Adobe After Effects: how to get started?

Adobe After Effect is an option to build animations. In this blog post, I share some of the tutorials and blogpost I have read in order to get me started with After Effect.

Animation with After Effects

Animations greatly improve the overall user experience of an app. They also bring different benefits to the user. In my last blog post about the SwiftAlps Conference, I wrote about the 12 basic principles of animations in design (see the slides in the blogpost). During the conference, we used CAEmitterLayer from Core Animation to insert a snow background effect.

Adobe After Effect is another option to build animations. After Effects is a powerful tool that is used to create digital visual effects and motion graphics. This tool is mainly used in film and television production although is also popular to create UI/UX animation among designers.

Adobe After Effects Logo

The main difference between After Effects and Swift

When it comes to design complex animations, After Effects is the way to go. Being able to craft an animation in real-time with visual feedback is easier than coding an animation in Swift and having to compile each time to see the results.

For custom animations such as animating the characters of a logo or animating the path of an icon then I would recommend doing it first with After Effects and then importing the animation int your app. If the animations are simple such as moving a layer of changing its alpha value then I’d just user your languages animation properties.

The most important advantage is visual feedback. Having visual feedback you can easily tweak and iterate an animation to achieve the expected desire. Then as we will explain in a future blog post, this animation can now easily be imported to be used in your app projects.

Furthermore, another important advantage is that After Effects is very popular among designers and animators, that said there are many online tutorial and youtube videos with examples of probably what you are trying to achieve.

Playing with After Effects

To get me started I watched the following. They are two video-tutorial that explain how to animate a company logo step-by-step. They have some good basic knowledge explanations that help me understand the basics of how to start.

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