Adobe After Effects


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.



Accounting for optical illusions in design

Here’s a great video on how the new Google logo is not “perfectly” (geometrically) rendered:

It talks about how different aspects of the letters are tweaked to account for optical illusions. The same kind of thing might’ve been planned during the construction of the Greek Parthenon, which looks perfect but is actually offset to account for how the human eye sees things. For example, the Parthenon’s columns are not straight up-and-down columns:

2D Illustrator to 3D Photoshop

You can transfer 2D vector images from Illustrator to Photoshop to make them 3D objects by copying and pasting paths between the programs. There’s more information on a tutorial for 3D objects here, but if you don’t have a subscription to Lynda, you can follow the directions below.

Illustrator file


You will start with this:


And end up with this:

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 12.40.44 PM

Photoshop 3D object from Illustrator Path

  • Open your Illustrator file, select all the points in the path you’d like to use.
  • Copy this information (ctrl+c / cmd+c, or using the menu).
  • Open a new (blank) Photoshop project and paste this information (ctrl+v / cmd+v, or using the menu).
  • There should be a pop-up box when you paste. Choose to paste as a “Path.”
  • In Photoshop, open the Paths window and the 3D window, both from the Window menu.
  • Go to the 3D window. Choose source “Work path” and choose “3D extrusion.”
  • If there is a pop-up box asking you if you want to enter 3D workspace, choose yes/ok.
  • You should now have a menu for your 3D object in the 3D window pane:
    • Click on “Current View” to change the angle of the camera.
    • Click on “Infinite Light” to change the direction of the lighting.
    • Click on “Background” (or whatever you named the layer for this object) to manipulate the object.
  • When you click on “Background” (the name of the object layer), the Properties window will show options. Click on the second small icon from the left on the Properties menu – deform.
  • Click on the sliders on the deform menu to adjust the depth and shape of the object.
  • Try setting extrusion depth to 0 and then rotating + or – 270 degrees on the “Vertical Axis” slider – this should make your vector drawing flat (2D) and then rotate it around a center axis to create a fully formed 3D object.

Wikipedia 101

Direct Link:

Wikipedia Introduction (handout):

Wikipedia Editing Basics (handout):