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1. Getting to Know the Workflow

Lesson overview

In this lesson you’ll learn how to do the following:

  • Create a project and import footage.
  • Create compositions and arrange layers.
  • Navigate the Adobe After Effects interface.
  • Use the Project, Composition, and Timeline panels.
  • Apply basic keyframes and effects.
  • Preview your work using standard and RAM previews.
  • Customize the workspace.
  • Adjust preferences related to the workspace.
  • Find additional resources for using After Effects.

A basic After Effects workflow follows six steps: importing and organizing footage, creating compositions and arranging layers, adding effects, animating elements, previewing your work, and rendering and outputting the final composition so that it can be viewed by others. In this lesson, you will create a simple animated video using this workflow, and along the way, you’ll learn your way around the After Effects interface. This lesson will take about an hour to complete.

Whether you use After Effects to animate a simple DVD title sequence or to create complex special effects, you generally follow the same basic workflow. The After Effects interface facilitates your work and adapts to each stage of production.

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