Simple Motion Graphics – Intro to After Effects (Gr 5-6)

After Effects is probably the trickiest program in the Adobe suite to get your head around. It can be very complicated. After Effects is used for post production. So that’s motion graphics, special effects, rotoscoping, animation, the whole gammat. I once heard someone say that After Effects is the middle ground between Photoshop (for images) and Premiere Pro (for video). I would also add there is a fair bit of Animate in there (for animation).

So, to get the students introduced to After Effects, I had a really simple project in mind. I wanted them to animate the school logo coming in from the left of screen, staying put, and then flying out to screen right.

Pretty simple. But I wanted the kids to get started with understanding the idea of keyframes – markers in an animation that have set values. In other words, you could set one keyframe at 1.00sec saying the object is 100% scale and another at 2.00sec saying the object is at 0% scale. So that means, in your composition, the object – between 1-2 seconds, would shrink from 100% to 0%..

Got that so far? Right, so I didn’t actually focus on size. I just focused on position. Have a look at the video below to see how I taught the project to the kids.

Below is an extra video explaining how to export the composition to a video file. In experimenting with different files, I choose to use the preset YouTube 720p HD and H264 as the video format. And with using After Effects, I find using Adobe Media Encoder the best option that’s easiest for the students to understand.

The next project for the Gr 5-6s will teach them some basic video effects inside Adobe After Effects.