Monday, November 16, 2015

Goals: Learning Adobe After Effects

Adobe After effects is an amazing program. As its name implies, it lets you add visual effects to a project, ranging anywhere from stabilizing footage to a complete 3D render of a car or a building. The potential of this program is almost literally endless, and that is why it is an essential skills to possess in the field of media production. 

I've been wanting to learn Adobe After Effects since high school. I've been working with Premiere for a few years now, and I feel moderately proficient at it. After Effects is a different story. On multiple occasions I've tried to tackle this intense program, and each time I've turned away frustrated and discouraged. I was convinced that organized instruction in a classroom was the way to go. My high school didn't have any advanced production classes to expose me to this software, so I was basically on my own.  I have been trying to take Motion Graphics and Animation with Arturo for the past 4 semesters, but I've never been able to get a seat in the class (Thanks, Ithaca). On to of that, Arturo won't be teaching when I return from LA next fall, which has me extremely worried. I've heard great things about the class as it is, but I'm nervous that I might have missed my chance for quality AE instruction. 

Like I said, I've tried several times to teach myself. Most of the tutorials I've found online are either 3 hours of a monotone voice spouting out instructions, or some pre-pubescent 12 year-old filming his computer screen. Both are equally frustrating and discouraging. 

However, today in class Arturo showed me a tutorial website, video, that may be the answer to my After Effects woes. This comprehensive website has over 150 video tutorials on everything After Effects; from the basic layout to tools to effects, this website looks like it is everything I've been looking for in one place. Oh, and did I mention it is free? The videos are funny and entertaining, its not just commands and data be dumped into your ears. On the other hand, the videos are actually helpful, its not just someone trying to boost their Youtube subscribers.  I haven't had a chance to really dig into it yet (you know, because school), but I imagine "After Effects 101" is the perfect place for me to start. The website also provides you with project files for EACH VIDEO so that you can follow along and literally practice on the same files showcased in the video. There is also a tab to download various plugins and 3D packages, some for free and some at cost. 

After Effects has sort of intimidated me up to this point, but it really is the next weapon I want to add to my arsenal as I get closer to joining the *shudders* adult, professional world. It is an incredibly powerful program that allows for an immense amount of creativity. It is going to take time to learn just the basics, and I don't see myself doing an full 3D renders of cars anytime soon, but my plan is to slowly work my way through and try to gain an understanding of the program and its nuances. You gotta start somewhere. 

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