At Visions, we encourage everyone to keep learning! There is always more to learn… no matter how much we already know!

Each quarter, we’ll each pick a subject/topic that we want to dial up a notch!

We caught up with Abby, one of our Junior Designers who’s been focusing on leveling up in After Effects, check out what she had to say.


Last year, I did some research into After Effects so it was great to have some time to go back and experiment with the software. I was a complete novice! 

There is so much to learn, so I started with compositions. I looked into how they worked and how to use them. This meant learning to overlap other compositions and layers, without messing up the layers that are inside the composition. Compositions also help with transitions and animations so it was a really worthwhile activity because I now use it in all of the videos I create.

Alpha Matte and Transitions 

Alpha matte is a way of creating transparency over a solid layer. This allows objects or text to be masked and revealed in creative ways. I tried doing this with text and created the effect much like that of a slot machine with the text appearing from the bottom and disappearing from the top – all whilst staying in the centre of the slide.

To keep the page from looking flat and boring, you can do this with multiple objects on the page at the same time. It’s helpful to think of these different elements as different compositions. You can then animate the different compositions to your heart’s content! 

Optical Illusions 

Once I’d mastered the compositions, I learned how to make the objects move on a path. This is a work in progress, but I’m getting there! 

I’ve made an animation that was like an optical illusion. Imagine the flames of fire moving around in a kaleidoscope and you’re on the right track! Once I got the main parts to cooperate, I went on to duplicate the design so I could play around. I made the optical illusion bigger in the background and then decided to make a Robin appear and disappear whilst the illusions were running in the background. This has helped me learn how to have two things running at the same time, whilst they are doing two different things. 

Premade Effects & 3D Effects 

This was fun! I started to play with the premade effects to create a video that resembled warp speed from star wars/star trek. To make that I used 3 different premade effects. 

I then saw that I could use the 3D effect to create a transition as if the object/text is spinning onto the page. 

Check out Abby’s example below: 

So, there you have it sometimes you’ve got to step outside of your comfort zone to grow. 

If you’re looking to join a diverse team passionate about all things design and development, we want to hear from you! Check out our careers page here to see our current vacancies.

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