GSG Cast: Intro to After Effects

March 3, 2009

In this episode, I show you the basics of animating and pre-comping in After Effects.

UPDATE: Here is Part 2

Animation Based on my Five Seconds and Orange Project –

Tutorial Focus:  ,

  • That was really great, thanks. It makes me want to go try it even though I know nothing about motion design.. I was wondering where you want comments, on your website or vimeo? I bet you could probably shut off comments in vimeo so everyone writes comments in the same place. And also, do you think you could make a vid about all the things you did or had to know and the services you used in order to build your website?

  • Great stuff Nick! I work in AE all the time and I love to see how others work.

  • Hey Nick, thanks a ton, I appreciate the stuff your doing here on your site, it’s pretty kick ass.

    On a side note, how did you come up with the name “Grey Scale Gorilla” (If your looking for something to talk about in the next video.)

  • Yes Nick. We’d love to hear that story.

  • Also can others make s 5sec orange?

  • CBG: I would LOVE it if anyone else would like to do their own 5SecondOrange piece. I was thinking about setting up a weekly challenge for everyone to submit. Any interest?

    Also, I can’t wait to tell the Greyscalegorilla story ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe we should do it together when I visit next?

  • Great peak into what it takes to start using After Effects. Thanks for that, it doesn’t seem so daunting anymore, although knowing what you have to do to create is really inspiring for all of the work you’ll put into something only 5 seconds long.

  • Great cast today. I use AE a lot, but not so much recently. I’d love a weekly theme to get moving on making cool shit. I find that starting a project (even a small one) is difficult without a direction. Having someone else say “5 seconds and orange” takes the wasted time out of spinning my wheels with ideas that never amount to anything! Also, it enforces the “No more cooking shows” theory you like, since I find myself watching your casts and then going about my day without actually putting it into action right away.

  • Would love you to set up the mini challenges. Five seconds of Orange produced so many varied results!

  • A weekly challenge would be great. Hopefully the results will take off into some interesting directions.

  • great stuff here. now im not scared to click on that AE icon and give it a shot.

    Also weekly challenges would be excellent!

  • 5 second orange challenge sounds like a great idea. Matter of fact, I think I’ll get started this weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚ Awesome blog Nick.

  • yes please ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Great tutorial. Was wondering whether pre-comping increases rendering speed?

  • Ali: Yes, Pre-comping will speed up renders compared to just duplicating the layers.

  • Very cool to see how you accomplished a “complex” effect with a very simple composition. Iยดm starting to do stuff with after effects, I would love to participate in those week challenges to make me practice motion graphic stuff.

    PS: Excellent blog

  • Nice tut/work flow thing!

    I got one question not specifically related to this cast, I’ve seen that sometimes you render the work area, let’s say 5 seconds, and for some reason the resulting quicktime movie is one frame less, let’s say 4 seconds and 24 frames (PAL). It’s easy to fix just making the work area one frame longer but it’s just annoying, do you know if there’s a reason for AE to do that? ๐Ÿ™‚

    *puts hand up for the challenges

  • That’s really helpfull! greetings from Peru ๐Ÿ™‚

  • appreciate the shared time and knowledge, Nick

  • Really nice tutorial for a really cool result ! I really love this kind of animation with shapes, colors and audio sync ๐Ÿ™‚

    5s orange challenge for everyone is a good idea, I’m waiting for it !

  • Hello Nick, i’m a newbie and dont mean to bother you with this tutorial. I have a quest for the 5second orange video, and that is the camera effect of it. I followed your procedure, but i cant figure how you made it move (camera) as it rhythmic with the soundtrack?

  • Great tutorial i really learned a lot. The “Wotate tool” made me laugh out loud. Its so inspiring to she how you can make complex effects with a single composition. Please though tell us. How would you take care of the fringing?

  • This tutorial was awesome, a really great look into your work flow. I would love to see some more videos of this sort for inspiration and for the challenge of digging more into after effects.

  • Hi Nick, thanks for the tutorial and tips to get in the business. I actually already was in Brazil, but since I got here I’ve trying to but all that comes it’s web work.

    I made my own version of the squares, nothing to elaborated. Check it out when you get time.


  • the curves tip is awesome!

    I decided to test this tutorial in an intro video for a show. I still gotta play with cameras and stuff. but check it out and tell me what you think.

  • Thanks, this is great

  • Hey Hi Nick,
    Thanks for your tips,Hey i m doing some logo animation project for my demoreel it is in 3d environment i have created each part in photoshop & trying to align in AE, I inspired to do that with your “How To align 3D layers perfectly in After Effects” tutorial, now i stuck in the portion where i want to bend solid in curve positin, how to do that???????????????????

  • Nice story you got here. It would be great to read something more about that topic.

  • I am falling in love with after effects. thank you so much for these tutorials!

  • Thanks for giving us your brain on a dish!

    Yeah, this stuff is really helpful and motivating. Keep em coming. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Now the challenge is to make something as awesome as you do, ahahahaaa.

  • Hi Nick can you explain ho0w you did the camera movement as the square seems floating

  • Nice! I’ve been trying to get into AE, you’ve helped a ton.

  • hi nick, apologies for asking a question after things had been done so long ago..

    i need help:
    im following this tut, everything’s great! except for the weird edge u mention in the vid.. ๐Ÿ™ n u did mention u’ll get to solving it.
    did i miss anything or the solution to that problem is found on ur other AE tutorial vids?


  • Hey Nick, I link this video to students and people getting interested in the fundamentals of AE very often, will you ever reorganize these tutorials for better navigation?

  • where do you get the sound effects for this project

  • Hey nick this video is pretty awesome and very helpful! We were given a kinetic type project about a week a gao and i was wondering if you have any tutorials on kinetic types?

  • nice … i just get started with ae … your video helps me a lot to get through this dungeon … thx man

  • superb what a curacy animation love this

  • I’m starting with all tutorials, they’re just great, I love that they’re simple and easy to get, Thanks you!! ๐Ÿ˜€ hopefully I will participate soon in the 5 sec project!

  • this means a lot to me thank you. as someone who is studying moving image yet not shown what to look at I felt lost in tasteless tutorials and started questioning if this is actually what I wanna do. This gives a fresh start!
    but is it possible for a new vimeo video of this even though this is quiet dated. It would be nice if it was HQ?

  • thanks man! following you now… ;D

  • Hi, how do I rotate without changing the scale?

  • Thankyou soo much! It is very helpful.

  • Wow you did this 7 years ago! I found this to be really helpful. It was direct, quick, understandable and we have something that looks semi-cool in the end. Thanks.

  • Hello, Thank you for a great tutorial. I have never touched after effects in my life and this is awesome!
    However, one question, when you speak about using the curves to change the way the square “expands” mine doesn’t curve, its just a line that goes up to 100% and stays there the duration of the 20 seconds, and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong?

  • Just amazing.
    Thank you

  • Hey really nice tute… here i tried adding smthing in it… tried sm camera tricks…plz sugest 4 betr performance…..trying to learn from u…

  • Graph editor has changed a bit since 2009.
    Plus how do you duplicate a layer? I had to google it…Ctrl+D

  • How come the bottom white rectangle doesn’t change color when you change the hue/saturation?

  • Hi GSG crew this is such a great tutorial. Many thanks, from Cape Town South Africa!

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