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Video Tutorial: Top 10 After Effects Mistakes To Avoid

Joshua Noel

In this video tutorial, take a look at ten Adobe After Effects mistakes that can really throw off your project if you’re not careful.

Adobe After Effects is powerful motion graphics and compositing software. Understanding each and every aspect of its features can take years. However, there are some fundamentals that even beginners should know. In this video, I go over ten mistakes that After Effects users should avoid.


1. Not Using Motion Blur

Video Tutorial: Top 10 After Effects Mistakes To Avoid — 10 Mistakes

Motion blur allows you to easily make animations appear natural. Plus, motion blur is a great way to enhance your animated graphics.


2. Thinking You Need Plugins to Do Great Work

Video Tutorial: Top 10 After Effects Mistakes To Avoid — Motion Blur

After Effects is a powerful tool that allows you to do practically anything in the worlds of motion graphics and non-3D VFX. It’s important for you to visualize what you are looking to create and be able to solve problems each step of the way.


3. Using Linear Keyframes Instead of Easy Ease

Video Tutorial: Top 10 After Effects Mistakes To Avoid — Plugins

Sometimes it makes sense to use the regular linear keyframes. However, using “easy ease” keyframes allows you to quickly create natural movement within your animation.


4. Forgetting to Feather Your Mask

Video Tutorial: Top 10 After Effects Mistakes To Avoid — Feather Masks

When compositing, feathering your mask is critical. You need your images to blend together and appear as one. Forgetting to feather your mask will not yield a convincing composite.


5. Using Solid Layers for Shapes

Video Tutorial: Top 10 After Effects Mistakes To Avoid — Shapes

When you need to create shapes for motion graphics, and you use a solid layer with a mask, you are totally missing out on shape layers. Shape layers allow you to neatly organize shapes, and they open up many ways of animating shapes.


6. Not Using Video Scopes for Color Correction

Video Tutorial: Top 10 After Effects Mistakes To Avoid — Video Scopes

Color correction is its own art with its own rules and creative techniques. While you may not need to be a color correction expert, it is vital that you understand video scopes if you do need to color. Without video scopes, you are practically judging the images based off of your display. What looks good on your monitor may not look good on someone else’s.


7. Bad Organization

Video Tutorial: Top 10 After Effects Mistakes To Avoid — Bad Organization

You’ve worked on a project that has hundreds of layers, and then your client asks you to change some titles. You then have to dig through your project, changing multiple titles that have been duplicating many times. With proper organization using “pre-compositions,” you can change the title once, and the entire project updates in a second.


8. Using The Transform Menu to Animate Text

Video Tutorial: Top 10 After Effects Mistakes To Avoid — Transform Menu

While this isn’t a bad thing to do when it makes sense, if you are not using the animate menu with text layers, you are missing out on control. The animate menu allows you to use advanced parameters to animate your titles, individual characters, and much more.


9. Centering Objects By Hand

Video Tutorial: Top 10 After Effects Mistakes To Avoid — Centering Objects

If you use your mouse to center titles (or any other object in After Effects), you are bypassing the align tab. The align tab allows you to center or align layers to the left or right with a click of a bottom. Start being accurate with the align tab.


10. Using The Stroke Effect

Video Tutorial: Top 10 After Effects Mistakes To Avoid — Stroke Effect

The stroke effect is great at creating outlines if you have the mask. If you have the text layer or vector object, you can convert them into shape layers and apply “trim paths.” Trim paths allow you to cleanly animate strokes.


Looking for more After Effects tutorials? Check these out.

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