After Effects for Animation - BEGINNER

Welcome to the start of After Effects for Animation - Beginner “Course”!


There are 2 more: The Advance and Expert. I do want to go over these 2 as well.

This will be slightly different than my CSP Course. How?
This book delivers more technical guidance. Most of the content in this book is divided in 2 parts: Lecture and Lessons. The book kinda expects you to follow allow with its Step-by-Step instructions with its own provided material found here: (It’s around 600 mb)
(Reason why I’m sharing these materials and not the CSP one is because it’s not password locked. Do NOT sell this. All rights go to the owner)

I will also run this course a bit differently and hopefully more reliably since there will be more information delivered. At the beginning, it will be more text based. Then we will get into more practical stuff and go over the materials provided.

*Will also mention that the book version of AE is 2015!


Alright! Let us get started with the contents of this book.


  • Preface
  • How to read this book
  • Animations made with this book
  • Index

In this book you can learn about the animation composite work in AE, starting with the initial settings, proceeding one cut at a time, connecting the completed cuts to one, and creating a movie file. If you work in the order described in this book, you can finally create one short animation together. We will introduce what kind of animation video will be completed for each cut.

Chapter 1: About Animation
*Please not that the Lectures and Lessons correspond to each other

  1. Animation Production Flow
  2. Materials Required for Animation
  3. How to read the timesheet
  4. After Effects (AE) Interface

Chapter 2: Learn Basic Settings

  1. What is Frame Rate?
  2. Video Size and Pixel Aspect Ratio
  3. What is Duration?
  4. Image Files used in AE
  5. Concept of Material Arrangment
  6. Layout Role
  7. Color Mechanism and Color Depth


  1. Initial Settings for Animation
  2. Create a New Composition
  3. Setting up for the composition
  4. Load Materials
  5. Placing Sources on the Timeline
  6. Adjust the position and size of the materials
  7. Make Final Adjustments and Preview

Chapter 3: How to Composite

  1. Keyframe
  2. Frame rate
  3. Synchronizing
  4. Stop Keyframe
  5. Pan
  6. Track Mat
  7. Track Up/ Track Back
  8. Overlap
  9. Motion Blur
  10. Blending Mode
  11. Effects and Presets
  12. 3D Layer
  13. Adjustment Layer
  14. Mask


  1. Create Fade-in/ Fade-out
  2. Arrange Sequential Cells
  3. Slide Multiple Layers Simultaneously
  4. Place Cells for Repeated Use
  5. Create a Placement Pan
  6. Create a Hoho Brush
  7. Create Track Up (T.U)
  8. Create Overlap
  9. Add After Image Effect with Motion Blur
  10. Change Facial Expressions with Multiplication Synthesis
  11. Create Transmitted Light
  12. Create 3d Space
  13. Create Rack Focus
  14. Create an Iris-Out

Chapter 4: How to Edit

  1. What is Editing Work
  2. End Credit
  3. Rendering


  1. Connecting Cuts with the Sequence
  2. Create End Credits
  3. Export to Movie File

Explanation of Lectures:
This section explains the principles of animation, how to combine images in AE, and the concept of adding motion using conceptual diagrams. If you understand “how it works” first, you will be able to understand complex operations in AE. You can also use this section for review.

Explanation of Lessons:
Following the steps of the animation production site, we will explain AE operation methods and animation production techniques step by step. You can follow along with the sample data that can be downloaded.

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Oh Joy. Finally. I’ll be able finally understand the book and learn more about after effect.


Lets get Chapter 1 down since it’s just reading information with a few visuals.

Chapter 01: Basics Of Animation
There are many steps to creating animated images, and the compositing work in AE is only a small part. In this chapter, you will learn basic knowledge such as the animation process and terms used in the animation industry. In addition, we will introduce the role of the interface when starting to work on AE.

Animation Production Flow
Animation Production requires various tasks, such as coloring and compositing, in addition to painting. Normally, a single TV animation involves more than staffs and the profession in each section work together and work through many processes.

Jarret and Will did make a video on the flow on their channel. I will just be typing in the terms down below.

1.Planning (Producer)
2. Scenario Director/ Writer
3. Storyboard
4. Layout/Genga
5. Key(Goes with 4)
6. Douga(inbetweens)
7. Coloring
8. Background Artists.
9. Compositor
10. Editor
11. Audio Dubbing/ Voice Acting
12. Dubbing
13. Video Editor

Chapter 1: Materials Required for Animation
This section introduces the materials required when performing composition work.

  1. Cell
    This is a colored material for the completed video. Normally, the letters are written in alphabetical order from back of the screen to the front, such as A > B > C…

    Cell A

    Cell B

    Cell C

  2. Background
    Background Material that exists at the back of the screen. There are cases where it is created in analog form or digital form such as photoshop.
    Note that backgrounds are the bottom most layer.

  1. Layout
    It is a blueprint of the screen. Adjust the position and size of each material based on this layout.

  1. Specification Table
    While the layout is a blueprint for a single screen image, the specification table is a blueprint for “movement”. It is an instruction for giving movement to specific material such as camera work such as zooming in and moving the camera.

  2. Timesheet
    It’s like a “script” in a live-action video, in which instructions are entered over time to determine how and when to move the material. In AE work cells are exchanged and effects are added while referring to this timesheet.

Chapter 1: How to Read a Timesheet
The Timesheet is an indispensable material in the composition work. The timesheet contains all the important instructions in the composition work such as cell movement, camera movement and special effects along the time/ frame. There are many different versions and looks to a timesheet but most if not all function similarly way

  1. Memo: Work Instructions from the director in charge of the composition.
  2. Action: Used when creating original images(Keys). The timing of the key motion, the required images, and the like are entered. We will go over this more in depth in later chapters.
  3. Title: The title of the animation you are currently working on.
  4. Scene: Scene number indication the scene location of the story.
  5. Cut: Cut number
  6. Second: Total seconds of the cut + additional frames
  7. Name: Name of the personal responsible on the cut.
  8. シート/ Sheet: A basic timesheet can only indicate the instructions for 6 seconds on one sheet. So if the cut is more than 6 seconds, use multiple sheets and write the number of sheets. (1/ 1 (total))
  9. セリフ/Line of dialogue
  10. Cell
  11. Camera: Instructions for camera movement, such as zooming, where the camera moves up, down, left, and right. Instructions for moving the material such as cell, BG and instructions for effects are also written.

The next document uses the following timesheet specifically for composistion work. We will go over this sheet during the lessons in the next chapter. Pretty much, the concept is the same as the other timesheet.

I will combine the last lecture with chapter 2.