Hot After Effects How-Tos

How To: Create a lightning bolt effect using After Effects and the Trapcode Suite

The Trapcode suite is a set of plug-ins for After Effects that allow video artists to create a variety of effects for inclusion in video and film productions. This particular guide demonstrates the power of Trapcode Particular and Trapcode 3D Stroke. Specifically, Wes Ball from OddBall Animation reveals how Trapcode was used in the creation of 'Eye of the Storm' - a music video by Lovett which can be seen here.

How To: Disintegrate Objects at Super Speed (You Will Need: Sandpaper & After Effects)

Largely self-taught, Ryan John Kothe is an animator working out of Auckland, New Zealand. After picking up some rudimentary After Effects skills, he went on to create an impressive portfolio of beautifully rendered stop-motion animations with a distinctly tactile feel. Curious about the process behind Worn Out—Ryan's depiction of objects disintegrating in fast-forward (shown below)—we contacted him for a brief Q&A on the techniques behind his work.

How To: Make a 3D holographic iPhone in After Effects

Learn how to create a video of holographic images appearing from an iPhone, using video footage and After Effects software. The basic elements used here are the built-in motion tracker (although you can also use the Mocha tracker bundled with CS4) and creating icons within After Effects with simple partially-transparent solids.

How To: Loop still images to fake a 3-dimensional movement over a surface

In this tutorial, After Effects is used in actual realtime to create a video comp that simulates a forward three-dimensional movement. Several images are arranged into a layered, three-dimensional composition, and a single image is tiled into a surface pattern that is offset tilted and scrolled forward indefinitely. Several additional elements are also mentioned to add realism and depth to the forward scrolling movement, including foreground elements, background images, camera shake, camera p...

How To: Create a beautifully layered 3D composition with After Effects

Using a layered photograph, chroma key footage and depth of field, prolific Italian designer Juri Ciana demonstrates precisely how to create a stunningly beautiful 3D composition with After Effects. In this informative video-only tutorial, depth of field and focus is utlized as critical elements that provide the various components of this video composition with a living vibrancy and dynamism.

How To: Animate a logo in After Effects

Learn to animate a logo in this rather casual (and occasionally cryptic) video demonstration that combines After Effects with audio portions in Sony Vegas. Much of the final product has already been rendered so this tutorial is essentially a walkthrough of the various parts of the project.

How To: Add realistic camera movement and color correction with After Effects

Increase the realism of your video footage with camera movement and color correction. In this video tutorial, Adobe After Effects is used to add realistic camera wiggle and shake to video footage from Call of Duty: Black Ops, simulating a handheld camera. In addition, the video tutorial also goes over some basic curve adjustment for color correction to give the video footage a unique look.

How To: Create "Predator"-style video camouflage in After Effects

Replicate the Predator-style video camouflage in After Effects by using displacement maps. This uniquely stunning and groundbreaking visual effect has been seen countless times in film and television to show video camouflage, invisibility, heat distortion, holograms, and static interference, among others. This video shows how to replicate this effect by using green screen footage, Fractal Noise and Displacement Maps, all within Adobe After Effects.