Learn the foundation skills needed to create visual effects and motion graphics for film, video, multimedia and the web.


Knowledge of the Windows work environment. Knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator or Premiere Pro is considered an asset but not mandatory.



  • Digital video basics
  • Understanding analog versus digital
  • Clarifying frame rate and resolution
  • Understanding storage space
  • Defining motion graphics

After Effects user interface

  • Creating a project
  • Using the After Effects panel system
  • Organizing the project window
  • Using the Composition window
  • Using the Timeline window
  • Ram Preview vs. Standard preview

Media management

  • Importing media files
  • Importing Photoshop & Illustrator files
  • Previewing footage
  • Previewing stills and video
  • Previewing audio
  • Trimming a video clip
  • Using the interpret footage dialog box
  • Looping an audio or video file


  • Getting to know layers and their options
  • Creating a layer
  • Understanding the layer switches
  • Using time stretch and frame blending
  • Nesting compositions/layers using
  • Using precomps


  • Animating layer properties
  • Understanding motion paths
  • Working with layer blending
  • Controlling the speed of animations
  • Learning the easing principles

Adding text to your project

  • Creating text
  • Using the Character and Paragraph palette
  • Animating text with keyframes
  • Animating text using presets

Using Masks and alpha channels

  • Masking
  • Animating masks
  • Working with alpha channels
  • Track matte


  • Effect basics
  • Animating effects

Rendering and exporting

  • Rendering to various formats
  • Understanding the render queue
  • Adjusting render settings
  • Creating render templates
  • Exporting a project file
  • Rendering an individual frame

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