Dear Honey,

It’s safe to say that the workload at SCA has really picked up over the last couple of weeks. It’s become harder and harder to juggle three or more babies at once… 

During this time, I’ve had a couple of you come up to me and ask me about the animations I’ve made so far. This also included my introduction video which I made back in July to help me secure a spot at the school. 

To celebrate our first video brief being due at the end of this week, I thought I’d take the time to put together a couple of Premiere Pro and After Effects tutorials. 

My apologies in advance if this just makes everything more confusing… I did my best. 

Wishing you all lots of strength as you try to master Adobe… I definitely had a couple of meltdowns trying to teach myself these tricks so I hope this can save you a couple of tears. 

Glowing Animation on After Effects 

  • Create a New Project in After Effects.
  • Make a new composition (composition – new composition (⌘N)).
  • Create a new solid layer (⌘Y) – this will be your background.
  • For this composition, you’re going to need a png file of the image you want to animate (in my case, this was the heart).

Side note: In Photoshop, I drew the heart based on an image I found online. I then exported it as a png file. Make sure that your image has a transparent background. 

  • Select your image layer and go to your computer’s layer drop down menu, then at the bottom press autotrace, and then press ok.
  • A new layer should appear. You can now delete your original image layer. 

  • Go into effects and presets and search for saber in your effects panel. Then drag the saber effect onto your autotraced layer.

Side note: If After Effects isn’t showing saber then you might have to download the free plug in. Download here.

  • Go into the customize core drop down menu on the left hand side of your composition and change saber to layered mask in the core type menu. (it will look super bright at first.) 

  • Bring the start size to 0%.
  •  Now play around with the end size until you get your desired look (I put mine to 25%).
  • Bring the end offset to 0% and key frame it (remember the little diamond from Ian’s workshop). Skip a couple of frames (depending on how long you want your sequence to be) and then key frame it again to 100%.


  • To create extra movement, play around with the mask evolution
  • To change the colour, simply change the glow colour.
  • Play around with the presets, there might be another nice effect in there (I usually go for default or neon) . 
  • If your image is still too bright, just bring the glow intensity down to 20-30%.

I then just played around with the glow settings until I was happy with the way it looked. It all depends on your image. 

For the text, I just did the exact same thing with a png of the text I wanted to animate. I then right clicked my text footage and changed the blending mode to lighten so that the layers were transparent on top of one another. I then just added the text on another layer and played around with the opacity.

3D Animations on Premiere Pro 

@Euan & @Liv this one’s for you!

  • Import your footage into your Premiere Pro project.
  • Drag your desired clip onto your timeline. 

Optional: If you want your video to have the blackbars: 

  • Create a new adjustment layer (File – New – Adjustment Layer).
  • Drag the adjustment layer on top of your clip.
  • Go into workspace tab (right hand corner) and click on effects on the right side of your timeline
  • Search crop in effects.
  • Drag crop onto your adjustment layer. 
  • In your workspace tab go to the editing tab.
  • Select your adjustment layer and go into effect controls on the right side of your footage.
  • Scroll down to crop – type the number ‘8’ in both the top and bottom tab.
  • Select your footage in the timeline (under your adjustment layer) and play around with the positioning in the top position tab of your effect controls.

  • Drag the footage you want to animate on top of your clip.

Side note: I already animated the footage I wanted to use using the glow effect on After Effects (see tutorial above) and a png of text I created on photoshop. 

You can use anything as long as it has a black (or transparent) background. For the sake of making this as clear as possible, I am going to name this the ‘6 AM footage’)

  • Select the ‘6 AM footage’ and go into your effect controls
  • Using the pen tool under the opacity tab, mask around your video/image.
  • In your effect controls, scroll down to blend mode (located under opacity) and select lighten (screen works too but lighten worked better for my chosen clip).
  • In effect controls, adjust scale and positioning depending on where you want the footage to be.
  • In your workspace tab select the effects tab and type in Basic 3D.
  • Drag Basic 3D onto your ‘6 AM footage’.
  • Go back into effect controls and scroll down to Basic 3D.
  • Play around with the swivel, tilt and distance to image tabs to get your desired look. You might have to adjust your mask using the pen tool (step 5).
  • Adjust the opacity of your clip if necessary.

Optional Glitch – In order to get the footage to ‘glitch’, I played around with the opacity using key frames. So every frame I brought the opacity all the way down and all the way up. I did this three times before I let the image stay on screen. 

I then did the exact same thing for the watch animation, I just played around with the scale, swivel, tilt and distance to image even more than I did with the ‘6 AM footage’ and then keyframed the positioning of the clip. 

I used this same trick throughout the rest of my introduction video: 

Masking a Mirror Trick on Premiere Pro 

Here you go @Euan!

To be honest this one is a lot simpler than it looks. 

Most of this was executed whilst filming. I made sure that I filmed everything on a tripod and had Camila (the girl in the video) do the exact same sequence of movements in six different outfits. I had her stand on the same spot every time. 

Then in Premiere Pro: 

  • Create a new project.
  • Upload your clips to your project.

  • Drag the footage that you want to have stay the same throughout, onto your timeline. 
  • Then drag the footage you want your main footage to change to on top of this layer. 
  • Then go into your workspace tab and click the editing tab.
  • Click on your top layer, and go into your effect controls.
  • Press the pen tool under your opacity and draw a mask around the mirror.

  • Now on the left hand side, bring your mask feather up until the two images blend in well together.

I then did the same for all the other clips. I created a 3D text animation (see tutorial above) and layered it onto the mirror. 

That’s basically it! Really simple trick. 

Dripping Blood Effect on After Effects 

@Liv and @Pascaline, I know you asked me how I did this one in After Effects but I’ll be honest, I tried to write this into words, and things got very complicated…  

I, therefore, recreated it, and precomposed the footage so that all you have to do is change one image to get this effect with any text or image.

Download my After Effects File here.

Once you have downloaded it, all you have to do is:

  • Open up the file, make sure you’re on the main composition
  • Double click the source (it’s the bottom layer in your composition timeline).
  • Delete the file that’s named replace me and upload any other png (with a transparent background)
  • Then go back into your main composition and there you have it!
  • You can do this multiple times, and then just play around with the positioning and scale.


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