After Effects “Arrivals Board” Tutorial!

Confession time. Teachers are not always the best students. If my software knowledge were a swimming pool, the Flash side would be the deep end, with lots of inflatable toys and a kick ass slide and diving board. But it would be clearly roped off from the shallow side of the pool which would represent my mastery of other equally cool Adobe programs like After Effects or Premiere.  And why is this?…maybe lack of necessity, lack of training, or just a lack of enthusiasm for learning new things in general? Probably all of the above. Which is too bad, because I’ve been bitten by the AfterEffects bug, and I’m kicking myself for not learning this program sooner.

I spent last weekend going through step by step of the After Effects tutorial just released, (obviously I didn’t teach it)  and the weekend before that I watched another lesson (soon to be released). So I’m starting to feel like the training wheels are coming off, and its exciting to be playing around. Especially coming from a Flash background I can see how these two programs will really come in handy together. And Adobe has done a great job making After Effects and Flash CS4 feel like sister products. 

Anyway, let me talk a little bit about the specifics of this tutorial. The first hour is an introduction to the program. Jeremy, the instructor, goes through an overview of the user interface, and gets into some conceptual stuff, like what a composition is, why use them, etc.  Jeremy also uses Flash so he makes some cool comparisons between the two that will be helpful if you’re coming from that background like me. 

The last two hours deal with creating the Arrivals Board, ( you might recognize the letter flip effect from the beginning credits to the movie “The Terminal”).  This is a genuinely fun starter project and relatively easy, but you should get a feel for the real power of After Effects. So again, I’m sold. Like that hair plug guy used to say, “I’m not only the president, I’m also a client”….  If you didn’t get the Adobe suite with AfterEffects, consider upgrading to include it. They do have that option somewhere on the site.

And if you’re interested in buying the lesson, it is $15  ( a fraction of the cost I paid to have it made )  but keep in mind too, if you sign up for the newsletter right now until probably early December, you’ll get this lesson AND the Illustrator tutorial from the previous post for the same price.  Click here or the advert below to get to the sales page

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7 thoughts on “After Effects “Arrivals Board” Tutorial!

  1. Perhaps I’ve used AE a little longer, but just looking at your screen shot, I can tell this could be brushed up a little before release.

    (Purely constructive observation)
    Firstly, your 3D isn’t working right because you didn’t collapse transforms for your nested comps (I know cause you can see it’s not checked in the screenshot). This is why the flippers don’t reach out into 3D space in your master composition; they’re always kind of facing the camera and look sort of flat. And the animation (screenshot) doesn’t look as polished as your Advertisement Title because you created that in a program you’re more familiar with (shadows, shading/lighting).

    This observation is with due respect because clearly you know your stuff in Flash, which I barely know how to edit text in. But if you’d like some help with After Effects tutorials, let me know. I’d be glad to help. =-)

  2. Heh, touch up a screenshot? No. I can barely muster the time to add screenshots. But yeah, obviously the title logo of the course is way different than the animation in the course. Thats like comparing the drawings of hamburgers on a Happy Meal to the burger you eat. Most logo titles are an embellishment. I always reserve the right to make a kick-ass logo even if the course is 2 hours of code =)

    Also this course wasn’t taught by me, it was done by a loooong time AE user named Jeremy Hicks. You can download some of this course and others he’s done for free if you’d like to listen to some of why I think he’s more than qualified to teach it. And he really wasn’t going for a 3D look, he conceived that effect more like it was only being seen from a front view. I don’t even remember if he talks about the z-axis more than just in passing. But when I rendered out the final animation for the demo FLV, I turned it in 3D space, and admittedly killed some of the illusion of depth. But when its flipping really fast (vs. freeze-framed) its not nearly as obvious. I do see exactly what you mean. But this is a project based around teaching some of the basics of After Effects. Framing those concepts around a project, just gives the viewer a nice start to finish and something to fool around with in the end.. Like when you were a kid with a coloring book, “hey, I colored everything within the lines, I’m done! Look Mom! “

  3. Adochedeaxata says:

    Hi Guys,
    Just stumbled upon this site. It looks cool and I think I will be having a good time over here.

    Welcome me 🙂

  4. I am Horace Furton

    Just like to start by saying

    I’m kinda new to the pc world and forums and stuff so please abuse me now to get the iniation over with

  5. Hey guys,

    Which is the best FLV Player, i don’t want to spend money and i want it to be a good one and that supports Windows, with playlist, snap pictures.

    Thanks You for your help.

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