After Effects Kickstart

Learn After Effects in 6 weeks. No experience required.

Learn After Effects in no time

Learn After Effects in no time

Adobe After Effects is a Swiss Army Knife. The program is used for Motion Design, Visual Effects, Character Animation, and even UX prototyping. It’s deep, powerful, and can be tough to learn.

This course makes learning After Effects as easy and FUN as possible. You’ll learn by doing real-world projects and getting feedback from our staff, and diving into the history and culture of the Motion Design scene.

Classes, Community & Critique. It's all here.

Classes, Community & Critique.
It's all here.

We will build up your knowledge through a series of fun, real-world challenges that test each new skill you learn. You'll be making actual Motion Design work from day 1, and will have all the help you need to be successful.

You'll also be connected to an amazing group of students from all over the world who are taking the class in your session. Virtual high-fives, critique, camaraderie and networking are all part of the course experience.

What will you learn in After Effects Kickstart?

Dealing with Artwork

How to import from Photoshop or Illustrator, and how to make artwork in After Effects.

Animation 101

What makes a good rig? How many controls do you need to build in? FK or IK? It depends.

Motion Graphics History

Learn about artists and studios that made MoGraph what it is today.

Professional Workflows

We'll show you how to stay organized, and do things like the pros do.

After Effects Techniques

Precomping, masking, mattes, shape layers, parenting, layer management… it's all here.

Video Essentials

How to render your work, and use various frame rates and frame sizes.

Nol Honig

Nol Honig

Course Instructors

Nol Honig is the lead designer and founder of The Drawing Room, a boutique production company located in Manhattan. His clients include Coca Cola, The Philadelphia Museum of Art,, and YouTube. As a freelancer he has done work for Block & Tackle, Pentagram, and Golden Wolf.

Nol is also a regular contributor to the industry blog Motionographer and teaches motion graphics at Parsons School of Design where he was awarded a Distinguished Teaching Award from the school in 2017.

Nol's Clients Include:

  • Coca Cola
  • FrameIO
  • Philadelphia Musem of art
  • Motiongrapher
  • Pentagram
  • YouTube
  • Block & Tackle

Course Format

Meet your fellow MoGraphers

Going through a School of Motion course is a one-of-a-kind experience. You’ll be hanging out (virtually, of course) with a group of other aspiring MoGraphers in a private Facebook group. You’ll be inspired, encouraged, and even critiqued by your fellow students and TA’s.

You’ll have support and a large group of new friends to commiserate with, but you’ll also benefit from looking at tons of work. As a Motion Designer, you need to expose yourself to lots of work so you can start developing a critical eye, and our courses are an amazing way to do just that.

Meet your fellow MoGraphers

Technical and Creative Help from Pros

We know you're just starting your journey into the world of After Effects, so we've brought on some professional Motion Designers to help you with any creative or technical questions you encounter during the course.

You’ll be assigned a Teaching Assistant who will provide critique on every single project you turn in during After Effects Kickstart. If you have a question, they've got an answer. And every single render you turn in will get critique to help you develop a solid technical base and good creative skills.

Technical and Creative Help from Pros

It's Animation Oatmeal

Each Wednesday, a one-hour episode of “Animation Oatmeal” airs. You’ll get to see featured work critiqued by your TA’s, as well as deep-dives into the topics you’ve been learning about. We open up projects and show you how to fix common issues, tweak projects to get a better result, and other workflow tips.

Eat your animation Oatmeal each Wednesday!

It's Animation Oatmeal

Access hundreds of Project Files

With every student completing the same assignments, you’ll see a TON of different takes on the same exercise. If you see something you like (or don’t know how to pull off) you can download any students’ project files via the Homework Locker.

This is an opportunity that you won’t get in any other setting, take full advantage of it!

Access hundreds of Project Files

Course Schedule

Orientation Week

Get comfy with the course format, meet your classmates, and let us show you just how quickly you can be rendering your own animations.


From Humble Beginnings

Every animator has to start somewhere, and this course kicks off with a couple of intense lessons designed to get you into After Effects as fast as possible. You'll learn the basics of layers, keyframes, timing, and editing. You'll work with sound, and create your first kinetic type piece.

