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Getting Started: After Effects

posted Feb 10, 2016, 8:37 AM by Tony Farley   [ updated Apr 15, 2018, 12:14 PM ]

Getting Started with AE

1. Find After Effects in your Applications folder and drag it to your Dock.  Then start it up.

2. Composition > New Composition (Command-n)  to create a new composition  Name it TextComp, make its size 1280x720, and set its length to 10 seconds. (00;00;10;00). The composition settings should look like the image below.

3. Set the workspace to Text to get all the text control windows open and available: 

4. Layer > New > Text to create a text layer.

5. Type your name.  Change the font, the size, the color in the text pallet.  Don't use red text! Look how ugly it is below. Click the text layer in the timeline or select your text if nothing is changing.  

6. Layer > New > Solid to create a solid shape.  Choose a color for it and drag it below your name in the timeline so it is behind your name.

7. In the timeline, twirl down the text layer's twirler and press the stopwatch for position.  This starts the key framing.  (Don't press it again! unless you want to delete all your keyframes!)

8. Move the time marker to 1 second, move your text (drag it in the window or use the transform numbers by opening the transform twirler.).

9. Move the time marker over 1 more second, move your text, and repeat until you are done.

10. Try some rotation and scale keyframes. Click the stopwatch once to set an initial keyframe and then move the timer and rotate or scale.  You may want to move the anchor point so the center of your text is in the middle.

11. FILE > SAVE AS  farleytony83_aetext_001, make a new folder on your hard drive called After Effects and save this file into there.

You will make it into a movie and post it to your website next time.

Here are some great tutorials getting you started in After Effects with files you can download.  http://www.videocopilot.net/basic/

Here is a good video showing some more advanced text editing techniques.  Watch it!