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.


Hello. I’m curious do you ever plan on continuing the translating the book?

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Didn’t plan on taking such a long break but the tuts and such are coming back tomorrow. The rest of the book has been translated by sharriq727! I just got to get the visuals in. I’m also working on a discord server where I will host all the assignments in both CSP and AE at:

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Second video finishing chapter one and covering the beginning of chapter 2!


Lesson 2:
Lets talk about video size, aspect ratio, and duration.

If we were to take flipbook animation, the size of the animation would be the size of the paper it was made of. In digital animation production, the size of the animation image is determined by how many pixels are arranged vertically and horizontally.
There are a variety of medio to watch videos, like TV, DVDs, and Youtube. When creating animation, you must determine the size of the image according to the platform you choose to use. The main video sizes are:

NTSC(SD) Widesceen- Image size of conventional analog wide TVs and DVD. Camera Size: 960 x 540 pixels (16:9) Aspect Ratio: Square Pixel

HDV/High-Definiton Video- Uploading high-definiton video to a mini-TV for uploading to a video shariing site. Camera size: 1280 x 720 (16:9)

HDTV/Full high-definiton video- Images are stored on a Blu-ray Disc and viewed on a HDTV.
Camera size: 1920 x1080 (16:9)

4K Ultra HD TV- Size for viewing on a 4K TV
Camera Size: 3840 x 2160 (16:9)

In addition to setting the image size, it is important to pay attention to the “pixel aspect ratio”. Normally, pixels are squares with the same height and width, but the images shot by some video devices have rectangular pixels on the screen, so if you do not change the pixel aspect ratio, the images will stretch horizontally. It will be in a state of being stuck. In animation production, squares with the same vertical and horizontal ratios called “square pixels” are basically used, so there is no problem if you select this setting.

For the duration, lets talk about the number of pages in different flipbooks. If you were to flip at the same speed, the length of the work with change depending on the number of pages in the flipbooks. The more pages or frames, the longer the animation
The amount of these pages becomes the playback time of the video in animation, and this playback time is called “duration”. Since the duration (playback time) is determined by the number of frames, it is customary in animations to count the length of time by the number of frames, not the number of seconds. × 24 frame rate (24 frames played per second): = 72 frames, which is indicated as “duration: 72 (frames)”.
At the actual animation site, the number of seconds for each cut is presented and recorded on the timesheet. When working with After Effects, convert the number of seconds written on the timesheet to the number of frames and set the duration. For example, when “2 + 18” is written on the timesheet, it means “2 seconds + 18 frames”, which means "2 seconds x 24 frame rate (24 frames played per second) + 18 frames = 66. Will be displayed, and the duration will be 66 (frames).

Check out this video to set up your composition file for the last lesson of this chapter! Don’t forget to read the lesson channel for info on video size, aspect ratio, and duration!