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Adobe After Effects: Beginner and Intermediate

Course Overview

Course Code: AAEBNI

Adobe After Effects is the world’s most popular broadcast animation and compositing application.

This four-day course has been designed to provide a strong foundation in Adobe After Effects CS6. Numerous hands-on exercises in both basic and intermediate level topics will be covered to allow students to gain competency and confidence with the application.

Course participants can expect a rigorous and in-depth look into the mechanics of the software and learn best-of-field techniques applied in real-world situations. Students will also be taught how to integrate the application with their current video production workflows.

This course has been designed for those with little or no knowledge of the application. This course syllabus has been continually tested and tweaked for the past 13 years to account for new features and to cater to existing/changing industry demands

In-class, hands-on projects form part of the course coverage. This ensures that course participants have the confidence to initiate professional-quality projects on their own.

Course Objectives

After completing this course, students will learn about:

  • Effectively and efficiently customize the application’s interface to suit varied tasks
  • Create professional animation sequences and composites using a variety of features
  • Apply appropriate effects and features to beautify video footage
  • Apply and customize hundreds of broadcast-quality text animation effects
  • Animate logos and other graphics in interesting ways
  • Effectively apply and tweak in-demand effects

Additionally, this course serves as the foundation for our Adobe After Effects: Advanced course where we delve into the deep end of Adobe After Effects’ wonderful 3D capabilities and dig deeper into some of the topics covered in this course.

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for anyone involved in content creation with an interest to create cutting-edge animated sequences and composites for video, broadcast television, film, web, gaming and interactive multimedia.

This course is also suitable for professionals and hobbyists who want to delve deeper into creating professional motion graphics with Adobe After Effects. New users of Adobe After Effects who had no prior training on the software must seriously consider this course.


There are no pre-requisites for this course other than basic computing knowledge.

Course Duration

28 hours (4 Days)

Course Outline

Introduction to the Course

Introduction to Adobe After Effects (Applications & Interface)

  • Getting Familiar with the Many Uses of Adobe After Effects
  • Understanding a Typical Project Workflow
  • A Technical Introduction to Motion Graphics
  • Understanding how Adobe After Effects can be Integrated to Current Workflows
  • Getting Acquainted with the Interface
  • Customizing the Interface
    • Using Pre-installed Workspaces
    • Tips on Best-practices Workspaces
    • Editing Pre-installed Workspaces
    • Saving Edited Workspaces
  • Setting up the Preference File to Optimize Productivity and to Correct Issues found in the- Default Settings

Transform Properties & Animating in Adobe After Effects

  • An In-depth Look at Adobe After Effects’ Composition, Timeline & Info Panels
  • Working with Existing Project Files & Organizing Footage in the Project Panel
  • Understanding the Importance of Keyframes in Adobe After Effects
  • In-depth look at Using the Transform Properties
    • Position, Scale, Opacity, Rotation & Anchor Point
  • Understanding the Difference between Spatial & Temporal Keyframes
  • Achieving Maximum Control over Spatial Shapes & Keyframes
  • Appreciating the Difference between Good and Bad Animation Techniques
  • Understanding how Adobe After Effects Animates Between Different Types of Keyframes
  • Using the Graph Editor to Achieve Maximum Control over Temporal Properties
  • Learning the Secrets to Achieving Smooth Motion and Solving Motion Kinks
  • Using Roving Keyframes, Auto-orient & Motion Blur

Working with Layers

  • Understanding Layer Hierarchy in the Timeline & Composition Panels
  • Working in the Footage and Layer Panels
  • Exploring Techniques to Align and Distribute Layers

Other Animation Methods in Adobe After Effects

  • Using Motion Sketch, The Smoother & The Wiggler Animation Assistants
  • Using Mask Paths to Create Motion Paths
  • Tips and Trips for Copying and Pasting Keyframes

Working with Layers & Setting up Compositions

  • Working with New Projects & Importing Media Assets into the Project Panel
  • Working with Various Types of Footage Formats
  • Understanding What an Alpha Channel is and its Purpose
  • Using the Interpret Footage Dialog to Correct Metadata Issues & to Re-purpose Footage for Specific Uses
  • Applying & Customizing Composition Presets
  • Understanding the Different Ways to Place Layers onto the Composition Panel
  • Setting up a Single Composition Workflow
  • Replacing Layers in the Project & Timeline Panels
  • Importing Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop Files

Optimizing RAM Previews

  • Exploring Different Preview Options
  • Productivity Tips on the Different Preview Options

Animating with Child & Parent Layers & Expressions (Introductory & Intermediate Levels)

  • When to use Child & Parent Relationships
    • Productive Uses of the Parenting
    • Overcoming the Common Pitfalls of Parenting
  • Introduction to Expressions
    • Using the Pick Whip to Create Basic Expressions
    • Introduction to Basic Javascript 1.5
    • Understanding the Expressions Syntax
    • Editing Pick-Whipped Expressions
    • Editing, Saving and Managing Expressions

Introduction to the Text Tool

  • How to Create Text Layers
  • Understanding the Mechanics of the Text Tool
  • Creating Basic Range Selector Keyframes
  • Exploring the Range & Wiggly Selectors
  • Using Adobe Bridge to Apply Animation Presets
  • Customizing Text Animation Presets
  • Saving & Re-using Text Animation Presets

