Video Graphics and Visual Effects I (2D Animation and Key Framing) Syllabus for 2021-2022
Return to Syllabus List

Instructor Information

Office Location

Online Appointments by request.

Please send an email to and we'll set up a Zoom Conference Call. 

Office Hours

A fast way to send an email to Dante - online form or immediately book a time to video chat!



Course Information

COVID-19 Protocols

Recording Policy

Disability Statement

If you have a disability (learning, mental, physical) that affects your ability to participate effectively and have access to any program or service at Amarillo College please contact Disability Services at (806) 345-5639 . Our offices are located in the Student Service Center office 112. More information may be found at
Disability Services facilitates access to all programs and services according to the ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as well as other federal and state laws.

Amarillo College Web Accessibility Policy Statement

Amarillo College is committed to providing equal access to all programs and services, including all working, learning, and service environments that affect equal access for persons with disabilities. This commitment to provide equal access and opportunity for persons with disabilities is in compliance with federal and state law. Amarillo College also strives to provide Electronic and Information Resources (EIR) that are accessible to all authorized users.

If you find you are unable to access material in an accessible format please contact the Disability Services Office at (806) 345-5639 . This office will work in conjunction with other campus resources to address and accommodate your issue in a timely manner.

Statement for Mental Health and Advocacy & Resource Center:

As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce a student's ability to participate in daily activities. Amarillo College offers services to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. If you or someone you know are suffering from any of the aforementioned conditions, you can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus by calling the AC Counseling Center at 806-371-5900. The AC Counseling Center website is . Also, if you are in need of social services (affordable housing, utilities, transportation, food, clothing, childcare, medical/dental/vision, legal), please call the AC Advocacy & Resource Center at 806-371-5439. The AC Advocacy & Resource Center website is

Amarillo College Tutoring for Success Policy:

The Tutoring for Success policy applies to any student whose grade or performance in the course falls below a departmentally determined minimum threshold. In either of those cases, the instructor will direct the student to the appropriate tutoring service, which may be faculty-led, discipline-specific, and/or general. Under this policy, the instructor will follow specific departmental guidelines governing the use, duration, and grade component of the tutoring need.

Administrative Drop Policy

Students who do not attend class on or prior to the census date will be administratively dropped. Effective Fall, 2016

Student Withdrawal Procedures

Students who wish to withdraw from a course must complete all steps indicated on the Academic Withdrawal Request form by the course withdrawal deadline.

NOTE: Students who are attending Texas institutions of higher education, for the first time fall 2007 and later, may not withdraw from more than six courses during their academic career. This withdrawal limitation does not include dual credit or developmental classes (Senate Bill 1231 Rule 4.10.) For more information on Drop and Withdrawal Policies, please visit the Registrar's Office Web site.

Privacy Statement

The Amarillo College Privacy Policy is found at , and applies to all Amarillo College students.  If you have questions about this privacy statement or you believe that your personal information has been released without your consent, send email to .


FLMC-1331-001 Video Graphics and Visual Effects I (2D Animation and Key Framing)


Course Description

A course in the applications of computers for video production. Design of computer graphic workstations and development of rationale for selecting software, hardware, and peripherals.

Introduction to fundamental principles of motion through the exploration of traditional animation processes, including key framing and graph editor animation techniques. Emphasis will be on creating expressive movement with meaning through the principles of animation.

Student ResourcesStudent Resources Website

Department Expectations

Occupational License Disclaimer

Notice to Students enrolled in an educational program for preparation of issuance of certain occupational licenses:

Students enrolled in an educational program in preparation for obtaining certain occupational licenses are potentially ineligible for such license if the student has been convicted of an offense. For further information, please contact:

Melodie Graves
Justice Involved Advocate
Student Service Center 117
Make appointment at

You can also contact the Legal Clinic, or the faculty member in charge of the educational program that you seek to enroll in. The further information you will receive will include notification to you of your right to request a criminal history evaluation letter from the licensing authority in order to clarify your particular situation.


(3 sem hrs; 2 lec, 3 lab)

Class Type

Online Course

Syllabus Information


Adobe After Effects Classroom in a Book (2021 release)

By Lisa Fridsma, Brie Gyncild


Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription


Minimum system requirements for After Effects



Minimum specifications


Intel or AMD Multi-Core Processor

Operating system

Microsoft Windows 10 (64 bit) versions 1903 and later. Note: Win version 1607 is not supported.


