, advertise products, and draw attention to web content or social media posts. After Effects makes it easy to accomplish all of these goals. Whether you’re a visual effects artist looking for employment with a film studio or a freelance designer who works with motion graphics alongside static images, After Effects is the industry standard.
Why Learn After Effects?
There are other applications that perform similar functions to After Effects. HitFilm Pro and Apple Motion are two examples of non-Adobe software with visual effects and compositing features. However, After Effects is consistently the top choice of software among motion graphics designers. Its interface, its compatibility with other Adobe apps, and its ability to produce high-quality video and graphics make it a crowd favorite for amateurs as well as professionals. Learning After Effects just makes sense for most motion graphics designers and video editors, especially if you already have a Creative Cloud subscription.
Since After Effects uses a similar interface to Premiere Pro and the two work similarly, people who already use Premiere Pro have a leg up when learning After Effects. Even if you only plan on using it sporadically, it’s often worth the time to boost your knowledge of video organization and editing in Premiere Pro with the post-production abilities of After Effects.
What Careers Use After Effects?
After Effects is important for motion graphics designers, animators, video editors, and designers. They use After Effects to add graphics or special effects to video, to adjust the appearance of video clips during the editing process, and to establish an aesthetic for projects. Since its launch in 1993, After Effects has grown into a complex software with importance across a diverse array of industries. It’s a staple among professionals working in film, video game development, television, web design, YouTube, and marketing.
For motion graphics designers, After Effects is an essential everyday tool. Motion artists rely on After Effects to manipulate video, organize their projects, and simplify the animation process. They use After Effects along with software like Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, and Adobe Audition to create and edit moving graphics.
2D animators and 3D animators use After Effects in their creative process alongside Adobe Animate, Cinema 4D, and other animation or visual design software. Besides providing features for adding movement to 2D images, After Effects can be used to create some 3D effects and edit the color and texture of animations.
Video editors and video managers also generally need to have some experience with After Effects, especially if they do any work in post-production. Although Premiere Pro is the primary application for editing video, many video editors use After Effects from time to time as well. Video managers oversee film projects from start to end, so it’s important for them to know After Effects along with other industry-standard software for enhancing and modifying footage.
What After Effects Classes Are Available?
If you want to improve your career prospects by gaining experience in After Effects, taking a class is one way to get started. Noble Desktop, our design school, offers After Effects courses where you can start learning After Effects or build on prior experience. You can attend these at our NYC location or live online from anywhere.
The After Effects Level 1 class provides a thorough overview of how to create animations, transitions, title sequences, and 3D effects using After Effects. You’ll start out by making simple GIFs, then move to more challenging projects that will familiarize you with the different capabilities of the application. It is recommended that students in this class have a basic knowledge of Photoshop before enrolling in After Effects Level 1.
Students who already have some After Effects experience or who want to build on their knowledge after attending After Effects Level 1 can enroll in After Effects Level 2. In this class, instructors will guide you through a series of real-world projects in which you’ll learn more advanced use of the app. You’ll practice green screen removal, integrating animations into video footage, rotoscoping, and other processes under the guidance of an expert instructor.
If you’re looking for a less intense class, you can brush up on the basics with After Effects in a Day. This 6-hour course teaches you how to import files from Photoshop and Illustrator, add basic animation to turn them into GIFs, and export them from After Effects. Taking this class provides a quick, efficient way to begin learning the After Effects interface and commonly used features.
Certificate Programs for After Effects
There are considerable benefits to learning After Effects as part of a certificate course. While taking a standalone class in After Effects will give you some experience with the software, earning a certificate provides broader industry knowledge that prepares you to apply what you learn in a career. Noble Desktop offers several certificates that include After Effects training, all of which are available in-person or live online.
Noble Desktop’s 72-hour Motion Graphics Certificate provides a comprehensive education in After Effects, along with a solid understanding of Premiere Pro. It’s the best choice for someone who is planning to start a career as a motion designer. You’ll finish this course with a demo reel, a certificate to list on your resume, and the ability to produce professional-looking motion graphics.
For a full-fledged program in both After Effects and Premiere Pro, you can opt for the Video Editing & Motion Graphics Certificate. This course covers basic, intermediate, and advanced use of both these applications in 102 hours of hands-on training. You’ll also learn audio mixing and editing with Adobe Audition.
If you’re primarily interested in learning video editing with some motion graphics training on the side, the 66-hour Video Editing Certificate may be the best fit. This program focuses on building skills in Premiere Pro. It includes supplementary instruction in After Effects and Adobe Audition, but the primary focus is on organizing, cutting, and threading together video clips using Premiere Pro’s suite of features.
Motion Graphics v. Video Editing
To understand the function of After Effects as a creative application, you first need to grasp what distinguishes motion graphics from video editing. While motion graphics design involves incorporating motion in individual images, text, and videos, video editing is a much more holistic process. Video editors may use motion graphics to make their projects look better. However, their primary concern is putting together clips of footage to convey a narrative.
Your experience with After Effects will depend on whether you’re using it for video editing or motion graphics. If you’re a designer who primarily works with static or moving graphics, you’ll rely on it to add vibrancy to images for websites, social media content, email marketing campaigns, and other digital formats. If video editing is your main area of specialization, it’s more likely that After Effects will be a supplementary tool to Premiere Pro.
After Effects v. Premiere Pro
If you’re new to Adobe software, it can be difficult to gauge the merits of learning After Effects over Premiere Pro (or vice versa). You may be uncertain of whether you need to know them both, or if you can get by in your industry by using just one of them. It’s also worthwhile for people who have experience in Premiere Pro to consider whether taking classes in After Effects could benefit them.
While After Effects and Premiere Pro are both industry-standard applications with functions for video design and animation, they are distinct in many ways. After Effects is a must-have tool for anyone who wants to bring graphics to life with animation, create elaborate title sequences for films, or modify video beyond basic processes. You can create basic text animations with Premiere Pro, but learning After Effects will bring your post-production effects to the next level. Many video editors and designers may also choose to learn After Effects to expand their ability to find jobs. Even if it’s not your specialty, demonstrated proficiency in After Effects can increase your value to potential employers.