3 Effective Sites For Learning After-Effects To Use In Your Film Projects

Joshua Lockhart 11-01-2012

after effects tutorialRight after one of my last articles about online video-making communities Check Out These 4 Online Video Communities For Budding Filmmakers As a video production student, I still don't know what direction I'm going in. I don't know if I want to make music videos, and I don't know if I want to make documentaries. I... Read More , I got to thinking about how special effects is the big thing these days, and over time, I’ve been building my stockpile of tutorial sites to choose from. Veterans of After Effects may very well already know of these sites, but I’m sure that there are plenty of folks around here wanting to learn as much as they can.


So whether you are into motion graphics, action sequences, or artistic animations, these sites right here will teach you some pretty advanced stuff. Take a gander at them, and try out some of these tutorials for yourself!

Video Copilot

after effects tutorial

This definitive web-location for all things After Effects – Video Copilot – has been a longtime go-to source for VFX junkies. What I really like about this site is the fact that Video Copilot often takes on some pretty advanced techniques and then delivers it into bite-sized chunks for anyone to understand. The tutorials are all very thorough, and I’d recommend them to anyone with a creative mind and some time on their hands.

With that being said, you should recognize that Video Copilot is merely a starting point for most people, a place to learn techniques that you can build onto your own work. From my point of view, I would recommend just playing around with these tutorials. However, don’t apply the exact step-by-step results to your personal projects (for demo reel purposes), but if you are extremely new to After Effects, you should probably jump into the After Effects Basic Training, a nice set of free tutorials to get you started with the application. Furthermore, Video Copilot offers a great deal of production products for sale through their online store 2 More Places to Design & Sell Your Own T-Shirts Read More .

Motion Works

after effects website


Motion Works [Broken URL Removed] is an Australian-based source for After Effects tips and tutorials that are presented in an easy-to-use format on an easy-to-read site. These tutorials are very detailed, and as mentioned with Video Copilot, you should use them as starting points for your own personal projects. The tutorials are all great exercises, and they even include instructions on how to create effects and motion graphics that you would see on television or in the movie theater.

One of the great things about Motion Works is that it actually provides downloadable presets that you can bring into your own project. Simply change the text, colors, and what-have-you, and you’ll have something presentable in no time. Personally, I would use these presets as a way to explore what exactly each setting and effect can do. Think of it as if you are reverse engineering these video effects, and that way, you can learn to make things from scratch.

AE Tuts Plus

after effects tutorial

AE Tuts Plus is a pretty solid source for After Effects, and I like a lot of what it has to offer. The tutorials range from full-length tutorials to quick tips, so if you’re easily distracted (like I am), you can learn something in a very short amount of time. With that being said, if you have time to kill, watch some of the longer videos and enjoy the power of self-serving education. The tutorials are high quality and interesting to try, but as always, try to use them only as a foundation for your work.


The unique feature I liked about AE Tuts Plus was the fact that it offers more than just tutorials, for there are plenty of VFX-related blog posts included on the site as well. From DIY gear to inspirational articles, you’ll leave AE Tuts Plus with a whole lot more than just a VFX education.


These sites are great, but there are probably hundreds of YouTubers out there who have dozens of tutorials for After Effects if you just go search for them. By no means should you only use these sites to build your After Effects repertoire. Heck, some of them are only kids, and I would watch them as closely as I would any professional – sometimes even more so.

With that being said, what other sites do you go to for After Effects tutorials? Any favorite tutorials from the ones mentioned here? Do you have any personal tutorials to share with us here at MUO?

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  1. rimediogengivite
    May 7, 2012 at 7:31 pm

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  2. Sahil Dave
    January 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Spam !!! :P 

    i am becoming a span catcher *evil laugh*

    • J. Lockhart
      January 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm

      It sounds so legit, though!

    • Aibek
      January 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      thanks for catching that)

  3. Kristian Colasacco
    January 11, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    AEtuts is okay but too much of the content is only available for premium members that pay $20/month.  I know some will say that's fine and it's worth it but if you're looking for free help with after effects there's so much available that finding something you want to learn and then finding out it's not available to you is sometimes frustrating.  You can usually just search for the tutorial and find it on youtube anyway.  

    I love Andrew Kramer and the way he does his tutorials.  If you follow along with him, including the boot camp for beginners, you can become quite good.

    • J. Lockhart
      January 12, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      I thought it had some useful stuff, at least. They seem solid with their free stuff, but they could probably cut back a little on the premium and offer some tuts for free. I guess it's an issue where you have to decide if your income is going to be greater from ad revenue or sales.

      Andrew Kramer has a few "premium"-esque items available too, but it's a good thing the tutorials are free.

  4. Vern
    January 11, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Also a great resource U forgot to mention is Filmriot channel on YouTube. They provide a twice weekly show on film making including practical uses of AE and are quite funny in the process.

    • J. Lockhart
      January 11, 2012 at 7:35 am

      Didn't quite forget, Vern. : )

  5. Vern
    January 11, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Thanks for the three recommendations. I have not seen Motionworks before so will give that site a try. Other AE training resources that I use are:

    Eran Stern - Google him as he has produced video tuts in various places

    Creative Cow - Some good crossover training between PS and AE

    Shortformvideo - One of the channels I subscribe to on YouTube. as you say there are many great resources there.

    • J. Lockhart
      January 11, 2012 at 7:35 am

      Creative Cow is excellent! I'll have to look at these other two as I am learning more on After Effects, myself. Thanks for the tips!