How to Create Animated Transitions in After Effects

How to Create Animated Transitions in After Effects

Hey everyone, today we’re going to be creating some awesome animated transitions in After Effects.

After Effects isn’t a video editing program in the same way that Premiere Pro is. Yet you can create some cool transitions that you can bring into your Premiere Pro project, that are simply impossible to create in Premiere Pro. These can be awesome for vlogs or other projects that call for creative transitions, and this is also how transitions for Twitch streams are made, as you can export the transparency needed for those in After Effects.

These transitions are more than just a cross dissolve or a push transition. You would use After Effects when you want to add more content to the transition than what is present in your footage, like using a shape or a shape animation as the transition piece.

Watch the full video tutorial:

Create Animated Transitions in After Effects for Beginners

Let’s start with a super-basic transition. Right-click, then click add new, then click shape layer. . Click on the add button next to Contents, and select Group. This will give us access to the controls we need to make this animation work properly. Click on add again, and add a rectangle. Then add a fill layer to give it a color. To set the size of the rectangle, open up the Rectangle Path object, uncheck the chain symbol, and then size it up. We’ll want it to cover the screen top to bottom and take up most of the horizontal width as well.

Next we’re going to do a simple animation. Move a couple seconds into your timeline and using the transform properties under the group, move the shape offscreen to the right. Click on the keyframe button. We’ll want to use Easy Ease on this so that the animation is smooth. You can get here by right-clicking on the keyframe and selecting Easy Ease, but the shortcut is Shift + F9.

Now we can make our starting keyframe. When we use Easy Ease on a keyframe, any new keyframes that occur before it will have the effect automatically applied, which is why we start with the end of the animation. Move the playhead to the start of the timeline, and move the shape offscreen on the left. Now when you play it back, you should have a smooth animation of the shape going left-to-right across the screen.

Now open the graph editor by clicking on the graph editor button. This will let us change the curve of the animation. Play around with this to get the exact animation that you want. For example if we drag the first node up and to the left we will get a really fast start to the animation, and a slow ending.

So that’s a basic shape transition, but most transitions of this type feature multiple shapes. Select your first group and hit Ctrl + D to duplicate the layer. Change the color to something different than the first group. You can press the U key to show only the position properties within a layer, so press that and we’ll see both position properties. Click on the upper one, which will select both keyframes for that shape, then just offset them from the first shape so that they happen shortly after the other layer. Now we have a cool two-shape transition, and it looks dynamic and interesting since the animations for both are not linear. Let’s add a third shape, using the same process. The new shapes should be on top, so just make sure that the animations for the top ones happen after the original ones.

To save this as a preset animation to use later, select the three groups, click on Animation, then click on Save Preset. You can leave it in this default folder or create a new folder to better sort your animations. Name the animation and save it.

Open an empty composition and create a new shape layer. Then under Effects & Presets, go into Animation Presets, User Presets, and select your newly made transition.

You can make changes to the transition and save it as a new animation just by editing the preset you’ve created. You can rotate it to change the direction of the transition, for example.

make animated transitions in After Effects

To use this transition elsewhere like in Premiere Pro, we’ll need to export this on an alpha channel. Go to file, export, add to render queue. In your render queue, click on the output module where it says Lossless. We need to export in a format that supports transparency, so click on Quicktime for the format as this is a common format that supports it. Then under channels, select RGB + Alpha. This will render both color and transparency.

Now you can drag it into a Premiere Pro project and you won’t need to make any changes – the transparency will just work automatically.

To add this transition to OBS if you’re using this for streaming, you can go into your OBS, click on the dropdown under Scene Transitions, add a new Stinger, then select your new file. You’ll need to set the transition point in milliseconds, which is where the scenes switch. This should be when the transition is fully covering the screen. In Streamlabs OBS, click on the cogwheel on your scenes list, add a transition, select Stinger from the list, then select your file.

Animated transitions in After Effects are a lot different than in Premiere Pro, but it gives you a ton of flexibility. This simple tutorial should give you a basis for using shapes in transitions. The key to creating animation presets in this program is utilizing transparency. What happens within the transition is up to how complex you want your graphics to be, and how much talent you have in creating these animations. Start simple with rectangles, then move to more interesting and multi-parted animations. Let us know if you’d like to see an advanced guide here on the FilterGrade channel. And if you want to skip the creation process and work off of a template, you can check out our YouTube channel and website to see and download a ton of great After Effects templates!

View next: 5 Do it Yourself Tutorials for Youtube Animated Intros

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