After Effects Essential Training

I decided to practice After Effects a little different and I hope this is OK. Instead of following along and doing the exercise files I started on an animation where I will incorporate the effects practiced in the exercise files.

I made a remix of a song created by OWLA. Here’s the first draft (some masking needs fixing). While creating this I learned several things.

First of all, I made all the branches as different layers, but when I made the waves on the waters I realised I could make them as one layer with different paths inside.

Here’s the storyboard (it’s shown in the wrong order, where the top square is the end).

Creating your Own animation

So, this was my first attempt of animating with After Effects, and as I am writing this blogpost I know I can do it better (and eventually I will).

Let’s break down the issue and concept.

I wanted to create a house where there’s one window which is the attic that then turns out to be the word HIDE.

As I did this I didn’t know how to manipulate letters (and not use shape layers or anything really) and I was mainly experimenting using YouTube tutorials to kinda get to the basics (as my school provided the basics AFTER they showed how layers etc worked and I just couldn’t grasp it at all that way).

Now that I’ve had access to the basics of After effects (by following along the exercise files which lead to the creating of this video) I know that I could do this a lot lot lot better.

I really like the idea and concept, but not the execution whatsoever.

Learning Activity: Rise

Exercise Files After Effects

Lately I’ve been learning After Effects. My biggest issue here is that…well I have ADHD, so my brain automatically looks for shortcuts and an “easy way out”. I already know how to use Sony Vegas, which is a different type of program (it’s a movie editing program) but it can achieve similar effects as AE if you’re good with it. It’s a lot more difficult and timeconsuming, but possible.

I postponed a lot of my schoolwork thinking, eh well I can probably whip something together using Sony Vegas (and also, the order of the assignments provided by my school for the learning activities were…how to say this without sounding too harsh…not ideal. In fact I cried a lot because the first video provided skipped a lot of steps so I gave up, while the video 4 weeks in explained After Effects from the start and enabled me to go back to do the previous assignments).

Then, I realised I’m not studying to study, I’m studying (and paying a lot of money) to learn. I took a big bite of the sour apple, got some tissues and sat down ready to cry in anxiety because of the lack of ADHD friendly content my school provides (ok, not always, but def in this segment and order of assigments).

And, what did we procure? A little animated flower.

The good thing about this segment and learning after effects is that I love video editing and making content that is intended to move people and tell a story. This is the first school assigment that managed to put me into hyperfocus where I find myself losing hours and hours exploring and experimenting. It has really taught me where I should put my focus in the future and what I should learn more about.

The bad part about this segment is that doing the exercise files is very timeconsuming, stressful and doesn’t allow me to learn as well as other assigments. I can’t really skip doing them as that will result in less than 80% of the learning activities made and a failure of this class. I may be forced to alter the learning activities slightly to avoid blowing my brains out in boredom and distress.

Here are some screenshots provided as further “proof” of me doing the exercise files.

Visualise your ideas

I would like you to create a mood board and storyboard using a word and its meaning as the concept.  For example, you could use the word “prop”. You could then use the “r” to prop up the “p” that keeps falling over. That’s just to give you an idea, be creative and use a word and concept of your own.

I chose the word “Hide” because as I was studying I was playing WoW and the word “Hide of the Wild” popped up on the screen. I used the word hide as in hiding, and not an animal part. I visualised a black screen, a house drawn in white that slowly disappears, the window in the attic slowly turning into the word HIDE, with the I popping out last, emerging from the H and blinking towards us before becoming an I.

I was supposed to create a moodboard but the idea just came out of nowhere.

After effects; essential training

I tried doing the learning activity with the exercise files, but it’s not an intuitive workstyle for me. I can’t work with AE while watching the video, as to work on a new program I need to focus, and I can’t focus with unfamiliar sound in the back. The first chapters also skipped some steps I need to be able to understand a program. I need to go over the basics in a structured manner rather than starting out with a random shape. I will most likely have to go to YouTube so I can learn the basics first.

