What is After Effects?
After effects is a digital visual effects & motion graphics application developed by Adobe Systems and used in the post-production process of film making and television production. Among other things, After Effects can be used for keying, tracking, compositing and animation.
Where is everything in After Effects?
Project Panel: Stores all of your media data & files. It is Located to the top left of screen interface. It provides basic information about your media files.
Composition Panel: Serves as a monitor to view all media files & preview of project timeline.
Render Queue Panel: Here is where you are able to view layers & rendering of your composition elements. Placing files in numerical order is very critical for viewing them in the composition panel.
Timeline: This is where your composition & project elements are all laid out to manipulate for final product.
How to Import footage?
You can import footage by either double clicking the Project panel area or click File > Import > File or Multiple files. Clicking & dragging from the Finder is also available for use.
How to Create A New Composition?
Always create a new (Video) composition first before adding any other items. You can either click & drag media clip(s) down to the composition icon & it will set composition based current footage settings. Also you may click Composition at the top of the screen—à New Composition.
Pulling Images & files into timeline?
Select image and/or files in project panel box then drag onto composition in comp panel. If you drag it on the composition video window you may choose “where” to place it, if dragged to the timeline you may choose “when” to place it.
Add special effect to a composition?
Look into special effects menu panel located to the top right side of interface. A vast list of special effects options will be available. Select by double clicking, allow a bit of time for render (depending on which effect) & view it in timeline.