After Effects CS4: Essentials

After Effects CS4: Essentials


Total Run Time: 6 hrs

Total Training for Adobe After Effects CS4 Essentials introduces you to the wonderful world of motion graphics and the fundamentals of After Effects.


  1. Learn animation basics including keyframing and interpolation.
  2. Discover best practices for working with masks.
  3. See how to use the Puppet Tools.
  4. Get an introduction to working with the 3D Engine.
  5. Learn about applying layer blending modes.
DVD – $40.00

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After watching this After Effects CS4: Essentials training, you’ll know all about creating basic animations, text animation, tracking and stabilizing, basic keying and compositing, and basic 3D animation. Plus, you’ll get an insider’s view of some of the new features of After Effects CS4. Whether you are new to After Effects or brushing up on a technique, this series is just what you need to get up to speed fast.

Sample clip

Course outline


  1. Working with Photoshop® 3D Layers
  2. Using Dynamic Link to Remove Noise in Soundbooth®
  3. The New Timeline Search Feature & Pre-comp Flow Chart
  4. Introducing the Cartoon Effect

  1. Basic Video Concepts
  2. Importing Files
  3. Project Panel Overview
  4. Creating a New Composition
  5. Placing Footage in the Composition
  6. Creating a Film Strip Effect with Multiple Movies
  7. Timeline Panel Overview
  8. Timeline Switches, Time Ruler & Work Area
  9. Composition Panel Overview
Chapter 3: ANIMATION BASICS (33 min)

  1. Exploring the Transform Properties
  2. Introduction to Keyframing
  3. Interpolating Keyframes
  4. Practicing Interpolation
  5. Copying & Pasting Keyframes
  6. Creating a Loop
Chapter 4: WORKING WITH MASKS (44 min)

  1. Introduction to Masks
  2. Animating Masks
  3. Working with Mask Interpolation
  4. Rotoscoping
  5. Using Masks for Position Keyframes
  6. Creating a Simple Animation Using Masks
Chapter 5: ANIMATING TEXT (29 min)

  1. An Introduction to Text in After Effects
  2. Using Text Presets
  3. Creating Text on a Path
  4. Creating a Preset
  5. Animators: Range Selector
  6. Animators: Add Property
  7. Animators: Two or More Range Selectors
  8. Animators: Adding a Wiggly Selector
  9. Working with Text from Photoshop
Chapter 6: ANIMATION HELP 29:54 min)

  1. Using Motion Sketch & the Smoother
  2. Using the Wiggler
  3. Working with Auto-Orient & Split Layer
  4. Time Remapping
  5. Animating Stills Using the Anchor Point

  1. Parenting Basics & Null Objects
  2. Animated Man Exercise
  3. Stacking Ruler Exercise
  4. Text Animation Exercise
  5. Introduction to Basic Expressions
  6. Applying Expressions for Wiggle & Loop
  7. Using Expressions with Audio Files
Chapter 8: BASIC COMPOSITING (38 min)

  1. Applying Layer Blending Modes
  2. Creating a Track Matte
  3. Keying & Keylight
  4. Compound Effects: Gradient Wipe & Displacement Map
  5. Compound Effects: Wave World & Caustics
  6. Pre-composing & Nesting
Chapter 9: STABILIZING & TRACKING (27 min)

  1. Stabilizing a Shot
  2. Tracking a Point
  3. The Tracker Panel & Motion Tracker Options
  4. Corner Pin Tracking
  5. Mocha for After Effects
Chapter 10: PARTICLES & PAINT (21 min)

  1. Introduction to Particle Playground
  2. Breathing Tiger Exercise
  3. Introduction to Paint
  4. Creating an Invisible Pen Effect
Chapter 11: INTRODUCTION TO THE 3D ENGINE (33 min)

  1. Introduction to Camera Angles & Monitor Views
  2. Creating 3D Text with Lights & Shadows
  3. Setting Up a 3D Scene
  4. Animating a 3D Scene
  5. Working with Vanishing Point
Chapter 12: SHAPE LAYERS & THE PUPPET TOOLS (20 min)

  1. Creating a Shape Layer
  2. Animating Shapes with Repeater & Brainstorm
  3. Using the Puppet Pin & Puppet Starch Tools
  4. Using the Puppet Overlap Tool
  5. Animating with the Puppet Tools
Chapter 13: RENDERING & EXPORTING (17 min)

  1. Using the Render Queue
  2. Working with Adobe Clip Notes
  3. Exporting for Flash®
  4. Credits

Presenter Info

Luisa WintersLuisa Winters is an accomplished videographer, editor, 3D animator and graphics designer. Her compositions have been seen on broadcast TV as well as in private video productions. She has created and edited scores of video and web projects for dozens of corporate, government, and educational, commercial and private clients. An accomplished non-linear editor and instructor, Luisa has conducted training sessions and master classes for Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Flash, Deamweaver, Captivate and Encore DVD.

Luisa has been a featured speaker at NAB every year since 2005. In addition, she has also been a featured instructor for the following conventions:
Government Video Expo
DV Expo

She has led sessions and workshops in almost every US state and in several countries across the world.

Luisa is a Johns Hopkins University Graduate and is fluent in both English and Spanish.