Creative Split Screens in After Effects - PART 1
4.8 (7 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
24 students enrolled

Creative Split Screens in After Effects - PART 1

Make your video work more awesome by creating interesting composite movement!
4.8 (7 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
24 students enrolled
Created by Natasha Collette
Last updated 3/2016
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $34.99 Original price: $49.99 Discount: 30% off
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This course includes
  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • 4 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Immediately enhance the professional quality of your AE (After Effects) projects
  • Know the AE basics required to effectively make a split screen project
  • Use different techniques to create masks
  • Gain proficiency with creating and using shapes
  • Understand parenting in layers and compositions
  • Use basic AE Expressions
  • Confidently apply preset Effects to your projects
  • You should have access to Adobe After Effects. The course is created with Adobe CC 2015, but earlier versions (CS 4, 5, 6) will work. You may download a 30-day free trial of the software if you don’t already own it, visit Adobe’s website for more details.
  • My tutorials are prepared on Mac software, but you will be able to accomplish the same results using a Mac or a PC.

Make your video projects more awesome today, by adding creative composite techniques in After Effects! Learn to use the creative potential of split screens: combining multiple layers of video and still images to create interesting combined, or composite, visual effects.

There are so many ways in which we can manipulate images, video footage, and really exploit the potentials of multiple layers and pre-compositions in After Effects. In this course, media designer Natasha Collette introduces technical skills, workflows, and professional tips and tricks that will not only introduce you to the fun and creativity of split screens, but will enhance your entire After Effects skill set.

The course is structured around four main “Projects”, each of which has been carefully designed to demonstrate particular concepts and give students hands-on experience applying new knowledge. By the end of the course, you’ll have a better understanding of some approaches to incorporating split screens to add vibrancy, visual interest and a professional “polish” to your video, motion graphics, or animation work. We’ll explore using shapes, masking, track mattes, parenting, pre-compositions, cameras, and some basic AE expressions that you can begin to use immediately. These are all transferable skills and knowledge, which you can begin to apply into projects that you are already working on, or are inspired to start now! Downloadable media files are included for each project, to encourage you to jump right in and start building in After Effects.

You’ll need access to Adobe After Effects to fully benefit from this course. The tutorials have been created with Adobe After Effects CC 2015, but earlier versions of the software (CS 4, 5, 6) will work.

For the beginner level student, we introduce every basic feature of After Effects that you will need in order to complete the included tutorial projects. Clear instructions allow you to follow along step-by-step. For students with a little more experience, you’ll refine your existing After Effects skills, learn new techniques, and gain more proficiency and confidence. And, for everyone, this course will encourage you to be imaginative, giving you some new approaches and more creative freedom in your OWN work.

Who this course is for:
  • A beginner student can follow step by step to complete the tutorials included in this course, more advanced AE users will be able to improve existing skills and take the concepts further in their own work. One goal of this course is to encourage experimentation, and re-imagining your own AE projects.
  • We’ll talk in-depth about the workspace and basic features of After Effects, as it is relevant specifically to this course. This course is not a comprehensive introduction to the software, but we will cover everything that you need to know to complete these projects. Our main focus will be acquiring and refining the specific skills needed for the included lessons.
Course content
Expand all 33 lectures 02:22:12
+ Welcome to Creative Split Screens, Part 1
3 lectures 05:18

Introduction to course, outline the structure and goals.

Preview 02:07

You will need access to Adobe After Effects. This course was created using After Effects CC 2015, but earlier versions of the software will work also.

If you don't already own or subscribe to Adobe / After Effects, you can download a free 30-day trial of the software from the Adobe website. 

(Note that after the free trial, Adobe automatically will begin charging you a monthly fee unless you proactively cancel it, so be aware of this if you don't intend to make that purchase.)

Preview 01:52

This course will have 4 distinct "Projects". I am including the demo media files with each Project, you are welcome to download and use these files to practice each lesson.

For the lectures that have these media resources attached, I will indicate this in the lecture description.

Preview 01:19
5 lectures 19:59

We'll launch right in to creating a quick, fun animation that uses an Alpha layer.

The practice Media Files are attached as a resource next to this lecture.

Overview of Project #1

Start a new After Effects project, build a composition, and create this quick animation.

Building the Project “Vintage TV”

Add a preset Effect to your composition.

Preview 04:37

Learn two ways to render your composition as a video.

Exporting your project... share it!

This is an example of the finished project “Vintage TV”.

Preview 00:12
8 lectures 45:16

What is a mask, and how to apply a mask directly onto a layer. In Project #2, we'll gain proficiency in creating shapes, and applying them as masks.

The practice Media Files are attached as a resource next to this lecture.

Introducing Masking in Project #2

We’ll create Shape Layers, and start using the Shape tool to create and manipulate rectangles and elipses.

Drawing with the Shape tool: Overview, Rectangles and Elipses

We continue using Shape Layers and the Shape tool, creating and manipulating Poly and Star shapes.

Drawing with the Shape tool: Poly and Star shapes

Using the Pen tool to create free-form shapes.

Drawing with the Pen tool

We learn how a Shape can be used as a Mask directly on a layer, hiding or revealing what is under it.

Applying Shapes as Masks

Presenting the Challenge of Project #2. Using what we've learned about shapes, try on your own to complete this exercise for applying masks to an animation layer. The media files are attached next to Lecture #9, which introduces this section.

CHALLENGE: Masking "Our House"

We’ll review step-by-step how to create the shape masks used in this project.

REVIEW: Masking in “Our House”

This is an example of the finished project “Our House”.

Preview 00:31
6 lectures 20:12

Overview of Project #3, where we'll use different masking techniques to embed a secondary video clip next to a "talking head" video.

Preview 01:39

We create a simple split screen by embedding one video clip on top of another, in a simple "drag-and-drop" method.

The practice Media Files are attached as a resource next to this lecture.

Simple drag-and-drop method

Use a shape Mask drawn directly on the secondary embedded video.

Using a drawn-on mask

We learn about Track Mattes, and how to create one. We'll use this Track Matte on the secondary embedded video.

Creating a track matte

Add one (or more!) preset Effects to the embedded video clip. We'll experiment with adding and altering effects, adding multiple effects to the same layer.

Add an effect

This is an example of the finished project “Talking Heads”.

Preview 00:25
9 lectures 48:03

Overview of Project #4. We will be working with still images (photographs) and create matched movement between compositions. The next few lectures will cover the additional AE basics we'll need to use in this final project.

Preview 01:52

What is a Keyframe, how to create keyframes.


We'll learn about "Parent" layers, and will use parenting to make one layer follow another.

Preview 03:19

Introducing AE Expressions. We'll practice selectively applying only certain property transformations, using Expressions.


Understanding that there is a difference between 2-D and 3-D layers in After Effects. We'll introduce some of the ways in which 2-D and 3-D objects behave differently in AE.

3-D Layers

Introducing the "Camera" and camera tools. We'll use a Camera layer to animate 3-D layers.

Cameras and 3-D Layers

We'll look at how combining layers into Pre-compositions, allows us to build more complex projects.


Using everything we’ve learned about masking, keyframes, 3-D layers, pre-comps, expressions, and camera movements, we’ll build this animation in Project #4.

The practice Media Files are attached as a resource next to this lecture.

Swan Lake- Diving in!

This is an example of the finished project “Swan Lake”.

Preview 01:01
2 lectures 03:24

We review what we've learned in Creative Split Screens, Part 1.

Course Summary - wrap up!

Preview of Creative Split Screens, Part 2. We'll continue with more complex animations, building on the basics that we've learned in this course.

Preview 01:37