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3 Powerful Tips for After Effects Beginners – Instant Look Upgrades

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Designers from just about every discipline are realizing the huge career benefits one can get from adding motion to their arsenal. After Effects is the big-dawg as far as Motion Design software goes, and it can have a steep learning curve. When you’re starting out, it’s very helpful to have a few “go-to” tricks up your sleeve to make your work stand out.

In this tutorial, After Effects Kickstart instructor Nol Honig will show you 3 powerful tips that are meant to help beginners produce work that feels like they’ve been at this for years. You learn a bit about the curves editor, some adjustment layer voodoo, and an animation trick that will fool everyone!

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Auto-Generated Transcript Below 👇

Nol Honig (00:00): Hey there I’m Nol Honig freelance motion designer, award-winning teacher, and occasionally a guy who wears ties in this quick video. I’m going to show you three tips to instantly improve your work in after effects. If you’re just starting out, this is definitely for you Learning the tricks of the trade. And after effects is super important. If you want to be a professional motion designer, I teach workflow tips like these and a bunch of other good habits in my after effects kickstart course. So check that out. If you really want to understand the fundamentals of after effects, also, you can download the project files that I’m using in this video to follow along or practice these techniques. After you’re done, watching details are in the description.

Nol Honig (00:54): My first tip is using easy ease and the speed graph to make your movements and after effects feel more interesting and or more natural. So I’ve got this scene here, which is just a beach ball that kind of gets thrown up and then falls back down again. All right. And right now this feels super weird and stiff because by default, after effects puts linear key frames into your animation. So basically if I select one of these key frames and I click here on this button and what we can see here is that the speed is constant throughout both of these moves, it doesn’t accelerate or decelerate, and this is why it just doesn’t feel very natural and why it feels super stiff. And after effects has a command built right in that fixes this, and it’s called easy ease. So I’m going to take the key frames that I want to put easy, ease on.

Nol Honig (01:47): I’m going to right click on here and go down to my key frame assistant. And here you can see here easy ease. And the keyboard shortcut is F nine, which is a really good one to remember because you’ll probably be using this a bunch. Okay. So I’m going to do that right now. You can see that it’s converted the diamond shaped linear key frames into these hourglass shaped frames or ease key frames. And if I press this button and jump back into the graph, you can see at a glance that this is now very, very different looking. So the way this works is that the speed here is starting at zero and it’s getting faster and faster. And then it’s decelerating or decreasing back down to zero right away. This is going to feel much more naturalistic than the linear key frames. So let me show you what this looks like.

Nol Honig (02:31): So it’s not perfect, but it’s definitely feeling better. And what you can see is like what I was just saying, it sort of speeding up and then it’s pausing and then it’s speeding up again and pausing as it gets back down right toward the end. And actually it’s that end bit there. That for me, makes it look very non naturalistic because as things fall, they increase in speed or at the very least stay at a constant speed once they start falling. So I’m going to show you how I would adjust and, uh, give this a much more naturalistic feel. So when I on these points and these points in here correspond exactly to my key frames, by the way, when I click on here, I get these handles. Okay. And the handles allow me to adjust how fast the speed increases in decreases as it comes in and out of these key frame points.

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By: School of Motion
Title: 3 Powerful Tips for After Effects Beginners – Instant Look Upgrades
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