Learning Animation In After Effects with Zac Dixon (PCP109)

Zac Dixon gives us some great tips on how to animate Photoshop Graphics & talks about some of the first skills to learn in After Effects.

April 19th, 2016

Zac Dixon from IdentityVisuals.com works with brands to create videos and creative animation, and he encourages everyone to try their hand at animating graphics from his position as a self-taught professional in this session of the Pro Church Podcast.

What’s In This Session?

  • Why animation design is so intimidating (10:09)
  • The first skills to learn in After Effects (14:12)
  • Using templates with After Effects (15:13)
  • How to animate a Photoshop graphic (19:25)
  • Transitioning from cinematography to motion design (21:52)
  • Telling a story in 30-60 seconds (27:57)
  • The final step of building an animated video (30:24)
  • Finding a voiceover for your video (33:38)
  • The grave importance of keeping your scripts short (36:20)
  • For every 30 seconds you add to a video distributed online you lose 50% of your audience (38:56)

Show Notes & Resources Mentioned

3 Instant Takeaways

  1. Where in After Effects do you start? If you are at ground zero just getting started, learn how to move things. If you are already good at graphic design, you can make killer animations by just moving things around. Photoshop works really well with After Effects. It’s just a matter of separating out your layers and adding motion.
  2. Transfer your other design and creative skills to animation. Play to your strengths. If you are a photographer, you can use your camera skills, such as pan and tilt, framing and zooming on animation. If you are a sound person, you can use minimal motion backed up with great audio design. If you’re a graphic designer, focus on your fonts and visuals and add only the barest amount of motion.
  3. Create an outline by storyboarding. By setting up a timeline of shots and using temporary backing audio to ‘sketch in’ your project, you can start with broad strokes and then pile on the details. Final polishing includes tweaking color and finessing key frames, as well as solidifying audio and sound effects.