16 GB minimum (32 GB recommended)


2GB of GPU VRAM. (4GB or more recommended)

Adobe strongly recommends updating to NVIDIA driver 451.77 or later when using After Effects. Drivers prior to this have a known issue which can lead to a crash.

Hard disk space

15GB of available hard-disk space; additional free space required during

installation (cannot install on removable flash storage devices)

Additional disk space for disk cache (64GB+ recommended)

Monitor resolution

1920x1080 or greater display resolution


Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.*



Minimum specifications


Intel and Apple Silicon (Rosetta2 Supported) Multi-Core Processor

Operating system

macOS versions 10.14, 10.15 or macOS Big Sur 11.0 and later.

macOS Big Sur is supported in After Effects version 17.5.1.


16 GB minimum (32 GB recommended).



Hard disk space

15GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space

required during installation (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-

sensitive file system or on removable flash storage devices)

Additional disk space for disk cache (64GB+ recommended)

Monitor resolution

1440x900 or greater display resolution


Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.*

Student Performance

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Log in using the AC Connect Portal

In order to receive your AC Connect Email, you must log in through AC Connect at .

If you are an active staff or faculty member according to Human Resources, use "Exchange". All other students, use "AC Connect (Google) Email".

Expected Student Behavior

Introduction to VFX compositing incorporating multiple elements into the compositing workflow. Topics such as color correction, plate integration, green-screen lighting, rotoscoping, and advanced keying for traveling mattes. 3D animation, shaders, lights and materials will be discussed. Programs used: Photoshop, Nuke

Student Learning Outcomes:
• Students will be able to light live action elements and pull a high quality key from green screen footage.
• Students will be able to successfully composite various image sources into one professionally-integrated, composited image.
• Students will be able to build or create professional quality, production-ready 2D assets with external matte channels.

Grading Criteria

There are 11 Explorations the student is required to submit. 
Each assignment should be uploaded to the individual student folder on Google Drive.

Each assignment is worth 10% of the final grade, with the lowest of all assignments dropped.
Individual assignment rubrics we be available in the Module.


You are expected to watch the weekly class videos during the week they are assigned and complete the assigned homework. Often this involves finishing the course demonstrations. However, if you are not able to keep up with the work, contact the instructor before the week. Missing class for unexpected emergencies will be taken into account. Please discuss it with the instructor.


