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Chapter 12

What Next?

Congratulations – you’ve reached the end of this book. I hope you’ve found a ton of helpful tips to boost your motion graphics skills in After Effects. Since learning never stops, let’s end this book with some recommendations for further reading.

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In this book we’ve talked a lot about keyframes, but not so much about expressions. Expressions are an alternative to keyframes - little JavaScript programs that describe how a property changes over time. This not only sounds very technical, it often is. Throughout this book, we’ve mentioned our extension iExpressions, which is a comprehensive collection of ready to use expressions that can be used without reading or writing any code. But I didn’t tell you anything about writing your own expressions.

The reason why I didn’t do this is firstly because it’s a very advanced topic, but also because there’s already a pretty good resource for this – François Lefebvre has written a book, The Power of Expression, which is definitely the best and most comprehensive description of this feature of After Effects.

Scripting Classes

There are some motion designers who focus on the design part and others who focus more on the technical aspects, like what we’ve discussed in the chapter Templates & Automation. If you’re more of a technical person, the techniques you’ve seen in this chapter are just the beginning – if you want to dig deeper, you should take a look at scripting. With the help of scripts, you can automate almost every part of After Effects. Scripts are JavaScript programs that remotely operate After Effects - so instead of clicking the buttons yourself, you write a program that does it for you. If you feel this kind of automation is your thing and you like my teaching style, you can watch my Beginner Scripting and Advanced Scripting courses at fxphd.

School of Motion

Another thing I can highly recommend are the online courses at School of Motion. These are paid training courses, and like this eBook their goal is to make you a better motion graphics designer. In particular they offer some things that a book can’t provide:

  1. Feedback: the classes aren’t just video tutorials, they come with assignments and teaching assistants who will take a look at your work and tell you what you can do better.
  2. Networking: during the class you’ll talk with other participants and afterwards have access to the alumni group. This seems to be a minor detail, but if you want to be a successful animator, you’ll need a network – this means people to collaborate with, if a job is too big for you to do by yourself. You’ll also benefit from knowing a few designers that can recommend you for a job if they’re fully booked, or vice versa.


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