Having trouble getting started in Adobe After Effects? Here are five great tutorials to get you up to speed.

Cover image via Adobe

Adobe After Effects can certainly be daunting for a first time user. Its layered layout and huge array of options may seem like too much to take in. However, like any Adobe program, it’s actually quite intuitive once you learn the basics.

So, if you’re just loading the program up for the first time or if you’ve been tinkering around for several weeks, here are some of the best tutorials on the web to help you get acquainted and editing in no time. Let’s jump in.

1. Getting Started in After Effects

When you’re first getting started, the very most beginning basics are usually the most daunting. In this tutorial by Seun Jubril, you’ll learn the most basic of basics, like opening and starting a new project, importing files, and navigating layers. If you can take a deep breath and make it through the first few minutes, you’ll see it’s not too bad — and you can even begin working with keyframes and learning to preview.

2. How to Learn After Effects

This tutorial by KriscoartProductions promises to teach you After Effects in 20 minutes. It actually works for more than that, as it does something more important — it teaches you how to learn After Effects. The video references and gives links to outside resources (like Video Copilot and Adobe TV) to show you how to continue your education once you’re up to speed.

3. Learning Keyboard Shortcuts

The beginning of your After Effects learning adventure is the perfect time to start utilizing keyboard shortcuts which will make your journey much easier, quicker and more enjoyable. In this video by Surfaced Studio, you can learn everything from how to zoom, duplicate, reveal properties and even render queue in a few simple key steps. Believe me — keyboard shortcuts will help in the long run.

4. Intro to Motion Graphics

While you’re not expected to master every aspect of After Effects off the bat, it is cool to see what the program offers and begin to understand how the basic principles you’re learning can be applied later. This simple tutorial by thevfxbro gives a basic peek into how to work with typography and some beginning forays into motion graphics. Nothing too complicated or challenging to scare you off, but pretty neat to check out early.

5. Intro to Motion Tracking

Another feature that makes After Effects such a powerhouse is the program’s motion tracking prowess. Motion tracking is important, as it allows you to work with footage that’s more than just flat, static, and two-dimensional. In this tutorial by matt01ss you can learn how motion is tracked in the program with keyframes and how your compositions can follow and interact.


Here are some additional roundups of resources, tips, and tricks to help you get a handle on the basics of After Effects video editing. Good luck and have fun!

Know of any additional resources for After Effects newbies? Share them in the comments below!