What its like doing 2D animation in After Effects.

Now that lovely looking chap there is me… still on my placement and was in full swing of recapping my storyboard for my 2D project for an in-house client. And it’s to basically create a full animated ‘How to’ video which to everyone sounds easy.

Honestly, I now know how they do it so well.

It’s not just by simply creating a composition and getting on with it, it takes a little bit of prep before hand. And this is what I am doing in the photo.

Let’s take a closer Look…

Adam 2

As you can see I have my storyboard next to me with scenes sorted and drawn up, the reason I have left some spaces out is because the client might want a title at the end or extra scenes. My limit is 1 minute and for that to work, I need to keep my movements up to date with the client to see that if they wanted something specific done to the video. That we can both come to a decision which can also work around the duration of the video.

Below is a section of the video I’m currently working on…


There are two main reasons why I like this piece above all is because I took the time to properly plan it out fully and that I have also learned the branches of the VFX pipeline again through motion graphics. A tutor told me,

‘Half the battle is finding where your tools are’

He was right, because a couple of weeks ago, I was struggling, now I am more comfortable with each day I work on it. Using key shortcuts, moving quicker through the software, Using null, masks, effects, transitions, pre-compositions etc. Overall its the feeling of being a part of the industry even as a student on placement.

For my storyboard, it was a case of finding the best way to lead the audiences eyes the way the client wants me to, thats why I zoom into the composition and follow the animation to force the viewers eye.


The majority of that video was created by using screen grabs of my own channel and editing in Photoshop to take away the annotations, then onto After Effects to further add in the thumbnails, typed up text & mouse movement. Now it’s becoming second nature, and coming this far with a laptop with dual cores, 4GB RAM and no dedicated graphics card has blown my mind… that being said it’s definitely not been an easy ride.


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