From Humble Beginnings

How I Learned to Love Layers

Masks and Mattes and Modes, oh my! This week you'll learn to use Photoshop and Illustrator with After Effects, plus get a crash course in the fine art of Parenting. The exercises start getting a little tougher, but you're not afraid… you're a Keyframe Killa'.

How I Learned to Love Layers

Catchup Week

Whew! A breather, thank goodness. Our courses are intense, so we built in these catchup weeks to give you a chance to finish any work you haven't gotten to. We also throw in a ton of cool bonus content to make sure you never stop learning.

Catchup Week

Shape Up or Ship Out

This week you'll dive into the world of Shape Layers, an incredibly powerful toolset built into After Effects. You'll learn the ins and outs of Shapes, and then you'll go a bit deeper into Animation. You'll learn to bend your motion paths, to work with various keyframe types, and to literally make your layers dance.

Shape Up or Ship Out

The Big Sneeze

It's time to put all of your new knowledge to good use! We've brought on designer extraordinaire Ariel Costa ( to hook you up with some story boards for an amazing client. It's up to you to animate a full :30 spot over the next few weeks to show off your MoGraph skills.

The Big Sneeze

Extended Critique

The final project is a tough one, so we provide an additional 2 week extended critique period at the end of After Effects Kickstart to let you catch up and spend ample time making your first full-length animation as amazing as it can be. Our teaching assistants will help you in any way they can during this time. Hustle!

Extended Critique

And once you’ve reached the end?

At the end of After Effects Kickstart you are inducted into the Alumni Facebook group where you can post your final projects, meet students from previous sessions, and continue to keep in touch with your new compadres. The networking that takes place in this group is priceless, and many students have gotten freelance work from the connections they’ve made in this course.


After Effects Kickstart Alumni Testimonials

John GeogheganDirector of Motion Graphics at JK Design

After Effects Kickstart exceeded my expectations. The class was fun, informative, and really well thought out. The assignments were challenging, and made me work on things I would shy away from left to myself. Working your way through this class is so much better than plodding around the internet doing tutorials at random.

Irina AlmgrenFreelance Web Designer

I recommend this class to both total beginners and those who are not entirely new to AE but are still not familiar with all the basics. What makes this class unique is the combination of the paced progression with real projects, the ability to quickly reach out to other classmates and the teaching assistants via the private Facebook group, and detailed, skillful feedback from the TA on each assignment. Be warned, though, you might get addicted to learning here!

Tom SzoradyFreelance illustrator and Designer

School of Motion has taken me from being afraid of not knowing where to start, to making plans for my project. After Effects has always intimidated me, and now I can finally say that I start it up without any fear. I highly recommend this course. Loads of fun, a community to work with and motivate you, and a sense of accomplishment. Add After Effects knowledge to the ol' resume!

Kenza KadmiryFreelance Motion Designer

I've taken a myriad of other courses for After Effects, and yet I was still left with really just wanting to actually KNOW the software... With the knowledge I've gained throughout the course, as well as consistent practice through genuinely fun assignments, I feel even more excitement to continue and take my now established motion design skills to the next level. After Effects Kickstart has truly provided me with a very stable and strong foundation of understanding for After Effects on so many levels - technically, creatively, and even historically. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any and everyone wanting to fully build their background in motion graphics, animation, and After Effects absolutely take this course.

What's included with the course?

There is a ton of content in After Effects Kickstart, but it’s given to you in measured doses to ensure you don’t burn out.

The After Effects Kickstart program contains

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  • Over 25 hours of video instruction.
  • Exercises & Project files for every lesson.
  • Interviews with amazing Motion Graphics artists.
  • Private class podcast covering the history and art of MoGraph.
  • In-depth PDFs to support your design-learning.
  • Personalized critiques on your work from TA's.
  • A private Facebook group for Kickstart students ONLY.
  • Weekly episodes of Animation Oatmeal.
  • 100’s of your fellow students’ Project Files to dig through.
  • Extra critique time and catch-up weeks.

Want to be notified for upcoming After Effects Kickstart sessions?