Planning a Snow White themed fashion shoot

Learning Activity, Graphic Design School year 2 semester 2.
  • Create a mood board for hair, make-up and fashion
  • Create a storyboard
  • Create a shot list
  • Create a timeline for the shoot day

Fashion shoot for Nooi / Alice in wonderland

Location: Slottsparken, Oslo

Time on set: 8.30 am

Team on set:

  • Make-up Artist
  • Stylist
  • Photographer
  • Model

Equipment needed:

  • Camera body
  • Memory cards
  • Battery chargers
  • Light set
  • Diffuse boxes


  • Outfit 1: Window, pavilion
  • Outfit 2: Pavilion, Bench
  • Outift 3: In front of pond
  • Outfit 4: Under tree


8:30 Coffee, greetings
9:00 Make-up and hair
10:00 Outfit 1
11:15 Outfit 2
12:30 Lunch
13:15 Meet-up at set
13:30 Touch-up hair and make-up
14:00 Outfit 3
15:15 Outfit 4
16:30 Clean-up

Planning a Fashion Shoot

Learning activity: written assignment. Graphic Design year 2.

In your own words, describe the procedure of planning a fashion shoot. In addition, also answer these questions:

  • What are the stylist’s duties?
  • List your duties as photographer  
  • What equipment would you take along on the Alice in Wonderland shoot that was featured in this module?
  • Find an editorial fashion spread in a fashion magazine. Explain what you think the concept was, what equipment they used and how the location affected the concept. Scan or photograph the shoot and hand it in along with your answer.

When planning a fashion shoot you need to make sure that you know the brands vision and prepare properly for the shoot by creating a visionboard and moodboards to show your ideas to the crew. In short: you need to decide location, match the tone of the brand with the shoot, specify special requirements and create a concept.

The stylists duties are to make sure that costumes and props arrive at the location and they are in charge of coordinating costume changes (making sure that correct accessories are matched etc). It’s also their responsibility to work with the label to find the outfits best suited for the shoot.

The photographer’s duties are to create a storyboard and share it with the team to make sure they properly understand the vision. It’s also the photographer’s job to scout for a location that will fit the concept. I did find this lesson confusing, as by reading it I get the impression that the photographer is in charge of everything, but I think I’m misunderstanding it a bit. I assume that the photographer’s job is that of a Graphic Designer. Talk with the client, get their vision, create a storyboard and concept depending on the client and target audience while working together with the stylist.

The equipment I would bring with me to this shoot would not differ from the equipment listed in the lesson that were brought to the shoot. They were listed as such:

  • Wide angle, macro and 50 mm lenses
  • Camera body
  • Memory cards
  • Battery chargers
  • Light set
  • Diffuse boxes

For the final part of this written assignment I found an editorial spread online.

I think this concept was inspired by dreams and summer. The photos look very dreamy and relaxed while also cosy. It looks like the model has all of the free time in the world to relax or go to the beach. She also looks like a frilly cupcake, her hair and the colors of the clothes so I can imagine that inspiration for this set was teatime. They’re using a lot of natural light as they are outside. I think they used a lot of the same tools as in the Alice in Wonderland photoshoot as the scenery is similar.

The Components of Visual Identity

Name the three most important components of visual identity.

Color, shape and name. These three usually combines the logo which helps us understand the brand at a first glance.

Describe the difference between logotype and signature.

A logo or logotype works as a a trademark in the form of an emblem or symbol, while a signature is a persons name written by said person. The signature is used to approve things like contracts etc.

Using Kuler, create 3 different color schemes (you may only use 3 colors in each set) for the following products:

A rich chocolate cake that is made from real chocolate. The keyword here is “quality”.
A courier company that delivers internationally by air, land and sea – their main focus is fast delivery.
An international insurance company that focuses on family values.

A Knack for Names

Consider the tips on Inspiration given in your prescribed book and create a name for an ice cream. The ice cream has a range of different flavours, but the unique aspect it should communicate is the fact that it is the coldest ice cream in existence. Now come up with five name options for this product (you should not spend more than a few minutes on each name) using inspiration from: Metaphors, Colors, Latin, Science and Myths.

I found this learning activity quite challenging as the “inspiration” made me feel very limited and uninspired. I really struggled to do this but ended up with 5 different names.


Cone of Cold.
This is actually a spell from World of Warcraft so I’m not sure how valid it would be.


The first thing I thought of was blue and ice, which made me think of brrrr so the name I came up was that. Brrr!


Frigus. It is the latin word for cold.


Zero. I wanted absolute zero but realised that sounded like a very cool and fresh vodka taste so I went with zero instead.


This is my favorite. It actually makes sense and has a name that you can remember and make a logo of easily. Shiva. Now, I don’t actually know who Shiva is, but when I was a kid I played a lot of Final Fantasy and the water and Ice queen was always named Shiva.

I ended up searching a little about Shiva and I didn’t really find anything about cold, just “Shiva the Destroyer” and he seems to have been male. I probably should have done more research for this practice, so that’s one thing I learned at least.