After Effects - Learn Motion Graphic Design

Motion Graphic Cheat Sheet for After Effects

Daniel Walter Scott || VIDEO: 53 of 53

Download Exercise Files


You need to be a member to view comments.

Join today. Cancel any time.

Sign Up

Hey, welcome to this Motion Graphic Cheat Sheet for After Effects. We'll go through some tips & tricks, and cheats. We'll be getting started with Motion Graphics. All right, let's go.

Tip no. 1 is Easing. Easing is when things look pretty when they move. I've made a little animation, it kind of slides in from the side there. And that's very PowerPointy. What we need to do is sex it up with some Easing to make it slide in really pretty. What we do is select both of these key frames, right click one of them, go down to 'Keyframe Velocity'. And I'm going to put 'Influence' '75' on this side. '75' on that side, click 'OK'. And there, it changes to layer glasses, but watch this, when I preview it, see, looks pretty when it slides in. All right, that is tip no. 1, Easing.

Tip no. 2 is Motion Blur. If anything is moving, make it blurry. Watch this, this is the Easing we did before, moves in, it's nice, but we turn this on, Motion Blur, this is for the whole composition, and we need it around for each layer that's moving, but we've only got one layer, watch this, when it moves, can you see, it's kind of blurry when it moves. Looks nice, it looks a bit better. Let's have a look at this other 'Comp' here with the swinging text. This is one of the classes that we do in my course. Watch this, if I-- can you see, things are good when they're blurry. If I turn it off, they look fine. And that was pretty, it's been that blurry.

Now, tip no. 3, Snap. When you're dragging this little play head along, officially called the CGI, if I drag it along, and I want to line it up with this key frame here, it can be very difficult, but if I hold down 'Shift' on my keyboard, holding down, still dragging this guy here, look, hey, he's snapped all those little key frames. That makes it super easy to give your key-- your play head in the perfect spot, and that is Snap.

Ready for tip no. 4, Super Zoom. It means that when you are looking at stuff you can use these little mountains to get in and out. Say you're stuck here, and you want to go all the way up, I hit colon ':' on my keyboard, next to the L key. Just tap it once. Zooms all the way in. I'm at super mega zoom now, tap it again, it goes all the way out. Tap it again, all the way in. Tap it again, all the way out. I can see my whole cog, that's a really handy one, just tap colon ':'

Tip no. 5, Time Travel. Instead of going in here, and saying I want to go to there, I want to go to 2 seconds, and colon ':', then I want to go to maybe 10 frames, and you jump to it. What you can do is, Time Travel much quicker. Click on this, I want to go to 4 seconds, type in 400, and it jumps to 4 seconds, hey, but now I need to go to frame 15, click in here, just type in 15. All over the top, it all rearranges it for you, so you can jump to any time, 2 secs, and 10 frames, it will jump along. All right, that is Time Travel. Tip no. 6, you've got a really cracky laptop, and it runs really slow when you're working on jobs. To fix that, a couple of things you can do. This one here, under 'Full', yours might be in 'Auto', force it down to 'Quarter', watch the quality of the text. See it got a bit blurry. Now, it previews nice and fast, or faster, and it will still render a perfectly high quality one.

The other thing you can do, in your 'Preview' window here, you might have to tear it off a little bit. I'm going to make mine a bit bigger. You want to go to this one here that says 'Skip'. Instead of trying to render every frame, you can say skip everyone, and render every 2nd frame. That just means that it's going to be a little bit jumpy in your preview, but it will render a whole lot quicker. All right, that's what you do if you got a really slow crappy laptop.

Tip no. 8, what size should my 'Comp' be? Pretty much always, go to 'Composition', 'New Composition', and you can't go wrong if you go to 'Preset' and pick 'HDTV 1080 25'. All the other ones are specially used cases. Pretty much, every single time, go to this one here, you can't go wrong. Our last super awesome shortcut tip cheat sheet thing is this key here. What it does, if you have your mouse hovering above here, and you tap it, it makes that screen full. If I hover above the-- you got lots of work going around down here in your time line, click it, hey, makes it full screen. Great for the project window, you got lots of files, tap it, goes full screen, tap it again, it goes away.

Also, as part of this course, go to and go to the resources tab, and there'll be a downloadable PDF version. All right, that's our quick cheat sheet awesomeness for Motion Graphic for you to get started. Remember, if you want to do a full course, if you're just getting into it, is to check out my website here. How to become a Motion Graphic Designer in 3 hours in After Effects. That's on All right, I'll see you over there.