Section Video Title
WEEK 01  
01 Getting Started 00 Welcome to the Course
  05 Install Creative Cloud Apps
  10 What is After Effects
  20 Who Is Using After Effects
  40 Creative Challenges
  50 AE in Film Production
02 The UI Tour 10 A Quick Tour of the Interface
  20 The Top Tool Bar
  30 Attributes Panel
  40 The Project Panel
  50 The Timline
  Total (in Hours):
03 File Formats 10 Elements and Compositions
  20 Common File Types Part 1
  30 Common File Types Part 2
  40 Codecs and Containers Revealed
  50 Understanding PlayBack Cache
  60 Interpreting Imported Footage
WEEK 02  
04 Your First AE Project Creating Composition and Importing
  Linking Media and Masking Grunge
  Adding Fonts and Text
  Basic Animation
  Adding and Deleting Keyframes
  Bringing Audio Into The Mix
  Normalizing Audio In Audition
  Adding A Glow Effect
  Get to Know the Composition Window
  Compositing Window Buttons
  Caching and Motion Blur
  Render Queue Settings Part 1
  Render Queue Settings Part 2
05 Principles of Animation 10 The Priciples of Animation
  20 Anticipation
  30 Appeal
  40 Staging
  50 Ease In Ease Out
  60 Exaggeration
  70 Overlap and Follow Through
  80 Secondary Animation
  90 Solid Design Drawing
  100 Squash and Stretch
  110 Pose to Pose
  120 Timing
  130 Arcs
  140 Alan Becker on the 12 Principles
WEEK 03  
06 Blending Modes 10 Introducing Blending Modes
  20 Darken and Multiply
  30 Color Burn Add and Lighten
  40 Screen and Color Dodge
  50 Overlay Soft and Hard Light
  60 Spooky Ghosts
  70 Adjusting the Fog
  80 Bring In The Ghosts
  90 Animating The Ghosts
  100 Importing Single PSD Layers
  110 Lighting the Pumpkin
07 PreComping Work 10 Gear Madness
  20 Importing PSD Tips
  30 Begin the Gear Animation
  40 Adjusting Motion Paths
  50 Using the loopOut Expression
  60 Animating the PreComp
  70 Using Ease In and Ease Out
  80 Using Overlap and Follow Through
WEEK 04  
08 Exploring Effects 10 The Bokeh Effect
  20 Ensuring Proper Color Bit Depth
  30 Blur vs Defocus
  40 Smart Blur
  50 Analyzing Black White Point and Gamma
  60 Brightness and Contrast Tips
  70 Change Color
  80 Corner Pinning
  90 Glow and Bloom
  100 TimeWarp
  110 Lumetri Color
09 Mattes and Masks 10 Animating an Awards Show Opener
  20 Adjusting Clip Duration
  30 Setting In and Out Points
  40 Shape Layers vs Masks
  50 PreComping The First Star
  60 Master and PreComp Timelines
  70 Animating the First Star
  80 Animation Graph Editor
  90 Layer 3D Rotation
WEEK 05  
10 Animation Interpolation 10 Animation Interpolation
  20 Linear Interpolation
  30 Bezier Interpolation
  40 Auto Bezier
  50 Hold Interpolation
  60 The Bouncing Ball Action
  70 Animation Parabolas and Decay
  80 Setting Up The First Bounces
  90 Temporal and Spacial Interpolation
  100 Measuring the Parabola Heights
  110 Adding the Remaining Parabolas
  120 Adjusting the Velocity Decay
  130 Speed Graph Keyframe Velocity
  140 Using Pi for Accurate Roll Rotation
  150 Adjusting Rotation and Speed Falloff
  160 PreComping for Squash and Stretch
  170 Animating Squash and Stretch
WEEK 06  
11 Puppet Tools 10 Introducing Puppet Tools
  20 Analyzing the Mesh
  30 Adding Pins and Starch
  40 Puppet Tool Attributes
  50 Advanced Puppet Pins
  60 Analyzing Images for a Walk Cycle
  70 The Walk Cycle
  80 Parenting Joints and Pins
  90 Rigging the Arm
  100 Setting Up the First Pose
  110 Timing Out the Animation
  120 Forward and Inverse Kinematics
  130 Efficient Keyframing Tips
  140 Squash and Stretch the Torso
  150 Markers and Leg Animation
  160 Retiming and Collapsing Transforms
WEEK 07  
12 3D Features 10 Some 3D In Your 2D
  15 Old Movie Title Challenge
  20 Setting Up Our Font
  30 AE Rendering Engines
  40 Types of Light Sources Explained
  50 Camera Navigation
  60 World vs Local and Bevels
  70 Lighting the Shot
  80 Tweaking the Shadows
  90 Add The Surrounding Text
  100 The Two Types of Cameras
  110 Cameras and Materials
  120 Light and Material Interaction
  130 Animating the Text
  140 Cheater Lights
  150 Introducing the Final Project
WEEK 08  
13 Expressions 10 Expressions - What We Will Learn
  20 Exploring Expressions in Detail
  30 PreComp Paths and Random Wiggle
  40 Conditional Statements
  50 Writing the IF Then Else Statement
  60 The Dynamite Countdown
  70 Programmatic Animation Interpolation
  80 Using TimeCode As An Array
14 Advanced Rendering 10 Introducing Adobe Media Encoder
  20 Media Encoder vs Render Queue
  30 Export Settings and File Formats
  40 Basic Video Settings
  50 Hardware vs Software Rendering
  60 Constant vs Variable Bitrate
  70 Comparing the Results
  80 Bitrate - The Key to Quality
  90 Keyframe Distance
  100 Setting Up Watch Folders
  110 Comparing h264 and ProRes Renders
  120 Fast Renders with Baked Out Effects

Additional Information

Your journey in VFX Animation begins here in Adobe After Effects. Learn about the secrets of how to make amazing and engaing animation, the most common tools and industry-standard techniques, and get your vision to the screen. We dive into graphics, motion, editing, keyframing and a lot more!

Syllabus Created on:

01/14/22 2:07 PM

Last Edited on:

01/14/22 2:12 PM