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  • Wilman

After Effects - A love story

Updated: Apr 16, 2021

Animation is by far one of the coolest form of media ever in my opinion. I see it as a tool to push any static design. Finished designing an awesome logo? Animate it and I bet you’ll love that logo even more. I must warn you, there is a learning curve to After Effects and takes years to even get close to mastering this software. I myself am not even close to mastering this software but I am determined to learn as much as I can.

This is my love story.

The Meet Cute

I honestly had no idea After Effects even existed and/or what it was. The only reason it was even on my radar was because I heard it was going to be part of our school curriculum. So, what did I do? I asked another student about it and did research on what After Effects was and what its capabilities were. That’s when my eyes widened and the dumb confused look in my face disappeared.

I thought to myself:

“You can animate characters!?”

“You can make videos!?”

“You can do that!!??”

Now, I was excited. My creative wheels started turning, and I started imagining animated characters.

The Beginning

Fast forward a couple of weeks and the class finally started. Excited and ready to do some animation, I launched After Effects on the computer and was slapped in the face with straight fear.

“What the hell is all this?"

The interface was straight out of some futuristic alien spaceship. I had no clue what I was looking at. Needless to say, the excitement from our first "Meet Cute" declined rapidly until the professor said “Ok lets go through the interface.” “This here is the timeline, this is a keyframe, this is how you adjust timing.”

All I heard was, “You’re an idiot,” “Timeline,” “You’ll never learn this,” “Keyframe.” After spending a couple of hours of moving around in After Effects the fear faded. For the next couple of months, I did animation projects, learned some really cool effects and then class was over. Sadly, our early relationship would fade, as most first loves do.

The re-introduction

After Effects and I weren't on speaking terms. But that was all about to change. JSDesigns gave me the opportunity to explore what I loved and enjoyed. I excitedly downloaded After Effects on my laptop and launched the app. As soon as the interface came on the screen the "what is this crap” thought came rushing in. I had completely forgotten everything! I was frustrated with myself that I no longer understood something I was so interested in. I had no idea where to start or what to do. So, I researched it, watched a few tutorials online and in about a week of tutorials and research I completed my first animation.

The fruits of love and dedication Now that After Effects and I were "Facebook Official", I thought it was time to make my first animation: our JSD logo. I wanted to add life to the triangle by making it hop with excitement over the typography. Although it was a simple animation, it took me quite a while to finish. This first dip back into animation was a learning experience - I was able to better understand keyframes, timing, how to smooth out animations and how to make what you have on your artboard interact with one another.

The long-term committment

We spend more time together than ever these days, learning new things about each other everyday. I didn’t believe in it before,  but I’m beginning to think I’ve found my soulmate… After Effects, you’re my lobster.

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