Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Tutorial - Compositing in After Effects - 1: Importing, Compositions, Layer Setup

Salutations droogs!

As I've mentioned previously, it's my plan to start making some simple tutorial videos focused around compositing specifically for animation in Adobe After Effects. This is the first of several, so I've got a few things to get out of the way before we get stuck in. 

Firstly, I've got no idea what kind of stage to begin at. After asking around a little and getting some advice I figured the best place to begin would be the start... so with that said, some people might find the first video pretty useless. I'm going to chat a little about passes, layers, importing and setting up a comp, before moving on to setting up all the layers in my new comp. If you're already comfortable with all of that then you'll probably be more interested in the next one where I'll show what you can do to pimp them out. 

Secondly, I've never really done anything like this, and I know I've got a tendency to ramble, side track, and not finish sentences... so I'm sorry if anything isn't quite as clear as I hope. If folk have any questions I'm pretty easy to get a hold of. 

I don't know everything about After Effects. Pretty much everything I know was just sort of figured out over the course of a couple of years. There could very well be much more efficient and successful ways of solving these problems, but I hope everybody will be able to at least take away something from this. I just want to try and get people thinking about what you can achieve with compositing, which I feel is something that wasn't really explained to me during my time at uni. 

I'm not going to be looking at anything to do with Nuke, for two reasons; unless you want to be a compositor in the industry or are working with live action plates, it's unnecessary. Secondly, I can't use Nuke for shit. 

I'm also not going to be covering anything on the maya rendering side of things. For a few reasons; I knew what frames I required for comp, but my good friend/saviour/wizard Finlay handled all of the actual rendering so, to be honest, I don't feel confident in my rendering knowledge to put it in the videos. Also, there's plenty of better resources where you can find that sort of information.

Finally, I'm going to be using assets from our degree film Ticked Off for most of the compositing examples. Mainly because I've got all the frames, but also because it's something that myself and most of you guys will be familiar with.  

I think that's pretty much everything, check out the video below. I'd love to hear any feedback both good and bad, and I'm not just saying that. 

Happy comping!


  1. Looking good man was quite helpful in understanding the rough concept of compositing and how you would start your scene. Most of the class as well arent quite at the compositing stage yet so will be good for them to see just now what comping is capable of. Look forward to see the next one.


    1. Cheers mate! Thanks a lot for the feedback :)

  2. This tutorial is fantastic! :D You did it like a pro Kieran! Can't wait for the next one!! :D