The Many Facets of Rendering

  • Understanding Video Compression
  • Understanding File Formats and Video Architectures
  • Setting up a Render for Non-Linear Editing Systems (NLEs)
    • Understand the Issues Involved with Color Spaces across Applications & Platforms
  • Tips to Solve Color Remapping Issues when Rendering to NLEs
  • Using Adobe Media Encoder to Render to Multiple Delivery Systems
  • Understanding the Different Types of Render Settings
    • Understand what Pre-Renders are and When to Use them
    • Render & Output Settings for the Different Types of Renders
    • Creating & Saving Render & Output Module Templates

Working with Audio in Adobe After Effects

  • Strategies for Previewing Audio
  • Workflow  Techniques for Audio Interchange between AE and Adobe Audition
  • Strategies for Spotting Music and Sound Effects
  • Exploring Audio-to-Animation Features

Applying Effects & Animation Presets

  • Applying Simple Effects
    • Applying Useful & Popular Effects
    • Understanding the Different Types of Effect Parameters
    • Productive Tips on Changing Property Values
    • Using the Graph Editor and Expressions for Maximum Control
  • Applying Animation Presets
  • Tips on Saving Animation Presets

Exploring Compound Effects

  • Understanding the Mechanics of Compound Effects
  • Creating Imagery for Compound Effects
  • Exploring Compound Effects

Exploring Popular Effects

  • Exploring Commonly-used Effects
  • Exploring Puppet Pin
  • Exploring the Functionality of the Puppet Pin Tool
  • Preparing Footage for the Puppet Pin Tool
  • Working with the Starch & Overlap Tools

Applying Adjustment Layers

  • Understanding What are Adjustment Layers and How to use them Effectively
  • Combining Adjustment Layers with Masks

Precomposing & Nesting

  • Understanding the Rationale for Pre-composing & Nesting
  • Understanding the Difference between Nesting & Pre-Composing

All About Mattes

  • Understanding the Difference between an Alpha Channel & a Matte
  • Understanding What are the Different Types of Mattes and Their Uses
  • Understanding the Importance of Mattes in Compositing
  • Exploring Timeline & Effect Mattes
  • Exploring Techniques for Fine-tuning Mattes
  • Using Masks to Create Mattes

Blending Modes

  • Exploring Blending Modes
  • Tips for Using Blending Modes
  • Creating Masks & Mattes for Blending Modes

Understanding Continuous Rasterization & Collapsed Transformations Issues

  • Understanding AE’s 2D Render Pipeline
  • Exploring Continuous Rasterization & Collapsed Transformations for 2D Layers

Keyframing Time

  • Exploring Time Remapping
  • Exploring Time Stretch

Exploring Masking & Introduction to Shape Layers

  • Understanding the Different Uses of the Mask Tools
  • Exploring Mask Properties
  • Working with Masks in the Layer Panel
  • Animating Mask Properties
  • Working with Mask Modes
  • Creating Morphing Effects with the Mask Tools
  • Converting Text to Shape Layers or Masks
  • Introduction to Shape Layers

Layer Styles

  • Introduction to Layer Styles

Project Management Techniques – Best Practices

  • Managing On-going Projects
  • Archiving Projects

Course Wrap-up

Mode of Assessment


Certification Obtained and Conferred by

Certificate of Attendance by Next U (Executive Arm of NTUC LearningHub)


S$1,200.00 (before GST) / $1,284 (with GST)

Additional Note

Instructor Profile:

Roland Kahlenberg, has been using Adobe After Effects for 17 years and has 14 years of lecturing/training experience. He has been an Adobe Certified Expert in Adobe After Effects since 2002. Roland has lectured at college and university levels at LaSalle College of the Arts and Nanyang Techological University. Roland is also one of a few individuals in the world to be a certified instructor in both Adobe After Effects and mocha.

Roland’s testimonials include world-wide recognition for his expert and dedicated sharing of knowledge in Adobe After Effects and mocha –

Todd Kopriva, – on behalf of the Adobe After Effects Development Team

“Roland has proven himself over the years to be one of the most consistently helpful and knowledgeable After Effects users in many contexts, including answering questions on online forums and providing detailed and accurate tutorials.”

And here is Ross Shain (2013 Academy Award winner for Technical & Scientific Achievement) , Chief Marketing Officer – Imagineer Systems, developers of mocha planar tracking and visual effects tools.

“Roland Kahlenberg is an excellent mocha and Adobe After Effects trainer. He has deep knowledge of our mocha products and the ability to clearly explain solutions to intricate and difficult visual effects and post-production tasks. Roland doesn’t only explain what to do but he tells you why you’re doing it. I encourage those who are keen to learn our products in a classroom environment, to seriously consider his intensive mocha courses.”

Roland has been a Forum Leader and Contributing Editor at’s Adobe After Effects online forum since its inception in 2000. is arguably the world’s most prominent film and video related online forums. Roland has also designed WSQ courses for SSG and imcube labs GbmH, on Adobe After Effects and mochaPro, respectively.

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