FREE After Effects Basics -2D Flat Shadows in After Effects

Intro to After Effects - Learn After Effects Animation with this basic free course
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7,495 students enrolled
Instructed by Andrzej Pach Design / 3D & Animation
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  • Lectures 10
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 10/2015 English

Course Description

Learn 3 different techniques to create 2D long flat shadows and add them to your motion graphic compositions. We will take a look and create those popular long shadows which are very popular amongst the designers creating on the current flat design trend. You don't even need to have a project to work on - I have created a few sample animations which you can work on by downloading the attached project file.

The shadows will be dynamic, which means they will react to any movement that will be going on in your composition. I will show you how to save them as a preset for future use, how to link the shadow itself to a null object and much more handy quick tips like that.

A few benefits of this class:

  • Get started with After Effects the right way, learn essential tools & a proper workflow
  • I will touch on topics like precomposing, growing bounds, effects, simple expressions and more
  • We will use the repeater, work on shape layers, create shapes, duplicate layers etc.
  • We will be using only build-in effects
  • You will learn 3 different techniques to use
  • We will save animation presets for future use
  • Modernize your compositions - use it for any project
  • Learn to have fun inside of After Effects with a new technique

...What are you waiting for? Enroll now and let us start applying modern flat shadows to our animations!

What are the requirements?

  • Have After Effects CS5, CS5.5, CS6, CC or CC2015 installed (you can use a 30-day free trial)
  • Basic understanding of the Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator) is welcome, but not mandatory

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Get started with After Effects the right way, learn essential tools & a proper workflow
  • I will touch on topics like precomposing, growing bounds, effects, simple expressions and more
  • Learn built-in effects in After Effects

Who is the target audience?

  • People who are interested in learning After Effects
  • YouTubers, Graphic Designers, Freelancers, Videographers, motion artists
  • Students who want to learn how to create trendy looking graphics in animated compositions

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introcution to the course

Here I will give you a brief overview of the content we will go through in this class. We will work with various techniques, use several effects, get familiar with the After Effects environment and many more. Enjoy the course!


Here I want to show you how you can complete the project I am showing you in the lessons and showcase it here on Udemy in the discussion board. I would love to see if you are working along with me and getting the work done!


This lecture is for anyone who is a total newcommer and doesn't know the After Effects environment at all. I recorded this basic tutorial lesson showing you the essential tools and things used to create compositions and designs in AE. Enjoy or skip if you know the software already.

Section 2: Techniques to add long shadows
1 page

Please download this practice file with the sample animations so you have compositions to work with in the lectures on Technique 1, Technique 2 and Technique 3.


In the first technique we will focus on using Effects to achieve the flat shadow into our composition. We will use a combination of 4 different After Effects FX and try to save them as a animation preset so we can use this basic animation in our future projects.


In this lecture I want to show you what can be done if there is a problem with the size of a composition. Often once we work on PNG or other simple files which are not directly layers in After Effects we get stuck because their size is limited to the content itself. Here I want to show you 3 techniques how to overcome this problem:

  1. You can precompose the given file
  2. You can try to create a shape layer from the vector file
  3. You can use a effect called Grow Bounds (but that doesn't always work) - it's worth a shot!

The second technique we will learn is creating a flat shadow using the repeater. There are pros and cons to use this technique, but it's definately something worth knowing about and useful in any after effects project we may make in the future. You can duplicate the main layer on a separate layer to acheve a parallel flat shadow effect.


The last technique will be I think the most difficult one because it will need to create a few expressions (which is a rather advanced topic) to finalize the shadow. I will however show you everything and later on show you how you can easily link it to a slider and basically have it done with just 3 effects. You will learn how to use the pickwip and create simple After Effects expressions.

3 questions

3 Quick Questions to test your newly gained After Effects knowledge

Section 3: Conclusion

With this lecture I would like to summarize what we've done and ask you politely for a review if you enjoyed this course. This would mean a lot to me!


In this bonus lesson I want to share coupon codes for all my After Effects & Powerpoint courses in case you are interested to continue learning with me! Just click the links, preview the course and if you feel that this is the right content for you jump in :)

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Instructor Biography

Andrzej Pach, Engaged and Passionate PowerPoint & After Effects instructor

Hi! My name is Andrzej Pach, more known as "Nigel" and I spend my time with graphic design, motion & animaiton, typography, video editing and online teaching on a daily basis. The majority of my work is done in Adobe After Effects & Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 / 2016 - naturally this is the software I want to teach about and share my experience with you. I have completed well over 3000 graphic projects (On Fiverr alone more than 2500 reviews) for clients, mostly including video animations like intros, outros and transitions for various Youtube channels & marketers. I would like to share the knowledge I was able to "stack up" during the process. I am always willing to help people out by enhancing their brand and Internet media.

Who am I ?

I am a 27 y.o (born 1989) and a University Graduate (July 2014). A few years back after shifting from one hobby to another after getting hired to prepare a website and business card for a local business in my area I finally "felt it". Since then (2011) I was expanding my skillset in this area completing various graphic related projects. Places like the WarriorForum, freelancing websites or graphic contests across the web caught me in its own snare and never let me go.

What is the next step?

After having several years of experience as a freelancer with a keen focus on creativity handling various projects ranging as work for very small businesses to websites and Youtube channels with over 300k subscribers I am looking forward to share my knowledge wrapped up in exciting courses easy to follow and most important - USEFUL for you! I am looking to work with forward-thinking people who wish to create something original, that will reinforce their brand and follow their vibe. I am always committed to provide value while giving away random tips to make your workflow easier.

Did you really create something?

How far would bring me lying and any sort of scam? Nowhere. I do believe in making the Web Business and Internet Marketing world a better place, because my actions will affect my fellowers, friends, family and future children. Since I live in a small village where people work in agriculture or do physical labor work I set the goal for me to be a sort of pioneer in the web-based business field growing myself as a designer every single day.

You can always contact me as I don't mind talking to anyone and sharing how could I help your business or what course I might record if you like my teaching style!

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