After Effects templates are a stellar tool for giving your videos a professional and impressive appearance. Basically, ae templates are pre-made Adobe After Effects projects that producers have uploaded. These templates can be anything from a commercial to a logo, an effects preset, a movie trailer, or even an intro. The original creators add in specific placeholders to the templates where other users can add in their own text, photos, videos, or logos to make the project their own.

Basically, if you can dream it, there are video templates for it. However, when you’re just starting out with your first After Effects project, you may find the software confusing, and the process complicated. Don’t sweat it. Here are some time-saving tips to get you started.

Search for Pre-Rendered Projects

What is a pre-rendered project, anyway? That means that the creator of an After Effect template made sure that it comes with everything you need to make sure all its elements work smoothly. You won’t have to download any third-party plugins.

Third-party plugins are extra softwares that you have to download to make sure that every aspect of a template works the way it should. Choosing pre-rendered ae templates will save you time, money, and even some space on your computer.

Turn to YouTube

There is no getting around the simple fact that Adobe After Effects isn’t the most user-friendly program. Looking at all those tools, layers, and other gadgets on the screen can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Happily, there are tons of simple tutorials online that will spare you the time and frustration it takes to learn everything yourself.

  • This 20-minute tutorial guides you through some of Adobe After Effects’ basic features, and provides a nice segue into more advanced lessons.
  • If you want something that delves a little deeper into the program, check out this 50-minute lesson from Adobe Creative Cloud TV.
  • Short on time? If you’re not interested in a comprehensive look at Adobe After Effects CC, take a look at this video. It’s less than 10 minutes long and shows some of the basics on how to edit after effects templates.
  • MotionElements is an example of a site where you can buy ready-to-download motion graphics templates (both Adobe After Effects templates and Apple Motion templates).

Be Patient

Although “be patient” may not exactly sound like a time-saving tip, a little patience now will save you time in the long run. For example, it may seem like a template takes forever to render. Some after effects project files are huge files, and if your computer is an older model, you have to be ready for some waiting. Clicking things all over the place could interfere with the process and make it take longer.

Also, don’t jump into editing an After Effects template without looking at its instructions first. Most ae templates come with a how-to guide that will tell you about things like which elements you can modify, how you can replace videos, text, photos or logos, and which plugins you’ll need.

Use Short Cuts

You don’t have to know where every little control is in every little toolbar within Adobe After Effects. There are some great keyboard shortcuts that can save you precious time. For example, to preview the audio in a file, you simply have to press “.” on the number pad. To preview audio and video together, press “zero” on the number pad.

Using Adobe After Effects templates does require that you sacrifice some of your time, but you can minimize that sacrifice by following these time-saving tips.