After Effects CS5.5 Update:


Chris and Trish Meyer have created a series of videos demonstrating how to use their favorite new and enhanced features in After Effects CS5.5. Virtually all of these videos use exercise files from Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects (5th Edition for CS5) as their starting point, extending the usefulness of this book for its owners. These videos may be viewed for free on AdobeTV.

* 5th Edition of best-selling After Effects book by renowned authors Trish and Chris Meyer covers the important updates in After Effects CS4 and CS5
* Covers both essential and advanced techniques, from basic layer manipulation and animation through keying, motion tracking, and color management
* The downloadable resources are packed with project files for version CS5, source materials, and nearly 200 pages of bonus chapters

Trish and Chris Meyer share over 17 years of hard-earned, real-world film and video production experience inside this critically acclaimed text. More than a step-by-step review of the features in AE, readers will learn how the program thinks so that they can realize their own visions more quickly and efficiently. This full-color book is packed with tips, gotchas, and sage advice that will help users thrive no matter what projects they might encounter.

Creating Motion Graphics 5th Edition has been thoroughly revised to reflect the new features introduced in both After Effects CS4 and CS5. New chapters cover the revolutionary new Roto Brush feature, as well as mocha and mocha shape. The 3D section has been expanded to include working with 3D effects such as Digieffects FreeForm plus workflows including Adobe Repoussé, Vanishing Point Exchange, and 3D model import using Adobe Photoshop Extended. The print version is also accompanied by downloadable resources that contain project files and source materials for all the techniques demonstrated in the book, as well as nearly 200 pages of bonus chapters on subjects such as expressions, scripting, and effects.

Subjects include: Animation Techniques; Layer Management; Modes, Masks, and Mattes; Mastering 3D Space; Text Animation; Effects & Presets; Painting and Rotoscoping; Parenting, Nesting, and Collapsing; Color Management and Video Essentials; Motion Tracking and Keying; Working with Audio; Integrating with 3D Applications; Puppet Tools; Expressions; Exporting and Rendering; and much more.

chapter |12 pages

After Effects 101

Moving in and getting comfortable

chapter |28 pages

Creating a Composition

Procedures and shortcuts for setting up a blank canvas

chapter |28 pages

Basic Animation

Animating a layer’s transformations along with mastering motion paths

chapter |24 pages

Keyframe Velocity

The secrets to creating sophisticated animations

chapter |14 pages

Animation Assistance

A series of tips, tricks, and Keyframe Assistants to make your life easier

chapter |12 pages

The Layer Essentials

Tips for managing multiple layers efficiently, including hot keying, markers, and the layer switches

chapter |12 pages

Trimming Layers

Learning how to edit layers through trimming, splitting, and sequencing

chapter |8 pages

Motion Blur and More

Life’s a blur – at least, to a camera it is

chapter |16 pages

Blending Modes

One of the most creative tools After Effects offers is mixing images together using blending modes

chapter |34 pages

All About Masking

Masking tools create transparency using standard or freeform Bezier shapes

chapter |24 pages

All About Track Mattes

Mastering track mattes is a prerequisite for creating complex multilayered compositions

chapter |6 pages

Stencils and the “T”

Stencils are a great way to add transparency to multiple layers. And then there’s that “T” switch…

chapter |22 pages

3D Space

Adding depth to your animations by mastering Z space

chapter |20 pages


Get new perspective on your 3D layers by placing cameras around them

chapter |28 pages

Lighting in 3D

We continue our exploration of 3D by discussing how to illuminate your layers

chapter |22 pages

Parallel Worlds

Combining 3D layers from different sources

chapter |12 pages

Parenting Skills

The ability to group layers together greatly eases the creation of complex animations

chapter |18 pages

Nesting Compositions

Creating complex motion graphics that are easy to edit requires building a hierarchy of compositions

chapter |8 pages


Continuing our tour of After Effects’ rendering order, we prove that precomposing is easy once you know how…

chapter |14 pages

Collapsing Transformations

Options for maximizing resolution also rewire the rendering order

chapter |30 pages


Mastering this powerful text animation engine is well worth the effort

chapter |20 pages

Applying and Using Effects

After animating layers comes treating their images with special effects

chapter |2 pages

Effects Roundup Overview

Where to find tips on our favorite effects

chapter |10 pages

Compound Effects

Compound effects may seem nonintuitive at first, but they require learning only a few simple rules

chapter |14 pages

Presets and Variations

Alternatives to reinventing the wheel every time you use an effect

chapter |22 pages

Color Management

Preserving your colors through your workflow

chapter |12 pages


Effectively removing a color background requires attention throughout the chain

chapter |20 pages

Frame Rate Manipulation

Time Stretch, Reverse, and Remap, plus smoothing the result with Frame Blending

chapter |12 pages

Motion Stabilization

After Effects includes the ability to stabilize wobbly footage. Mastering this is also the key to having one object track another

chapter |12 pages

Motion Tracking

Motion Tracking allows you to add an object to a scene after it was shot – if you’re both lucky and good…

chapter |10 pages


Advanced motion tracking using mocha for After Effects plus mocha shape

chapter |26 pages

Shape Layers

These new vectorbased layers open a multitude of graphic possibilities

chapter |22 pages

Paint and Clone

A painting workout in After Effects using the Brush, Erase, and Clone tools

chapter |10 pages

Roto Brush

A new tool for separating foregrounds from backgrounds

chapter |10 pages

The Puppet Tools

A fun way to organically warp and animate layers

chapter |10 pages

Working with Audio

An overview of handling audio in After Effects, including how to “read” audio as clues for editing and animation

chapter |20 pages


Expressions hold the key to animating repetitive tasks or complex relationships

chapter |18 pages

Import and Interpret

Getting files in, deciding how After Effects should interpret them…and changing your mind later

chapter |13 pages

Integration 101

Going beyond the simple exchange of rendered movies and images

chapter |15 pages

Integrating with 3D Applications

Techniques to get more information from your 3D program into After Effects

chapter |16 pages

Video Issues

An overview of all those pesky technical issues you need to keep straight when you’re working with video

chapter |20 pages

Render Queue

The Render Queue is where you set up and manage the creation of your final work

chapter |8 pages

Advanced Rendering

Network rendering and project management features

chapter |6 pages

Prerendering and Proxies

Planning ahead can save time later

chapter |9 pages

What’s Your Preference?

Setting preferences to optimize your workflow

chapter |1 pages

Media Credits