View Full Version : question for the ae pros.....

01-09-2013, 10:08 PM
I don't have a question about the technical part of after effects. My question is more about your workflow on creativity. Let's say you want to create a new project, you are starting from scratch. Can you explain your step by step process going from nothing in your head to a finished product. Do you watch inspirational work to get creative? Do you draw on a piece of paper your brainstorming? Or do you just keep messing around in AE until you come up with something special?

I find it so easy to just follow tutorials, what I wanna work on is how the pros create something. I know my question is a but vague and the answer is different for every project or situation, but give me some of your experience on anything.

01-10-2013, 11:39 AM
I'm not a pro, but I do quite a lot of AE work. For me I typically do a combination of those things you've listed. For certain projects I will doodle some stuff out, or storyboard how I WANT it to look, then I can go in, get my elements situated, and start editing until it works the way I envisioned (typically takes much longer than I expected). On other projects I will pretty blatantly just do a tutorial but with my own graphics in mind as long as it fits the theme/visuals (you can clearly see some VideoCopilot tutorials in my demo reel that I created for clients). And I will also just open up AE from time to time (usually when I've gotten caught up on other things at work), and just start dorking around. The other day I was playing around and ended up with a really nice set of animated lower thirds that I'm going to try and use on an upcoming corporate gig. I'm sure some of the real pros simply get prompts and then just let their imaginations and technical proficiencies run wild and free together - at least those people out there that are truly creative. Hope that helps a little.


01-10-2013, 09:15 PM
Thanks for feedback. Very insightful. It is unfortunate that these forums arent as active. Sometimes it is pulling teeth to get responses.

01-11-2013, 07:21 AM
I mean as far as 'creativity I can give you an example from a project I'm currently working on: For this law enforcement video series I'm currently working on I had to create a set of lower thirds, graphics, etc, so I went in and googled a bunch of pictures of law enforcement, police, cops, guns, badges, and so on. I started drawing out some rough sketches with that imagery in mind, and ultimately landed on a lower third that encompasses some of the themes I found among the pictures (straight, hard lines, harsh but not extreme angles, patriotic colors, the juxtaposition of stark dark and light colors, and a bit of gloss/sheen that hints at a sterile cleanliness - there are a lot of notions about law enforcement and the visuals should represent that). I'll try and post a screenshot once I'm done with a final video. I'm not sure if anyone else does their research and planning like that, but it's worked well for me in the past.


01-11-2013, 07:46 AM
I wouldn't say I'm an AE pro, though I have used it for a few years and feel comfortable with it.

I usually have a reason, or a feeling in advance that I need After Effects.

For example I did a video recently where it was filmed just in a wardrobe, so I needed to do something visual with it to make it more interesting, the sound track was based around a beat, so I knew I wanted to tie the drum to the lighting, I'd seen numerous tutorials using a variety of methods for something similar so I had enough of the process in my head that I managed to do it without even referring to Google. But as I created the effect I decided to try out layering up some additional effects linked to the same expression, so I added some chromatic aberration and one or two other effects, so the idea kind of grew as I did it.

I have actually bought a few books, dealing with expressions for advanced work, I should use them more than I do.

01-11-2013, 06:51 PM
When I'm working on a film or project, I try to stay organized with folders. I usually have raw footage, 3d elements from maya, and ae project. I usually do the final cut in premiere. That said I still watch tons of tutorials and allow myself time to experiment. I think it's good to try things out once in a while. Watch other people's stuff....learn. Recently I worked on a commercial where we shot the car in the showroom and I had to make it look like its moving. We story boarded, greenscreened...visualized and created some cg elements in advance. I posted a link below if u want to vote for us. U just have to click on JAKE.

For the rotating tire I took a still. Erased the outside in photoshop and then used clone brush to clean a bit. Brought into ae as psd file. I centered the pivot and animated rotation.

For the hood shot we greenscreened and I used key light with a bit of roto to get cleaner. I added a road I made in maya. Made 3 d and animated for movement.

I also used wiggle to add movement after pre comp. I also added some movement for car surge forward.

for the mirror I used a cg pass from vue to add cliffs going by. I masked out the mirror and added reflection.

For the speedometer I took another photo and made speedometers in maya using vray and some lights to create glow. Brought into ae for some tweaking.

i also used spotlights on 3d layers to match the light on the shoot.

Here's the commercial....it's under jake hulseberg.


If this was helpful vote for jake. It will help our production company buy a red camera. Let me know what you think.