After Effects CS3: Essentials

After Effects CS3: Essentials


Total Run Time: 7 hrs

Discover the world of animation with After Effects CS3 Essentials. Hosted by professional animator Ko Maruyama, these training videos focus on new features and essential tools including Shape Layers, the Puppet Tool and Brainstorm.


  1. Learn how to create and animate graphics with new Shape Layers.
  2. Find out how you can bring your animation to life with the new Puppet Tool.
  3. Conjure up some suggested variants in your animations with the new Brainstorm user interface.
  4. Discover how to master some of the new Effects in After Effects CS3.
  5. Experience a streamlined workflow as you learn how to import your existing Photoshop layers.

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Additionally in this After Effects CS3: Essentials series, you’ll learn how to use many of the new effects found in After Effects CS3 as well as how to import Photoshop Layer Styles. Learn the tricks you need to get on your way to producing high-end animations.

Sample clip

Course outline

Disc 1


  1. Setting Preferences
  2. Importing Illustrator® Files
  3. Introducing the Shape Layer
  4. Reusing Compositions
  5. Animating with the Puppet Tool
  6. Creating a Ramp Effect
  7. Understanding Masks & Modes
  8. Basic Keyframing
  9. Animating a Title
  10. Setting Up a Render

  1. Manipulating Panels & Creating a New Workspace
  2. Examining the Project Pane
  3. Information & Thumbnails in the Project Pane
  4. Shortcuts to Find, Delete & Create a New Folder
  5. Introducing Compositions & Timelines
  6. Exploring the Composition Window
  7. Examining the Icons & Columns in the Timeline
  8. Navigating the Timeline & Adding Markers
  9. Working with Layers in the Timeline

  1. Prepping an Image in Photoshop® or Illustrator
  2. Importing Footage & Image Sequences
  3. Importing as a Composition
  4. Importing Layer Styles
  5. Using the Edit Original Command
  6. Saving as a Photoshop Document

  1. Understanding Layer Parameters
  2. Creating Simple Keyframes
  3. Differentiating Anchor & Position
  4. Selecting & Modifying Keyframes
  5. Managing Temporal Speed
  6. Using Hold Keyframes

  1. Linking Children to Parents
  2. Creating a Precomposition
  3. Keyframing Time
  4. Parenting & More Parenting
  5. Bringing It All Together
  6. Final Comments & Credits

Disc 2

Chapter 1: EFFECTS & ADJUSTMENTS (39 min)

  1. Locating & Applying Effects
  2. Using the Checkerboard Effect
  3. Using the Distort & Transition Effects
  4. Applying Effects to a Bitmap Image & a Shape Layer
  5. Layering Priority
  6. Saving an Animation Preset
  7. Applying Multiple Instances of the Same Effect
  8. Using a Layer to Define the Effect on Another Layer
  9. Using Adjustment Layers
Chapter 2: MASKS, MATTES & MODES (43 min)

  1. Applying Masks with the Vector Tool
  2. Editing & Animating Mask Properties
  3. Using Auto-trace to Generate Masks
  4. Using Transparency & Masks to Reveal Images
  5. Understanding Path Relationships
  6. Using Shape Layers
  7. Using a Track Matte
  8. Preserving Transparency
  9. Using a Composition as a Layer
Chapter 3: USING THE TYPE TOOL (46 min)

  1. Setting Up the Character & Paragraph Palettes
  2. Adding Text
  3. Modifying Character Formatting
  4. Fill & Stroke Options
  5. Exploring the Paragraph Options
  6. Creating Text from Photoshop® Layers
  7. Introducing Animation Perimeters
  8. Using Text Animators
  9. Range Selector Basics
  10. Converting Text to Outlines
  11. Replacing Fonts & Another Type Treatment Example
Chapter 4: EXPORTING & OUTPUTTING (21 min)

  1. Exporting as an SWF File
  2. Exporting to Clip Notes
  3. Making a Movie
  4. Controlling Render Settings
Chapter 5: NEW TOOLS & FEATURES (33 min)

  1. Introducing Shape Layers
  2. Working with Shape Fills
  3. Animating Shape Layers
  4. Exploring Photoshop Integration
  5. Using the Puppet Tool
  6. Introducing 3D Type
  7. Brainstorming with Effects
Chapter 6: SETTING PREFERENCES (11 min)

  1. Setting General Preferences
  2. View, Display, Import & Output Preferences
  3. Appearance, Memory & Saving Preferences
  4. Exploring New Preference Options

  1. Tips for Importing & Interpreting Footage
  2. Managing Source Material
  3. Making a New Composition
  4. Working with Ram
  5. Using the Collect Files Feature
  6. Final Comments & Credits

Presenter Info

Ko MaruyamaKo Maruyama has been working in the field of motion graphics for over twelve years. He has worked as a Visual Effects artist on several Emmy nominated advertising campaigns, music videos and promotional campaigns. He was most recently the Visual Effects Supervisor behind the motion graphics-based multi-media Snickers campaign starring the Black Eyed Peas which released simultaneously on television in print and online.

Ko has been on the motion graphics faculty of the Pasadena Art Center College of design for four years in the Digital Media Department. He’s also taught for Moviola, Video Symphony and several private firms.

He is a contributing writer for the online giant Digital Media Networks, has been published in several magazines, including STUDIO|monthly and featured in Millimeter and Post Magazine. He has several Emmy nominations, BDA/Promax Gold Awards and other international recognitions for his works.

Ko is on the board of Motion Graphics Los Angeles, a monthly forum for local artists and a central debut venue for new software in the industry. MGLA is the oldest, continuously meeting After Effects community in the country. He is also a member of Siggraph and the Director’s Guild in Los Angeles.