When you start to learn how to create your own visual effects and especially when you pick up a rather complicated tool like Adobe After Effects, you want to ensure that your skill level advances from beginner to intermediate to advanced as efficiently as you can. There are thousands of After Effects tutorials out there, but it's often not about how many you watch, but about which ones you watch that makes the biggest difference. You want to choose tutorials that are just a little bit more advanced then where you are at in terms of skill level so that you can learn something new without being overwhelmed by complexity and risk getting frustrated and losing interest. Of course sometimes it's fun and inspiring to watch some of the super advanced tutorials just to see what you can do with Adobe After Effects, but for learning and to follow along you want to make sure you pick tutorials that are 'at your level'.
There are lots of great resources on Adobe After Effects and I think that over the years I have built up quite a strong library of high quality After Effects tutorials myself. In terms of choosing the tutorial that is right for you, I have tried to make things even easier for you and organised all of my tutorials by difficulty level. You can find all of myAdobe After Effects tutorials on this website or on the Surfaced Studio YouTube channel.
If you have never used After Effects before, this is where you should start. Thetutorials in the beginner section cover all of the basics of After Effects like the workflow, masks, track mattes, adjustment layers, compositions and pre-composing, simple expressions and more. The knowledge in these tutorials forms the basis for any visual effect.
Once you have finished the beginner tutorials and understand how to do all of the basics in Adobe After Effects, the fun can begin!My intermediate After Effects tutorials cover simple practical visual effects like gun fire, bullet hits, morphing, blood smears, motion tracking and much, much more. There is a ton of tutorials here to take your skill from beginner to intermediate.
Only after you can breeze through the intermediate tutorials should you move on to theadvanced tutorials. These tutorials build on the understanding you have gained from the intermediate tutorials and take the VFX to the next level. You will learn about how to create complex 3D integration VFX (a 6 part series), how to dissolve someone into crows, how to move your camera through the wall and how to realistically composite fireworks into your footage.
Besides my own website and YouTube channel I can highly recommend theAfter Effects tutorials you will find on the video copilot website! Andrew Kramer is a great teacher and entertainer and the tutorials are high quality, insightful and fun to watch. When I started out in Adobe After Effects, video copilot was my main resource for tutorials. Do note that the tutorials they have are usually very advanced so be prepared to deal with a steep learning curve or make sure you learn the basics of After Effects first before diving into their material. Either way, it's worth checking out their awesome tutorials - even if it's just for inspiration!
Learning visual effects is most fun when you can create cool visual effects, progress your own skill level and slowly move up to more complex and exciting effects. The most important aspect of this learning process is picking tutorials that are 'at your level' - challenging enough to teach you something new but not so challenging as to deter you. I hope I have given you a number of resources that you can reference and help you with your journey into the world of Adobe After Effects!