There are thousands of Adobe After Effects tutorials on the web, but often their quality is not great. We present the best AE tutorial websites for beginners and experts, with tons of high quality training. We mostly cover the free tutorial websites but also take a quick look at the paid training solutions.
Free After Effects Tutorials
Let's start with the obvious. On mamoworld, we do not just create great plugins for After Effects, but also more than 100 tutorials about compositing and motion graphics. Highlights include the Beginner Tutorial Series Guru Lessons, which are the best way for beginners to get started with AE, and the Character Animation Tutorial Series which is a free and comprehensive course for more advanced users.
Video Copilot is definitely the most popular tutorial AE tutorial website. The shown projects are not only high quality - Andrew Kramer's presentation style is also really entertaining. It is hard to pick the best ones, but highlights include fun compositing projects like Demon Face Warp and Procedural Crumble which will turn your next intro animation into a real eye-catcher.
School of Motion
School of Motion offers paid classes but also has a ton of free training on their website. Their focus is - no surprise - motion graphics and a ton of this is about After Effects.
AE with Mikey
Mikey Borup is the youtube star among the tutorial creators. While many After Effects tutorials on youtube have poor quality, this is definitely not the case for Mikey's training. It is not without reason that he is presenting at the After Effects World Conference already the second time.
Joe from Workbench publishes After Effects tutorials weekly and has a strong focus on motion graphics. Many tutorials are short and focus on a single technique instead of showing an entire project from start to finish. Oh and he is developing (and selling) scripts for Ae, too.
The tutorials at Stern FX are created by Eran Stern, a veteran in the After Effects and Premiere Pro world. His tutorials to not just focus on shiny effects with big Wow effects, but really show you what you need in your every day work in the motion graphics industry. My favorite tutorial by Eran is the Extract Effect.
Motionworks by John Dickinson has lots of free training focusing on After Effects and Cinema 4D. John is Head of Design at Foxtel On Demand. Hence, he really knows how to create high quality teaser and title work efficiently.
Although it is mostly known for his After Effects scripts and plugins, Aescripts also publishes tutorials from time to time. Although the tutorials come from lots of different authors, the quality is constantly on a high level. Most of the tutorials are short and to the point, which is a very good thing. My personal favorite is the Animade Sketchycles tutorial which does not only teach creative content, but also presents it in a pretty creative way.
Like Motionworks, VinhSon who is running Creative Dojo, has lots of tutorials about After Effects and C4D.
Angie Taylor did not only write a book about After Effects, she is also presenting for Adobe and Maxon at tradeshows and offers personal software training. Her website now also features a section with free tutorials.
Creative Cow was one of the first websites that started doing After Effects tutorials - at a time when videos where still something pretty unusual in the internet. Even legends like Video Copilot's Andrew Kramer published their first tutorials at the cow. Today the website looks a bit old-fashioned, but still contains a lot of good content.
Tuts+Tuts+ has really a lot of After Effects tutorials. But they to put more focus on quantity than quality, so not all content you find there is really great.
Although there is a huge amount of free high quality training available, it sometimes makes sense to use paid training. This is in particular the case, if you are looking for comprehensive training courses that cover a particular topic in depth. While most of the free training consists of isolated tutorials, that focus on one single effect, the paid solutions offer well structured in depth courses which are much more comprehensive. Paid After Effects training is dominated by the big player Lynda.com. As an alternative, there is also Digital Tutors and the After Effects for Video Editors course by Stern FX, which I highly recommend to people who know Premiere Pro and want to now make their first steps in After Effects.
If you are looking for an individual one-to-one training, I highly recommend a stay in the creative cabin by AE book author and trainer Angie Taylor.
If you think I forgot to mention a particular website - please leave a comment!