Nonprofit Digital Communications

last person joined: 6 days ago 

For those doing digital strategy work, including written or multimedia content for nonprofit websites, social media, and e-newsletters. This group is for those digital communications folks who create written or multimedia content for websites, social media, and e-newsletters for nonprofits. Members will discuss topics such as social media trends, digital analytics, developing content, storytelling, planning and resources, content strategy, and more.

Adobe After Effects

  • 1.  Adobe After Effects

    Posted Jul 02, 2018 13:37
    Hi all --

    I'd like to add to our in-house designer's skill set the ability to create simple, illustration-based videos to educate our clients and consumers about specific topics. We have After Effects as part of our Adobe Creative Suite, but my designer's initial investigation into actually using it seems to show that it is pretty daunting -- likely requiring an actual course, not just working along with some instructional videos. Have others found a way to use this program without hiring (or becoming) a full-time expert at motion graphics?

    Thanks for any insights!


    Sara Burke
    Director of Communications
    Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc.
    Boston, MA
    Tech Accelerate

  • 2.  RE: Adobe After Effects

    Posted Jul 03, 2018 11:40
    I taught myself how to use After Effects to create videos from timelapse photos for my graduate project. I am not a graphic designer and that was probably the first time I used any Adobe software aside from Acrobat Reader (I'm a field biologist by training). It wasn't easy, but I managed to find tutorials online to guide me through the process. I now use Premiere Pro, InDesign, and Photoshop regularly and have found that googling my questions usually turns up some pretty simple directions for whatever I'm trying to do. Adobe's own online help includes a ton of instructional videos and guides. Though I haven't specifically looked at any for After Effects, I would certainly give those options a try before paying for a class or hiring a specialist.

    Looking at all the options and tools in After Effects, Photoshop, or Premiere Pro can be overwhelming because these are powerful programs, but often it's just about figuring out which tools you need, how to find them, and not getting distracted by the rest.

    Melissa Amarello
    Advocates for Snake Preservation
    Silver City, NM, United States

    Tech Accelerate

  • 3.  RE: Adobe After Effects

    Posted Jul 24, 2018 07:53
    Hi Sara,
    I taught myself After Effects, and while I'm far from a motion graphics expert, I feel much more comfortable with the program than when I started. If your designer has time to experiment in After Effects, I think it's definitely possible to learn enough to be comfortable with it without enrolling in a class.
    I'd suggest your designer Google the specific elements they would like to learn. (For example: Animated Text). There are so many great videos out there. This is a channel that I have found helpful for a lot of things: ECAbrams
    There are also a lot of motion graphic templates that you can buy for less than $50 on Envato Market . One thing I did was to buy some templates, then you can play around with those rather than starting from scratch.
    I think After Effects is like a lot of the Adobe products in that the best way to learn it is to just get in it and play around. I agree that it seems daunting at first, but once you have played around in it, it makes more sense. Plus, if your designer is already working in Illustrator, it will be easy to take advantage of the libraries tool and be able to move assets between the two programs.
    If your designer ever has specific questions, I'm happy to try to answer them.

    Kara Potter
    Missouri State Teachers Association
    Columbia, MO
    Community Organizer, NTEN Digital Communications Group

    Tech Accelerate

  • 4.  RE: Adobe After Effects

    Posted Jul 25, 2018 09:10
    Forgive me, as I missed theo original post, but another option is www. which has prepackaged video intros that could also be used in other creative ways. If you have limited time to make Adobe After Effects from scratch this might be an option.

    Tara Collins, RUPCO, Kingston, NY

    Tech Accelerate